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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1986: January 19, 1986

Since its launch in July 1983, a pile of ARIA charts had been available at record stores each and every week for customers to pick up a copy and take it home with them. Then, at the start of 1986, some killjoy decided to do away with the handy printouts and produce poster-size copies of the top 50 singles and albums instead.

Grace Jones returned to music with a tasty treat

These large-format charts were displayed in-store and now sell for huge amounts on eBay. Of course, several months later, the smaller-sized sheets were reinstated and remained available for the next 12 years. I wonder if there was some sort of outcry from chart collectors or whether stores got fed up with people crowding around the single copy of the chart on display.

The first number 1 on the new-look chart was the same chart-topper as for the week previously. Species Deceases by Midnight Oil was the most popular record in the country for a sixth and final week.

Off The Chart

Number 99 "King Of Kings" by Models

Peak: number 96

Likely released due to its seasonal appropriateness rather than any chance it'd be a big hit, this fifth single from Out Of Mind Out Sight became the first to miss the top 50.

Number 92 "Turn Up The Beat" by Tina

Peak: number 92

And here I was thinking "I Need Your Body" was Tina Arena's debut single. Not so, although this jaunty little number was a bit of a career false start for the then-18-year-old ex-Young Talent Time cast member.


As part of the new chart layout, the breakers section was added for the first time - and would remain a chart fixture until mid-August 1992. In general, the songs listed were the next five singles outside the top 50 that were moving up the chart. Although, as we've seen on my 1987-92 posts, that wasn't always the case. As it turns out, all five of this week's breakers would end up reaching the top 50, and so we'll get to them when they do so.

New Entries

Number 50 "You Belong To The City" by Glenn Frey

Peak: number 20

Could this song be any more mid-'80s? 1) It's a solo single by a member of the Eagles, 2) it features a whopping great sax solo and 3) it's taken from the TV series Miami Vice, which can be seen playing on every TV screen in the music video. By this stage, the crime show had become known for its use of pop music in its weekly episodes and, naturally, a spin-off soundtrack album was the obvious next step. 

"You Belong To The City" was one of two songs by Glenn Frey on the first soundtrack album - and in this case was especially written for the show. The other, "Smuggler's Blues", had initially appeared on his last album, Allnighter, before Miami Vice named an episode after it and recruited Glenn to guest star in it. The soundtrack album made its ARIA top 50 debut the following week, while for Glenn this marked his second straight soundtrack hit in Australia, following "The Heat Is On" into the top 20.

Number 49 "See The Day" by Dee C Lee

Peak: number 5

Solo success had been some time coming for the singer born Diane Sealy, who'd made a name for herself as Dee C Lee performing backing vocals in both Wham! and The Style Council. Three previous singles had flopped for Dee before dramatic ballad "See The Day" became a top 5 hit in both Australia and the UK. It would prove to be Dee's only hit, but she carried on performing with soon-to-be-husband Paul Weller in The Style Council until the band broke up at the end of the decade. "See The Day" would return to the UK top 10 thanks to a wholly unnecessary cover version by Girls Aloud in 2005.

Number 46 "Kabuki" by Geisha

Peak: number 42

Their first two singles, "Fool's Way" and "Rainy Day", had missed the top 50, but third time was the charm for Geisha with the Eastern-influenced "Kabuki" giving the band their first chart hit. Like V-Capri in Perth, Geisha were disproportionately - but understandably - popular in their hometown of Melbourne, where "Kabuki" progressed much further on the state chart. The band would give "Rainy Day" another shot later in 1986, before moving on to their second album - and landing their first decent-sized hit as a result.

Number 44 "Tonight She Comes" by The Cars

Peak: number 16

After five studio albums dating back to 1978, The Cars had earnt themselves a greatest hits collection - even if the new wave band had only managed four decent-sized hits in Australia. This poppy brand new track became their fifth. Following the release of Greatest Hits, the band splintered off for various solo projects - with Rik Ocasek achieving a top 10 hit later in 1986. A sixth studio album from The Cars would emerge in 1987, but the band didn't make any further top 50 appearances on the ARIA singles chart.

Number 43 "King For A Day" by Thompson Twins

Peak: number 20

Here's another band coming to the end of their chart success in Australia. After five top 30 entries extending back to early 1983 and breakthrough single "Lies", this third release from Here's To Future Days made it a sixth and final hit for the British trio. Three became two when Joe Leeway quite the band later in the year, but Tom Bailey and Alannah Currie carried on regardless, releasing three more albums before finally calling it a day in 1993.

Number 39 "Slave To The Rhythm" by Grace Jones

Peak: number 20

Our third new single of the week to peak at number 20 is also the biggest hit of Grace Jones's career. "Slave To The Rhythm" came a decade after her debut single and three years after her only other Australian top 40 hit, "Nipple To The Bottle" (number 33 in early 1983). Since that last chart appearance, Grace had memorable roles in films Conan The Destroyer and A View To A Kill, but returned to music with a bang.

Co-written and produced by Trevor Horn, "Slave To The Rhythm" was originally intended for Frankie Goes To Hollywood but instead passed on to Grace and an entire album built around the one song. The eight tracks on Slave To The Rhythm are remixes and variations of "Slave..." - and, confusingly, the single version is actually closest to the album track called "Ladies And Gentlemen: Miss Grace Jones" as opposed to the album's title track.

Easily her best known song, "Slave To The Rhythm" was remixed in 1994 for compilation album Zance (A Decade Of Dance From ZTT) and was performed in 2012 by a hula-hooping Grace as part of the Diamond Jubilee Concert.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1986:

Next week: Another song linked to Miami Vice leaps into the top 50, as do two big charity records and the follow-up to a number 1 single from 1985.

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