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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1986: December 21, 1986

It didn't happen often - especially compared to the UK chart - but when a former hit song was re-released and returned to the Australian top 50, there was a pretty good reason for it.

Bigger than The Beatles? Maybe not, but Ferris Bueller was pretty huge in 1986

This week in 1986, a single that'd reached number 5 in 1964 was once again in the chart. And it was all because of a teen comedy film in which the song played a pivotal part.

At number 1 this week in 1986, "You're The Voice" by John Farnham spent its seventh and final week on top of the ARIA chart, while on the albums top 50, Whispering Jack remained at number 1 for the fifth of its initial eight-week run on top (it'd end up registering 25 weeks in total).

Off The Chart

Number 98"Whole World" by Petra

Peak: number 94

I've never listened to much Christian rock - and this single by religious hard rockers Petra demonstrates why. The lyric "he's still got the whole world in his hands" sounds a little odd sung by new lead vocalist John Schlitt like it's a Whitesnake tune.

Number 90"Summer Of Love" by The B-52's

Peak: number 90

This first single from Bouncing Off The Satellites suffered from the band not being in a state to do much promotion following the loss of guitarist Ricky Wilson, who died before the album was released (but after recording had been completed).

New Entries

Number 49 "Primitive Love Rites" by Mondo Rock

Peak: number 34

We're about to see the arrival of their biggest single, "Come Said The Boy", in my flashbacks to 1983, but three years after that number 2 smash, Mondo Rock weren't faring so well on the ARIA chart. This second single from the Boom Baby Boom album turned things around slightly, returning the band to the top 50 after a string of flops, but "Primitive Love Rites" fell some way short of not only "Come Said The Boy" but 1984's number 18 follow-up "Baby Wants To Rock". As it would turn out, number 34 was as good as it was ever going to get for Mondo Rock again, although "Primitive Love Rites" did have the unexpected distinction of being their only entry on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching number 71 in mid-1987. 

Number 48 "Twist And Shout" by The Beatles

Peak: number 48

I expected "Twist And Shout" to have been among The Beatles' many number 1 hits in Australia, but the Fab Four's version of the oft-covered 1961 single by The Top Notes got no further than number 5 when it was the first of a mammoth 18 singles released locally in 1964. So what brought it back to the chart 22 years later? A little movie called Ferris Bueller's Day Off, which was released locally in August 1986. Thanks to the climactic scene in which Ferris (Matthew Broderick) gatecrashes a parade float and lip syncs to "Danke Schoen" and "Twist And Shout", the song was brought to the attention of a whole new generation of music fans and, more importantly, re-released by EMI. "Twist And Shout" also appeared in the Rodney Dangerfield comedy Back To School, but the less said about that the better. The song didn't get any further this time around, but its presence did mean the band had scored a top 50 hit with a non-medley release in each of the '60s, '70s and '80s.

Number 46 "War / Merry Christmas Baby" by Bruce Springsteen

Peak: number 38

It'd been nearly two-and-a-half years since the release of Born In The U.S.A., but Bruce Springsteen fans would have to wait a little longer for a new studio album. In the meantime, The Boss released his first ever live collection, neatly timed for Christmas. The five-LP set, Live/1975-85, included Bruce's version of The Temptations' "War", which had been added to the set list for the last four dates of the Born In The U.S.A. tour. He prefaced his performance by warning, "Blind faith in leaders will get you killed." "War" was backed by a more cheery remake, a live version of "Merry Christmas Baby", first recorded by Johnny Moore's Three Blazers in 1947.

Number 35 "Change Of Heart" by Cyndi Lauper

Peak: number 15

The only decent-sized hit of the week was this follow-up to "True Colors", which became Cyndi Lauper's eighth consecutive top 20 single. "Change Of Heart" followed Cyndi's frequent pattern of alternating between upbeat tracks and ballads, with the energy of the song - and its London-set music video - a huge contrast to its more staid predecessor. Featured on the track are the distinctive harmonies of The Bangles, who provided backing vocals.

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

Next week: the final chart for 1986 and the debut of three massive home-grown singles, including a superstar collaboration. Plus, a look at the top 100 biggest hits of the year.

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