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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1985: September 22, 1985

Saxaphone solos, key changes, keytars... there are some things that will forever be associated with '80s music. Add to that list the kiddy choir, which had featured on recent charts hits "We Belong" by Pat Benatar and Tina Turner's number 1 single, "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)".

Two Australian bands discovered the power of the kiddy choir in 1985

This week in 1985, two new entries on the ARIA top 50 singles chart came complete with a choir of children for the final choruses. And both singles were a change of pace for the Australian bands responsible.

Another local band held down the number 1 spot this week in 1985 for a second week. Models stayed on top with "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight", with fellow Aussies INXS right behind them with "What You Need".

Off The Chart

Number 100 "Day By Day" by Doug & The Slugs

Peak: number 62

It wasn't even one of their hits at home in Canada, but some reason this lead single from fourth album Popaganda became the only top 100 appearance by the band fronted by Doug Bennett.

Number 88 "Goodbye Girl" by Go West

Peak: number 55

After two big singles, Go West slowed down the pace and, as a result, their chart success with this latest release from their debut self-titled album.

Number 85 "What Am I Going To Do" by Stephen Cummings

Peak: number 80

His former band, The Sports, never reached the top 20 and it looked like singer Stephen Cummings was going to share that fate, with this stand-alone single between his first two solo albums not climbing much higher.

Number 84 "Smokin' In The Boys Room" by Mōtley Crüe

Peak: number 61

This lead single from third album Theatre Of Pain was their first major hit in the US, but it'd be another couple of years before the decadent rockers saw the inside of the ARIA top 50.

New Entries

Number 45 "The City Of Soul" by Eurogliders

Peak: number 19

There were a lot of joyful pop moments on Eurogliders' third album, Absolutely, but the Perth band made the curious decision to release the moody "The City Of Soul" as its second single. Maybe they had to get it out of the way before the references to 1985 in the lyrics became dated or maybe it was felt that a song like "The City Of Soul", with its kiddy choir and post-apocalyptic video, would tie in nicely with the popularity of Mad Max and Tina Turner's recent number 1. Whatever the reason, it's pretty telling that the singles released either side of it went top 10 while "The City Of Soul" just slipped in to the top 20. Don't get me wrong, I like the song and it does show the band could do more than just get off with each other in music videos - but I much prefer the other singles from Absolutely.  

Number 43 "The Garden" by Australia Too

Peak: number 38

Nine months after Band Aid started the ball rolling on the music industry's support of famine relief efforts, a bunch of Australian artists banded together for this single to raise funds for local charity Australian Freedom From Hunger Campaign, which had been in operation since 1960. Despite the presence of well-known voices like Doug Parkinson, Renee Geyer and John Swan, "The Garden" didn't follow "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and "We Are The World" to the top of the chart - in fact, it got nowhere near number 1 and this is the first time I've ever heard the hymn-like track. Was Australia all charity-ed out? It didn't seem that way later in 1985 when another local fundraising record hit the top 10. Perhaps "The Garden" just wasn't a good enough song.

Number 42 "Current Stand" by Kids In The Kitchen

Peak: number 12

Like Eurogliders, Kids In The Kitchen departed from the formula that had provided them with their biggest hits, trading in synthpop for a more straightforward pop ballad as the fifth single from debut LP Shine, which was working its way back up the albums listings. In this case, it was the best decision they could've made. After the disappointment that was the album's title track, "Current Stand" returned the band to the ARIA top 20 and also just happened to be their best single to date. As good as "Bitter Desire" and "Something That You Said" had been, "Current Stand" felt like a band seizing their big pop moment kiddy choir and all. 

Number 41 "Spanish Eddie" by Laura Branigan

Peak: number 24

This odd (but awesome) little number, which features lyrics about gang warfare in the 1970s set to a jazzercise beat, got things off to an OK start for Laura Branigan's fourth album, Hold Me. However, "Spanish Eddie" would turn out to be the American singer's seventh and final top 50 appearance in Australia. This was despite the presence on Hold Me of her version of Alphaville's "Forever Young" and the original recording of "I Found Someone", later covered with great success by Cher neither of which became hits for Laura. Not even a union with Stock Aitken Waterman on 1987's "Shattered Glass" did the trick for her locally, which was a bit of an oversight on our collective part.

Number 36 "Dress You Up" by Madonna

Peak: number 5

She was still at numbers 10 and 12 with her two recent chart-toppers, but the relentless Madonna release schedule continued apace with this fourth and final single from Like A Virgin making short work of its journey to the top 5. Like "Angel", "Dress You Up" didn't come with a proper music video concert footage from the Virgin Tour was used instead but that hardly mattered at this point as everything Madonna touched turned into a chart smash. It's even more remarkable that "Dress You Up" did so well in Australia given Like A Virgin was now in its 42nd week on the albums top 50 and still as high as number 11, and most artists just didn't have the fans to sustain that many top 5 hits from one album. 

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1985:

Next week: three future number 1s debut in the same week, including a song that had its premiere back in July at Live Aid, a reggae cover of a classic duet and possibly the best synthpop track of all time.

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