This Week In 1985: October 27, 1985
A couple of months ago, we saw the ARIA singles chart with the highest number of new entries for all of 1985. By contrast, this week that year, the top 50 featured only one new entry, which was the year's lowest amount - better than nothing, I guess.
There was, at least, a new number 1 single this week in 1985. UB40 and Chrissie Hynde's cover of "I Got You Babe" knocked "Dancing In The Street" from the top. It was the first time there'd been two consecutive remakes at number 1 since Toni Basil's "Mickey" replaced "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts in mid-1982.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Tears Me In Two" by The Stems
Peak: number 99
This second single from the Perth band sounded like it could have come from the '60s - or the late '90s. Something of a lost classic, it should really have done better.
Number 96 "Yesterday's Men" by Madness
Peak: number 54
In some ways, this would turn out to be a pretty appropriate title - being the lead single from the once-great band's final album before their split. Of course, the breakup didn't last that long...
Number 93 "Number 1" by The Accelerators
Peak: number 58
Not to be confused with the identically named American band from the same era, this short-lived Adelaide group almost made the top 50 with this song about car racing.
Peak: number 81
Taken from Live At The Apollo, this medley of songs originally recorded by The Temptations featured two members of that group: Eddie Kendricks and David Ruffin, who'd also performed with Hall & Oates at Live Aid.
Peak: number 29
Here's two more music legends who'd performed together earlier in 1985 - this time as part of USA For Africa. Although, this duet predates "We Are The World", having been released at the end of 1984 in the US. In Australia, "Seven Spanish Angels" had spent the last two months bouncing around the top 100 before becoming Willie's second duet hit in a row - following 1984's "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" with Julio Iglesias.
Both songs were taken from Half Nelson, an album of duets by Willie Nelson and assorted singing partners - with a mix of previous releases and new recordings making the tracklisting. A song about a gunfight between a Mexican bandit, his girlfriend and the men pursuing them, "Seven Spanish Angels" would be Willie's final top 50 hit in Australia, while Ray would achieve one more - appearing on "Please (You Got That...)" by INXS in 1993.
With only one new entry on the singles top 50, there's no better time to take a look at what was happening over on the albums side of the chart.
Doing something they hadn't been able to do on the singles chart with "What You Need", INXS were at number 1 for a second week with Listen Like Thieves. It would only be a brief respite from Dire Straits' chart domination, with Brothers In Arms returning to the top the next week. Listen Like Thieves was one of 10 albums by Australian acts on the top 50, a total which included the band's previous release, The Swing.
Back in the days when they were still listed on the main chart, several various artist albums were among the 50 best-sellers this week in 1985. None were bigger than 1985 Hottest On Record!, which included recent hits like chart-toppers "Out Of Mind Out Of Sight", "The Power Of Love" and "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)".
It may have been released at the end of 1983, but Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie was still on the top 50 almost two years later. The album's 98 weeks on the chart was the highest tally by any album 30 years ago this week, although LPs such as Born In The USA, Like A Virgin, Stop Making Sense and Private Dancer had all also clocked up impressive runs.
He'd topped the chart with his debut album, Rodney Rude Live, in 1984, but there were slightly less takers for Rodney Keft's dirty brand of comedy the following year when I Got More peaked at number 7 (its position on this week's chart). With success came controversy, with Rodney arrested for indecency - charges he successfully fought in court.
What would an albums chart from 1985 be without an oddity like this? New Zealander John Rowles hadn't had a top 40 single since 1978 and his biggest hit was a decade before that - "If I Only Had Time", number 6 in 1968 - so the logical thing to do was sign up with budget label J&B and release a covers album.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1985:
Next week: a more respectable seven new entries, including the best song (although not the biggest hit) by an Australian synthpop band, the long-forgotten follow-up to a number 1 single, yet another track lifted from Born In The USA, and debuts from Simple Minds, Talking Heads and Hoodoo Gurus.