This Week In 1987: November 29, 1987
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2012. Updated in 2017.
This week in 1987, you'd have been forgiven for thinking it was 1977, since the list of artists entering the top 50 reads (in part) like a who's who of the '70s. In 1987, it was much less unusual for artists long past their prime to be clocking up hits on the singles chart. These days, Pink and Guy Sebastian rank as chart veterans, with most acts in the current top 50 emerging much more recently.
Interestingly, although the oldies had the highest debuts this week, it's the songs that appear lower down the top 50 that ended up performing better - which suggests the fanbases of a couple of the established artists got in quickly and snapped up those singles, while young Glenn Medeiros took his time to make his mark.
A man who'd been visiting the chart since 1978 took over the number 1 position this week in 1987. Jimmy Barnes registered the first (and only) chart-topping single of his career (with Cold Chisel or solo) with "Too Much Ain't Enough Love".
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Hold On" by Almost Human
Peak: number 86
This was the only chart appearance by the Adelaide heavy metal band that'd formed in the late 1970s. Almost Human parted ways in 1993, but have a relatively recently updated Facebook presence.
Number 97 "I'm Not In Love" by Johnny Logan
Peak: number 74
1987's Eurovision champion followed up "Hold Me Now" with a remake of one of the best known (and most frequently covered) ballads of all time: 10cc's "I'm Not In Love".
Peak: number 70
She'd been having a run of success with the singles from Body And Soul, but this fourth track was where the luck ran out for Jenny. I haven't listened to this song in years since it doesn't appear on her greatest hits collection, and it's not a bad song, although it does lack the immediacy of "You I Know" and "You're Gonna Get Hurt", which probably accounts for its chart performance.
Number 50 "Toy Boy" by Sinitta
Peak: number 49
This song featured in my personal 1987 countdown, so I won't say much more about it here, other than to note that the track didn't get much higher than this debut position. In the UK, the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced ode to younger men became Sinitta's second top 5 hit, following 1986's ode to buff men, "So Macho".
Number 49 "Skeletons" by Stevie Wonder
Peak: number 38
Here's our first music veteran... Stevie had been making records since 1962, when he was 12, and released his first greatest hits compilation in 1968! So, by 1987, he was well and truly established - and was coming off a particularly successful few years with the album, In Square Circle,and the soundtrack to The Woman In Red, which contained possibly his biggest ever hit, "I Just Called To Say I Love You". "Skeletons" was the lead single from the Characters album and, given its peak position, suggested Stevie's time as a hitmaker was behind him. In fact, it would be his last solo top 50 appearance - with only a handful of "featuring" credits in the years to follow.
Peak: number 5
Another artist who'd been recording music since the 1960s is next - and the singles were coming thick and fast from Jacko's Bad album, with the third track to be lifted debuting here at number 47. It would go on to reach the top 5 and was the best single released from the album so far. Another epic video (in length, if not in terms of special effects) came with the song in which Michael essentially harassed a girl until she gave in to him.
Peak: number 10
Glenn was only 17 years old when this cover of the George Benson album track became a worldwide hit. In Australia, "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You" was one of the longest-running singles on the top 100 in the '80s, sticking around for 40 weeks, and was also one of 1988's top 40 biggest sellers. The Hawaiian teen star would have to wait three years for another hit, though, when "She Ain't Worth It" (featuring Bobby Brown) climbed to number 8.
Number 45 "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake
Peak: number 24
Here they go again! After debuting a few weeks back with "Is This Love", Whitesnake finally managed to chart with their previous single, which had been slowly climbing the top 100 in recent weeks. "Here I Go Again" was actually much older than that, though, having first appeared on the album Saints & Sinners and been released as a single in 1983. This new version would improve on the number 53 placing of the original - and even though it didn't perform as well as "Is This Love", it's the song I preferred.
Peak: number 1
Here's another song that appeared in my 1987 countdown - and another track (like George Michael's "Faith") which would have to wait quite a number of weeks until it would eventually reach the very top of the chart for one week in January 1988. "Got My Mind Set On You" dated way back to 1962, when it was recorded by Jimmy Ray, but it's the version by the former Beatle (taken from his solo album Cloud 9) that is best known. Whether it was to celebrate his first new music in five years or just down to the fact that, as one of the Fab Four, he had money to burn, George made two clips for the song - a link to one is in the song title and the other is below.
Number 39 "Crazy Crazy Nights" by KISS
Peak: number 34
I was born in 1975, just as face-painted rockers KISS were hitting their stride, and recall that there were few bands cooler when I was very young. The group's popularity in Australia peaked around 1979/80 and so, by 1987, it had been a good few years since they'd had a massive hit. This first single released from Crazy Nights, their first album in a couple of years, would only get a little higher - and it would be another five years before they'd return to the top 20.
Number 29 "The Right Stuff" by Bryan Ferry
Peak: number 23
By 1977, Bryan Ferry had racked up hits both with Roxy Music and as a solo artist. In 1987, Roxy Music was no more, and Bryan released his latest studio album,Bête Noire, from which this lead single was taken. Like the KISS song, it would only progress a few more positions, but it would provide Bryan with his biggest hit since, funnily enough, 1977, when "This Is Tomorrow" ended a string of three top 10 hits, which also included his chart-topper "Let's Stick Together".
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1987:
Next Thursday, we enter the final month of 1987, with only three more weekly charts to cover until the ARIA charts took a break for Christmas. Before then, I'll commence my countdown of my favourite songs from 1989.