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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1987: December 6, 1987

Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2012. Updated in 2017.

Obviously I've stored my weekly ARIA charts away safely all these years - otherwise, there'd be no blog. Although I've taken care not to lose or damage them, I did get a bit carried away with the highlighter at this point in 1987 (as you can see from the chart below).

I'm not sure what the orange marks mean - given the vast majority of songs are marked, it probably indicates the ones I liked. Although, there are a few unhighlighted that should be marked, and some songs highlighted I never would have liked. So, it's all a bit of a mystery.

It could be the songs that were also on my personal chart for that week, since by this stage I'd already begun compiling my own weekly list of favourite songs. Anyway, enough about me - on with Australia's favourite new songs from this week in 1987, which included a new hit from a homegrown band that had only recently been at number 1.

Icehouse were as unstoppable as Iva Davies' mullet was 25 years ago

Meanwhile, moving to the top of the chart was a man who'd stay there for the next seven weeks: Rick Astley with "Never Gonna Give You Up".

EDIT: I've since got my hands on a clean version of the chart for this week. Here it is:

Off The Chart

Number 96 "Love Will Find A Way" by Yes

Peak: number 80

Four years after their singles chart breakthrough with "Owner Of A Lonely Heart", prog rockers Yes their pop output with this lead single from Big Generator, apparently originally intended for Stevie Nicks.

Number 91 "Illusion / Shatter My Dreams" by Paragon

Peak: number 91

Some obscure Australian heavy metal for you now from short-lived Adelaide band Paragon. You're welcome.


"I'm Beggin' You" by Supertramp

Peak: number 70

If it was wrong for a 12-year-old kid to like Fleetwood Mac, then it was even more wrong for me to be into Supertramp at that age (although there's no denying "It's Raining Again" is a great song). Since "I'm Beggin' You" is highlighted, I can only assume I did enjoy it. Listening to it now for the first time in decades, it sounds like a cross between "I Go To Rio" and "Love Is In The Air", but unlike those big hits, it didn't set the chart alight. Perhaps disappointed by the lack of success of this song and the Free As A Bird album, Supertramp didn't record another studio album for a decade.

New Entries

Number 45 "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston

Peak: number 26

The chart peak of this song was a slight improvement over Whitney's previous single, ballad "Didn't We Almost Have It All", but still a long way short of the big hits she'd been used to scoring. With next single "Where Do Broken Hearts Go" barely scraping into the top 50, Whitney had clearly become an albums artist in Australia, with both her first two LPs hitting the top spot and staying on the chart for dozens of weeks.

Number 43 "Come On, Let's Go" by Los Lobos

Peak: number 22

"La Bamba" was one of the biggest hits of 1987, so it made sense for another Ritchie Valens cover from the soundtrack to be released, again recorded by the Latino rock band. "Come On Let's Go" was actually Ritchie's debut chart appearance (it got to number 42) in the States back in 1958. His breakthough hit would be "Donna" - and the Los Lobos version of that song would be their final single taken from La Bamba (and would spend a solitary week at number 98 in January). Interestingly, Ritchie's version of "La Bamba" was originally the B-side to "Donna" until it became a hit in its own right.

Number 41 "Back In The USSR" by Billy Joel

Peak: number 33

I've never understood the appeal of live albums. It's one thing to be at a concert, but if I'm listening to music at home, I want to hear the nice studio version of a song. Still, throughout the '70s and '80s, concert albums could be big business for rock bands between studio sets. Billy's Концерт album at least had the novelty of being recorded in the Soviet Union (a place Western artists didn't often visit in 1987) - thus his inclusion of "Back In The USSR" in his set, which was lifted as a single. This release of Billy's cover version of The Beatles track marked the first time he'd released a single he hadn't written himself.

Number 24 "My Obsession" by Icehouse

Peak: number 12

There really was no stopping Icehouse in the second half of 1987. Man Of Colours was coming towards the end of its 11-week run atop the albums chart, and even so, enough people still went out and bought third single "My Obsession". And, from memory, this was all without a music video for the song. Obviously, there's a clip for the track below, but I have a feeling this came some time after the single's success in Australia. Either that, or Rage just didn't play the clip.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1987:

That's it for another week. Next week, the highlighter action gets really out of control - and there are a couple of new entries to talk about. For anyone following my personal 1989 countdown, I'll wrap that up before Christmas, too.

Back to: Nov 29, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 13, 1987

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