This Week In 1985: July 7, 1985
For Pat Benatar, it's a chore to sing "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", while R.E.M. hate "Shiny Happy People" so much they left it off their best of album. Then there's the song that's been number 1 on the last few weeks of my 1990 posts: "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" by Heart, who didn't want to record the song and now decline to perform it in concert.
Yep, just because a song becomes a big hit doesn't mean the artist in question is happy about that fact. Like "Stairway To Heaven", "Wonderwall", "Creep" and "Brass In Pocket", the highest new entry on the ARIA chart this week in 1985 was a song the performer soon came to hate.
A singer who's had so many hits there's likely to be plenty she's no longer that keen on held on to the number 1 spot 30 years ago this week - Madonna stayed at the top with "Angel/Into The Groove". Meanwhile, her upcoming chart-topper, "Crazy For You", was closing in fast.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Walk Like A Man" by Divine
Peak: number 75
Not even a cover of a 1963 chart-topper by The Four Seasons could stop this joke wearing thin. Although vocally abysmal, the production sounded like Stock Aitken Waterman (who weren't actually involved) taking on "I Feel Love".
Number 99 "Stainsby Girls" by Chris Rea
Peak: number 94
It'd be another two years before he'd better the number 13 position he reached with 1979's "Diamonds" - two years of top 50 misses like this lead single from the Shamrock Diaries album.
Peak: number 65
An earlier version of this song missed the cut for previous album Infidels, but reworked for Empire Burlesque, it was chosen as lead single. More commercial than much of Bob's music, its slick pop/R&B sound featured input from reggae legends Sly & Robbie.
Number 77 "S.O.S., Fire In The Sky" by Deodato
Peak: number 77
Absent from the top 100 for over a decade, Brazilian musician Eumir Deodato's latest effort fit in more with the emerging freestyle scene than his previous jazz/funk style (as heard on his 1973 number 4 hit, "Also Sprach Zarathustra (2001)").
Number 60 "I Am My Own Walkman" by Michael Winslow
Peak: number 60
He'd been one of the breakout stars of 1984's Police Academy, but this timely single release made less use of his sound effects skills than you'd think.
Number 43 "Call Me" by Go West
Peak: number 12
Wow, Australian record companies really did rush out follow-up singles in 1985, didn't they? Seven weeks after their debut release, "We Close Our Eyes", burst into the top 50, British duo Go West struck again with their second hit, "Call Me". In a couple of weeks, both would occupy spots in the top 20 - but why the rush?
This wasn't a situation where the debut single took ages to make its mark and, by the time it did, the follow-up was also successful. "We Close Our Eyes" had only charted in the UK in late February - and even in Go West's speedy homeland, there was an 11-week gap between that song's debut and the arrival of "Call Me". Australia clearly wanted to catch up.
It's a practice I've often noticed doing these recaps - we might have been frequently late to the party, with initial singles sometimes taking up to six months to be issued locally, but then subsequent releases came out at a rapid-fire rate, with the majority of songs climbing and dropping out of the chart much quicker than they would just a few years later.
As for "Call Me" itself, it was another catchy pop gem, featuring an expensive-looking video in which singer Peter Cox was still sporting that dirty singlet top. Side note: I've just bought tickets to see Go West, along with Nik Kershaw, Paul Young and Cutting Crew in concert in Sydney this September. The last time I saw Go West at a similar '80s event about a decade ago, they were the standout performers of the night.
Peak: number 18
Just over a year since The Police's last appearance on the ARIA top 50 with "King Of Pain", frontman Sting returned with the lead release from his debut solo album, The Dream Of The Blue Turtles. "If You Love..." wasn't actually his first solo single - he'd previously recorded an update of"Spread A Little Happiness" for the soundtrack to Brimstone And Treacle in 1982 - but that odd one-off aside, this was the start of Sting's solo career proper.
Musically, "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" continued the move away from the reggae feel of Sting's earlier albums with The Police to more of a mainstream pop/rock sound - and not surprisingly, he found a very receptive audience in Australia and the US. In the UK, however, "If You Love..." peaked at a disappointing number 26 and the singer born Gordon Sumner wouldn't register a solo top 10 hit in his homeland for almost a decade.
Number 39 "Voices Carry" by 'Til Tuesday
Peak: number 15
The "Don't Speak" of the '80s, "Voices Carry" was written by 'Til Tuesday singer Aimee Mann about the end of her relationship with the band's drummer, Michael Huasman - although originally the lyrics were directed at another female. Altered to be less controversial (for 1985), the song was released as the band's debut single and, thanks in no small part to its dramatic MTV Award-winning music video, became a top 10 smash in the US (and a slightly smaller hit here in Australia). Alas, despite such a strong start to their career, it would be 'Til Tuesday's only top 50 appearance in Australia.
Peak: number 8
Next, a singer who expressed an interest in recording "Voices Carry" (with original lyrics intact) so long as 'Til Tuesday didn't release it themselves. That didn't happen, so instead, Cyndi Lauper's next big hit was a song she soon came to despise. Originally titled "Good Enough", the single was her first new release after exhausting debut album She's So Unusual for hits and was taken from the soundtrack to classic '80s film The Goonies (thus the change to the song's name).
A proper movie tie-in with all but one of the kid stars of The Goonies showing up in the celeb- and wrestler-packed video, "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" gave Cyndi another Australian and US top 10 placing, but she quickly disassociated herself with the song - refusing to play it live for almost two decades and leaving it off her 1994 career retrospective, Twelve Deadly Cyns... And Then Some. After dominating the charts in 1984, this track would be Cyndi's only release in 1985 - but she'd return with one of her biggest ever singles in 1986.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1985:
Next week: a girl group given a helping hand up the charts by Rick James, new releases from Kids In The Kitchen, Howard Jones and Bruce Springsteen; and a surprise early chart flop for a singer who'd soon become a massive star. Before that, a look back at the biggest live music event of 1985 on its 30th anniversary.