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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1986: November 9, 1986

What do Men At Work, Culture Club and Bruce Hornsby And The Range have in common? They were all the recipients of the Grammy Award for Best New Artist - the only groups to receive it during the '80s.

Bruce Hornsby And The Perms might've been a more accurate name...

We've seen the first two of those bands in recent flashbacks to 1983, and this week in 1986, Bruce Hornsby And The Range made their debut on the ARIA chart with a song that would top the US chart in December.

A song that would top the ARIA chart right through until late December climbed to number 1 this week in 1986. "You're The Voice" bounded up from number 6 to displace Bananarama's seven-week chart-topper, "Venus". John Farnham would spent the same number of weeks at number 1 himself.

Off The Chart

Number 97 "Sweet Love" by Anita Baker

Peak: number 97

She was another winner at the 1987 Grammys, but this breakthrough single - and US top 10 hit - was the only ARIA top 100 appearance by soul singer Anita Baker, more's the pity.

Number 93 "What Are You On" by Manikins

Peak: number 84

I've always liked this quirky single, which was the first release from Manikins v2.0. The band, who were now fronted by the distinctively voiced Christine Bodey, almost broke the top 50 with the follow-up in early 1988.

Number 91 "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC

Peak: number 70

This re-release of the number 8 hit from 1980 was due to its inclusion on Who Made Who. It fell some way short of its prior success but added seven weeks to its previous tally of 28 weeks on the chart.

Number 90 "Hot Nights" by David Evans And Thunder Down Under

Peak: number 90

One place above AC/DC was their original lead singer, who was replaced by Bon Scott in late 1974. He'd had no chart success with his next band Rabbit and, a decade later, still none with Thunder Down Under (not the stripping troupe).

New Entries

Number 47 "(Forever) Live And Die" by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark

Peak: number 19

Just as "Don't You (Forget About Me)" had provided Simple Minds' career with a shot in the arm, so too did "If You Leave", OMD's own single from a John Hughes film, boost the British synthpop band's chart fortunes. Having previously only climbed as high as number 30 with 1984's "Locomotion", the British band found themselves with back-to-back top 20 hits as "(Forever) Live And Die" peaked slightly lower than the number 15 position reached by "If You Leave". The dreamy single was the first track lifted from OMD's seventh album, The Pacific Age, and featured Paul Humphreys on lead vocals, instead of Andy McCluskey, who'd sung their best known songs in Australia up until this point.

Number 38 "Darling It Hurts" by Paul Kelly And The Coloured Girls

Peak: number 25

Here's another band on a bit of a roll - and also following up a number 15 hit. Rollicking single "Darling It Hurts" wasn't quite as big as "Before Too Long", but it did give Paul Kelly And The Coloured Girls a second appearance in the top 30, and helped ensure their album, Gossip, maintained a presence on the top 100 albums chart until the middle of 1987.

Number 32 "The Way It Is" by Bruce Hornsby And The Range

Peak: number 12

The original release of "Every Little Kiss" had been their debut single (and a flop first time round), but socially motivated track "The Way It Is" was the song that made people sit up and take notice of Bruce Hornsby And The Range. Lyrically, the US number 1 hit dealt with racism and social injustice, and how two decades after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, America was still a divided nation. According to the song, "some things" could change, so long as you didn't believe them when they said, "That's just the way it is." 

Musically, the piano-led adult-oriented rock track was unlike anything else in the top 50 - a fact that worked in its favour and prompted more mature music fans who didn't buy singles to shell out for the album of the same name, which stayed in the top 100 for almost a year. "The Way It Is" would be the band's only major hit in Australia, although they returned briefly to the top 50 in 1988 with "The Valley Road". The piano riff from "The Way It Is" would underpin another big hit - 2Pac's "Changes" (number 7 in 1999). Fun fact: you wouldn't know it from the music video since Bruce never stands up from behind the piano, but he's 6'4" tall.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1986:

Next week: one of Australia's favourite New Zealand imports lands her first hit, plus a Canadian one-hit wonder and a song that's soundtracked countless striptease scenes.

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