This Week In 1987: July 5, 1987
If you're just joining us, where have you been the past five years? In 2012, I marked the 25-year anniversary of collecting my first ARIA top 50 chart from my local record store by starting this blog. Then, in 2015, I added a weekly 30 Years Ago... recap and have now reached the point where I began: the week ending July 5, 1987.
This time around I'm going focus on the week's new entries and cover the parts of the chart I didn't look at last time, namely the Single Of The Week, Breakers and those songs entering the top 100 that never made the top 50 (the Off The Chart section).
The week's biggest new entry came from an Australian band who'd racked up a handful of top 10 hits early in the decade but had struggled to match that... until now. Before long, they'd even land their first number 1 single.
At the top of the very first chart I collected was "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" by Whitney Houston, which spent a third week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Ain't So Easy" by David & David
Peak: number 87
Top 30 single "Welcome To The Boomtown" didn't make much of an impression on me at the time, and I literally just listened to this follow-up and I couldn't tell you how it goes.
Number 96 "Stone Love" by Kool & The Gang
Peak: number 94
Like previous single "Victory", this slice of pop/funk reached number 10 in the US and was all but ignored here in Australia. This was Kool & The Gang's final visit to the ARIA chart.
Number 95 "No Lies" by The S.O.S. Band
Peak: number 83
A final chart visit for another excellent American funk act now - and The S.O.S. Band's first appearance on the top 100 at all since their top 20 hit, "Just Be Good To Me" in early 1984.
Peak: number 94
Also returning to the chart - for the first time in two years - was Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers with this lead single from Let Me Up (I've Had Enough), which was co-written by Bob Dylan.
Number 93 "You Oughta Be In Love" by Dave Dobbyn
Peak: number 63
Yes, it's nowhere near as good as "Slice Of Heaven", but I've always been surprised this sweet ballad, also from Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale, didn't at least reach the top 50.
Number 88 "Time Is Always Changing" by V-Capri
Peak: number 73
Poor V-Capri. Try as they might, the rest of the country just wasn't that interested in the Western Australian band, and this single, which isn't even on YouTube, became their final top 100 placement. They'd release one more song, "Now I Know", in 1988.
Single Of The Week
It's funny - I've been aware of this song for exactly 30 years now, since it was the Single Of The Week on the first chart I kept, but I've never bothered to listen to it until right now. Given it didn't even dent the top 100, I'm clearly not the only one who never gave it a chance. Thing is: I actually prefer this to their top 50 hit from earlier in the year, "Weirdo Libido".
Peak: number 60
Is it just me or does this song seem to go on forever? And just when you think it's going to finish, there's an a cappella chorus at the end. It was about this point, if not a couple of singles earlier, where Tina Turner lost me for good - and it seems I wasn't alone, with the title track of Break Every Rule falling some way short of the top 20 placing of both "Typical Male" and "What You Get Is What You See".
Peak: number 54
I'm now going to contradict everything I've ever said about Simply Red on this blog. Usually, I prefer the British soul band's upbeat songs to their ballads, but I think releasing "Infidelity" as Men And Women's second single (following "The Right Thing") was a mistake and they should've gone with eventual third single "Maybe Someday..." instead. There's just not a strong enough hook in "Infidelity" and, as a result of it under-performing, "Maybe Someday..." probably also suffered.
Peak: number 48
He'd had two top 20 hits as Jo Jo Zep, 1979's "Hit And Run" (with The Falcons) and "Taxi Mary" in 1982, but by 1983, that era of musician Joe Camilleri's career was over and he formed a new band. The first two albums by The Black Sorrows consisted almost entirely of cover versions of old blues and R&B songs, and neither those nor third album A Place In The World yielded any charting singles. In 1987, the band released fourth album Dear Children, which had a rockier sound than their previous efforts, and second single "Daughters Of Glory" gained some traction. I actually quite liked the song - more so than a lot of what was to come from the band - but it disappeared from the top 50 after three weeks.
Peak: number 36
It was the perfect plan (and by "plan" I mean "do exactly the same thing again"): take another hoary old rock song from 1971, throw a Stock Aitken Waterman-inspired beat behind it and have the four female singers give it their drunken karaoke night best (although this time they all got to have a go singing lead in the verses). If it weren't for those pesky Party Boys, Chantoozies would've had another top 10 hit to match "Witch Queen".
Or would they? Because this version of "He's Gonna Step On You Again" is a mess. And matters aren't helped by the shambles of a music video that looks like so many terrible office Christmas parties. Even Bananarama at their most "can't be arsed" made more effort. I'm all for artists fooling around and having some fun in music videos, but at least film it well. I think it's safe to say Chantoozies learnt their lesson from this and came back with a much more polished attempt at being a professional pop group in just under a year's time.
Number 34 "Crazy" by Icehouse
Peak: number 4
They'd maintained a steady stream of excellent releases since their initial burst of top 10 action between 1980-82, but the highest chart position Icehouse had managed in the past four-and-a-half years had been the number 14 peak of "Baby, You're So Strange", with many of their singles really under-performing. Finally, the band once known as Flowers came up smelling of roses (sorry!) with this lead single from the forthcoming Man Of Colours album. Not only did "Crazy" put Icehouse back in the top 10, but it became their biggest hit to date, beating the number 5 peak of "Great Southern Land". It was hardly a surprise - with its big, bold production and ultra-commercial hook, "Crazy" was only ever going to be massive. Who knew that it was only the beginning of an unstoppable year for the band? The song's two music videos are below for your viewing pleasure.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1987:
Next week: well, I've already written the post for the following week (which you can read by clicking the link below), but I'll update it (and every subsequent post) to include the Off The Chart section.
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