Pop top 40, 12/21/85

perfect

Last week’s “VJ Big 40” (for which they use the Billboard Hot 100) on SiriusXM’s ’80s on 8 was from 1985, and it’s a solid, interesting countdown. A few thoughts:

1 3 SAY YOU, SAY ME –•– Lionel Richie – 7 (1) — Say nothing.
2 1 BROKEN WINGS –•– Mr. Mister – 14 (1)
3 4 PARTY ALL THE TIME –•– Eddie Murphy – 12 (3) — This song is so dumb, but I love it anyway. Though I’d never noticed until this week that its entire lyrical premise is one of slut-shaming the singer’s girlfriend. Nice one, Rick.
4 7 ALIVE AND KICKING –•– Simple Minds – 10 (4) — “All the Things She Said” is better, but this is still pretty good. I was a big fan of Once Upon A Time back in the day.
5 2 SEPARATE LIVES –•– Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin – 12 (1) — Absolutely, heartbreakingly, gorgeous. One of my favorite Phil Collins records ever.
6 6 ELECTION DAY –•– Arcadia – 9 (6) — What artfags. (Meant semi-complimentarily.)
7 9 I MISS YOU –•– Klymaxx – 15 (7)
8 14 THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR –•– Dionne & Friends – 7 (8)
9 12 SMALL TOWN –•– John Cougar Mellencamp – 8 (9)
10 8 SLEEPING BAG –•– ZZ Top – 10 (8) — aka Eliminator Lite, but I’m okay with that.

11 13 PERFECT WAY –•– Scritti Politti – 16 (11) — I mean, everybody knows that this is one of the most perfect pop singles to ever make the US (or UK) charts, right?
12 16 TONIGHT SHE COMES –•– The Cars – 8 (12) — Not from a weaksauce song like this she isn’t, Rick.
13 5 NEVER –•– Heart – 15 (4)
14 18 WALK OF LIFE –•– Dire Straits – 8 (14) — I mean, everybody knows that this is one of the worst pop singles to ever make the US (or UK) charts, right? God, Dire Straits were fucking awful.
15 10 WE BUILT THIS CITY –•– Starship – 16 (1)
16 19 TALK TO ME –•– Stevie Nicks – 6 (16) — Thunderstorm warning.
17 22 BURNING HEART –•– Survivor – 8 (17)
18 11 WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO –•– Aretha Franklin – 13 (7) — Better than “Freeway of Love.” Much, much better.
19 21 EMERGENCY –•– Kool & The Gang – 9 (19) — The essence of “4th single syndrome.” (See also: Sound Machine, Miami, “Falling in Love (Uh-Oh).”)
20 23 LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE –•– Sting – 7 (20) — I actually like much of The Dream of the Blue Turtles and find Bring on the Night both a fascinating document of Sting’s arseness (the film) and his finest album (the live album), but holy fuck, I’d forgotten how vile this cod-reggae is. This is why you need an editor, to tell you “NO.”

21 20 WRAP HER UP –•– Elton John – 9 (20) — Not only are we supposed to buy these coke-addled lyrics from Elton, we’re also expected to buy that he and his new pal George Michael, using a falsetto so high it sounds as if his nuts are being squeezed in a vise, are sooo into the ladeez. Notice the list of famous women they name on the song’s outro vamp: these aren’t women who straight men think of as hot, by and large — these are women who gay men think are faaaaaaaabulous. I mean, Bille Jean King, really? And a bunch of “golden age of Hollywood” actresses? And Nancy fucking Reagan?
22 26 CONGA –•– Miami Sound Machine – 10 (22) — To this day, the rhythm gets you.
23 28 IT’S ONLY LOVE –•– Bryan Adams & Tina Turner – 5 (23) — My favorite Adams single, and one of my favorites by Turner as well. Proof that corporate rock doesn’t have to suck.
24 27 YOU’RE A FRIEND OF MINE –•– Clarence Clemons & Jackson Browne – 9 (24) — No, in fact, this couldn’t be more bathetic.
25 37 I’M YOUR MAN –•– Wham! – 4 (25) — You bet!
26 32 GO HOME –•– Stevie Wonder – 5 (26) — In Square Circle is unfairly dismissed these days, I suppose because it came on the heels of a certain Oscar-winning song that most folks openly loathe. That’s a shame, because this song in particular is a gem, as is third single “Overjoyed.” Hell, even “Part-Time Lover” is pretty good.
27 25 OBJECT OF MY DESIRE –•– Starpoint – 13 (25) — It may have only hit #25 nationally, but it’s never gone away. Still a staple of ’80s mix shows to this day, and deservedly so; it sparkles.
28 31 SPIES LIKE US –•– Paul McCartney – 5 (28)
29 30 EVERYBODY DANCE –•– Ta Mara & The Seen – 11 (29) — Quite possibly the worst “MPLS sound” rip-off ever; blame producer Jesse Johnson, who knew better but was likely blinded by $$$.
30 33 GOODBYE –•– Night Ranger – 7 (30)

31 15 LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME –•– Thompson Twins – 14 (6) — Nile Rodgers knew better.
32 44 MY HOMETOWN –•– Bruce Springsteen – 3 (32) — The epitome of dreary.
33 29 DO IT FOR LOVE –•– Sheena Easton – 9 (29) — Nile Rodgers knew better.
34 17 YOU BELONG TO THE CITY –•– Glenn Frey – 15 (2)
35 40 SEX AS A WEAPON –•– Pat Benatar – 5 (35) — If you’ve ever needed a definition for  “minor Benatar,” this is it.
36 43 SIDEWALK TALK –•– Jellybean – 6 (36) — featuring an uncredited Madonna on backing and chorus vocals, the song is kind of a downer lyrically, but it’s nothing but up! Up! UP! musically.
37 24 SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES –•– Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin – 10 (18)
38 42 FACE THE FACE –•– Pete Townshend – 7 (38) — Hellooooo, payola! Because you know what teenagers really wanted to hear in late ’85? Solo Who records, that’s what.
39 45 WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH, THE TOUGH GET GOING –•– Billy Ocean – 4 (39)
40 38 SUN CITY –•– Artists United Against Apartheid – 8 (38) — Defended here.

Advertisements

About thomasinskeep

I write about music.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.