Hits of 1986 – Horrible and Great

On January 11, 2010 Stuck in the 80s released their Horrible Hits of 1985 Podcast (Episode 187). Here is their list:

10. We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off – Jermaine Stewart
9. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News
8. Spies Like Us – Paul McCartney
7. All Cried Out – Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam With Full Force
6. Sleeping Bag – ZZ Top
5. Love Touch – Rod Stewart
4. Crush On You – The Jets
3. Holding Back the Years – Simply Red
2. Broken Wings – Mr. Mister
1. That’s What Friends Are For – Dionne Warwick and Friends

You can see the top 100 hits from Billboard that year.

This was another tough one for me. I didn’t have too much of a problem with the Horrible songs. But there were so many songs that I liked, I had a hard time narrowing it down. If I compiled a list again for this year next week, there could be 10 totally different songs on the list. But, this is what I have right now.
First, the Horrible:

5. Kiss – Prince and The Revolution

I think that only dogs can hear Prince singing this song. It is waaaay to high pitched for me, and gives me quite the headache. I much prefer his Purple Rain songs, and a few others. But this song just goes right through me.

4. Take My Breath Away – Berlin/h3>

The Top Gun soundtrack had some great songs, such as Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone”, “Playing With the Boys” (despite the association with that horrific volleyball scene in the movie), and Loverboy’s “Heaven in Your Eyes”. This Berlin song just ruins the whole thing. It’s long, boring, droning song. “Heaven In Your Eyes” should have been the only ballad on this soundtrack – unless they got Soundtrack King Kenny Loggins to record one.

3. Stuck With You – Huey Lewis and The News:

This song spent 3 weeks at number 1! Are you kidding me!?! I think they were still be rewarded for their Sports album. This song was off of the Fore album. For me, “Stuck With You” feels like “If This Is It, Part 2”. And if you look at my list of 1984 Horrible Hits, you will notice that I didn’t think too much of that song either.

2. Sledgehammer – Peter Gabriel

Much like Dire Straits’ “Money For Nothing”, this song was probably a huge hit because of it’s innovative video. This song was way too overrated. I love Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes”, but I could never change the station fast enough when this crappy song came on.

1. Nikita – Elton John

I love a lot of Elton John’s songs. But, he also has many horrible songs. And this clunker is the bottom of the barrel for me. I like some of Elton’s 80s songs. But it’s songs like “Nikita” that make me prefer his songs from the ’70s.

And here are the Great hits of 1986:

10. Burning Heart – Survivor: This song was on the Rocky IV Soundtrack. It wasn’t as big a hit as “Eye of the Tiger”, but it’s still a really good song. Great for working out or running to at the time.

9. Something About You – Level 42: Level 42 is a very underrated English band. This is their best known song in the U.S., and I still like it today.

8. Why Can’t This Be Love – Van Halen: This was the first Van Halen song with Sammy Hagar as the lead singer. They proved that they could be successful without David Lee Roth. There was not a bad song on the 5150 album. And “Why Can’t This Be Love” proved that they could perform great ballads as well as rockers.

7. No One Is to Blame – Howard Jones: This is a nice song that is easy on the ears.

6. Your Love – The Outfield: The Outfield’s popularity exploded in the U.S. with the release of this song. This is a fun song that I enjoy a lot.

5. All I Need Is A Miracle – Mike + The Mechanics

This Supergroup was formed by Mike Rutherford of Genesis, and featured Paul Carrack and Paul Young (not to be confused with the Paul Young who sang “Every Time You Go Away”) on vocals. This is a really good, upbeat song. “The Living Years” is probably my favorite song from the ’80s, but this song isn’t too bad itself.

4. Amanda – Boston

After having a string of great songs in the late ’70s, Boston hadn’t had anything new for 7 years. Then they finally came back in 1986 with their Third Stage album, and “Amanda” was the lead single. The song went number one for 2 weeks in a row. Boston was consistenly great, and this is no exception.

3. When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going – Billy Ocean

“When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” was the theme song for the Romancing the Stone sequel, Jewel of the Nile. Billy Ocean has a great voice, and this was a fun song.

2. You Give Love a Bad Name – Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi was a pretty good rock band, with two albums under their belt, when they released Slippery When Wet. When “You Give Love a Bad Name” was released as the first single, the band’s popularity went through the stratosphere. This was a great song as people that were into rock liked it, and people that were more into pop were still drawn to this.

1. Glory of Love – Peter Cetera

I was always a Chicago fan, so I was sad when Cetera left the band. But the band went on to continue being successful, and Peter Cetera didn’t do to shabby himself. “Glory of Love” was Cetera’s first solo song, and it was a smash hit. It was on his album Solitude/Solitaire, and was the theme song for The Karate Kid Part II. I could not get enough of this song when it came out.

4 thoughts on “Hits of 1986 – Horrible and Great”

  1. Agreed with a lot of what you said – I liked Prince’s Purple Rain songs better, “In Your Eyes” is soooooo much better than “Sledgehammer,” Level 42 is very VERY underrated, and Van Halen, Billy Ocean and Peter Cetera are awesome. And “The Living Years” is indeed a great song.
    Where I differed – I liked “Nikita,” and Howard Jones is good but “No One Is To Blame” is depressing.

    1986 was my least-favorite year of the decade, and there were a lot of clunker songs…but as I went through the Top 100 I found a LOT of great songs.
    First, the Horrible Hits:
    5. True Colors – Cyndi Lauper
    4. Let’s Go All The Way – Sly Fox
    3. Rock Me Amadeus – Falco
    2. Life In A Northern Town – Dream Academy
    1. Rumors – Timex Social Club

    And now, the Top Ten:
    10. Perfect Way – Scritti Politti
    9. I’m Your Man – Wham!
    8. Take Me Home – Phil Collins
    7. Love Will Conquer All – Lionel Richie
    6. I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On – Robert Palmer
    5. Something About You – Level 42 (my favorite band of all time, but they have about 15 songs at least that are better)
    4. Alive And Kicking – Simple Minds
    3. Living In America – James Brown
    2. A Love Bizarre – Sheila E.
    1. Your Wildest Dreams – The Moody Blues

    Mike Rutherford gets two honorable mentions – Mike and the Mechanics and Genesis almost made my Top Ten list.


    1. I love your “horrible” list! I had forgotten about “Let’s Go All The Way”, so I just went and listened to it to refresh my memory. Thanks a lot! 🙂 That’s one of those songs that get stuck in your head – and that’s not a good thing! I do like “Life In A Northern Town”, but I like it by Sugarland, Jake Owen, and Little Big Town, and not by Dream Academy.

      And I like all the songs on your top ten. I really don’t like Wham!, but I do like “I’m Your Man”. I also like “Freedom”, and it almost has the same sound. That Simple Minds song is also underrated. I really like that one.

      I used to really like “Your Wildest Dreams”. And then they came out with the “sequel”, “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”, which I loved.
      So when the DJ said that The Moody Blues were coming up next, I was hoping it was “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”.

      And James Brown almost made my list. But, I put Survivor on there instead. Like I said, my list for this year could change from day-to-day.

      Thanks again for your list!! You do a great job!


      1. Thanks!

        If you want to get “Let’s Go All The Way” out of your head, listen to “A Love Bizarre.” The version I have on tape is like eight minutes long, and I could listen to it all day.


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