Welcome back as we continue on with this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I think this has been a pretty strong week so far, and today is no different. Let’s Return to the week ending June 7, 1986, and continue on with the countdown.
20. “West End Girls” by Pet Shop Boys
We’ll begin the countdown today with some synthpop. This song was released twice as a single. The initial version was produced by Bobby Orlando and was released on Columbia Records in 1984. It became a club hit in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a minor dance hit in Belgium, and France, but was only available in the United Kingdom as a 12″ import. In March 1985, after long negotiations, Pet Shop Boys cut their contractual ties with Orlando, and hired manager Tom Watkins, who signed them with EMI. They re-recorded “West End Girls” with producer Stephen Hague, and re-released the song in late 1985 for their first studio album Please. The song topped the charts in both the UK and the U.S.
Recently, this song was played at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony.
19. “What Have You Done For Me Lately” by Janet Jackson
This was Janet Jackson’s breakthrough hit. It was her first song to hit the top 10, peaking at #4. The video was choreographed by Paula Abdul, who also appears in the video as Jackson’s friend.
18. “Who’s Johnny?” by El DeBarge
This is a fun song that was featured in the movie Short Circuit. It would eventually peak at #3 n the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Hot R&B Singles chart.
17. “I Wanna Be a Cowboy” by Boys Don’t Cry
This song made Boys Don’t Cry a one-hit wonder. It would peak at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. And yes, that’s Lemmy from Motörhead in this video!
16. “Holding Back the Years” by Simply Red
This is a nice song from Simply Red’s debut studio album Picture Book. This song and their cover of “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” each reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
15. “Nothin’ At All” by Heart
Heart was already a very successful band with some smash hits in the ’70s. They did have some really good songs in the early ’80s. But, their self-titled album in 1985 was a huge comeback, and made Heart one of the best rock bands of the ’80s. “Nothin’ at All” was the fourth single released from that album, and was the fourth song from the album to hit the U.S. Top 10.
14. “No One Is To Blame” by Howard Jones
This is my favorite HoJo song. Phil Collins has his fingerprints all over the countdown this week! First, there was “Invisible Touch” by his band, Genesis. Next, was his solo hit, “Take Me Home”. Now, in this song, Collins co-produced (along with Hugh Padgham), and he also added his own backing vocals and drum work.
This song was Howard Jones’ biggest hit single in the U.S., peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
13. “Is It Love” by Mr. Mister
12. “Move Away” by Culture Club
Culture Club was one of the biggest bands in the early to mid ’80s. But, this was the end of their great run. “Move Away” was the first single from their album From Luxury to Heartache. It was their last successful song in the U.S.
11. “Be Good To Yourself” by Journey
What a way to finish the countdown today! Journey is one of my all-time favorite bands, and this is one of my favorite songs by them. “Be Good to Yourself” was the first single released from Raised On Radio – the band’s first studio album in three years. A lot of people have a negative reaction to Raised On Radio, but I love that album. It sucks that drummer Steve Smith, and founding member Ross Valory were not with the band anymore at this point. But, I loved the music. This is a great, feel-good rock song.
Wow, the end of the week is rapidly approaching! We will wrap up the countdown tomorrow. And it’s going to be awesome! A lot of times, when you get to the top songs of a countdown. However, this is not the case tomorrow. Actually, I think we already got the overplayed songs out of the way earlier in the countdown. I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
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