Top 40 Songs This Week – December 13, 1986: Songs 20-11

Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed them, you can check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. Today, we have a nice variety of some classic ’80s hits. So, let’s Return to the week ending December 13, 1986, and continue the countdown.

20. “Land of Confusion” by Genesis


Like almost every song on the Invisible Touch album, this was a great song that eventually got overplayed. This song is probably most remembered for it’s video which featured puppets from the British sketch television show, Spitting Image. After Phil Collins saw a caricatured version of himself on the show, he hired the show’s creators, Peter Fluck and Roger Law, to create puppets of the entire band, as well as all the many characters in the video. The video was nominated for an MTV Video Music Award for Best Video of the Year in 1987, but lost to “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel. Yes, former Genesis lead singer, Peter Gabriel.

19. “You Know I Love You…Don’t You?” by Howard Jones

I had not remembered this song, even though it did crack the top 20 in the U.S. However, by this point in time, Howard Jones’ popularity was fading in the U.K. This did not even make the top 40 in the U.K. I like some of his other songs better, but this one isn’t too bad.

18. “Is This Love” by Survivor


I love this song by Survivor from the very underrated album, When Seconds Count. This song would go on to be a Top 10 hit, peaking at #9.

17. “Control” by Janet Jackson


This was a big hit off of Janet Jackson’s very successful third album of the same name. This song won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video, beating out her brother Michael, Whitney Houston, and Jody Watley.
Like many of her brother’s videos, this one was highly produced. Janet plays a young singer preparing for her first gig, only to end up arguing with her parents because she wants to move out of the family home and live on her own. Ja’net Dubois, who costarred with Janet in the show Good Times, plays her mother in this video.

16. “Human” by The Human League


I love this song by the Human League. Unfortunately, now it is associated with Liberty Mutual Insurance commercials.

15. “War” by Bruce Springsteen


Until recently, I had not realized that Bruce covered this song. However, in preparation for an upcoming series that I will be doing on Bruce Springsteen, Kristin (from Rock Out Loud) had be listen to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s Live/1975–85 album (By the way – mini spoiler alert –  I am really digging that album). That is where this song was released from. I think this is a perfect song for “The Boss” to cover. If you watch the video, the actual song starts at 2:12. So if you don’t want to listen to him talking, you can skip to the 2:12 mark in the song. It really rocks.
Fun fact: The original version of “War,” by Edwin Starr, was the #1 hit in the country the week I was born.

14. “C’est La Vie” by Robbie Nevil


This song would be pop singer Robbie Nevil’s signature (and biggest) hit, peaking at #2. This song isn’t on my iPod (yet), but I do like it.

13. “Don’t Get Me Wrong” by The Pretenders


As popular as The Pretenders were, this was only the group’s second top 10 hit (“Back on the Chain Gang” was the first). This is classic Pretenders.

12. “Word Up!” by Cameo


This is a fun R&B/Funk song by Cameo. The video is good too, as it features LeVar Burton who we all know from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Reading Rainbow, and Roots. He plays a detective trying to arrest the band.

11. “Love Will Conquer All” by Lionel Richie


Here is a great song that I had totally forgotten about! This song would be Richie’s tenth #1 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart. It would peak at #9 on this chart. To me, this song feels like it could have been released in the late ’70s/early ’80s.

That wraps it up for today. We’ll let the first 30 songs soak in for a day, and we’ll be back to finish the countdown on Friday.

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2 thoughts on “Top 40 Songs This Week – December 13, 1986: Songs 20-11”

  1. Is it too late to demand a recount for the ’87 video of the year?

    I love 20, 19, 14 and 11. The only one of those I don’t have on the iPod is Howard Jones, but that may soon change.

  2. Yeah, no kidding about the ’87 video of the year! I love “Land of Confusion” and “Sledgehammer” is one of my least favorite songs of the entire decade. It sounds like you’re liking the countdown this week too!

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