Western Union Man: Western Union. Actually a bunch of us at the office were hoping that you could shed a little light on the subject. You see, we’ve had this envelope in our possession for the past seventy years. It was given to us with explicit instructions that it be delivered to a young man of your description answering to the name of Marty at this exact location, at this exact time, November 12, 1955. We had a little bet to see if this “Marty” would actually be here. Looks like I lost.
If you’d like to get this movie from Amazon, click on the movie poster below:
Welcome back as we continue this week’s Top 40 countdown! If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out Songs 40-31 and Songs 30-21. A lot of times, this is the part of the countdown I love because there are great songs that may not have landed in the Top 10, which means that they don’t get much airplay on the ’80s radio stations and shows. This countdown does not disappoint.
If you’d like to listen to the song, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video and click on the album cover to get the song on Amazon.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending November 8, 1986, and continue the countdown!
Wow, Corey Hart had another song besides “Sunglasses at Night” and “Never Surrender“?! You would never know it, but he actually had nine Top 40 hits in the U.S. This one, off of his Fields of Fire album, would peak at #18.
This was the third single released from the iconic Control album, and was the first #1 song for Janet (Miss Jackson if you’re nasty). It made her and her brother Michael Jackson the first, and so far only, siblings to both have solo number-one hits on the Hot 100. At the time she was 20 years old, making Janet the youngest artist since Stevie Wonder to top the Billboard Hot 100.
Climbing up from #27 to #18, this Bruce Hornsby & The Range tune would go on to be a #1 hit. This was the second single released from their debut album, The Way It Is. I was never a fan of this song, but some things will never change. That’s just the way it is.
This ballad would be Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force’s first Top 10 hit, peaking at #8. They would later top the charts with “Head to Toe” and “Lost in Emotion“. We may not have heard the last of Lisa Lisa. In June of 2019 Lisa Lisa signed with Snoop Dogg’s Army, part of the Snoop Dogg Entertainment Company.
Great ballad by the recently deceased Ric Ocasek. This was the only solo hit by The Cars frontman. The song jumped from #22 to #16 this week, and would top out at #15. After the Cars released their Greatest Hits album in 1985, the group split up to pursue solo careers. Just as Ocasek had this one Top 40 hit, singer/bassist Benjamin Orr did the same with “Stay the Night“.
Huey Lewis & The News did not rest on their laurels after their Sports album. They followed that classic album with another great one – Fore!. This was the second song released from that album, and would top out at #3. Fun fact: the song features Pro Football Hall of Famers and then-San Francisco 49ers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott singing backup vocals.
Lionel Richie has so many smash hits that some get lost in the mix. This is one of them. I totally forgot about this one. It was a Top 10 hit, topping out at #9 on the Hot 100. It would also be Richie’s tenth number one on the Adult Contemporary chart.
Great ballad by Toto with legendary guitarist Steve Lukather on lead vocals along with guest vocalist Michael McDonald. Lukather recently published a book called The Gospel According to Luke which I would love to check out.
Former Chicago bassist/singer Peter Cetera followed up his smash hit “The Glory of Love” with this awesome duet with Amy Grant. It was also a success, becoming another #1 hit. Bobby Caldwell and Paul Gordon wrote the song for Peter Cetera to sing, and did not know, at the time, that he was leaving the band Chicago. According to Caldwell, “We did indeed write the song for Chicago and their lead vocalist Peter Cetera. We had his voice in mind, but Paul and I were unaware that he was leaving Chicago at that time, and when we heard the news our hopes were dashed. However, a short time later, I got a call at home from Cetera himself who stumbled upon our demo cassette tape of the song in producer/arranger David Foster’s office. He loved the tune and wanted to record it as a duet. It was simply meant to be—the song landed with the singer we wanted.” This song would bring Contemporary Christian music artist Amy Grant to the mainstream.
This song was Anita Baker’s first big hit single, peaking at number two on the US Billboard R&B chart, number three on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100. This song won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards.
That wraps things up for today. As the numbers get smaller, the hits get bigger! So, come back tomorrow, and see what the Top 10 hits of the week are from this week in 1986.
Welcome back to this week’s Countdown! Today’s songs bring me back to a great time. Well, I suppose any week of ’80s music brings us back to a great time.
If you want to listen to this great music, you can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to get the song on Amazon.
New, let’s return to the week ending November 8, 1986, and continue the countdown on, One, Two, One, Two, Three, Four!
We begin today’s list with the second single released from Billy Joel’s album, The Bridge, which happens to be my favorite Billy Joel album. This is a fun video featuring several cameos, including Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and Joel’s then wife Christie Brinkley who is holding their baby daughter Alexa. The song would peak at #10.
Yet another smash hit by Genesis. This was the second single released from the classic Invisible Touch album. This song would reach #4 on the Hot 100 chart, and #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart.
There were a lot of big fads in the ’80s. Yesterday, I had mentioned our love of ’50s and ’60s culture. There was also a big wave of Australia that hit the U.S. And of course, we had famous actors trying their hand in singing. Most were successful. There was Bruce Willis, Eddie Murphy, Jack Wagner, and of course Miami Vice’s Don Johnson. This was a huge hit for Johnson, hitting the Top 10, landing at #5.
I fell in love with this Canadian rock band in 1983 when I saw them perform at the US Festival. This would turn out to be one of my favorite songs by them. It was their most successful single in the U.S. landing at #27.
I don’t remember this song at all. Yet, it was a #20 hit, and came off of Steve Winwood’s huge album, Back in the High Life. It was the second single released from the album, right between “Higher Love” and “Back in the High Life Again“. For some reason, I blocked it out. Maybe my brain can only hold so much information. Now that I’m familiar with this song, another song probably dropped out of my head.
Here’s another song I never heard of! What’s going on?!? Just kidding. If you have never heard of this song, you must have lived under a rock. This was the third single released off of the Bangles Different Light album. It as released in September 1986, and would hit number in December for four weeks, going into 1987. It would be the #1 song from 1987. This is the first song by an all-female group playing their own instruments to top the Billboard singles chart.
Three years after Frontiers, Journey finally released a new studio album, called Raised On Radio. Steve Smith was replaced on drums by Larry Londin, and this is the only Journey album without bassist Ross Valory. As anybody who has watched American Idol knows, Randy Jackson played bass for Journey, and he won’t let you forget it. Even though Journey was a mess at this point, I still loved this album. This was the third single released, and it peaked at #17.
This was Billy Idol’s lead single from his Whiplash Smile album. This was originally a soul ballad from 1968, by William Bell, called “I Forgot to Be Your Lover“. This song would be Billy Idol’s 2nd Top 10 hit, peaking at #6.
I got so tired of both “Satisfaction” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones that if I hear either of them ever again, it would be too soon. However, Aretha makes this song so awesome! I cannot get enough of anything by Aretha Franklin. This song is perfect for her. It also features Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards on guitars, and Aretha on paino. This version of the song was used for the Whoopi Goldberg film Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
What a way to go out! What do you think of the countdown so far this week? Come back tomorrow as we continue this week’s countdown.
Welcome to a brand new week of the Top 40 Countdown! It’s been too long since the last one. It is always fun to go back and reminisce with songs from the ’80s, and rediscover songs we may have forgotten about, or discover new old songs we may have missed the first time around. This week, we will Return to 1986. This was right in the middle of high school for me. I had just begun my junior year. This was an ancient time when we actually celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving, and didn’t just jump from Labor Day to Christmas. Right now, we are between Halloween and Thanksgiving. In high school, we were beginning to wrap up our Fall sports. I did Cross Country, so it was starting to get a little too cold to run in tank tops and those pre-Michael Jordan ’80s shorts. Soccer and Field Hockey were wrapping up, and we were ramping up for the big Thanksgiving Day football game.
Now, let’s Return to the week ending November 8, 1986, and listen to what was on the radio back then. You can click on the song title to get the YouTube video, and you can click on the album cover to check out the song on Amazon.
We begin the countdown with Gregory Abbott’s debut into the Top 40. This lead single from Abbott’s debut album Shake You Down was his biggest hit, and would go on to hit the top of the charts. Gregory Abbott is still out there releasing music – most recently, 2019’s “My Heart Has Found a Home“.
This is one of my all-time favorite Talking Heads songs. Released as the lead single from their seventh studio album True Stories, it would peak at #25. The video is also a lot of fun, and won “Best Group Video” at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1987.
This song would eventually peak at #10. The Pretenders were in a major transitional period at this point. This was the first single off of the Get Close album. A few years earlier, original members James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon died of drug overdoses. During the recording of this album, Chrissie Hynde found that Martin Chambers’ drumming had deteriorated, still struggling after losing his 2 best friends. So Hynde let him go, leaving her as the only original Pretenders member. The album turned out to be a success. Chambers reunited with The Pretenders for their 1994 album Last of the Independents (which produced the smash single “I’ll Stand By You“), and has been there ever since. I saw them open for Journey and Def Leppard in the summer of 2018, and they still rocked. Look for them touring with Journey in the summer of 2020!
This is easily my favorite Peter Gabriel tune. It would only peak at #26 on this chart, but was a #1 hit on the Mainstream Rock chart. This came of Gabriel’s smash album So. However, it will forever be linked with the iconic scene in the 1989 movie, Say Anything…, as John Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler is holding a boombox, over his head, with this song blaring outside of Diane Court’s (Ione Skye) bedroom.
This classic by the Canadian rock group, Glass Tiger, was starting to drop out of the countdown, falling from 28 to 35. But, it was a smash hit in Canada and in the U.S., hitting #1 and #2, respectively. And yes, that is fellow Canadian Bryan Adams on backing vocals.
Yes, ‘Til Tuesday had other songs besides “Voices Carry“. And somebody else besides Heart did a song called “What About Love“. This song isn’t as good as either. But Aimee Mann has a great voice, and this song isn’t too bad.
Here is another song on the way out of the countdown, dropping from 23 to 32 this week. But not before becoming a huge hit, peaking at #3, and becoming one of the highest selling singles of 1986. The song was ranked number twenty-seven in VH1’s 100 Greatest One Hit Wonders of the ’80s.
This 1961 Ben E. King hit song was re-released to coincide with the classic 1986 movie of the same name. It peaked at #4 in 1961 and peaked at #9 in 1986. In the ’80s, there was a lot of ’50s and ’60s nostalgia in movies, television, and music. There were many ’60s covers in the ’80s. And there were several re-releases, including this one.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. Let me know what you think so far. What were you doing this week in 1986? Any favorite memories you’d like to share? We’ll be back tomorrow to continue the countdown.