This Stuff Is Starting Now

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What were you doing as we lived on the cusp of April in 1987? Were you getting psyched up for Wrestlemania III? Well let me tell you, brother, while you were taking a break from Piper’s Pit, Casey was telling us what the Top 40 songs were for March 28th, 1987 , starting with:

40. Serious – Donna Allen

OHW – not the American feminist pioneer who had an award named after her, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer cheerleader. Donna would only take this up to #21 pop, but she would reach the Top 5 in the UK as well as register three other Top 40 hits across the pond.

39. La Isla Bonita – Madonna

This was during Madonna’s I-wish-I was-Puerto-Rican phase when she’d write a Latin-sounding song but didn’t care that much about the authenticity. You know, throw in a few castanets, an acoustic guitar solo, a few Spanish words that she mispronounces. I’m surprised she doesn’t talk about burritos and quesadillas. Even though Madonna admitted she might have gotten the idea from driving around Los Angeles, there is a town called San Pedro on one of the “beautiful islands” off of Belize, Honduras.

38. I Will Be There – Glass Tiger

The third single from the Canadian band’s debut is as forgettable as its title and seemed to ride the momentum of their first two hits to make the Top 40. And we get to hear Bryan Adams’ strained backing vocals again.

37. Light Of Day – The Barbusters (Joan Jett and The Blackhearts)

In 1987 Michael J. Fox was on a hit TV show and had been the star of the smash Back To The Future. But he was still a big dork. Looking to get some rock cred, he got a job acting in a movie with Joan Jett playing guitar in the brother-sister band, The Barbusters. Bruce Springsteen actually wrote Light Of Day specifically for this movie so it had that going for it. And it brought Joan back into the Top 40 after a 4-year absence.

The film, Light Of Day was written and directed by Paul Schrader and is not the full trainwreck that it seems but it’s also light years away from Taxi Driver or Raging Bull. Alos, future soundtrack composer Trent Reznor has a cameo as a member of a competing synth rock band.

36. Can’tcha Say (You Believe In Me)/Still In Love – Boston

Boston showed back up in 1986 after an eight-year hiatus and picked up right where they left off, having hits. This was their 3rd single from Third Stage, which consisted mostly of Tom Scholz, Brad Delp, and his Rockman. I’m still confused by how this song suddenly stops in the middle, become a completely almost unrelated song then goes back to the first part again.

35. What’s Going On – Cyndi Lauper

Damn, Cyndi. I’m sure you’re a big Marvin Gaye fan, but some things you need to leave alone. Go ahead and She Bop all day long, but your thrift store party girl act does not belong anywhere near this song nor does your razor thin voice. As Corky St. Claire once said, “Let’s pretend the whole thing never happened and let’s sing Covered Wagons.”

34. (I Just) Died In Your Arms – Cutting Crew

If I went to see something advertised as the Cutting Crew in a theatre I would expect to see ninjas throwing machetes at paper clowns. Then I would get the whole died in your arms bit.

33. Smoking Gun – The Robert Cray Band

OHW – Nothing as happy as seeing a blues artist cross over to the pop charts. So why are you still singing the blues?

32. Candy – Cameo

NAOHW – maybe that’s not a shock to you, but the follow-up to Word Up was their only other Top 40 hit. This was from their 12th album, so I’m sure they were just as shocked as they were that anyone from outside the R&B world was interested in them.

31. I Wanna Go Back – Eddie Money

Originally written and recorded by a band called Billy Satellite in 1984, whom you’d never have heard of had Eddie not recorded this song and had a #14 hit with it.

30. Come As You Are – Peter Wolf

Another Top 20 hit for the former lead singer of the J. Geils Band, Peter Wolf which seems to have been forgotten with time. I bought this 45 back then and even I don’t remember much about it.

29. Dominoes – Robbie Nevil

I really dug Robbie’s debut and this follow-up to C’est La Vie. Maybe it was the white funk. Maybe it was the thought of the cool oasis known as Dominique strutting through the steamy Asian quarter, somewhere.

This song was co-written with Bobby Hart of Boyce & Hart fame. Think about that the next time you hear I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight. She’s making hearts fall like dominoes, that’s what.

28. Brand New Lover – Dead Or Alive

NAOWH – “Your sweet nature darling was too hard to swallow.” Wow, what a kiss off! Don’t mess with Pete Burns. Although I have no idea how he’d ever find someone more exciting than him to satisfy his curiosity. This #1 Dance track was their 2nd and final Top 20 pop hit.

27. (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!) – Beastie Boys

I love the Beastie Boys music, but I hate the culture that was encouraged by them. They may have meant for a song like this to be a joke, but unfortunately, their fans took it seriously. Of course, their party boys image, spraying beer into crowds with ladies dancing in cages didn’t help.  This song doesn’t sound like anything else on their debut Licensed To Ill, though it has similarities to their earlier single, She’s On It.

I honestly can’t take it. It’s not even a rap song. It’s just obnoxious frat rock.

26. Looking For A New Love – Jody Watley

When Andre Cymone left childhood friend Prince’s band in 1981, he wanted to make a name for himself, but it was hard to get from out of Prince’s shadow. While his solo albums didn’t have much success, he had much better luck producing.

Jody Watley was a former Soul Train dancer and part of the trio Shalamar from 1979-1983 before striking out on her own. Her and Andre felt they had something to prove and they made it happen with Jody’s debut. This single was the first one released, reaching #2 and helped Jody win a Best New Artist Grammy in 1988. Also, she was the first to put Hasta la vista, baby into the lexicon before Tone Loc used it and then the Terminator.

25. Stone Love – Kool & The Gang

Kool & the Gang went on a long run with new lead singer J.T. Taylor starting in 1979, but the well was running dry by the time of their 1986 LP, Forever. The funk was gone, the horns were synthesized and even J.T. had one foot out the door. Still, they managed two Top 10 hits from it, this being their last.

Ok folks, you can go back to watching the Dream Team vs Rougeau Brothers. I’ll be back with the next 25 faster than you can say Gorilla Monsoon.

KEY

OHW – One-Hit-Wonder

NAOHW – Not A One-Hit-Wonder

PFK – Perfect for karaoke

RAR – Rite-Aid Rock

 

 

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