Man, that Wrestlemania III is entertaining. Looks like Ricky Steamboat’s throat is pretty messed up. Hope you recover soon Dragon. While we take a break from Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth, here’s the next 25 hits climbing up the charts the week of March 28th, 1987.
24. The Honeythief – Hipsway
OHW – By 1987 I was reading Billboard magazine and listening to the American Top 40 religiously, getting the jump on future hits and cheering on songs I really dug. I bought 45s not only to play but to cast my vote to move that song up the charts. Hipsway is a great example of both, as I was aware of it months before it charted and got excited each week it moved up. I’m still shocked that a song this cool made it up to #19.
23. As We Lay – Shirley Murdock
OHW – “I would never want to hurt her. She would never ever understand.” Only a man would write lyrics like that in a song about cheating. As opposed to the folks in Secret Lovers who are constantly looking at the time whereas this couple decides just to fall asleep and slowly wake up in the morning. I guess that’s the difference between Dont. Stop. and Don’t stop. This song was recorded and released in 1985 but took it’s sweet time to become a hit as it currently lays at its peak of #23 on the pop charts.
Side note – The success of this song prompted a man named Hilton Williams to impersonate Shirley Murdock for most of 1987, setting up phony bank accounts, cashing false checks and staying in lavish hotels under her name. You can read more about that here.
22. You Got It All – The Jets
The story of this #3 hit goes like this. Rupert Holmes was approached by a band manager, Don Powell and asked if he could write a song for a family band he was managing. Rupert was moving out of pop music and into playwriting but obliged. The challenge was writing for a young girl, but he thought about his daughter, Wendy during the process and created a song that he thought she might enjoy. The Jets were thrilled and recorded for their debut which was released in Oct 1985. It took another year for that single to be released where it hit its Top 5 peak. Sadly Rupert’s daughter never got to hear the song as she died unexpectedly from a brain tumor.
21. Walking Down Your Street – Bangles
Different Light was a breakthrough for the Bangles and this was their 4th Top 20 hit from that album. It was actually a song co-written by former Three O’Clock band member, Louis Gutierrez who had formed a new band called Louis & Clark, which featured future dada member Michael Gurley on guitar. They would record and release their version right after this became a hit.
20. The Finer Things – Steve Winwood
Steve was a star during the British Invasion of the 60s as the lead singer of the Spencer Davis Group. Then in his next life, he was a cult hero in the jazzy prog-rock group Traffic, not mention the short-lived Blind Faith with Eric Clapton. He started his solo career in earnest in 1977 and ten years later had racked up 5 Top 40 hits, including a #1. This one was his 3rd Top 10. He had bigger hits still to come. He was still in his late 30s.
19. Livin’ On A Prayer – Bon Jovi
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How can you say “it doesn’t make a difference if we make it or not”, then turn around and say “Take my hand. We’ll make it. I swear.“?
18. Respect Yourself – Bruce Willis
This song is an affront to the Staple Singers, the Pointer Sisters (who got roped into singing back up), actually the entire African-American community. I hope Pops Staple bought a bat with his royalties, found Bruce smirking on the set of Hudson Hawk and beat his ass.
17. That Ain’t Love – REO Speedwagon
The real reason why satellite radio will never take over terrestrial radio so long as the laws don’t allow it is because they cannot make a full commitment to what they are doing and are run by too many robots. Caes in point – The Big 80s countdown plays some crappy live version of this song rather than the single or album version for no apparent reason outside of laziness.
16. Big Time – Peter Gabriel
Peter does his best Boom Boom Washington impression as he kicks off one of his finest dance songs as well as a great send-up of the 80s, which most yuppies missed. Wasn’t he droning on about Red Rain coming down all over the place just two songs ago and now he’s funky Joe? So?
15. What You Get Is What You See – Tina Turner
Tina added a little bit of country spice and some guitar by Eric Clapton and had yet another hit from Break Every Rule, reaching #13.
14. Sign ‘O’ The Times – Prince
I was heavy into Prince at this time so when I learned his new album would be a double I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. But this single threw me for a loop. I wasn’t expecting it. It challenged me musically and lyrically and it took me until Prince’s death in 2016 to understand its depth.
13. Jacob’s Ladder – Huey Lewis & The News
This is an odd song in the band’s catalog. Not only does it not sound like many of their uptempo party rock songs, it rarely gets played or remembered much except for die-hard fans, even though it hit #1. Written by Bruce Hornsby & his brother John, this song was perfect for those who had a new drug, were now stuck with you, their AA sponsor and were doing their steps, rung by rung.
12. Midnight Blue – Lou Gramm
Why split a paycheck 5 ways when you can keep it all yourself? Isn’t that why singers release solo albums? Oh, to express themselves artistically, right. I got it. Actually, for a guy singing about double vision and ice cold mommas into love sacrifices, this was an upgrade and actually fit nicely on the radio at the time. Would rather hear this than Urgent any day.
11. Let’s Go! – Wang Chung
OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
NAOHW – Not A One-Hit-Wonder
PFK – Perfect for karaoke
RAR – Rite-Aid Rock