Wouldn’t Change A Stroke

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We were still a week away from Back To The Future appearing theatres, so we kept the radio on and preferred these songs as the Top 12 from June 29th, 1985.

12. ‘Til Tuesday – Voices Carry

THW – I talked a little about this song in my 9/28/18 post. One thing that I did not mention was that it was originally written from the perspective of a woman to her girlfriend But because this was 1985, the height of the AIDS hysteria, the record company pressured Mann into changing the song into a man/woman dynamic, which was reinforced with the abusive video. Listen to the song without the visual reference, flip the pronouns and think about how the song changes.

I was definitely not the only one enchanted by this haunting pop song as it would crawl into the U.S. Top 10 peaking at #8.

11. Katrina & The Waves – Walking On Sunshine

Katrina is falling from her #9 apex of last week. It was also a Top 10 UK single and charted on the AC, Rock and Dance charts as well. We just couldn’t get enough.

And then Dolly kicked it up a notch.

10. Mary Jane Girls – In My House

OHW – Rick James was an asshole. A talented one, for sure. But an asshole, nonetheless. While his behavior was played for comic effect on Chappelles Show, it also reinforced the fact that he was a narcissistic ego-driven disrespectful drug-adled nutjob. That’s what I think about when I hear this song by the Mary Jane Girls. The stories of how he treated the foursome, how we harassed them, stiffed them of any real money and dropped them on the curb when they began to speak up and asked for their money.

Still it’s a funky dance song that fills the floors and the Big 80s Countdown plays the longer album version.

9. Howard Jones – Thing Can Only Get Better

ML – HoJo had his biggest smash to date when it hit #5 a few weeks back. From his solid Dream Into Action album, of which I ran the cassette tape transparent.

I had a completely different take on the second verse and even though I have read what the correct lyrics are, I still can’t change them in my head when I listen to it. Take a listen yourself and tell me what he’s saying.

8. Eurythmics – Would I Lie To You?

1985 is when Dave & Annie both stepped out of their musical comfort zones, with Dave expanding his production horizons and Annie fully embracing her soul inspirations. The change in sound from synth to throwback rock & soul kicked everyone in the ass and let them know they needed to be on their game while the Eurythmics were around. The Heartbreakers’ Benmont Tench plays organ on this soon to be #5 hit.

7. Tears For Fears – Everybody Wants To Rule The World

I got my first portable radio in 1985 as a gift, a single cassette model from Sears. I just couldn’t get into how small it was and how little power it had so I traded it in to The Wiz for a sleek black Magnavox dual cassette model with red trim. That’s what I think of when I hear this former #1 Tears For Fears track because that anthemic shuffle sounded so good coming out of those speakers

6. Survivor – The Search Is Over

PFK – The late Jimi Jameson replaced Dave “Eye of the Tiger” Bickler as lead singer in 1984 and the first album he recorded and released with the band was Vital Signs. It was a big success spawning three Top 20 singles. This was the third and most successful hit, eventually topping out at #4 as well as #1 on the AC charts.

It’s about some dumbass who can’t figure out that his dream girl is actually his best friend. Heard that one before? It’s approx 40% of all rom-com storylines…and Friends.

5. Madonna – Angel

The Chic-Madonna-Duran Duran triangle is leaning to the left on two sides with Nile Rodgers producing another track from the Like A Virgin LP with Chic keyboardist Rob Sabino on synths and synth bass. I get the feeling that this was an album filler track with no intention of ever releasing it as a single. They never even bothered to make a video for it. But as Madonna’s success exponentially grew in 1985 they figured what the hell, let’s see if the song could ride that momentum. And it did, into the Top 5.

4. Prince & The Revolution – Raspberry Beret

Prince was a superstar by the beginning of 1985. Everyone was ready to see what he would do next and almost exactly a year after he released When Doves Cry, Prince dropped this track. A seemingingly simple and straight forward pop rock track, it is bursting at the seems with details – classical string arrangements, exotic instrumentation and a pop hook for the ages making this three and a half minute multi-layrered ode to losing one’s virginity the best single he’s ever done, IMO. The B-side, She’s Always In My Hair rocks too and more than worth the price of the 45. I’m still astounded that this only hit #2. When Prince passed away in 2016, this single was played and streamed so much, it re-entered the Top 40, peaking at #33.

3. Duran Duran – A View To Kill

The Chic-Madonna-Duran Duran triangle pops up again with Bernard Edwards of Chic producing DD’s only 1985 single, the title track to the James Bond film, A View To A Kill. It remains the most successful Bond theme to this day. It would also be the last recording with the five orignal members until they got back together in the early 2000s. It will hit #1 in two weeks.

2. Phil Collins – Sussudio

And this will hit #1 next week. Even though this track gives the impression of a full band recording, the song is just David Frank [of The System] playing the synths and that funky MiniMoog bass, some rhythm guitar, the Earth Wind & Fire horn section and a drum machine. Phil doesn’t even play drums on this. Weirdly, it will also hit the Top 10 Soul charts. Parick Bateman’s favorite Phil Collins song.

I liked this song the first time I heard it when it was this.

1. Bryan Adams – Heaven

What began as an album track on a failed 1983 film becomes Bryan Adams’ first number one hit two years later. Supposedly it was inspired by Journey’s Faithfully and coincentally Journey’s drummer played on this track because the originally scheduled skinslapper had to bolt. But more improtantly the keyboards were played by Rob Sabino, which gives him two songs in the Top 5 this week. Way to go, Rob!

KEY

OHW – One-Hit-Wonder

THW – Two-Hit-Wonder

ML – Misheard Lyrics

PFK – Perfect for Karaoke

RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia

STA – Second Time Around

One Reply to “Wouldn’t Change A Stroke”

  1. I kinda/sorta dated a girl in June ’84 that loved that Bryan Adams song and would pull out her “A Night in Heaven” soundtrack cassette and make me play just that one track. I have no idea what’s on the rest of the soundtrack or what the movie is about.

    Personal ranking of these twelve:
    12. In My House
    11. Heaven
    10. The Search is Over
    9. Angel
    8. Walking on Sunshine
    7. A View to a Kill
    6. Sussudio
    5. Everybody Wants to Rule the World
    4. Things Can Only Get Better
    3. Raspberry Beret
    2. Voices Carry
    1. Would I Lie to You?

    Like

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