During the week of October 18th, 1986, I was so focused on the Mets playing in the World Series that I don’t remember much about anything else that happened during those nine days. There’s a lot of soft music in this countdown so I’m sure these were playing in the background somewhere. Maybe they made it into my brain but not like the memory of watching Ray Knight with his hands on his helmet getting squeezed by Rick Aguilera as he crosses home plate for the Game 6 win. It still gives me chills.
40. Bruce Hornsby & The Range – The Way It Is
This band’s first single, Every Little Kiss only made it up to #72. The second one fared much better as it will travel all the way up to #1. It put the band on the map, even though they had already lost one of their members, David Mansfield.
But while it’s nice to write a song about how racism is bad, saying that’s just the way it is isn’t really going to advance the cause.
39. Triumph – Somebody’s Out There
THW – The Canadian trio had a Top 40 hit in 1979 called Hold On. It would be another seven years before they crossed the Frontière Internationale for atheir second and last. This will end up going all the way to #27.
Fun fact: Mike Levine, the guy who usually played the keyboard parts for Triumph, did not play any keyboards on their 1986 album, The Sport Of Kings.
38. Miami Sound Machine – Words Get In The Way
PD – I heard that once Gloria Estefan became a minority owner of the Miami Dolphins, they like to play this song when a player is about to be cut.
37. Lionel Richie – Love Will Conquer All
RAR – This countdown is filled with, what I call, Hallmark rock – mellow songs that borrow their lyrics from Hallmark cards. Even though this will hit the Top 10, Lionel had officially fallen the f off.
36. Lionel Richie – Dancing On The Ceiling
PD – Back to back LR with a former #2 that was kept off the top by the Huey Lewis charmer Stuck With You.
35. Nu Shooz – Point Of No Return
THW – This song was the follow-up to their left-field hit, I Can’t Wait. It’s down from its peak of #28 last week. It also made the R&B Top 40 as well. Not bad for a White couple from Portland.
34. Billy Ocean – Love Zone
Finally a bit of soul. If the storm is going to be quiet, at least make it a little funky. Billy’s former Top 10 has been drifting off target, spending its last week in the Top 40.
33. Ric Ocasek – Emotion In Motion
OHW – Many folks know Ric as the leader and main songwriter of the Cars. He did have a long solo career, recording two aolo albums before leaving the band. From his second, one of the softer things Ric created. He wrote & recorded lots of other interesting and engaging singles that no one heard of, but his main passion was producing as this article alludes to. Ric passed away last month.
32. Aretha Franklin – Jumpin’ Jack Flash
I like that the Queen decided to rock out and cover this song, if only just to snatch it away from the Stones. Too bad it only made it up to #21.
31. Corey Hart – I Am By Your Side
Canadian Corey Hart’s sixth Top 40 hit is on its way to the Top 20 where it will peak at #18. Hoser.
30. Peter Cetera & Amy Grant – The Next Time I Fall
RAR – Cartman brings along his Christian patsy and amasses his second number one with a song co-written by Bobby Caldwell. He will now have within four months as many #1s as Chicago has had over 17 years.
29. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes
I had a discussion about Say Anything recently with a few folks and someone asked me why Lloyd chose this song to play on the boombox. I reminded that person that it was playing on the car radio when they first knocked boots in the back seat of Lloyd’s car. And, I shit you not, their reply was ‘they were lucky it wasn’t that Peter Cetera song.’
28. Toto – I’ll Be Over You
RAR – Toto hired a new lead singer Joseph Williams for their 1986 album, Fahrenheit. His first job? Sing back up for Steve Lukather, who co-wrote this future #11 hit with Randy “You Needed Me” Goodrum.
27. Van Halen – Love Walks In
Eddie: Hey guys, check out my new Oberheim OB8. (plays opening chord sequence to Love Walks In)
Sammy: That sounds beautiful. It reminds me of a poster I once saw with a little kitty on a tree branch. It said hang in there. Mind if I write some lyrics to that?
26. Run DMC – Walk This Way
Reverand Run, DMC and Jammaster Jay turned a classic rock song into a rap jam as a straght cover with pumped up beats and attitude. This is the song that officially ended Sugarhill Records mafia-like hold on hip-hop and completely changed the game. After this, the field became wide open for indies to start having success and eventually crossing over to the Pop charts. Oh, and it gave a fledgling band called Aerosmith a new lease on life.
25. Oran ‘Juice’ Jones – The Rain
OHW – I have so many questions, but first, let me say this. The song is a work of art. Written by Vincent Bell (not the guitarist who recorded the theme to Airport) it tells the story of a sad man who finds out that his lady is cheating on him as he catches her holding hands with him in the rain. So now he’s sad and wet. He then calmly lets her know that the relationship is over and they part their separate ways.
Then comes part two when we get to hear what the conversation was really like. So his girl comes home to her doting partner, warm Swiss Miss cooking in the kitchen. Then Juice goes straight up gangsta, let’s her know she’s cold busted and that she’s lucky he was wearing his lynx coat today. Otherwise, he would have popped a cap in her and that hush puppy-wearing crumb cake’s ass. [Side note: dude why are you wearing a $3700 dollar coat in the rain?]
But instead he chilled. That’s right. He chilled. He took all of her money back, canceled her credit cards, and sold her Gucci handbags and blue diamonds. Which makes me wonder if he was so rich, why he didn’t just hire a PI to follow her if he was suspicious? Why risk getting water stains on a lynx coat? No dry cleaner in the world is going to undo that.
There was another “juice’ who got angry with a woman. He should have chilled too.
Fun fact: You without Oran “Juice” Jones is like cornflake without the milk.
24. Bon Jovi – You Give Love A Bad Name
There was a way we could have avoided all of this Bon Jovi business. If we had only supported the original version of this song which Desmond Child wrote for Bonnie Tyler. Had that been a hit for her, maybe the fans vote for Depeche Mode to get into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018?
23. New Edition – Earth Angel
One of the most enduring doo-wop classics in the pre-rock era was this song by the Penguins, which was a Top 10 hit in 1954. It has seen countless pointless covers such as this one by New Edition, which was recorded for The Karate Kid II soundtrack. No doubt it was selected because of its inclusion in the film Back To The Future the year before. It peaked at #21 last week.
22. Cameo – Word Up
THW – Ow! The funk has arrived. It took ten years and twelve albums for Cameo to get their first Top 40 hit and it will glide by the people all the way to #6.
Fun fact: Asheville, NC native Aaron Mills joined Cameo as their bassist on tour in the late 70s and played on many of their recordings, including Word Up!
21. Journey – Girl Can’t Help It
By the time they recorded Raised on Radio, Journey was down to a trio. But the hits kept on coming, like this one on its way up to #17 and one of the few songs of theirs I enjoy.
- OHW – One-Hit-Wonder
- THW – Two-Hit-Wonder
- ML – Misheard Lyrics
- PD – Previously Discussed
- PFK – Perfect for Karaoke
- RAR – Rite-Aid Rock
- RFW – Ripped from Wikipedia
- SXMFU – Sirius XM Mistake
- STA – Second Time Around