Howdy, everybody! We’re back for yet another week of this crazy lil’ thing called CHART ATTACK! Hope you’re ready to help me tear apart the Top 10 from July 6, 1985!
10. Angel – Madonna Amazon iTunes
9. Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday Amazon iTunes
8. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young Amazon iTunes
7. You Give Good Love – Whitney Houston Amazon iTunes
6. Would I Lie To You? – Eurythmics Amazon iTunes
5. The Search Is Over – Survivor Amazon iTunes
4. Heaven – Bryan Adams Amazon iTunes
3. Raspberry Beret – Prince & The Revolution Amazon iTunes
2. A View To A Kill – Duran Duran Amazon iTunes
1. Sussudio – Phil Collins Amazon iTunes
10. Angel – Madonna
While Madonna has certainly had a number of fantastic dance singles, she’s also had her share of cookie-cutter songs that fail to bring anything interesting to the table. "Angel" is one of them, with the exact same chord progression through 99% of the song. I also throw "Dress You Up," "Burning Up" and "Causing A Commotion" into the same category. Maybe I’m the only one who felt this way, though, because "Angel" performed quite admirably on the charts, peaking at #5 and becoming her third Top 10 of the year. Interestingly enough, the B-side to "Angel" was "Into The Groove," which, despite its popularity from Desperately Seeking Susan, wasn’t released as a single in the U.S. Madonna’s record company didn’t want the song to compete with "Angel." Ultimately, the B-side wound up being the more memorable of the two.
9. Voices Carry – ‘Til Tuesday
I hear this song all the time, way more than I ever really want to hear it. ‘Til Tuesday is the first artist listed alphabetically on my iPod, so if I ever accidentally hit the "play" button while it’s not on shuffle mode, "Voices Carry" comes on. Other songs that have held this top spot: "Dancing Queen" by ABBA, "How Long" by Ace, and "P.I.M.P." by 50 Cent. All but one of these is okay to accidentally play at work. (I learned this the hard way: I was lying under my desk, testing the line-in jack of the computer, and had the speakers turned up way louder than appropriate. I’ve never moved so quickly.)
What more can I talk about, other than the video? Who doesn’t love the shit out of this video? You go with your rat-tailed self, Aimee Mann! Do yourself a favor and check it out; YouTube won’t let me embed the clip here. I’ll wait.
Pretty good, huh? I especially love "by the way…what’s with the hair?" It’s more than a little heavy-handed, but at least they got somebody who was suitably dickish. And while I do love this guy (apparently he’s an actor of very little renown named Cully Holland), why didn’t they get Billy Zabka? I mean, it was 1985 and all. (By the way, awesome Zabka story here.)
I’ll come clean: I don’t know anything else by ‘Til Tuesday. Not only that, but as a kid, I thought she was singing "oh so scary."
8. Everytime You Go Away – Paul Young
Longtime readers might remember that I have a beef with Paul Young. (Read the comments section, which goes from an argument about what defines a "cover song" and rapidly devolves into Jeff calling me "asscheeks.") My beef, which you can read about above, is essentially that Paul Young has never had a successful hit that hasn’t been a cover. "Everytime You Go Away" was clearly his biggest hit, a great cover of the Hall & Oates tune from Voices, reaching the #1 spot for a week in July. (I like it better than the H&O version, okay? This is not about Paul Young.) He’s only had one other hit in the Top 10 (also a cover, obviously). In fact, I’m pretty sure that the biggest non-cover hit he’s had was when he sang the opening line to "Do They Know It’s Christmas."
7. You Give Good Love – Whitney Houston
Behold: the song that essentially introduced Whitney Houston to the world. Clive Davis had signed Houston to Arista in 1983, and confident she’d be a star, began soliciting songs from a number of songwriters and producers. Originally intended for Roberta Flack (her assistant turned it down), this song was presented to Houston by a songwriter named LaLa. It was the second single released from her self-titled debut and reached #3, which must have been quite the relief for Houston and Davis – her album was slow to sell and the first single, "Someone For Me," didn’t chart at all. "You Give Good Love" set off a stream of Houston hits which were unstoppable on their rise to the top. In the ’80s, she released two albums and 11 singles from those albums – 7 of which hit #1.
It’s hard to look past all the crazy shit that’s landed Houston where she is today, but I really enjoyed re-listening to this song and remembering what a powerhouse she was – and, presumably, still is. Here’s a clip of her debut on The Tonight Show singing "You Give Good Love." (Hard to say what I love more, the hair or the sweater. Still, she’s adorable.)
6. Would I Lie To You? – Eurythmics (download)
"Would I Lie To You?" very deliberately sounds to me like a cover, but a cover that can’t decide whether it owes more to early ’60s Motown or The Kinks. This is not a criticism; "Would I Lie To You" is an awesome song, and a distinct change from previous singles by the group – the synths have been punished, sent to the back of the room in favor of those excellent horns. And you can almost never go wrong when Annie Lennox opens her mouth to sing. And hey, it’s our second video featuring a dickhead!
In this case, the dick is played by Steven Bauer, also an actor of little renown (he’s best known for marrying Melanie Griffith and a role in Scarface).
5. The Search Is Over – Survivor (download)
All skate! Now reverse! Yet another roller-rink song for me. "The Search Is Over" is just the perfect rock ballad. I’m not going to say anything more about Survivor because anything interesting I could possibly say has already been mentioned over at Ye Olde Jefitoblog. In fact, Jeff’s site is kind of a Survivor repository: there’s The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Survivor, the review of 2006’s Reach, and even a CAPTAIN VIDEO! post. Somebody’s got a crush!
I’m offering "The Search Is Over" for download only because I want Survivor’s management to threaten me with legal action, like they threatened Jeff over the downloads in his Reach review. Come get me, Groves!
4. Heaven – Bryan Adams
You know plenty about "Heaven." For example, you know it sucks. You also know that you secretly kind of liked it back then, too. I know I did. I played my Reckless cassette endlessly. I mainly listened to "It’s Only Love" and that one part of "Run To You" where everything cuts out but the electric guitar. I’d rewind that section repeatedly. (Oh, what a lonely boy.) You also know that you were relatively annoyed when the song resurfaced on hit radio stations across the country earlier this decade, remade in both ballad and dance versions. (Less annoyed, I imagine? Bryan Adams.)
But here’s what you may not know about "Heaven:" although not a #1 hit until June of 1985, the song was actually recorded and released in 1983, on the soundtrack to a movie called A Night In Heaven.
I admit that I haven’t seen it, but I’m guessing that it’s every bit as bad as it looks. And by "bad," I mean "AWESOME." We’re going so far off-topic here, but I don’t care. Here’s just a bit of the plot summary from the Wikipedia entry:
Christopher Atkins plays Rick Monroe, a jock and a popular guy in college in Orlando, Florida; he is outspoken and overconfident. Lesley Ann Warren plays Faye Hanlon, Rick’s speech professor; she is prim and proper. At the end of his final report for his class, Rick cracks a joke and Faye is not amused. She decides to fail him and make him take the course over again.
Faye is going through a slump in her marriage to Whitney (Robert Logan), a rocket scientist who has just lost his job. Faye’s free-spirited sister Patsy, visiting from out of town, takes her to a strip club to cheer her up. The show features a performer called "Ricky the Rocket," who is none other than Faye’s student Rick. When he notices Faye in the crowd, he gives her a very special lap dance.
Go read the rest of it. It gets even better – like when Atkins found out his penis accidentally made it into the movie! And can you believe that Bryan Adams – who had already made a dent in the U.S. charts with Cuts Like A Knife and a few of its singles – got roped into supplying "Heaven" and one other song for this movie? Maybe because it was directed by John L. Avildsen of Rocky, but still, that seems like no excuse. Read more about this movie here and here. Bravo, Bryan Adams! Thankfully, you never made the mistake of writing a theme song to a terrible movie ever again.
3. Raspberry Beret – Prince & The Revolution
Prince confused me a lot when I was a kid. (As opposed to now, when he makes perfect sense.) I wasn’t sure if he was really a man, and all his music sounded dark and mysterious to me…and then I heard "Raspberry Beret." I couldn’t understand why Prince sounded so…happy. And the video – I’d love to show it to you, but it doesn’t seem to be on YouTube. I remember it being all colorful, and joyous, and with Wendy on guitar. No doves, no Prince coming out of a steamy bathtub naked…I can’t believe they allowed me to watch MTV as a child.
2. A View To A Kill – Duran Duran
So here’s what’s interesting about "A View To A Kill:"
– It’s the only James Bond theme song to reach #1 on the U.S. charts, unless Chris Cornell’s "You Know My Name" is about to do something really surprising;
– It’s the last song that the original members of Duran Duran recorded together until 2002;
– It was performed at Live Aid during this month in ’85, quite famously, in fact: for starters, it was the original band’s last live performance for almost 20 years. Secondly, Pat Boone publicly criticized the song lyrics of some artists at Live Aid, calling attention to the lyric "dance into the fire," as if anybody gave a shit what Pat Boone thought. Thirdly, Simon LeBon completely boned one of the high notes. It was terrible! Here, watch it! It’s in the last minute of the clip.
Hahahahah! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this. Maybe a little less concentration on prancing and shoulder pads would have resulted in a more favorable outcome.
1. Sussudio – Phil Collins
You all are free to disagree with me, but I honestly think that people hate "Sussudio" because they think they’re supposed to hate "Sussudio." There’s no reason to hate it. Yes, it’s a stupid word. So what? I don’t care what it means, whether it was the name of his daughter’s horse or dog or giraffe or whether it’s a girl’s name or his uncle’s name or whatever. So it rips off Prince’s "1999" – I believe, when confronted with this information, Collins admitted he was a huge Prince fan. (And, besides, "1999" rips off Prince’s own "Manic Monday." I don’t think this is really helping the argument, I just wanted to re-state that fact.)
Plus, the video. I’ve always liked the fact that Collins clearly has a sense of humor about himself, and as Mike mentioned, it’s chock-full of Lee Sklar! A skinny Lee Sklar! (Not that Lee Sklar is fat now, but you know, skinnier.) And he’s playing a headless bass! I’m not sure if this is more Sklar Per Second (SPS) than other Collins videos (I feel like he’s more present in "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven" but that video’s no longer available.) Anyway, this is even more impressive because Collins truly realized the Power Of SklarTM: he doesn’t even play bass on the recording!
I also don’t really agree with its location at #24 on VH1’s "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs Ever." "Sussudio" was a damn catchy song in 1985 and while nobody will admit to liking it now, I guarantee you that once an indie band covers it, Stereogum will lose their shit.
Are there more songs that I should be more ashamed of loving? You bet, and we’ll tackle ’em next Friday on another edition of CHART ATTACK!