Hi everybody! It’s that time again — that special time of the week where we look back to a previous Billboard Hot 100 chart, thank the stars we’re not stuck with those songs anymore, look forward to today’s Hot 100 chart, and then realize that yup, the music industry kind of sucks. Don’t get too depressed; just share in the misery as we attack March 5, 1988!
10. I Found Someone – Cher Amazon iTunes
9. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson Amazon iTunes
8. Endless Summer Nights – Richard Marx Amazon iTunes
7. Just Like Paradise – David Lee Roth Amazon iTunes
6. Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine Amazon iTunes
5. What Have I Done To Deserve This? – Pet Shop Boys (and Dusty Springfield) Amazon iTunes
4. I Get Weak – Belinda Carlisle Amazon iTunes
3. She’s Like The Wind – Patrick Swayze (featuring Wendy Fraser) Amazon iTunes
2. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley Amazon iTunes
1. Father Figure – George Michael Amazon iTunes
10. I Found Someone – Cher (download)
Who do we have to thank for Cher’s return to the Top 10? Michael Bolton, my friends. Michael freakin’ Bolton. Bolton co-wrote “I Found Someone” and gave the song to Laura Branigan, who stalled on the outskirts of the Hot 100 at #90 back in ’86. (Her version did reach #25 on the AC chart.) Poor Laura Branigan: both this single, as well as “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You,” reached greater heights when recorded by other artists. And Bolton covered them both.
I actually don’t think “I Found Someone” is a bad song. But I’m not going to go any further with that statement, lest you guys start assuming that I love everything about Cher. Let’s put it this way: I’ll take this over “If I Could Turn Back Time” any day.
9. Man in the Mirror – Michael Jackson
I knew that Siedah Garrett had a hand in writing this song, but I had no idea her co-writer was Glen Ballard! “Man in the Mirror” eventually topped the charts, giving Ballard his second #1. (His first was George Strait’s “You Look So Good in Love,” topping the country charts in ’83.) Other #1 singles include “Hold On” and “You’re in Love” by Wilson Phillips. But we’re not here to talk about the crappy music of the early ’90s, are we? I like “Man in the Mirror.” I’m not sure why I like it as much as I do, but it may have to do with repeating viewings of Moonwalker when I was a kid.
I remember watching Michael’s performance of this song on the Grammy Awards and being really impressed. I probably should have just stuck with my memory: MJ mimes to the studio track for the first four minutes, then poorly sings some ad-libs for the remaining three. Some impressive spins, though:
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8. Endless Summer Nights – Richard Marx (download)
Yet another summer-referencing song that peaked way before the actual season. This one entered the charts in January and peaked in March. Other songs to do the same include “Boys of Summer,” which entered the charts in November and peaked in January, and “Suddenly Last Summer” by The Motels, which entered the charts in September and … well, never mind. I guess that one makes sense.
As you’ll know by now if you’ve listened to the Wings for Wheels podcast Jeff and I did earlier this week, I do have a special place in my heart for good ol’ Richard Marx. But as I mention in the show, there was nothing wrong with diggin’ this guy back in 1988. This was the third entry from his debut to reach the Top 10, and he still had one more to go. Don’t look at me like I put them all there. You had a hand in it, and you know it. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to My Own Best Enemy, which has sold at least two copies (me and my mother).
7. Just Like Paradise – David Lee Roth
I loved this song when I was a kid. I’m sure it’s because of the video, as I don’t recall hearing it on the radio. I still love the clip: David Lee Roth hanging off a big-ass rock, with multiple pan-outs to convince us how dangerous it is! Steve Vai’s triple-necked heart-shaped axe! A bunch of musicians playing their instruments out-of-sync with the music! (Specifically the keyboard player, who I’m convinced has never played the instrument before in his life!) The Roth/Vai fight for attention via homoerotic dance moves!
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So I guess it’s no surprise that when listening to the song on my iPod, I find myself unbelievably bored.
6. Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine
Witness Gloria before she turned tyrant and banished the MSM from getting any billing whatsoever! As I think I’ve said before, all Gloria Estefan ballads are the same; I liken them to the John Williams scores, where sometimes you get confused and can’t immediately differentiate Indiana Jones from Superman from Star Wars. “Can’t Stay Away From You” blends into “Anything for You,” which blends into “Don’t Wanna Lose You,” which blends into “Cuts Both Ways,” and then if you want to stretch it, we could throw in “Here We Are” for good measure. I don’t care. I pretty much am a sucker for all of them. My favorite of the bunch, though, is “Words Get in the Way.”
I was about to write some other facts about this song, and then I realized that I was actually thinking of “Anything for You.” Case in fucking point.
5. What Have I Done to Deserve This? – Pet Shop Boys (and Dusty Springfield) (download)
I love this song for so many reasons. Great beat, great keyboard line, great lyrics (how can you argue a song that opens with “You always wanted a lover / I only wanted a job”?), and fantastic delivery, both by Dusty Springfield and by Pet Shop Boys. And kudos to Neil and Chris for bringing Dusty back to the front, where she belonged: the Boys insisted on having her sing on the track, to the point where they actually delayed recording the song (it was originally slated for inclusion on their debut album) until she was available to collaborate with them. Seems as if the Pet Shop Boys were the only ones giving her any respect: her most notable credit around this time was probably her duet with B.J. Thomas on the Growing Pains theme song … which was only used for one season before they went back to Thomas’ version with Jennifer Warnes. (Ouch.)
If you don’t have this one in your collection, download it. It’s a fine ’80s pop tune. Shame they couldn’t get her for the video; thankfully, though, Rod Stewart was available.
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(I know, I’m mean. But I have a point, right?)
4. I Get Weak – Belinda Carlisle
I don’t know what to say about “I Get Weak.” Belinda will always get a pass with me because I think she’s really hot. However, in the video for this song, she’s just cute. I can’t stand looking at the male model she’s adoring, but I could watch her reactions to him all day. This song was written by Diane Warren (booo!) and directed by Diane Keaton (yaaaay!), which was the second video she directed for Belinda (yaaaay!), the first being “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” (booo!).
3. She’s Like the Wind – Patrick Swayze (featuring Wendy Fraser)
Oy. Bad news this week, as Patrick Swayze’s rep has confirmed that he has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Well, scratch whatever snarky comments I was about to make, I guess. Nothing kills snark like cancer. Note this article, which opens with “Dirty Dancing star Patrick Swayze has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and might only have weeks to live, a rep for the star said today.” Nowhere in the article does the rep say that he might only have weeks to live. Obviously, though, an opening paragraph like that one will sell more papers. Sigh. Anyway, all of us here at Popdose wish Swayze and his family the best, except for Dw. Dunphy.
Back to “She’s Like the Wind.” I distinctly remember being told way back when that some heavy duty studio tricks were employed in order to assist Swayze’s voice, but I’ve never been able to confirm those rumors. (Plus, Auto-Tune hadn’t been invented yet.) I also think that this sounds pretty much like I’d imagine Patrick Swayze to sound when he’s singing. His voice has clearly been processed, but what else could they have done?
We all came very close to missing the “Wind” experience entirely: the song was co-written by Swayze in 1984 for inclusion in his movie Grandview, U.S.A. (also starring C. Thomas Howell and Jamie Lee Curtis, and Jeff, here’s the Amazon link if you’re thinking of sending it to me). Maybe the producers didn’t want to sully the good name of their masterpiece, but let’s be thankful that Dirty Dancing soundtrack producer Jimmy Ienner felt differently. I can think of at least three Morning Zoo radio stations who recorded a “She Passes Wind” parody, so at least they’re thankful.
2. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
So it was only relatively recently that I had heard of the Rickroll. You know about the Rickroll, don’t you? From one of the definitions at Urban Dictionary:
To post a misleading link with a subject that promises to be exciting or interesting … but actually turns out to be the video for Rick Astley’s debut single, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
People. This is why the Internet is so awesome. It still blows my mind that somebody came up with such an amazing (and specific!) idea. Popdoser Matthew Bolin, who frequently attends our Acoustic ’80s gigs, has suggested that we even go so far as to do a live Rickroll in concert: announce “this next one is by Duran Duran,” and then start playing “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Then another friend of mine suggested I film that performance and put it under a different name on YouTube. It’s two Rickrolls in one! This could go on forever!
Mike and I will eventually play this in our Acoustic ’80s set, and although Mike is not keen on doing too many medleys, he agrees that this performance has to combine “Never Gonna Give You Up” and “Together Forever,” as they are the exact same song.
1. Father Figure – George Michael
“Father Figure” was the second of George Michael’s four #1 hits from Faith, making him the first British male singer to achieve such a feat on the Billboard charts. In the UK, however, the song was the first solo effort to miss the Top 10, peaking at #11. It’s not my favorite of his solo singles, although this parody of the video is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
Thanks for reading, everybody! See you in two weeks for another CHART ATTACK!