Friday, May 01, 2015

Friday 80s Flashback for May 1, 2015

[Hits from My Birthday Week in 1987] -- I have been remiss in posting Flashbacks, but I had to come back and take a look at what topped the charts during my birthday week. 28 years ago this week in 1987, Ronald Reagan was the US President, The Secret of My Succe$s was number one at the box office, actor Hugh Dempster died, U2 was on the cover of TIME magazine, and I was turning 19. I was living in the North Halls residence area at University Park, but I was probably spending more time holed up in a vacant classroom so I could study for finals. So, it is rather unlikely that I cared what was on the radio right then, but that's what flashbacks are for, right? And if you'd like to know what was ruling the airwaves that week, read and hear more after the break. 

Flashback #1"I'm counting the steps to the door of your heart."

28 years ago this week, our first Flashback had dropped from its peak of #2 to the #3 position. It was just one week out of 24 spent on the US Billboard Hot 100, but it was the beginning of the end for a song that had first entered the Hot 100 on 1/17/1987. Still, "Don't Dream It's Over" became Crowded House's biggest international hit, reaching the #1 slot in the band's native New Zealand as well as Canada, and charting well in Australia, Germany, and the UK. The music video for "Don't Dream It's Over" was nominated for two awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards (Best Group Video, and Best Direction), and it helped earn Crowded House a Best New Artist award. They were a good choice for the award as this Flashback was merely the fourth of five singles released from their self-titled debut album, and three of them charted well in the US. Not bad at all for a band born out of the ashes of Spit Enz

Flashback #2"Now you're like the rest | Unworthy of my best."

Our second flashback of my birthday week is "Looking for a New Love," Jody Watley's debut single off her 1987 self-titled debut album. It spent a total of 19 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100, and during this week in 1987, it moved from #4 to its peak position of #2. It was kept out of the top spot by ... well ... by our third Flashback. But it also spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B chart. Jody Watley's song was one of the top pop and R&B songs of 1987, and it was awarded as such -- in 1988, it received nominations for two Soul Train Music Awards (Best R&B/Soul or Rap Music Video, and Best R&B/Soul Single, Female), and Watley herself was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The lyrics of "Looking for a New Love" helped popularize the phrase, "Hasta la vista, baby." And her music video is a treasure trove of late 80s video tropes. See how many you can count as you check out Flashback #2.

Flashback #3"It must've been some kind of kiss."

Our final Flashback this week comes from the English pop/rock band known as Cutting Crew. Founding members Kevin Scott MacMichael (guitar) and Nick Van Eede (vocals) met in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when they were on tour with other bands. They kept in touch and, upon returning to England, they began collaborating and formed Cutting Crew in 1985. One year and a recording contract later, they added two members (a bassist and a drummer) and hit the recording studio. Cutting Crew hit it big with "(I Just) Died in Your Arms," the first single off their debut album, Broadcast (1986). The single was released in the UK on 7/25/1986, and in the US on 1/1/1987. In the UK, it eventually peaked at #4 on the UK Singles chart. It spent 19 weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #1 during this week in 1987. Supposedly, the phrase "I just died in your arms tonight" is a metaphor for an orgasm, at least according to vocalist Nick (see item 6 on this list). Keep that tidbit in mind as you enjoy Flashback #3.  

Once again, I remind you that the rule of three applies when doing Flashbacks. As I've made my three offerings, that's all till next week. Dedicated 80s-philes can find more flashbacks in the archives. As always, your comments are welcome on today's, or any other, flashback post. And if you like what I'm doing here, please share the link with your friends. If, however, you don't like the flashback, feel free to share it with your enemies.

And if you are on Twitter, and feel so inclined, please +K my influence in Music on @klout.

I'll see you in seven!

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