Songs peaking at #6, UK edition: 1984-1987

Glimmering, stuffed with awful placeholder lyrics, “Unforgettable Fire” is a beautiful U2 song, the only moment when producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois approximated Trevor Horn: triggered orchestral samples, click tracks, vagueness as grandness. This song coded as “European,” and I love it.

I suppose Paul Weller as a Style Counciler intoning You don’t have to take this c-c-crap worked too. I’m delighted to see Madonna’s influence as rap interpolation and for its own sweet sake. Y-100 in Miami played “Dr. Beat” for years as if Miami Sound Machine’s breakthrough also broke through top 40, yet I guarantee every person alive at the time can recite the chorus as soon as it plays; the video, I should stress, emphasizes the humor and camp of my distant in-law relative, the one who in 1987 had us kids in stitches trying out the words of “Anything for Food,” a variant on “Weird” Al Yankovik’s “Fat.” .

Finally, I see a band called It Bites.

The Hague

Jermaine Jackson – Do What You Do
David Cassidy – The Last Kiss

Meh

Billy Ocean – Caribbean Queen
Alison Moyet – Weak in the Presence of Beauty
Queen – It’s a Hard Life
Kim Wilde & Junior – Another Step (Closer to You)
Opus – Live is Life
Marillion – Incommunicado
It Bites – Calling All The Heroes
Wet Wet Wet – Wishing I Was Lucky

Sound, Solid

U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
The Style Council – Walls Come Tumbling Down!
The Real Thing – Can’t Get By Without You
Hazell Dean – Searchin’ (I Gotta Find a Man)
Level 42 – Running in the Family
Spandau Ballet – Through the Barricades
Erasure – The Circus
Rah Band – Clouds Across the Moon

Good to Great

Miami Sound Machine – Dr. Beat
Madonna – Holiday
U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
Billy Idol – Rebel Yell
Cherrelle with Alexander O’Neal – Saturday Love
Def Leppard – Animal
Bronski Beat – Why?
Scritti Politti – The Word “Girl”
Prince and the Revolution – Kiss
Sade – Your Love is King
Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere
Billy Idol – White Wedding

2 thoughts on “Songs peaking at #6, UK edition: 1984-1987

  1. Find it hard to imagine preferring Billy Idol over the Level 42 & Rah Band songs – also, can I assume that you listened to the 1986 ‘Decade Remix’ of “Can’t Get By Without You”? Retro chart shows in the UK often wrongly play the original 1976 versions of that and their previous hit when 1986 comes around.

    Marcello cited It Bites as something Cameron & Johnson would have listened to when young (his “Bullingdon pop” description of that song refers to the elite Oxford social club they were in). “Live is Life” must have seemed particularly weird; a bierkeller drinking song which, because it was in English, could cross the channel where others had failed.

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