What were you doing on September 13, 1986? The Analog Kid was at a football game in Austin, Texas. The Stanford Cardinal beat the Texas Longhorns, 30-21, behind quarterback John Paye’s 241 passing yards. I’m sure I would have enjoyed drowning my sorrows with a cold beer after the tough loss, but I wasn’t yet of legal drinking age. You know what’s crazy? If the game had been played two weeks earlier, I could have hit Sixth Street and gone (legally) nuts.
So thank you, Texas Legislature, for raising the drinking age to 21 on September 1 but deciding not to grandfather those of us who were already 19 and legal. It was at this moment that I lost my faith in government, and I had yet to even vote in a presidential election. Thanks, Obama!
The Billboard Top 5: September 13, 1986
Bananarama: “Venus” (Robbie van Leeuwen)
From the album True Confessions
London Records, 1986
Bananarama’s cover of “Venus” had gone to #1 the week before, making it the fourth song in history (up to that point) to top the charts for two different artists (Shocking Blue’s original went to #1 in February of 1970). Care to guess what the first three were?
Gloria Loring & Carl Anderson: “Friends & Lovers” (Jay Gruska/Paul Gordon)
From the album Gloria Loring
Atlantic Records, 1986
My family wasn’t exactly rich when I was young. We didn’t even own a VCR until 1984, so around 1980 my mother asked me to watch Days Of Our Lives during summer vacation so I could tell her what happened. Six years later, I was still watching.
Gloria Loring portrayed nightclub singer Liz Chandler on Days, but perhaps her biggest contribution to the show was “Friends & Lovers.” The song became the theme for super-couple Shane & Kimberley, and “Friends & Lovers” became so popular with fans that Atlantic Records released it as a single in 1986. The duet climbed all the way to #2, and certainly would have topped the charts if not for the interference of the evil Stefano DiMera.
Two other tidbits about Gloria: in 1978, she co-wrote the theme song to Diff’rent Strokes with her husband Alan Thicke. The year before, the couple had unleashed Robin Thicke upon an unsuspecting world. I will leave it to you to decide which one of these events was the greater crime against humanity.
Huey Lewis & The News: “Stuck With You” (Chris Hayes/Huey Lewis)
From the album Fore!
Chrysalis Records, 1986
“Stuck With You” was the lead single from Fore!, the follow-up album to Huey’s 1983 smash Sports. The song would hit #1 the next week, and stay there for two more weeks. Fore! produced three more Top 10 singles for the band, and “Jacob’s Ladder” gave the News their third chart-topper.
Little-known fact: I was almost crushed to death at a Huey Lewis & The News concert at Six Flags Over Texas in 1984. When the band began to play, I was about thirty or forty feet back from the stage. Within seconds, the stampeding mob pushed me to the very front row. I don’t think my feet even hit the ground. I spent the entire show with the weight of 10,000 screaming girls crushing me against the wooden barricade. Huey, I owe you big-time for that one.
Lionel Richie: “Dancing On The Ceiling” (Lionel Richie/Carlos Rios/Michael Frenchik)
From the album Dancing On The Ceiling
Motown Records, 1986
Middle of the road
Man it stanks
Let’s run over Lionel Richie with a tank.
Berlin: “Take My Breath Away” (Giorgio Moroder/Tom Whitlock)
From the original soundtrack Top Gun
Columbia Records, 1986
“Take My Breath Away” was Berlin’s only Top 10 hit, but they were far from a one-hit wonder. New wave doesn’t get any better than “The Metro,” and “No More Words” certainly should have peaked higher than #23 in 1984. Singer Terri Nunn and the band continue to tour and release new music– in fact, they were just in my hometown of Dallas last Friday night at the club Trees (the Analog Kid’s band used to play at Trees, but that’s a story for another time). Pearl Jam were also in Dallas last Friday, but I couldn’t go to either show as I was out of town. I told my wife that if we had stayed in town and had to choose which show to attend. I would have chosen Berlin. She looked at me like I was a lunatic. No honey, I’m not a lunatic– I’m a man, and I’m a dream divine.
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
Shocking Blue: “Venus” (Robbie van Leeuwen)
From the album At Home
Penny Farthing Records, 1969
Huey Lewis & The News: “Jacob’s Ladder” [Single Remix] (Bruce & John Hornsby)
Original version from the album Fore!
Chrysalis Records, 1986
Berlin: “The Metro” (John Crawford)
From the album Pleasure Victim
Geffen Records, 1983
Berlin: “No More Words” (John Crawford)
From the album Love Life
Geffen Records, 1984
Martha Davis: “Take My Breath Away” [Demo] (Giorgio Moroder/Tom Whitlock)
From the album Anthologyland
Oglio Records, 2000
Whoa! Where did this come from? Turns out Giorgio Morodor had Martha Davis from The Motels create a demo for “Take My Breath Away” back in 1986, and it remained unreleased until Martha included it on her 2000 compilation Anthologyland. Thanks, Martha!
“It Takes Diff’rent Strokes” (Written By Alan Thicke, Gloria Loring & Al Burton)
With the exception of the #1 song, which is HERC and MRS. HERC’s wedding song (for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health, etc), this is one of the lamest Top 5’s ever, don’t you think? I couldn’t really get your read on it though it seemed to be neagtive.
Bonus points for Deathtöngue reference. Was hoping to hear music from them in Bonus Tracks! but it looks like you, sir, have broken the first rule of The Analog Kid blog. Unless you have some legalese mumbo jumbo technicality in your defense.
If you’re interested, HERC featured Martha’s not too shabby version of “Take My Breath Away” on his site back in June.
And off the top of my head, I’d say “Go Away Little Girl”, “Please Mr. Postman” and “The Loco-Motion” were the first three chart-toppers for two different artists, though that may not be the correct chronological order. The last two always confuse me because the originals were a year apart as were the covers.
Yep, a pretty mediocre Top 5 overall. And damn man, you nailed the other 3 songs that went to #1 by 2 artists. Nicely done.
As for breaking the rule, I didn’t specifically mention a Deathtongue song. Steve Dallas recites that lyric in front of a record executive, but it is from an unnamed song. (The executive had a giant autographed photo of Lionel Richie behind him!) I do have the Billy & The Boingers flexi-disc somewhere in my house– perhaps I need to dig that out for a future blog!
Also, I would like to state that I really do love Lionel Richie. But damn, I HATE “Dancing On The Ceiling.”
Checked the official HERC Chronicles and it says that on Sept. 13, 1986, he thought about washing his Bug but watched Big Country perform “Look Away” on American Bandstand instead before working 3-11. Then he went to the Midnight Movies and saw The Fly.
For the record, the legal drinking age here in The Grand Canyon State was raised to 21 in 1985. As HERC hasn’t drank nor smoked since 8th grade (1980), it had no impact on his life whatsoever.
“Look Away” is my favorite Big Country song!
You missed Berlin at Trees? I trust you saw them in Austin on Saturday night…
I was occupied with UT football all day. Bad call on my part.
Who wore it best: Shocking Blue or The Who?
How close were the Kim Wilde and Bananarama #’1….they were both 1986, right?
“Venus” was #1 the week before: 9/6/86. Kim Wilde’s “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” hit #1 on June 6, 1987. Where in the heck is East California anyways?