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Popular music: 1985




Top 20 Singles of 1985

1. We Are The World - USA For Africa (right)
This song was recorded as a benefit single for victims of famine in Africa. It raised over $60 Million, which was distributed to Ethiopia, Sudan, and other impoverished countries. Michael Jackson and Lionel Ritchie wrote the song, and was produced by Quincy Jones. The project began as an idea Calypso singer Harry Belafonte had for a benefit concert featuring black musicians. Lionel Richie's manager, Ken Kragen, liked the idea of releasing a single and contacted Ritchie about the project, who agreed to help. It was recorded on 28th January 1985, the day of the American Music Awards. Since the artists were all in town for the Awards, it was much easier to get them together to record the single. The stars who sang solos were, in order, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Kenny Rogers, James Ingram, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Dionne Warwick, Willie Nelson, Al Jurreau, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Daryl Hall, Huey Lewis, Cyndi Lauper, and Kim Carnes. Bob Dylan and Ray Charles ad-libbed some vocals that made it on the recording. Singers in the chorus who did not get solos included Harry Belafonte, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, The Pointer Sisters, LaToya Jackson, Billy Joel, Bob Geldof, Sheila E. and Waylon Jennings. Because Dan Aykroyd was a singer in the fictional band The Blues Brothers, he was invited to represent the movie industry. The recording session took 12 hours. Many of the artists exchanged autographs.

2. Angel / In The Groove - Madonna (right)
Madonna appeared in the commercially and critically successful film Desperately Seeking Susan in 1985, with her comedic performance winning her positive reviews. The film introduced the dance song "Into the Groove" which was released as a B-side to her single "Angel", peaking at No.5. In Europe, "Into the Groove" became a major hit and her first U.K. No.1.

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    3. Crazy For you - Madonna
    In 1985, Madonna entered mainstream films, beginning with a brief appearance as a club singer in the film Vision Quest. The soundtrack to the film contained her second number one pop hit, the Grammy-nominated ballad "Crazy for You." This song was written by John Bettis and Jon Lind. The lyricist John Bettis has written many notable songs including, "Top Of The World" and "Goodbye to Love" for The Carpenters, "Slow Hand" for The Pointer Sisters and "One Moment In Time" by Whitney Houston. Lind co-wrote the #1 hit for Vanessa Williams "Save The Best For Last." Madonna was relatively unknown when this song was recorded, as only her first album had been released. Bettis and Lind wrote it based on the script of Vision Quest, and not to Madonna's voice. When Madonna's second album Like A Virgin was released in November 1984, her popularity soared, but all of her singles to that point were medium or uptempo dance songs that didn't showcase her singing ability. When "Crazy For You" was released, the ballad proved that Madonna could handle a challenging song, and that she had singing talent to go along with her image.

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    4. Live It Up - Mental As Anything (right)
    Nine years after their formation, Mental as Anything had their biggest hit with "Live It Up". Greedy Smith was gaining dominance in the band in terms of songwriting success, and he penned both singles of 1985, "You're So Strong" and their first Australian No. 1 hit "Live It Up". This song also reached No.3 in the UK, was a hit in Europe, and was included on the soundtrack LP of the hugely successful Australian film Crocodile Dundee. Both singles were lifted from Mental's Fundamental album.

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    5. I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner (right)
    This power ballad was Foreigner's first big hit, Guitarist Mick Jones claims the idea for the song came to him at three in the morning, and is based on his topsy-turvy love life at the time. The New Jersey Mass Choir was brought in to sing the backing vocals; it was their first performance in a recording studio. This song represented a change of direction for the band, their previous hits having been rockers like "Double Vision" and "Urgent." Band member Lou Gramm says that he wishes they never recorded this song because it put them in a different category of music that he didn't feel was the real heartbeat of the band. They suddenly became an Adult Contemporary band, when they considered themselves a Rock band.

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    6. Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight - The Models (right)
    The Australian alternative rock group The Models released their most commercially successful work with the singles "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" and the James Freud tune "Barbados", off the album, Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Their follow-up album, Models' Media, was less successful. The Models featured on the Australian Made Tour of 1986-1987 with INXS and Jimmy Barnes. In 1988 the pressures of ten years of touring, as well as financial troubles, hastened the breakup of the band.

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    7. Money For Nothing - Dire Straits
    A song about rock star excess and the easy life it brings compared with real work, Mark Knopfler (right) wrote this with his wife in an electronics & appliance store where there was a wall of tvs all tuned to MTV and playing music videos. Some workmen were sitting there watching and complaining, coming up with what Knopfler recalls were "classic lines." Knopfler went to the sales desk and asked for pen and paper so he could jot down the workmen's comments. He wrote the song in the store sitting at a kitchen display the men had set up. Many of the lyrics were things they actually said. Sting sings on this and helped write it - that's him at the beginning singing "I want my MTV." Sting was on vacation in Monserrat where Dire Straits were recording their Brothers In Arms album, and he came by to help out. Sting's contribution is clearly evident - the line "I want my MTV" is sung to the same tune as a song he wrote for The Police: "Don't Stand So Close To Me." The "faggot" mentioned in this song is not a reference to Elton John, but to Boy George, the frontman of Culture Club that, at the time, was at the height of its popularity.

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    8. I Got You Babe - UB40 with Chrissie Hynde (right)
    This song was written by Sonny Bono back in the days when he was dating Cher and lived in their manager's house. It was written on his piano in the garage. The lyrics, believed to have been inspired by the Dylan song, "It Ain't Me, Babe", are said to have been first written on a piece of carboard. Cher didn't like the song at first, but Bono changed the key in the bridge to fit her voice and she warmed to it. At the time, Cher was a session backing singer with Phil Spector; Bono persuaded him to record Cher and him singing it. The song became a No. 1 hit, even though it was released as the B-side to "It's Gonna Rain". UB40 covered it with Chrissie Hynde doing the female vocals because Sonny And Cher's original version was the first record UB40's Ali Campbell ever owned.

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    9. I Should Have Known Better - Jim Diamond (right)
    Taken from his 1984 solo album "Double Crossed", the power ballad "I Should Have Known Better" went straight to No.1 and was later nominated for an Ivor Novello award. The song’s success became synonymous with the Band Aid single released at the same time, when Diamond urged the public to buy the charity single and not his own.

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    10. Would I Lie To You? - The Eurythmics (right)
    Lifted from their fourth album, Be Yourself Tonight, "Would I Lie To You" benefited from the strong line-up of talented musicians who contributed to the album. Three other singles came from it - "There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)" became their first and only UK number one single; "It's Alright (Baby's Coming Back)"; and the Aretha Franklin duet, originally intended to be sung with Tina Turner, "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves", also rode high in the charts.

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    11. Dancing In The Street - Mick Jagger & David Bowie (right)
    This was a hit for Martha and the Vandellas in 1964. Bowie and Jagger, who are close friends, recorded it as a duet for the Band Aid trust charity. The accompanying video was shown twice during the UK Live Aid concert. Bowie's musicians performed on the track. One of them was drummer Neil Conti who recalled, "It was a huge ego trip for Mick, he kept trying to upstage David."

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    12. Take On Me - A-ha (right)
    A-ha was a Norwegian trio who moved to London in January 1983. Mags Furuholmen (keyboards) chose their name as it was a simple exclamation known all over the world. The band recorded the first version of this song around 1983 and included it on their demo tape. At that time it was called "Lesson One." In 1984 they remade the song and renamed it "Take On Me." This first release of the song sold only 300 copies. It was released three times before it became a hit in the UK. Its innovative video in which a cartoon figure beckons the reader to join him in comic helped make it a best seller un the US. The video was inspired by the transformation scene in the film Altered States. Every scene was shot live then projected onto paper and traced. The TV show Family Guy did a spoof on the famous music video, with Chris Griffin being pulled into the black and white animation at a supermarket.

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    13. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - Dead or Alive
    The production team of Stock, Aitken and Waterman who went on to write and produce hits for Mel And Kim, Kylie Minogue and Rick Astley, were the brains behind this number. The strings were based on Richard Wagnerís classical piece, "Ride Of The Valkyres." The group had another hit in England with "That's The Way (I Like It)" and one more in the US with "Brand New Lover."

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    14. Shout - Tears For Fears (right)
    A power ballad that uses chess as a metaphor for the Cold War standoff of the 1980s between the US and USSR, which at times resembled a heated chess game. This song was written for the musical, Chess, lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA. Murray Head starred in the musical production of Chess, and his performance of this song in the play was recorded and released as a single. British pop band Tears for Fears was formed in the early 1980s by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, emerging after the dissolution of their first band, the Mod-influenced Graduate. They were initially associated with new wave and the new romantic movements, but quickly branched out into mainstream chart success. The duo's name is derived from a primal therapy treatment. During primal therapy, the patient is encouraged to cry, scream, and beat objects to express childhood and pre-natal feelings; hence the name.

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    15. One Night In Bangkok - Murray Head (right)
    Like Tears For Fears' single, "Shout", this song was written for the stage musical, Chess, lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, formerly of ABBA. Murray Head starred in the original musical production of Chess. The song tells of the meeting of two great chess players, one Soviet and the other, a Bobby Fischer-esque American, in Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. Chess uses US-USSR Chess rivalry as a metaphor for the Cold War, but this song just contains double-entendres about the game of Chess compared to the Bangkok nightlife. The example often used is "I would invite you, but the queens we use would not excite you." Murray Head is an singer/actor who has been in numerous movies and stage productions. His 1971 version of "Superstar" from the Jesus Christ Superstar production where he played Judas, was a No.14 in the US in 1971.

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    16. Born In The U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen (right)
    Bruce Springsteen wrote this song in response to the problems Vietnam veterans had encountered when they returned home. Vietnam was the first war The Allies didn't win, and while veterans of other wars received a hero's welcome, those who fought in Vietnam were mostly ignored when they returned home. The original title was "Vietnam." Director Paul Schrader sent Springsteen a script for a movie called Born In The U.S.A., giving Bruce the idea for the new title. Schrader's movie became Light Of Day (1987); Springsteen wrote the title track. Springsteen considers it one of his best songs, but it bothers him that it is so widely misinterpreted as a patriotic song about American pride rather than casting a shameful eye on how America treated its Vietnam veterans.

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    17. Neutron Dance - The Pointer Sisters (right)
    During the late 1970s/early 1980s, The Pointer Sisters enjoyed their greatest commercial success and continued to demonstrate their versatility. "He's So Shy" (1980) reached No.3 on the charts, and was followed a year later by a slow, sultry, country and western flavoured song, "Slow Hand". In 1984/5 they released four top 10 singles - "Automatic"; "Jump (For My Love)" that was a hit 20 years later in the UK for Girls Aloud; a re-release of "I'm So Excited" (reaching No.9), and their single from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack, "Neutron Dance".

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    18. What You Need - INXS (right)
    Though INXS was formed in 1979, it was not until 1985's breakthrough album, Listen Like Thieves, that the band perfected a matured sound influenced by the Rolling Stones and Chic but true to the band's original roots in Australia's pubs. In the US, the first single from the album, "This Time", stalled at No.81, but their second, "What You Need", became a top five US hit, bringing INXS their first major international success.

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    19. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
    This song was a charity single written and organized by Bob Geldof (right), who was the lead singer of The Boomtown Rats. He got the idea after watching a BBC documentary on famine in Ethiopia. The single raised $14 million for famine relief in Africa. Geldof was eventually knighted for his work. In the UK, it became the best-selling single ever. Elton John's "Candle In The Wind '97" currently holds that record. The performers who sang verses were, in order: Paul Young, Boy George, George Michael, Simon LeBon, and Bono. The chorus included David Bowie, Phil Collins, and Paul McCartney. This was the first of the big group charity efforts among musicians. Adam Clayton from U2 played bass, Phil Collins played drums on this single. The cover was designed by Peter Blake, who is famous for shooting the cover of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. A year later, US artists released "We Are The World," and Geldof helped organize Live Aid. Other charity singles followed including "Sun City" and "That's What Friends Are For."

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    20. We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner (right)
    This is the theme song to the film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, in which Tina Turner starred with Mel Gibson. The choir from King's House School in Richmond, South London provided the children's chorus. The choir went to the Abbey Road studios to record their backing vocals. Tina Turner was not there and her vocals were added at a later date.

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    Top 10 Australian Hits of 1985

    4. Live It Up - Mental As Anything (right)
    Nine years after their formation, Mental as Anything had their biggest hit with "Live It Up". Greedy Smith was gaining dominance in the band in terms of songwriting success, and he penned both singles of 1985, "You're So Strong" and their first Australian No. 1 hit "Live It Up". This song also reached No.3 in the UK, was a hit in Europe, and was included on the soundtrack LP of the hugely successful Australian film Crocodile Dundee. Both singles were lifted from Mental's Fundamental album.

  • watch the video online See above.

    2. Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight - The Models
    See above.

    3. What You Need - INXS
    See above.

    4. I'd Die To Be With You Tonight - Jimmy Barnes (right)
    Jimmy Barnes first came to prominence as the lead singer of the popular Australian pub rock band, Cold Chisel, which he joined in 1973 and with whom he recorded seven albums between 1978 and 1983. When the band split up in December 1983, he launched a solo career almost immediately with his first album Bodyswerve entering the Australian charts at No.1. It was followed by another album, For The Working Class Man, which contained songs used in the Ron Howard directed film, Gung Ho. "I'd Die To Be With You Tonight", from that album, became his first No. 1 single as a solo artist.

    5. 50 Years - Uncanny X-Men (right)
    The band takes its name from a team of comic book superheroes in the Marvel Comics universe. They were created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, debuting in September 1963. The Melbourne based band, the brainchild of lead singer Brian Mannix, were the tour support for Joan Jett in December 1982. They released two albums - 'Cos Life Hurts (1985) and What You Give Is What You Get (1986) - and a number of singles, of which only "50 Years" made it to the top of the national charts.

    6. Too Young For Promises - Koo De Tah
    Tina Cross had been on the New Zealand pop music scene since 1978, with appearances on Ready To Roll, and recording two albums and a string of singles. In 1982 she ventured across the Tasman to Sydney and began singing on the cabaret circuit. In 1984 she teamed up with composer-pianist Leon Berger and formed Koo De Tah. They had a hit with "Too Young For Promises" which made No. 6 on the Australian charts, but only scraped in at 48 in New Zealand. Two other Australian singles, "Body Talk" and "Think Of Me", didn't fair as well.

    7. Barbados - The Models (right)
    Pioneers of post-punk new wave music in Australia, The Models underwent several changes to both their line-up and their sound during the early 1980s, before arriving at a more accessible, danceable sound with Out of Mind Out of Sight. Under the direction of INXS's manager Chris Murphy, The Models had crafted an album that would turn them into pop stars. The title track from the album became a No.1 hit in Australia, and charted extremely well overseas too. Other song highlights on the album include 'Barbados' (also an Australian No.1), 'Stormy Tonight', 'Big on Love' and 'King of Kings'.

    8. Man Overboard - Do Re Mi
    Do Re Mi was formed in 1982 by a number of punk rock artists. Their first EP was well received by radio stations. Do Re Mi reacted against that, and threw caution to the wind with their second EP, 'The Waiting Room'. It contained 'Man Overboard', an anti-love song from a woman's point of view that has the words "penis envy" and "pubic hair" in the lyrics. For the latter, the song was banned in Britain by the BBC. Featured on the EP were the Laughing Clowns' brass section, Louise Elloitt and Peter Doyle. In 1985 the band went to Britain and recorded the album Domestic Harmony, which contained a number of songs written in Australia before they right. The album contained a reworked version of 'Man Overboard', which became Do Re Mi's first hit single.

    9. Don't Go - Pseudo Echo (right)
    Pseudo echo's second album Love an Adventure was a major success with several singles from it topping the Australian charts including the title track, "Don't Go", "Try", and "Living in a Dream". The album was re-released the following year to include their remake of the Lipps, Inc. song "Funkytown", which brought the group its biggest international success, reaching No. 6 in the US in 1987, and spending six weeks at No.1 in Australia.

    10. We Will Together - Eurogliders
    The Eurogliders are a band from Perth whose best known hits are "No Action", "Another Day In The Big World", "Heaven (Must Be There)", "Maybe Only I Dream", "We Will Together", and "Can't Wait To See You". Founding members Grace Knight & Bernie Lynch reformed in 2005 and released a new album called Eurogliders.



    Other Hits of 1985

    Summer of '69 - Bryan Adams (right)
    "Summer of '69" was recorded by the Canadian musician Bryan Adams, from his fourth album, Reckless. The song is about a dilemma between settling down or trying to become a rock star. Written by Adams and Jim Vallance, a long-time writing partner of Adams. "Summer of '69" was the fourth single from Reckless. According to later claims by Adams, the title is a reference to the sex position, not the year, but Vallance disputes this. The music video for the song, which was filmed by Steve Barron, features Adams and his backing band in a variety of settings, including running from the police. The single had a strong effect on music charts internationally, with its highest peaks being number four in the Netherlands and number five in the United States. Amongst songs recorded by Canadian artists, it is most streamed and most digitally purchased song within Canada amongst songs originally released before the start of the digital download era (approximiately 2005).

    Walking On Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves (right)
    An upbeat, catchy dance track with a 1970s disco sound and a message about feeling good. The heart of this girl group was not their talented singer Katrina Leskanich, but guitarist Kimberly Rew, who had previously worked with Robyn Hitchcock's Soft Boys. Rew wrote most of the band's early tracks, including "Walking On Sunshine." This song has been used in a number of feature films including: The Secret of My Success (1987), Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997) and American Psycho (2000). Jack Black's character in High Fidelity (2000) plays this song on a cassette tape. A cover version by the duo Aly & AJ was used in the 2005 Disney motion picture, Herbie: Fully Loaded. This is the favourite song of Philip J. Fry, a character from the Futurama TV Show. He sings this while showering, though the only words he remembers are "I'm walking on sunshine," so he hums the rest. Katrina & The Waves had another hit in the UK with "Love Shine A Light", which was entered in the Eurovision Song Contest.

    The Heat Is On - Glenn Frey (right)
    After The Eagles disbanded, Glenn Frey found solo success in the 1980s, especially with the soundtrack songs "The Heat Is On" (from Beverly Hills Cop) and "You Belong to the City" (from Miami Vice, the soundtrack of which topped the album charts in 1985). Frey also contributed the song "Flip City" to the Ghostbusters 2 soundtrack. Since 1994, he has participated in various Eagles' reunion projects.

    The Power of Love - Jennifer Rush (right)
    Jennifer Rush came to the public eye in the mid-1980s on the back of the powerful anthem, "The Power of Love" which she co-wrote. Her other hit singles include "Madonna's Eyes" and "Ring of Ice". Although she has long since dropped out of the public eye as indicated by the charts, she has recorded a string of execelent albums that have had very little exposure outside of her native Germany.

    The Power of Love - Huey Lewis & The News
    Huey Lewis & the News were a San Francisco based band known for writing simple, light-hearted songs from a working-class perspective and typically appealed to yuppies and baby boomers of the 1980s. Combining a rock (and sometimes, a "blues-rock") backing with harmony vocals and Lewis' voice, Huey Lewis & the News had numerous hit songs during the 1980s and early 1990s, including "The Power of Love", "I Want a New Drug", "Doin' it all (For my Baby)", "Do You Believe in Love?" "Hip to Be Square", "Stuck With You", and "Jacob's Ladder". "The Power of Love" was featured on the soundtrack of the sci-fi adventure film, Back To The Future.

    A View to a Kill - Duran Duran (right)
    "A View to a Kill" was the theme song of the James Bond movie of the same name. It was the seventh and last in the James Bond spy action adventure series to star Roger Moore as MI6 agent James Bond. Although the title is adapted from Ian Fleming's short story From a View to a Kill, the film was the third completely original Bond film after The Spy Who Loved Me and Octopussy. In A View to a Kill, Bond is pitted against Max Zorin, who plans to destroy California's Silicon Valley. At the end of Octopussy during the famed "James Bond Will Return" sequence, it listed the next film as From a View to a Kill, the name of the original short story; however, the title was later changed a few months before filming.

    The Boys of Summer - Don Henley (right)
    Don Henley is one of the more insightful songwriters of the late 20th century, and this is one of his timeless classics. With its themes of loss and regret, it seems to fit many different interpretations. The song itself has the protagonist move from wanting to win back a lost love, to moving on, seemingly spurred on by seeing a "Deadhead" who drives a Caddy, and still considers himself a deadhead. In a 1986 interview, Henley explained the inspiration for the verse: "I was on the San Diego freeway when I saw the sticker. People probably have an image that I'm talking about one of those old hearses we used to have in the '60's, but it was actually a brand new Cadillac Seville and it had this big, green sticker on the back that said, 'DEADHEAD'. It went from the freeway right into the song."

    Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
    A mainstream classic pop song that was inspired by a book the lyricist John Lang read called Broken Wings, which was written by the Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran. The book, The Broken Wings, which was written in 1912, is a story of a love that is doomed by oriental social convention. Its conclusion is to pick up the pieces of your life and move on. The line, "Take these broken wings and learn to fly" appears in The Beatles song, "Blackbird." Paul McCartney and John Lennon both drew on the work of Kahlil Gibran, as the first two lines of The Beatles "Julia" came from Gibran's 1926 poem, Sand And Foam: "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you, Julia."

    Brothers In Arms - Dire Straits (right)
    This song is believed to be loosely based on the Israeli army as Mark Knofler's dad was a volunteer soldier in the IDF. That having been said, the interpretation of this song differs greatly from one person to another. The video was a tour de force in animation production. It consists of scratchy pencil line-drawings and rotoscoped images of the band. Images of war and death permeate the video, with waves of foam becoming skulls, trenchcoated doughboys rising from the trenches to go over the top into battle, and disembodied hands breaking the shackles of oppression. "Brothers In Arms" is the title song for Dire Straits' fifth and most successful studio album. It has sold over 29 million copies worldwide and was the 3rd best-selling album of the 1980s and the twelfth best selling album of all time.

    Brothers in Arms was one of the first albums to be directed at the CD market, being one of the first full digital recordings (DDD), though it was also released on vinyl and cassette. It became the first album to sell one million copies in the CD format. Indeed, when the disc was released, it was said that more people owned a copy of the CD than owned CD players. A Rykodisc staffer would subsequently write, "[In 1985 we] were fighting to get our CDs manufactured because the entire worldwide manufacturing capacity was overwhelmed by demand for a single rock title (Dire Straits' Brothers in Arms)." Other songs on the album include "Money for Nothing" - one of the pioneering songs and music videos of the MTV era - and "Walk of Life". In the song, Mark Knopfler pays tribute to the American singer Johnny Mathis.

    Centerfield - John Fogerty (right)
    This song is the title track of Centerfield, an album by John Fogerty, released in 1985. It was his most popular post-Creedence album, and contained the US hit singles "The Old Man Down the Road", "Rock and Roll Girls" and the title track, "Centerfield". Fogerty played all the instruments on this album himself, thanks to overdubbing. The song "Zanz Kant Danz" was altered and re-titled "Vanz Kant Danz" a few months after the release of the album in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid a defamation lawsuit from Saul Zaentz, owner of Fantasy Records that published the Creedence recordings. The altered "Vanz Kant Danz" version of this song appears on all post-1985 pressings of the album.

    The lawsuit claimed that "The Old Man Down the Road" shared the same chorus as "Run Through the Jungle" (a song from Fogerty's days with Creedence Clearwater Revival: years before, Fogerty had relinquished copy and publishing rights of his Creedence songs to Zaentz and Fantasy, in exchange for release from his contractual obligations to them). The defendant Fogerty ultimately prevailed when he showed that the two songs were whole, separate and distinct compositions. Bringing his guitar to the witness stand, he played excerpts from both songs, demonstrating that many songwriters (himself included) have distinctive styles that can make different compositions sound similar to less discerning ears. The song "Centerfield" can be seen as a metaphor for any comeback or second chance. Taken literally, it has often been used as a soundtrack for collections of short clips of classic Baseball moments. 

    Dirty Old Town - The Pogues
    Rum, Sodomy and the Lash is the name of The Pogues' 1985 album (the title is a famous comment attributed, probably falsely, to Sir Winston Churchill and others in describing the traditions of the British Royal Navy). Shane MacGowan came into his own as a songwriter with this album, offering up poetic story-telling, such as "The Sick Bed of Cúchulainn" and "The Old Main Drag", as well as definitive interpretations of Ewan MacColl's "Dirty Old Town" and Eric Bogle's "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" (this had previously been covered by Shane's fellow punk contemporaries, The Skids, in 1981). The band, however, failed to take advantage of the momentum created by the strong artistic and commercial success of their second album.

    Don't Come Around Here No More - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (right)
    On their firth album, Southern Accents (1985), Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers picked up where they had right off three years earlier when Petty decided to take some time out. The recording was not without problems, Petty became frustrated during the mixing process and broke his right hand after punching through a wall. The album includes the hit single "Don't Come Around Here No More," which was produced by Dave Stewart. The video for the single featured Petty dressed as the Mad Hatter, mocking and chasing Alice from the book Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, then cutting and eating her as if she were a cake. This caused some controversy after it was criticized by feminist groups. A successful concert tour led to the live album Pack Up the Plantation: Live! (1986). The band's live capabilities were put to the test when Bob Dylan invited Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers to join him on his True Confessions tour in addition to The Grateful Dead through the U.S., Australia, Japan (1986) and Europe (1987).

    Everytime You Go Away - Paul Young (right)
    1984 was a difficult year for Young, as his first heavy promotional and live concert tour of America affected his vocal cords to the extent that he couldn't sing at all for most of the year. He recovered, however, to famously perform the opening line to the Band Aid single, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" and his second album, The Secret Of Association, secured his future success in America, Japan and Australia. He continues to have occasional voice and throat difficulties. Young's biggest worldwide hit was his version of Daryl Hall's "Everytime You Go Away". Young has continued to enjoy a successful career. In 1991 he recorded a duet with Irish group Clannad for the Blake Edwards film Switch, with a cover of the Joni Mitchell song, "Both Sides Now".

    Find A Way - Amy Grant (right)
    Unguarded is the ninth album by Christian music singer Amy Grant. When Unguarded was released in 1985, Grant was probably the most popular star in Contemporary Christian music, recording songs with religious lyrics in the pop/rock style of the day.

    With this album, however, the religious content of the lyrics was scaled back as compared with her two previous regular studio albums, Age to Age and Straight Ahead. Despite this, the album's lead-off single, "Find a Way," was a number one hit on the world's Christian radio charts. Four other singles from the album were also Top Ten Christian radio hits. The success of the aggressive mainstream style of the songs on Unguarded led Grant to release more secular recordings, the most popular of which was the album Heart In Motion (1991), from which the top 10 single, "Baby, Baby" was lifted.

    Freeway of Love - Aretha Franklin
    A Grammy Award-winning song released as the first single from Aretha Franklin's 1985 album Who's Zoomin' Who? This single from it, Aretha's seventeenth top 10 hit in the U.S., also earned her her tenth Grammy Award, for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. The television series Grey's Anatomy borrowed the name of the album for its Season One finale. 

    I'm Goin' Down - Bruce Springsteen
    "I'm Goin' Down" became the sixth single released from Springstein's massively successful album, Born in the U.S.A. It was recorded in May 1982 during the first wave of Born in the U.S.A. sessions. The track went on and off and back on the short list to make the album, finally bumping "Pink Cadillac" out of a place and into the B-side queue. It was the sixth of a record-tying seven Top 10 hit singles to be released from the album There was some controversy surrounding the release a sixth single from the album, which had been out for well over a year at that point. Cliff Bernstein, manager of Def Leppard and Dokken, said "I think a sixth single is a little bit of overkill." Fans clearly didn't agree.

    Johnny Come Home - Fine Young Cannibals (right)
    Fine Young Cannibals was formed in 1984 in Birmingham, UK, out of the ashes of The Beat, with whom Cox and Steele had previously played. The band's self-titled debut album was released in 1985, spawning two UK hit singles, "Johnny Come Home" and a cover of Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" featuring additional vocals by Jimmy Somerville. Both made the singles charts in Australia. Fine Young Cannibals broke up in 1992 before briefly returning to the studio in 1996 to record a new single, "The Flame", which would complement their greatest hits compilation, The Finest, also released in that year. 

    Miami Vice Theme - Jan Hammer
    This piece was created and performed by Jan Hammer as the theme to the television series Miami Vice. It was first heard by the public in September 1984 and released as a single in 1985. In 1986, it won Grammy Awards for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Pop Instrumental Performance. This song, along with Glenn Frey's number-two hit "You Belong to the City," put the Miami Vice soundtrack on the top of the album charts in 1985, making it the most successful TV soundtrack of all time until 2006 when Disney Channel's High School Musical beat its record.

    Material Girl - Madonna (right)
    "Material Girl", written by Peter Brown and Robert Rans for American singer Madonna's second album, Like a Virgin, was produced by Nile Rodgers and released as the album's second single in 1985. The bassline in the song is reminiscent of The Jacksons's "Can You Feel It", which appeared on their 1980 album Triumph, and which is in itself highly reminiscent of "White Rabbit", a 1960s song by Jefferson Airplane. The song debuted on the charts just as "Like a Virgin", the previous single from the album, was descending out of the top ten. Madonna often remarks that it is the song she regrets recording most, for the fact that it became her nickname.

    She has said that if she knew then that it would be her nickname throughout her career, she probably would have never recorded it. Madonna ended The Virgin Tour with a self-parodying performance of "Material Girl". She also performed the song humorously on the Who's That Girl Tour, where she dressed up in various items which some suspected parodied Cyndi Lauper, who wore a similar costume in concert in 1987, and on the Blond Ambition Tour in 1990. In the single's video, Madonna mimicked Marilyn Monroe's performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" from the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953); after making the video she said she never wanted to be compared to Monroe. Actor Keith Carradine has a role in the video, and Madonna had a short affair with him during its shooting before dating Sean Penn (whom she first met during the video shoot).

    One More Night - Phil Collins (right)
    The first single from Phil Collins' third album, No Jacket Required, this song is very similar to "This Must Be Love" (the second track from Face Value), but many Collins fans still consider it much more romantic. "One More Night" was Collins' second No.1 single, following "Against All Odds", and was his third single to reach the top ten. The video features Collins playing the piano in a downtown bar. One visual anomaly of the video is that Collins is visibly playing his venerable 1970s-vintage Yamaha CP70 electric grand piano, yet the instrument used in the song itself is clearly a digital electronic piano. Despite the song's success, Collins does not believe it to be his greatest work. 

    Private Dancer - Tina Turner
    "Private Dancer", the title track of Tina Turner's breakthrough solo album, was written by Mark Knopfler. The song was her second most successful single in the US behind "What's Love Got to Do with It?". The track was originally going to be on the Dire Straits album, Love Over Gold; the song had been recorded by Dire Straits, but the vocals were not added as Mark Knopfler considered then unsuitable for a male to sing, so the track was cut from the final mix. Due to legal reasons, the track had to be re-recorded for Tina Turner by Dire Straits two years later. Knopfler did not feature on the new track and was replaced by Jeff Beck.

    Saving All My Love for You - Whitney Houston
    "Saving All My Love for You", the second single from Houston's self-titled debut album, is the song with which she made her entry onto the international music scene. It was written by Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin, and originally recorded by Marilyn McCoo. In the song, Houston sings about a love affair with a married man, and "saving all her love for him". Internationally, the single was received well in most areas, most notably becoming Houston's first No.1 in the United Kingdom. The single also managed to reach No.5 in Switzerland, eighteen in Germany, and No.20 in Australia. "Saving All My Love for You" won the 1986 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and the American Music Award for Favorite R&B/Soul Video.

    Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie (right)
    This song was first heard as the title song in the movie, White Nights, featuring Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. However, it was conspicuously absent from the movie soundtrack album. Motown Records refused to permit Richie's first single since the Can't Slow Down album to appear on another record label. It finally appeared on the Dancing on the Ceiling album, released in 1986.

    St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) - John Parr
    1985 saw John Parr touring with his band, The Business, supporting Toto, and playing 10,000-seater venues across America. By the end of the tour, Parr receieved a call from one of the world's most successful record producers, David Foster, who asked Parr to record a song for the film, St Elmo's Fire. Parr and Foster wrote a song in honour of wheelchair athlete and activist Rick Hansen; the song became the theme for the movie.

    We Built This City - Jefferson Starship
    "We Built This City" was written by Bernie Taupin, Martin Page, Dennis Lambert, and Peter Wolf. Taupin, best known for his longtime collaboration with Elton John, was the lyricist. The city that the band is singing about has been generally thought to be San Francisco, California (the traffic report in the bridge references the Golden Gate Bridge); in Japan it has been sold with the title, "Sisuko wa Rokku Sitii (SF is a rock city)". But according to Starship singer Grace Slick, it was actually written about early-1970s Los Angeles. The song was also released without the traffic report and DJ interaction during the song's bridge (the B-side of the promotional 45-rpm record).

    Local stations were encouraged to make local versions. New York City, for example, included a traffic report describing conditions on the George Washington Bridge. Australian Punk Rock quartet Frenzal Rhomb did a cover in 2000. In place of the traffic report was the ranting of singer Jason Whalley, claiming that his band were called liars by a man when he was informed that Frenzal Rhomb were going to cover 'Starship'. In April 2004, the song was awarded "the No.1 Most Awesomely Bad Song Ever" by Blender magazine. In order to qualify for the distinction, a song had to be a popular hit at some point, thus disqualifying many songs that would by general consensus be considered much worse. Blender editor Craig Marks said of the song, "It purports to be anti-commercial but reeks of 1980s corporate-rock commercialism. It's a real reflection of what practically killed rock music in the 1980s."

    Working Class Man - Jimmy Barnes (right)
    Early in his solo career, Scottish-born, Adelaide-raised Jimmy Barnes was determined to break into the US market and signed to Geffen Records for release there. His second album, For the Working Class Man, was tailored in this direction, featuring remixed songs from an earlier album, Bodyswerve, plus five new tracks including "Working Class Man" that was written by Journey musician Jonathan Cain. Several US musicians worked on the album including Cain, Charlie Sexton, singer Kim Carnes and British drummer Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac. The album was released as a double vinyl set and shifted 250,000 copies in its first year of release in Australia. Like its predecessor,

    For the Working Class Man debuted on the national chart at No. 1 and remained there for seven weeks. Titled simply Jimmy Barnes in the US, the album was issued in February to tie in with the release of the Ron Howard film, Gung Ho, which featured "Working Class Man". Because of this, Gung Ho was released under the title Working Class Man in Australia. The song is generally considered Barnes' signature song as a solo artist. He performed it at the closing ceremony for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.



    Life in a Northern Town - Dream Academy (right)
    "Life in a Northern Town" was written as an elegy to British folk musician Nick Drake, who died in 1974. The song's composition was heavily influenced by Drake's music (the acoustic arrangement was composed using the guitar Drake is seen holding on the cover of his 1970 album Bryter Layter), and the single's record sleeve includes a dedication to him. Gilbert Gabriel, a member of the Dream Academy and co-writer of "Life in a Northern Town", said that the inspiration for the tune came from his experience at Dartington College of Arts. The song, which took a year to record, includes elements of classical music, Kate St John on oboe, an "African-esque" chant of "hey ma ma ma", which was later sampled by dance duo Dario G for their track "Sunchyme" and more recently by the duo Tritonal, and hints of psychedelia. Two different music videos were made for "Life in a Northern Town". The first was made in 1984 and filmed in Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, England. It was directed by Tim Pope.

    Numerous versions of the song have been recorded by other artists. In 2005, former Zoot lead singer Rick Springfield made a version of the song on his covers album The Day After Yesterday. Zoot's 2018 version became the band's first song in 48 years, and is included on their 50th anniversary collection Archaeology. Using the late Darryl Cotton's vocals, Beeb Birtles and Rick Springfield were able to add their parts and complete the song.

    Watch a video of Zoot's version. The cleverly edited footage is from other songs.


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