Monday, November 5, 2018

Milestone! The Year in Review: 1985

I am officially over tha hump in the project! Six years down, four more to go! To this point, the decade has consisted of 2,579 chart entries. That is an average of about 430 entries per year. I still have a long way to go, but I'm looking forward to it!

The previous year, 1984, was my favorite of the decade by far. It was the sweet spot for pop music and in my opinion the best ever! When 1985 came along I thought it would be similar, yet when diving in I realized that it took a bit of a nose dive. Just look at my stats. In 1984 I rated a whopping 19 songs a 10. In 1985 it was a measly 8. That's a significant drop. The average rating for Top 10 entries took a slight hit as well. The average for 1984 was a rating of 8 while in 1985 it dipped to 7. The number of songs rated a 5 or less increased a bit in 1985 to 120 from 1984's 115. Still, the average rating for both years was 6, which is not surprising.

So why was 1985 a lesser year? It may be because of more changes happening in music and some artists just not keeping up. It could be that some of the newer artists were just not as strong as they were the previous year. I also wasn't thrilled with several of the #1 songs in '85 like Stevie Wonder's "Part-Time Lover" or Lionel Richie's "Say You, Say Me." Even my Top 5 favorites list below didn't include a single #1 song. Overall, it just wasn't a banner year.

Now that '85 is in the books, I'm looking forward to '86. I think things may rebound. There are some interesting things coming up including the debut of the Pet Shop Boys, Genesis gettin' all poppy, the emergence of the fab Janet Jackson, and both Peter Gabriel and Bon Jovi breaking through to the mainstream masses.

I'm still enjoying this project and I hope anyone who encounters the blog will have fun as well. Keep reading, pass it along to friends, feel free to send comments, and don't forget to "Rate It!" at the bottom of each post. Here is a recap of 1985:

Number of charted songs in 1985:  405  (433 in 1984)
Time it took listen/post all songs:  1 year, 39 days  (1 year, 29 days for 1984)
Number of songs that debuted in 1985 to hit #1:  28  (19 in 1984)
Number of songs that debuted in 1985 to reach the Top 10 (excluding #1's):  74  (76 in 1984)
Number of gold singles:  17  (26 in 1984)
Number of platinum singles: 2  (9 in 1984)
Number of songs that won a Grammy:  8  (10 in 1984)
Number of One-Hit Wonders:  5  (3 in 1984)
Number of Rated 10 songs:  8  (19 for 1984)
Number of Rated 1 songs:  1  (2 for 1984)

Top 5 favorite chart songs of the year:
  1. "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush
  2. "Small Town" by John Cougar Mellencamp
  3. "Would I Lie to You" by Eurythmics
  4. "Life in a Northern Town" by The Dream Academy
  5. "Freeway of Love" by Aretha Franklin
Worst song of the year:  "Party All the Time" by Eddie Murphy
Best song I didn't know existed:  "Look My Way" by The Vels
Favorite discovery:  The Vels

A few other fun stats:

Highest debut:  #21 - "We Are the World" by USA for Africa (peaked at #1)
Lowest debut:  #97 - "Don't Say No Tonight" by Eugene Wilde (peaked at #76)

Longest climb to peak position:  "Take on Me" by a-ha climbed 90 positions from #91 to #1

Longest trip to #1 for a song debuting in 1985:  "Take on Me" by a-ha took 15 weeks to reach #1
Quickest trip to #1 for a song debuting in 1985:  "We Are the World" by USA for Africa took only 4 weeks to reach #1.
Most weeks at #1 for a song debuting in 1985:  4 - for two songs, "We Are the World" by USA for Africa and "Say You, Say Me" by Lionel Richie

Most weeks on the chart for a song debuting in 1985:  29 - "I Miss You" by Klymaxx (it peaked at #5).

Average number of weeks a song spent on the chart:  13
Position on chart where the most songs debuted:  #90 - 28 songs debuted at that spot (1 hit Top 10, 1 made it to #1)
Longest song title:  "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock and Roll) " by Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit
Shortest song title:  "19" by Paul Hardcastle and "Go" by Asia

A few artists who got their first chart single in 1985:  'til tuesday, a-ha, Amy Grant, David Lee Roth (solo), Depeche Mode, Julian Lennon, Kate Bush, Miami Sound Machine, Mick Jagger, (solo) Mike + the Mechanics, Sade, Sting, (solo) Tears for Fears

Runners-Up:  8 songs peaked at #2, 5 songs peaked at #11, and 5 songs peaked at #41

Some interesting things learned (click links for more details in previous posts):
  • Corey Hart was offered the opportunity to audition for the role of Marty McFly in Back to the Future.
  • Luther Vandross originally sang the male vocal part on "That's What Friends Are For."
  • Christopher Cross wrote a song about Tina Fey's Liz Lemon character on 30 Rock.
  • Actress Daryl Hannah was the female background vocal on Clarence Clemmons' "You're a Friend of Mine."
  • Donny Osmond co-wrote "Too Young," a song that got recorded by soap opera star Jack Wagner.
  • Billy Joel was in an infamous two-man drum and organ psychedelic rock act named Attila that recorded one album.
  • Bruce Springsteen nearly included "Pink Cadillac" on his Born in the U.S.A. album.
  • Starship's #1 "We Built This City" was once ranked as the worst song ever.
  • Whitney Houston's first #1 hit, "Saving All My Love for You," was actually a remake.
  • Wham! was the first Western pop/rock act to perform in China.
  • Prince denied Elvis Costello permission to record a version of "Pop Life."
  • Phil Collins named his album No Jacket Required after on an incident he had at a restaurant.
  • Radio personality Casey Kasem had a notorious rant after playing The Pointer Sisters' "Dare Me."
  • Tears for Fears got the name for their album Songs from the Big Chair from the TV movie Sybil.
  • Boy George wrote a song for the Beach Boys.
  • Air Supply covered a old Bruce Springsteen song.
  • Duran Duran's "A View to a Kill" still remains the only James Bond theme song to have hit #1 in the US.
  • One of Madonna's most famous songs, "Into the Groove," never made the Pop chart.
  • Songwriter/producer Mutt Lange reused a part of a lesser hit he did for Roman Holliday to boost another #1 song.
  • Scandal's Patty Smyth had a chance to become the new lead singer of Van Halen.
  • Kim Carnes got to claim a bit of chart history when her single "Invitation to Dance" debuted on the Pop chart.
According to the year-end chart for 1985, these were the year's Top 10 singles:
  1. "Careless Whisper" by Wham! featuring George Michael
  2. "Like a Virgin" by Madonna
  3. "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" by Wham!
  4. "I Want to Know What Love Is" by Foreigner
  5. "I Feel for You" by Chaka Khan
  6. "Out of Touch" by Daryl Hall & John Oates
  7. "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" by Tears for Fears
  8. "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits
  9. "Crazy for You" by Madonna
  10. "Take on Me" by a-ha

So long '85! You weren't the best year, but you weren't too shabby either!

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