Wednesday, 17 May 2017

30 Years Ago This Week: May 17, 1987

This week in 1987, there were only two new entries on the ARIA singles top 50, but they would both go on to be top 10 hits. They also share another thing in common: they were both performed by artists who'd never return to the top 50.

Two acts + one hit each = two one-hit wonders

That's right, we have a couple of one-hit wonders on our hands. One, is a singer no one seems to know very much about at all, while the other was a band who was really just a singer.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending May 17, 1987

It's only fitting that the number 1 single 30 years ago this week was by another one-hit wonder. "Boom Boom (Let's Go Back To My Room)" by Paul Lekakis stayed on top for a fifth and final week.


Off The Chart
Number 97 "Mandolin Rain" by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
Peak: number 84
If "Every Little Kiss" couldn't give Bruce Hornsby a second hit in Australia, it's hardly surprising this less memorably track - a US top 5 hit - didn't work here, either.

Number 95 "Baby Grand" by Billy Joel with Ray Charles
Peak: number 78
More MOR adult contemporary music now and the latest from Billy Joel's The Bridge. The duet with his fellow piano man (and personal hero) Ray Charles was a song about - what else? - a piano.

Number 72 "I Lied" by The Pony
Peak: number 60
The first and only top 100 appearance by Melbourne-based, '60s-influenced rock band The Pony came with this debut single. Following "I Lied", the band were signed to White Label Records (through Mushroom), but without further success.


New Entries
Number 50 "Ship Of Fools" by World Party
Peak: number 4
Karl Wallinger - who basically was World Party - is actually a one-hit wonder twice over in Australia. He was a member of The Waterboys, whose single "The Whole Of The Moon", reached number 12 in early 1986 - their only top 50 appearance. Following the album that single was taken from, he left that band to form his own and had another success straight out of the gate. 
Debut single "Ship Of Fools" had more of a bluesy feel and socially conscious message than "The Whole Of The Moon", but it boasted another huge, sing-along chorus. Despite being accompanied by a band in the music video, World Party was very much just Karl, who hired session musicians and used pseudonyms for himself in the credits for album Private Revolution. World Party released several more critically beloved albums, but never returned to the Australian top 50, coming closest with 1993's "Is It Like Today?".




Number 43 "Love And Devotion" by Michael Bow
Peak: number 9
Where Paul Lekakis and Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish led, fellow Eurodance act Michael Bow followed - into the top 10, that is. His single "Love And Devotion" was another Hi-NRG track that jumped from the clubs to the chart, but I've never been able to find out much about the singer who released a handful of records in the late '80s produced by Belgian Fonny De Wulf (who was himself a recording artist as half of Rofo). Who knows whatever became of Michael Bow, but at least he left us this cowbell-heavy dance track to practise our Italian counting with.




Next week: the song that gave an up-and-coming Australian band their first big hit, as well as the fourth top 20 single in a row for another local group.


Back to: May 10, 1987 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: May 24, 1987


3 comments:

  1. The Bruce Hornsby track is quite similar to the previous two.

    Never heard of The Pony, but it was interesting to see an early rage video with only the artist listed.

    I like 'Ship of Fools', but am surprised it was a top 5 hit. It doesn't seem like the kind of music that would appeal to the single-buying demographic. The lyrics are quite relevant still.

    The Smash Hits '87 album had a blurb on each artist featured on the compilation in the liner notes, and I remember the entry for Michael Bow saying he was a kick-boxer or boxer (I should dig out my cassette and check) and that he was so mysterious nobody had ever seen a picture of him. Great song though. That single sleeve was obviously inspired by 'Born In the U.S.A.'

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    1. There's a picture of Michael Bow on his Discogs page. I always assumed the butt on the single cover was his.

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    2. Kind of fitting it was on ARS records...

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