Looking back, 1987 was a big year in the life of me. I started the year as a high school student and ended it as a college student. That is always one of life’s great transitions. However, the year was big for another reason.
That was the year I first met my wife. Of course, it was 26 years before we got married. One of these days, I will write that story.
On this day, I need to complete this soundtrack that I started. Honestly, I did not think it would take this long. Anyway, here are the Number One songs of 1987.
The Bangles and “Walk Like an Egyptian” remained in the Number One spot as the year began. However, they were soon replaced with “Shake You Down” by Gregory Abbott. Yeah, I do not remember him, either.
After a week, he was replaced by “At This Moment” by Billy Vera and the Beaters. A little research shows that this song was greatly helped by its inclusion on Family Ties, the sitcom that made Michael J. Fox famous.
Madonna, who was creating hits like crazy, entered the Number One position with “Open Your Heart”.
However, she could not hold off the onslaught that was Bon Jovi. “Livin’ on a Prayer” was the year’s first big hit and stayed at the top for four weeks.
They were replaced by another band that personified the 1980s, Huey Lewis and the News. For one week “Jacob’s Ladder” was on everyone’s radios.
That one week at the top gave way to “Lean on Me” by Club Nouveau. Of course, that was a remake of the classic by Bill Withers.
Guess who comes next. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Airplane. You would be wrong if you said Jefferson Starship. You would be right if you said Starship. They had a bunch of hits for a band who could not figure out what to call themselves. Anyway, “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” made it to Number One.
Thankfully, they were dispatched by Aretha Franklin and George Michael. “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” hit Number One and announced to the world that the other guy from Wham! was no longer around.
A memorable 1980s song came next. “(I Just) Died in Your Arms” made girls swoon and made Cutting Crew famous.
A little band called U2 and a song called “With or Without You” stayed Number One for three weeks. Then, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” by Kim Wilde went wild.
That was followed by Atlantic Starr with “Always” and Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with “Head to Toe”.
That is when Whitney Houston returned to the top with “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”. That is when the Wilson sisters, otherwise known as Heart, told everyone that they were “Alone”.
Who took their place? Axel Foley. Well, that is not totally accurate. “Shakedown” by Bob Seger was spotlighted in Beverly Hills Cop II. Of course, that movie starred Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley.
After one week, the power of U2 surged to the top. “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” were their second Number One of the year.
Then, Madonna had another Number One with “Who’s That Girl”. It looks like a trend was developing among the 1980s superstars. They kept making their way to the top. I guess that is why they are superstars.
Another remake, “La Bamba”, made it to Number One for Los Lobos. The Ritchie Valens song returned with a movie that reminded everyone who he was and what happened to him.
The King of Pop, Michael Jackson returned to Number One with “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You”. However, he had help. It was a duet with Siedah Garrett.
Whitney Houston had a big year that continued with “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”.
Then, we get to a real band. Whitesnake was one of my favorites. Hair Metal. How can you beat that? Anyway, “Here I Go Again” broke through all of the pop and brought some guitars to the scene. I saw them while they were touring for this album. It was an awesome experience. I guess I could write about it at some point.
For some reason, they were replaced by “Lost in Emotion” by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam. Obviously, the general public had no taste.
Michael Jackson came back with “Bad”. However he was not bad enough to hold off a singer who could have only made it in the 1980s. Tiffany remade “I Think We’re Alone Now”, which was more famously recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells. I have to admit that I had a big crush on Tiffany. Of course, I did not care about her singing.
Then, the unthinkable happened. Another old song by Tommy James and the Shondells hit Number One. I wonder if anyone noticed. This time, it was “Mony Mony” as sung by Billy Idol.
The lovebird duet by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes came next. “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life) was featured in Dirty Dancing. In 1987, every girl wanted to travel back to the 1960s and vacation in the Catskills. It was sickening.
Belinda Carlisle hit big with “Heaven Is a Place on Earth”. However, the end of the year ended with George Michael completely burying what was left of Wham! “Faith” announced him established him as a hit-making solo artist.
There you have it. The years of 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 were my time in high school, and the songs in these posts were the Number One hits of my formative years. I still like some of them, but, thankfully, my musical taste was not completely destroyed.