Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Top 100 Songs of 1986*: #20-11

We're nearing the top of the crop in our salute to The Top 100 Songs of 1986*, just in time for the big 30-year class reunion.  1986 was the year that a mishandled safety test at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union killed over 4,000 people and damaged nearly $7 billion in property.  Traces of radioactive deposits from the disaster were found in nearly every country in the northern hemisphere.  Also that year, Microsoft Corporation held its initial public offering for shares of stock in the company.

These 10 songs from 1986 have stood the test of time and continue to be ranked high in 2016:

When I Think Of You
Janet Jackson

The Control album gave us the #20 song, the #29 song and the #42 song of the year.

Sweet Love
Anita Baker

This song originally peaked at #8, although it was a strong Adult Contemporary and R&B hit.  Time has treated "Sweet Love" strong, as it has gained much in popularity since.

You Give Love A Bad Name
Bon Jovi

This New Jersey group had been opening for .38 Special on concert, but quickly switched to headlining its own concerts after the release of this song.  It was their first hit, going to #1 in the U.S. and reaching the Top 10 in eight other countries.

West End Girls
Pet Shop Boys

This song was an even bigger international hit, as the Pet Shop Boys scored a Top 10 smash in 14 countries and a #1 song in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, New Zealand, Norway and Finland.

Peter Gabriel

Although "In Your Eyes" fell just short of The Top 100* for Peter Gabriel, he lands at #16 with this one, which earned him Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.  Gabriel didn't win any of those awards, but the amazing video for the song captured a record nine MTV Music Video Awards.  As of 2011, "Sledgehammer" was the most-played video in the history of MTV.  It hit the Top 10 in 17 countries and was #1 in the United States and Canada.  

Holding Back The Years
Simply Red

Here's one of the top newcomers of the year, nominated for Best Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals at the Grammy Awards.  It sold over one million singles and helped to sell over one million albums.

Invisible Touch

We're into some of the power songs of the year now, and this one at #14 not only became the biggest career hit for Genesis; it started a string of five consecutive Top Five hits from the album of the same name.

Walk Like An Egyptian

At one time, this song ranked as Billboard's #1 song of the year and it was among The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*.  Fueled by an iconic video, it was nominated for Best Group Video at the MTV Video Music Awards.  "Walk Like An Egyptian" roared to the Top 10 in 14 countries and was #1 in the U.S., West Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, South Africa and Belgium.

Glory Of Love
Peter Cetera

One of the biggest movies of 1986 was The Karate Kid, Part II, and from that soundtrack comes The #12 Song of 1986*.  It not only was #1 for two weeks on the Popular chart in the United States but #1 for five weeks on the more important Adult Contemporary chart, as adults dominated the Rock listening segment of the population.  Cetera was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Male Artist at the Grammy Awards and Best Original Song at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globe Awards.

Live To Tell

It reached the Top 10 in 12 countries, including hitting #1 in the U.S., Canada and Italy.  Madonna recorded it for then-husband Sean Penn's film At Close Range.

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