Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Top 100 Songs of 1986*: #40-31

In 1986, Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev introduced two keywords in a speech, Glasnost (government transparency) and Perestroika (restructuring of the Soviet political and economic system).  Meanwhile, The Voyager 2 space probe came within 50,000 miles of Uranus and Pixar opened studios in California.  The Boston Celtics, whom many consider one of the best teams in National Basketball Association history, won a franchise record 67 games in the regular season, then topped the Houston Rockets in six games to win the NBA Championship.  Boston featured Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Bill Walton in their front court rotation.

In music, these 10 songs are among those that are still the strongest 30 years later:


Manic Monday

At #40, one of the best songs that the late Prince wrote.  The Bangles created quite a buzz with their album Different Light.  The group became arguably the biggest self-contained female group of the Rock Era (by self-contained, we mean a group that writes the majority of their songs and sings and plays all the instruments on their songs.)


The Sweetest Taboo
Here's a #5 song from early in the year that, like the artist who recorded it, continues to grow in popularity. Airplay, sales and YouTube numbers continue to be strong for Sade and "The Sweetest Taboo".


Small Town
John Cougar Mellencamp

1986 was a great year for this artist, who was in transition from his stage name of John Cougar to his real name of John Mellencamp.  In addition to the big hits at #38 and #34 below, the Cougar Man came up with the album of his career, Scarecrow.  Check out the four solid tracks from the album we featured in the Prelude*.  We believe that all four are better than many of the songs still ranked in The Top 100 for 1986*, a relatively weak year that could have perhaps been a little stronger if those tracks were well known.


The Next Time I Fall
Amy Grant & Peter Cetera

At #37, a #1 song from one of the most successful Gospel singers of all-time and the lead singer of one of the top groups of all-time.


True Colors
Cyndi Lauper

Here's one of the last big hits for this star from Queens, New York.  It sold over two million copies and earned Cyndi a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance.


Words Get In The Way
Gloria Estefan & the Miami Sound Machine

At #35, one of the most beloved female stars of our lifetime, a star so bright that after 1986, she received full billing while the Miami Sound Machine served as her backing band.  This is the song that largely catapulted her as a major recording artist.


R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.
John Cougar Mellencamp

At #34, Mellencamp's salute to '60s music.  He mentions several of the top acts of the decade in this big hit.


Life In A Northern Town
Dream Academy

Music is fascinating because each year, we get to hear completely new acts.  This group burst on the scene in 1986 and showed considerable promise.  Although they also gave us another quality song ("The Love Parade", heard in the Prelude*), they never generated anything as good as this one.


Dancing On The Ceiling
Lionel Richie

While this song has slipped over the years, Lionel Richie is still one of the biggest stars among adults in the Rock Era, and it is that support which continues to hold the song at #32.


Take Me Home
Phil Collins

When you combine his work with Genesis along with his solo releases, Phil Collins was as hot as nearly anyone in the '80s.  In the years that followed, it was the song of choice for encores from Collins in concert.

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