Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, December 7th

On this day in 1985: Mr. Mister started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Broken Wings’.

 It was released in June 1985 as the lead single from their second album ‘Welcome to the Real World.’ The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on December 7, 1985, where it remained for two weeks. It was released as the band was just about to embark on a U.S. tour opening for Tina Turner. It became the first of two consecutive #1s for the band on the American charts, the other chart-topper being “Kyrie.” Outside of the United States, Broken Wings topped the charts in Canada, peaked within the top ten on the charts in Australia, Belgium (Flanders), the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and West Germany, and the top twenty on the charts in Austria, New Zealand, Spain and Sweden.

‘Broken Wings’ was co-written with lyricist John Lang, who was inspired by Kahill Gibran’s novel ‘Broken Wings.’ The song is a mix of synth, digitally delayed guitar, bass and drums. The song’s hissing intro was an effect created by the sound of a crash cymbal played in reverse.

Although the 1968 Beatles song, “Blackbird” contains an identical lyric, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly”, Richard Page has described this as “a mindless unintentional reference” attributable to both compositions being influenced by the Gibran novel.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1985:

1 3 BROKEN WINGS –•– Mr. Mister (RCA)-12 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 1 SEPARATE LIVES –•– Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin (Atlantic)-10 (1)
3 2 WE BUILT THIS CITY –•– Starship (Grunt)-14 (1)
4 5 NEVER –•– Heart (Capitol)-13 (4)
5 12 SAY YOU, SAY ME –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-5 (5)
6 4 YOU BELONG TO THE CITY –•– Glenn Frey (MCA)-13 (2)
7 8 ELECTION DAY –•– Arcadia (Capitol)-7 (7)
8 7 WHO’S ZOOMIN’ WHO –•– Aretha Franklin (Arista)-11 (7)
9 9 PARTY ALL THE TIME –•– Eddie Murphy (Columbia)-10 (9)
10 10 SLEEPING BAG –•– ZZ Top (Warner Brothers)-8 (10)

11 11 ALIVE AND KICKING –•– Simple Minds (A&M)-8 (11)
12 6 LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME –•– Thompson Twins (Arista)-12 (6)
13 16 I MISS YOU –•– Klymaxx (Constellation)-13 (13)
14 21 SMALL TOWN –•– John Cougar Mellencamp (Riva)-6 (14)
15 19 PERFECT WAY –•– Scritti Politti (Warner Brothers)-14 (15)
16 27 THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR –•– Dionne & Friends (Arista)-5 (16)
17 25 TONIGHT SHE COMES –•– The Cars (Elektra)-6 (17)
18 24 SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES –•– Eurythmics & Aretha Franklin (RCA)-8 (18)
19 28 WALK OF LIFE –•– Dire Straits (Warner Brothers)-6 (19)
20 26 WRAP HER UP –•– Elton John (Geffen)-7 (20)

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