Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In Music, December 12th

On this day in 1981: The Human League had their only U.K. #1 single with ‘Don’t You Want Me.’ The Christmas #1 hit of 1981 in the U.K., the biggest U.K. seller of 1981 and Virgin Records’ first #1 U.K. single. It would spend five weeks at #1 in the U.K. The group’s singer Phil Oakey disliked the song so much that it was relegated to the last track on their latest album Dare. It would spend three weeks at #1 in the United States the following summer (July of 1982).

On this day in 1987: George Michael started a four week run at #1 on the U.S singles chart with ‘Faith’. Taken from the album of the same name, it became the top-selling single of the year in the U.S. in 1988. The song also reached #1 in Australia and Canada and #2 on the U.K. singles chart. “Faith” went from #54 to #37, the week of October 31, 1987. It reached #1 on December 12, 1987 and remained there for four consecutive weeks. Altogether, “Faith” stayed in the top 10 for nine weeks, the top 20 for 11 weeks and the top 40 for 15 weeks

As with the rest of the album, the track was written, arranged, and produced by George Michael. It is claimed that the idea came from producer Dick Leahy’s suggestion that Michael write a rock and roll pastiche. The song incorporates the famous Bo Diddley beat, a classic rock and roll rhythm. It begins with organ played by Chris Cameron, referencing Wham’s song “Freedom”, followed by guitar strumming, finger clicking, hand-claps, tambourine and hi-hat.

The official music video for the song was directed by Andy Morahan. It features Michael, with noticeable stubble on his face, wearing a black leather jacket with ‘Rockers Revenge’ and BSA logo, Ray-Ban Aviator sunglasses and a pair of Levi’s blue jeans with cowboy boots, playing a guitar near a classic-design Wurlitzer jukebox. The music video also features parts of two other songs by Michael. The jukebox starts by playing “I Want Your Sex”, and then is interrupted by a church organ version of Wham!’s “Freedom” before starting into the song.

Here’s a look at the complete Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1987:

1 3 FAITH –•– George Michael (Columbia)-8 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 1 HEAVEN IS A PLACE ON EARTH –•– Belinda Carlisle (MCA)-12 (1)
3 4 SHOULD’VE KNOWN BETTER –•– Richard Marx (Manhattan)-12 (3)
4 2 (I’ve Had) THE TIME OF MY LIFE –•–Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes (RCA)
5 5 IS THIS LOVE –•– Whitesnake (Geffen)-8 (5)
6 6 SHAKE YOUR LOVE –•– Debbie Gibson (Atlantic)-11 (6)
7 8 SO EMOTIONAL –•– Whitney Houston (Arista)-7 (7)
8 7 WE’LL BE TOGETHER –•– Sting (A&M)-10 (7)
9 10 DON’T YOU WANT ME –•– Jody Watley (MCA)-11 (9)
10 11 GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU –•– George Harrison (Dark Horse)-8 (10)

11 12 CATCH ME (I’m Falling) –•– Pretty Poison (Virgin)-12 (11)
12 9 THE ONE I LOVE –•– R.E.M. (I.R.S.)-13 (9)
13 14 VALERIE –•– Steve Winwood (Island)-14 (13)
14 18 DUDE (Looks Like A Lady) –•– Aerosmith (Geffen)-11 (14)
15 21 TELL IT TO MY HEART –•– Taylor Dayne (Arista)-10 (15)
16 20 CHERRY BOMB –•– John Cougar Mellencamp (Mercury)-8 (16)
17 29 THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL –•– Michael Jackson (Epic)-4 (17)
18 25 NEED YOU TONIGHT –•– INXS (Atlantic)-8 (18)
19 24 THAT’S WHAT LOVE IS ALL ABOUT Michael Bolton (Columbia)-15 (19)
20 23 I DO YOU –•– The Jets (MCA)-9 (20)

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