Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, January 24th

On this day in 1981: Adam and the Ants started a 10-week run at #1 on the U.K. album chart with their album ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’. ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’ is the second album by English new wave band Adam and the Ants. It was released in November 1980 by CBS Records International. This album introduced the “Burundi beat” sound to popular music. It won Best British Album at the 1982 Brit Awards. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic called it “one of the great defining albums of its time. There’s simply nothing else like it, nothing else that has the same bravado, the same swagger, the same gleeful self-aggrandizement and sense of camp. This walked a brilliant line between campiness and art-house chutzpah, and it arrived at precisely the right time – at the forefront of new wave.”

On this day in 1987: Billy Vera & The Beaters started a two week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “At This Moment.”

“At This Moment” was written by Billy Vera and recorded live by Vera and his band under the name, Billy & the Beaters in 1981 during a string of performances at the Roxy in West Hollywood (January 15–17 of 1981) and featured on their self-titled live album, ‘Billy and the Beaters’, released that year on the American subsidiary of Japan’s Alfa Records. The song is more notable for its second run on the charts years after its initial release, following a featuring on an episode of ‘Family Ties’, during which the song became a #1 hit.

When it was originally released as a single, as the follow-up to the album’s first single, “I Can Take Care of Myself” (which had become the band’s first Billboard Top 40 hit), “At this Moment” stalled on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #79 at the end of 1981.

Five years after the original release, “At This Moment” was included on several episodes of the NBC sitcom ‘Family Ties’ during the 1985-86 season as the love song associated with Alex P. Keaton (played by Michael J. Fox) and his girlfriend Ellen Reed (played by Tracy Pollan, whom Fox eventually married in real life). Its exposure on ‘Family Ties’ renewed interest in the song. Reissue label Rhino Records purchased the track from the band’s original record label, Alfa (the American subsidiary of which was by then inactive), and re-released it in its original version. The tune then began a revived chart run, eventually hitting #1 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts in January 1987. The song also hit the Billboard R&B chart and the Billboard Hot Country Chart. As the song was starting to take off it came to the attention of Ron Carpentier President of RCI Music Promotion who was hired on the promotion of the song to radio and soon after, the song hit the Billboard Hot Country Chart. It quickly sold over a million copies in the United States, becoming one of the last Gold-certified singles in the 45 RPM format. The song crossed over to the R&B and Country formats, reaching #42 Country; as country was moving away from pop influence at the time, “At This Moment” would be the last song to appear on the country charts and reach #1 on the pop charts for 13 years.


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

1 5 AT THIS MOMENT –Billy Vera & The Beaters (Rhino)-15 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 2 C’EST LA VIE –•– Robbie Nevil (EMI-America)-16 (2)
3 1 SHAKE YOU DOWN –•– Gregory Abbott (Columbia)-15 (1)
4 7 OPEN YOUR HEART –•– Madonna (Sire)-8 (4)
5 6 CONTROL –•– Janet Jackson (A&M)-13 (5)
6 8 LAND OF CONFUSION –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-13 (6)
7 12 SOMEDAY –•– Glass Tiger (Manhattan)-13 (7)
8 13 CHANGE OF HEART –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-9 (8)
9 9 IS THIS LOVE –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-14 (9)
10 11 VICTORY –•– Kool & The Gang (Mercury)- 13 (10)

11 4 WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN –•– Bangles (Columbia)-18 (1)
12 16 TOUCH ME (I Want Your Body) –•– Samantha Fox (Jive)-13 (12)
13 3 NOTORIOUS –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-13 (2)
14 20 KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF –Georgia Satellites (Elektra)-10 (14)
15 22 LIVIN’ ON A PRAYER –•– Bon Jovi (Mercury)-7 (15)
16 23 WE’RE READY –•– Boston (MCA)-8 (16)
17 26 WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME? –•– Chicago (Full Moon / Warner Brothers)-11 (17)
18 21 COMING AROUND AGAIN –•– Carly Simon (Arista)-13 (18)
19 27 BALLERINA GIRL –•– Lionel Richie (Motown)-8 (19)
20 29 LOVE YOU DOWN –•– Ready For The World (MCA)-9 (20)


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