Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, June 3rd

On this day in 1989: Michael Damian went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Rock On.’ It would spend one week in the top spot.

“Rock On” is a song written by English singer David Essex. Originally recorded in 1973 and released as a single by Essex, it became an international hit. In 1989, American actor and singer Michael Damian recorded a cover version that went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song, written and recorded by David Essex, was released in August 1973 in the UK, and reached its highest position of #3 on the UK singles chart in September that year. It spent 11 weeks on the UK charts. In March 1974, Essex’s version reached #1 in Canada  and was a top 10 hit (reaching #5) on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. It was Essex’s only Billboard top 40 song.

“Rock On” was covered by soap opera star and singer Michael Damian in 1989, and featured in the teen film ‘Dream A Little Dream’ starring Corey Haim and Corey Feldman among others. Damian’s version, which he also released from his independent album ‘Where Do We Go From Here’ on the Cypress Records label, was a harder-edged interpretation that employed none of the vocal or instrumental distortion in the original 1973 David Essex version.

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1989:

1 3 ROCK ON –•– Michael Damian – 12 (1)
2 4 SOLDIER OF LOVE –•– Donny Osmond – 11 (2)
3 6 WIND BENEATH MY WINGS –•– Bette Midler – 14 (3)
4 5 PATIENCE –•– Guns N’ Roses – 9 (4)
5 7 I’LL BE LOVING YOU (FOREVER) –•– New Kids On The Block – 10 (5)
6 8 EVERY LITTLE STEP –•– Bobby Brown – 11 (6)
7 2 REAL LOVE –•– Jody Watley – 12 (2)
8 1 FOREVER YOUR GIRL –•– Paula Abdul – 13 (1)
9 12 BUFFALO STANCE –•– Neneh Cherry – 10 (9)
10 10 CLOSE MY EYES FOREVER –•– Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne – 14 (10)

11 14 SATISFIED –•– Richard Marx – 5 (11)
12 13 EVERLASTING LOVE –•– Howard Jones – 12 (12)
13 15 WHERE ARE YOU NOW? –•– Synch – 27 (13)
14 20 CRY –•– Waterfront – 9 (14)
15 22 BABY DON’T FORGET MY NUMBER –•– Milli Vanilli – 6 (15)
16 23 THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL –•– Donna Summer – 7 (16)
17 16 THROUGH THE STORM –•– Aretha Franklin & Elton John – 8 (16)
18 21 POP SINGER –•– John Cougar Mellencamp – 6 (18)
19 28 GOOD THING –•– Fine Young Cannibals – 5 (19)
20 9 I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU –•– Bon Jovi – 14 (1)

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