Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, July 7th

On this day in 1984: Bruce Springsteen went to #1 on the U.S. album chart with ‘Born In The USA’. The album went on to spend a total of 139 weeks on the U.S. album chart. Its also one of three albums (along with Michael Jackson’s Thriller, & Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814) to produce SEVEN Top 10 U.S. singles.

Also on this day in 1984: Prince went to #1 on the U.S. singles chart with “When Doves Cry.” It would spend five weeks in the top spot.

It was the lead single from his sixth studio album Purple Rain. According to the DVD commentary of the film Purple Rain (1984), Prince was asked by director Albert Magnoli to write a song to match the theme of a particular segment of the film that involved intermingled parental difficulties and a love affair. The next morning, Prince had composed two songs, one of which was “When Doves Cry”. According to Prince’s biographer Per Nilsen, the song was inspired by his relationship with Vanity 6 member Susan Moonsie.

“When Doves Cry” was Prince’s first #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, staying there for five weeks, and was also a worldwide hit. According to Billboard, it was the top-selling single of 1984. It is certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was the last single released by a solo artist to receive a Platinum certification before the certification requirements were lowered in 1989. “When Doves Cry” was ranked #1 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1984. Following Prince’s death, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 chart at #8, its first appearance in the top 10 since the week ending September 1, 1984.

The music video, directed by Prince, premiered on MTV in June 1984. It opens with white doves emerging from double doors to reveal Prince in a bathtub, then shows him performing the song in various scenes. The video sparked controversy among network executives, who thought that its sexual nature was too explicit for television. “When Doves Cry” was ranked #52 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Here’s a look at the Top 20 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1984:

1 3 WHEN DOVES CRY –•– Prince (Warner Brothers)-6 (1 Week at #1) (1)
2 2 DANCING IN THE DARK –•– Bruce Springsteen (Columbia)-7 (2)
3 5 JUMP (For My Love) –•– The Pointer Sisters (Planet)-11 (3)
4 4 SELF CONTROL –•– Laura Branigan (Atlantic)-13 (4)
5 1 THE REFLEX –•– Duran Duran (Capitol)-12 (1)
6 8 EYES WITHOUT A FACE –•– Billy Idol (Chrysalis)-10 (6)
7 7 TIME AFTER TIME –•– Cyndi Lauper (Portrait)-13 (1)
8 10 ALMOST PARADISE –•– Mike Reno & Ann Wilson (Columbia)-9 (8)
9 6 THE HEART OF ROCK ‘N ROLL –•– Huey Lewis & The News (Chrysalis)-12 (6)
10 13 LEGS –•– ZZ Top (Warner Brothers)-8 (10)

11 9 LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY –•– Deniece Williams (Columbia)-14 (1)
12 15 MAGIC –•– The Cars (Elektra)-8 (12)
13 17 DOCTOR! DOCTOR! –•– Thompson Twins (Arista)-7 (13)
14 18 INFATUATION –•– Rod Stewart (Warner Brothers)-7 (14)
15 12 BORDERLINE –•– Madonna (Sire)-18 (10)
16 19 DANCE HALL DAYS –•– Wang Chung (Geffen)-12 (16)
17 20 SAD SONGS (Say So Much) –•– Elton John (Geffen)-5 (17)
18 11 OH SHERRIE –•– Steve Perry (Columbia)-14 (3)
19 29 GHOSTBUSTERS –•– Ray Parker, Jr. (Arista)-4 (19)
20 25 BREAKIN’… THERE’S NO STOPPING US –•– Ollie & Jerry (Polydor)-6 (20)

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