Charlie's 80s Blog

This Day In 80s Music, July 11th

On this day in 1981: The Specials had their second and final UK #1 single with ‘Ghost Town’. Despite being a song about Coventry, the band chose to film the video of themselves driving a Vauxhall Cresta around some empty London streets.

On this day in 1982: Phil Collen, former guitarist with the glam rock band Girl, replaced Pete Willis in Def Leppard who was fired due to excessive alcohol consumption on the job.

On this day in 1987: Heart started a three week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Alone.’

“Alone” is a song composed by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who recorded it under the name i-Ten on their 1983 album ‘Taking A Cold Look.’ It was later recorded by actress Valerie Stevenson and actor John Stamos on the original soundtrack of the CBS sitcom ‘Dreams’ in 1984. American rock band Heart covered it on their 1987 album ‘Bad Animals’, and this version reached #1 in the U.S. and Canada.

Heart released the song as the first single from their ninth studio album, ‘Bad Animals’, in May 1987. Their version is a power ballad that begins with a piano line and a subdued vocal from Ann Wilson, leading to a synth-led hard-rock chorus. Tom Kelly, the song’s coauthor and himself an experienced session singer, provided the high harmony parts on the record.

“Alone” is Heart’s biggest hit in the U.S, spending three weeks at #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in July 1987. It ranked #2 on the Billboard Year-End Top Pop Singles of 1987, behind “Walk Like An Egyptian” by The Bangles. It is also Heart’s most successful single in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at #3 on the UK Singles Chart in June. It is the band’s only song to peak inside the UK Top 5. The song was also a global hit, reaching #1 in Canada, the top five in Ireland, Norway, and Switzerland, the top ten in Australia, Belgium and the Netherlands as well as the top twenty in Germany.

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

1 2 ALONE –•– Heart (Capitol)-9 (1) (1 Week at #1)
2 1 I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (Who Loves Me) –•– Whitney Houston (Arista)-9 (1)
3 3 SHAKEDOWN –•– Bob Seger (MCA)-8 (3)
4 5 SONGBIRD –•– Kenny G (Arista)-15 (4)
5 7 DON’T DISTURB THIS GROOVE –•– The System (Atlantic)-14 (5)
6 9 POINT OF NO RETURN –•– Expose (Arista)-10 (6)
7 10 FUNKY TOWN –•– Pseudo Echo (RCA)-9 (7)
8 11 SOMETHING SO STRONG –•– Crowded House (Capitol)-11 (8)
9 4 HEAD TO TOE –•– Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam (Columbia)-14 (1)
10 17 I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR –•– U2 (Island)-5 (10)

11 21 I WANT YOUR SEX –•– George Michael (Columbia)-6 (11)
12 20 RHYTHM IS GONNA GET YOU –•– Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine (Epic)-7 (12)
13 16 GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS –•– Motley Crue (Elektra)-7 (13)
14 15 EVERY LITTLE KISS –•– Bruce Hornsby & The Range (RCA)-18 (14)
15 19 HEART AND SOUL –•– T’Pau (Virgin)-11 (15)
16 8 JUST TO SEE HER –•– Smokey Robinson (Motown)-16 (8)
17 6 IN TOO DEEP –•– Genesis (Atlantic)-12 (3)
18 24 KISS HIM GOODBYE –•– The Nylons (Open Air)-9 (18)
19 12 ALWAYS –•– Atlantic Starr (Warner Brothers)-16 (1)
20 26 THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE –•– Janet Jackson (A&M)-8 (20)

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