80s Top 10 Sales- Week By Week 1986-1987


1986 already- The 80s are flying by! Yes it's back, the title says it all, a thread designed to "best guess" the sales week by week for 1986 & 87. We'll count down all the sounds of the year and hopefully generate a few "almost forgotten gems" along the way. As always thanks go to MFR, Vas tariner, Youtube, Wikipedia, MW, popscene, and a few other sources who have helped over the years. Here's the links to previous threads if this isn't your year!

1980-81 is here


1982-83 is here


and 1984-85 is here


In doing this I've tried to take into account TOTP performances and other factors which may have effected sales and chart positions throughout the decade.

The Internet can't tell me everything so I'm relying on the Popjustice oldies to throw in some pertinent facts that I may be unaware of (I was only 3 when the decade began) and to discuss the tracks. The format will be the same every week with TOTP performances where available for those songs new to the top 10. So sit back and enjoy every top 10 hit of the 80s (eventually). So by the end of the year come rain or shine we'll be done with

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Yay! I started 1986 stressing out over my O'levels that I would be sitting in June 1986. My mullet was in full flow and that 'tasche was taking place on my upper lip as were the spots on my forehead! My trousers had started to get baggy and I used to roll them up at the bottom, whilst wearing slip on shoes with no socks (heavily inspired by the Miami Vice look) - to this day I hate wearing socks!
Oh the joys of being 16 and working at Macdonalds to save enough money to start buying albums now as well as singles!
1986 began with me in the first flush of teenage love (argh) and extremely obsessed with a-ha's Hunting High & Low album. The two things may have been related.
On the music front - I remember Christmas 1985 and into New year 1986 being obsessed with:

Whitney Houston's "Saving all my love for you" and The Pet Shop Boys' "West End Girls" - will it get to number one?

My Phil Collins "No Jacket Required"/Tears For Fears "Songs from the big chair" TDK C90 cassette getting heavy rotation on my small tape player as I was busy playing ZXSpectrum+ games! My middle brother got his first home computer that summer and by Christmas he was bored with it already - teenagers Tsk! Tsk!
The singles chart of late 1985 became obsolete once I heard The Sun Always Shines On TV! I'd also finally bought my own (cassette) copy of Brothers In Arms, as Walk Of Life proved too hard to resist (I know....) - those two albums, plus Once Upon A Time by Simple Minds , were the things I played to death either side of the New Year. Oh, and going to the cinema to watch Back To The Future and Rocky IV over and over, haha.
"Back to the future" was brilliant - that's where I discovered Calvin Klein underwear (I still wear CK's to this day!)

I also saw "The Goonies" at the cinema and I still love it to this day!

I got Simple Minds "Once Upon a time" out from the library around Feb 1986 and played it to death in spring 1986!


It may have lost 17% of its sales week on week but “West End Girls” holds up better than anything else in the post festive doldrums in one of the tightest races for the No 1 spot this decade. The song has been a slow grower moving 59-40-23-9-5-4-3-1 so far making tough work in the pre Christmas market but benefits from the collapse in sales of both Whitney Houston who holds at No 2 (48,000) and Shakin’ Stevens (48,000) who drops 1-3, but The Pet Shop Boys sold a miserly 49,000 last week the lowest tally in three years, its overall tally now stands at 287,000 copies, nevertheless I’m sure they’ll be celebrating anyway.


Jimmy Somerville may have left the group last summer but Bronski Beat prove they don’t need him to have a hit single, they recruited a new frontman, John Foster, and got a nice spot of promotion when their first single in their new line up was featured in the British movie “Letter To Brezhnev” and in the Christmas episode of “Only Fools & Horses”. “Hit That Perfect Beat” has been knocking around since November but finally gets to rise as the festive hits subside, it grows 11-4 (41,000) to become the band’s third top 5 single, a second album is out in the Spring.


A-ha have a second hit single on their hands, and one that didn’t take three releases unlike “Take On Me”. The promo for “The Sun Always Shines On TV” is clearly meant to be a sequel to the former track and takes just three weeks to make the top 10 as it shoots 27-5 (38,000) though it will have to go some to match the total sales of their first hit which rebounds slightly this week 33-32 as it bounces over the 600,000 mark. The album failed to make the top 20 when it was released back in November but also responds well to a second top 10 single and blusters 50-14 this week to reach a new peak.


Hailing from Jamaica Sophia George is here to warm up the winter months with a spot of reggae in the form of “Girlie Girlie” which this week lifts 14-7 (32,000). The song was written by Sangie Davis who has helped to pen some hits for Jamaica’s other great export Bob Marley, the title of this track references his mother who spotted him hanging around a pack of girls and remarked “How you so girlie girlie”- a bit harsh maybe but he’s reaping the rewards now.


Cherrelle’s debut album and associated singles passed the UK by but she seems to be in luck with her second album as “Saturday Love” glides 21-10 (25,000). It is produced (as with her first album) by US DJ’s Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis who are fast making a name for themselves as the hottest producers around, not bad for a pair that were fired by Prince back in 1983, and talking about artists fired by Prince, see Alexander O’Neal who teams up here with Cherrelle. He was in a band “The Time” which were signed by Prince but he was subsequently “let go” and found himself a solo deal but is introduced to our charts in this duo, perhaps the purple one is cursing his misfortune now?

Madonna continues to climb 7-6 (34,000) with “Dress You Up” though it has lost sales every week as it moved 9-7-6, whilst Aled Jones finds himself dumped 5-8 (28,000) and Wham! are almost finished 8-9 (27,000) with former chart topper “I’m Your Man”.

Top 10 in pics


Yay! The Pet Shop Boys finally make it to number one!
"West End Girls" is a classic pop single

It's great to see A-ha Back with "The sun always shines on TV" - the video was filmed in Teddington, South West London which was not that far from where I grew up! Another classic single - so good in fact that U2 ripped it off with their "Beautiful Day" single 14 years later in 2000!

It was great to see Bronski Beat come back with a new singer - just a shame that they didn't have more hits later on in the decade….
w/e 11th January 1986 and peaking at number 12 is Elton John with a little help from George Michael "Wrap her up" - two gay men singing about women they admire - just what I love about the 80's:

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Being so young and vibrant back then (ahem), my charts and interests often seemed to race ahead of the "real" chart, which always moved notoriously slowly around the New Year point. Hit That Perfect Beat felt almost ancient by January 1986! And, thanks to Record Mirror's C60 tape, I'd found a newer (old) PSB single to obsess over, an exclusive remix of their flop 1985 release Opportunities (which sounded more like Art Of Noise meets Win's You've Got The Power).

The Cubster's right about Bronski Mk.II - shame they followed a pretty decent first single/hit with a ghastly failure in the shape of C'Mon C'Mon (oh the horror of the video) and an underwhelming album. a-ha, I've already mentioned, but the album's UK climb of 50-14-2 was wonderful to see. I bought it just before Christmas, as soon as I heard Sun.., and so didn't bother buying the single even though it was my #1 for weeks. I tended to buy mostly soul/pop on 7" and 12" by 1986; Saturday Love being an example (from Boots in Hounslow, haha). Cherrelle's High Priority album was another keenly ordered at the local library, and played for ages (You Look Good To Me is fantastic Jam & Lewis uptempo, edgy funk they'd perfect on Hearsay in '87).

Wrap Her Up is hilariously inappropriate for George and Elton in retrospect, although both were still officially straight at the time (or Elton was back to heterosexuality with Renee).
Hurrah! January 1986 and I was off school being ill or pretend ill, more likely. Our Telly was on the blink so I was listening to radio constantly. My obsessions were a-ha (obviously), Madonna, Pet Shop Boys, Five Star and Prince.
I don't think anything could have prepared me for how strange 1986 would turn out to be with lots of formerly big acts suddenly struggling to make it into the lower reaches of the chart.