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The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Top 100 Songs of 1988
"Need You Tonight," INXS; "Welcome To The Jungle," Guns' N' Roses; "Foolish Beat," Debbie Gibson

1. "Need You Tonight," INXS
2. "Look Away," Chicago
3. "Roll With It," Steve Winwood
4. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," Poison
5. "Got My Mind Set On You," George Harrison
6. "So Emotional," Whitney Houston
7. "Seasons Change," Expose
8. "Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley," Will to Power
9. "Could've Been," Tiffany
10. "Never Gonna Give You Up," Rick Astley
11. "Sweet Child Of Mine," Guns 'n' Roses
12. "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car," Billy Ocean
13. "The Flame," Cheap Trick
14."Giving You The Best That I Got," Anita Baker
15. "Waiting For A Star To Fall," Boy Meets Girl
16. "Hands To Heaven," Breathe
17. "How Can I Fall?" Breathe
18. "Anything For You," Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
19. "Wishing Well," Terence Trent D'Arby
20. "Hungry Eyes," Eric Carmen
21. "Wild, Wild West," Escape Club
22. "Hold On To The Nights," Richard Marx
23. "Man In The Mirror," Michael Jackson
24. "Love Bites," Def Leppard
25. "Where Do Broken Hearts Go," Whitney Houston
26. "One More Try," George Michael
27. "Groovy Kind Of Love," Phil Collins
28. "Father Figure," George Michael
29. "Bad Medicine," Bon Jovi
30. "Don't Worry Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
31. "Devil Inside," INXS
32. "Pour Some Sugar On Me," Def Leppard
33. "Simply Irresistible," Robert Palmer
34. "Hazy Shade Of Winter," Bangles
35. "I'll Always Love You," Taylor Dayne
36. "Endless Summer Nights," Richard Marx
37. "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)," Samantha Fox
38. "Angel," Aerosmith
39. "The Way You Make Me Feel," Michael Jackson
40. "Foolish Beat," Debbie Gibson
41. "Tell It To My Heart," Taylor Dayne
42. "Red Red Wine," UB40
43. "Together Forever," Rick Astley
44. "Kokomo," Beach Boys
45. "Monkey," George Michael
46. "Shattered Dreams," Johnny Hates Jazz
47. "I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That," Elton John
48. "Make Me Lose Control," Eric Carmen
49. "She's Like The Wind," Patrick Swayze & Wendy Fraser
50. "Make It Real," The Jets

"Bad Medicine," Bon Jovi; "Love Bites," Def Leppard; "Could've Been," Tiffany

51. "The Loco-Motion," Kylie Minogue
52. "I Don't Want Your Love," Duran Duran
53. "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)," Information Society
54. "Girlfriend," Pebbles
55. "If It Isn't Love," New Edition
56. "I Want To Be Your Man," Roger
57. "Dirty Diana," Michael Jackson
58. "Walk On Water," Eddie Money
59. "Candle In The Wind," Elton John
60. "Don't Be Cruel," Bobby Brown
61. "Out Of The Blue," Debbie Gibson
62. "Desire," U2
63. "I Get Weak," Belinda Carlisle
64. "I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love," Chicago
65. "What Have I Done To Deserve This?" Pet Shop Boys w/ Dusty Springfield
66. "Sign Your Name," Terence Trent D'Arby
67. "Perfect World," Huey Lewis and the News
68. "Mercedes Boy," Pebbles
69. "1-2-3," Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
70. "New Sensation," INXS
71. "Welcome To The Jungle," Guns 'n' Roses
72. "Everything Your Heart Desires," Hall & Oates
73. "Don't Be Cruel," Cheap Trick
74. "One Good Woman," Peter Cetera
75. "Pink Cadillac," Natalie Cole
76. "Always On My Mind," Pet Shop Boys
77. "Rocket 2 U," The Jets
78. "Fast Car," Tracy Chapman
79. "I Want Her," Keith Sweat
80. "Say You Will," Foreigner
81. "Electric Blue," Icehouse
82. "Nite And Day," Al B. Sure!
83. "When It's Love," Van Halen
84. "The Promise," When In Rome
85. "I Still Believe," Brenda K. Starr
86. "The Valley Road," Bruce Hornsby and the Range
87. "I Don't Want To Live Without You," Foreigner
88. "One Moment In Time," Whitney Houston
89. "Valerie," Steve Winwood
90. "Cherry Bomb," John Cougar Mellencamp
91. "I Hate Myself For Loving You," Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
92. "Just Like Paradise," David Lee Roth
93. "Prove Your Love," Taylor Dayne
94. "Piano In The Dark," Brenda Russell
95. "Never Tear Us Apart," INXS
96. "Nothin' But A Good Time," Poison
97. "Circle In The Sand," Belinda Carlisle
98. "Don't Shed A Tear," Paul Carrack
99. "Wait," White Lion
100. "Nobody's Fool," Kenny Loggins


1988's Number Ones
(Includes the date the song reached the top of Billboard's Hot 100, and the duration of its stay there.)

"So Emotional," Whitney Houston
9 January 1988/1 week
This was Houston's sixth consecutive #1 song (if you don't count "Thinking About You," which Arista released as a single, but not to mainstream pop radio stations.) It was, either way, the sixth chart-topper from the artist's debut album. Written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly ("Like A Virgin", "True Colors") as a much more funky, Prince-oriented song than it turned out to be, this was the last track recorded for the Whitney LP.

"Got My Mind Set On You," George Harrison
16 January 1988/1 week
Since his first #1 reached the top of the Hot 100 in February 1964, this chart-topper gave the former Beatle the distinction of having the longest span of #1 singles in the rock era, beating Bill Medley's record set only a few weeks earlier. This was a cover of a James Ray song written by a former mailman named Rudy Clark; Harrison had first heard the song back in 1963.

"The Way You Make Me Feel," Michael Jackson
23 January 1988/1 week
The third consecutive #1 hit from Jackson's Bad album was also the artist's ninth solo chart-topper and his seventh #1 single of the 1980s -- the most number ones of the decade by any artist, to date. He also became only the fourth male vocalist of the rock era to have three consecutive #1's. The song set yet another record, this one for Quincy Jones, who became the producer with the longest span of #1 singles. (His first had been Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" in 1963.)

"Need You Tonight," INXS
30 January 1988/1 week
With this song INXS became only the third Australian act to top the American Hot 100. (The others: Air Supply in 1981 with "The One That You Love" and Men at Work, twice, with "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under.") Michael Hutchence and fellow band members were in Hong Kong when the song came to them; they found a small studio and recorded it, along with four or five others.

"Could've Been," Tiffany
6 February 1988/2 weeks
When this song topped the chart, 17-year-old Tiffany became the youngest female singer to have two consecutive #1's since Brenda Lee in 1960. "Could've Been" was cut as a demo by L.A. songwriter Lois Blaisch, and peddled by producer George Tobin to numerous female performers via another demo done by Tiffany. It could have been Blaisch's #1 rather than Tiffany's, except that the former turned down a production deal offered by Tobin.

"Seasons Change," Expose
20 February 1988/1 week
The female trio known as Expose was the brainchild of a Cuban-born Miami DJ named Lewis A. Martinez, who hired three session singers to record "Point Of No Return," a hit in Miami dance clubs. When Arista got set to record the group's first album, the three original singers were fired and three new singers -- Jeanette Jurado, Giola Bruno and Ann Curless were signed. "Seasons Change" made Expose the first group in history to have four consecutive Top Ten hits off a debut album.

"Father Figure," George Michael
27 February 1988/2 weeks
This was Michael's sixth #1, including the three he earned as half of the group Wham! The artist was determined to make a distinct break from the "bubblegum" image he'd acquired with Wham!, and believed that of all the songs on his Faith album, "Father Figure" was the most original sounding. The song entered the Hot 100 on 16 January, the highest debut that week, and was at the top of the chart a short six weeks later.

"Never Gonna Give You Up," Rick Astley
12 March 1988, 2 weeks
Working as a tape operator for Pete Waterman's PWL company, Astley spent nearly a year learning the engineering profession before getting his chance to record "Never Gonna Give You Up" in late 1986. Waterman and partners Mike Stock and Matt Aitken held onto the record until they thought the time was right for a new artist. RCA released the single in July 1987, and the song soared to the top of the UK chart, where it stayed for five weeks and became Britain's #1 single of the year.

"Man In The Mirror," Michael Jackson
26 March 1988/2 weeks
This song gave Jackson the distinction of being the only solo artist in chart history to have four #1 singles off the same album. And Bad joined Saturday Night Fever as the only album to yield four chart-toppers. "Man In The Mirror" was written by Siedah Garrett, who had sung with Jackson on the album's first single, "I Just Can't Stop Loving You." (Glen Ballard was Garrett's collaborator.) It was one of only two songs on Bad that wasn't written by Jackson himself.

"Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car," Billy Ocean
9 April 1988/2 weeks
Produced and co-written with the artist by Robert John "Mutt" Lange, who had also worked with Ocean on "When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going," this song was the artist's third #1 single. The title caused controversy in the UK, where some thought it might encourage men to pick up prostitutes(!) Oddly, all three of Ocean's #1's to this point had eight words in the title. (The other two: "Caribbean Queen (No More Love On The Run)" and "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)".

"Where Do Broken Hearts Go," Whitney Houston
23 April 1988/2 weeks
With this, her seventh consecutive single to top the charts, Houston broke the record of six previously set by The Beatles and the Bee Gees. Written by Frank Wildhorn and Chuck Jackson, it was one of the first songs chosen by Clive Davis for Houston's debut album, and Arista put a hold on the tune even though artists like Smokey Robinson were bidding to record it.

"Wishing Well," Terence Trent D'Arby
7 May 1988/1 week
As a child, D'Arby was forbidden to listen to any music save gospel, but when he HEARD a friend's record of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson Five, he knew where his future lay. Discharged from the US Army for going AWOL to play a gig, D'Arby ended up in Britain with producer Martyn Ware (Heaven 17), and a debut album that the singer, not one for false modesty, called "the most brilliant...from any artist this decade."

"Anything For You," Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
14 May 1988/1 week
This ballad, penned by Gloria Estefan, was the Miami Sound Machine's first #1 single -- and the last song recorded for the Let It Loose album. "Anything For You" was recorded in three different versions: all-English, all-Spanish, and a combination called Spanglish.

"One More Try," George Michael
28 May 1988/3 weeks
Michael's seventh career chart-topper, and the third consecutive #1 from his Faith album, "One More Try" was a ballad that the artist described as "the best thing I've ever done." It was also produced by Michael, who was quickly establishing himself as a first-rate songwriter, arranger, producer and performer in his own right.

"Together Forever," Rick Astley
18 June 1988/1 week
The second #1 off Astley's debut album was written by producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman as an obvious follow-up to the hit "Never Gonna Give You Up." The trio first teamed up in 1984 and produced a string of hits for artists like Bananarama ("Venus"), Samantha Fox ("Touch Me...") and even the female impersonator Divine ("You Think You're A Man").

"Foolish Beat," Debbie Gibson
25 June 1988/1 week
With "Foolish Beat" Gibson became the second artist born in the '70s to have a #1 single. (Tiffany was the first.) Gibson also became the youngest female artist to write, record and produce a chart-topper. This was the fourth single from her debut album, Out of the Blue -- the other three made it to the Top Ten: "Out Of The Blue," (# 3) "Shake Your Love" (#4) and "Only In My Dreams" (#4). When George Michael didn't respond to Gibson's request to produce "Foolish Beat," she did it herself.

"Dirty Diana," Michael Jackson
2 July 1988/1 week
When this song about rock star groupies went to the top of the Hot 100, Jackson became the first artist in chart history to have five #1 singles from one album. It would be the end of the run; the next single released  by Epic, "Another Part Of Me," stalled at #11, becoming the first Michael Jackson single not to make it into the Top Ten since his debut with Epic in 1979.

"The Flame," Cheap Trick
9 July 1988/2 weeks
The members of the band didn't like this song when they first heard the demo, but producer Richie Zito insisted. Written by Bob Mitchell and Nick Graham for British singer Elkie Brooks -- who also didn't like it -- the tune became the first single from Cheap Trick's Lap of Luxury, and the band's first Top Ten hit since "I Want You To Want Me" in 1979 (# 7).

"Hold On To The Nights," Richard Marx
23 July 1988/1 week
This was the fourth single from the artist's debut album. The other three were all Top Ten hits -- "Don't Mean Nothing" (# 3), "Should've Known Better" (# 3) and "Endless Summer Nights" (# 2). A  backup singer for Lionel Richie, Marx had a tough time getting a record deal; nearly every label turned him down until he auditioned for Bobby Colomby of Manhattan Records. The rest, as they say, is history.

"Roll With It," Steve Winwood
30 July 1988/4 weeks
This song had the longest stay at the top of the chart as any single in 1988. Written by Winwood and Will Jennings, this southern rock-inspired tune featured trumpeter Wayne Jackson and saxophonist Andrew Love of the Memphis Horns. "Roll With It" was the first release (and title track) from Winwood's first album for Virgin. The others: "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do?" (# 6) and "Holding On" (# 11).

"Monkey," George Michael
27 August 1988/2 weeks
This was the fourth consecutive # 1 hit from Michael's Faith album. The previous three had been produced by the artist himself, but this track was placed in the hands of Minneapolis-based Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who'd had a couple of previous # 1's to their credit -- Janet Jackson's "When I Think Of You" and the Human League's "Human." The song had the distinction of being the first single in Columbia Records' history to be released in six configurations: two on vinyl, two on cassette, and two on disc.

"Sweet Child O' Mine," Guns 'N' Roses
10 September 1988/2 weeks
The song was inspired by Axl Rose's girlfriend, Erin Everly, daughter of Don Everly (of the Everly Brothers), and the single was an edited version of the track on Appetite for Destruction. Axl and Erin were married in April, 1990; a few weeks later, Rose filed for divorce, citing irreconcilable differences. The lead singer described his relationship with Erin as "extremely volatile."

"Don't Worry, Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
24 September 1988/2 weeks
The first a capella song to reach the top of the Hot 100, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" was grabbed up for the soundtrack of the Tom Cruise film Cocktail. It was also appropriated as a campaign song by Republican presidential candidate George Bush, which didn't sit well with McFerrin, a devoted Democrat. At about the time the song went to # 1 there was massive flooding in parts of Texas, and newsreels captured victims on the rooftops of flooded houses holding up signs reading Don't Worry, Be Happy.

"Love Bites," Def Leppard
8 October 1988/1 week
Between 1983's Pyromania and 1987's Hysteria, Def Leppard had to overcome numerous crises -- vocalist Joe Elliott caught the mumps and lost his voice, producer Mutt Lange broke his kneecap in a car accident, and drummer Rick Allen lost his left arm after rolling his Corvette. Nonetheless, the British band had their first chart-topper with this ballad, the fifth release from Hysteria.

"Red Red Wine," UB40
15 October 1988/1 week
This song first appeared in the Hot 100 in 1968, when its writer, Neil Diamond, released it as a single. It peaked at # 62. The following year, Jamaican artist Tony Tribe got to UK#46 with it. In 1984, UB40 released it as a single, and it peaked at # 34. But in 1988, thanks to program director Guy Zapoleon of Phoenix's KZZP-FM, who put the tune in full-time rotation, the song grabbed the public's attention and went to the top of the chart.

"Groovy Kind Of Love," Phil Collins
22 October 1988/2 weeks
Thanks to his guest starring role in a Miami Vice episode, Phil Collins was offered the lead role in a film entitled Buster, and reluctantly agreed to be involved in the soundtrack. When he heard a demo of "Groovy Kind of Love" by Stephen Bishop, Collins knew it was perfect for the movie, and persuaded Bishop to let him record it. The song was written by Toni Wine, who was signed by MGM Records as a songwriter at age 15 and shortly thereafter teamed with Carole Bayer [Sager]; "Groovy Kind Of Love" became a Top Ten hit for the Mindbenders in 1966.

"Kokomo," Beach Boys
5 November 1988/1 week
The Beach Boys hadn't had a Top Ten hit since 1976, or a # 1 single since 1966, and weren't even signed by a record label in 1988. But "Kokomo" became the fourth chart-topper for the band as a result of its inclusion on the Cocktail soundtrack. That gave the Beach Boys the new record for the longest span of #1's  in the rock era -- 24 years and four months, beating the previous record-holder George Harrison (see above).

"Wild Wild West," The Escape Club
12 November 1988/1 week
When the British quartet known as The Escape Club recorded this song for their second album, execs with the group's label, EMI, told them it wouldn't be a hit. So the band went in search of another record company, and found Atlantic.The song is about life in the modern "West" of conservative icons Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.

"Bad Medicine," Bon Jovi
19 November 1988/2 weeks
Slippery When Wet, which sold over 13 million copies, was a hard act to follow, but Bon Jovi got the ball rolling with this release from their fourth album, New Jersey. Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora once again collaborated with songwriter Desmond Child; this was the same trio responsible for the band's first two chart-toppers, "You Give Love A Bad Name" and "Livin' On A Prayer."

"Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)," Will to Power
3 December 1988/1 week
When Miami mobile DJ Bob Rosenberg teamed up with another DJ named Dr. J and Suzi Carr, who had written songs for Miami Sound Machine, and snared a record deal with Epic Records, company execs advised him not to mix Peter Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird." But Rosenberg did it anyway, circulating the track to several Miami radio stations. When the song caught on, Epic released it as a single.

"Look Away," Chicago
10 December 1988/2 weeks
Chicago 19 was the band's first album following the departure of lead singer Peter Cetera, and the first three singles from that album featured the vocals of Bill Champlin, giving the venerable group a somewhat different sound. "Look Away" was the second of those three tracks, and the only one to reach the top of the chart. ("I Don't Wanna Live Without Your Love" peaked at # 3 and "You're Not Alone" made it to # 10.)

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn," Poison
24 December 1988/2 weeks
Poison had been turned down by every major record label when ever-adventurous Enigma signed them in 1986.  They made their chart debut with "Talk Dirty To Me" in 1987, which peaked at # 9. Their next single, "Nothin' But A Good Time," climbed to # 6 in July 1988. "Fallen Angel," the second release from their second album, Open Up and Say...Aah!, climbed to # 12 in October. The band got its first # 1 with "Every Rose Has Its Thorn," an acoustic ballad.


1988's Top 50 in the UK
* Number One songs

Jason Donovan, Kylie Minogue, Yazz

1. "Mistletoe and Wine," Cliff Richard*
2. "The Only Way Is Up," Yazz & The Plastic Population*
3. "I Should Be So Lucky," Kylie Minogue*
4. "Especially For You," Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan*
5. "I Think We're Alone Now," Tiffany*
6. "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You," Glenn Medeiros*
7. "A Groovy Kind Of Love," Phil Collins*
8. "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother," The Hollies*
9. "With A Little Help From My Friends"/"She's Leaving Home," Wet Wet Wet/Billy Bragg*
10. "Teardrops," Womack & Womack
11. "The Loco-Motion," Kylie Minogue
12. "The First Time," Robin Beck*
13. "Perfect," Fairground Attraction*
14. "One Moment In Time," Whitney Houston*
15. "Push It"/"Tramp," Salt 'N' Pepa
16. "Suddenly," Angry Anderson
17. "Heaven Is A Place On Earth," Belinda Carlisle*
18. "Orinoco Flow," Enya*
19. "Theme From S-Express," S-Express*
20. "Je Ne Sais Pais Pourquoi," Kylie Minogue
21. "Got To Be Certain," Kylie Minogue
22. "The Harder I Try," Brother Beyond
23. "Tell It To My Heart," Taylor Dayne
24. "Crackers International," Erasure
25. "I Owe You Nothing," Bros*
26. "Heart," The Pet Shop Boys*
27. "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car," Billy Ocean
28. "Don't Turn Around," Aswad*
29. "Nothing Can Divide Us," Jason Donovan
30. "Beat Dis," Bomb the Bass
31. "Drop The Boy," Bros
32. "Sign Your Name," Terence Trent D'Arby
33. "The Twist (Yo Twist)," The Fat Boys & Chubby Checker
34. "When Will I Be Famous?" Bros
35. "Boys (Summertime Love)," Sabrina
36. "House Arrest," Krush
37. "You Came," Kim Wilde
38. "Lonely Day (Sunshine Mix)," Bill Withers
39. "I Need You," B.V.S.M.P.
40. "Girl, You Know It's True," Milli Vanilli
41. "Stand Up For Your Love Rights," Yazz
42. "Cat Among The Pigeons"/"Silent Night," Bros
43. "Don't Worry, Be Happy," Bobby McFerrin
44. "Hands To Heaven," Breathe
45. "Desire," U2*
46. "A Little Respect," Erasure
47. "Big Fun," Inner City featuring Kevin Saunderson
48. "Love Changes (Everything)," Climie Fisher
49. "Together Forever," Rick Astley
50. "Missing You," Chris DeBurgh