Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1987

Our survey brings us again to 1987. This was another big year for #1s, and I had to go all the way to #54 to compile this list. (A pity I had to stop there, too - we were this close to having a Kenny G song on the poll.)

What’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986

Best #1 single polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All-time

I only see two worthwhile options here: Crowded House and Georgia Satellites. Went with the local boys.


There’s a fair amount of vomitus being spewed all over the charts this year with few of these songs standing out for anything other than how bland they are. Some of these songs&artists I’ve outright despised (I’m looking at you, Richard Marx) through the years, but I was able to come up with a list of contenders…

Wang Chung - “Everybody Have Fun Tonight” - Probably the only iconic song on this list, for varying definitions of “iconic”.
Crowded House - “Don’t Dream It’s Over” - A pretty song, in another year it would not even be considered.
Chris de Burgh - “The Lady In Red” - I kid, I kid… this song sucks.
The Georgia Satellites - “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” - Fun, goofy song that was, frankly, played into submission.
Prince - “U Got the Look” - If I didn’t vote for “Raspberry Beret”, a much better song, can I really vote for this? Possibly… after all, I’m comparing it to the other songs on the list, not against his earlier or later work. But while a decent song, it’s not one I think I ever put on a MP3 player, so…
Fleetwood Mac - “Little Lies” - This is probably our last chance to vote for the Mac, isn’t it?
Suzanne Vega - “Luka” - I heard this in the past month or three and, really, it wasn’t as bad as I remember it. See what I mean about it being a lackluster year?


Wang Chung, you got it. Congratulations… I think?

Considering that the greatest singer of all time was born in this year (Kesha turns 28 tomorrow!), there weren’t a lot of great choices here. Plenty are listenable, but few really blow me away. I voted for “Land of Confusion,” one of my favorite Genesis songs. Debbie Gibson was my second choice.

“Lady in Red” finishes in dead-ass last. “Somewhere Out There” is another giant pile of bullshit.

One thing I forgot to mention: please, Lord, do NOT let “Luka” win this poll!

I went with America’s version of ABBA, simply because I’ve always loved the clarity of Christine McVie’s voice.

Had to vote for George Michael, it was his prime. In distance behind I also like Wang Chung, Chris Deburgh, Genesis, Fleetwood Mac, Bananarama, Madonna and Jody Watley. Some artists here I like, just not those particular songs on this list. The Crowded House song has worn off, I only like the intro.
George Michael slays it for 1987, year I was born.

This, only I didn’t even vote.

Crowded House - Don’t Dream It’s Over

Wonderful song.

It was a toss-up between Crowded House and T’Pau. I figured Crowded House would get plenty of votes, so I went with my favorite band named after a Vulcan. \//

I thought I knew what this song was but your post made me wonder so I searched…I changed my mind and voted after all.

great track indeed.

The 1987 me hated Crowded House. Luckily for me, I’ve grown up since and recognise Don’t Dream It’s Over for what it is: a beautiful, and beautifully crafted song. So that’s my vote this year.

What do you have against Swedish electro-pop novelty acts?
Don’t Dream It’s Over has held up better than I would have thought, but it’s still pretty bland. Wang Chung was always more fun.

No matter how much I dislike Genesis giving up on prog for commercial success, Land of confusion is a killer single (and video) and easily the number one choice here for me.

I went with Wang Chung on this one, because it’s just such a fun song, and because when I was a kid I always assumed “Wang Chung” meant something dirty and it made me giggle.

I like the sound of it, but the lyrics make little sense to me.

Am I being whooshed, or do you not realize that Christine McVie, and indeed most of the members of Fleetwood Mac, are British?

Seriously, Causing a Commotion and Let’s Wait a While charted that high?? Jesus. Is there any way we can blame Ed Meese or Oliver North for that?

Right. Things were sort of on cruise control at the programming department.
My medal stand: Don’t Dream It’s Over, Land of Confusion and I Want Your Sex. For reasons already mentioned.

Honorable mention to Fleetwood Mac.

You won’t get an argument from me. (On the bright side, this year’s wusstastic Lionel Richie offering, Ballerina Girl, was nowhere near contention.)

Early results seem to indicate it will not, Og be praised. Many of us are still looking for the sequel where Luka goes on a mass shooting spree. How can radio flog a song about child abuse so much you get sick of it…
Agree there was also a problem with overexposure on Keep Your Hands to Yourself, Wang Chung Tonight, and Hip to be Square, otherwise perfectly cromulent Top 40 pieces. And sorry, your Purpleness, U Got the Look was great to see/hear performed live but Sign o’the Times was the better record and it did not chart enough to make the poll.

Jeopardy answer: Maury Povich looks forward to doing this when he gets home after a long day’s work.
“What is wang Chung, Alex?”

Georgia Satellites, because they rock.

There’s a bunch of songs I like here, but there’s very few, if any, that I love. The one that comes closest is Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over.” But just looking over this list again, I don’t think there’s anything that would cause me to change the station except maybe for “Lady in Red.”