Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi was released on October 31, 1986, with Wild in the Streets as the B side. It was the second single from the band’s multi-platinum album Slippery When Wet.
The song – about a fictional working class couple, Tommy and Gina – spent four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and two weeks at No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at No. 4 on the UK Singles Chart. Continue reading
Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen was released on October 30, 1984, with Shut Out the Light as the B side. A single from the album of the same name, the song discussed the effects of the Vietnam War on Americans and the treatment of Vietnam veterans upon their return home.
The song peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was the third of seven Top 10 singles released from the Born in the U.S.A. album. The album ties Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 for the most Top 10 singles from one album.
The Boys of Summer by Don Henley was released on October 29, 1984, with A Month of Sundays as the B side. It was the first single from Henley’s album Building the Perfect Beast.
The song reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Top Rock Tracks chart. In the United Kingdom, it peaked at No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart.
Henley won a Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song.
Private Dancer by Tina Turner was released on October 28, 1984, with Keep Your Hands Off My Baby as the B side. It was the fifth single from Turner’s album of the same name.
The song was written by Dire Straits’ lead singer Mark Knopfler for the band’s album Love Over Gold. The track was cut from the album when Knopfler decided the vocals were not suitable for a male to sing. Dire Straits remade the track for Turner, with Jeff Beck replacing Knopfler on lead guitar. Continue reading
Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty was released on October 27, 1989. The 7 ” U.S. release featured Down the Line as the B side. It was a single from Petty’s solo debut album Full Moon Fever.
The song peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100. Continue reading
Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie was released on October 26, 1981, with Soul Brother as the B side. It was a single from Queen’s album Hot Space.
The song reached No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart, becoming Queen’s second and Bowie’s third No. 1 hit in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100. Continue reading
Oversized Frankie Says Relax t-shirts were everywhere in the 80s.
The single that launched a thousand t-shirts in the 1980s, Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood was released on October 24, 1983, with One September Monday as the B side. The group’s debut single, it was later included on their debut studio album Welcome to the Pleasuredome, released in October 1984.
I wasn’t even a teenager yet when the song was released, so I completely missed its sexual connotations and was oblivious to the controversy that surrounded it. I just associated it with the aforementioned t-shirts and figured this guy Frankie didn’t like to get too stressed out.
The sexually charged lyrics and explicit cover art for the single earned Relax a ban from the BBC, which, of course, only fueled the song’s success. It eventually reached No. 1 on the UK Singles chart and No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.