Just Like Paradise by David Lee Roth was released on December 30, 1987, with The Bottom Line as the B side. It was the lead single from Roth’s second solo album Skyscraper.
The song was Roth’s second-highest charting single of his solo career, after his cover of The Beach Boys’ California Girls, released in 1984. California Girls peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Just Like Paradise reached No. 6. Just Like Paradise was also a Top 10 hit in Canada, peaking there at No. 8. It reached No. 27 on the UK Singles chart.
The music video featured stage performance footage interspersed with footage of Roth climbing the famous Half Dome of Yosemite mountain. A photo of Roth climbing the mountain appeared on the picture sleeve of the single’s release.
Jump by Van Halen was released on December 21, 1983, with House of Pain as the B side. It was the lead single from the band’s sixth studio album 1984 – their last with David Lee Roth as lead singer.
The song was Van Halen’s first to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and their only No. 1 hit with Roth as lead singer. It was also a No. 1 hit in Canada and Italy. It reached No. 7 on the UK Singles chart.
The music video for Jump, considered ground-breaking at the time, won an MTV Video Music Award in 1984 for Best Stage Performance.
Black Velvet by Alannah Myles was released in the United States on December 17, 1989, with If You Want To as the B side. It was a single from the Canadian singer’s self-titled debut album.
The song, about Elvis Presley, was a No. 1 hit for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached No. 2 on the UK Singles chart and No. 10 in Myles’ native Canada.
Myles won a Grammy award for Best Female Rock Performance for Black Velvet.
Only in My Dreams by Debbie Gibson was released on December 16, 1986, with Only in My Dreams (Dub) as the B side. It was Gibson’s debut single. It later appeared on her debut album Out of the Blue, released on August 18, 1987.
The song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the summer of 1987. It peaked at No. 11 on the UK Singles chart.
Last Christmas by Wham! was released on December 10, 1984, on a double-A side with the single Everything She Wants, from the Make It Big album. Two years after its release as a single, Last Christmas appeared on two Wham! album releases – The Final, a compilation album released in the United Kingdom; and Music from the Edge of Heaven, considered the duo’s third studio album, released in North America and Japan.
In the United Kingdom, Last Christmas reached No. 2 on the UK Singles chart, behind Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas? to which George Michael contributed vocals. Wham! donated all of their Last Christmas/Everything She Wants royalties to famine in Ethiopia, which sales of Do They Know It’s Christmas? benefited as well.
Last Christmas is the biggest selling single in UK chart history not to reach No. 1.
We’re feeling festive here at Into the Groove, and what better way to get into the holiday spirit than with Christmas songs from our favorite decade? So grab a pair of leg warmers and a cup of hot chocolate, and check out side A of the Ultimate 80s Christmas Grooves mixtape.
1. Christmas Time by Bryan Adams
Christmas Time by Bryan Adams is one of my favorites from the 1980s. The single was released on clear, green vinyl in 1985, with Reggae Christmas as the B side – another great 80s Christmas song. If we’re strictly going by music videos, you can’t beat the one for Reggae Christmas, filmed in the MTV studios with special guest Pee-Wee Herman.
2. Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid
What can I say about the gold standard, be-all end-all of 80s Christmas songs? This song meant so much to me that I still remember buying the 12″ version in Sam Goody while Christmas shopping with my mom at the local mall – and I still have that same record I bought 32 years ago. I also still remember the excitement of watching the song’s music video and seeing footage of all my favorite artists arriving to record the song together.
Axel F by Harold Faltermeyer was released in the United States on December 5, 1984, with Shoot Out as the B side. The instrumental song appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Beverly Hills Cop and was named after the movie’s title character, Axel Foley, played by Eddie Murphy. It also appears as a bonus track on Faltermeyer’s album Harold F. Faltermeyer was the musical director for Beverly Hills Cop.
The song was an international success. It was a Top 5 hit around the world, reaching No. 1 in several countries, including Canada, Ireland, and the Netherlands. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart at No. 3 in the United States and the UK Singles chart at No. 2.
The Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack won a Grammy for Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special.