Saturday, January 25, 1986

Marillion “Childhood’s End?” hit #1 on my personal chart

Childhood’s End?

Marillion

Writer(s): Fish (lyrics), Mark Kelly, Ian Mosley, Steve Rothery, Pete Trewavas (music) (see lyrics here)


Released: June 17, 1985 (as album cut)


First Charted: January 11, 1986 (personal chart)


Peak: 11 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): --


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.73 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

My favorite group of all time is Marillion. My favorite album is their 1985 release Misplaced Childhood. My favorite song is “Kayleigh,” the lead single from that album. While the single was released in April 1985, it would be six more months before the group would enter my consciousness. At that time, I did a weekly personal chart and “Kayeligh” became my first entry for Marillion on October 5, 1985. The song reached #2 on my charts in January 1986.

It was just the beginning. The song launched Marillion for me. I bought the album Misplaced Childhood on the basis of liking that song and the album cover but knowing nothing about the band. That week, three songs from the album debuted in my top 10 – “Childhood’s End?,” “Psuedo Silk Kimono,” and “Lavender.” Eventually every song from the album would reach my personal top 10 – the first album to achieve such a feat.

Over the 1986 calendar year, I would dip into the band’s catalog and buy their first two studio albums, 1983’s Script for a Jester’s Tear and 1984’s Fugazi. I would also pick up their 1984 live release Real to Reel and the EP Brief Encounter. Every song from those releases would also hit my top 10.

As significant as “Kayleigh” was in launching Marillion for me, it was “Childhood’s End?” which became the first of the band’s songs to actually hit #1 on my personal chart. It accomplished the feat on January 25, 1986 – the third week I owned the Misplaced Childhood album. It would only hold the spot for one week, but was the first of many of the band’s chart toppers for me.

The song was arguably the climax in the album’s concept about trying to recover from a broken relationship and substance abuse. As the ninth of ten songs on the album, it takes on the roll of the narrator’s turning point. After a particularly rough drug-fueled night, the singer finds himself coming off his trip as the sun comes up. Initially he mourns the loss of a childhood he thought had disappeared before realizing that going back to Kayeligh would only have stirred up problems again. “We segue into the hopeful resolution of his dark trip” JC as he concludes in the lyrics, “Cause the only thing misplaced was direction / And I found direction/ There is no Childhood's End.” Musically, “the band create a bubbling, optimistic ode, tingled with Mark Kelly’s poignant keyboards of regret. Steve Rothery’s guitar squeals out with a heart-rush of excitement.” JC


Resources:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Marillion
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Fish
  • JC Jon Collins (2003). Separated Out. Helter Skelter Publishing: London, England. Page 64.


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First posted 7/3/2022.

Friday, January 24, 1986

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first class: January 23, 1986

Originally posted January 23, 2012.

image from rockhall.com



The museum wouldn’t open until 1995 (“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum opens its doors: September 2, 1995”), but the first induction ceremony was held on January 23, 1986 in New York City at the Waldorf-Astoria Grand Ballroom.

The evening kicked off with Keith Richards’ induction speech for Chuck Berry. Richards said, “It’s very difficult for me to talk about Chuck Berry ‘cause I’ve lifted every lick he ever played.” RH After ripping off his tux jacket to reveal a leopard-print jacket underneath, Berry continued saying, “This is the gentleman who started it all!’” RH



In addition to Berry, the first class of inductees included James Brown, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Elvis Presley in the performers category. Non-performers were Alan Freed and Sam Phillips. Early influences were Robert Johnson, Jimmie Rodgers, and Jimmy Yancey.

The initial intent was a dinner with music provided by Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band from Late Night with David Letterman. Inductees were not expected to perform. As Shaffer told Rolling Stone in 2009, “"We didn’t want people to feel as if they had to sing for their supper, but we had brought in instruments just in case.” RS However, by the end of the first ceremony Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, and others were on stage in what has become an all-star jam tradition.




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Saturday, January 18, 1986

Alan Parsons Project “Stereotomy” charted

Stereotomy

The Alan Parsons Project

Writer(s): Alan Parsons, Eric Woolfson (see lyrics here)


First Charted: January 18, 1986


Peak: 82 US, 5 AR, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): --


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.52 video, -- streaming

Awards:

Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“’Stereotomy’ is the scientific term for enclosing scientific samples in wax and then cutting them into fine shavings. The word was used by Edgar Allan Poe in his work The Murders in the Rue Morgue which was the first detective novel.” APP The album, the ninth by the Alan Parsons Project, uses “stereotomy” as “a metaphor for the way that famous people…are often ‘shaped’ by the demands of fame.” WK This allows for the exploration of themes about how ‘the modern world molds the personality, the character, and the livelihood of the human being. People are but a slave to their lifestyle and their environment and they are destined to be thrown into this situation at birth.” AMG

While the group had experienced success with top 20 hits like “Games People Play” and “Don’t Answer Me” as well as the top-10 “Eye in the Sky,” their commercial peak was clearly behind them at this point. They only had one album left in them before they split up. While not their strongest album, this isn’t a phone-it-in album either. The title cut is a strong rocker deserving of far more attention than it received. It reached #5 on the album rock chart, but stalled at a lowly #82 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The Project used a myriad of singers over they years and in this case, they turned to John Miles for most of the vocal, although Eric Woolfson, the only mainstay in the group other than Parsons, does come in toward the end. Miles wasn’t well known in the United States, but his song “Music” did hit #3 on the UK charts in 1976. The “angriness” of his “forceful voice” makes “Stereotomy “a passable rock tune.” AMG


Resources:


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First posted 7/6/2022.

“That’s What Friends Are For” hit #1

First posted 12/15/2019; updated 3/15/2021.

That’s What Friends Are For

Dionne & Friends (Elton John, Gladys Knight, & Stevie Wonder)

Writer(s): Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager (see lyrics here)


First Charted: November 9, 1985


Peak: 14 US, 13 CB, 12 RR, 12 AC, 13 RB, 16 UK, 11 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.1 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 80.74 video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Burt Bacharach and Carole Bayer Sager, two of history’s most celebrated songwriters, combined their talents for the music for 1982’s Night Shift. The five songs they wrote for the movie were recorded by Bacharch, Al Jarreau, the Pointer Sisters, Quaterflash, and Rod Stewart. Despite the impressive talent roster, the soundtrack failed to produce a top 40 hit.

Sager had hopes for “That’s What Friends Are For,” the song recorded by Stewart. As she said, “It felt like Rod could put a little edge on the song that might make it very attractive.” BR However, she adds, “the record company didn’t want to consider it as a single for Rod because they thought it was too soft. The song quietly disappeared into oblivion.” BR

In 1983, television producer Aaron Spelling tapped Sager and Bacharach to write the theme song for Finder of Lost Loves. At Spelling’s suggestion, Bacharach reached out to Dionne Warwick to record the song. They hadn’t spoken in ten years, but Warwick had been the go-to artist to record compositions for Bacharach and then-songwriting-partner Hal David, recording 33 chart hits from 1962 to 1971 which were penned by the duo. BR

The reunion led to Bacharach and Sager producing material for Warwick in 1985. She and Stevie Wonder had just worked together on The Woman in Red soundtrack and Sager suggested the pair record “That’s What Friends Are For.” On the day of recording, Neil Simon and Elizabeth Taylor visited the studio. Sager knew what an AIDS activist Taylor was and proposed the proceeds from the song be donated to AIDS research. Warwick suggested they add Gladys Knight as a singer and Clive Davis, President of Arista Records (the company which released the single), suggested adding Elton John as well. BR In addition to singing, John and Wonder lent their respective piano and harmonica-playing skills to the song. WK

The result was a massive hit, topping the Billboard pop, adult contemporary, and R&B charts and being named the magazine’s Song of the Year. It also won the Grammy for Song of the Year. It raised $3 million for American Foundation for AIDS Research WK at a time when the disease carried a stigma for anyone even willing to discuss it. SF


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