Monday, April 27, 1987

David Bowie Never Let Me Down album released

Never Let Me Down

David Bowie

Released: April 27, 1987

Peak: 34 US, 6 UK, 6 CN, 19 AU

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.1 UK, 2.5 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Day-In Day-Out [5:36] (4/4/87, 21 US, 3 AR, 3 CO, 17 UK, 33 AU)
  2. Time Will Crawl [4:18] (5/2/87, 7 AR, 10 CO, 33 UK)
  3. Beat of Your Drum [5:03]
  4. Never Let Me Down (Alomar/Bowie) [4:05] (8/8/87, 27 US, 15 AR, 4 CO, 34 UK, 63 AU)
  5. Zeroes [5:44]
  6. Glass Spider [5:30]
  7. Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) [5:04]
  8. New York’s in Love [4:31]
  9. ’87 and Cry [4:18]
  10. Too Dizzy (Bowie/Kizilcay) [4:30]
  11. Bang Bang (Pop) [4:28] (5/23/87, 38 AR, 31 CO)

Songs written by David Bowie unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 49:12

The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals)
  • Carlos Alomar (guitar)
  • Carmine Rojas (bass)
  • Erdal Kızılçay (keyboards, drums, bass, trumpet, violins, backing vocals)
  • Peter Frampton (guitar, sitar)
  • Philippe Saisse (piano)
  • Stan Harrison (alto saxophone)
  • Steve Elson (baritone saxphone)
  • Lenny Pickett (tenor saxophone)
  • Earl Gardner (flugelhorn)
  • Laurie Frink (trumpet)
  • Errol “Crusher” Bennett (percussion)
  • Sid McGinnis (guitar on “Day-In Day-Out,” “Time Will Crawl,” and “Bang Bang”)
  • Mickey Rourke (rap on “Shining Star”)
  • Robin Clark, Lani Groves, Diva Gray, Gordon Grody (backing vocals)


2.444 out of 5.00 (average of 25 ratings)

About the Album:

David Bowie stayed busy after 1984’s Tonight with soundtrack work, recording music for Absolute Beginners, The Falcon and the Snowman, When the Wind Blows, and Labrynth, in which he starred. His cover of “Dancing in the Street” with Mick Jagger was also a top-10 hit.

Once he was back in the studio, Bowie focused on what he considered a return to rock and roll music WK after two albums of more dance-oriented mainstream pop. To that end, he assembled a small rock group like he’d had early in his career that included guitarist Peter Frampton. Bowie himself said it was an effort to “reestablish what I used to do, which was a guitar-oriented album.” WK

He also played instruments again after focusing exclusively on vocals on the previous two albums. The result was “a jumbled mix of loud guitar rockers and art rock experiments like the failed Glass Spider,” AMG a mythological story Bowie based on a documentary he saw about black widows lay the skeletons of their prey on their webs. WK

Bowie wrote the opening song and first single, Day-In Day-Out, about his concerns about how the homeless were treated in the United States. Time Will Crawl was inspired by the Chernobyl disaster and Bowie said the vocals were inspired by Neil Young. The title track was about Coco Schwab, Bowie’s long-time personal assistant. He attributed his vocal performance to John Lennon. It has been called “one of his most underrated songs.” AMG

Bowie called Beat of Your Drum a Lolita song because it was a “reflection on young girls” being viewed as sexual entities. WK Rolling Stone called Zeroes “the most heartening and successful track on the album.” WK

Bowie described Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) as a song about people “trying to get together in the race of…disasters and catastrophes…never knowing if they’re going to survive it.” WK He sang it in a high voice, which he compared to Smokey Robinson, because it was what the song needed. WK

New York’s in Love was “a sarcastic song about the vanity of big cities.” WK ’87 and Cry was about then-UK Prim Minister Margaret Thatcher and the “distinction between the authoritarian government and the citizens.” WK

Too Dizzy was written as an homage to the 1950s. Bowie called the song a “throwaway” and deleted it from reissues of the album. The final song on the album was a cover of Iggy Pop’s Bang Bang. Bowie said, “Iggy’s done so many good songs that people never get to hear…I think it’s one of his best songs.” WK

The subsequent Glass Spider tour was “the biggest, most theatrical and elaborate tour he had undertaken in his career,” WK but, like the album, it “was commercially successful but critically panned.” WK Bowie himself was critical of the album, even expressing a desire to remake it. After his death, a remixed version of the album was released on the Loving the Alien box set.

“While it’s not as consistent as Tonight, it’s far more interesting.” AMG Spin said it was “an inspired and brilliantly crafted work” WK while Rolling Stone called it “the noisiest, sloppiest Bowie album ever.” WK Creem’s Roy Tarkin said it represented a creative low point for Bowie WK while Billboard stated it was “arguably the year’s most underrated release.” WK

Notes: B-sides “Julie” and “Girls”, along with the title track from the soundtrack of When the Wind Blows, were added to the Virgin Records CD reissue. In 2018, a remixed version of the album was released on the Loving the Alien box set.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 2/20/2008; last updated 8/2/2021.

Saturday, April 25, 1987

U2 hit #1 for 1st of 9 weeks with The Joshua Tree

The Joshua Tree


Released: March 17, 1987

Peak: 19 US, 12 UK, 117 CN, 3 AU

Sales (in millions): 10.0 US, 2.67 UK, 30.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Where the Streets Have No Name [5:37] (4/4/87, 13 US, 11 AR, 4 UK, 11 CN, 27 AU)
  2. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For [4:37] (3/28/87, 1 US, 2 AR, 16 AC, 6 UK, 6 CN, 17 AU)
  3. With or Without You [4:56] (3/21/87, 1 US, 1 AR, 23 AC, 4 UK, 1 CN, 9 AU)
  4. Bullet the Blue Sky [4:32] (4/4/87, 14 AR)
  5. Running to Stand Still [4:18]
  6. Red Hill Mining Town [4:52]
  7. In God’s Country [2:57] (4/11/87, 44 US, 6 AR, 48 UK, 25 CN)
  8. Trip Through Your Wires [3:32]
  9. One Tree Hill [5:23]
  10. Exit [4:13]
  11. Mothers of the Disappeared [5:14]

All songs written by U2.

Total Running Time: 50:11

The Players:

  • Bono (vocals, harmonica, guitar)
  • The Edge (guitar, backing vocals, piano)
  • Adam Clayton (bass)
  • Larry Mullen, Jr. (drums, percussion)


4.603 out of 5.00 (average of 23 ratings)

Quotable: “By far the greatest album of the 1980s.” – Clarke Speicher, The Review

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Throughout the eighties, U2 had built up their following, first with college radio and then, by The Unforgettable Fire, their fourth studio album, they cemented a home at album rock and started making inroads into the pop world with top 40 hit “Pride (In the Name of Love).” In 1986, “the band was the musical heart of Amnesty International’s Conspiracy of Hope tour” RS and “their newly established place in the rock elite ensured that U2 were now spending more and more time with rock legends like Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan.” Q4 Rolling Stone magazine declared of the album upon its release that “for a band that’s always specialized in inspirational, larger-than-life gestures – a band utterly determined to be Important – The Joshua Tree could be the big one, and that’s precisely what it sounds like.” RS

To enhance that sense of purpose, “the stark, black and white cover photography [shows] U2 looking like missionaries” AZ2 and “‘With or Without You’ and ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For’ could be played under a revival tent.” TL

Even with the high expectations greeting The Joshua Tree, the album was a remarkable leap forward, giving the band their biggest success – critically and commercially. Buoyed by two #1 pop smashes (“With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”) and an eventual Grammy for Album of the Year, The Joshua Tree was “U2’s most varied, subtle and accessible album” RS and served as U2’s declaration that they were the rock band of the eighties.

If U2’s third album, “War, was an exploding political bomb, The Joshua Tree is a journey through its aftermath trying to find sense and hope in the desperation.” AMG “It might seem a little ironic that U2 became superstars on the back of such a dark record, but their focus has never been clearer, nor has their music been catchier, than on The Joshua Tree.” AMG “U2…learnt to combine their multi-textured sound with the kind of melodies that fans could sing as well as sway along to.” Q4

“U2’s sonic trademarks are here: the monumental angst of Bono’s voice, the driving pulse of Adam Clayton’s bass and Larry Mullen Jr.’s drums and the careening wail of the Edge’s guitar.” RS However, “producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois turn in an austere production that heightens the drama substantially.” AZ2 They “expanded [the] innovations [of The Unforgettable Fire] by scaling back the songs to a personal setting and adding a grittier attack.” AMG “U2 dropped the theme of political freedom that dominated the music of its early career to focus on the more accessible topic of human relationships.” RV ”Never before have their big messages sounded so direct and personal.” AMG

U2 also “unexpectedly…tempered their textural post-punk with American influences…Bono’s lyrics obsessed with America” AMG and he comes up with a “pile of striking images in his verses.” JA “The band did their homework and got the sound of the country just right.” TL “Country and blues influences are heard throughout the record, and instead of using these as roots, they’re used as ways to add texture to the music…the result is a powerful, uncompromising record.” AMG

“In its musical toughness and strong-willed spirituality, the album lives up to its namesake: a hardy, twisted tree that grows in the rocky deserts of the American Southwest. A Mormon legend claims that their early settlers called the Joshua tree ‘the praying plant’ and thought its gnarled branches suggested the Old Testament prophet Joshua pointing the way to the Promised Land. The title befits a record that concerns itself with resilience in the face of utter social and political desolation, a record steeped in religious imagery.” RS

“The predominant mood here is one of self-discovery and the hunger for something more.” AZ1 The album carries a heavy theme of Christianity, although “many purists debate classifying” BN it as such despite “lyrics as blunt as ‘You carried the cross and my shame, you know I believe it’…Bono and the boys explore such spiritual concerns as hope, redemption and loving thy neighbor -- and you can’t get much more Christian than that…Even at its darkest and most disturbing…The Joshua Tree never advocates turning anywhere other than to God for comfort. The fact that a large share of the Christian music industry has snubbed the best-selling Christian rock album of all time seems somehow appropriate: as Jesus said, a prophet is never accepted in his hometown.” BN

“Where the Streets Have No Name”

”The Edge’s guitar begins the journey” RV with “the pulsating Where the Streets Have No Name.” AZ1 The guitar “goes round and round…building” AD “one instrument at a time,” RV “the drums getting louder, the rising of passion in the vocals,” AD “until it explodes into an orchestra of restlessness to match its searching lyrics.” RV

“Bono sings at or near the top of his range through out, but never more thrillingly than on ‘Where The Streets Have No Name,’ which belongs with ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ on the short-list of best album openers.” TL

“I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”

The “yearning” I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For combines with “Streets” to express “seeds of doubt within their soaring choruses, and those fears take root throughout the album.” AMG The song serves as “a crusade for religious, romantic or self-discovery.” RV

“With Or Without You”

“The album’s masterstroke, however, is With or Without You,” AZ1 “a spare, inventively arranged tune…a rock & roll bolero that builds from a soothing beginning to a resounding climax.” RS It is a “gorgeous song restoring some of the keyboard textures and beautiful sounds from Unforgettable Fire but within a more structured and purposeful song.” AD “Bono’s aching voice and declarations of obsession prevails as the defining musical moment of a decade.” RV As “a nasty love song dressed up as an ode of devotion and care, it ranks with the Police’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ as the most misread smash hit of the ‘80s.” AZ1

“Bullet the Blue Sky”

U2 do revisit their inclinations toward political anthems with the “raw frenzy” RS of “the raging, melodramatic Bullet the Blue Sky.” RS This and “Mothers of the Disappeared” “turned a jaundiced eye toward Central America and the United States’ role there;” AZ1 the former specifically “ties Biblical fire and brimstone with American violence overseas and at home.” RS “Hats off to The Edge for the fantastic guitar.” AD

“Running to Stand Still”

“The mood and vocal are beautiful” AD accompaniment to the “acoustic bluesiness” RS of Running to Stand Still, a song characterized by the “mournful” AMG and “wholly unexpected blues slide guitar, the soft…yelps [of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska], the ghostly harmonica. It sounds like a lovely, peaceful reverie – except that this is a junkie’s reverie, and when that realization hits home, the gentle acoustic lullaby acquires a corrosive power that recalls ‘Bad,’ from the last LP.” RS

“Red Hill Mining Town”

Red Hill Mining Town features “simple yet effective guitar, strong bass melodies, powerful yet perfectly judged vocals, hooks galore both lyrically and melodically.” AD The song “echoes Peter Gabriel’s ‘Don’t Give Up’ in its unsparing look at personal relationships savaged by economic hardship – here, the aftermath of the largely unsuccessful British miners’ strike of 1984.” RS

“In God’s Country”

In Gods Country “is [an] uptempo number [with] passion-filled vocals, more good guitar and [recalls] earlier U2.” AD

“Trip Through Your Wire”

On “the stomping, harmonicaspiked rocker Trip Through Your Wires,” RS which uses “country-western flavors,” JA “what looks like salvation could easily be evil seduction.” RS

“One Tree Hill”

”The surging One Tree HillAMG “has a friend in ‘Red Hill Mining Town’.” AD This “is a soft, haunting benediction on a U2 crew member who died in a motorcycle accident.” RS


Exit, “a recited psychodrama about a killer,” RS is a “superb song, dark and heavy, explosive, great drum work, and guitar everywhere.” AD

“Mothers of the Disappeared”

“The hypnotic elegy Mothers of the DisappearedAMG is “a haunting ode to…victims…built around desolate images of loss, but the setting is soothing and restorative – music of great sadness but also of unutterable compassion, acceptance and calm.” RS It is a “weird spooky song with low yet beautiful vocals, mentions of a heart beat, Bono singing wordlessly, wailing beautifully.” AD The song displays “a new, meditative maturity, coupled with an ever growing sense of social responsibility.” Q4 It is “a perfect way to close; everything comes around, we pray, and then go to sleep.” AD

“The record’s cluttered with catchy tunes, pulsing bass lines, jagged rhythm guitar parts, and soaring vocals, and it’s just impossible to dislike.” JA

Notes: A Deluxe Edition released in 2007 added a second disc of B-sides, single edits, and rarities.

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First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 8/13/2021.

Monday, April 13, 1987

Fleetwood Mac released Tango in the Night

First posted 6/4/2011; last updated 9/17/2020.

Tango in the Night

Fleetwood Mac

Released: April 13, 1987

Peak: 7 US, 15 UK, 2 CN, 5 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 2.5 UK, 13.75 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Big Love (Buckingham) [3:37] (3/28/87, 5 US, 2 AR, 23 AC, 9 UK, 17 CN, 16 AU)
  2. Seven Wonders (Stewart/ Nicks) [3:38] (4/25/87, 19 US, 2 AR, 13 AC, 56 UK, 47 CN, 23 AU)
  3. Everywhere (C. McVie) [3:48] (11/28/87, 14 US, 22 AR, 1 AC, 4 UK, 45 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  4. Caroline (Buckingham) [3:50]
  5. Tango in the Night (Buckingham) [3:56] (5/2/87, 28 AR)
  6. Mystified (McVie/ Buckingham) [3:08]
  7. Little Lies (McVie/ Quintela) [3:40] (8/2/87, 4 US, 14 AR, 1 AC, 5 UK, 3 CN, 16 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  8. Family Man (Buckingham/ Dashut) [4:08] (12/26/87, 90 US, 23 AC, 54 UK, 29 CN, 83 AU)
  9. Welcome to the Room…Sara (Nicks) [3:37]
  10. Isn’t It Midnight (C. McVie/ Quintela/ Buckingham) [4:06] (5/2/87, 14 AR, 60 UK)
  11. When I See You Again (Nicks) [3:49]
  12. You and I, Part II (Buckingham/C. McVie) [2:40]

The Players:

  • Lindsey Buckingham (vocals, guitar, et al)
  • Stevie Nicks (vocals, tambourine)
  • Christine McVie (vocals, keyboards)
  • John McVie (bass)
  • Mick Fleetwood (drums, percussion)


3.817 out of 5.00 (average of 21 ratings)


About the Album:

Tango in the Night is the 14th studio album by the British-American band Fleetwood Mac,” WK but only the fifth from the group’s most commercial roster of Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, Christine McVie, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. WK It was the last studio effort for that classic line-up and the group’s second biggest seller, only behind 1977’s Rumours. WK

Although ten years removed from that blockbuster, “this 1987 effort was inevitably regarded as something of a letdown. That’s too bad, since it's an underrated set that contains plenty of inventively catchy tunes, with a quirky sonic edge that gives the songs added sonic and emotional depth.” SS

The album “began life as a Lindsey Buckingham solo project, but by 1985 the production had morphed into Fleetwood Mac’s next album.” WK “Serving as the album’s main producer, Buckingham” AH “consistently brings out the best in his colleagues on this superb album.” AH He “gives an edgy quality to everything from the haunting Isn’t It Midnight to the poetic Seven Wonders to the dreamy Everywhere. Though Buckingham doesn't over-produce, his thoughtful use of synthesizers is a major asset.” AH

Not surprisingly, Buckingham takes the lead vocals for the album’s first single, the “eccentric, vaguely menacing Big Love.” SS That song “is a standout, as is Christine McVie’s brightly bittersweet Little LiesSS and “Stevie Nicks’ typically mystical Welcome to the Room ... Sara.” SS

“With pressure being placed on Buckingham to keep the project focused and moving forward, things came to a head shortly after the release of Tango in the Night when the guitarist announced his departure from the band on the eve of the Tango in the Night Tour in 1987. Following Buckingham’s sudden departure, two musicians were drafted in to replace him: Rick Vito and Billy Burnette, who proceeded to complete the Tango Tour in 1987-1988 with the rest of the band.” WK

“The distinctive cover art for the album was a painting by Australian artist Brett-Livingstone Strong which was hanging in Buckingham’s home. It is an homage to the 19th Century French painter Henri Rousseau, emulating his colorful jungle theme works such as The Snake Charmer and The Repast of the Lion.” WK

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Monday, April 6, 1987

Bangles “Following” released


The Bangles

Writer(s): Michael Steele (see lyrics here)

Released: April 6, 1987

First Charted: April 18, 1987

Peak: 24 CO, 55 UK, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.21 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Bangles broke through on their second album, Different Light, in 1986. The album was fueled in America by four top 40 singles – the Prince-penned “Manic Monday” (#2), “If She Knew What She Wants” (#29), “Walk Like an Egyptian” (#1), and “Walking Down Your Street” (#11). The album reached #2 and triple platinum status.

In the UK, a fifth single was released from the album. “Following” didn’t have the commercial success of its predecessors, but was a gorgeous acoustic ballad that deserved attention. It was written and sung by bassist Michael Steele, who also took the lead on the album’s cover of “September Gurls” by Big Star. This was Steele’s first original composition released with the Bangles WK and the band’s only single featuring her on lead vocals.

As a “folky acoustic ballad featuring minimal instrumentation” WK the song was “radically different from the rest of Bangles’ material.” WK Lyrically, it deals with “jealousy, paranoia and obsession that follows the breakup of a relationship” WK with the narrator stalking her ex. Steele has confirmed it was about her high school sweetheart. WK

In an album review, notes that the song “was perhaps a bit off-kilter with their other tracks.” PR It’s “slofter than anything we’ve heard so far” PR but features “some great guitar work” PR and is “a nice contrasting track” PR with “a kind of ethereal drifting sound to it.” PR


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First posted 3/16/2023.