Starship – Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

Starship: Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

It was one of the most sold singles of 1987. It’s an uplifting song in the form of a duet featuring Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas, co-written by Alber Hammond and Diane Warren, recorded by the American rock band Starship. It had huge success in the US and UK (and Canada) where it hit the top of the charts and in many other countries, especially European.
The award winning single was the theme for a comedy film and was included on the Starship’s album No Protection of 1987.
The song is associated to the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL as it was used as an empowering song for the players, who won the Stanley Cup, all in 1993.
It was also used in a similar fashion in the NBA (by the Portland Trail Blazers in 1990).
Further use in heavy advertising propelled it back to number 39 in the UK in 2013.
It’s also featured in films and other advertising campaigns.

David Bowie – Modern Love

David Bowie: Modern Love

Even if the single never hit the top of the charts, it did reach number 2 in the UK and the top ten in many countries, being a definite success in the English artist’s career.

It was included in the album Let’s Dance as the third single and regularly performed in his tours.

It was re-recorded with Tina Turner and used in a commercial, and it was also featured in films, TV shows and more.

It was written, performed and produced by David Bowie, inspired by the struggle between God and man.

Mike Oldfield – Moonlight Shadow

Mike Oldfield: Moonlight Shadow

 It was one of the the most successful songs written and performed by multi-musical-instrument specialist Mike Oldfield, reaching only number 4 in the British charts, but hitting the top spot in many other countries like Italy, Norway, Switzerland and Austria, and top positions in many other countries all-over.
It was part of the 1983 album Crises with vocals by Maggie Reilly who also sang live on one occasion, while others did on different tours and shows.
Possibly inspired by the murder of John Lennon, Mike Oldfield never gave a clear answer when asked, but the events described in the song don’t match the famous shooting.
The song was and is being used in movies, shows, jingles and more, with plenty of covers recorded.

Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is a Place on Earth

Belinda Carlisle: Heaven Is a Place on Earth

 The signature song of the American artist, with which she reached the top position in the American and UK charts, and also in many other countries, and additionally top ten positions allover.
It was the lead single in her second studio album similarly called Heaven on Earth.
It was written by Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley who both took part in the recording as her backup vocalists, winning nominations and awards.

Samantha Fox – Touch Me (I Want Your Body)

Samantha Fox: Touch Me  (I Want Your Body)

Released in 1986 from her first album Touch Me, it was the debut single of the British artist, reaching #4 in the US and #3 in the UK, but hitting the very top in Australia, Canada, in Scandinavian countries and others.

The song opens the road to international success gaining further remarkable achievements with successive hits.

Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – Ebony and Ivory

Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder:  Ebony and Ivory

Hitting number 1 in both the US and UK charts, it’s one of the greatest songs of all time, not just of the eighties. It was a hit alover the world hitting the top spots in most ranking countries. It was released in 1982 by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder, who both recorded the song in studio, but individually because of conflicting work schedules. The single was written exclusively by Paul McCartney.

Inspired by racial equality issues, the song allegorically refers to the keys on a keyboard, black and white, both necessary to play a piano.

Not surprisingly, it also caused political issues, but the ban in South Africa stands out, apparently for Stevie Wonder accepting an award for the song in the name of Nelson Mandela in 1984, during the Apartheid era.

Michael Jackson – Beat It

Michael Jackson: Beat It

1983 released single from the album Thriller, written, performed and co-produced by Michael Jackson (with Quincy Jones), it features contributions by other greats like Jeff Porcaro (Toto) and Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen).

The song, and its video, received many awards and featured at the top of the charts worldwide. It was in the top 5 while another of Michael Jackson’s songs was there as well, Billie Jean.

It was not only one of the most iconic songs of the 1980s, but also in the history of pop music, and not surprisingly, one of the most sold singles of all time.

It was used in parodies, commercials, movies, TV shows and video games; it was also used in a anti-drunk driving campaign.

Queen – Under Pressure

Queen: Under Pressure

 

It was written and recorded by the British band Queen in 1981 in collaboration with David Bowie and included in the 1982 album Hot Space. Although not hugely successful in the US charts, it was a huge hit in the UK, taking the top spot (also in Canada and the Netherlands), and went on to become one of the greatest songs of the 1980s.

There are uncertainties about who contributed to what part of the song, but it appears that Freddie Mercury was the leading songwriter while David Bowie’s lyrical contribution was clear.

Other Queen members made decisive contributions, but there were struggles as how to put the song together.

 For more info: Under Pressure by Queen

Toto – Africa

Toto – Africa

It was written by David Paich and Jeff Porcaro. In Toto IV, the homonymous American rock band included the 1982 song reaching the top of the charts in the US (and Canada) in 1983, and the top positions in the UK in the same year, while having great success all-over the world.

Inspired by the suffering of the people of Africa, it was based on what was shown on TV and not direct experience from travelling to Africa.
 For more info: Africa by Toto

Roxette – It Must Have Been Love

Roxette – It Must Have Been Love

 

Written by Per Gessle and performed by Swedish duo Roxette, which also included Marie Fredriksson, it was one of Roxette’s greatest hits, reaching the top spot in the charts in the US, Australia, Canada, and many European countries, although only getting close in the UK, but lasting for weeks in the top spots.

Thanks to the worldwide success, the band was asked to contribute to the film Pretty Woman, which also turned out to be a huge box office hit, further contributing to the duo’s career.
 The single was rewritten and modified multiple times, and reappeared in the high spots of international charts, extending it’s popularity into the 1990s and again later on.