From 1983 and Toto to 1985 and this, from Dire Straits. (No, I’m not trying to pretend that 1984 never happened; we’ve all sung along to the most frivolous Wham! songs and felt ashamed afterwards. Get over it.)
This song, ‘Money for Nothing’ from Brothers in Arms – top of the UK album chart on this day in 1985 and the first album to sell a million copies on the somewhat new Compact Disc format – topped the US singles chart for three weeks, yet only made it as far as No. 4 in the UK. It won the year’s Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with a Vocal. The video is a classic.
1985 was, of course, the year of Live Aid and the charity singles it spawned in the wake of ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ (‘We Are the World’ and the David Bowie and Mick Jagger cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ ‘Dancing in the Street’). David, as you all know, who had been working with Bryan Ferry on his Boys and Girls album, as well as on the Legend soundtrack (at least, in the US, on the song ‘Is Your Love Strong Enough?’), would accompany him at the famed global event.
Two Eagles saw their best-known solo songs chart in 1985: Don Henley with ‘The Boys of Summer’, Glenn Frey with ‘The Heat Is On’. Katrina and the Waves gave us arguably the ultimate feel-good tune in ‘Walking on Sunshine’, whilst Foreigner’s contribution to the twelve months under scrutiny is perhaps the best power ballad of all-time. Or was that Mr Mister? (Could be a discussion for another time…?)
A few of my favourites from 1985, anyway, before I stand by to receive yours:
- The Alarm, ‘Deeside’
- The Dream Academy, ‘Life in a Northern Town’
- Simple Minds, ‘Alive and Kicking’
- The Smiths, ‘How Soon Is Now?’
- Tears for Fears, ‘Everybody Wants To Rule the World’