10 Great Songs from One Great Year
1987 will always be remembered for the scandals that plagued the country. While President Reagan was embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair, more people were enthralled with two women and how they brought down powerful men. The first was Jessica Hawn, who destroyed the career (deservedly so) of televangelist Jim Bakker. Second was Donna Rice, who’s affair with Presidential-front runner Gary Hart ended his run for the White House.
This was also the year that FOX began broadcasting as an alternative to the “Big Three” networks (ABC, CBS and NBC), with shows such as “Married…With Children” and the “Tracy Ullman Show.” Of course, from that series, the spin-off “The Simpsons” were born.
This was the year the first heart-lung transplant was successfully transplanted and Prozac became the first name in anti-depressants. Tragedy took its turn with the crash of Korean AirFlight 858, caused by a mid-air explosion thought to be the work of North Korean saboteurs, Northwest Airlines flight 255 crashed upon takeoff from Detroit and PSA flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-supervisor on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
But perhaps, 1987 will be most remembered for the stock market crash and the greed of Wall Street.
The One I Love – REM
Often misinterpreted as a love song, this is just the opposite. Lead singer Michael Stipe describes this song as about using people over and over. It's deceptive because it could be a love song until the line "A simple prop to occupy my time.” Formed in
When Smokey Sings – ABC
ABC were an English New Romantic group who enjoyed 6
Luka - Suzanne Vega
This song is about child abuse. It tells the story of a frightened boy who is forbidden to talk about what he's going through. On a 1987 Swedish television special, Vega said: "A few years ago, I used to see this group of children playing in from of my building, and there was one of them, whose name was Luka, who seemed a little bit distinctive from the other children. I always remembered his name, and I always remembered his face, and I didn't know much about him, but he just seemed set apart from these other children that I would see playing. And his character is what I based the song Luka on. In the song, the boy Luka is an abused child - In real life I don't think he was. I think he was just different."
Don't Dream It's Over – Crowded House
Crowded House (and former
Isn’t It Midnight – Fleetwood Mac
Stevie Nicks was predominantly absent from the recording sessions of the album Tango In the Night due to the demands of her solo career and a spell at the Betty Ford clinic (drugs and alcohol had affected most of the band since the Mirage album). The album was therefore mostly recorded before Nicks' involvement, however she insisted that Lindsay Buckingham allow her to add backing vocals to some of existing recordings, as well as including three of her own songs: "Seven Wonders" (a top 20 hit), "When I See You Again", and "Welcome to the Room...Sara", which was written during her stay at Betty Ford. “Isn’t it ” features Christine McVie on lead vocals and although it was not released as a single, it received significant airplay and was perhaps the strongest track on the album.
Tunnel of Love – Bruce Springsteen
While not as commercially successful a single as the other single from the album (the top 10 hit “Brilliant Disguise”), this title track was my favorite from the LP. This was inspired by the amusement rides on the boardwalk of
Mary’s Prayer – Danny Wilson
Danny Wilson is made up of three brothers from Dundee,
You Win Again – The Bee Gees
After dominating the charts for much of the late 70’s, the Bee Gees seemingly fell off the face of the earth. Although oldest brother, Barry, charted well while writing hits for Barbara Streisand, Kenny Rogers and Dionne Warwick, the trio failed to make a dent until 1987’s ESP. The title came from the 1952 Hank Williams hit of the same name, although Robin Gibb said he had not heard of it. He added in 1000
Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns and Roses
This was the first Guns N' Roses song to chart in the
Just Like Heaven – The Cure
This song is about a dreamy day near the seashore with a loved one. Lead singer Robert Smith was brought up in the town of