This week in 1985 “a-ha” went to number 1 on the USA singles chart with “Take On Me,” making them the first Norwegian band to top the chart in the USA. The song reached number 1 in 27 countries and remained on top of the Eurochart Hot 100 for nine weeks.
The video for “Take On Me” featured the band in a pencil-sketch animation method called “Rotoscoping” combined with live action and won six awards at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.
Rick Astley’s ninth studio album, “Are We There Yet,” has just been released. It was preceded by its lead single “Dippin My Feet”. The album, inspired by the soul music of Marvin Gaye, Al Green and Bill Withers, was recorded at Astley’s home studio in London.
The follow up single to “Dippin My Feet” is called “Never Gonna Stop” and is new this week on RadiJohan. About the new single, Rick said:
“I am so excited about the release of Never Gonna Stop, the second single from my forthcoming album Are We There Yet? I love the vibe of it and I hope you love it too.”
This week in 1978 “Toto” released their hugely successful self-titled debut album. Both band and album were initially not well received by critics, with an article in “Rolling Stone” magazine calling Toto “the kind of dull debut you’d expect from a bunch of career session players” and lacking “at least two elements crucial to good rock: a singer and a writer.” The article went on to say that three Toto members sang “passably” while calling a fourth, the lead vocalist, “terrible.” In spite of critical opinions like this, Toto quickly gained a following, with the album reaching the top 10 in the USA, Australia, Sweden, Canada and West-Germany. The album also delivered three chart singles – “Hold the Line,” “I’ll Supply the Love” and “Georgy Porgy.” “Hold The Line,” Toto’s debut single, reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and is today considered a rock classic by many.
A song by American singer-songwriter Lesley Gore, “It’s My Party,” from her 1963 debut studio album “I’ll Cry If I Want To,” went to number 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Gore was 16 when she recorded this song, which led the media to call her “The Teen Queen.” Gore was driving when she heard the song on the radio for the first time. She had never heard her voice through a car radio before, and initially didn’t recognize it as herself, thinking somebody else had recorded her song,”
“It’s My Party” is about the discomfort a teenage girl feels at her birthday party when her boyfriend Johnny disappears, only to return later in the company of Judy, who is “wearing his ring”, indicating Judy has replaced the birthday girl as Johnny’s love interest.
This week in 1981 a cover version by Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin topped the singles chart in the UK.
American singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat’s has teamed up with fellow American musician, Sheryl Crow for her latest single. The duet, “I’ll Be Here” is an uplifting song written about 13 years ago and intended for anyone to sing to whoever they love, including themselves. Caillat’s latest album, “Along The Way,” was released earlier this week.
“I’ll Be Here” by Colbie Caillat & Sheryl Crow is new this week on RadiJohan.
Dutch quartet “Racoon” scored one of the biggest hits in Dutch chart history with their 2005 ballad “Love You More.” The band started life in 1997 as an acoustic duo consisting of singer Bart van der Weide and guitarist Dennis Huige. The following year they were joined by Paul Bukkens on drums and Stefan De Kroon on bass making “Racoon” complete. Their self-released debut single, “It’s An Ice Cream Day” got them noticed in the industry and, after performing at the Noorderslag Festival, they received an offer of a recording contract from Sony.
Racoon have scored a number of hit albums and singles in their native “Netherlands” over the last 25 years and a brand new album is now on the horizon. Their new single, “Nickel For Goodbye,” which serves as an appetizer, is new this week on RadiJohan.
On 11 October 1962 The Beatles made their debut on the UK charts with the single “Love Me Do.” John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote it in 1958 when John was 17 and Paul was 16. They made time for songwriting by skipping school. They had written songs before, but “Love Me Do” was the first one they liked enough to record. The song peaked at number 17.
In 1964 it was released in the United States where it became a number one hit. It also topped the Australian and New Zealand charts. Re-released in 1982 as part of EMI’s Beatles 20th anniversary, “Love Me Do” re-entered the UK charts and peaked at number 4.
The Beatles came very close to releasing another song as their first single. At their September 4 recording session their Manager, George Martin decided their first single should be a song called “How Do You Do It?” which was written by someone else. The Beatles were not happy but did some lackluster takes of the song before they were allowed to record “Love Me Do.” Eventually, Martin changed his mind and went with “Love Me Do.” “How Do You Do It?” became a hit for Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1964.