Top Ten Tunes- 1986

Every Friday, I’m publishing my top ten songs from a single year and this week it’s the turn of 1986.

For previous top ten tunes, please click on the year: 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985

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In 1986, the trusty Sun newspaper claims that comedian Freddie Starr ate a live hamster, journalist John McCarthy is kidnapped in Beirut, rioting breaks out in Portadown in Northern Ireland between Protestants and Catholics, Prince Andrew marries Sarah Ferguson, the Commonwealth Games are held in Edinburgh, GCSE exams replace ‘O’ Levels, Australian soap opera Neighbours is launched on the BBC, Margaret Thatcher opens the completed M25, the government launches a £20million campaign to warn people about the dangers of AIDS, the first case of BSE (mad cow disease) is discovered in British cattle, the highest audience of all time for a British TV drama is recorded on Christmas Day as Dirty Den hands Angie Watts divorce papers– 30 million people tune in, a Soviet nuclear reactor explodes at Chernobyl, Comet Halley reaches it’s closest point to Earth during it’s second visit to the solar system in the 20th century, The space shuttle Challenger disintegrates seconds after launch killing all 7 astronauts, FOOTballer Diego Maradona scores a goal with the back of his hand (“the hand of God“) against England in the World Cup and the films Top Gun and Stand By Me (one of my all time favourite films) are released. And I celebrate entering by double figures.

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In case you haven’t worked this out already, you really need to get used to Madonna appearing in these top tens. What can I say, I’m a woman who had an 80s childhood- of course she’s is going to feature heavily. Anyway, here’s my personal top ten from 1986 (in no particular order). Spotify list at the end as per.

1.World Shut Your Mouth by Julian Cope

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2. You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon (so in love with 1980s Chevy Chase)

3. Caravan of Love by the Housemartins

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4. Manic Monday by the Bangles

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Another example of 80s hair magnificence

5. Don’t Leave Me This Way by the Communards

6. Panic by the Smiths

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7. For America by Red Box

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8. A Different Corner by George Michael

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9. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper

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10. Live to Tell by Madonna

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It’s so very close between The Smiths, Paul Simon and Cyndi Lauper this week, but I’m going to have to give it to my girl Cyndi. It always makes me feel emotional. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE? Answers on a cyber postcard below.

See you next week for 1987.

77 comments

  1. I am now singing “Don’t Leave me This Way” and my cat looks frightened!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phil Taylor · February 2

    My favorite is the Paul Simon song. I’ve never heard of Red Box. Were they a one hit wonder?

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 2

      Yeah pretty much. I think they may have had one other hit. I was obsessed with the song when I was a kid though. Yes Paul Simon, very excellent choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. SickChristine · February 2

    I still love True Colors. And, oh my god, I forgot about pudgy faced Madonna with the short hair. That took me back.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lisa Orchard · February 2

    My favorite has to be Manic Monday by the Bengals. I loved that song. 🙂 Thanks for taking me down memory lane! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. rachaelstray · February 2

    Another cracking list! I have to say I love True Colours – just beautiful and I think stands the test of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. middleagedwarrior · February 2

    A great year!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Denzil TheBookOwl · February 2

    That super duo Andie & Fergie get my vote. Strange clothes to wear on their way to the TOTP studio though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. letstalkovercoffeee · February 2

    Love this series! Panic and True Colors are two of my favorites ever

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Losing the Plot · February 3

    I have a special place in my heart for The Housemartins. 😊

    John McCarthy later visited Brian Keenan in Belfast, while he was sailing round Britain with Sandi Toksvig. On the way back to the port he noticed the taxi drivers shoulders shaking laughing. This was at a time when everyone was treating him with kid gloves.
    What’s so funny – he asked
    Shouldn’t you be in the boot came the reply – and so began the normalisation of life again.
    That’s Belfast for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 3

      Haha. I love it. Hope he laughed too!

      Like

      • Losing the Plot · February 3

        Yes, he talked about it on a chat show one night, he thought it was hilarious, but more than that, it helped in the recovery as it was the first time he could laugh at the whole thing

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 4

        Brilliant. I absolutely love this story. Ah bless Ireland. Humour is so utterly important.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Losing the Plot · February 4

        Off topic, I find myself mentally saying hello to you most days at the mo when the radio is on. Toto have released a new song, and it’s just like Africa, there are far too many words in it. Make me think of your playlists 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 4

        Hahaha! I absolutely love that! And I’m also going to have to check out that new Toto track. Haha always far too many words in their songs.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. angelanoelauthor · February 3

    You Can Call Me Al has to be my number one here. The video with Chevy Chase was so fun. I can’t help but tap my toes no matter where I am to this song, and the whisteling!
    Delightful.
    The Challenger disaster is a poingnant memory. For some reason I remember the “Punky Brewster” episode where she goes through all the emotions of watching the space shuttle and questioning everything more than I remember actually doing it myself. I’m not sure if this particular campy sitcom was a thing in the U.K. But definitely a part of my childhood. Seeing a character who was roughly my age at the time process what had happened was cathartic. A lesson perhaps in how we recover from national tragedy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 4

      My brother & I loved that video. We used to reenact it. We were both big Chevy Chase fans, so you can imagine how much we loved this video.

      I’ve heard of Punky Brewster, but I don’t think it was particularly big over here. I can imagine that episode really helped kids process what happened. I remember it so vividly. I was particularly upset about the astronaut who was a teacher. I remember watching the build up before take off on the “big TV” at school. Our headmaster made a huge fuss of it, so when we went into school the next day knowing what had happened there was a very somber atmosphere at school indeed.

      Liked by 1 person

      • angelanoelauthor · February 4

        Christa McAuliffe was her name. I had the same reaction. So hard for everyone, all over the world.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 4

        So cruel. Their dream finally realised only for a few seconds x

        Liked by 1 person

    • Lorna · February 6

      Another vote for You Can Call Me Al over here. And also Live to Tell. And I wanted Punky to be my best friend, ha!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. gemmaorton · February 4

    1986, the year I turned 1. Still the 80’s are some of the best in music!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Lucy Mitchell · February 4

    This year is AMAZING! I was 13 and Youth Club discos were never dull.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Gary · February 4

    Such a decade to live in; strikes, no power or bin collections, cunning ways to set your home up to withstand nuclear blasts, The Clangers, Mr Ben and an era where you could go out not only leaving your door unlocked, but open as well. Bin men collecting a small can from the rear of your home AND putting it back afterwards. And was that school work hard with exams that…oh wait after all that time saying they were getting easier are now going BACK to a previous model. No wifi or mobile phones, yo had to get out and LIVE lol

    As for music….er recognise all those, although I was into Tull, Marillion, Rush…well rock in general and Goth… Still listen to Fields of the Nephilim now !!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thebeasley · February 4

      Ha I had plenty of friends who were into Marillion, Rush et al.

      I know. I remember being allowed to run around the streets of my town with my gang of friends from a fairly young age (obviously we weren’t allowed to cross any of the busy roads), but we had so much freedom and ran and ran until we were exhausted/hungry. I think it’s so different now. Sadly.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary · February 4

        Very true, I think the world is more tech oriented and that creates a more internalised existence. Not to mention negativity fuelled news and media who only seem interested in telling us what’s wrong while missing everything that isn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 5

        I convinced that there is some kind of conspiracy to keep us all indoors, so we become inert and are less likely to “stick it to the man”. This is the kind of stuff I spout when I’ve had a few down the pub anyway!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gary · February 7

        lol, sod the pub, I do it all the time!! Dread to think what I’m like after a few pints!!! Although in fairness to equality at the moment, should that not be “stick it to the woman sitting on the fence and not making many decisions #brexit

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 7

        Very possibly, but I would argue that we’re still living in a patriarchal society & men still hold most of the power, so I’m possibly not completely speaking out of term. I take your point though. Stick it to the lizards? Maybe.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Gary · February 7

        Very true and I was not intending to create crossed wires.. I just had the image of dithering and it sunk deep in grr lol. Yes, stick it to the lizards. Good code for any of these so called politicos and faux intellects that seem to run the show 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 7

        Haha yes I totally get you.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I was the last of O levels, and remember being on a boat on the Norfolk Broads for Andy & Fergie’s wedding. As for the music…for hubby it will be Julian Cope all the way (huge Teardrop Explodes fan), but for me aghhh…can’t choose between The Housemartins and Communards!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 4

      Oh I love both of those songs so much. Good choices. I love Teardrop Explodes & Julian Cope too. I had the pleasure of meeting Julian a few years back & he was actually really lovely. Cheers Claire x

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow – he always seems a bit nuts! Ha, ha, ha

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 5

        Ha yeah definitely nuts. He also did an impromptu performance of a song he’d written about how much he hates Courtney Love haha. Still, I quite liked him.

        Liked by 1 person

  15. emilypageart · February 4

    Ha! I love it. I got to meet Wil Wheaton in college, and asked if the leeches in Stand By Me were real. Yup. Shudder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 4

      Haha. Brilliant! (Were they real ha?)

      Liked by 1 person

      • emilypageart · February 4

        Totally real. I don’t know how I would’ve handled shooting that scene without totally freaking out!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 4

        Oh my God. I would’ve been completely unprofessional & freaked out too!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. jeremy@thirstydaddy · February 4

    Top Gun and Stand By Me are all time classics, as is Paul Simon’s Graceland album. I was 12, great year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 4

      Yes that whole album is just a classic. Cheers Jeremy.

      Like

  17. Midlife Smarts · February 4

    Another blast from the past. Great memories and what a collection of hits Love the little introduction you do every week.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 5

      Thanks so much Jill. I love researching the history bit. It always astounds me how much tragedy there was every year.

      Like

  18. mydangblog · February 4

    Ah, The Communards!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. fancypaperblog · February 4

    Voting for Cyndi again ☺

    Like

    • thebeasley · February 7

      What?! I found you in my spam folder! How very rude! Anyway, yay for Cyndi! C

      Like

  20. fattymccupcakes · February 4

    Holy cow! I only know like two of these, but that’s probably because I was only 3 in 1986. I love how you add what was going on in your country that year! Super interesting for an Anglophile 😜❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 5

      Yay! You’ll be an expert on British history (from 1976 to the present day) before you know it!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Pingback: Top Ten Tunes- 1987 | Just Another Blog From a Woman
  22. music2commute2 · February 13

    Some good tunes here, but funnily enough not as good a list as I would imagine! I think I was more into heavier dance at this point in the 80’s but I have the Communards on 12″! ’86 was the year I left school…what the flip happened! Still a great post thebeasley!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thebeasley · February 13

      Time flew right past us that what happened. Yeah as I was only 10 then I imagine the heavier dance tunes weren’t my thing. What was your favourite track from that year if it’s not on the list?

      Liked by 1 person

      • music2commute2 · February 13

        Now I look at my iTunes I see that I still was into pop,but preferred dance music more. It was just the beginning of House music creeping into the mainstream. I remember going to parties and asking “Have you got any House records?” !! Certainly up there are Five Star – Cant Wait Another Minute, Farley “Jackmaster” Funk – Love Can’t Turn Around and Aurra – You and Me Tonight. However the ultimate winner has to be Nu Shooz – I Can’t Wait. Totally love that song!

        Liked by 1 person

      • thebeasley · February 14

        Now you’ve got me listening to Five Star! I used to love them. Excellent 80s dance choices there.

        Liked by 1 person

      • music2commute2 · February 14

        Love the Five Star!

        Liked by 1 person

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