This week 29 years ago, Mafia boss Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and and other Mafia leaders were sentenced to 100 years in prison for racketeering; Nintendo released "Zelda II: The Adventure of Link" in Japan (it would be released in America two years later); Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame; the Richard Pryor comedy "Critical Condition" topped the box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Everybody Have Fun Tonight," Wang Chung
"Everybody Have Fun Tonight" was Wang Chung's biggest hit (obviously) — eventually hitting No. 2 in America (but No. 1 in Canada!). They'd break up three years later. BTW: "Wang Chung" means "yellow bell" in Chinese.
9. "Is This Love," Survivor
If you have to ask, it's not.
8. "Land of Confusion," Genesis
Heavy stuff here (government greed, Cold War, Ronald Reagan being very wet), and remembered well because of its inventive video and truly terrifying puppets (really, 1987? You were OK with this?). Oddly enough, "Land of Confusion" lost MTV's Video Music Award for video of the year to "Sledgehammer" by Peter Gabriel, Genesis' former lead singer.
7. "Open Your Heart," Madonna
Madonna in upbeat love song mode. She's also in exotic peep show performer mode, but hey, you can dance to it!
6. "Control," Janet Jackson
The title track of Jackson's breakout album was written when Jackson was firing her father as her manager. Good move.
5. "At This Moment," Billy Vega
You can thank "Family Ties" for this hit. "At This Moment" was originally released in 1981, but re-entered the charts (and American's hearts, apparently), when it was showcased on the sitcom as a love song for Alex P. Keaton and his girlfriend, Ellen. Yet another thing that makes Michael J. Fox awesome.
4. "Walk Like an Egyptian," the Bangles
Billboard named "Walk Like an Egyptian" 1987's biggest hit, and it was reportedly inspired by songwriter Liam Sternberg seeing people awkwardly try to keep their balance on a ferry. Sternberg also composed the theme to the TV show "21 Jump Street," so clearly he's some 1980s genius.
3. "Notorious," Duran Duran
Duran Duran as a trio! You can attribute the funkier sound to producer Nile Rodgers, who has never done anything wrong.
2. "C'est la Vie," Robbie Nevil
Nevil has created a lucrative career for himself, but not as a solo artist. He's known now for composing tons of music for Disney, including songs for "High School Musical" and "Hannah Montana." C'est la vie.
1. "Shake You Down," Gregory Abbott
No. 1 for a single week, "Shake You Down" was the debut single from Abbott's first album. It would be his biggest hit (and still makes people try to understand how the phrase "shake you down" can be anything close to romantic).Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun