Twenty-Five Years Gone — 33 #1 Hit Singles of 1988!
Looking at the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Charts from twenty-five years ago, the year 1988 if my math is correct, shows a very different kind of chart action. The year has 53 weeks, due to the last week sneaking in as December 31, but the #1 top slot is held by 33 different songs throughout the year, with Steve Winwood’s “Roll With It” holding the top slot for four entire weeks. Compare that to 2013.
In 2013, there have been only 11 #1 hits as of the Week of November 2, with Robin Thicke featuring T.I. and Pharrell’s “Blurred Lines” hanging there for 12 weeks while Bruno Mars’ “When I Was Your Man” is the only song to hold the #1 spot for one week. “Thrift Shop” by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz hits #1 in two separate streaks of four and two, interrupted by Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” for five weeks!
Listed below is the song/ artist and (# of weeks at #1) beginning with January and ending with December and then those ingenious comments that readers unanimously say are the true reason they enjoy these articles and for which I am paid beyond handsomely, more like sublime prettiness.
33) Faith — George Michael (1): The one week designation is misleading. “Faith” had been #1 for three previous weeks in December 1987. Had George not split the years, he would’ve either tied Bon Jovi’s four week streak in 1987 for “Livin’ On A Prayer” or Steve Winwood’s four week dominance with “Roll With It” in 1988. “Faith” turned out to be the best-selling single of 1988 anyhow!
32) So Emotional — Whitney Houston (1): As the third single from her second album, the imaginatively titled Whitney, it was still quite a feat to land so many hits from a single album. This song was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly who also wrote the #1 hits “Like A Virgin” for Madonna, “True Colors” for Cyndi Lauper, “Alone” for Heart and “Eternal Flame” for the Bangles.
31) Got My Mind Set On You — George Harrison (1): Of all the records George Harrison made, I can’t say I expected this to be such a big hit. But 1988 was a strange kind of year. MTV played nerf metal and veteran rock ’n’ rollers were often adrift. The Grateful Dead went pop. Neil Young couldn’t get comfortable. Bob Dylan was struggling and Jeff Lynne turned out to be doing them all a favor!
30) The Way You Make Me Feel — Michael Jackson (1): Despite Michael Jackson’s pop world dominance, not all of his hits had the lasting power of his others. Scoring a handful of #1 hits for just a few weeks at a time was his way of falling out of favor. What do you mean you haven’t sold 25 million copies? Why only an ‘A’ and not an ‘A+’? Shut up, DAD!