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The re-issue craze of 1989

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by torcan, May 23, 2013.

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  1. torcan

    torcan Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I love looking at old Billboard charts, and one thing I've always been fascinated with is the re-issue craze of the 1988-89 time period. During that time, over a dozen old songs were given new life with a second run on the charts.

    It really started with UB40's "Red Red Wine", which hit No. 34 in 1984, was re-released with an extended rap ending and climbed to No. 1 in fall 1988. It continued through "Strangelove" by Depeche Mode, "Forever Young" by Alphaville, "When I'm With You" by Sheriff, "Where Are You Now" by Synch, "Into the Night" by Benny Madones, "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel, "Send Me An Angel" by Real Life and "What About Me" by Moving Pictures.

    Maybe there are even a few I've missed. Some might argue "Do You Love Me" by the Contours could be put on that list, but that was only re-released because of "Dirty Dancing", a popular movie of the time.

    I can understand that some records may have been lost to time, falling through the cracks because of bad timing and maybe would have been hits had they been released later. Certainly the UB40 and Sheriff singles are examples of that.

    Several of the songs did about the same the second time as the first - Benny Mardones hit No. 11 in 1980 and No. 20 in 1989 with "Into the Night". Oddly, I didn't like it the first time but started liking it a lot the second time around!

    Alphaville missed the top 40 both times with "Forever Young". Peter Gabriel hit the lower part of the top 40 in '86 with "In Your Eyes" and almost made it back in '89.

    It's not as if these songs were all of a sudden becoming smashes.

    One thing I can't understand is the Moving Pictures tune "What About Me". First off, I loved the song when it came out in '82 and was glad to see it back on the charts in '89. It tied a then-record of 43 weeks on the Hot 100 (oringally set by "Tainted Love"), but it never climbed higher than No. 29. I can't understand why Geffen picked this up - the band had no current album at the time and I thought by '89, not a lot of money was made on singles sales.

    I know in some cases radio DJs picked up one of these older songs, played it to death and it became a hit in their market, spreading from there. I don't think there's ever been a time in chart history there were so many re-issues hitting the charts in such a short period. After about a year of this, by fall 1989 it died down.

    Anyone else have any info on this unusual trend?
    vwestlife and Sordel like this.
  2. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    The Peter Gabriel reissue was due to the movie Say Anything.
  3. WolfSpear

    WolfSpear Music Enthusiast

    Something similar happened in the early 60's with mid 50's songs.

    In the case of late 80's revivals, some of these songs were mediocre hits when they came out in the early part of the decade. Sheriff's "When I'm With You" sounds like a Styx/Toto hybrid, but surprisingly it doesn't feel like 1983. Then there's the batch that benefitted from the movies ("Stand By Me", "Do You Love Me", "In Your Eyes") and the ones that got remixed to sound modern ("Send Me And Angel"). Truth is, those were just different times and the way that pop music is today, it seems very unlikely to happen again. Not only because of Billboard's recurrent rule mess, which I think is just pointless, but a number of factors.
  4. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    SE USA
    I would think that most re-charted singles would be tied to a TV show or movie. I wonder if Rush Limbaugh sold many records for The Pretenders, Clarence Frogman Henry or Sandy Posey?
  5. 905

    905 Forum Resident

    St. Louis
    I remember hearing a version of Drive My Car when the movie License to Drive was released in '88.
  6. Surly

    Surly Bon Viv-oh-no-he-didn't

    Sarasota, FL
    The reissue craze was driven by radio station DJs/program directors. Once it took off, there were a lot of people trying to give a second chance to these songs. Another was "Dancing In Heaven (Orbital Be-Bop)" by Q-Feel. As someone else mentioned above, Peter Gabriel was due to Say Anything. "I've Never Been To Me" by Charlene is an early representation of this - song was recorded/released in the '70s but dug up by a DJ in 1982.

    "Drive My Car" from License To Drive was a cover by Breakfast Club.
  7. tim_neely

    tim_neely Forum Hall Of Fame

    Central VA
    Another big one missing from the list: "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind)" by New Kids on the Block, originally issued in 1986 as a flop 45 from their flop debut album. It was put on the B-side of the single "Hangin' Tough"; someone flipped it, and it rose to the top 10 at the same time as the newly released "Cover Girl" single in 1989.
  8. elgreco

    elgreco Forum Resident

    As a European I am unfamiliar with the examples given by the OP, though I do know several of the songs mentioned. But here in the EU we had our own reissue craze during the late 80s. I'm thinking of oldies like Reet Petite (Jackie Wilson), Wonderful world (Sam Cooke) and Driver's seat (Sniff & the Tears), all topping the charts in Holand circa 1987/1989. There also was a remix of December 1963 (Oh what a night) by The Four Seasons that did incredibley well on the charts.

    Several of those were exposed to the public because they were used in commercials, but I also remember lots of older songs were being brought back to public attention because of CD reissues and commercials for those reissues. Circa 1989, CD sales really started to take off. I don't know about the USA reissues, but could increasing CD sales something have to do with it? At the time a lot of older albums were making the album charts again because their CD counterparts sold so well.
  9. reverberationmusic

    reverberationmusic Forum Resident

    Hell, Michigan
    I remember that year well managing a CD chain in Michigan (Grand Rapids Compact Disc), really wanted the original 1984 mix of "Send Me And Angel" back then, I think I finally found it on some 80's compilation in the last decade.
  10. Witney Devil

    Witney Devil Well-Known Member

    United Kingdom
    In the UK we had a series of Levis adverts that resulted in re-releases / hits for songs like "Stand By Me". In the early 90's the same jeans led to Steve Miller's "The Joker" hitting #1
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