Those dates in full

Back from the future to the past: October 26 1985

Today, October 21 2015, is the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly travel to in Back To The Future Part II. We’re now thirty years on from the first movie in the trilogy, enough time for Marty not to have realised on arriving in 2015 that there was a band named after him about a decade earlier. So, after a gap of thirty years, the records that were in the chart when they left on October 26 1985 should sound as primitive and alien to our ears as the early rock ‘n’ roll of 1955 did in the original movie, right? Er, well, maybe not. This is what was in the UK top forty on the day the Doc and Marty went back to the future…

40 – 31

You genuinely couldn’t make this up. At number 40 on October 26 1985 was The Power of Love by Huey Lewis & the News, from the soundtrack of the first Back to the Future movie. We could just stop there, confident that it doesn’t get better than that, but it does. Hang on. At 39 it’s The Boy With The Thorn In His Side by indie legends The Smiths, 38 is club classic I’ll Be Good by Rene & Angela (not to be confused with Renee & Renato), 37 is the original version of Close To Me by The Cure, which would be back in the chart in remixed form five years later. At 36 it’s the week’s first new entry, Cities In Dust by Siouxsie & the Banshees, and at 35 another new entry for UB40’s Don’t Break My Heart. Five Star are at 34 with their third hit Love Take Over, just below Tears For Fears at 33 with the fifth single from Songs From The Big Chair, I Believe (A Soulful Re-recording). New at 32 is Feargal Sharkey with his future chart topper A Good Heart, while Sade’s The Sweetest Taboo glides glacially up the chart to 31.


Down to 30 is Angel by Madonna, still enjoying the first flush of superstardom in the UK and we’ll hear more from her later. The Thompson Twins’ last top 40 hit King For a Day is up to 29, while at 28 it’s Joe Strummer and a motley conglomeration of session musicians daring to call themselves The Clash with This is England. Slowly absorbing all possible elements of dance music into their sound, ZZ Top’s Sleeping Bag climbs to 27. The divine Kate Bush enters at 26 with Cloudbusting (Utah Saints, take note) while the all-powerful guiding hand of Stevie Wonder helps Cliff Richard’s She’s So Beautiful to 25. Climbing to 24 is Matt Bianco’s cover of Georgie Fame’s Yeh Yeh, Bring On The Dancing Horses from Echo & the Bunnymen’s best-of album Songs to Learn and Sing is at 23, while genuine one hit wonder Maria Vidal drops to 22 with Body Rock, just below Bowie & Jagger’s Live Aid hangover Dancing in the Street at 21.


Climbing to 20 is The Taste of Your Tears by flavour of the year King, whose chart success began in January 1985 and came to a sudden halt in January 1986. A pre-codpiece Larry Blackmon and Cameo are at 19 with Single Life, while Bonnie Tyler’s Holding Out For a Hero from the previous year’s Footloose soundtrack falls to 18. The Cult’s Rain holds steady at 17, Cliff Richard’s accomplice Stevie Wonder returns at 16 with Part-Time Lover and Shakin’ Stevens’ Big Joe Turner cover Lipstick, Powder and Paint is up to 15, sounding as alien in 1985 as you would expect it to sound now. At 14 the highest new entry comes from Duran Duran spin-off Arcadia with their début single Election Day, while Level 42 climb to 13 with Something About You. Grace Jones, who makes a cameo appearance on the Arcadia single, climbs to 12 in her own right with the Frankie Goes To Hollywood reject Slave To The Rhythm and Billy Idol drops to 11 with his belated hit version of Rebel Yell.

The Top Ten

From the very very young to the very very old, everybody loved Lean On Me (Ah-Li-Ayo), the first of two top ten hits for Red Box at number 10. Elton John’s love song Nikita is on its way up to number 9 as everyone focuses on the fact that he married a lady last year and ignores the fact that Nikita is a Russian man’s name. Band Aid’s Midge Ure drops to 8 with his former chart topper If I Was, while charity concert favourites Simple Minds climb to 7 with Alive and Kicking. Soundtrack city now as John Parr’s St Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion) stays at number 6, Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice Theme climbs to 5 and at number 4, from the soundtrack of Vision Quest is Gambler, the forgotten Madonna single which is so obscure it’s not even on Spotify. Colonel Abrams (real name: Colonel Abrams) is Trapped at number 3, the animated a-ha’s Take On Me climbs to number 2 but can’t shift Jennifer Rush with her one and only number 1 hit. You may think the producers of Back to the Future pulled this date out of thin air, but this week was the only time in history that the records at number 1 and number 40 were both called The Power of Love. Coincidence? Probably.

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