It was a year of charity: USA For Africa and the all-star “We Are the World” smash, plus the Farm Aid and Live Aid concerts. Whitney Houston made a record-breaking debut. Wham! became the first Western act to perform in China, and the Parents Music Resource Center stuck its nose in rock ‘n’ roll’s business.
New Coke came and went. VH-1 and Discovery Channel came and stayed. The nation went “Back to the Future,” and Microsoft released its first version of Windows.
That was 30 years ago: 1985.
What about the music? The year gave us The Smiths’ “Meat Is Murder,” Tears For Fears’ “Songs From the Big Chair,” Kate Bush’s “Hounds of Love,” Tom Waits’ “Rain Dogs” and The Jesus And Mary Chain’s “Psychocandy,” to name a few.
Like with every year, there also were Shoulda-Been-Hits, hits that never were but shoulda been. Here are few, and now these overlooked gems from 1985 are now permanently enshrined on our Shoulda-Been-Hits page.
“Vicious Games,” Yello
“Broken,” Tears For Fears
“Specialty,” Howard Jones
“Red Wine and Whiskey,” Katrina and the Waves
“Love Like Blood,” Killing Joke (reached No. 16 in the U.K., did not chart in the U.S.)
“The Lodgers,” The Style Council
“Slave to Love,” Bryan Ferry (a Top 10 hit in the U.K., but reached only No. 109 in the U.S.)
“The Word Girl,” Scritti Politti (made it to No. 6 in the U.K., did not chart in the U.S.)
“La Femme Accident,” Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (made it to No. 42 in the U.K., did not chart in the U.S.)
“Lavender,” Marillion (Top 5 in the U.K.)
“The Edge of Forever,” The Dream Academy (figured prominently in the film “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”)
“The Big Sky,” Kate Bush (a Top 40 hit in the U.K.)
“The Whole of the Moon,” The Waterboys (a two-time hit in the U.K., Top 30 in 1985 and No. 3 in 1991)
“Ghostdancing,” Simple Minds
More updates: Pet Shop Boys, Clint Lowery, Son Little, Maria McKee, Carly Pearce, Devon Gilfillian, The Districts, etc