Welcome to the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast, where each week co-hosts Gary Trust and Trevor Anderson, from the Billboard charts department, discuss why what’s on the charts … is on the charts, while also looking at current chart action in a historical context for even greater insights.
This week, Gary and Trevor time travel once again and count down the Billboard Hot 100 this week 30 years ago – Aug. 29, 1987! In the first of a two-part episode, we’ll recap Nos. 40 through 21, including classic and hooky hits by Prince, Heart, Gloria Estefan, Smokey Robinson, LL Cool J and more.
Plus, Tiffany joins the podcast to recap the 30th anniversary of her Billboard chart debut, as her breakthrough single “I Think We’re Alone Now” entered the Hot 100 (at No. 84) that week, on its way to a two-week run at No. 1 in November 1987.
As Tiffany was just 15 at the time of her chart arrival, she shares, among other insights, “I mentor a lot of artists. I’m like, ‘Look: understand that you’ll never understand everything about the music industry. Keep an open mind. Know in your heart what you want to do, because it does start from you. But, listen to the people around you. They’ve achieved their success and their positions for a reason. And, if you get even a chance to be on a chart at all … be grateful. Be really, really grateful.’ “
Plus: a countdown within the countdown, as Tiffany plays honorary Billboard charts dept. member and ranks her five favorite songs that she’s recorded, a tally that includes her other Hot 100 leader, 1988’s “Could’ve Been.”
Enjoy the first part of our 1987 flashback and come back for the conclusion next week, when we’ll count down Nos. 20 through 1 … and welcome the other teen pop star new to the spotlight at the time: Debbie Gibson! Gibson was likewise making her chart debut 30 years ago, with (spoiler alert) “Only in My Dreams” in the Hot 100’s top five that Aug. 29 and her first album, Out of the Blue, about to enter the Billboard 200; the set would go on to hit the top 10 and spin off four more singles, including the history-making No. 1 (details about the achievement next week), “Foolish Beat.”
As always, check back for additional upcoming Chart Beat Podcast episodes with artists, label executives, radio programmers and personalities, songwriters, producers and more. And, to receive every episode automatically in your inbox, subscribe to (and rate) the Billboard Chart Beat Podcast on iTunes!