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Chart Flashback: 1987

Return to a time, 24 years ago this week, when most phones were landlines, Charlie Sheen was just the cute guy from ”Platoon,” and Madonna still signed her checks ”Mrs. Sean Penn”

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1. U2, ”I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”
Bono’s Ironman-like crusade (he has climbed highest mountains! Scaled city walls! Done cardio to kingdom come!) remains a shimmering benchmark of rock vision quests. A

2. Madonna, ”Who’s That Girl”
The movie flopped, helping her put one more (turkey) feather in her actress cap. But its title song was the fizzy Spanglish-pop soundtrack to hours spent penciling in a perfect Madge-via-Marilyn lip mole in the bathroom mirror. B+

3. George Michael, ”I Want Your Sex”
George and his meticulously trimmed facial topiary had no patience for your censorship or your shenanigans. They wanted your sex this minute. A-

4. Suzanne Vega, ”Luka”
Pop songs rarely double as PSAs. Somehow, though, downtown boho Vega pulled off singing from the point of view of an abused little boy without after-school-special ickiness. A-

5. Los Lobos, ”La Bamba”
Lou Diamond Phillips was the dimple-chinned face of the Ritchie Valens biopic on screen, but Los Lobos did the real work — and taught the world more phonetic Spanish than Rosetta Stone. A

6. T’Pau, ”Heart and Soul”
The British pop outfit named for a Vulcan priestess on Star Trek never hit Stateside again, and this song is so ’87 it should come with its own crimping iron. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t immediately YouTube it. Seriously, go now. A-

7. Richard Marx, ”Don’t Mean Nothing”
Marx’s glorious mulleted reign began with this relatively hard-edged debut single, a caustic portrait of Hollywood hustle ‘n’ sleaze with a hiccuping falsetto hook. B+

8. The Jets, ”Cross My Broken Heart”
Of the many gems the Mormon siblings gave the decade, this one sounds most like it was made in a karaoke booth at a Dave & Buster’s birthday party. B

9. Debbie Gibson, ”Only in My Dreams”
The sweet mall-pop Mary Ann to Tiffany’s vixenish Ginger, Debbie was all airy, fingerless-glove innocence on her first hit. B+

10. Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine, ”Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”
The rhythm is not just gonna get you — it is stalking you like a deranged ex-boyfriend with a conga drum machine. Sleep tight! A-

Source: Joel Whitburn Presents The Billboard® Hot 100® Charts—The Eighties