Late 85 was a “friendly” time on the charts. In the 11/23/85 edition of AT40, “That’s What Friends Are For,” by Dionne & Friends, debuted back-to-back with this song, at #39 and #38, respectively. Even though the sentiments being expressed in the two tunes were similar, their fates were rather different. Dionne, Gladys, Stevie, and Elton rocketed to the top for four weeks and wound up at #1 on Casey’s year-end countdown for 86. Clarence and Jackson had a tougher slog; they only reached #18 (they’re at #23 here) and were off the chart by mid-February.
My reactions to the songs were the opposite of the public at large. “That’s What Friends Are For” was recorded for an excellent cause (proceeds went to AIDS research), but I’ve never been a big fan—looking back, I find that many ballads of that era leave me cold. On the other hand, the passion and energy of “You’re a Friend of Mine” (not to mention Clarence’s wailing sax) really hit the spot. Having a good time together is what friends do a lot, no? I thought enough of its message that winter that I bought ten or so copies of the 45 to give to college buds near and dear to me, in appreciation of their friendship.
The Big Man was able to call on Jackson until 6/18/11.
WordPress is telling me that this is nominally my 200th post–they add up fast when over a third of them get ferried over (with modest modification) from Facebook. I’m pretty sure it’ll take longer than five months for the next 200 to make it here. Thanks to all who’ve been checking in from time to time!