This Week In 1983: March 5th
After seven weeks on the charts, Michael Jackson finally takes the number one spot with “Billie Jean”. It’s the first number one single from his juggernaut “Thriller” album. It’s the second single from the album but many believed it should have been the lead single instead of “The Girl Is Mine” which was released the previous October (reaching #2 on the charts). “Billie Jean” will occupy the top spot for seven weeks. The biggest drop of week belongs to Adam Ant and his catchy little diddy, “Goody Two Shoes”, which falls eleven spots to #23. The biggest jump of the week belongs to British band After The Fire and their song “Der Kommissar” which vaults from the #55 spot into the Top 40 landing at #31.
Song Story: “Der Kommissar” by AFter The Fire
“Der Kommissar” was originally recorded and released by German pop singer, Falco (of “Rock Me, Amadeus” fame). Falco’s version, while fairing well in Europe, didn’t chart well in the US and UK. In an attempt to make inroads into the US/UK markets, Falco urged other English speaking acts and bands to re-record the song. The British band, After The Fire, recorded an English version of the song and released it but it floundered out of the gate. The band began to flounder as well and, after touring as the open act for Van Halen in 1982, eventually decided to go their separate ways. Even though the group had disbanded, MTV picked up the video and put it into heavy rotation which, in turn, fueled it’s radio airplay and pushed it into the top 40. Around this same time, Laura Branigan had started work on her second album and was offered a song written over the melody and arrangement of “Der Kommissar”. The song was called “Deep in the Dark” which she ended up recording and putting on her album. Go check the song out (You can find it on YouTube and Spotify). It is a straight copy, melody and arrangement wise, and sounds weird with completely different lyrics.
One final note: because of leap year, our Wednesday post dates are one day off from the chart dates. Just wanted to put that out there so people didn’t think I was mistyping the dates.