Billboard #1s for the Week Ending July 26, 1986

This week’s Time Capsule!

Chart Title Act Weeks
Hot 100 Sledgehammer Peter Gabriel 1
R & B Rumors Timex Social Club 2
Country On the Other Hand Randy Travis 1
Adult Contemporary Glory of Love Peter Cetera 2
Rock Higher Love Steve Winwood 2
Album Top Gun Soundtrack 1

RunSmithWalkThis week sees an unsusual collaboration become both a comeback and a breakthrough. Walk This Way has a complicated history. Written by singer Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry for Aerosmith’s third album, Toys In the Attic the song stiffed as the disc’s second single. A year later, after the Top 10 success of Dream On, the band re-released it and it went to #10. Shortly after that, drug problems and personality clashes sidelined the band for the better part of a decade.

Rap trio Run-D.M.C. picked up the song for their third album, Raising Hell, at the suggestion of producer Rick Rubin. Perry’s instantly recognizable guitar riff made a nice sample, and the speak-sing vocals made a perfect rap. They invited Tyler and Perry to contribute to the track, crafting a smart, delightful blend of rap and rock.

This week, the track debuted on the Hot 100 at #73. It moved into the Top 40 in its fourth week, and a month later peaked at #4. This made it the first Hip-Hop single to crack the Billboard Top 5. It also rejuvenated Aerosmith’s career. Within a year they racked up their third Top 20 single and then launched the most successful run of their chart careers.

About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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