1985: The Year Of Madonna And Phil Collins

1985: The Year Of Madonna And Phil Collins

1985 madonna phil collins
Phil Collins, 1985 (Photo by Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images), Madonna, 1985 (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images)

There were some major musical moments in 1985: Live Aid. USA For Africa. Brothers In Arms. Bowie and Jagger. UB40 and Chrissie Hynde…

And while all that was going on, two singers scored hit after hit after hit. Between them, Madonna and Phil Collins visited the Australian top 20 nine times in 1985 – 10, if you include 1984 hangover “Like A Virgin”, which remained on the chart long into the new year. And it would have been 11 times if Phil Collins and Philip Bailey’s “Easy Lover” had been given an official single release here – it charted at number 74 mostly based on imports but received a flogging on radio.

Here are all the superstar singers’ hits from 1985…


“Material Girl”

Peak: number 4

The song that spawned the nickname, “Material Girl” had the unenviable task of following up Like A Virgin’s title track. The second single lifted from the album, it managed not to be overshadowed by its predecessor and became another iconic moment in Madonna’s career, in large part due to its Gentlemen Prefer Blondes-inspired music video. Although she has since distanced herself from the track, Madonna has said that when she was choosing songs for the album, the lyrics by songwriters Peter Brown and Robert Rans stood out among the demos she listened to.

“Angel/Into The Groove”

Peak: number 1

This double A-side release teamed another song from Like A Virgin with a brand new track taken from her first major film, Desperately Seeking Susan. Although “Into The Groove” was only available in Australia on the 12” single of the release (a remix of “Angel” was on the B-side of the 7” version), the fact it had a music video (“Angel” didn’t) and was a previously unreleased song no doubt contributed greatly to the single spending four weeks at number 1 in Australia.

“Crazy For You”

Peak: number 1

Another brand new song. Another soundtrack release. Another chart-topper. But this time Madonna did something completely different – she released a ballad as a single. Taken from a long-forgotten film originally called Vision Quest, renamed Crazy For You in Australia, the single not only went to number 1, but knocked off “Angel/Into The Groove” – the first time an artist had replaced themselves at the top since ABBA did it (twice!) in late 1975/early 1976.

“Dress You Up”

Peak: number 5

It was back to Like A Virgin for this fourth and final single, which still made the top 5 despite having been already available on the album for nine months. Bizarrely, this fairly tame number was the Madonna song included on the Filthy 15, the list of objectionable tracks as decided by the Tipper Gore-founded Parents Music Resource Center, which also included Cyndi Lauper’s “She Bop” and “Sugar Walls” by Sheena Easton.


Peak: number 10

Madonna’s final single – and top 10 hit – for 1985 was another track from the Vision Quest/Crazy For You soundtrack. One of her most overlooked singles, “Gambler” was written solely by Madonna, but has not been performed live since 1985 and has never appeared on any of her albums (studio or otherwise).

Phil Collins


Peak: number 8

Phil’s 1985 album, No Jacket Required, was the Genesis frontman’s first number 1 LP in Australia – it spent three weeks on top in May. And this was the album’s lead single, which got its title from a made-up word Phil sang during the recording process. Unable to come up with anything better, “Sussudio” stuck.

“One More Night”

Peak: number 2

The next single from No Jacket Required debuted on the ARIA top 50 just six weeks after “Sussudio” and found Phil in more familiar downtempo terrain. The emotional ballad was the first track lifted from the album in the US, where it topped the chart. In Australia, “One More Night” was blocked from number 1 by “We Are The World” for three weeks.

“(Billy) Don’t Lose My Number”

Peak: number 10

Like Madonna’s “Gambler”, this third single from No Jacket Required is not one you hear much today (and also just made the top 10). Accompanied by a music video in which Phil considered pitches for… what to do in the music video, “(Billy) Don’t Lose My Number” was another song featuring lyrics that Phil improvised in the studio.

“Separate Lives” (with Marilyn Martin)

Peak: number 14

Also like Madonna, Phil supplemented his studio album output with a number of soundtrack releases during the ’80s. Following his 1984 mega-ballad “Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now)”, he released this stirring track from the film White Nights (which also spawned Lionel Richie’s “Say You Say Me”). Accompanying Phil on “Separate Lives” was backing singer turned solo artist Marilyn Martin, while the song was written by Stephen Bishop, who’d performed Tootsie theme “It Might Be You”.

Phil’s final single for the year, “Take Me Home”, missed the top 50, peaking at number 64. Guess you can’t have everything.

Related Posts