The 1980s Top 3 in the Top 3

Today’s Daily Eighties Flashback marks the 30th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” hitting number one on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart. Interestingly, we can look at the top three songs of that week and find an event that only occurred once. Let me explain:

In his book Top Pop Singles that he updates every few years, Joel Whitburn, arguably the world’s foremost authority on music charts, lists the top artists of each decade based on a methodology he developed that accounts for how each artist’s songs performed on the chart. For the 1980s, the Top 3 artists are Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Prince, who, by the way, were also all born in the summer of 1958.

Of particular interest for October 24, 1987, then, is that it’s the only week in chart history that those three artists occupied the Top 3 slots on Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart together, and in fact, they did so in order. As mentioned, Michael Jackson was at number one with “Bad.” Meanwhile, Madonna slotted in at number 2 with “Causing a Commotion,” and Prince checked in at number 3 with “U Got the Look.”

Perhaps, then, we might argue that exactly 30 years ago was the most representative Hot 100 of the 1980s.

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