1986 in Rock & Roll History:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame holds it's first induction ceremony honoring eight rock music pioneers. In May Cleveland is selected as the site for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum. MTV airs a 22 hour Monkees Marathon and the Monkees regroup for their successful 20th anniversary tour. The Beastie Boys debut album is the first rap/hip-hop album to go to #1.

Top 40 Singles of 1986

  1   Berlin - Take My Breath Away
  2   Falco - Rock Me Amadeus
  3   Madonna - Papa Don't Preach
  4   The Pet Shop Boys - West End Girls
  5   Dionne Warwick & Friends                That's What Friends Are For
  6   The Bangles - Walk Like an Egyptian
  7   Peter Gabriel - Sledgehammer
  8   Europe - The Final Countdown
  9   Chris de Burgh - The Lady in Red
10   Prince - Kiss
11   Robert Palmer - Addicted to Love
12   Whitney Houston
      Greatest Love of All
13   Billy Ocean - When the Going Gets             Tough, the Tough Get Going
14   Bananarama - Venus
15   Madonna - Live to Tell
16   Steve Winwood - Higher Love
17   The Bangles - Manic Monday
18   Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald        On My Own
19   Peter Cetera - Glory of Love
20   Madonna - True Blue
21   George Michael - A Different Corner
22   Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
23   Cutting Crew
        (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight
24   Run DMC & Aerosmith
       Walk This Way
25   Mr Mister - Kyrie
26   Survivor - Burning Heart
27   Samantha Fox
       Touch Me (I Want Your Body)
28   A-Ha - The Sun Always Shines On TV
29   Wham! - The Edge of Heaven
30   Dire Straits - Walk of Life
31   Duran Duran - Notorious
32   Bruce Hornsby & The Range            The Way it Is
33   The Human League - Human
34   Lionel Richie
       Dancing On the Ceiling
35   Nu Shooz - I Can't Wait
36   Level 42 - Lessons in Love
37   Jefferson Starship - Sara
38   Whitney Houston - How Will I Know
39   Jackie Wilson - Reet Petite
40   Simply Red - Holding Back the Years

Top 50 Albums of 1986

  1   Paul Simon - Graceland
  2   Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
  3   Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet
  4   Madonna - True Blue
  5   Peter Gabriel - So
  6   The Beastie Boys - Licensed To Ill
  7   The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead
  8   Original Soundtrack - Top Gun
  9   Janet Jackson - Control
10   Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975-1985
11   Van Halen - 5150
12   Genesis - Invisible Touch
13   Metallica - Master Of Puppets
14   Huey Lewis & The News - Fore!
15   Lionel Richie
       Dancing On The Ceiling
16   Prince - Parade
17   The Eurythmics - Revenge
18   Tina Turner - Break Every Rule
19   Barbra Streisand
       The Broadway Album
20   Mr Mister
       Welcome To The Real World
21   The Pet Shop Boys - Please
22   Queen - A Kind Of Magic
23   The Rolling Stones - Dirty Work
24   Europe - The Final Countdown
25   Depeche Mode - Black Celebration
26   Cyndi Lauper - True Colors
27   Bruce Hornsby & The Range
       The Way It Is
28   Boston - Third Stage
29   Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile
30   Original Soundtrack - Rocky IV
31   Run DMC - Raising Hell
32   The Bangles - Different Light
33   Anita Baker - Rapture
34   REM - Life's Rich Pageant
35   David Lee Roth - Eat 'Em & Smile
36   Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
37   The Police
       Every Breath You Take - The Singles
38   Steve Winwood
       Back In The High Life
39   Billy Joel - The Bridge
40   Patti LaBelle - Winner In You
41   Wham! - The Final
42   Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring
43   Billy Ocean - Love Zone
44   Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
45   Falco - Falco 3
46   Chris de Burgh - Into The Light
47   Robert Cray Band - Strong Persuader
48   A-Ha - Scoundrel Days
49   Modern Talking
       Ready For Romance
50   Cameo - Word Up

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
Jan '86
Jan '86
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame holds it's first induction ceremony with many rock pioneers attending. (more)
Austrian rock singer Falco goes to #1 US, #2 UK with his single "Rock Me Amadeus". (more) 
Jan '86
UK synthpop duo The Pet Shop Boys top the charts in both the US and UK with the single "West End Girls". (more) 
Feb '86
Texas blues rockers The Fabulous Thunderbirds crack the US Top Ten with the single "Tuff Enuff". (more)
Mar '86
Californian hard rock band Van Halen release their first album with new lead singer Sammy Hagar - 5150. It becomes their first album to go to #1 US, #16 UK. (more)
Mar '86
Janet Jackson teams up with the production team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for her third album, Control. The album goes to #1 US, #8 UK and generates five US Top Five singles including "When I Think Of You" #1 US, #10 UK. (more)
San Francisco heavy metal band Metallica release their third album Master of Puppets. It becomes their first gold record and reaches #29 US, #41 UK. (more)
Mar '86
Los Angeles band Mr. Mister score their second US #1 hit with "Kyrie" (#11 UK) from their second album, Welcome To The Real World. (more)
Mar '86
Apr '86
"Manic Monday" by Los Angeles band The Bangles hits #2 in the US and UK. The song is written by Prince and is held back from the #1 spot by Prince's single "Kiss". (more)
May '86
Peter Gabriel, former lead singer of Genesis, has a #1 US #4 UK hit single with "Sledgehammer" from his fifth solo album So. (more)
Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee marries television actress Heather Locklear. (more)
May '86
Swedish rock band Europe score a US and UK Top Ten album led by the title track "The Final Countdown" #1 UK, #8 US. (more)
May '86
UK singer Robert Palmer hits #1 US, #5 UK with "Addicted to Love" and the music video featuring five fashion models as his backup band. (more)
May '86
After MTV airs all episodes of the '60s TV series The Monkees, three of the original band members reunite for a successful worldwide tour. (more)
May '86
Jun '86
Invisible Touch is the 13th album by Genesis and goes to #1 UK, #3 US and produces three Top Five singles in the US. (more)
Jun '86
Manchester, UK indie band The Smiths third album, The Queen Is Dead, continues their winning ways reaching #2 UK, #70 US. (more)
Jun '86
Madonna reaches superstar status as her third album, True Blue, goes #1 in the US and UK and spawns five US Top Five singles including three #1's. (more)
Jun '86
Former Go Go's lead singer, Belinda Carlisle, scores a #3 US single "Mad About You" from her first solo album. (more) 
The debut album by Melbourne, Australia band Crowded House brings two US Top Ten singles incl. "Don't Dream It's Over" #2 US, #27 UK. (more)
Jun '86
Jul '86
UK singer Chris de Burgh hits #1 UK, #3 US with the love song "The Lady In Red". (more)
Jul '86
Queens, NY hip hop group Run DMC's third album, Raising Hell, goes to #3 US and contains the reworked Aerosmith cover "Walk This Way" which becomes the first rap song to go Top Five in the US, #8 UK. (more) 
Jul '86
Texan Lyle Lovett releases his debut album which goes to #14 on the country charts. (more)
Jul '86
Lionel Richie releases his third album, Dancing On The Ceiling. The album is his second in a row to go to #1 US, #2 UK and delivers four US Top Ten singles. (more)
Atlanta rock band the Georgia Satellites release their debut album and go all the way to #2 US with the single "Keep Your Hands To Yourself". (more)
Jul '86
Jul '86
UK vocal group Bananarama go to #1 US, #8 UK with their pumped up dance cover of the 1970 Shocking Blue hit "Venus".  (more) 
The single "Higher Love" goes to #1 US, #13 UK from Steve Winwood's third solo LP, Back In The High Life. (more)
Aug '86
Aug '86
New Jersey rock band Bon Jovi hit it big with their third album, Slippery When Wet, which goes to #1 US, #6 UK and generates two US #1 singles with "Livin' On A Prayer" and "You Give Love A Bad Name". (more) 
Aug '86
UK Sun page 3 model, Samantha Fox, scores a #3 UK, #4 US hit single with "Touch Me (I Want Your Body)". (more)
Aug '86
The debut album from Williamsburg, VA native Bruce Hornsby and The Range is released. The album goes all the way to #3 in the US led by the #1 single "The Way It Is". (more)
Aug '86
Look What The Cat Dragged In is the debut album by Mechanicsville, PA glam metal band Poison which climbs to #3 US on the strength of the US Top Ten single "Talk Dirty To Me". (more)
Queens, NY singer Cyndi Lauper's second album, True Colors, goes to #4 US, #25 UK. The title song goes to #1 US. (more)
Sep '86
Sep '86
American band Huey Lewis and the News release the album Fore! and chart five US Top Five singles, including two #1's "Stuck With You" and "Jacob's Ladder". (more)
Sep '86
Los Angeles synthpop band Berlin top the US and UK charts with the single "Take My Breath Away" from the Top Gun movie soundtrack. (more)
Sep '86
Madison, WI husband and wife duo Timbuk3 hit #19 US, #21 UK with a single from their debut album
"The Futures So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades".
California slash metal band Slayer sign with Def Jam and release the album Reign In Blood, produced by Rick Rubin. (more) 
Oct '86
Oct '86
Former NYC policeman, Eddie Money,  scores a #4 US single with "Take Me Home Tonight" a duet with Ronnie Spector of the Ronettes. (more)
Nov '86
UK new wave band Wang Chung go to #2 in the US with "Everybody Have Fun Tonight" which fails to chart in the UK. (more) 
Oct '86
The debut album by NYC hip hop band
The Beastie Boys is released. Licensed to Ill is the first rap/hip hop album to go to #1.
Queens, NY female rap trio Salt-N-Pepa release their debut album and break into the US Top Twenty with the single "Push It". (more)
Dec '86
Dec '86
The Bangles hit #1 US, #3 UK with the single "Walk Like An Egyptian" from their album A Different Light. (more) 
Aug '86
Paul Simon releases Graceland, an album he recorded in South Africa. The album goes to #1 UK and #3 US, reviving his career. (more)
Aug '86
Philadelphia, PA glam metal band Cinderella release their debut album Night Songs, which makes it all the way to #3 by early 1987. (more)
Sep '86
Vancouver, BC electro-industrial band Skinny Puppy release their album Mind: The Perpetual
Intercourse, and gain substantial MTV airplay for the single "Dig It". (more)
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