1987 in Rock & Roll History:

The first five Beatles albums are released on CD. Sonny Bono runs successfully for mayor of Palm Springs, CA. Whitney Houston becomes the first female artist to debut at #1 with her second album. Aretha Franklin is the first female artist inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Reggae artist Peter Tosh is murdered in a robbery of his home. Pink Floyd release their first album without Roger Waters. MTV Europe is launched. The movie and soundtrack of Dirty Dancing are huge hits.

Top 40 Singles of 1987

1   Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance              With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
  2   Los Lobos - La Bamba
  3   Rick Astley
       Never Gonna Give You Up
  4   Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes         (I've Had) the Time of My Life
  5   U2 - With Or Without You
  6   Bon Jovi - Livin' On a Prayer
  7   George Michael - Faith
  8   Jefferson Starship
       Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
  9   U2 - I Still Haven't Found What I'm              Looking For
10   Madonna - Who's That Girl?
11   Madonna - La Isla Bonita
12   Michael Jackson & Siedah Garrett        I Just Can't Stop Loving You
13   George Harrison
       Got My Mind Set On You
14   The Pet Shop Boys - It's a Sin
15   Michael Jackson - Bad
16   Crowded House
       Don't Dream It's Over
17   Terence Trent D'Arby - Wishing Well
18   Bee Gees - You Win Again
19   Aretha Franklin & George Michael        I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
20   MARRS - Pump Up the Volume
21   Club Nouveau - Lean On Me
22   Mel & Kim - Respectable
23   George Michael - I Want Your Sex
24   Glenn Medeiros - Nothing's Gonna              Change My Love For You
25   Dusty Springfield & Pet Shop Boys        What Have I Done to Deserve This
26   U2 -Where the Streets Have No Name
27   Heart - Alone
28   Kim Wilde
       (You Keep Me) Hangin' On
29   Suzanne Vega - Luka
30   Atlantic Starr - Always
31   Madonna - Open Your Heart
32   Gregory Abbott - Shake You Down
33   Robbie Nevil - C'est La Vie
34   Boy George - Everything I Own
35   Pseudo Echo - Funkytown
36   Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram        Somewhere Out There
37   T'Pau - China in Your Hand
38   T'Pau - Heart & Soul
39   Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam - Head to Toe
40   Johnny Hates Jazz -Shattered Dreams

Top 50 Albums of 1987

  1   U2 - The Joshua Tree
  2   Michael Jackson - Bad
  3   Guns n' Roses
       Appetite For Destruction
  4   George Michael - Faith
  5   Original Soundtrack - Dirty Dancing
  6   Def Leppard - Hysteria
  7   Whitney Houston - Whitney
  8   Prince - Sign 'O' The Times
  9   Bruce Springsteen - Tunnel Of Love
10   Sting - ...Nothing Like The Sun
11   Terence Trent D'Arby
       Introducing The Hardline
12   Fleetwood Mac - Tango In The Night
13   Madonna - Who's That Girl
14   Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing
15   Los Lobos - La Bamba
16   The Cure -Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
17   Whitesnake - Whitesnake 1987
18   Pink Floyd
       A Momentary Lapse Of Reason
19   REM - Document
20   John Cougar Mellencamp
       The Lonesome Jubilee
21   Crowded House - Crowded House
22   Depeche Mode
       Music For The Masses
23   The Smiths
       Strangeways, Here We Come
24   Bryan Adams - Into The Fire
25   Robbie Robertson -Robbie Robertson
26   George Harrison - Cloud Nine
27   Madonna - You Can Dance
28   Simply Red - Men & Women
29   Heart - Bad Animals
30   Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation
31   Bee Gees - E. S. P.
32   New Order - Substance
33   Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt &                    Emmylou Harris - Trio
34   John Farnham - Whispering Jack
35   David Bowie - Never Let Me Down
36   Marillion - Clutching At Straws
37   10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe
38   Sinead O'Connor
        The Lion & The Cobra
39   Simple Minds - Live
40   LL Cool J - Bigger & Deffer
41   Kenny G - Duotones
42   Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls
43   T'Pau - Bridge Of Spies
44   Alison Moyet - Raindancing
45   Level 42 - Running In The Family
46   Deep Purple
       The House Of Blue Light
47   Jesus & Mary Chain - Darklands
48   Swing Out Sister
       It's Better To Travel
49   Van Morrison
       Poetic Champions Compose
50   Jennifer Rush - Heart Over Mind

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 '87
Public Enemy, a hip-hop group from Long Island, NY, release their debut album Yo! Bum Rush the Show on Def Jam. The album receives critical acclaim, but limited sales. (more)
Feb '87
Miami, FL vocal group Expose' release their debut album and generate four US Top Ten hits, including #1 "Seasons Change". (more)
Mar '87
The first five Beatles albums are digitally remastered and released on CD in their original UK form. All 12 original studio albums would be out on CD by year end. (more)
Mar '87
Irish rock band U2 release their fifth album Joshua Tree which would hit #1 in the US and UK and go on to sell 14 million copies. (more)
Mar '87
Canadian singer Bryan Adams single "Heat of the Night" is released as the first cassette single. The song peaks at #6 US, #50 UK. (more) 
Mar '87
Prince releases the double album Sign o' The Times. The album goes to #6 US, #4 UK and produces three US Top Ten hits including the title track #3 US, #10 UK. (more)
Mar '87
NYC thrash metal band, Anthrax, release their third album - Among The Living hitting #18 UK, #62 US. (more) 
Apr '87
UK band Whitesnake break through in the US with their self titled eighth album #2 US, #8 UK., featuring #1 US, #9 UK single "Here I Go Again" and #2 US, #9 UK single "Is This Love". (more)
Apr '87
UK rock band The Cult release their third album, Electric #4 UK, #38 US which marks a shift to a more heavy metal sound. The single "Lil' Devil" hits #11 UK. (more)
Apr '87
NYC folkie Suzanne Vega goes to #3 US, #23 UK with the single "Luka" from her second album Solitude Standing #11 US, #2 UK. (more)
Jul '87
Minneapolis, MN band The Replacements head to Ardent Studios in Memphis to record their sixth album, Pleased To Meet Me, #131 US. (more)
May '87
Los Angeles alternative band, Concrete Blonde, release their debut album on IRS Records. (more)
May '87
Los Angeles Glam Metal band Motley Crue release their fourth album, Girls, Girls, Girls, which goes all the way to #2 US, #14 UK. (more)
Jun '87
The soundtrack for the Ritchie Valens bio film La Bamba is released with six covers by Los Lobos. In Sept. the album goes to #1 US. (more)  
Jun '87
Whitney Houston's second album debuts at #1 US, #1 UK. She is the first female artist to achieve this. The album spawns four #1 hits including "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" #1 US & UK. (more) 
Jul '87
The Grateful Dead's twelfth studio album, In The Dark #6 US, yields their first US Top Ten single "Touch of Grey". (more)
Jul '87
The debut album from UK artist Terence Trent D'Arby goes to #1 UK, #4 US led by the #1 single "Wishing Well". (more)
Jul '87
American alternative band 10,000 Maniacs flirt with commercial success on their second album, In My Tribe, which breaks into the US Top 40. (more)
Jul '87
L.A.'s Sunset Strip scene launches yet another glam metal band, Guns 'n Roses, who go to #1 US, #5 UK with their debut album and score three top ten hits including #1 US, #6 UK single "Sweet Child o' Mine". (more)
Jul '87
More glam metal from Los Angeles as the band Faster Pussycat, release their debut album which hits #97 US. (more)
Aug '87
70's relics Aerosmith stage a comeback with their album, Permanent Vacation, their first platinum album in ten years. (more)
Aug '87
Michael Jackson releases the album Bad, his follow-up to Thriller and hits #1 in the US and UK album charts. The single "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" is also a transatlantic #1. (more)
Aug '87
UK band Def Leppard release the album Hysteria and go to #1 in the US and UK. The album delivers four US Top Ten singles including #1 "Love Bites". (more)
Aug '87
Aug '87
17 year old Debbie Gibson of Merrick, NY releases her debut album, Out of the Blue, which sends four songs into the US Top Five, UK Top Twenty  including #1 US, #9 UK single "Foolish Beat". (more) 
The soundtrack to the movie, Dirty Dancing is released and spends 18 weeks at #1 in the US. The single "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" would also go to #1 US, #6 UK. (more)
Aug '87
Australian band, Midnight Oil, release their third album Diesel & Dust, receiving heavy MTV rotation for the single "Beds Are Burning". The album goes to #1 in Australia. (more)
Sep '87
The debut album from Norwalk, CA teenager, Tiffany, is released and after a tour of US shopping malls, two singles climb to #1 in the US propelling the album to #1 US, #5 UK. (more)
Oct '87
George Michael, former lead singer for UK pop duo Wham!, releases his solo debut, Faith. The album goes to #1 US & UK and generates four US #1 singles and six UK Top Twenty singles. (more)
Oct '87
On their third album, Actually, UK band The Pet Shop Boys team with 60's star Dusty Springfield on "What Have I Done To Deserve This" it goes to #2 in the US and UK. (more)
Oct '87
Athens, GA band R.E.M. release their fifth album, Document, and score their first US Top Ten single with "The One I Love" #16 UK. (more)
Oct '87
Oct '87
NYC vocal group Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam have their second #1 US single of the year with "Lost In Emotion". (more) 
Australian band INXS release their sixth album, Kick #3 US, #9 UK which delivers four US Top Ten singles including "Devil Inside" and "New Sensations". (more)
Nov '87
The debut album from Irish singer Sinead O'Connor fairs poorly on the charts, but is a hit with US college radio, especially the single "Mandinka" #17 UK. (more)
Nov '87
Nov '87
UK singer Rick Astley releases his debut album and goes to #1 in the US and UK with the single "Never Gonna Give You Up". He is produced by the UK hitmaking team of Stock, Aitken, Waterman. (more)
The debut album by LA rapper Ice-T, Rhyme Pays, is released on Sire Records. The album defines gangsta rap and is the first hip hop album with a parental warning label. It reaches #93 US. (more)
Nov '87
Former Black Flag lead singer Henry Rollins, releases the debut album from The Rollins Band - Life Time. (more)
Nov '87
Former New York Dolls lead singer, David Johansen scores an MTV hit with "Hot, Hot, Hot" as Buster Poindexter. (more)
Nov '87
Nov '87
UK dance/pop duo Swing Out Sister hit the US Top Ten (#4 UK) with the single "Breakout" from their debut album. (more) 
Long Island, NY native Taylor Dayne goes to ## UK, #7 US with her debut single "Tell It To My Heart". She would go on to have seven US Top Ten singles in a row. (more)
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