Song: “Wild, Wild West” by The Escape Club
Reached #1: November 12, 1988 (their first, 1 week)
The Escape Club have something of a dubious place in history. They are the only British band that scored a #1 hit in the USA without ever even getting on the charts at home.
The problem was that the video for “Wild, Wild West” was actually banned by British regulators for “sexist and offensive imagery”. Of course, in 1988, just about every video had sexist and/or offensive imagery, so all I can figure is that the mirror-imaged disembodied arms and legs were a bit of a problem.
The band didn’t last for long – the followup single didn’t crack the top 20, and their only other hit came three years later… which is unfortunate, because “I’ll Be There” is such a different song from “Wild, Wild West” that had it been a debut single from a new band, it’d probably have made their careers… here, you check it out…
….it’s a tribute to a friend of vocalist/songwriter Trevor Steel.
The Escape Club broke up shortly after “I’ll Be There” reached the top 10 in the USA (and, as noted, again failed to chart at home). They got back together in 2009 and released a new album, Celebrity, this year.
Tomorrow, a singer who has kept reinventing himself for decades makes a return visit…
Other songs that reached #1 on November 12:
1966 – “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers (his first, 1 week)
1983 – “All Night Long (All Night)” by Lionel Richie (his second, 4 weeks)
2011 – “We Found Love” by Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris (her ninth, 10 weeks)