Houston, Whitney – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)

There are many different thoughts going through my head as I write about this single.  I bought it in May 1987, so I was 17 and at sixth form college, therefore I guess that buying this single was a throwback to being a few years younger.  It’s not a serious song in the way that Saving All My Love was.  This is proper throwaway pop; fluffy nonsense by any other name.  I guess that I’m trying to make a distinction here, between something that was a stellar piece of work and this, a less heavyweight offering.  To take the argument further, I suppose that I am trying to justify this 45 its place in amongst the other stuff in my collection and more importantly, to vindicate myself in buying it.

I bought it on 29 May 1987 just after it had entered the UK singles chart at number 10.  The following week it was number two before spending a fortnight at number one.  It then went on to spend a further 4 weeks in the top ten. I Wanna Dance was the third best selling single in the UK singles chart for  1987.  The fat that only Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up and Starship’s Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now sold more copies in the year perhaps serves to illustrate the direction in which the UK singles chart, and perhaps UK pop music, was trending.  The final nail in the coffin for any pretensions of coolness for this song was my Dad’s decision to (ask me to) buy the parent album, Whitney, from which the single was taken.  Thus the first rule of Pop Music – Don’t Mix The Generations – was flouted.

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