Bon Jovi was the big winner in Billboard magazine's annual year-end review of its weekly album and singles sales charts, outpointing U2, Whitney Houston and Madonna. "Slippery When Wet," 1987's bestselling album, helped the band take the title of Pop Artists of the Year.
"Slippery When Wet" sold more than 8 million copies in America alone and logged 38 weeks in the Top Five of the album charts. With two No. 1 singles and a No. 3 coming off that album, the New Jersey band also took the honors as top pop artists in combined single and album activity (last year, they were No. 37).
Ireland's U2, which didn't even show up in last year's recap, also had a No. 1 album and two No. 1 singles and took the runner-up spot, while previous winners Whitney Houston (No. 1 in 1986) and Madonna (No. 1 in 1985) placed third and fourth, respectively.
The eligibility period ran from Nov. 15, 1986, through Nov. 14, 1987. Positions were decided using a point system based on weekly chart position and longevity, which is why big late-fall albums such as Michael Jackson's "Bad" and George Michael's "Faith" won't show up until next year's list.
The other Top 10 finishers: Whitesnake, Huey Lewis and the News, Janet Jackson, Bruce Hornsby and the Range, Genesis and the Beastie Boys. The next 10 positions were held by Europe, Steve Winwood, Paul Simon, Poison, Kenny G., Expose, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Billy Idol, Heart and Anita Baker.
The top pop albums: "Slippery When Wet"; Simon's "Graceland"; the Beastie Boys' "Licensed to Ill"; Bruce Hornsby's "The Way It Is"; Janet Jackson's "Control"; U2's "The Joshua Tree"; Lewis' "Fore!"; Cinderella's "Night Songs"; Anita Baker's "Rapture"; and Genesis' "Invisible Touch."
Madonna did manage to top the singles artists charts with five hits, followed by U2, Whitney Houston, Huey Lewis, Genesis, Expose, Bon Jovi, Janet Jackson, Lisa Lisa and Heart. The top pop singles: the Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian"; Heart's "Alone"; Gregory Abbott's "Shake You Down"; Houston's "I Want to Dance With Somebody"; Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now"; Robbie Nevil's "C'est la Vie"; Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"; Hornsby's "The Way It Is"; Bob Seger's "Shakedown"; and Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer."
Madonna was also the top dance sales artist over Nancy Martinez, Company B, Stacey Q, Jody Watley, Dead or Alive, Mel & Kim, Debbie Gibson, Lisa Lisa and Janet Jackson. The top 12-inch singles were Debbie Gibson's "Only in My Dreams," Dead or Alive's "Brand New Lover," Company B's "Fascinated," Expose's "Come Go With Me" and Sylvester's "Someone Like You."
On Billboard's black charts the big winner was a Jackson, but not Michael, or even Janet (though she did pretty well). Freddie Jackson was 1987's top black artist, had the top album and topped the singles category. The album winners were Jackson's "Just Like the First Time," Luther Vandross' "Give Me the Reason," Baker's "Rapture," Cameo's "Word Up," Janet Jackson's "Control," Kenny G's "Duotones," the Beasties' "Licensed to Ill," Club Nouveau's "Life, Love and Pain," Melba Moore's "A Lot of Love" and Jody Watley's eponymous debut. Freddie Jackson had the top-rated single with "Stop to Love," followed by Atlantic Starr's "Always," Shirley Murdock's "As We Lay," Kool and the Gang's "Victory," Jackson's "Control," Levert's "Casanova," Ready for the World's "Love You Down," Jody Watley's "Looking for a New Love," Smokey Robinson's "Just to See Her" and Force M.D.'s "Love Is a House."
The Top 10 country albums were Randy Travis' "Storms of Life," George Strait's "Ocean Front Property," Restless Heart's "Wheels," Alabama's "The Touch," Dwight Yoakum's "Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc.," the Judds' "Heartland," Travis' "Always and Forever," Reba McEntire's "What Am I Gonna Do About You," George Jones' "Wine Colored Roses" and "The Trio," featuring Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.
The top country singles: Michael Johnson's "Give Me Wings," T.G. Sheppard's "Half Past Forever," McEntire's "What Am I Gonna Do About You," the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's "Fishin' in the Dark," Johnson's "The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoulders," the Judds' "Cry Myself to Sleep," the Forester Sisters' "You Again," Ricky Van Shelton's "Somebody Lied," Rosanne Cash's "The Way We Make a Broken Heart" and the Oak Ridge Boys' "It Takes a Little Rain."
Top jazz albums: Dexter Gordon's "The Other Side of 'Round Midnight," Michael Brecker, the sound track to " 'Round Midnight," Wynton Marsalis' "J Mood" and brother Branford Marsalis' "Royal Garden Blues." On the contemporary side, the winners were Kenny G's "Duotones," Najee's "Najee's Theme," Bobby McFerrin's "Spontaneous Inventions," George Howard's "A Nice Place to Be" and Miles Davis' "Tutu."
The top classical albums were Vladimir Horowitz' "Horowitz in Moscow," Kathleen Battle and Christopher Parkening's "Pleasures of Their Company," "Kathleen Battle Sings Mozart," "Horowitz: The Studio Recordings" and Wynton Marsalis' "Carnaval." Branford Marsalis also placed No. 14 here with "Romances for Saxophone."