The Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1987

Featuring gold-plated classics from Rick Astley, Madonna, Pet Shop Boys and more.

1987 was the big breakthrough year for British singer-songwriter Rick Astley, scoring the UK's best-selling song of the year with his debut single Never Gonna Give You Up. 

Produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, the track soared to the summit that summer, spending five weeks at Number 1 and shifting just over 766,000 copies that year, according to Official Charts Company data. 

Outside of the UK, Never Gonna Give You Up topped the charts in 25 countries, including America. The song won Best British Single at the 1988 BRIT Awards and, despite a string of follow-up hits, was to be his only Number 1.

Another big seller in 1987 was Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now by US band Starship; the power ballad served as the theme song for rom-com Mannequin and spent four weeks in pole position, selling 701,000 copies.


Image: Rex/Shutterstock

Whitney Houston landed one of the biggest hits of her career with I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), placing third with 598,000 sales, while the Bee Gees' fifth and final Number 1 single You Win Again is fourth on 555,000. T'Pau's China In Your Hand - a five week chart-topper in November/December, completes the Top 5 on 542,000.

Further down the end-of-year chart, as revealed on new Channel 5 series Britain's Favourite 80s Songs, it was a successful year for Pet Shop Boys, landing two Number 1s with It's A Sin (8) and Christmas Number 1 Always On My Mind (14) plus a further two Top 10s that year with Dusty Springfield collaboration What Have I Done To Deserve This and Rent. 

Madonna also makes two appearances with a pair of Number 1s, La Isla Bonita (17) and Who's That Girl? (20), and having broken away from Culture Club, Boy George scored a chart-topper with his first solo single, a cover of Bread's Everything I Own (21).  

Official Top 40 best-selling songs of 1987

  TITLE ARTIST PEAK
1 NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP RICK ASTLEY 1
2 NOTHING'S GONNA STOP US NOW STARSHIP 1
3 I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME) WHITNEY HOUSTON 1
4 YOU WIN AGAIN BEE GEES 1
5 CHINA IN YOUR HAND T'PAU 1
6 RESPECTABLE MEL & KIM 1
7 STAND BY ME BEN E KING 1
8 IT'S A SIN PET SHOP BOYS 1
9 STAR TREKKIN' FIRM 1
10 PUMP UP THE VOLUME M/A/R/R/S 1
11 I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) GEORGE MICHAEL & ARETHA FRANKLIN 1
12 UNDER THE BOARDWALK BRUCE WILLIS 2
13 LET IT BE FERRY AID 1
14 ALWAYS ON MY MIND PET SHOP BOYS 1
15 GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU GEORGE HARRISON 2
16 CAN'T BE WITH YOU TONIGHT JUDY BOUCHER 2
17 LA ISLA BONITA MADONNA 1
18 LA BAMBA LOS LOBOS 1
19 HOLD ME NOW JOHNNY LOGAN 2
20 WHO'S THAT GIRL MADONNA 1
21 EVERYTHING I OWN BOY GEORGE 1
22 DOWN TO EARTH CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT 3
23 WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN PERCY SLEDGE 2
24 HEARTACHE PEPSI & SHIRLIE 2
25 ALWAYS ATLANTIC STARR 3
26 WHENEVER YOU NEED SOMEBODY RICK ASTLEY 3
27 TOY BOY SINITTA 4
28 I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING JACKIE WILSON 3
29 FAITH GEORGE MICHAEL 2
30 I JUST CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU MICHAEL JACKSON/SIEDAH GARRETT 1
31 LIVE IT UP MENTAL AS ANYTHING 3
32 LOVE IN THE FIRST DEGREE BANANARAMA 3
33 CROCKETT'S THEME JAN HAMMER 2
34 ALONE HEART 3
35 WIPEOUT FAT BOYS & BEACH BOYS 2
36 CALL ME SPAGNA 2
37 LET'S WAIT AWHILE JANET JACKSON 3
38 JACK YOUR BODY STEVE 'SILK' HURLEY 1
39 THE GREAT PRETENDER FREDDIE MERCURY 4
40 MALE STRIPPER MAN 2 MAN MEET MAN PARRISH 4

©2021 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.

Please note, this chart may differ from previously published charts as it is compiled using the very latest Official Charts Company sales information now available for the 1980s period. Read more on how the Official Charts were compiled back in the 1980s here.