On this day in music history: December 7, 1985…

On this day in music history: December 7, 1985 – “Broken Wings” by Mr. Mister hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Richard Page, Steve George and John Lang, it is the first chart topping single for the pop/rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Having only minimal success with their 1984 debut album “I Wear The Face” produced by Peter McIan (Men At Work), the members of Mr. Mister lobby their label RCA Records to allow them to produce their next album. In the interim, lead singer and bassist Richard Page is offered opportunities to join Toto and Chicago, but declines, opting to stay with his own band. Demoing several new songs, among them is the ballad “Broken Wings. Written by Page, keyboardist and vocalist Steve George and Page’s cousin John Lang, the trio finish the song in only twenty minutes. Taking the demo tape back to RCA agrees to allow the band to produce themselves along with recording engineer and co-producer Paul DeVilliers. Once the finished album is handed in to the label, RCA initially wants an up tempo track to be the lead single. Not wanting to fall prey to what happened with their debut album, Mr. Mister insist that "Broken Wings” be released instead. Reluctantly, the label releases it in June of 1985, to virtually no reaction from radio. The single lies dormant for nearly three months, when it suddenly finds pockets of support in radio markets like Denver, CO and Minneapolis, MN. It’s only then that RCA realize that they have a potential hit on their hands, and put their promotional muscle behind the record. The song is also accompanied by a striking black and video directed by Oley Sassone that quickly becomes an MTV favorite. Entering the Hot 100 at #84 on September 21, 1985, it climbs to the top of the chart eleven weeks later. An instant pop and AC classic, “Broken Wings” crosses over into other musical genres after its chart topping success on the pop chart. Miles Davis is so taken with it, that he performs it live at the Berlin Jazz Festival in November of 1985. In 1986, jazz musician Rodney Franklin records an instrumental cover version of the song. It’s also covered by Rick Springfield, Jason Donovan, John Tesh, and The Panic Division. The song is also sampled and interpolated into rap songs by 2Pac, Joe Budden, Foxy Brown, and C-Block. Mr. Mister’s original recording is featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City on the Emotion 98.3 radio station.