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The top ten this week in 1987: Madonna scores with song Michael Jackson rejected


‘La Isla Bonita’ earned Madonna the accolade of most number one hits by a female artist

‘La Isla Bonita’ earned Madonna the accolade of most number one hits by a female artist

‘La Isla Bonita’ earned Madonna the accolade of most number one hits by a female artist


'La Isla Bonita' ('The Beautiful Island') was first pitched to Michael Jackson in instrumental demo form as a possibility for his 'Bad' album, but he turned it down.

Madonna saw the potential and contributed lyrics that she later said were a tribute to the 'beauty and mystery of Latin American people'.

The San Pedro in the song is often interpreted as the town of San Pedro on the island of Ambergis Caye, Belize, but Madonna says the reference is not so exotic.

She told Rolling Stone: 'I don't know where San Pedro is. At that point, I wasn't a person who went on holidays to beautiful islands. I may have been on the way to the studio and seen an exit ramp for San Pedro.'

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'La Isla Bonita' was a critical and commercial success. It was Madonna's fourth number one in the UK (after 'Into The Blue', 'Papa Don't Preach' and 'True Blue'), earning her a record for most number ones by a female artist.

It reached number two in the Irish charts, held off the top by The Dubliners and The Pogues' version of 'The Irish Rover'.

'La Isla Bonita', the first Madonna song to contain Latin influences, was one of five singles from her third studio album 'True Blue' to reach number one in the US or the UK.

The song is one of the most performed live songs by Madonna, featuring on the set list of six of her world tours. She has regularly performed it in its Spanish form.

• 'Can't Be With You Tonight' is the biggest hit in the career of reggae and R&B singer Judy Boucher.

Boucher was born on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent but moved to the UK in the mid sixties. She began singing at the age of 16 in her brother's band, Judy Jack and the Beanstalks. Her international breakthrough came in 1987 with the release of debut solo album 'Can't Be With You Tonight'.

The title track was a worldwide hit, peaking at number 2 in both the UK and Irish charts. Follow-up single 'You Caught My Eye' was a lesser hit, reaching No. 18 in the UK and 15 in Ireland.

'Can't Be with You Tonight' was voted second in the 25 most influential Vincentian songs, as part of their Silver Jubilee Independence Anniversary.

1 La Isla Bonita Madonna

2 Can't Be With You Tonight Judy Boucher

3 Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now Starship

4 The Slightest Touch Five Star

5 Lean On Me Club Nouveau

6 Living In A Box Living In A Box

7 A Boy From Nowhere Tom Jones

8 If You Let Me Stay Terence Trent D'Arby

9 Another Step (Closer To You) Kim Wilde and Junior

10 Sheila Takes A Bow The Smiths