March 1986: Starship Hit #1 with SARA
The band Starship was indeed Knee Deep in the Hoopla in 1986. The legendary San Francisco band had evolved over the years from the Jefferson Airplane into Jefferson Starship and finally just Starship with the release of the massively successful 1985 album. The record's first single, "We Built This City," was a chart-topping smash hit, despite alienating some of the group's core audience with its overtly commercial sound.
The hits kept coming from the Hoopla LP, this time in the form of second single, "Sara." Originally released in December 1985, the earnest ballad sung by singer Mickey Thomas sailed up the Hot 100 before slamming into the #1 spot over the week of March 15, 1986.
"Sara" served as Starship's first #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in late February 1986. The track held the primary position for three weeks. Helping drive the song was a conceptual music video starring actress Rebecca De Mornay (Risky Business, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle).
"When you think about the exuberance pop of 'We Built The City,' or the kind of mainstream fashion of 'Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now,' 'Sara' had a solemn quality to it -- and much more depth musically," Mickey Thomas told Something Else! in 2015. "That's the principal reason it's held up better than the others."
The song's resonance was felt by Thomas' peers, and they weren't afraid to share the sentiment: "All of my musician and sessions friends down in LA at that point in time, as soon as 'Sara' hit the radio, were calling me and saying: 'Wow, man. I love that. How did you get that sound?' It was an audiophile song."