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POP EYE

October 25, 1987|PAUL GREIN

Not all artists are getting "tricks" for Halloween. Among those getting nice treats:

Michael Jackson. If "Bad" doesn't sell another copy, its success to date has already established that the widely reported "backlash" to Jackson was greatly exaggerated. The album has been No. 1 for the past six straight weeks, and has generated back-to-back No. 1 singles.

Madonna. Nothing can stop That Girl. Madonna has cracked the Top 5 with 13 consecutive single releases--a total topped by only two artists in the rock era: Elvis (24) and the Beatles (15). The only danger sign: the fact that a lot of Madonna's hits sound alike. Madonna would do well to take some time off and come back with something new and different.

Grateful Dead. Twenty years after rising to fame, these veteran Bay Area rockers landed their first Top 10 album ("In the Dark") and their first Top 10 single ("Touch of Grey"). They'd had hit albums before, but their highest-charting single until now was "Truckin'," which peaked at No. 64 in 1971.

R.E.M. The acclaimed Georgia-based band has its first Top 20 album ("Document") and its first Top 30 single ("The One I Love").

'70s Rockers. Several rock bands that achieved their greatest fame in the '70s have resurfaced on the charts in recent weeks. (Barely, in the case of the Bee Gees.) Pink Floyd is in the Top 5, while Aerosmith and Kiss are both in the Top 20. Also coming up fast: Yes, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull and Alice Cooper. Moral: You can never count anyone out in pop music.

Smokey Robinson. The former Miracle scored the first back-to-back Top 10 hits of his 28-year career this summer with "Just to See Her" and "One Heartbeat." Added plus: Robinson was the subject of a stylish salute in ABC's Top 10 hit, "When Smokey Sings."

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