80s Top 10 Sales- Week By Week- 1984-1985

I'm so jealous of you lot. Probably obvious but 80-84 is my favourite musical era. I would have loved to have been old enough to have gone out to record shops to buy my favourite singles and albums in the early 80s and follow their failure or success in the charts. Must have been special.
1984 is a great year …so what about some records that peaked w/e 14th Jan 1984 outside the top 10:

First up is the brilliant Roland Rat Superstar and "Rat Rapping" peaking at number 14:

Peaking at number 15 are Kool and the Gang and "Straight ahead"

Peaking at number 24 are Tears For Fears and "The way you are" - which was a stop-gap single between two albums:

I'm so jealous of you lot. Probably obvious but 80-84 is my favourite musical era. I would have loved to have been old enough to have gone out to record shops to buy my favourite singles and albums in the early 80s and follow their failure or success in the charts. Must have been special.

You bet! Although in my case 1979 to 1985 was when I was "recording" songs off the top 40 countdown on Sundays!
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Ha! I think I started doing that in 1986 or 87. I didn't really have the money to buy singles so it was a great way to get songs for free each week. A lot of my fave acts started in the late 70s, early 80s so would have been great to contribute to their success and follow them at the time.

The Way You Are is such an odd song and not an obvious single but partly due to that fact, I remain strangely fond if it. It's a not a classic just interesting.
I was a big Roland Rat fan at the time - there was his sidekick - Kevin the Gerbil and then there was Errol the hamster - the welsh one?
Haha...and the female one...oh dear! I got Rat Rappin on 7" a few years ago, and made a fairly decent vinyl rip of it, but I'd rather have it on CD or a proper mp3. By 1986, I'd grown out of it all and the whole Roland Rat thing/show had worn a bit thin. He was fun on Breakfast TV in 1983.
21st January


It’s still number one but more or less by default, “Pipes Of Peace” registered just 63,000 copies which is the fourth lowest of the decade being only worsened (so to speak) by Charlene, Renee & Renato and KC & The Sunshine Band so far in the 80s. The album of the same name was released back in November and debuted at No 4 before falling as far as No 30 but is now revitalised as it re-peak’s at No 4 this week.


Obviously that isn’t really the big news this week, that revolves around “Relax” the record which now moves 6-2 (55,000). On his Radio 1 breakfast show on Wednesday DJ Mike Read announced that he was not going to play the track again as its lyrics were obscene, a decision which was later in the week backed by both Radio One and the BBC though both are keen to point out that it is not “banned” but just not being played, the difference is unclear. The track has already had roughly 60 plays on Radio 1 without the full implications of its lyrics being examined but it has now created a media frenzy around the band and the song which has initially at least done little harm.


Onto the new entries, you’ll probably recognise the record at No 4 as the theme to the ITV series “Auf Wiedersehen, pet” which is just coming to the end of its run. Its singer Joe Fagin was the musical director of Jim Davidson’s recent “Falklands Tour” but he landed the role of singing the opening and closing songs to the series and it is the track that closes each episode, “That’s Livin’ Alright” ,that impresses 48,000 buyers this week.


Just one behind Fagin is the star duet between Shakin’ Stevens and Bonnie Tyler who jump 13-5 (47,000). Originally released by the Spaniels in 1958 it was a hit stateside for Dinah Washington and Brook Benton two years later when it topped the R & B Charts though it wasn’t a hit here and indeed never has been. It is Tyler’s fourth top 10 hit and a marked improvement on her last release “Have You Ever Seen The Rain” which bottomed out at No 47, for Shaky it’s his tenth top 10 single as he moves just 4 behind the current act with the most top tenners this decade, Madness.


Former guitarist with both Pink Floyd and Thin Lizzy, Snowy white has now gone solo with his debut solo album due sometime this summer, first single “Bird Of Paradise” moves 19-6 (43,000) as it takes advantage of the winter lull.


It’s taken some time to make the top 10 but Lionel Richie’s “Running With The Night” suddenly leaps 22-9 (32,000) after some TOTP exposure. It has so far moved 54-41-45-41-41-36-22- 9 an odd run that saw the track held up in the Christmas rush, more was expected of the follow up to “All Night Long (All Night)” which almost made No 1 back in November. Parent album “Can’t Slow Down” is now 13 weeks old and has yet to dip below No 11, this single features a guitar solo courtesy of Toto’s Steve Lukather, in what some are calling Richie’s version of Jackson’s “Beat It”.

Four fallers to cover briefly, Howard Jones tumbles 2-3 (51,000), Status Quo discover that cocktail hour is over and fall 3-7 (38,000), Billy Joel collapses 4-8 (35,000) and Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton drift 8-10 (30,000).
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Taking flight at No 6- Snowy White

Running into the top 10- Lionel at No 9

Top 10 in pics


w/e 21st January 1984

This was the week I purchased "Relax" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood. It was so daring with THAT cover with some of the lyrics on it to go up to the counter in Our Price (yes I was a spotty, skinny 14 year old with a mullet!) and buy it!!
I was rebelling against Mike Read, who I'm afraid I have never liked…and to this day find deeply annoying!

Paul McCartney's "Pipes of peace" - I always knew this was never a big seller - in the YE chart it didn't even finish in the Top 50 of the year!

I was never really a fan of "Auf Wiedersehen, pet" - being a typical teenage Londoner, I had hardly heard any regional accents in real life and I couldn't make out half of what the characters were saying!

Shaky and Bonnie - what can one say about this single!?!

Snowy White's "Bird of paradise" is the sort of single I hated back in 1984 - but now I love! There were so many talented members in Thin Lizzy. Phil Lynnott was very perceptive - he always picked very good musicians to work with - and he always seem to have an open mind as to what style of music he would tackle next!

Lionel Richie is in his "imperial" phase - "Can't slow down" is his masterpiece imho!
w/e 21st Jan 1984 and peaking at number 15 are the brilliant Icicle Works and "Love is a wonderful colour"

Peaking at number 17 is the last "proper" single by The Police and "King of pain" - one of my all time favourite bands.

I was lucky to get tickets to see them in 2007 when they did a reunion tour and they were SOOOOooo Good live!

It's a strange top 10, isn't it....rather "geriatric", in terms of the styles and ages of the acts involved. No wonder Relax just blasted the competition away. You'd never guess that we were in for one of the defining years of the decade.

That said, I love Running With The Night more than any other Richie track, it out Thrillers anything on Thriller for me.

The make-up of this particular Top 10 is probably more to do with leftovers from Christmas and New Year.
Not the most auspicious of starts to this incredible year. Joe Fagin was the most unlikely of pop stars, wasn't he?

I always thought it was a shame that 'Running With The Night' wasn't a much bigger hit, whereas there was no getting away from his next single!
In many ways this is year zero for pop music for me. Within 2 months we had THE QUEEN (amongst many other pop moments) and nothing was ever the same again. You wouldn't have been able to tell from January's top 10 hits!