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


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With a near blanket TV snub and radio avoiding it at best, nothing can stop “Relax” powering to the top of the charts this week, fuelled more or less on pure controversy. The only real exposure the track got was on “The Tube” on Channel 4 who re-aired the band’s appearance from last month, but even with that the song sold 69,000 to take the crown from the fast fading Paul McCartney who falls 1-2 (48,000). It’s also a ringing endorsement of the production kudos of Trevor Horn who has overhauled the track from the original 1982 version and has made commercial gold from the controversial track, a new video was released this week for the track which is considerably tamer than the first promo merely featuring the band performing the song but it remains unaired here.



Culled from the recording sessions for his “Double Fantasy” album, Lennon is back in the top 10 this week with “Nobody Told Me” which was unfinished at the time of his death. It was completed by his widow Yoko Ono and will form a track on the forthcoming “Milk & Honey” album which is released this week and was, apparently, always intended as the follow up to “Double Fantasy” which has so far sold just under 800,000 copies. It arrived at No 11 last week but can only advance 5 places this week to No 6 (33,000)


Big Country are currently in Sweden recording their second album at ABBA’s Polar studios but to keep their UK chart career ticking over they’ve released a stand alone single “Wonderland” which debuted at No 13 last week and this week climbs 13-8 (30,000). That makes it a third top tenner out of four releases from the Scottish band who big things are expected from this year, their debut album (which doesn’t contain the single obviously) responds with a 31-13 leap this week.


Liverpool is proving something an inspiration at present for top 10 acts with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and now China Crisis making it four acts in the current big ten. Last year’s “Christian” looked to be the start of their ascendancy went it peaked at No 12 but subsequent releases failed to dent the top 40 until “Wishful Thinking” debuted at No 36 a fortnight ago. It now shoots 16-9 (27,000) for the band and is the third release from their second album “Working with Fire and Steel – Possible Pop Songs Volume Two” which has yet to dent the top 20 but makes a positive step 46-22 this week.


Cyndi Lauper was told 7 years ago that she would never sing again after damaging her vocal chords, well she proves the doctors wrong this week as her cover of Robert Hazard’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” flies 23-10 (25,000) to give her the breakthrough she was after. Lauper has altered some of the lyrics with the consent of Hazard as the original was sung from a male perspective, and she’s turned it into something of a female anthem and her striking appearance is augmented with a promo which features wrestling star "Captain" Lou Albano and also her real life mother who appears as her on screen mother as well.

Joe Fagin rises 4-3 (45,000) despite actually losing sales in the process but should get a TOTP performance this week to bolster his sales, and Shaky & Bonnie hold at No 5 but again they are well down sales wise (34,000). Moving down are Howard Jones 3-4 (35,000) and Snowy White 6-7 (33,000).

Wonderland at No 8 for Big Country

Whilst we're having fun at No 10

Top 10 in pics


The entries into the top ten are getting younger but the sales are not getting higher!

Great to see "Relax" at number one - if I recall Capital Radio in London were playing it on their Saturday morning chart countdown (Pick of the pops with Alan "fluff" Freeman!)

I take it Frankie weren't invited onto Saturday Superstore? Did they appear on Number 73 instead?

John Lennon - Nobody told me at number 6 - I always thought they were milking things by now. It sounds like a bad demo!

Strong songs from Big Country, China Crisis (I was a big fan) and Cyndi Lauper enter the top ten - exciting stuff!
So what's peaking outside the top ten this week?

At number 13 - this needs no introduction for all the sisters out there:

Smashing into the chart at number 20 then going down are:

Simple Minds and the brilliant "Speed your love to me"

Listen closely - that's Kirsty MacColl in the background!

From one band who will be produced by Trevor Horn in five years time (1989 for Simple Minds) to a band who were two years ago (1982):

Peaking at number 39 are ABC and the beautiful "S.O.S." - from their "very difficult" second album "Beauty stab"

My sister who always was a queen of pop said at the time "They should have released this as the opening single from "Beauty Stab" rather then "That was then, this is now" - this one would have been a great stepping stone into their new sound. Is that really Frankie goes to Hollywood on backing vocals?

By all accounts it *is* FGTH singing backing vox on SOS. It's a lovely track; I don't know if it would have worked as the lead single, to me (and doubtless to them) it felt like the perfect January record....the way it flopped must have come as a surprise, the reaction to Beauty Stab notwithstanding.

This is where 1984 really begins for me, with tracks like Wishful Thinking (which will always remind me of a girl I knew at the time), Wonderland and Speed Your Love To Me. Oh, and a certain single that's going to debut at #17 soon.
I've always been fascinated by Simple Minds' change of musical direction around this time from synth/electro pop to stadium rock (change of producers might have been a big influence as Steve Lilywhite who produced "Sparkle in the Rain" was producing U2, Big Country etc at the time) - but here's a "demo" containing "Speed your love to me" and "Book of brilliant things"- which is very intriguing!

Oh yes, with the 5CD deluxe reissue of Sparkle now imminent, there has been a lot of talk about those alternate demos which fans were hoping might see the light of day officially.
It's weird, that when Horn did actually produce the band, it didn't really sound the way I imagined. Still really good (at the time I played the crap out of Streetfighting Years), but not as synthy as I expected somehow.
Me too! It was that really hot summer 1989 - I went to see both Pet Shop Boys and Simple Minds at Wembley Arena - both great shows but very different.

"When spirits rise" - the last track on "Street Fighting Years" used to annoy me as it just seemed to get going and then it ended at 2.00!