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

Well it has some decent songs (Things Can Only Get Better, Look Mama, No One Is To Blame, Elegy, Why Look For The Key) but the rest is a bit iffy. I suppose the production just came as too much of a change - all plastic-sounding brass and clunky percussion. And some of the lyrics - all self-penned as opposed to Human's Lib when he used a lyricist for some songs - are a bit clumsy.

It was more successful in the US than here, so I suppose it did the job it was intended to do.


Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson consolidate their position at No 1 on the weekly charts and in the YTD charts as they record another good sale of 111,000 this week, but they were pursued more closely than ever before by King who only marginally lost sales at No 2 (96,000). The two tracks are well clear of the rest of the field with nothing posing an immediate danger.


Dead Or Alive are a group with more press than record sales thus far in their career thanks to the rather outspoken lead singer Pete Burns, their only UK hit so far was the cover of KC & The Sunshine Band’s 1975 No 4 hit “That’s The Way (I Like It)” which bowed out at No 22 last year. Burns’ first group Mystery Girl also contained Julian Cope and Pete Wylie who of course have gone onto greater things but Burns formed Dead Or Alive back in 1980 with the group attained some media attention in the wake of the success of Boy George and Marilyn which led Epic to signing them in 1983 though their first three singles all bombed. We arrive now at the group’s second album and the lead single from it “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” which has been lingering around the bottom of the charts moving 55-49-51-58-65-55-48-45-41-42-40-19-5 so far and sold 51,000 copies last week to smash the inertia of the top 5.


The only other new entry in the top 10 rests down at No 9 with the Commodores “Nightshift”. It’s their first hit since the departure of Lionel Richie in 1981 and is a tribute to some pretty famous singers no longer with us including Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, their last album “13” failed to produce any UK hit singles, a far cry from their late 70s heyday but now they seem back on track as “Nightshift” lifts 17-9 (35,000).

So no movement at all in the top 4 which means that Ashford & Simpson remain solid at No 3 (58,000) and Bruce Springsteen holds at No 4 (54,000), Howard Jones loses a small amount sales (45,000) but incredibly still rises 7-6 just above a fast moving Kirsty MacColl 10-7 (39,000) and even Art Of Noise continue their slow ascendance to the top 9-8 (38,000). Prince rounds off the top 10 dipping 6-10 (35,000).
Hurrah, no more Russ Abbott so the Top 10 is pretty much flawless. Nightshift's a wonderfully atmospheric, soulful record. It's a shame the band didn't continue to have more hits after Lionel Richie left.

You Spin Me Round's a strange one for me. Despite hovering around the outside of the top 40, I'd somehow never heard it until the week it snuck in at #40. It blew me away, I don't know why it wasn't a hit much quicker, maybe it just didn't get the exposure over Christmas because once it made the main chart, it soared.
W/e 23rd Feb 1985 - such a great top ten!

The Commodores - Nightshift: to me is a classic now - I love the references to Marvin Gaye "What's going on" and Jackie Wilson "Higher and Higher" My sister had this on 12 inch at the time and she used to play it in the morning before heading out to work. I can still see myself in the bedroom next door waking up to the sound of this song as I used to get ready for school - memories.

Dead or Alive's "You spin me round" I love for completely different reasons. It was the first SAW production that I took notice of and to this day "Youthquake" is still my all time favourite SAW related album - every track on that album could have been released as a single - the best by a mile is "Cake and eat it"
W/e 23rd Feb 1985 - so what's peaking outside the top ten this week?

Bryan Adams is still stuck at number 11 with "Run to you"

But at number 14 we've got Chicago and "You're the inspiration" - getting into the 80's with Madonna and Billy Idol lookalikes in the video - but shock horror: who would have thought Peter Cetera was a Bauhaus fan?!? - check out his t-shirt at the beginning of the video - was he a secret goth when he wasn't busy singing AOR/MOR ballads?

Peaking at number 24 is one of the best songs EVER from this band:

The Smiths - How soon is now

The low peak was due to the fact it was already available on a previous single but I hadn't heard it until it was released as a single in it's own right. God, I remember shouting out in my teenage angst years "I am human. I need to be loved just like everybody else does!" in my best Morrissey. By now I had discovered Oscar Wilde and was probably reading "The picture of Dorian Gray"

Peaking at number 29 is the brilliant "20/20" by George Benson as already mentioned on this thread by EG!
I always found the chart run of this single interesting:
40-40-39-31-29 - climbling nicely and then it drops out the top 40 - go figure!

Misled deservedly went top 10 in the US...it was actually the lead single there, before Fresh. They were obviously trying to piggyback the Thriller sound, and - like Lionel Richie - appeal to MTV and the "pop/rock" crowd....but it's still brilliant.
Over the next few month's chart weeks, there's some really cracking 80's tunes that will be peaking in and outside the top 10 - including 2 of my all time favourite songs EVER (let alone the 80's) - the 15 year old mullet headed me was loving 1985!
1985 started so amazingly, and then.......Live Aid. Maybe it was just a coincidence. The last part of 1985 had some incredible records but they began to peak lower than I'd expected them to.
'You Spin Me Round' sounded like the most exciting record ever at the time. I don't remember it receiving any airplay at all until as EG said it sneaked in at the bottom of the Top 40. Then it just sort of exploded.

Anyone remember Pete Burns on the cover of Smash Hits with Morrissey? Those were the days.
1985 started so amazingly, and then.......Live Aid. Maybe it was just a coincidence. The last part of 1985 had some incredible records but they began to peak lower than I'd expected them to.

I don't think it was coincidence. I think pop music was viewed as silly and frivolous in the wake of Live Aid and everybody had to make more 'worthy' records and conduct interviews on World Peace and Famine. I found it rather cringeworthy to be honest.