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

Talking about "Live Aid" - this month was the 30th anniversary and "Classic Pop" magazine has an interesting article covering it in it's latest issue
Talking about "Live Aid" - this month was the 30th anniversary and "Classic Pop" magazine has an interesting article covering it in it's latest issue

I guess we won't get much insight, then...there are things which Classic Pop do well (not many, but some!) - sadly, retrospective articles on mainstream pop in general is not one of them. The pieces on record labels and design studios etc are always excellent.


It struggled all week long before creating some clear water by the weekend and so “I Know Him So Well” completes a fourth week at the top but its sales dipped below the 100,000k mark to 92,000 just 9,000 ahead of a nicely improving Dead Or Alive, and with both scheduled to be on TOTP this week you have to favour a new chart topper imminently.


Prince Dips out of the top 10 this week with “1999/ Little Red Corvette” but fear not as he enters this week with “Let’s Go Crazy/ Take Me With U” which expands 27-9 (34,000). It’s already been a US chart topper last year and he’s hoping in the light of the success of his previous single that this track from the “Purple Rain” album can turn the trick for him here.

The Commodores rise 9-6 (45,000) but they’re the only success story from the remaining singles with most singles moving down a slot. They include King (2-3, 77,000), Ashford & Simpson (3-4, 53,000) and Bruce Springsteen (4-5, 47,000) who all make room for Dead Or Alive. Meanwhile Howard Jones (6-7, 41,000), and Kirsty MacColl (7-8, 38,000) dip to assist the Commodores climb and Art Of Noise drop 8-10 (30,000).
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Even as it tops the charts it looks like Dead Or Alive are running out of steam, but let’s look at the positives firstly. It’s the group first top 20 hit and finally means that they can claim to have arrived on the UK music scene, the second album is just being finished off and should be out in the next few months, it’s also the first chart topper for producers Stock/ Aitken and Waterman who are rapidly becoming in demand after helming Hazell Dean and Divine into the top 20 last year. The song has taken 15 weeks since its debut in the charts to go all the way to No 1 creating a new chart record, indeed the song was released before any of the three No 1 hits that preceded it entered the charts, it’s also the first No 1 song to mention the defining product in the music industry- the record.

Sales wise it did increase its tally, but only by 3,000 to 91,000 to bring its total to 309,000, it easily outpaced the outgoing chart topper “I Know Him So Well” with some ease as that sold 61,000, "I Know Him So Well" is now the biggest selling female duet in chart history with 699,000 sales so far.


Stephen Duffy is of course a founding member and the original vocalist of Duran Duran (he left the group in 1979 a year before they signed a record deal) Duffy went on to form several other groups including Tin Tin in 1982 with whom he released “Kiss Me” in late 1982 which peaked at No 155. He re-recorded the track for a solo release in 1984 where it was made available in limited copies before a full release this year, finally the song arrives in the top 10 at a third time of asking leaping 22-4 (51,000) which might make up slightly for walking out on the success he missed out on with the Durranies.


Top 5 in the US already Nile Rogers is back on production duties again to steer the new Madonna single “Material Girl” into the top 5 flying 24-5 (48,000) as it becomes her third top 10 single in total and second in a row from the “Like A Virgin” album. The album has only performed in a middling fashion thus far peaking at No 17 and selling 300,000 copies though it rebounds 37-23 this week, both single and album benefit from another eye catching promo video in which Madonna lifts the scene from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” where Monroe sang “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”- say what you like about her but she does make a good pop promo.

The Commodores almost caught Paige & Dickson at the end of the week as they moved 6-3 (60,000) to have just their second top 3 single of their long career, Prince also advances 9-7 (47,000) though it doesn’t look troubling the top slot. Four other tracks are on their way down, Ashford & Simpson collapse 4-6 (48,000), King abdicate 3-8 (47,000) Springsteen scurries 5-9 (38,000) and Howard Jones scarpers 7-10 (34,000)

Top 10 in pics




Its sales dive 14% to 78,000 but Dead Or Alive hold at the top slot but their grip looks slight given the happenings directly below the track this week. The band are clearly enjoying their time in the limelight however with a string of outrageous interviews by Pete Burns who gives good headlines in the temporary absence of Boy George.


The trouble on the horizon comes from Earth Wind & Fire’s frontman Philip Bailey and Phil Collins who have teamed up to give us “Easy Lover” which jets in 20-2 (56,000). In doing so it becomes Bailey’s first taste of solo success in the UK charts but Collins’s 7th top 20 single, it is primarily an advert for Bailey’s third album “Chinese Wall” which is out in a fortnight, Collins of course spends a third week at No 1 on the album charts this week as his “No Jacket Required” dominates but it doesn’t contain this hit.


Over the course of the last 2 years we’ve had several big 70s act reviving career’s thought behind them in terms of top 10 singles, Alvin Stardust, Gary Glitter, and Slade most notably, now add David Cassidy to that list. He’s just finished his first album in 7 years, and has been absent from the UK charts for almost 10 years, but he’s teamed up with Alan Tarney who is more famous for his work for Leo Sayer and Cliff Richard to come up with “Last Kiss”. Add in backing vocals from a certain George Michael and you get a top 10 hit, the track bounds 11-6 (49,000).


It’s a good time to be a Jackson with Michael Jackson undoubtedly the biggest star on the planet at the moment, brother Jermaine is back to shine as well, his only previous top 20 single was 1980’s “Let’s Get Serious” which went to No 8. “Do What You Do” comes with a B-Side called “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming” which is duet with his more famous brother and can only help sales as it climbs 18-7 (43,000) to become his biggest hit to date!


Written for their 1980 album “Voices” Hall & Oates clearly didn’t believe that “Everytime You Go Away” was single worthy but thankfully Paul Young did as his version sprints 26-9 (40,000) to become his sixth straight top 10 single on the trot. Young’s second album “The Secret Of Association” is out in a fortnight and now already contains a trio of top 10 singles, you can’t get much better promotion for it really, his last album “No Parlez” is of course a million seller with sales of almost 1,3 million already.

Madonna was on for the No 2 spot for most of the week but was pipped by the Phillips at the death having to settle for a 5-3 (54,000) move, just ahead of Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy” who holds at No 4 (53,000) which narrowly outstrips the Commodores 3-5 (53,000) in a tight packed top 5 Dead or Alive aside. Paige & Dickson slide 2-9 (43,000) but they should sell their ¾ of a millionth copy sometime this week, and Prince falls 7-10 (39,000) in a pretty good week for sales all around.

Top 10 in pics


Some singles peaking outside the top 10 for w/e 02 March 1985:

At number 12 - band number three of the 80's for Terry Hall (The Specials, Fun Boy Three and now) The Colour Field and their single "Thinking of you"

Peaking at number 17 we fine a very odd combination - but for me it worked beautifully:

Bill Sharpe (from Shakatak) and Gary Numan - Change your mind:

Moving on to w/e 09 March 1985 and it's great to finally see "Kiss me" becoming a hit for Stephen "Tintin" Duffy!

Meanwhile peaking at number 12 is one of my all time favourite singles:
Don Henley and "The boys of summer" - how this didn't break into the UK top ten, I'll never know!

I loved Change Your Mind; it was good to see Numan back in the top 20 after a year of flops. Bill Sharpe's Famous People album really needs a CD reissue! I bought the 7" picture disc from HMV in London, along with We Close Our Eyes 7" picture disc. I'm not sure the latter was even inside the top 40 at that point.

Love Like Blood is fantastic, another dark epic from early 1985.

That's still a brilliant top 10, apart from Do What You Do which I never really cared for.