One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 2 | The Popjustice Forum

One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010)

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Eric Generic, Dec 8, 2018.

  1. Thanks EG, that sounds perfect, for me Thompson Twins are a fond memory of my childhood without the obsessive completism that Depeche or New Order seem to have triggered!

    600 you say? Perfect!

    ...few minutes of late night shopping later, opted for the ‘Platinum...’, prompted by the thought it will have the 7” mixes I’ll be most familiar with. Not bad for a fiver! Thanks again for the sage advice
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  2. It helped that I started to digitize my old charts a few years ago, although even that is an ongoing process (just started 1992!). Of course, by the time we get to the mid-90s, I get a computer and they will more or less take care of themselves.

    Each post also involves getting the best quality image of the single sleeve, which isn't always straightforward. A lot of the time I just have to painstakingly restore them myself. I'm up to #200 or so in that respect, sometime in 1991. I need to keep ahead of the game!
     
  3. Speaking of which...

    Number ones: #4

    [​IMG]

    • QUEEN Radio Ga Ga (EMI)
    • Week Ending 25th February 1984
    • 1 week at #1

    Despite my relative lack of interest in pop music as a child, I was familiar with Queen’s hits during the 1970s and early 1980s. Who wouldn’t be, when Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Will Rock Youand Another One Bites The Dust were everywhere at the time?

    What had always struck me, even with only a passing connection to the charts, was how Queen’s sound never stayed the same (“our music changes through the years” indeed); prog rock, glam pop, new wave, retro rockabilly, funk…..they adapted and evolved with the ages. Yet this gave them a slightly cold and calculating air; would the real Queen please stand up? Of course, this multi-headed and musically fluid beast was the real Queen, a quirk of having four supremely gifted songwriters and musicians all in the same group, and all determined to showcase their talents.

    Radio Ga Ga was awash with synthesizers, drum machines and sequencers, a paean to the Golden Age of the wireless set to a Metropolis-inspired video. The melody is gorgeous, the production is sumptuous and it’s as far from the concept of a “typical” Queen record as you could have imagined (well, at least until the chorus falls back on a similar terrace-chant style to We Will Rock You). Had the band finally moved into the synthpop era and embraced it full-on?

    Not quite; the rest of parent album The Works covered familiar ground, with its mix of Brian May rockers, lavish Freddie Mercury pastiches, and one of John Deacon’s most enduring pop songs in I Want To Break Free which was arguably even more successful than Radio Ga Ga and nearly gave them consecutive #1s on my own chart.
     
  4. Brilliant write up of "Radio Ga Ga" - I always found it inspiring - but also sad that back in February 1984 "Relax" and "Radio Ga Ga" were 1 and 2 in the UK Pop Chart as "AIDS" was causing so much hell in the USA and was spreading in the UK....both bands would be deeply affected by it...the UK in the 60's/70's and 80's were so ahead of the game in embracing any type of Pop star!
     
    Eric Generic likes this.
  5. I think everyone knows my thoughts on Queen!

    As much as I like a diverse range of bands and music styles, I loathe them, and it’s been that way since I was a kid - always thought Bohemian Rhapsody was a load of old tosh but it I ever said that in the school playgrounds of the 70’s it was tantamount to blasphemy! Similarly so ‘Radio Ga Ga’ a few years later, could never see the appeal!
     
  6. I liked Radio Gaga when it was in the charts, when I was 11. My older brother had "Greatest Hits" so I was familiar with a selection of their better known songs, as well... I was quick to buy their next studio album (on see-through EMI XDR cassette) but by 1987 I was through with them, my head turned by Depeche Mode, The Cure, New Order and their ilk.

    To this day, I find the vast majority of Queen songs ridiculous (as I do with all musical theatre, for this is what it always was), and wonder what my pre-puberty self saw in them. I've no truck with what May and Taylor have done with what they clearly view as "the franchise", either.

    [edit: I'm fully aware that this isn't a widely held view, and the band are genuinely adored by millions, and good luck to them!]
     
  7. It is, isn't it, and probably why they (or The Brand) are so popular in today's cultural landscape (look at the album charts of 2018 and it's Musicals, crooners and celebs/talent show winners....it's like Rock N Roll never happened).

    Same here. My girlfriend is a total Queen nut, and is happy with whatever Rog and Bri come up with to milk The Brand, but personally I find it rather sad and pathetic.
     
  8. Next up, our first act to score multiple chart-toppers....

    Number ones: #5

    [​IMG]

    • HOWARD JONES Hide & Seek (WEA)
    • Week Ending 3rd March 1984
    • 3 weeks at #1

    The third single from Howard Jones continued his 100% strike rate on my charts (if we assume New Song would undoubtedly have been a #1 for me in 1983), but the ambient majesty of Hide & Seek couldn’t repeat the trick on the UK Top 40 despite a few optimistic predictions of bettering What Is Love?’s #2 peak.

    It was a brave single to release so early in his career, yet it did create the desired effect of showcasing yet another side to his music. From the quirky, spiky-haired chap with a mime artist on the bouncy New Song to a fully-fledged serious artist capable of transcendental, ethereal pop all in the space of six months, the public’s perception of Howard Jones was being challenged; and judging from the first week sales of his debut album Human’s Lib (released shortly after Hide & Seek) they were very much along for the ride.

    There were plenty of magnificently moody singles on the chart during the early weeks of 1984 (The Killing Moon, Soul Train, Here Comes The Rain Again and Speed Your Love To Me to name just a few), and Hide & Seek didn’t feel quite as out of place as it might have done. Even so, building from its “distant hum” into an uplifting and almost hymnal refrain, the track wasn’t obvious Top Of The Pops material; the classy video certainly did it more justice than drowning Howard in dry ice as he valiantly performed a live version in the BBC studios with just a piano for company.

    One wonders if the resulting spectacle really helped the single’s chart prospects, but Jones enjoyed the experience nonetheless and would go on to play the song in a similar style during Live Aid more than a year later.
     
  9. It's like I wrote that myself! For all my complaining about them, at least they trigger a response from me other than the indifference that a lot of modern music sadly does.
     
  10. I actually enjoy Queen more NOW then I did back in the 80's - and I DO think it's down to Freddie Mercury - he really was one of a kind. Brian and Roger really did take a chance on letting him join their initial band "Smile" - at the time!
     
    Eric Generic likes this.
  11. Yeah, at the time Freddie wasn't really given his dues, especially by the press ("IS THIS MAN A PRAT?"). Each new album in the 80s would get more or less dismissed or mocked, whatever its merits and however successful it was. They were not liked by the media, and that only changed after he died.
     
    Rooneyboy and Hairycub1969 like this.
  12. From gaga to googoo....

    Number ones: #6
    [​IMG]

    • KAJAGOOGOO The Lion’s Mouth (EMI)
    • Week Ending 24th March 1984
    • 1 week at #1



    For an established band, losing your frontman and visual focal point is tricky enough, but for Kajagoogoo the split with Limahl had arrived just three singles into their career. Undeterred, the rest of the group carried on with a brand new track, Big Apple, signalling a notable shift in direction away from the slightly fey, wine-bar pop of Too Shy and Ooh To Be Aah.

    Big Apple stormed into the Top 10 during the Autumn of 1983, enabling them to brush shoulder pads with Duran Duran and Culture Club once again, as if it were merely business as usual. The public, and Kajagoogoo’s nascent fanbase, appeared to be fine with developments; and since Limahl launched a solo career almost immediately, there was now something of a 2-for-1 appeal. Bassist and devout Christian/Vegetarian Nick Beggs – he of the “spaghetti” hair – assumed vocal duties and became the main creative force in the rejigged line-up.

    This had several consequences. Besides aligning themselves as more of a Level 42-type combo (Limahl’s presence on the first album White Feathers distracted from the obvious fact the band could do muso jazz-funk like the best of them), the lyrics began to take on a more serious, philosophical and sophisticated slant.

    Which brings us to The Lion’s Mouth, with its allusions to sin (the mouth of the Lion) and the wisdom of choosing to “walk along the narrow way” rather than succumbing to all the evil stuff that’s trying to distract and tempt us. Or something. This message is wrapped up in a quite fantastic and catchy pop song, bursting with horn sections and a bassline that would have had Mark King casting a jealous glance or two in Beggs’ direction. The middle eight alone is meaty enough to banish all thoughts of Kajagoogoo still being some kind of wimp-pop outfit for impressionable girls.

    The Lion’s Mouth charted promisingly at first, climbing to #25 within a fortnight of release (it became my first-ever pop 7″ purchase when at #37 the previous week), but then hit the buffers. Perhaps its sentiments didn’t fit in with a pop world in thrall to Frankie Goes To Hollywood, perhaps there were other reasons….it was a surprise nonetheless. EMI reacted by putting out another single, the energetic Turn Your Back On Me, just a few weeks later; there was a Smash Hits singles review by Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan at the time where he expresses surprise at its appearance so quickly on the heels of Lion’s Mouth.

    It didn’t help. Turn Your Back On Me fared even worse, and by the eventual release of the Islands album in May 1984 the new-look Kajagoogoo had come up with two absolute corking 45s in a row and yet fallen almost completely out of commercial favour. There would sadly be no further singles from Islands, or from Kajagoogoo under that moniker.

    In 1985, the GooGoo part of their name would go the way of Limahl two summers before, and a decent if unspectacular new track Shouldn’t Do That – with an inventive video – flirted with the lower reaches of the UK Top 75.
     
  13. There's something in my eyes...

    Number ones: #7

    [​IMG]

    • CULTURE CLUB It’s A Miracle (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 31st March 1984
    • 1 week at #1


    Ah, if only I’d started compiling my charts in 1983. What a run Culture Club would have enjoyed during their annus mirabilis of Church Of The Poison Mind, Karma Chameleon, Victims and the whole Kissing To Be Clever / Colour By Numbers era.

    Instead, all we have to show for how highly I rated their brand of soulful, perfect pop is this solitary week at the summit for its 4th (UK) single. Truth be told their moment was already in the process of passing by the time It’s A Miracle appeared on the Top 40, the demands of global stardom on every conceivable continent leaving them largely estranged from British shores (cf. the Japanese/American imagery and iconography on the single sleeve itself), and about to fatally lose their creative mojo while conjuring up the next opus Waking Up With The House On Fire (a disaster in every sense of the word).

    It’s A Miracle (originally It’s America) is probably the very high watermark of the style they nailed on Colour By Numbers, all the elements are in place and its breeziness is quite effortless. In the US they opted for Miss Me Blind, which could easily have been a smash on this side of the Atlantic too, had Virgin hurried along the campaign a little (the last trio of singles were spread across 12 months, when there was surely time and space for one more).

    So here it is, the sound of a band at their peak, being overtaken by the pop world around them.
     
  14. It’s a sign of how much Kajagoogoo dropped off my radar that I don’t even know how The Lions Mouth sounds!

    For me it was as if they split after Big Apple
     
  15. Lion's Mouth is such a brilliant-sounding record....the middle eight is incredible. They got on TOTP with it, but I think it was a Smith-ed or DLT-ed episode.
     
    Hairycub1969 and ModeRed like this.
  16. Brilliant stuff Eric - love the recollections.
    Re: The Lion's Mouth - is the 7" any different to the album mix?
     
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  17. They're the same, as far as I can tell. I never noticed any difference, and the timing's match. I ought to have got the 12", really, as I loved their extended versions (I didn't make the same mistake with Turn Your Back On Me), but £1.35 versus £2.49 (or more) could be a deal-breaker!
     
    Hairycub1969 and nlgbbbblth like this.
  18. Thanks - I had a feeling they were the same. I didn't buy the single at the time. I have the Original Album Series - https://www.discogs.com/Kajagoogoo-Limahl-Original-Album-Series/release/5358722 - which is a brilliant set. Spot on re the prices!
     
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  19. Islands is a very underrated album, it was ignored on release (though did creep into the Top 40 for 1 week) but the musicianship and songwriting is top notch. I got to have a chat with Nick Beggs many years later at the bar after a Howard Jones gig and he was still very proud of that record.
     
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  20. Hobnobbing with the stars eh!
     
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
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