One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 21 | 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. "Rage Hard" was a big disappointment for the 17 year old me! But hang on EG - "Rage Hard" spent more week at the top then "Relax" and "Two Tribes" for you....?!?!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  2. Two Tribes was 5 weeks I think (rudely interrupted by that Prince fellow). Relax was only a couple of weeks, yes.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  3. I stand corrected....Two Tribes will be the sound of Summer 2020 for me in the Retrochart thread!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  4. Two tribes really ought to have spent longer, but I overdosed on it right from the moment it was premiered on Capital Radio. So, 6 or 7 weeks later, I was ready for something new. Even with all the various remixes.....
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  5. Just the two outstanding write-ups left from the blog, before we have fully caught up!

    Number ones: #83

    • ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK (Forever) Live And Die (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 27th September 1986
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Depeche Mode, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and now another firm favourite returned to the fold; O.M.D. Whereas the first half of 1986 had seen some new names taking turns at the top of my chart, from August onwards it was time for the big-hitters to reclaim their dominance.

    If ever a lead single gave false hope of what lay in store with the rest of an album, and its campaign in general, then (Forever) Live And Die could be cited as a textbook example.

    O.M.D. had long since moved away from the plaintive synth-pop of Souvenir and Joan Of Arc, UK Top 5 smashes from 1981’s seminal Architecture & Morality album. In its place, Andy McCluskey and Paul Humphreys had (1983’s Dazzle Ships apart) mined a more directly commercial vein of bright, horn-augmented synth-pop with crashing snare drums ahoy. Locomotion, Tesla Girls, So In Love, If You Leave. Songs with actual choruses rather than catchy melody refrains.

    Imagine, though, if they somehow combined the two, and made a Souvenir for the Pretty In Pink generation? Plaintive synth-pop, sung by Humphreys, but with the horns, the crashing snare drums, and a ruddy big chorus to top it all off?

    (Forever) Live And Die was that record.

    It really has got the lot. Arguably their best-produced single, all lush keyboards and barber-shop harmonies, that killer middle-eight horn break, a song that’s memorable and insistent without ever being irritating…..the thrill it gave this O.M.D. fan, in anticipation of the upcoming album The Pacific Age, probably eclipsed even Frankie’s comeback a month earlier. We were finally going to get an O.M.D. album worthy of succeeding Architecture & Morality, in the glossy, digitally-enhanced Compact Disc era.

    If only.

    Well, it wasn’t a total duffer; with a better choice of singles, The Pacific Age may not have sunk quite so quickly and spectacularly. (Forever) Live And Die proved a genuine hit single, peaking at #11 in the UK and #19 in the US, yet the legacy of Crush‘s comparative lack of love from the O.M.D. fanbase continued to undermine the band’s album sales. A top 10 entry on the back of such a strong lead single would have been the least of their expectations, but The Pacific Age could only chart at #15, gone by November (as a song once put it).

    That might have been unexpected, yet given the general bloodbath taking place on the UK pop scene it wasn’t as bad as it could have been (The Human League, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw and others will testify to that). What happened next was still unnecessary, though. Whoever was picking the singles from O.M.D. albums in the mid-80s (was it the office cat?), they went one worse than the choice of La Femme Accident from Crush by opting for the terminally dull, by-numbers synthetic drivel of We Love You, bereft of charm, of melody and of any interest whatsoever. Even more bizarrely, Virgin threw the absolute kitchen sink at it, in terms of advertising and remix formats.

    Unsurprisingly, it didn’t pay off. A turkey is a turkey, however you dress it up.

    Why not album opener Stay (The Black Rose & The Universal Wheel)? A typically offbeat O.M.D. title, a punchy arrangement, plenty going on in the mix and a decent chorus. Or how about Goddess Of Love? The most obvious single-in-waiting of their career, yet perversely relegated to a B-side. Nope. Clearly not as outstanding as We Love You, according to Virgin/the band/the office cat.

    With the campaign pretty much over before Christmas, and sales flat-lining for several months afterwards too, what better move than to release a third and final single from the album in late April 1987, when the entire pop world has forgotten all about O.M.D. and how marvellous (Forever) Live And Die actually was. So, the low-key ballad Shame slunk out, in pointlessly re-recorded form, and no amount of promotion or tempting fans with a (then still-a-novelty) CD-single format was going to get it into the Top 40. God knows it’s a Shame, indeed.

    I’ll never know, I’ll never know why.

    (Okay, I’ll stop now).
  6. Two bands had a single out in 1987 called "Shame":
    OMD and Eurythmics - two completely different songs!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  7. But both flops. Criminal.
    Querelle Mix and Hairycub1969 like this.
  8. All I want catch up with these write-ups...

    Number ones: #84
    • HOWARD JONES All I Want (WEA)
    • Week Ending 11th October 1986
    • 3 Weeks At #1

    Next up, the return of HoJo; by far the most successful act on my charts in the first few years of compiling them, and now apparently on the way back to his best after the rushed, irritating day-glo pop of Dream Into Action.

    The re-recorded No One Is To Blame had already reached #1 on my Top 40 earlier in 1986, and now he returned with a brand new song to launch One To One, (studio) album number three. All I Want was exactly the Howard Jones record I’d been waiting for since late 1984.

    On the surface, all the signs were good; the silly hair had been sensibly trimmed, the gaudy shiny suits dispensed with, while the track itself bore similarities with the darker, more thoughtful style of Human’s Lib than the lightweight guff of Dream Into Action. This seemed like good news. As did the prospect of legendary producer Arif Mardin being at the helm for the whole album, fresh from his seminal work with Chaka Khan and Scritti Politti.

    Unfortunately, he had made the right record at the wrong time. Autumn 1986 witnessed a quite brutal sea-change in the UK’s tastes, with the barely-established mid-80s pop royalty being unceremoniously shunted aside. Paul Young, Nik Kershaw, Go West, O.M.D., The Human League, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Howard himself would join Thompson Twins, Blancmange, ABC and Madness (the latter pair temporarily) on the scrapheap. More would follow by the time 1987 came along.

    All I Want entered the UK Top 40 at #38, limped to #35 (perhaps not helped by a strangely muted Top Of The Pops performance, with HoJo clearly not feeling 100%) and then crashed out. On a chart filled with novelty records, nascent House tracks, Eastenders actors and a lot of music that wouldn’t have been successful a year or two earlier, All I Want sounded lost, an echo of a recent past that with typical cruelty the British public had decided to leave behind. Watching a Top Of The Pops during this era for followers of mid-80s favourites, when a gorgeous Paul Young single likeWonderland bombed out at #24 and went down like the proverbial lead balloon with the studio audience, must have been similar to how fans of the great 60s and 70s acts felt as Slade, T. Rex and their ilk went down the dumper.

    In America, the label opted for You Know I Love You….Don’t You?, an effervescent bop that rattled along at quite a lick, evoking the plastic pop of Dream Into Action but saved by a superior arrangement and, basically, a stronger melody than anything on that album. It was a wise move, since the US seemed to prefer upbeat, bouncy HoJo on the whole; All I Want would later be a single there, but became his first flop for some time, reaching the mid-80s on Billboard’s Hot 100.

    I previously bemoaned the single choices made by Virgin from O.M.D.’s The Pacific Age, but WEA hardly did much better with the One To One campaign. Maybe they ought to have followed the American schedule, with You Know I Love You.. providing a sonic link from Dream Into Action, smoothing the way back towards a more introspective style. There was a standout ballad on One To One, the gospel-tinged Will You Be There? with its shades of Hide & Seek, but that was ignored in favour of Little Bit Of Snow. Perhaps by that stage, WEA allowed Howard to choose something that meant a lot to him, the song having been inspired by the drug-related death of someone he’d known, but commercially it was a raising of the white flag.

    If either the record label or HoJo himself had wanted to try and fit in with the changing mood of the UK Top 40, there was what Smash Hits magazine might have called “an ace uptempo track” called Step Into These Shoes; a lyrically lightweight but breezy nod to the stereotypical Howard Jones sound of old, given the expected sheen from Arif Mardin’s presence at the controls. Also overlooked was the track which Howard identified as his personal favourite on the album, The Balance Of Love (Give & Take), by far the closest he’d ever got to the magic formula of Human’s Lib again.

    All I Want nonetheless reigned atop my own chart for almost a month, seeing off a new a-ha single (I’ve Been Losing You) as well as singles from his peers Nik Kershaw (Nobody Knows) and Paul Young (the aforementioned Wonderland). It is a little clunky in the lyrical department (“fashion for the parking lot”, “parcel up what’s left of me”, and so on) but that was always part of the charm, and musically it remains one of his most pleasingly sophisticated creations.

    None of this was enough to secure the track a place on his first retrospective in 1993, “The Best Of Howard Jones”; in fact, just one selection from One To One made the cut, but as his last UK Top 40 hit single its omission was still surprising.
  9. Heavens above, we have actually caught up with the I will have to start writing some new posts.....yikes...

    NB: this write-up makes more sense if you're aware of the 12" version..and Glenn's monologue at the start...

    Number ones: #85
    • HEAVEN 17 Contenders (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 1st November 1986
    • 1 Week At #1

    (Excerpts from the previously-unpublished Diary Of A Music Blog Contender)….

    Saturday, July 27th 2019.

    The afdpj blog has reached its 85th Number One, and a write-up is needed. It’s been over a week since the last post. Argh. But this heat. This heat! Will it never end? I have to come up with some interesting recollections about a single which peaked at #80 on the UK charts almost 33 years ago, and which out of blind loyalty (or youthful naivety) I had at #1 on my own Top 40 for a solitary week, while it feels as though the very bowels of Hell itself are opening up. This heat!

    Contenders well and truly brought Heaven 17’s love affair with the record-purchasing public to an end (hideous 1990s remixes aside). On a downward slide ever since 1983’s Crushed By The Wheels On Industry gave them a third Top 20 hit in a row, the third and final release from 1984’s How Men Are opus had only managed #52 – ..(And That’s No Lie), my first #1 of 1985.

    Their next release was a project with former Temptations singer Jimmy Ruffin, a stylish ballad called The Foolish Thing To Do which deliberately and respectfully aped the stylings of classic 70s soul. It was a perfect vehicle for Ruffin, still sounding as commanding and evocative as ever, and as a composition it was easily the best thing Heaven 17 had put their name to since Temptation, while the production was arguably even more sophisticated than the version of Let’s Stay Together they created with Tina Turner a couple of years before.

    The Foolish Thing To Do got some airplay and TV promotion via The Tube, yet it became the first Heaven 17-related single to miss the Top 75 over Easter 1986. Following a six-month gap (during which a long-awaited remix album Endlesswas released), the trio returned to action on their own. Fourth album proper, Pleasure One, was preceded by the swaggering, relentless groove of Contenders.

    The problem, sadly, is that however much I personally don’t mind its lack of an actual melody or real chorus, the harsh truth is it lacks an actual melody or real chorus and thus its commercial failure isn’t as easy to rail against, as it might be with something that does possess those attributes. It’s like a nice intro, for four minutes.

    Glenn’s vocals are impeccable and somewhat imperious. The musicianship is razor-sharp. The production is, if anything, just that bit too clean and precise. For a band seemingly intent on making (white) soul music at this point in their career, Contenders has very little soul and although it does swing, it doesn’t ever quite get going. It spends its entire length threatening to build into a funk which never arrives.

    The US club mixes do their best to add some snappy synth and percussive embellishments, but the original 7″ mix is a curiously brittle thing. Perhaps they believed (or hoped) their fanbase would lap it up nonetheless (and yours truly certainly did…double-pack 12″ and all!), keeping the obvious standout track from Pleasure One – the more typical Heaven 17 pop of Trouble – for the future.

    Trouble would gets its chance in January 1987, but as with ..(And That’s No Lie)exactly two years earlier, it peaked in the 50s (one place higher at #51). It just failed to give Heaven 17 another #1 on my own charts, reaching #2, but I did still buy the double-pack 12″.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  10. I picked up both "Contenders" and "Trouble" from the Woolworth's bargain bin for around 50p in Hounslow when they either gave up entering the chart/came crashing out of the top 75 within a couple of weeks....I was gutted that "Trouble" didn't er...."Trouble" the Top 40 - especially as The Style Council got back in the top ten around the same time with "It didn't matter" in Jan 1987 - The UK public was more interesting in discovering Curiosity Killed the Cat at the time...
    Eric Generic likes this.
  11. Trouble and It Didn't Matter were back-to-back #2s on my chart! I thought 1987 was going to be a great year for the established pop royalty....but things went in a very different direction.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  12. Summer recess is over. The write-ups are back!

    Number ones: #86

    • DURAN DURAN Notorious (EMI)
    • Week Ending 8th November 1986
    • 1 Week At #1

    They’re BACK! BACK!! BACK!!!

    Yes, the trawl through the idiosyncrasies of my personal Top 40s finally returns after a summer hiatus, but we could just as easily be talking about the release of Duran Duran’s first single in over 18 months.

    That previous record, the Bond Theme for A View To A Kill, was a significant hit (#2 in the UK, #1 in the US) but effectively heralded the end of Duran Mk.I, as the five members splintered off in different directions with side projects The Power Station (John and Andy) and Arcadia (Simon, Nick and Roger).

    By the time Notorious emerged in October 1986, five had become three as Andy and Roger bailed out. The surviving trio, who comprised the dominant two-thirds of Arcadia, unsurprisingly sounded quite a lot like Arcadia. A little less artsy, perhaps, but there wasn’t an awful lot to differentiate between Election Day or The Flame and this comeback track. It’s Duran Duran, but not quite as we knew it.

    Nile Rodgers was on production duties again, and it’s obvious the departure of the band’s drummer and lead guitarist allowed him to bring a lighter touch, and a funkier precision, to the arrangement. Duran’s oft-cited desire to be a cross between Chic and The Sex Pistols has by this stage seen them effectively ape a purely Chic-esque sound with genuine conviction thanks to Rodgers’ involvement and influence.

    Lyrically, it’s business as normal with LeBon’s talent for clunky couplets and naff wordplay very much intact, creating an impenetrable fug of pretentious twaddle (“don’t monkey with my business”, “lies come hard to disguise” etc). It’s something of a surprise to discover that “who really gives a damn for a flaky bandit?” isn’t about a well-known chocolate biscuit bar of the day, but a veiled attack on ex-guitarist Andy Taylor.

    Notorious as a song title stemmed from an idea, during the recording sessions for the album, to name tracks after Alfred Hitchcock films; thus on the Notorious album itself we also got Vertigo (Do The Demolition) and Hold Me (The Trouble With Louise), the latter an homage of sorts to The Trouble With Harry.

    None of this played especially well to the Smash Hits crowd, who were now interested in Pet Shop Boys, a-ha, Five Star and Madonna. Fanbase loyalty saw the single debut at #14 (their worst entry position since New Moon On Monday famously flopped in January 1984), climb to #7, and then perform a rather hasty descent from the Top 75. Curiously, this mirrored the Top 40 fate of Arcadia’s first single Election Day some 12 months earlier. Not even a studio performance on Top Of The Pops – which had that strangely familar feel of “yesterday’s men” to seasoned observers watching formerly unstoppable chart acts lose their lustre – could boost its fortunes.

    Pop music was having one of its regular clearouts, and another changing of the guard was taking place. Duran Duran were by no means the only New Wave giants to suffer.
  13. No - no - no comments on this one?
    ModeRed likes this.
  14. It's not Is There Something I Should Know is it?

    It's not even A View To A Kill.

    I didn't know they were already a 3 piece by now.
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  15. It's a fairly slight song, looking back, but clearly enough to impress me at the time...not only did it (briefly) make my #1, it had me buying the album as soon as it was released a few weeks later. And I wasn't someone who'd bought any Duran-related albums before...not even Arcadia's So Red The Rose. I'd just bought the Reflex and Election Day on 7".

    Notorious - the album - became my 2nd ever CD purchase and it remains one of the most pristine, sensational sounding albums in my collection. a "DDD" mastered recording, completely state of the art. I was playing Skin Trade last night on my iPod and even in 320kps the sheer brilliance of that production is remarkable. I can't believe I only charted it at #4.
    Hairycub1969 and phoenix123 like this.
  16. I was shocked at the time when "Notorious" went down the chart - I was expecting 14-7-2 not 14-7-12-20-36
    but as Roger would say: The tide is turning after Live Aid.
    The teenage fans had left the building and serious music fans (like my cousin who introduced me to INXS that summer) were now into Duran Duran and raving about "Notorious" the album - the production, the arrangements, the quality of the songs. When I first hear the album around Christmas 1986 "Skin Trade" and "American Science" stood out - although the former was vocally trying to be Prince's "Kiss"!
  17. Weirdly, the single did exactly what Election Day at 14, up to 7, then down quickly. In the US it managed to get to #1 or #2, but none of the other singles from the album did anything there (in fact, Presidente flopped so badly in America that John Taylor thought their career was over).

    My initial favourites from the album were American Science, Vertigo and Winter Marches On (I didn't even realise the latter was the B-side to Notorious the single, as I didn't have much interest in singles by then).
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  18. I see it did very well in US and was held off Billboard #1 by Walk Like An Egyptian.
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  19. Skin Trade shocking only made #39.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  20. Notorious (the album) is probably Duran’s finest. Odd to think it occurred when their popularity was on the wane
    Blaahh, Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
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