One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 22 | 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. Its peak of #16 is hard to gauge properly, in comparison to their previous albums, because the charts get a bit warped in the pre-Xmas rush and it was certified Gold on release. Obviously it was a lot less successful, but the time they chose to release it kind of emphasised that. For example, the PSB's Disco was a #15 entry the week before I think, and they'd had a #1 and 4 top 20 singles in 1986.
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  2. Yeah but 'Disco' was a nice fans extra thing rather than a full new release. Duran were sadly, past their imperial phase. Losing two Taylors hastened that, but it would have happened at some point. At least they're still playing their own arena tours and not headlining 80s festivals and stuff, so that's an achievement.
  3. True. The Arcadia album fared even worse the year before, #30 at almost the same time of year. I do agree with @ModeRed that Notorious is their finest album, it's still in my all-time Top 100. Rio gets all the attention and obviously it's a classic for many reasons, but Notorious is my go-to Duran album.
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  4. Save a Prayer for our next chart-topper...

    Number ones: #87

    • BON JOVI Livin’ On A Prayer (Mercury)
    • Week Ending 15th November 1986
    • 1 Week At #1

    Hair Metal. Poodle Rock. Call it what you will. By late 1986 it had arrived in the mainstream, with Jon Bongiovi and his ultra-coiffured pals leading the commercial onslaught.

    Of course, Bon Jovi didn’t invent the genre. It roots lay in old-school Heavy Metal and the theatrical Heavy Rock of Kiss, Twisted Sister and their ilk. There was an audience for it, quite a significant one in America, but in UK Top 40 terms it remained a niche market. Even for a band like Def Leppard, who would eventually go on to have huge success in Britain, the singles charts were still tantalisingly out of reach.

    Nothing on Bon Jovi’s first two albums (the self-titled 1984 effort and 1985’s 7800 Degrees Fahrenheit) marked them out for multi-million, multi-platinum dominance, but on 1986’s Slippery When Wet they added the songcraft of Desmond Child and upped the profile of impossibly good-looking lead singer Jon. Slippery…‘s first single, You Give Love A Bad Name hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100, but it still had too many trappings of traditional Heavy Rock to grab my attention. No, what was needed to make an impact on my personal charts were some synths, obviously.

    Livin’ On A Prayer had synths. And that “voice box” effect, used relentlessly through the verses. The chorus is a belter, but crucially the record really isn’t that far from the soft rock sheen perfected by Foreigner, Journey or Survivor. And for once, the vocalist didn’t look quite so ridiculous or uncomfortable with flowing locks.

    Somewhat ironically, Livin’ On A Prayer was eclipsed on the Top 40 in the closing weeks of 1986 by The Final Countdown, a hammy European take on the format which was not helped by singer Joey Tempest and his frankly ridiculous poodle hair-do. Inexplicably, the Europe single went to #1 while Bon Jovi had to settle for #4. And annoyingly, a lot of people (including a few close associates at the time) confused the two bands.

    “No, they’re not from Scandinavia….”, I’d have to point out when playing my copy of Slippery When Wet. “They don’t do The Final Countdown….”.

    (And, “Yeah I know Europe are shit, these guys aren’t though….”).

    While they didn’t invent Hair Metal, Bon Jovi did in a way invent that other staple of late 80s and early 90s Rock, the “rootsy ballad”. On another Slippery When Wet track (and its third single) Wanted Dead Or Alive, they set a trend for taking a breather from bombast and walls of sound, to gather round a campfire and pluck out a gentle tune about the hardships of being rich and famous rock stars flying around the world, and/or how they miss the simple pleasures of home and their sweet lovin’ lady. Everyone from Guns N Roses to Poison, Damn Yankees, Skid Row, Metallica, Extreme…you name it, they all had a go. And they nearly always got to #1 in America.

    In true “story song” pop fashion, the tale of Tommy and Gina – Livin’ On A Prayer‘s young protagonists – was revisited on 1988’s Born To Be My Baby…..with the inevitable mixed results. However hard they tried to recreate that magic, it felt forced and lacking the energy of the original.
  5. Anyone feeling hungry?

    Number ones: #88

    • NEW ORDER Bizarre Love Triangle (Factory)
    • Week Ending 22nd November 1986
    • 1 Week At #1

    The second of my New Order chart-toppers in 1986, Bizarre Love Triangle was in a completely different league to Shell Shock and easily their finest moment since Thieves Like Us. Sadly, it was in that awkward period of the band’s career where some iffy singles and the messy Brotherhood album sent their commercial profile into a temporary freefall.

    BLT (in typical New Order style, the mystique-dispelling sandwich reference is deliberate) shuns the frantic dancefloor stylings of so many of its immediate predecessors (and the hellish dirge of State Of The Nation) and goes all out electronic pop. Celestial electronic pop. It’s direct, and concise, and has a chorus with the classic chord progression which has been scientifically proven to be the most perfect in pop music (as a 15-year old, even I managed to compose a listenable song around it!).

    Depending on the version / edit / mix you choose, there are varying levels of the glorious chiming synths in the arrangement; I have at least three, if not four, so-called “single versions” or “7” edits” in my collection and yet I still probably know and love the original LP incarnation the best.

    (There is, it goes without saying, no bad version of BLT).

    Given its pitiful chart performance on release in November 1986, when it popped its head around the Top 75 chart door at #56, and then quietly snuck out again, it was a surprise that nobody thought to hand it a second bite at the cherry. There were opportunities; first, after the Substance 1981-1987 set – sandwiched (sorry) just between True Faith and Touched By The Hand Of God – and then more realistically during the ? (Best Of) compilation campaign in 1994/1995. There was even an updated 1994 remix done for that particular release.

    Still, for a track which never made the Top 40 it is probably one of the better-regarded singles in the New Order canon, a sort of cult-hit-that-everyone-knows.
  6. I can't say I followed their chart positions but yeah I always assumed this was a hit as big as True Faith. I'd say this is in their top 3 for me, it's just a fabulous record.
  7. It's my favourite New Order track, and I'm a big fan.

    Just joyous.
  8. Yep, top-tier NO for me would have to include:

    True Faith
    Thieves Like Us
    Blue Monday
    Bizarre Love Triangle
  9. I’d add -

    Your Silent Face
    Face Up
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  10. "I think you are a pig, you should be in a zoo!"

    (Actually that's Every Little Counts, Face Up is "oh how I cannot bear the thought of you" isn't it).
    Hairycub1969 and Querelle Mix like this.
  11. Question is, which version is the best?

    1987 original B-side
    1994 "?" remix
    1995 single remix by Arthur Baker
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  12. Playing isn't paying, so work is what I'm saying....

    Number ones: #89

    • FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD Warriors (Of The Wasteland) (ZTT)
    • Week Ending 29th November 1986
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Continuing the relentless turnover of #1s on my chart towards the end of 1986, the second single from FGTH’s second album duly became the second to reach the summit.

    The general public, fickle turncoats that they are, had begun to desert our heroes in enough numbers to leave the Liverpool album floundering in the lower reaches of the UK Top 20 less than a fortnight after release, and so the underwhelming chart performance of Warriors.. (in at #24, a slight climb to #19, then a swift adieu) did not really come as a shock.

    Which of course was all a tremendous pity, since Warriors… possessed enough of the classic Frankie DNA to pass muster as a credible successor to the likes of Welcome To The Pleasuredome (if not, admittedly, Relax or Two Tribes). The absence of Trevor Horn might have been keenly felt on Liverpool as a whole, but here the spirit of his sonic assault is very much alive.

    The single mix is busy and multi-layered, accentuating the original album version’s bassline and chucking in the sequencers and percussion effects we loved so much on Relax. The 12″ extended mix, Attack, called upon legendary axe god Gary Moore to throw some wild shapes (no doubt appeasing The Lads’ rockist tendencies in the process). One wonders if things might have panned out differently had Warriors… been chosen as the lead single for the Liverpool campaign; it’s the closest FGTH get to evoking the rush and thrust (and the speed and sweat) of their debut album’s best bits.

    As ’twas, the band’s star was terminally on the wane and after a third single from the album – the bright’n’breezy Watching The Wildlife – apologetically slunk into the UK Top 30 in early 1987, Frankie Said… more.

    All told, FGTH enjoyed five #1s on my personal Top 40 from their seven releases between October 1983 and March 1987. The other two were #2s, not a bad record for a band who never made a bad record (at least in their lifetime, we will overlook the 90s and 00s remixes!).
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  13. Original B-side. Though I do have a liking for the 1995 version too.
    Eric Generic likes this.
  14. I've found two versions of the 1995 mix in my iTunes...the CD maxi has a 5.08, and the Singles comp version runs to 4.03. It's always like this with New Order.

    I like the original the most as well.
    ModeRed likes this.
  15. Original. As is often the case
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  16. I had the 'library case' double cassette of Substance, which accompanied me on many a paper round in 1987/1988* so all the definitive New Order single mixes are at least six minutes long in my head.

    (* along with 'Standing On A Beach' and that vaguely shonky K-Tel 1980 Bowie Best Of taped off a library LP)
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  17. I just adore "Bizarre Love Triangle" and one of the strangest (well, maybe not..) things someone said to me back in the 90's during my salad days when I poured my heart out to a fag hag: "Hmmm it's like you're caught in a bizarre love triangle, dear" - I remember replying "I'm waiting for that final moment, when you say the words that I cannot say..."
    It's another one of those songs that I feel I've lived!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  18. Ditto - the original "1963" on the B-Side of "True Faith" is the best!
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  19. More fodder for the new lost generation....

    Number ones: #90

    • NIK KERSHAW Radio Musicola (MCA)
    • Week Ending 6th December 1986
    • 3 Weeks At #1

    Pop is cruel. Pop is unfair. Pop is sometimes so cruel and so unfair that the screaming injustice of it all defies rational explanation. Exhibit A: the career trajectory of Nik Kershaw, 1984-1986.

    We can blame Live Aid, like I usually do, for the shift in tone of the music scene and the tastes and expectations of its audiences. Nik was not the only artist who was serenely churning out the Top 20 hits in the time before July 13th 1985, but who then could barely buy a chart entry by the end of the following year. Pop is also cyclical, and it’s true that the particular cycle that I’d come on board with in the Autumn of 1983 had simply peaked by mid-1985 and was almost completely out of favour by December 1986.

    Even so, the brutality with which the record-buying public shunned Nik Kershaw’s music, after a winning run of 7 consecutive hits and two platinum albums, was harsh. The respective flop third albums by Howard Jones and Paul Young at least made the Top 10 before they hastily disappeared. Radio Musicola, issued just a week after Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Liverpool limped to #5, arrived on the UK Top 75 at #47. Number forty seven.

    Where did it go wrong? Maybe the choice of Nobody Knows as its lead single didn’t help the cause; a decent enough track, it nevertheless sounded a bit too similar to his previous 45, When A Heart Beats, which itself sounded a bit too similar to Wide Boy. That’s three singles out of four which trod almost identical ground, lyrically clever as they all were and – speaking as a fan – still pretty top-notch. However, once your opening salvo falls on deaf ears, it’s a long road back. The media, the radio stations, the whole machine begins to lose confidence; is this artist a busted flush? Have they, in Smash Hits parlance, gone down the dumper?

    Radio Musicola was dubbed an “angry little album” in the same pop magazine, on release, and in late 1986 – with the rise of aspirational pop, be it the plastic escapism of Stock Aitken Waterman, the wine-bar stylings of a fashionable new breed ready to take over (Swing Out Sister, Curiosity Killed The Cat), or the suddenly popular hair-metal of Bon Jovi and Europe – the general public didn’t seem overly keen on listening to what Nik Kershaw had to say. I was.

    The title track was easily the best thing on the album, a towering ode to the machinations of the industry and the lack of integrity shown towards the very people providing the music they sought to commercialise. “I’ve got political inclinations to announce…no way if it doesn’t scan with your accounts”…..”why don’t you let us do it like Joni (Mitchell) does it?”…..”there isn’t any other way, more’s the pity!”. Scathing, indeed.

    “We’re growing up to Radio Musicola”….a world where music becomes a disposable brand like fast-food or a fizzy drink, emanating from “little boxes on the wall”, and it’ll “soon be coming in tin cans”. Something to passively consume, that gives instant gratification but not a lot else. You can see how a troubled teenager, struggling with their health and getting their first sense that all was not right with the world, could identify with such a perspective and, not liking what they saw at the top of the charts so much anymore, feel an affinity for what Nik Kershaw was doing. The track became my most-played of the entire year, despite only being released at the very end of October.

    Had my charts allowed for album tracks to be eligible, then Radio Musicola would have dominated throughout November, rather than only when eventually unleashed as a single in the first week of December. Its 3 weeks at the top barely reflects the impact it had on me, and the hammering my poor cassette of the album took over that period from October 1986 to about March 1987.

    The single debuted at #43 in the UK, but ventured no further. That did mean it fared better than the singles by Paul Young, The Human League and O.M.D. around at the same time, and equalled the peak of Howard Jones’ You Know I Love You…Don’t You?, although that would have been of little consolation.

    If MCA had been less conservative and opted for Radio Musicola instead of Nobody Knows first up, might the campaign have turned out differently? Acts suffering a dip in popularity, whether temporary or terminal, are rarely rewarded by going for the safe option; Madness rued their label’s decision to put out The Sweetest Girl as the final single from Mad Not Mad, when their own instinct was to take a risk with something like the powerful (but very un-Madness) Coldest Day. What too of Duran Duran, had they put Skin Trade out as the big comeback single in 1986 rather than Notorious? Pop is littered with these Sliding Doors moments.

    In my world, at least, Radio Musicola had its brilliance recognised.
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  20. 3 weeks at Number One? I guess one of A-ha's best singles "Cry Wolf" didn't stand a chance then?
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