Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Eric Generic, Dec 8, 2018.
Ha, briefly. Nick Beggs is possibly the coolest and nicest bloke that I met back in those days.
On the subject of people....
Number ones: #8
DEPECHE MODE People Are People (Mute)
Week Ending 7th April 1984
1 week at #1
Depeche Mode were yet another act whose 1983 releases had signalled a major development, both artistically and commercially. Having survived the departure of key member and main songwriter Vince Clarke after just one album, there followed a period of transition as obvious to witness as it is cliched to point out.
With that difficult second album out of the way in 1982, a new course was plotted thanks to the introduction of Alan Wilder to the band full-time. Cue one of the most fascinating and rewarding imperial phases in music history, from Get The Balance Right! all the way to the end of the 20th Century.
People Are People may have only topped my fledgling personal chart for one week, and only became their first single to do so because Everything Counts and Love, In Itself came before its inception, but…trust me, we will be seeing quite a lot more of Depeche Mode in the course of this look back at all my #1s….
Alan Wilder. Or total genius as I like to think of him!
Yep....turns out I didn't actually like Depeche Mode so much, as Alan Wilder's input. Without him....nah.
I have recently retroactively made top 40 retro charts on a monthly basis into 2015, their are some gems out there but, It takes a lot of dedication to find enjoyable music in the modern scene.
Next, another act scoring consecutive chart-toppers...
Number ones: #9
THOMPSON TWINS You Take Me Up (Arista)
Week Ending 14th April 1984
1 week at #1
Hold Me Now had reached #4 in the UK. Doctor! Doctor! peaked at #3. The album Into The Gap had debuted at #1 shortly after. It’s fair to say that the Thompson Twins were on something of a roll by the Spring of 1984, as another single was lifted from the album.
Given the abundance of riches to choose from, You Take Me Up hadn’t seemed like an obvious smash-in-waiting, at least to me (and, really, what did I know anyway). Sister Of Mercy and The Gap sounded like future singles, but Arista had clearly judged the market to perfection, as You Take Me Up cashed in on all the momentum created by its predecessors by debuting high (#13!), and climbing higher (#2!) than any other TT hit to date (and, regrettably, ever since).
So high, that they must have never wanted to come back down.
(Okay, sorry about that).
It’s a strange little record – too strange for America, it transpired (blowing their chances of a third mega-hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when it petered out at #44) – but the appeal for UK audiences was probably broader because of that. Upbeat tune, downbeat lyrics, cracking harmonica solo (all the rage, post-Karma Chameleon)….the song is a masterclass in arrangement and composition, with enough minor-key moments to offset the perky and outwardly simplistic message.
Yet pop is a cruel mistress; no sooner does it seem as though an act has mastered a winning formula, than circumstances conspire to unravel all the best-laid plans. The label held back Into The Gap’s crowning glory, Sister Of Mercy, for the final single. It was even re-recorded with a stunning piano-only introduction for added effect. Predictions were made in the media of that elusive chart-topper being a very real possibility.
Instead, it became the trio’s first 45 to miss the Top 10 in almost a year, a downward trend that proved impossible to overturn. But more on that another time.
"It's a miracle" is a very underrated Culture Club single and it would be so tempting to put Captain Sensible's "Glad it's all over" at Number One on my Retrochart around this time late March/early April 1984!
Looking back at these via your recollections, reminds me just how great the singles were back then, even for artists I was only a passing fan of.
I say singles because tbh I didn’t bother with albums too much at the time (no pocket money, undeveloped musical awareness, Smash Hits not yet NME).
Despite this I have remarkably few of these anymore - all seemed to be recorded on long since departed c90’s, hence the desire to replace them from the multitude of greatest hits and reissues.
Certainly my acquisitions of the two HoJo best of’s has made for some excellent memory prompts...
Maybe it's because this was the most intense phase of my pop obsession, everything was fresh to me and I'd only been really into it all for less than a year. Maybe it's because it was simply a classic period for music! But this list of #1s doesn't even feature stuff like Here Comes The rain Again, Speed Your Love To Me, What Difference Does It Make?, Wouldn't It Be Good, New Moon On Monday, Soul Train or The Killing Moon.
Now for something a bit.....strange.
Number ones: #10
MICHAEL JACKSON P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) (Epic)
Week Ending 21st April 1984
1 week at #1
Looking back, if ever a #1 on my 1984 charts inspires a bout of head-scratching, in a what-was-I-thinking? kind of way, then Michael Jackson’s sixth UK single from the ubiquitous Thriller album would be the most likely culprit.
It’s not that it’s bad (‘scuse the pun), far from it. P.Y.T. is one of those glorious examples of funky mid-80s pop that everybody from Kool & The Gang to James Ingram, via Lionel Richie and New Edition, were coming up with at the time. Unburdened by visual gimmicks, credibility-straining attitude or neurotic lyrics, it’s a light and breezy piece of fluff that already sounded rather dated when it finally scaled the dizzy heights of #11 on the UK Top 40.
Yet, because I still wasn’t listening to many albums at this stage, the only tracks on Thriller that I was familiar with were its previous five hits so while for most people the release of P.Y.T. must have been underwhelming (even the sleeve screams of will-this-do laziness….a still from the Thriller video, for goodness sake!), it was all new to me.
However, nice as the track undeniably is, this feels like the “Pointless” answer to the question….name one of Michael Jackson’s solo No.1s on my personal chart between 1984 and 2010.
As anyone knows "Thriller" is my fave MJ phase - I turned 13 in Sep 1982 so I came of teenage years in time for his first "dark" lyrical album - watch my 1983 Retrochart's in 2019 - MJ will be in the top 50 for most weeks of the year....just how many Number Ones will he have...? @ModeRed - you really should join @phoenix123's Retrochart club - you'll love it and we're always on the lookout for fresh new blood (we're the "Lost Boys" of PJ!)
Yes, I'm curious to find out how well MJ's Thriller singles do on my own chart for 1983....the second McCartney duet was a massive favourite of mine, but timing can decide a single's fate...maybe it gets stuck behind New Song....same with Billie Jean and Beat It....will be fun to re-live and chartify (!) my Year Zero for the first time.
Any ideas on what #11 wood bee, wood bee?
Each time I go to bed I dream [email protected]'s Number Ones!
What exactly is a retro chart he says intrigued...
@phoenix123 came up with the brilliant idea a few years ago of bringing together people who like to make personal Top 40s, and/or have been doing them for years, to go back in time and create their personal charts from Jan 1980 onwards, using the chart data from the time to know which singles could be eligible at any one time. Then he works his excel magic and compiles an overall chart based on everybody's Top 40s each week.
We started with the first week of Jan 1980 at the start of 2016, and we're now almost at the end of 1982.
There's nothing I wouldn't do, to post my next chart-topper...
Number ones: #11
SCRITTI POLITTI Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) (Virgin)
Week Ending April 28th 1984
1 week at #1
My limited knowledge of pop music beyond the confines of the Top 40 was further exposed with the next single to top the chart. Scritti Politti, fronted by Green Gartside, had scored a #12 album in 1982, on the indie label Rough Trade Records, and were feted by the critics for their unorthodox, brainy type of reggae-influenced alternative pop. None of the singles had troubled the Top 40 (though one came very close, peaking at #43), so when Wood Beez entered the UK charts just before Easter 1984 they may as well have been a new band as far as I was concerned.
Indeed, comparing Wood Beez to anything Scritti Politti had previously recorded, it was effectively like a different entity, Green’s trademark helium-sweet vocals notwithstanding. Now on Virgin Records, and presumably with oodles of dosh available, Scritti went big. Big sound (none other than Arif Mardin was enlisted to work his magic), big promotion budget, and big sales; Wood Beez started slowly but rose as high as #10 in the UK (nearly repeating the trick Stateside a while later).
On my chart, Wood Beez made a rather more spectacular impression, shooting up 30 places to #6 on its second appearance and, on the week it reigned supreme, denying the likes of Queen, Propaganda and (albeit only temporarily) Nik Kershaw from getting to #1.
Sounds fun. Is there a finite list to choose from for each period? My memory can’t be relied upon for knowing what was around back then! (And sorry for sidetracking the #1s!)
My mouth is watering at the thought of fresh blood for the Retrochart!:
Here's a link to the latest Retrochart thread - have a read through the instructions and the ones which have been posted for this week so far...I will posting my Retrochart for w/e 18th Dec 1982 later tonight:
The full Top 40s from where my #1s originate will begin appearing in the Retrocharts of Jan 1984 onwards, so you'll get see the bigger picture, and which singles were closest to being in contention, and which classics were denied by some of my more questionable choices.
Separate names with a comma.