One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 4 | 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. I kinda hate to burst your bubble but I was born in 1984 and most of the music I grew up with is in French so I don't know how relevant my 80s chart experience may be to you :(
  2. @Ironheade took part for a long time, and he was only born in the mid-90s!
  3. Ah cool! Will possibly give it a whirl next week when I am on holiday then :)
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  4. Remember it's all about the song - not the Music Video, Clothes or dodgy haircuts!
    berserkboi, ModeRed and Eric Generic like this.
  5. Exactly...hence my run of #1s from HoJo, Thompson Twins, Kajagoogoo, Scritti and Nik Kershaw....
    Hairycub1969 and berserkboi like this.
  6. Any chance you'd all also consider adding French music to your lists if you like what I present?

    (This may become very revealing of my PJOPs entries! Lol)
  7. I'll have Ryan Paris high on my summer 1983 chart with Dolce Vita.....
    Hairycub1969 and berserkboi like this.
  8. Yes - that's part of the fun - I've discovered so many new songs since we started it in 2016 - at the moment I've really got into Aussie Rock:

    Men at Work

    have all had recent top ten hits - and now I'm discovering Midnight Oil
    berserkboi and Eric Generic like this.
  9. Try not to burn it!
    Hairycub1969 and berserkboi like this.
  10. The beds already least I don't have a dead heart since I put down that weapon!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  11. oooh! @ohnoitisnathan will be proud!
    ohnoitisnathan and Hairycub1969 like this.
  12. So, those dodgy haircuts we spoke about...

    Number ones: #12

    • NIK KERSHAW Dancing Girls (MCA)
    • Week Ending May 5th 1984
    • 1 Week at #1

    Delayed its moment of glory due to Scritti Politti’s unexpected intrusion, the second Nik Kershaw hit (and his third UK release, if we count 1983’s original outing for I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me) was always going to top my charts right from the very first time I heard it on Radio Luxembourg one Sunday evening in March 1984.

    Dancing Girls opened the first side of his debut album Human Racing, and was remixed rather niftily for single release (although some of the fantastic, almost Hi-NRG middle-eight is truncated, more’s the pity).

    Of all his 8 consecutive UK Top 20 entries during 1984 and 1985, Dancing Girls was seen as one of the lesser lights in his catalogue, an almost-forgotten dabble with synth-heavy pop between two monster Top 5 signature hits. By all accounts, even Nik himself was not wholly enamoured with it, at least in execution; the patent lack of guitars led to some awkward TOTP performances, and its sound was felt to wrongly place him in the same “one man keyboard act” pigeonhole as Howard Jones.

    Yet it’s a wonderfully morose ditty on the misery and pointlessness of a 9-to-5 existence (life was always something of a rum do in the Kershaw lyrical world), with an insistent rhythm and a nagging refrain. Until he guested on 1991’s Tony Banks album Still, and then again on a surprise collaboration with Les Rythmes Digitales in 1999 on the nearly-hit Sometimes, Nik pretty much eschewed an all-out electronic approach for his songs.

    Perhaps it’s no coincidence that those songs are all in my Top 5 Nik Kershaw tracks.
  13. "Dancing Girls" is what happens when the three members of Kraftwerk try out an experiment with a young new singer while mainman Ralf Hutter recovers from his bicycle accident...!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  14. ..while the title track from the Human Racing LP was Stevie Wonder taking a break from recording the Woman In Red soundtrack.
    berserkboi and Hairycub1969 like this.
  15. Dancing Girls is easily his best single. It appeals to my ‘pop music with a darker interesting edge’ that a lot of shiny pop tunes miss and are less captivating for it
  16. For a while, it was my undisputed favourite Nik single, but then something else came along....
    ModeRed and Hairycub1969 like this.
  17. What's the next chart-topper to feature? Don't tell me....

    Number ones: #13


    • BLANCMANGE Don’t Tell Me (London)
    • Week Ending 12th May 1984
    • 2 Weeks at #1

    Funny how the reality of a record’s creation can be so different to what you might imagine. Take this, just another in a growing line of seemingly effortless, quirky pop gems from the esteemed house of Arthur & Luscombe.

    Having banked considerable chart credit with a string of Top 40 hits, sparked by 1982’s breakthrough Living On The Ceiling and taking in Waves, Blind Vision and That’s Love That It Is all before 1983 was done, one would assume the Blancmange chaps simply came down for breakfast each morning, exchanged greetings, and knocked out another chart smash before lunchtime. “There you go”, they would surely say to London Records’ A&R fellow, “just put this out next month and we’ll go and choose some new clothes for Top Of The Pops”. No sweat, no drama.

    Except that, according to Neil Arthur (as shared in the sleevenotes to 2017’s deluxe edition of the Mange Tout album), drama there most certainly was in the Blanc universe as 1984 dawned. Blind Vision may have made the Top 10, but that had been more than 6 months earlier, and the momentum was in danger of evaporating in the aftermath of That’s Love…’s lowly #33 peak. Sessions for their second album were proving less than straightforward, with the record label concerned at the commercial potential of the tracks they’d completed (to quote the Tom Petty song, “the A&R man said, I don’t hear a single!”).

    So, off to New York. And then, in an “ah fuck it, how about this?” moment of divine/desperate inspiration, the idea for Don’t Tell Me.

    Within weeks of release, it shot to #8 in the UK, seamlessly extending their golden run and hinting at new creative peaks. Mange Tout, when it followed shortly thereafter, also hit the Top 10 and nobody on the outside could have imagined how narrowly the duo had averted a crisis.
  18. What came next for Blancmange? covering an Abba single and peaking higher in the UK charts then the original by the superswedes themselves....surely they're safe from the dumper after that, right?
    Eric Generic and ModeRed like this.
  19. Yeah, no Problem surely...
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  20. Time for f-f-f-f-fourteen....

    Number ones: #14

    • DURAN DURAN The Reflex (EMI)
    • Week Ending 26th May 1984
    • 1 Week at #1

    For 1983’s Holy Trinity Of UK Pop – that is, Culture Club, Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran – 1984 would prove a testing year. Boy George and co. would come unstuck later that Autumn (as documented in the post on It’s A Miracle), while the Spands were about to launch their eagerly-awaited sequel to True (the so-so performing Parade, as it transpired), which leaves us with the minor funk that Duran Duran found themselves in.

    Received wisdom, and a general consensus at the time from people who seemed to know what they were talking about, ran something along the lines of: Union Of The Snake was pretentious rubbish, and its #3 peak a disaster, but New Moon On Monday was even worse and deserved to flop….what the hell are they going to do now?

    Well, putting aside the relative merits of its two predecessors (which are both much, much better records than their reputation might suggest), what Duran Duran did next was fairly drastic. But it shaped the direction their sound would take for a long, long time.

    The Reflex, in its original version, makes for a rather ordinary opener to an album (Seven And The Ragged Tiger) which bore all the hallmarks of a band who were paying more attention to photoshoots, artwork and videos than to the actual music. The sleeve looks a million dollars, yet the material is often half-hearted and threadbare. Union Of The Snake and New Moon On Monday really are the standout tracks, the most fully-realised moments on the record. The problem, as peers Culture Club would soon discover, is that what was chart-conquering one year is not necessarily as palatable when re-heated 12 months down the line.

    New Moon On Monday shared the same terrific guitar-pop leanings of Is There Something I Should Know? but by early 1984 the pop stakes had been raised and, just as The War Song came across as a limp, insipid take on the Colour By Numbers formula, that sound just wasn’t going to cut it anymore. No fancy longform promo video, with incomprehensible arty stuff and the band looking windswept and beautiful, could change that. Duran Duran simply needed to up their game.

    This was achieved via the enlisting of Nile Rodgers to remix The Reflex into something that would arrest their chart decline (New Moon… had only reached #9 less than a year after Is There Something… sensationally debuted at #1). Rodgers didn’t so much remix the track, as totally deconstruct it. Very cleverly, he found parts of the track which could be used to much greater effect, once he’d chopped and changed everything around.

    Just as he’d made Bowie sound utterly contemporary in 1983, Rodgers’ work on The Reflex effectively rebooted the Duran Duran sound, steering it away from impenetrable pop that took itself too seriously and giving it back some swagger and commerciality. From funk to funky, you could say….
    Blaahh and Rooneyboy like this.
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