One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 7 | 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've still not added any new content to the blog in 2019, the next #1 I cover will be the 50th. For now, though, in terms of catching up with what's already been posted...NO MORE WASTING TIME!

    Number ones: #25
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    • HEAVEN 17 This Is Mine (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 3rd November 1984
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    There was a lot more to Heaven 17 than Temptation. Their finest album wasn’t even Penthouse & Pavement (sublime as it may have been). By late 1984, they were still managing to nudge the mid-20s on the UK Chart – This Is Mine was the third single in a row to make either #23 or #24. Yet, early 90s remixes aside, it would be the last time they troubled the Top Of The Pops studios.

    On my personal Top 40, however, Heaven 17 were far from done. Having reached #2 with Sunset Now, the lead 45 from the How Men Are album, they went one better with its follow-up….and did so without hanging around, debuting at #12 before “going on to the top” just a week later. “No more wasting time”, indeed.

    This Is Mine was arguably the strongest track on How Men Are, although I wasn’t to know this at the time since a combination of occasionally odd purchase decisions and the obligatory lack of pocket-money meant I hadn’t heard the album. Strangely, given what happened with the next single (more on that in a few Number Ones’ time), I didn’t actually own How Men Are until the late 1990s when I began to fill the gaps in my CD collection.
     
  2. (50th #1 post is now up...funny how both that (SAW related) and the latest one posted here (H17) are relevant to what I'm busy with at the moment...)
     
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  3. S-s-s-s-s-so, what's next.....? The first picture disc I ever bought.

    Number ones: #26

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    • EURYTHMICS Sexcrime (Nineteen-Eighty-Four) (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 17th November 1984
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Fresh from conquering the globe with the Sweet Dreams and Touch albums, Eurythmics were hired to soundtrack a big-screen adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. While the album itself performed only modestly (and has become almost forgotten in terms of their catalogue, partly due to not being on RCA as per the rest), the project did throw up this UK Top 5 hit.

    Had my charts been in existence during 1983, there’s little doubt that Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) would have been a chart-topper, and quite possibly Love Is A Stranger too. That said, Here Comes The Rain Again was released just after I began compiling Top 40s and inexplicably only made #6 so I have absolutely no excuse for Sexcrime being their biggest hit until 1987.

    It’s obviously not in the same league as all the classic Eurythmics singles, being a very-much-of-its-era workout with clunky production tricks, that s-s-s-s-s-stutter effect for the intro (evoking Chaka Khan’s I Feel For You from a month or so earlier), and a lyric which betrayed the “sheer panic” which gripped Annie Lennox when she and Dave Stewart began work on the soundtrack “confronted by a blank sheet of paper”.

    It’s not even the best track on 1984 (For The Love Of Big Brother); that honour falls to the gorgeous Julia, a surprise flop single in early 1985 which ventured no higher than #44 in the UK but did make #5 on my chart.
     
  4. I've been forgetting to do this again!

    Number ones: #27

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    • THE DAZZ BAND Let It All Blow (Motown)
    • Week Ending 1st December 1984
    • 1 Week At #1

    The first 25 singles to top my personal charts had unwittingly followed a pattern; no records with exclusively female lead vocals, and no dance tracks. So, with the former category taken care of with my 26th #1, an out-and-out club groove in the form of Let It All Blow became my 27th.

    It wouldn’t be the last of its kind.

    Record Mirror magazine had entered my orbit during the summer of 1984 (Frankie or Depeche Mode must have been on the cover and caught my attention); the inclusion of all the “proper” Gallup UK charts (as opposed to No.1 Magazine’s pretty and colourful MRIB lists) was too much to resist, especially once I discovered the Billboard Hot 100 charts were in there as well. Amongst all these rundowns was a Club Chart, compiled from the feedback provided by various DJs around the country (mostly in or around London, no doubt).

    Late 1983 and early 1984 was something of a vintage era for dance/club/soul/Hi-NRG/electro/rap music; think of Let The Music Play, White Lines (Don’t Do It), Ain’t Nobody, She’s Strange, Just Be Good To Me, Change Of Heart, Breakin’ (There’s No Stoppin’ Us). These were followed by tracks of the calibre of I Feel For You, The Medicine Song, the 1984 remix of Lost In Music, and You Used To Hold Me So Tight. Many of the funky male combos who’d made a commercial breakthrough in the early 80s – The Gap Band, Kool & The Gang, Zapp – were either moving in a more soulful direction or aiming straight for the AOR crossover heartland with rock-oriented material.

    The Dazz Band weren’t total novices – their 1982 single Let It Whip had been a minor success – but Let It All Blow was their first UK hit. It also dominated the RM club chart for 5 weeks, with its quirky yet naggingly simple charm. Based around a handful of catchy gimmicks; an explosive intro (that repeated in the middle-eight), a basic piano chord motif through the verses, some handclaps, and the “heave-ho, let it all blow” hookline sung in a daft voice, the track was fun, and very funky.

    Whether it actually deserved to be a #1 when none of those classics mentioned earlier had managed the feat, is something I will be asking myself more than once as we move into 1985…
     
    berserkboi, Hairycub1969 and ModeRed like this.
  5. Hope all’s well in the real world Mr G.

    I’ve been meaning to ask, were your charts driven by any sort of play counts (for want of a better phrase) or were they just your favourite songs that week?
     
    Eric Generic and Hairycub1969 like this.
  6. Thanks for the concern (and to everyone who kindly asked after me in some way). I've been sans internet since the 5th March, without warning, and as I can't use wi-fi for more than a few minutes without my brain caving in, I've been sidelined ever since. I also have a ton of crap to deal with as regards my disability, and benefits etc. Just when I needed access to as much info as possible, I get cut off.

    Nope, at first it was just a gut-feeling sort of thing, based on how much I liked the songs that week with also a slight attempt to mirror the way the Top 40 would behave, until I got more used to it and found my own rhythm.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2019
  7. Welcome back @Eric Generic - Pop Justice is right here waiting for you with a great big bearhug from me to you!
     
  8. Thanks @Hairycub1969 ! Some things about this place I haven't missed, but the Retrocharts and good people such as yourself, I really have missed.

    I'm actually ahead of schedule now with my 1983 charts, I've done up to 9/4, but getting them formatted and uploaded will require my connection to be more reliable than it is right now!
     
    Hairycub1969 and ModeRed like this.
  9. Please please upload them now - we need lots and lots of Retrocharts!
     
    ModeRed likes this.
  10. Ahhhhh old music. Yes!!
     
    Eric Generic and Hairycub1969 like this.
  11. Right, where were we.......

    Number ones: #28
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    • THOMPSON TWINS Lay Your Hands On Me (Arista)
    • Week Ending 8th December 1984
    • 3 Weeks At #1

    You start the year with the biggest hit of your career so far, before releasing arguably the finest pop album of 1984.

    A singles run of Hold Me Now, Doctor! Doctor!, You Take Me Up and Sister Of Mercy is just about as good as it gets. Christmas is approaching*, and the record label are anxious for another blockbuster hit to keep the momentum going.

    That’s the thing with imperial phases. Everything works out. If Lay Your Hands On Me was merely an attempt to return to the formula of Hold Me Now and sit back while the royalty cheques poured in once again, the resulting record was so much more than a calculating career move. At this juncture, Tom Bailey seemed to have the ability to conjure pop magic with almost effortless ease, and Lay Your Hands On Me is the very best of what made Into The Gap so sublime, only with added luxuriousness.

    It had more atmosphere, as well as greater sonic subtlety and nuance in the production (surely the late Alex Sadkin’s finest moment). The Twins were on a roll, bringing class and feeling to the traditional pop tune format and everything just sounded so right. It was impossible to imagine how much better they could get at this lark. Just how brilliant was the next album going to be?

    Unfortunately, the swooning, almost glacial deluxe-pop of Lay Your Hands On Me (and its attendant imagery) would prove to be both the pinnacle and the final act of their reign as flawless UK chart champs. For some unfathomable reason, the focused craftmanship that bore Into The Gap was jettisoned on the ill-fated Here’s To Future Days album, which eventually emerged in late 1985 after Tom’s collapse from a crazy workload and the pressures of writing, recording and promoting a continual stream of product took its toll.

    As 1984 drew to a close however, Lay Your Hands On Me in all its lush perfection was comfortably my #1 single, and had been ever since it debuted in pole position at the beginning of December (only the second track to achieve such a feat, following Two Tribes). Into The Gap itself also returned to the summit on my Top 30 Album chart at the same time, partly due to the release of this new single but also the arrival of Into The Gap Live, a longform concert/tour video that captured the band at their peak.

    Howard Jones had dominated much of 1984 for me, thanks to Human’s Lib and even more #1s than the Twins had chalked up (four compared to three), yet the year ultimately belonged to Tom, Alannah and Joe with Lay Your Hands On Me swinging it in their favour.





    *no, you might not be the only one mentally singing “…there’s snow upon the ground, it’s good of you to visit me, I’m glad you came around…
     
    Filippa, ModeRed and Hairycub1969 like this.
  12. The UK 7 inch version of "Lay your hands on me" is STILL the best mix!
     
    Eric Generic likes this.
  13. Yep, and that's presumably why it took years (and a US compilation) to first appear on CD.
     
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  14. Let's wrap up 1984 with a special gift...

    Number ones: #29
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    • WHAM! Last Christmas (Epic)
    • Week Ending 29th December 1984
    • 1 Week at #1

    The first year of my personal Top 40s ended with a modern festive classic at #1, and the second single written and performed by George Michael to reach the summit. 1984 had also seen two other Wham! tracks make the Top 5 (Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go hit #2 in May, while Freedom peaked at #5 in between the release of Careless Whisper and Last Christmas).

    Despite all this, and my love of 1983’s seminal summer smash Club Tropicana, I still hadn’t considered buying either the Fantastic! or Make It Big albums.

    George Michael’s transformation into a genuine craftsmen of traditional pop tunes was as swift as it was convincing; in less than two years he’d gone from Young Guns and Wham! Rap to a more sophisticated (if almost self-consciously mature) style of songwriting. Wake Me Up… and Freedom plundered retro bubblegum pop and Motown respectively, as he sought to establish his own voice; a process which Careless Whisper – free of the need to operate within the Wham! branding – helped to accelerate.

    Last Christmas became famous for being the best-selling #2 hit in the history of the UK charts, issued on the same day as the Band Aid record and fated to understandably remain in its commercial shadow. It would chart again at the end of 1985, as well as at Christmas 1986, and in the digital age has made an almost annual return to the upper reaches of whatever passes for the Official Singles Chart these days.

    The original single was officially a Double-A Sided affair, paired with Make It Big‘s outstanding moment Everything She Wants.

    Which leads us nicely into 1985…..
     
  15. But....what about Band Aid and the original "Do they know it's Christmas" - shouldn't this be the Number One for Christmas 1984???
     
    Eric Generic likes this.
  16. #15-10-2 on my chart. And that was probably being (musically) generous. Impossible not to get caught up in it all.
     
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  17. But actually not a single I liked. Bought, yes, but liked, not so much. And it’s evident that even now I don’t have it on any digital playlists.

    Whereas ‘Last Christmas’ is a true Yuletide classic. And bears well in the numerous indie covers I have of it
     
    Eric Generic and Hairycub1969 like this.
  18. Best cover of "Last Christmas"...swoon!
     
  19. Oh my god, thank you @Eric Generic I love that song, never heard it before. I guess Doctor, Doctor is the only song that made it here. What a beautiful review!
     
  20. Hairycub1969 and Filippa like this.
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