One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 8 | 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. Managed to get a bit of momentum going with the blog again, 5 write-ups added this week, taking us up to October 1985.

    Meanwhile, we're just starting 1985 here:

    Number ones: #30
    • WHAM! Everything She Wants [Remix] (Epic)
    • Week Ending 5th January 1985
    • 2 Weeks at #1

    1985 begins, quite literally, where 1984 ended. Last Christmas was flipped over by the record label, promoting Everything She Wants to the main attraction and giving it a fresh sleeve plus a natty remix (consisting of some synth embellishment and a terrific new middle-eight section with extra lyrics).

    This was arguably the record which really cemented George Michael’s reputation in the US, and its formula would sustain him over the course of Wham!’s final year of existence and then all the way through the Faith era of his solo career (both 1986’s Battlestations and 1987’s Hard Day mine a similar seam of young-adult relationship angst).

    Often cited as many people’s favourite Wham! track, Everything She Wants smoothed the transition from those early “Young, Free & Single” Club 18-30 efforts, to the more emotionally complex work of his post-Wham! music. It’s testament to the strength of the song that in the mid-1990s it would be reworked not only in a fashionable Unplugged style, but also as a contemporary dance track to help promote a second Wham! compilation, and didn’t sound dated in either form.
  2. One more for today. That's the truth.

    Number ones: #31
    • HEAVEN 17 ..(And That’s No Lie) (Virgin)
    • Week Ending 19th January 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Our first completely new chart-topper of 1985 proved a watershed moment for my chart, and sadly for the act themselves. Up until this point, all of the singles to reach #1 on my Top 40 had been reasonably successful on the actual UK listings; the #25 peak of The Lion’s Mouth by Kajagoogoo had been the lowest, followed by the #23 achieved by Heaven 17’s This Is Mine.

    The latter band chose the beginning of January to release its follow-up. The third single from How Men Are was unusual for a number of reasons; the original track was a meandering and ambitious finale to the album that ran for over 9 minutes, and by containing all of the songs’ name within parentheses, it effectively became the shortest-titled UK chart entry in history when it made #52. The cover image of Jesus was also an odd choice, considering Christmas was now over (Virgin went to the trouble of issuing about 5 or 6 different coloured variations to boost sales….and that worked out well!).

    I chose the purple 12″ edition, pictured above. It cost 2.99, which felt a bit of a rip-off (prices for singles had just been increased again), but the revamped “enhanced for danceability” mix that kicked off the A-side was sensational. Spooky, funky, and almost Pleasuredome-esque in its sound, it was barely recognisable from the LP version.

    Perhaps if the 7″ edit (which curiously, I didn’t get to own until some 20 years later) had included more of those dynamics, it might not have ended Heaven 17’s run of consecutive hit singles (nasty 90s remixes aside, they would never return to the upper reaches of the chart), but by missing the UK Top 40, ..(And That’s No Lie) marked the onset of a change in my listening habits which were no longer as influenced by the charts as they had been; Singled Out (a.k.a. Round Table) replaced the Tuesday premiere of the new Top 40 as the most essential radio programme of the week.

    Meanwhile, Record Mirror magazine had pretty much usurped both Smash Hits and Number One as my ultimate source of new release and outside-the-Top 40-chart information, so that a single peaking at #99 for a solitary week could have just as much impact on my world as the big hits of the day. By the end of 1985, several of my #1s were flops that not only fell short of the Top 40, but the Top 75 too.
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  3. Next, it's another double-A side....

    Number ones: #32
    • PRINCE 1999 / Little Red Corvette (Warner Bros.)
    • Week Ending February 2nd 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    The singles run from Purple Rain, which was far from over in America, found itself interrupted in the UK by this AA-sided reissue of the two best-known songs from Prince’s previous project, the double album 1999.

    The title track had been a minor #25 hit in Britain, and for a while an instrumental version became the soundtrack to the Tuesday lunchtime premiere of the UK Top 40 chart on Gary Davies’ Radio 1 slot. Little Red Corvette wasn’t so successful, peaking at #54, but both were Top 20 US singles during 1983.

    During the latter part of 1984, import pressings of a 7″ single with 1999 on one side, and Little Red Corvette on the other, began appearing in the bigger HMV stores and yours truly splashed out £2.49 on one such copy, even though it was in a basic WB paper sleeve. Just weeks later, of course, it was given a full UK launch and quickly became his highest-charting single by reaching #2. If only I had known; I could have saved myself £1.14 by waiting!

    Purple Rain‘s impact had been such that the 1999 album had already re-entered the UK Top 100 in the early autumn of 1984, making this cash-in perhaps a little less random. Its success seemed to spur Warners into repeating the trick for several of their artists during 1985; two singles into Foreigner’s Agent Provocateur campaign, Atlantic Records in the UK decided to relegate Reaction To Action to supporting act for a “remix” of 1977 classic Cold As Ice. And then after Don Henley scored a rare #12 hit on these shores with the acclaimed Boys Of Summer and followed it up with Sunset Grill, his label Geffen decided the wiser commercial move was to reissue 1982’s Dirty Laundry in place of Billboard Top 10 smash All She Wants To Do Is Dance. The result on both occasions didn’t appear to justify the means; the Cold As Ice remix stiffed at #64, and Dirty Laundry was no more of a hit second time around than it had been originally. It’s a wonder that Elektra Records didn’t raid the Cars’ back catalogue for something to put out after Drive‘s post-Live Aid popularity (ironically, here they opted for the title track of the Heartbeat City album whereas Stateside a remixed version of 1981’s I’m Not The One was chosen at around the same time, to help promote new compilation The Cars’ Greatest Hits).

    But we digress (sorry).

    Surprisingly, 1999/Little Red Corvette would be the only Prince single to make #1 on my chart during 1985. There was still Let’s Go Crazy and Take Me With U left to release from the Purple Rain soundtrack, but by the time they too were bundled together for the UK market, I’d begun to move on to newer music and it only reached #3 (on the real Top 40, it peaked at a very respectable #7 given both tracks were well over 6 months old by that stage).

    The decision not to issue them separately, as had been the case in the US, began to make more sense when a completely new studio album Around The World In A Dayappeared from nowhere in April 1985, bringing with it the dawn of a new era and, one assumed, a fresh set of hits-in-waiting. Yet for all the excitement its unexpected release created (especially in my world), a combination of factors saw the trio of tracks chosen for the UK make a rather muted impact on my Top 40. Paisley Park(strangely never a single in the US) almost made #1, but I’d hammered the song for weeks before it was officially eligible for the chart. Worse was to follow for Raspberry Beret, quite clearly a Prince classic and the standout moment on Around The World In A Day by some distance. It didn’t even get into the Top 10 for me that summer (an obvious case of “what the hell was I thinking?”). Pop Life restored some modicum of sanity to my Prince chart history by getting to #7 in October, but had my obsession with the little genius’ music begun to permanently fade?

    We’ll find out in 1986….
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  4. A couple more new additions to the blog, so I can post some more here!

    Number ones: #33

    • HOWARD JONES Things Can Only Get Better (WEA)
    • Week Ending February 16th 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    Business as usual for HoJo, with his first new single since the Summer of 1984 duly hitting the summit and extending his unbroken run of chart-toppers to five (six if my charts had officially begun while New Song was around).

    Yet all was not quite as rosy as it appeared; although Things Can Only Get Better reached #1, it did so for just a solitary week. Singles were also beginning to chart much higher on my Top 40 (two of the previous four #1s had debuted in pole position), but not even a brand spanking new Howard Jones record could emulate The Thompson Twins and Heaven 17’s achievements. It got there eventually, but took longer than anticipated.

    Most tellingly of all, having purchased everything HoJo had released thus far (What Is Love 12″, Hide & Seek 7″, Pearl In The Shell 7″, Like To Get To Know You Well 7″, plus the two LPs Human’s Lib and The 12″ Album on vinyl), I didn’t feel suitably inspired to add Things Can Only Get Better to my collection. I can’t even use the “well I decided to wait for the album instead” excuse, since that never happened either (I’d belatedly pick up Dream Into Action towards the end of the 1980s for completism’s sake). Hmm.

    Nevertheless, it was the perfect lead single for that difficult second album, containing enough elements of the Human’s Lib-era sound and lyrical outlook to counterbalance a new, more synthetic approach to the arrangements and especially his visual persona. Its reliance on a “woah woah woah” refrain, boosted by the wonderful female vocal trio Afrodiziak, recalled What Is Love? to some extent, and it had no trouble reaching both the UK and US Top 10. So far, so good.

    Even now, I can’t make up my mind about Dream Into Action; there were aspects of it which felt hugely disappointing in 1985 and still strike an unconvincing note 30 years later. Was it simply rushed? Did the end of his lyrical partnership with William Bryant really make such a difference? Had the prospect of US success turned his head and prompted a less subtle approach? Who on earth decided on the final running order?

    Pop was becoming more plastic by 1985, too, so in a paradoxical way this jazzed-up, multicolour version of Howard Jones fitted into the changing chart landscape. It certainly cemented his popularity in America, but at a cost to his UK profile. Sales for the album were decent in Britain, though not at the same level enjoyed by Human’s Lib and each of the singles peaked at a lower position than its predecessor.

    Things Can Only Get Better would be his last #1 of 1985 on my own Top 40; Look Mama reached #5, while Life In On Day – one of Dream Into Action‘s worst culprits for banality (musical and lyrical) – could only make #9 on a very brief sojourn. It would take until 1986, and a reworking of one of the album’s genuine highlights, to get Howard Jones back on track.
  5. Number ones: #34

    • DEAD OR ALIVE You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (Epic)
    • Week Ending February 23rd 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Now considered one of the most iconic ’80s singles, You Spin Me Round nearly wasn’t a hit at all. For close to three months, it huffed and puffed around the outskirts of the Top 40, with next to no support from mainstream radio. Then, in an echo of Relax‘s breakthrough from exactly a year earlier, the traditional New Year chart clearout allowed it to finally sneak in at the basement position of #40. From there, its ascent to the summit was less controversial but just as swift.

    The lack of airplay must have been a factor in its struggles, as despite listening to BBC Radio 1 and Capital Radio during the evenings and holidays, I’d never even heard You Spin Me Round until its arrival in the Top 40. Once I did, the impact was immediate; not since Two Tribes had a record excited me as much.

    The belated success of the single also proved something of a Sliding Doors moment for its producers, Stock Aitken & Waterman; had they not had such a smash with You Spin Me Round, their best-known work would have remained a solitary Top 5 hit with Hazell Dean and some camp Hi-NRG efforts with Divine. Bananarama quite possibly wouldn’t have wanted to work with them, a collaboration which resulted in Venusand the development/refinement of what became the signature SAW formula.

    As it was, You Spin Me Round proved the start of a golden era for the trio, who will be featured more than once, and with a handful of different acts, as we work through the rest of the ’80s and into the ’90s.
  6. Dead or Alive's "You spin me round" is what I call a "sleeper" Number One hit which wakes up once it reaches the Top 40 - see also:
    Frankie goes to Hollywood - Relax
    Phyllis Nelson - Move Closer
    Jennifer Rush - The power of love
    The Bangles - Eternal flame
    Eric Generic likes this.
  7. Apart from FGTH, all CBS/Epic singles I think!
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  8. Moving methodically along to the next chart-topper....

    Number ones: #35

    • DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES Method Of Modern Love (RCA)
    • Week Ending 9th March 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Received wisdom likes to suggest that the 1980s – and the mid-1980s in particular – were an artistic graveyard for all the big acts of the Sixties and Seventies. Faced with the new challenges presented by MTV, it was often a case of adapt or die. Get out the hairspray, don those loud shirts and tight spandex trousers, slap a load of synthesizers on your records and hope for the best.

    Thus we had the sight of a primped and preened Bruce Springsteen bopping around in videos to a track given 12″ Arthur Baker remixes, former hippies and prog-rockers spruced up with shoulder pads and poodle hair in the name of AOR makeovers, and of Rock Gods such as Robert Plant attempting vainly to avoid looking like an awkward clothes horse.

    Hall & Oates, hugely successful purveyors of smooth pop/soul throughout the latter half of the 1970s, adapted better than most. At first, the advent of New Wave saw them stutter slightly, with their albums either side of 1980 amongst their least popular, but they soon found a way to embrace modern fashions and evolve their sound accordingly. I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) from 1982 famously served as the sampled basis for De La Soul’s “daisy age” 1989 hip-hop classic Say No Go, whilst a cover of Mike Oldfield’s Family Man and their own Adult Education (both released in 1983) showed a growing interest in stripping down the elements of their sound to the basics, and introducing a tougher, leaner, remix-friendly style.

    The duo took this all to its logical conclusion with their next album, 1984’s Big Bam Boom. As its wry title suggests, this was pop music in thrall to the wonders of studio-bound sonic trickery and ballast (David Bowie was operating in very similar territory at the time with tracks such as Dancing With The Big Boys). Plenty of snap and crackle, but also still plenty of pop nous.

    Lead single Out Of Touch was a(nother) US #1, but it failed to become a hit in Britain on two occasions. Instead, the track which caught the UK public’s imagination was this, the second single with its catchy let’s-spell-out-all-the-letters refrain and less frantic, almost woozy atmosphere. With the benefit of hindsight, it does seem odd that Method Of Modern Love should have made more of a connection (both with record buyers and myself) than the clearly superior Out Of Touch, but…ah well…that’s the way it goes sometimes!

    RCA responded to the nearly-Top 20 achievement of MOML by re-issuing Out Of Touch to no avail, and – perhaps wounded by that failure – completely ignoring the other (US) singles from Big Bam Boom; Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid and Possession Obsession. Daryl Hall then took time off to pursue a solo career, making a glossy rock-oriented album in 1986 with David A. Stewart of Eurythmics in tow, before getting back with John Oates for the 1988 set Ooh Yeah!.

    Both projects had their moments; Three Hearts In The Happy Ending Machine was home to Dreamtime, a modest solo hit single and a #2 on my personal charts, as was the lead 45 from Ooh Yeah!, the gorgeous Everything Your Heart Desires. The latter track recalled the melodic haziness of Method Of Modern Love, and if anything was a stronger song, but despite reaching the Billboard Top 5 it wasn’t in tune with the rapidly changing UK chart scene and fell some way short of the Top 50.
  9. Hall and Oates....were amazing from 1982 to 1985 (up to their "Live Aid" appearance) - how they only had two top ten singles in the UK in 1982 still amazes me.....their version of "Family Man" is far superior compared to the original. They really gave it an edgy undertone with that screechy guitar..!
    "Out of touch" is the best thing they ever did imho the hell it never made the UK top 40 after two runs on the chart truly shocking! Of course all this will be corrected in my Retrochart..."Family Man" is about to begin it's climb to the top ten!
    Blaahh, Filippa and Eric Generic like this.
  10. I wish I could apply some revisionism to my charts and put Out Of Touch at #1 for Autumn 1984.
    Filippa likes this.
  11. From private eyes, to private dicks...

    Number ones: #36

    • EDDY & THE SOUL BAND Theme From “Shaft” (Club/Phonogram)
    • Week Ending March 23rd 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    So, this is the point in 1985 where the power of the Record Mirror club chart really began to exert its influence over me. An almost random, contemporary cover of a classic Isaac Hayes tune by a faceless Dutch dance combo, Theme From “Shaft” headed the RM listings for several weeks and then crossed over into the main UK Top 40, whereupon it reached a respectable #13.

    My penchant for retro theme tunes given a modern twist wouldn’t be an isolated case; in subsequent years there would be Art Of Noise’s Peter Gun Theme and half of U2’s revamp of Mission:Impossible‘s iconic calling card, to name but two. I was obviously predisposed to this sort of thing.

    Despite my misgivings over the fact it kept various singles from the top spot on my chart, or at the very least delayed their coronation, it’s a decent track. The aforementioned Art Of Noise appear to have provided the inspiration for the smattering of car sounds (Close To The Edit was still fresh in the memory) chucked into the mix, while some pleasing strings and horn stabs do justice to the original’s ultra cool vibe.

    Having resurrected one of the great theme tunes of our time, Eddy and his Soul Band disappeared back into obscurity, safe in the knowledge their place in pop history was secure. You dig?
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  12. I’m not sure I’ve even heard all those versions - the acoustic one sounds interesting
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  13. ModeRed and Hairycub1969 like this.
  14. "Everything she wants" is such a great pop song! GM was a terrific songwriter!
    ModeRed and Eric Generic like this.
  15. Eric Generic likes this.
  16. I never saw this one coming...

    Number ones: #37

    • GO WEST We Close Our Eyes (Chrysalis)
    • Week Ending March 30th 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    There was no shortage of male synth duos in the mid-Eighties, and Go West entered into this crowded market at the start of 1985. With their stylish and soulful transatlantic brand of pop, they were more like Britain’s answer to Hall & Oates than another Blancmange, Soft Cell or Pet Shop Boys (in an early interview with Record Mirror magazine, they confessed as much).

    We Close Our Eyes was a memorable debut single, driven by a strong keyboard hook and Peter Cox’s energetic vocals (the late Robert Palmer enthused over Cox’s muscular singing style in 1986). America was quick on the uptake, too, aided by Godley & Creme’s simple but clever video that set the duo against a backdrop of animated wooden figurines. Cox would come to rue their decision to grease him up and give it some serious wrench action, which earned them the “Go Vest” nickname for a time, but the clip undoubtedly helped them get noticed.

    The upshot was a Top 5 UK hit, closely followed by a debut album which itself entered the charts inside the Top 10. Some observers felt the album had been rushed, and while there was nothing else among its 9 tracks to quite equal We Close Our Eyes, it had a unity of sound and consistency of songwriting skill; Call Me became a popular Top 20 single, and a jazzed-up remix of Don’t Look Down (the closest to a We Close Our Eyes Part 2) enjoyed similar success at the end of 1985.

    Go West the album, meanwhile, stayed on the UK listings for over a year, helped by the addition of Bangs & Crashes – a collection of mixes and B-sides – in May 1986 (Gallup chart rules of the time allowed for remix albums and expanded versions to be added to the original LP’s sales for chart purposes, at the label’s discretion).

    The popularity of Bangs & Crashes sadly did not extend to the second Go West album proper, Dancing On The Couch, which belatedly appeared in the early summer of 1987. The brutal pop cull of late 1986 – that claimed everyone from Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw and Paul Young to O.M.D., Human League and Frankie Goes To Hollywood – also affected Go West, with their single True Colours, the first fruits of Dancing On The Couch, stalling at #48. A six-month gap until I Want To Hear It From You (their strongest track since We Close Our Eyes) couldn’t turn things around, and the album campaign never really got going despite including arguably their greatest moment, the late-night jazz pop of The King Is Dead with Kate Bush on backing vocals.

    It would be another three years until they resurfaced with a contribution to the soundtrack of Pretty Woman, The King Of Wishful Thinking, and a brief renaissance as a more Soul/R&B-influenced purveyor of cover versions such as What You Won’t Do For Love and The Tracks Of My
    in the early 1990s, before Peter Cox embarked on a solo career.
  17. A track forever ruined for me by its overplayed rotation on Magic FM that I’m subjected to on a daily basis at work. Sadly, also the reason why a lot of other 80’s classics are losing their lustre...
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  18. The joys of no radio since 1991 in my house.
  19. At home I only listen to "Pick of the Pops" on Radio 2 and some shows on Radio 3. Radio 4 is normally on in the background. Therefore I saviour whenever I listen to any 80's tunes!
    ModeRed and Eric Generic like this.
  20. I don’t mind radio. It’s just that it has to be 6 Music!
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