One January Evening....every #1 from EG's personal Top 40 (1984-2010) | Page 9 | 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. Once upon a time in Xanadu, Kubla Khan had an erection.....

    Number ones: #38
    • FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD Welcome To The Pleasuredome (ZTT)
    • Week Ending 6th April 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    Frankie Say…One More.

    1984’s endless Summer Of Frankie had been the defining event of that year (at least for yours truly), yet the sense of anti-climax when the album Welcome To The Pleasuredome appeared that October was hard to shrug off. Sure, expectations were probably unrealistically stratospheric, but something was missing.

    For an act whose singles had been so meticulously created by Trevor Horn, the majority of the other tracks on ….Pleasuredome felt unfinished, unpolished and lacking the magic studio fairy dust that was so liberally sprinkled upon Relax and Two Tribes. There was a certain cavernous, epic beauty to The Power Of Love (and time has been especially kind to its enduring appeal), but it was still a bit of a slog. The best of the rest were Black Night White Light and the title cut itself.

    Taking up an entire side of the double vinyl album, Welcome To The Pleasuredome the song was one hell of an opening statement. Intended to set the scene for what was to follow, it took a while to get going before the momentum rises and falls across its 13 minutes running time. At its height, the track builds up a serious head of steam and the sheer length of the whole thing allows room for the constituent parts to shine.

    So Trevor, for your next trick….turn this into a 4-minute hit single.

    It did not particularly seem like it at the time, with its frankly rubbish video and the stigma of being the single which broke their run of UK chart-toppers, but Welcome To The Pleasuredome is arguably the most satisfying of all their singles; it certainly gets a regular airing at AFDPJ Towers to this day, still inspiring degrees of awe which have begun to fade with even the mighty Two Tribes.

    ZTT, never ones to miss the opportunity for excess, created a fresh concept for the single, making it an E.P. with two other tracks (three on the 12″ format) and dubbing it The Escape Act. Posters went up around the country, confidently announcing Frankie’s fourth Number One. Well, that obviously didn’t quite pan out as intended, but it still reached #2 and thus allowed the Lads to rightfully claim the most successful start to a career with their first four singles.

    The 7″ mix is pretty standard fare; exactly what you’d expect Trevor Horn to come up with, condensing all the best bits of the album version whilst sprucing up the middle-8 courtesy of an arresting new synth burst. The latter becomes one of the focal points of Pleasurefix, the initial 12″ reworking that kicks off with a fantastically portentous (or should that be pretentious) echoing monologue from a (possibly fictional) piece of prose entitled The Dionysian; “I am no longer an artist…I have become a work of art!”. It actually makes more of an impact than the Snatch Of Oyster that forms the original introduction on the album.

    An edited version of Pleasurefix, the Escape Act Video Mix (although as with all things Frankie, I may be mixing up my pleasure with my fruitiness, given all the myriad versions across equally myriad FGTH compilations) offers the best of the 12″ without the faffing around at the start, and without the extra instrumental passages. Curiously, until 2000, the only mix used on CD was the 13-minute LP original, but time (and Salvo’s extensive reissue programme) has made up for that.
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  2. Added a new post to the blog, so I can post another here in catch-up mode!

    We've left the Pleasuredome, so I hope you are sitting comfortably in a Big Chair somewhere....

    • TEARS FOR FEARS Everybody Wants To Rule The World (Mercury)
    • Week Ending 20th April 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    What an effortless lark this pop business can be at times. Or appear to be. Just ask Tears For Fears, as the third single from their newly-released album Songs From The Big Chair eased up the UK and US charts, making nonsense of the uncertainty and dark clouds hovering over their career only 12 months earlier.

    Not “going far, getting nowhere” anymore.

    Everybody Wants To Rule The World is one of those pop moments where it all comes together; its production, songwriting and performance are all immaculate and nothing is out of place. Yet, like a duck gliding across the water, there is rather more going on under the surface. The original plan for Songs From The Big Chair‘s singles run, to judge from producer Chris Hughes’ sleevenotes on the back of the Shout single in late 1984, was for Head Over Heels to follow next.

    Somewhere along the way, a song entitled Everybody Wants To Go To War – and based on a (very) slightly tweaked drum pattern that underpinned Waterfront by Simple Minds – emerged as genuine hit single material. Roland Orzabal made the lyrics less overtly political, handed vocal duties over to Curt Smith, snuck in a sly dig at Mercury Records’ insistence on cutting down the running time of Shout (“so glad we finally made it, so sad they had to fade it”) and great big bloody transatlantic smash hit single, here we come!

    The wobble was over. As successful as Shout had (eventually) been in Britain, and as healthy as initial sales of Songs From The Big Chair had been, this was the song which sealed their place at the top table of global pop music in 1985. America went crazy for it, paving the way for Shout to emulate its #1 peak during the summer and then Head Over Heels to make it a trio of Billboard Top 3 hits within a blink of an eye.
  3. Great song, wonderful album!
    Hairycub1969 and Eric Generic like this.
  4. Next, the 40th single to reach #1 on my Top 40, but one which didn't even make the UK Top 40....

    Number ones: #40

    • TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS Don’t Come Around Here No More (MCA)
    • Week Ending May 4th 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    In 2018, pretty much everybody at least recognises the name of Tom Petty. Sadly, his sudden passing at the age of 66 means that his career, and the status of modern rock icon bequeathed upon him, is now viewed through a posthumous lens.

    In early 1985, Tom Petty didn’t mean an awful lot to the majority of British pop music fans. Despite the early Heartbreakers albums being warmly received over here during the latter half of the 1970s, and a pair of minor Top 40 entries in 1977 to the band’s name, that had been the extent of their impact upon the British mainstream. Classics such as Refugee, Here Comes My Girl and You Got Lucky didn’t even crack the Top 75.

    There was, however, a duet with Stevie Nicks on Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around in 1981 which doubtless helped their profile, and was probably the only thing I knew about Tom Petty when the video for Don’t Come Around Here No More was aired on TV in March 1985. The success of this single on my charts would have been down to a couple of major factors; not just the Alice In Wonderland-goes-psychedelia promo film with Petty as the Mad Hatter in oversized suit and giant hat, but the influence of David A. Stewart upon proceedings.

    The Eurythmics man was about to unleash his own group’s Be Yourself Tonight album via the overtly rock-oriented Would I Lie To You?, but had also been collaborating with Petty & The Heartbreakers on several songs for their Southern Accents set. The drum machine pattern at the root of Don’t Come Around Here No More, drenched in echo, underpins the whole track and added a contemporary twist to the familiar Petty sound.

    Weekly exposure on the US Chart Show broadcast on Saturdays by Radio 1 also played its part in helping the single reach #1 on my personal Top 40; with my fascination in all things American just beginning to take hold, it was music that felt a little bit exotic and mysterious. That can only explain my decision to blow all my pocket-money on the Southern Accents cassette, even though I had no idea what the rest of the album sounded like; I recall being disappointed and perplexed at first by the array of distinctly Yankee rock tunes and bluegrass-tinged ballads, and only a couple of tracks with a semblance of synths and drum machines as per the single.

    That initial disappointment stemmed from not being ready to fully take the leap from my Smash Hits/No.1 world of self-contained pop. It wouldn’t be until 1986 that the qualities of Southern Accents, and records by the likes of Bruce Hornsby & The Range, John Cougar Mellencamp and Bob Seger, began to make some sense. Perhaps as a consequence of working with David A. Stewart, Petty himself would soon spend several years in the company of his fellow Traveling Wilbury brothers, honing and streamlining his style in the process and producing his career high Full Moon Fever in 1989.

    Don’t Come Around No More, however, was a pop gem and if anything, it’s a surprise that it didn’t do better than #50 in the UK and even more of a surprise that it ultimately missed the US Top 10 after a promising start.
    Blaahh, berserkboi, Filippa and 3 others like this.
  5. Thank you @Eric Generic for your wonderful reviews.

    I have always loved Everybody Wants To Rule the World and Don't Come Around Here No More ...

    So sad that Tom Petty isn't around here anymore.
  6. "Don't come around here anymore" and "Free Falling" are TP at his best. Both will be Retrochart top ten hits for me!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  7. Thanks @Filippa , yes Tom's passing was a huge loss. I think he still had a lot more to give musically and to say, always standing up to the corruption and BS within the music industry.
    berserkboi and Hairycub1969 like this.
  8. As there was only one further UK single from Southern Accents (that I was aware of, there could have been more), Make It Better was the only other chart entry for him from the album. Then he had two minor entries with Jammin' Me and All Mixed Up in 1987, before the imperial phase of Full Moon Fever/Into The Great Wide Open provided a run of Top 10 hits.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  9. I really need to crack on with new additions, but #62 is such a big deal of a record for me, I need to psyche myself up for it. In the meantime, here's another one I made earlier....

    Number ones: #41
    • DEAD OR ALIVE Lover Come Back To Me (Epic)
    • Week Ending May 11th 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    The follow-up to You Spin Me Round was, as they say, eagerly awaited. Having made the most exciting hit record of 1985 so far, what would Pete Burns & co. do next? Could lightning strike twice?

    Somewhat inevitably it couldn’t, but there was at least some excitement at the assertive electro-disco of this second SAW collaboration. ‘Twas not a shrinking violet; that much can be said of Lover Come Back To Me. It didn’t wander too far from the winning formula, though neither the song nor the arrangement were quite strong or sophisticated enough to achieve the same level of success.

    Its solitary week atop my own charts (it underperformed on the UK Top 40, peaking at #11 on its second appearance before going into immediate reverse) reflects how keen I was for another You Spin Me Round, how instantly appealing this sound was proving to me, but also how lightweight and fleeting the actual record’s qualities arguably were.

    Nonetheless, I’d soon be snapping up the Youthquake album on its week of release and finding plenty to enjoy, from the silly-but-infectious My Heart Goes Bang to the epic, closing groove of It’s Been A Long Time. However, none of the subsequent singles lifted from the album could emulate the back-to-back chart topping feats of its first two 45s, and by 1987 Dead Or Alive were not even reaching the Top 10 of my personal charts.

    As for Stock Aitken Waterman? I think they went on to do some other stuff……
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  10. Time for an-n-n-n-n-nother.....the single which was at #1 on my chart 34 years ago this week!

    Number ones: #42

    • PAUL HARDCASTLE 19 (Chrysalis)
    • Week Ending May 18th 1985
    • 3 Weeks At #1

    Before “Platoon”, before “Full Metal Jacket”, before “Born On The 4th Of July”, this groundbreaking record was many (young) people’s introduction to the reality of the Vietnam War.

    Paul Hardcastle had, up to this point, been largely unknown to the mainstream pop masses; a succession of well-received club/dance tracks had come close to nudging the UK Top 40 (Eat Your Heart Out, Daybreak, Rainforest) without going fully overground.

    Inspired by an American documentary about the lengthy, ill-fated conflict, Hardcastle honed in on the shocking statistic that the average age of the combat soldier in Vietnam was a mere 19 years old. Nineteen. Just kids, being sent off to fight in unspeakably hostile conditions, then often flown back home without any help in readjusting to the horrors they’d experienced. Assuming they didn’t return home in a body bag, of course.

    Nineteen. N-n-n-n-n-nineteen. And there was the hook.

    Hardcastle’s masterstroke was to place this human tragedy and injustice into a cutting-edge electro-pop track, using still-nascent sampling technology to create the stuttering, memorable refrain. It could have ended up as merely a gimmick, an exploitation of serious subjects, a trivialisation of something important. Yet, the hammering home of the “Nineteen” motif actually strengthens the message, makes it more unforgettable, and as a result draws the listener in and helps them absorb the rest of the story….the little details, the appalling treatment of returning Vietnam “Vets”, the conditions these boys were wholly unprepared for…the sheer inhumanity and horror.

    (Of course, in 1984 there was “Born In The U.S.A.” by Bruce Springsteen, which told the story of a forgotten Veteran’s struggle in the aftermath of coming home, but the message was widely misinterpreted as a pro-American political anthem, and didn’t make the cultural crossover to the UK in the same way as “19”).

    In conjunction with the powerful video, “19” probably educated a generation of pop music fans more than any history lesson could have done. Plus, it was just a fantastic record which captured the post-Frankie zeitgeist for a harder-edged brand of pop.
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  11. I got a lot of my education from 80's pop music when I was a teenager back in the 80's!
    I really didn't know anything about the Vietnam war back in 1985 when I was 15 and Paul Hardcastle's "19" was a history lesson for me - just like the previous year's "Free Nelson Mandela" by The Special AKA!
    Eric Generic likes this.
  12. Same here. The Human League taught me about The Lebanon; now I know that where the sniper sometimes hides, there used to be some shops.
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  13. And Simple Minds taught me if you want to talk about South Africa, then I should tell you about the Irish children!
    nlgbbbblth, ModeRed and Eric Generic like this.
  14. Which he did, in early 1989.

    (But we get ahead of ourselves!).
    Hairycub1969 likes this.
  15. Kim Wilde was very knowledgeable about Cambodia as I recall.
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  16. Mel Brooks' To Be Or Not To Be (The Hitler Rap) also taught me a lot about the Third Reich....."and then we started a party....well, kinda sorta, and before you knew it, hello New Order!" *

    Number ones: #43
    • NEW ORDER The Perfect Kiss (Factory)
    • Week Ending June 8th 1985
    • 2 Weeks At #1

    New Order finally joined the ranks of my personal Top 40 chart-toppers with the lead single from Low-Life. Despite now being an all-time favourite, Blue Monday dated from 1983 and thus existed too early to make any impact on my fledgling January 1984 rundowns (in all honesty, back then I wouldn’t have loved it enough to be in contention even if I’d been making charts in 1983).

    Its belated follow-up – Thieves Like Us – reached #3 in May/June 1984, stuck behind Duran Duran and Howard Jones. I bought the 12″ single, partly because I wasn’t getting to hear it enough due to its moderate chart success, and because its sleeve really intruiged me (my single purchases seemed to be governed by the principle of choosing things which I wouldn’t be hearing umpteen times a day on the radio and TV). Thieves Like Us has also become an all-time favourite, and along with The Lebanon (by The Human League) and Such A Shame (by Talk Talk) most evocatively takes me back to that period in my life. More than The Reflex or Pearl In The Shell have ever done.

    So now we were well into 1985, and the next New Order single saw a change in strategy. The Perfect Kiss was taken from an actual upcoming album, the band’s first since early 1983, and as that record (Power, Corruption & Lies) didn’t feature a recognisable version of Blue Monday this was something of an unusual situation.

    Indeed, the public seemed to be surprisingly thrown, and a chart peak of #46 tells its own story. Low-Life made the Top 10, but that might have been expected given the rise in profile of the band since they last issued a long-player. Quite why The Perfect Kiss fared so badly is hard to explain; even pre-Blue Monday fare such as Everything’s Gone Green, Temptation and Ceremony graced the lower half of the UK Top 40.

    What it lacks in grandeur or ambition compared to its immediate (non-album) predecessors, it makes up for with an energy and directness that conceals a more sophisticated song and arrangement than first impressions might suggest. I certainly found myself liking The Perfect Kiss more with each listen, once I’d bought Low-Life on the strength of some album tracks being aired on Janice Long’s Radio 1 evening slot.

    One of the immediate album highlights, Sub-Culture, would be remixed (or deconstructed might be more accurate) and released as the second and final single later in 1985. Sadly, it sounded a mess, the band’s love of the Hi-NRG/Electro club music they’d first encountered and immersed themselves in during 1983 leading them to bury their melodic qualities in a rush of clattering drum machines and overexcited orchestral synth stabs.

    For a time, it did for their chart fortunes in Britain, and they wouldn’t return to the UK Top 20 until 1987 (more of that later).

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  17. Okay, so I finally overcame my writer's block for #62 (if you read the post, you will probably guess why I had such a struggle with it), which means I can crack on with 1986 and post some more catch-up #1s from 1985 on here!
    Filippa and Hairycub1969 like this.
  18. Night time is the right time for some Orchestral Manoeuvres in the dark.....

    Number ones: #44

    • Week Ending June 22nd 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    Enola Gay. Souvenir. Joan Of Arc. Maid Of Orleans. All of these would undoubtedly have topped any personal chart I created between 1980 and 1983, but my first official OMD #1 was this, the lead single from the band’s June 1985 opus, Crush.

    Two of the singles from its predecessor, Junk Culture, had almost reached the summit (Locomotion and Talking Loud And Clear) but those records – and that album in general – were uncharacteristically sunny and upbeat; a reaction to the mixed reception afforded 1983’s experimental Dazzle Ships project. So In Love felt like something of a return to their more melancholic earlier fare, though it was polished enough to attract American audiences as it made the US Top 30.

    Crush was unashamedly influenced by America, from the Edward Hopper homage of the sleeve, to the locations visited on the album’s visual companion piece “Crush: The Movie”, to the subject matter of several songs (Women III, The Native Daughters Of The Golden West, 88 Seconds In Greensboro). Viewed as a commercial sell-out in some quarters, the Stephen Hague production wasn’t always as slick as the singles implied; 88 Seconds… is spiked with distored guitars and plenty of basement echo, The Native Daughters… evokes Led Zeppelin in their Kashmir majesty, and the title track is a wonderfully odd montage of samples, whispered obscenities and depressed brass sections.

    There was also an obvious standout track with Paul Humphreys taking lead vocal duties; it sounded like a smash hit in waiting, and gained immediate interest from UK radio. Secret would be issued as the next single…..
  19. It's a brimful of Bowie for my 45...

    Number ones: #45
    • DAVID BOWIE Loving The Alien (EMI America)
    • Week Ending 29th June 1985
    • 1 Week At #1

    And now the great Dame David of Bowie, for it is he, doth appear among us, with the 3rd single lifted from his 1984 opus Tonight. Yet another artist who, had my charts existed in 1983, would have reached #1 with the title cut from Let’s Dance.

    By mid-1985 his commercial stock had already fallen from those giddy heights of two years previously, when everything he released went top 2 in the UK. He knew when to go out, but he knew when to stay in..and get things done. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to know how to best follow-up Let’s Dance; by his own admission the recording of Tonight was too rushed, and its surfeit of cover versions masked a chronic lack of new, self-penned material.

    There were three cracking originals; lead single Blue Jean (which really ought to have done better than #11 on my charts at the time), the kitchen-sink techno funk of Dancing With The Big Boys (the very apex of what Bowie’s music could achieve at this juncture), and Loving The Alien.

    The latter track opened the album in atmospheric, extended style, building to a crescendo by the time its 7 minutes were almost up; it had elements of China Girl in its delicate verse melodies and percussion, and a hint of the same vibe that characterised This Is Not America – his contribution to the Falcon & The Snowman soundtrack – which had briefly interrupted the singles run from Tonight at the beginning of 1985.

    It’s easy with the benefit of hindsight to wonder what might have been if Bowie had not been compelled to go back into the studio so soon after the Serious Moonlight tour ended, and had instead waited for more songs of Loving The Alien‘s quality to emerge after a longer break.
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
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  20. Never heard Loving The Alien before. More than a slight nod to Psychedelic Furs Love My Way eh?
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