P Grandson's top 80 of UK Number Ones of 80's / #1 REVEALED | The Popjustice Forum

P Grandson's top 80 of UK Number Ones of 80's / #1 REVEALED

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by P Grandson, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. From the same person that gave you this modestly successful thread, here's now a look at the songs that topped the UK singles chart in the 1980's.

    This time however, I'm going to do things a little bit different by trimming away the bad and going straight away to the good stuff, counting down my top 80 UK Number One songs of the 1980's.
    I can reveal that the yearly distributions will be like this:

    1980: 7 songs
    1981: 6 songs
    1982: 6 songs
    1983: 10 songs
    1984: 6 songs
    1985: 10 songs
    1986: 10 songs
    1987: 11 songs
    1988: 9 songs
    1989: 5 songs​

    Just like in the 90's thread, there's also a tier compartment and I can tell you that the top 12 is in my AMAZING tier, the next 28 songs are in my GREAT tier and the remaining forty songs are comfortably in my GOOD tier.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
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    80. I Think We're Alone Now - Tiffany (1988)
    79. The Only Way Is Up - Yazz & The Plastic Population (1988)
    78. Every Little Thing She Does Is Music - The Police (1981)
    77. I Know Him So Well - Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson (1985)
    76. The Model - Kraftwerk (1982)
    75. Woman - John Lennon (1981)
    74. A Good Heart - Feargal Sharkey (1985)
    73. True - Spandau Ballet (1983)
    72. Merry Christmas Everyone - Shakin' Stevens (1985)
    71. House Of Fun - Madness (1982)
    70. When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going - Billy Ocean (1986)
    69. Orinoco Flow - Enya (1988)
    68. Uptown Girl - Billy Joel (1983)
    67. West End Girls - Pet Shop Boys (1986)
    66. Brass In The Pocket - The Pretenders (1980)
    65. Fame - Irene Cara (1982)
    64. You Can't Hurry Love - Phil Collins (1983)
    63. The Reflex - Duran Duran (1984)
    62. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go - Wham! (1984)
    61. The Lady In Red - Chris DeBurgh (1986)
    60. China In Your Hand - T'Pau (1987)
    59. Theme From S'Express - S'Express (1988)
    58. Pump Up The Volume - M/A/R/R/S (1987)
    57. Relax - Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
    56. You Win Again - Bee Gees (1987)
    55. Super Trouper - ABBA (1980)

    54. Town Called Malice - The Jam (1982)
    53. Rock Me Amadeus - Falco (1986)
    52. I'm Your Man - Wham! (1985)
    51. You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) - Dead Or Alive (1985)
    50. La Bamba - Los Lobos (1987)
    49. I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue (1988)
    48. Papa Don't Preach - Madonna (1986)
    47. 99 Red Balloons - Nena (1984)
    46. Every Breath You Take - The Police (1983)
    45. Tainted Love - Soft Cell (1981)
    44. Perfect - Fairground Attraction (1988)
    43. Down Under - Men At Work (1983)
    42. Don't Leave Me This Way - Communards (1986)
    41. Chain Reaction - Diana Ross (1986)

    40. We Are The World - USA For Africa (1985)
    39. Let's Dance - David Bowie (1983)
    38. Only You - The Flying Pickets (1983)
    37. Who's That Girl? - Madonna (1987)
    36. Back To Life (However Do You Want Me) - Soul II Soul feat. Caron Wheeler (1989)
    35. Call Me - Blondie (1980)
    34. Especially For You - Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan (1989)
    33. Ashes To Ashes - David Bowie (1980)
    32. Come On Eileen - Dexy's Midnight Runners (1982)
    31. Under Pressure - Queen & David Bowie (1981)
    30. All Around The World - Lisa Stansfield (1989)
    29. Don't You Want Me - Human League (1981)
    28. Karma Chameleon - Culture Club (1983)
    27. La Isla Bonita - Madonna (1987)
    26. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson (1983)
    25. Ride On Time - Black Box (1989)
    24. I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner (1985)
    23. There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart) - Eurythmics (1985)
    22. The Final Countdown - Europe (1986)
    21. Heart - Pet Shop Boys (1988)
    20. Woman In Love - Barbra Streisand (1980)
    19. Always On My Mind - Pet Shop Boys (1987)
    18. Atomic - Blondie (1980)
    17. The Sun Always Shines On TV - A-Ha (1986)
    16. Into The Groove - Madonna (1985)
    15. Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor (1982)
    14. It's A Sin - Pet Shop Boys (1987)
    13. Total Eclipse Of The Heart - Bonnie Tyler (1983)

    12. Do They Know It's Christmas - Band Aid 20 (1984)
    11. One Moment In Time - Whitney Houston (1988)
    10. The Power Of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
    9. Stand By Me - Ben E. King (1987)
    8. I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) - Whitney Houston (1987)
    7. Never Gonna Give You Up - Rick Astley (1987)
    6. Take My Breath Away - Berlin (1986)
    5. The Power Of Love - Jennifer Rush (1985)
    4. Heaven Is A Place On Earth - Belinda Carlisle (1988)
    3. Imagine - John Lennon (1981)
    Last edited: May 6, 2021
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  3. As a preambule here, are the twenty songs that bubbled under and would fill in the 81-100 positions if I did a top 100.

    The Tide Is High - Blonde (1980)
    Jealous Guy - Roxy Music (1981)
    Stand And Deliever - Adam & The Ants (1981)

    A Little Peace - Nicole (1982)
    Beat Surrender - The Jam (1982)
    Do You Really Want To Hurt Me - Culture Club (1982)
    Land Of Make-Believe - Bucks Fizz (1982)

    Red Red Wine - UB40 (1983)
    I Feel For You - Chaka Khan (1984)
    Hello - Lionel Richie (1984)

    Easy Lover - Philipp Bailey & Phil Collins (1985)
    Caravan Of Love - Housemartins (1986)
    True Blue - Madonna (1986)

    I Knew You Were Waiting For Me - George Michael & Aretha Franklin (1987)
    Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now - Starship (1987)
    Respectable - Mel & Kim (1987)

    He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - The Hollies (1988)
    Eternal Flame - Bangles (1989)
    Hand On Your Heart - Kylie Minogue (1989)
    Too Many Broken Hearts - Jason Donovan (1989)
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2021
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  4. 80 I THINK WE'RE ALONE NOW Tiffany (1988)


    The quintessential 80's teen popstar, Tiffany Darwish broke out big in her home US in 1987 by a then rather unprecendented move: too young to perform at clubs, instead she performed at shopping malls all across America, multiplying fans and pundits along the way and shooting her version of Tommy James & The Shondells's 1967 song I Think We're Alone Now to the top of the US charts. Using the same promotion of the shopping mall tours in the UK, the song eventually topped the British charts in early 1988 while Tiffany was chalking her second US #1 hit with Could've Been.
    For all its busy and at times sloppy production, Tiffany's take on the song has nonethless a charming ring to it, from her purring "into the night!" to the synth solo. By 1989, Tiffany's sparkle of success was fading as quickly as it burst out, but she has never stopped perfoming and releasing new music to this day.

  5. 79 THE ONLY WAY IS UP Yazz & The Plastic Population (1988)


    Former volleyball player, former catwalk model and former George Michael hairstylist Yasmin Evans had been striving for a musical career for a few years (at one time being part of the soul group The Biz) until she hit it big by singing in Coldcut's #6 hit Doctorin' The House. With her vocal talents and her striking valkirian figure getting public attention, solo stardom came beckoning and with Coldcut still at the helm of production, her debut single "The Only Way Is Up" duly hit the top of the charts.
    Originally recorded by Otis Clay in 1980, Yazz's version transformed the smooth funk track about hope in the face of major adversity into an all-conquering pop banger. "The Only Way Is Up" also topped the charts in Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, The Netherlands and New Zealand and rounded up as the second best selling of 1988 in the UK, second only to Sir Cliff's "Mistletoe And Wine" (that I can spoil to you that it won't be on this list).



    From their fourth album Ghost In The Machine, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic was The Police's fourth UK #1. Notably one of the rare Police tracks with the contribution of a pianist, Jean-Alain Roussel, who reportedly Sting had him flying away to the recording studio in Montserrat without the other members' knowledge. Roussel's contribution added a fine touch to the song's cheery feel.
    ELTSDIM also topped the charts in Denmark, Ireland and The Netherlands.

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  7. 77 I KNOW HIM SO WELL Elaine Paige & Barbara Dickson (1985)


    Arguably the most famous Bjorn Ulaveus/Benny Anderson composition outside of ABBA (in fact, the chorus was based around an unreleased ABBA song, "I Am An A"), I Know Him So Well was one of the standout songs from the musical Chess, in which the two women involved with the Russian chess champion bond on their lament of being both estranged by him. Before the show's West End opening, the studio record version was recorded in a double album in 1984 and in early 1985, I Know Him So Well topped the UK chart and was at the time the biggest female-led best selling single ever (another female led single would topple it later that year).Chess would debut in London in 1986 to great success (with Paige reprising her role on the record, but with Siobhan McCarthy taking Dickson's role), unlike its Broadway version whose story had several changes and flopped big time.
    I Know Him So Well has been covered multiple times ever since, for example by Cissy and Whitney Houston, Steps, Susan Boyle and Peter Kay/Geraldine McQueen and by Spice Girls Melanie C and Emma.

  8. 76. THE MODEL Kraftwerk (1982)


    Electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk became the first German act to top the UK charts in February 1982 with the double A-side The Model and Computer Love (the latter hitting #36 in a previous release in 1981), but two other German acts (Gombay Dance Band and Nicole) would also top the UK charts that year.
    The Model was the English version of Kraftwerk's 1978 track Das Modell. German rockers Rammstein covered it in 1997.

  9. 75. WOMAN John Lennon (1981)


    After a five year hiatus to be full-time parents to their son Sean, John Lennon and Yoko Ono were bound for an eagerly awaited comeback in November 1980 with the release of the Double Fantasy album. But in the following month, Mark David Chapman turned what should have been a celebrational return to the spolight into a horrific and tragic halt, that left the whole world mourning the untimely death of the former Beatle, and Double Fantasy ended up thus as Lennon's elegy.
    In Lennon's words, Woman was the most Beatle-esque track of Double Fantasy, even considering it the grown-up version of The Beatles' Girl. That and the fact that it was a moving tribute to Yoko Ono and women in general, it was the natural choice as the first posthumous single of the album, replacing another John Lennon song at the top of the charts in early 1981.

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  10. 74. A GOOD HEART Feargal Sharkey (1985)


    Londonderry's Feargal Sharkey first left a mark as the lead singer of The Undertones, the makers of the seminal Teenage Kicks. After collaborating with Vince Clarke in The Assmebly project, Sharkey began his solo career in 1984, which spawned three albums and five UK top 40 hit singles until 1991.
    The biggest of those hits was easily A Good Heart, which topped the chart on November 1985 for two weeks, also hitting #1 in Australia, Belgium and Ireland and his only US top 100 hit. Penned by Maria "Show Me Heaven" McKee (inspired on her relationship with Benmont Tench, longtime Tom Petty colaborator) and produced by David A. Stewart of the Eurythmics, the track had Sharkey singing about being aprehensive yet hopeful about a new relationship. (A quick shout-out for the two poker-faced female drummers that accompanied him in the music video and in the TV performances.)
    From 1992 onwards, Feargal Sharkey has moved to the business side of the music industry.

  11. 73. TRUE Spandau Ballet (1983)


    For all their legacy when it comes to 80's British music, it's rather shocking that Spandau Ballet had only one UK #1 hit, but if any of their songs had to be a charttopper, it had to be True. The title-track of their third album, penned by Gary Kemp, it was a tribute to both Marvin Gaye and Kemp's unrequited crush Claire Grogan.
    True topped the UK chart for four weeks in 1983 and was Spandau Ballet's only US top 5 hit. It has been ever since in numerous films, TV shows and ads, and sampled in multiple tracks, most notably PM Dawn's 1991 US #1 hit Set Adrift On Memory Bliss.

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
  12. 72. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE Shakin' Stevens (1985)


    Active in music since the late 60's, it was not until the early 80's that Welshman born under the name of Michael Barratt would achieve commercial success, his retro 50's sounding repertoir appealing both to the nostalgia of older generations and the discovery to the younger ones. Between 1981 and 1987, Shakin' Stevens chalked no less than 13 top 10 UK hits, including four Number Ones.
    Needless to say, it was his fourth and final #1, Merry Christmas Everyone, that went down as his biggest legacy, joining the long list of timeless Christmas classics that are played everywhere come December. Originally planned to be released on Christmas 1984, it ended up being delayed to a year later in order not to clash with the two Christmas juggernaut records that came out that year and so it easily topped the charts on Christmas 1985. With the download/streaming era, Merry Christmas Everyone has reentered the chart every year since 2007, even going back as high as #6 in 2019 and 2020.

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  13. 71. HOUSE OF FUN Madness (1982)


    Like Spandau Ballet, it is also surprising that one of Britain's most successful bands of the decade only had a single chart-topping hit. But where legendary hits like One Step Beyond, Our House or It Must Be Love fell short, House Of Fun snatched that glory.
    One of the brand new tracks from their first GH album Complete Madness, House Of Fun had Suggs singing about the first post-puberty urges and that first awkward endeavour to buy condoms.
    House Of Fun reentered the top 40 in 1992 in a re-release and in 2015, a ITV pole elected it the nation's 8th favourite 80's Number One.

  14. I love Madness, and much as I love 'House of fun', they had SO many better singles than it that sadly didn't make number one. My girl, Embarrassment, Grey day, Our House, The Sun and the rain to name but a few.
  15. Wings of a dove!
    letuinmybackdoor likes this.

    While Trinidad-born and London-raised singer Billy Ocean had a bag full of hits in the 80's, including three US Number Ones, this was his only #1 in his homeland. But there is no doubt that it's one of his best, the joyful theme to the 1985 movie The Jewel Of The Nile, that even had its three stars Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas and Danny Devitto doing a hilarious mimicking of the backup singers in the music video.
    It would be also a UK #1 in 1999, with the version by Boyzone.

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  17. 69. ORINOCO FLOW Enya (1988)


    In 1982, Enya Brennan followed Clannad's manager Nicky Ryan's advice and began carving out a solo career, with Ryan on the elm of production and his wife Roma writing the lyrics. The result was an innovative sound that mixed elements from Celtic and classical music with pop undertones, a sound that would lead her to become the queen of new age music.
    Enya's self-titled debut album was a hit in her native Ireland, but it would be the next album Watermark that would catapult her to massive international success, starting with the lead singer Orinoco Flow topping the charts in Belgium, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland and of course, the UK, where it stood for three weeks.

    Last edited: Aug 27, 2021
  18. 68. UPTOWN GIRL Billy Joel (1983)


    Inspired by his relationships to supermodels Elle McPherson and Christie Brinkley (the latter appearing on the music video), this was Mr. Pianoman's only UK #1 hit, but no doubt that this one of Billy Joel songs that would merit that milestone, with its anthemic wall-of-sound-esque vibes.
    Uptown Girl sold 975K copies and became the 19th best selling single of the 1980's in the UK, also hitting #1 in Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. Oh, and yes Westlife's cover version also hit #1 in 2001.

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  19. 67. WEST END GIRLS Pet Shop Boys (1986)


    I can make a spoiler and state that all four Neil & Chris charttoppers will appear on this list, and the first one is the song that started it all and paved the way for the Pet Shop Boys to redifine electro-pop and thrive in career now entering its fifth decade.
    Originally released in 1984, West End Girls failed to chart but became a well-receive club hit in the US. A new version produced by Stephen Hague was released in October 1985 and duly hit the topspot in early 1986. It was also #1 in Finland, Norway, New Zealand and the USA.

  20. 66 BRASS IN THE POCKET The Pretenders (1980)


    Actually the first brand new UK #1 of the 1980's, Brass In The Pocket was The Pretenders' third single and rapidly became one of their signature songs. Although Chrissie Hynde sings about being beaming with confidence on her way to a sexual encounter, she originally didn't like the way she sounded on it and was against the track being released as a single. Brass In The Pocket was also #1 in Sweden and Ireland.
    Although Hynde would chalk two more Number Ones in solo collaborations, this remained The Pretenders' only chart-topper, although they would score a handful more of top 40 hits and are still active, their latest album Hate For Sale released in 2020.

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