Top 200 Best Selling Singles of the 1980s- UK | The Popjustice Forum

Top 200 Best Selling Singles of the 1980s- UK

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by gezza76, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. [​IMG]

    Yes this summer will be an 80s summer in honour of this thread!

    Firstly a few notes to answer some queries that some may have about this thread.....

    1) "We already know what the top 100 hits of the 80s are though don't we?"

    Well, a top 100 was produced in a book by Guiness covering the 80s which was published in 1990 and a rundown containing the top 80 of the 80s was broadcast on Radio 1 around new years day 1990 so there is one in existence. This has been reproduced in many places over the years.

    2) "Why then do we need this thread?"

    There are several well documented anomolies in the list and tallies and positions which do not tally with the respective Y/E charts, Y/E positions and other bits of information which have been gathered over the years especially the 2002 GBHS list.

    3) How do you (Gezza) know better than that list?"

    Well I don't necessarily but this chart is an atempt to iron out those annomolies, using Y/E charts, panel sales which I have seen, information from other posters which all put together gives this chart.

    It is my contention whilst researching this over the course of the last year that the list we "know" is made up (to a high degree) of record company figures and shipment figures, NOT panel sales. What this means in relation to this list is:

    a) As BMRB (British Market Research Bureau) did not collect data during the Christmas Period for when it adminstered the charts this top 200 does not estimate sales over these weeks either. Therefore the following weeks are not taken into consideration for my calculations 03.01.81, 02.01.82 and 01.01.83. It is obvious that for the Gallup list that they used record company figures for these weeks, but it wouldn't be "evidenced" with panel sales.
    b) Several figures that are historical have had to be copied by the OCC for subsequent lists as they do not have access to panel sales and data pre 1994 (as I understand it) so some figures are significantly different to what is "established".

    Whilst I don't present this list as "official" I would say it is probably more accurate than the list we know at present. Yes there is still a large degree of estimates used (certainly in the 1980-83) period but figures and other people's estimates that I have seen have been altered in line with any panel sales that I have seen.

    I should also note that some figures here are altered from the top 200 female solo singles of the decade purely because I have got more accurate information, that's the thing with estimates they tend to alter till we get the actual figure!

    My thanks to Chart stats, You tube, Wiikipedia, MFR, "1000 UK No 1 hits" (Kutner & Leigh) and a few other sources who don't wish to be named (you know who you are).

    I would suggest if you have time to view the TOTP performances I'll be posting to really get into the decade as we go along- any questions feel free to ask, and above all ENJOY!
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2012
  2. Yes- this is a slight change to the advertised schedule....but it tied in the Visitor's thread and also I can run two threads at once- no? haha
  3. Fab. Looking forward to this one!
  4. Right let's get this baby started!

    200. SOMETHING’S GOTTEN HOLD OF MY HEART- Marc Almond & Gene Pitney (446,000)


    RELEASED: 1989
    WKS ON CHART: 12

    Originally recorded by David & Jonathan in 1966 it was Pitney’s solo version that made the track famous when it hit No 5 a year later before being covered countless times in between. Almond recorded a solo version in 1988 for his “The Stars We Are” album and tried to interest Pitney is recording it as a duet and hey presto the track just took 14 days from debut to hit No 1, the performance on Wogan (below) is popularly credited with pushing the song from 10-1 leaping over the expected chart topper from Mike & The Mechanics.

  5. 199. BACK TO LIFE (HOWEVER DO YOU WANT ME)- Soul II Soul Ft Caron Wheeler (446,000)


    RELEASED: 1989
    WKS ON CHART: 14

    Overtaking Almond & Pitney in the dying weeks of the year, Soul II Soul ended 1989 as the 5th biggest seller with this summer smash. Though never a spectacular seller on a weekly basis it somehow managed 4 wks at the top and came to represent the second summer of love, it should be noted that the single version is substantially different from the album version which is an a cappella version of the track.

  6. 198. ONE DAY I’LL FLY AWAY- Randy Crawford (447,000)


    RELEASED: 1981
    WKS ON CHART: 11

    Sadly now equally famous for being covered by Nicole Kidman in the film “Moulin Rouge” the chorus to Crawford’s biggest hit was based around Schubert’s “Impromptus” and gave her her sole top 3 hit in this country. She cut her teeth in the mid 70s jazz scene where she played with (also ran) 80s popstar George Benson who is most definitely absent from this rundown.

  7. Pye


    Being a life long Marc Almond fan I was really excited that Marc got to number one with 'Somethings Got A Hold Of My Heart'. I'm sure it's only because it was a duet withGene Pitney that the song got so high in the charts though.It's just a shame Marc's self penned tracks from the album did not do better in the charts. The gorgeous 60's influenced single 'Only The Moment' should have gone top 5 but peaked at 45 (surprising as it was play listed on Radio1).
  8. Mvnl

    Mvnl Moderator

    Whoo, proper classic at 198 already!
    I think Nicole did a nice job, but the original remains brilliant.
  9. Love "One Day I'll Fly Away". Randy Crawford is brilliant.

    "Back to Life" always reminds me of the summertime.

    I remember my grandparents liking "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" (which was cool because they never liked any songs in the charts ever)!
  10. Cool - another 80s thread for a mega iTunes playlist! I wonder how much crossover there will be between this one and the solo females? I hope my all time favourite single (Ride On Time by Black Box) is really high up!

    Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart is a classic to start things off, love that song.

  11. Hallelujah!!!!
  12. 197. THE REFLEX- Duran Duran (448,000)


    RELEASED: 1984
    WKS ON CHART: 14

    The band originally wanted “The Reflex” to be the first single from “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” but were talked out of it as the record company didn’t like the “why-i-i-i-i-“ bit and didn’t think it work as a single, how wrong they were. Nile Rogers takes this in hand and provides an appropriate magic to lift it that little bit and gave the band their second and final No 1 single to date, it also became their first US No 1 single and great delight was taken by the band at preventing Wham! from entering at No 1 especially in light of the latter’s boasting that "Wake Me Up" would debut there.

  13. 196. I WON’T LET YOU DOWN- Ph.D (448,000)


    RELEASED: 1982
    WKS ON CHART: 14

    Named after the band members initials of their surnames Ph.d were short lived though it did contain a young Jim Diamond who would see the No 1 spot in 1984 with “I Should Have Known Better”. The group only lasted for 2 years and never saw any chart action apart from this one hit, when Diamond contracted hepatitis and had to cancel a proposed tour the remainder of the group disbanded, Diamond’s revenge in 1984 was therefore sweet. He is perhaps equally remembered for his cover of “HI Ho Silver” in 1986 as the theme from TV show “Boon”.

  14. 195. CHERISH- Kool & The Gang (453,000)


    RELEASED: 1985
    WKS ON CHART: 22

    They had 21 hits during the decade, six of them top 10 hits, and none of them that sold more than this 1985 hit. Other tracks, notably “Tonight/ Joanna” peaked higher but thanks to almost 6 months of the chart during the summer of that year “Cherish” proves their swansong on this chart, they were of course last on the chart back in 2003 when they got credit on Atomic Kitten’s “ladies Night” which was a cover of their first top 10 hit back in 1979.

  15. I adore "Cherish". Brings back so many memories of being younger. Still play it a lot today.
  16. At the time I hated Duran Duran but obviously now think they're amazing. Still hate this record though. Not sure why but there is something about it that rubs me up the wrong way. I'm pretty certain it kept The Pointer Sisters 'Automatic' off #1 as well which in itself is a giant popinjustice!!
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2012
  17. This is one of those strange records that I know, but have absolutely no recollection of it being in the charts or who it was by. Can easily sing along and now have some vague memory of Jim Diamond being involved but couldn't have named the band even if my signed Mary Wilson album was on line.

    It's a bit crap isn't it.
  18. Oh this should be yet more retro fun.

    Firstly though, I would like to take umbrage at George Benson being described as an also ran, haha! Okay so he didn't have one mega-selling single at any stage, but in the 80s alone he had Lady Love Me One More Time, Give Me The Night, In Your Eyes, Shiver and my favourie..the underrated 20/20. Plus he sold tons of albums.

    Secondly, isn't it a shame that Kool & The Gang's biggest seller was such a naff record. Joanna was so much better in the ballad stakes, and they did uptempo better than few others.
  19. 194. HOOKED ON CLASSICS- Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (456,000)


    RELEASED: 1981
    WKS ON CHART: 11

    A rather brief fad for medleys in the early 80s reached its climax with this bizarre medley of classical hits which spent a fortnight at No 2 behind Shakin Stevens’s “Green Door”. Even more bizarre is the fact that it’s the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who are the hitmakers here, they’re conducted by Louis Clark who was the former arranger for the ELO, and perhaps most bizarrely of all it even made the top 10 in the US- odd times.

  20. 193. WEST END GIRLS- Pet Shop Boys (457,000)


    RELEASED: 1985
    WKS ON CHART: 15

    Taking lyrical inspiration from TS Eliot’s “The Wasteland” this is of course considered by many as THE pet shop boys record. Their first release it first saw the light of day in April 1984 on 12” import without a main release, but it took a reworking before it became a hit in the UK eventually making No 1 in Jan 1986. The video captures many of the sights of London in 1985 including people queuing outside a cinema to see “Desperately Seeking Susan”, and despite many interpretations by people of the song as a reference to “rough trade “Tennant insists that this was not the case, it remains one of the finest No 1 hits of the decade IMO.

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.