28
Aug 09

CHAKA KHAN – “I Feel For You”

FT + Popular111 comments • 12,523 views

#540, 10th November 1984, video

Asked to describe the I Feel For You album, Wikipedia offers “Genre: Funk, Hip Hop, Electronic dance music, soul, Rhythm and blues, Pop”. By a remarkable coincidence that is the exact genre of this single, too – a time-shifting stylistic summit meeting that offers nothing less than a Grand Unified Theory of black American pop over the past two decades.

Except that makes it sound calculated and formal and “I Feel For You” is nothing of the sort – its glory isn’t in the fact of genres mixing, it’s in what they each bring to the party, the track’s blend of the hard-assed, the passionate and the blithe. That last in the form of Stevie Wonder’s harmonica, fluttering and darting over the beat and breaking down history itself – suddenly it’s 1962 again and he’s Little Stevie, the crowd roaring at his prodigal talent.

Back in the present day there are new skills to be admired. I don’t have the depth of knowledge to figure where “I Feel For You” fits into hip-hop history but to me it feels significant, a direct and brilliant assertion of the new music’s place in the continuity of black pop, a graduation party. From our perspective, of course, nothing much like this has got to number one before – New Edition’s beats had a tinny thrill but hardly the punch of “I Feel For You”, with its slick, box-fresh synth-funk. And of course they didn’t have Melle Mel, whose rapid, almost whispered rap beckons you into the song.

The keyboard and harmonica interplay almost drives Chaka Khan out of her own track, but wisely she doesn’t try to dominate the music. She could have belted the chorus but she takes it more thoughtfully, sighing, shuddering and finally just saying “I think I – love you”, creating a stillness round which the rest of the track can move.

And behind it all, the songwriter: Prince’s own version of “I Feel For You”, which I’d never heard before today, sounds delighted and goofy with self-discovery. Hearing it you can’t quite believe that it could survive being expanded, exploded and empowered in this way. But perhaps it’s no surprise: the man who wrote it spent his peak years mapping the interzone “I Feel For You” dances so wonderfully in.

9

Comments

  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Hurray! This is glorious.

    What is fantastic about it is the sense of space that allows all of the thrilling effects to be spotlit to their full extent, especially the lightning bolt stabs of synth. On paper, the team-up of talents – Chaka, Prince, Stevie, Melle Mel – sounds like a potential supergroup mess, but actually the two cameos really act as support to Chaka. Few vocals convey as much sexiness and liberation as the “Wooah Wooah Woww! I FEEL!”

    I always wondered about how much of a supporting role Melle Mel played at the time – It’s not exactly like a lovesong, more like he’s an internal monologue in her head telling her how hot she is as she prepares to meet her desired other.

  2. 2
    LondonLee on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Oh happy day, I’d forgotten that this got to #1. What I find amazing listening to it again is how fresh it still sounds, despite it having so many early 80s ticks – rap, Stevie Wonder’s harmonica, electro beat and synths – it doesn’t sound dated at all, the beat is still tough and there isn’t a hint of cheese about the keyboards. Fantastic, 9 might be too low.

    The video is stuck in a time capsule though.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 28 Aug 2009 #

    This was extremely popular with all of my 11 year-old peers who liked pop music – my new school being a lot more inner-London and multiracial than I’d experienced before. I remember several of the more confident and cocky boys attempting the rap in class between lessons.

    I didn’t join in. I knew my place.

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 28 Aug 2009 #

    #2 Watch. A week of Duran Duran’s ‘Wide Boys’. Clearly inferior to ‘I Feel For You’.

  5. 5
    Michael Daddino on 28 Aug 2009 #

    I came here hoping you gave Chaka high marks and I was not disappointed.

  6. 6
    Michael Daddino on 28 Aug 2009 #

    If I remember correctly, Chaka HATED this song, I think because it de-emphasized her, made her belting only one element in a funhouse whole, and also because from then on she was constantly dogged by people going CHAKACHAKACHAKACHAKACHAKAKHAN CHAKAKHAN at her.

  7. 7
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    And we should add a fifth name to the team: Arif Mardin, who produced this gloriously thrilling piece of work. Gosh, all those major talents on a Number One single; how could a stellar roll-call like that ever be topped? (He asked warily, glancing bunnywards.)

    I taped this off the radio before it hit the shops – most likely from Robbie Vincent’s Radio One soul show – and played it over and over again, adoring it without reservation. As for its role in hip hop history: hmm, not sure that it had much of a role to play, to be honest. Melle Mel’s guest rap didn’t have much in common with the hip hop of the day, which had yet to fully unshackle itself from the electro wagon. So if we’re looking for the big forward-pointers of 1984, I’d nominate Run DMC’s “Rock Box” and UTFO’s “Roxanne, Roxanne”…

  8. 8
    rosie on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Sorry, but this leaves me cold and reminds me of why I was feeling alienated from the charts at this time. It’s a long way from the soul greats of the 1960s.

  9. 9
    Michael Daddino on 28 Aug 2009 #

    OK, I found a relevant quote from Khan in The Rock Yearbook 1986:

    “For five years I have been going into the studio, really working at creating masterpieces, mixing jazz and rock and funk. So now I do this song [I Feel For You] and put rapping on it–which really is the pits! The lowest thing you can do, from an artist’s standpoint.”

    I think this STFU statement alone is the primary reason I’ve never explored her beyond this song and the obvious Rufus/solo hits: I can’t trust an artist with such off-kilter self-regard.

  10. 10
    Kat but logged out innit on 28 Aug 2009 #

    This is in my top ten songs of all time – I was ECSTATIC when Jo played it at the last Poptimism (come along tonight! Horse Bar! Free entry etc!) and I have loved it since I was *yay* high. My sister bought the 7″ (I know that sleeve art up there like the back of my hand – same artist as the Motown Chartbusters LPs I think?) and I played it over and over again. Whoa-oa-oah-oah-WHOAH-OAH-OAH-oah-oh-ohhhhhh YEAH :) It never fails to put a smile on my face. Ten ten ten ten ten.

  11. 11
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    A terrific song – one of the first I encountered where the sense of sonic thrill and novelty felt so seismic…I’m talking about the vocals there as much as anything else from the inspired, instantly iconic stutter intro to Chaka’s ecstatic wail towards the end. Dancefloor devastation on a Billie Jean level? Sounds like it to me altho this was never quite THAT ubiquitous. 9.5!

  12. 12
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Well, I suppose my answer to Rosie – and Chaka! – would be: this is a pop record, not a soul (or jazz, or funk) record. A hybrid, not a thoroughbred(*) – and a classic example of pop nicking the good bits from other “purer” genres and shamelessly mixing them up to create something new and thrilling.

    (*) Even though it was produced by one of the prime architects of the classic Atlantic soul sound…

  13. 13
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Interesiting Michael re #6 – maybe that explain why I love it. As great as her voice sounds to me it’s not the standout feature of the track as everything seems to be operating in full effect but not to the extent that it’s at war with itself.

  14. 14
    CarsmileSteve on 28 Aug 2009 #

    and the BASSLINE dudes, don’t forget the bassline!!! i think this might be more than a 9 too, even though i ♥ wild boys (WILD BOYS!) this is top top quality. i keep on remembering little bits of it (no music in the office) and thinking “HAHA, YES, THAT BIT TOO!!!”

  15. 15
    Rory on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Wow, I’m surprised to see such a warm reaction here; I’d remembered this as a fairly minor song, although it reached number four in Australia. Re-watching it reminds me of my main problem with it: that Chaka seemed such an anonymous presence, her vocals overshadowed by the rest of the production. She’s pretty static in the video, too. I had been unaware of her previous hits, and didn’t twig to Prince’s and Stevie’s involvement, so this didn’t feel like much of an event to me at the time.

    That said, it’s fascinating to see how meaningful this was and is to so many of you. Maybe a better-than-YouTube-quality recording would better reveal its charms. For now, a 5 from me.

  16. 16
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Chaka Khan — and maybe Nona Hendryx and Patti Labelle — were the might-have-beens of a second generation of 60s soul: interesting to wonder why that never happened, since there was obviously a keen market for it. Who got bored with what that it dried up and blew away? I can easily understand Khan’s frustrated crossness: plugging away for years in a direction she deeply care about, to have half a life’s work topped by something she thought was throwaway.

    The interim studio-pop soul of the mid 80s was a lot of it pretty terrific: whatever happened to Kashif? Or Evelyn King, come to that. The Emotions with EWF. Boxed in the respectable trad vastness of old-school R&B and the palatial splendour of nu-school R&B, not quite (at this stage) emergent. Whitney H — and Hendryx — both worked wth Bill Laswell’s avant–rock collision improv project Material: this record is pop collision, but the actual real 90s were still a long way away.

  17. 17
    Mark M on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Re 9: She’s hardly the first singer to have woeful taste in their own music: just one more reason not regard the artist as the ultimate authority on their work.

    The record (I was about to say the song, but of course the song is just a fraction of it) is an absolute classic. If various of the previous number ones have brought up discussions about what was bad about music in the mid-’80s, this is definitely what was great about music of the time.

  18. 18
    Kat but logged out innit on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Tom – I’m glad you picked up on the crowd noise. I almost feel like they’re cheering *me* on as I listen, like a sort of pat on the back for appreciating such a good record.

  19. 19
    will on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Yes, ’tis brilliant. So many catchy bits that all fit seamlessly together. I just lurve the way Chaka drawls in that seductive, yet slightly ditzy manner ‘I…..I think love ya’ before Melle Mel goes back into the ‘Chakakhanletmerockyouchakakhan’ rap.

  20. 20
    Conrad on 28 Aug 2009 #

    A belter.

    I listened to this last night thinking Tom might update today and the thing that struck me most was how fresh it sounded.

    The production is superb – who is the producer? Did Prince produce it?

    EDIT – have just read Mike’s comment. Arif Marden. Makes sense. His work on Scritti Politti’s brilliant singles “Wood Beez” and “Absolute”, also from 1984, make him the stand out producer of the year for me, now I know this is his work. The fusing of hip-hop and dance elements with pure pop source material is really stunning, although of course Green was well up for the whole blue-eyed soul trip – shame to read that Chaka wasn’t so happy with the way it turned out

    As others have said, “I Feel For You” (just noticed how close in title that is to Summer/Moroder) mixes its various elements so well. The vocal is just right, I love it when the singer doesn’t overplay their hand, and like Donna’s on “I Feel Love” the vocal sits on the mix perfectly.

    Instrumentally, my favourite part is the middle 8 where it strips down to the synths and slightly industrial sounding rhythm bleeps.

    And the intro is just so damn sexy – you know you’re listening to a hit within the first 5 seconds.

    An 8 or 9 for me, the best number 1 we’ve had this year.

  21. 21
    Conrad on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Billy, #4 Le Bon was never the slimmest, but that’s a bit harsh!

  22. 22
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    #16 Maybe Chaka and Nona and Patti allowed themselves to be blown off course: by not understanding how they could best have adapted, and hence hiring themselves out at random? Hence the occasional gem (this record, Nona/Material’s “Busting Out”) and a whole array of misfires. Aretha suffered from this is as well (although with a better hit-rate then many, but now’s not the time…)

    (N.B. Kashif’s work with Evelyn King on “Love Come Down” and “I’m In Love” was fantastic – but some of his other stuff was a bit blah, as I recall.)

    (Oh, and Whitney Houston/Material’s “Memories” – her recording debut, and OH JOY OH JOY A SOFT MACHINE COVER – still holds up well today. But again, now’s not the time…)

  23. 23
    Mark M on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Re 16: “the palatial splendour of nu-school R&B, not quite (at this stage) emergent […] the actual real 90s were still a long way away”

    Well, (have done a Bunny check), we’re less than a year and a half away from Control, which I would say was the nu-school R&B fully emergent, and also connects (via the producers) directly to the starting point for the sound of the 00s as described in Tom’s terrific Pitchfork essay.

  24. 24
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Well, fully emergent is a faraway sigourney-weaver-in-a-waldo*-battling-aliens bunnybotherer (10 years!): which I would quote koganbot’s legendary review of only I’m not allowed. Control has nu-R&B producers but surely not a nu-R&B singer /controversial

    *sorry waldo

  25. 25
    MikeMCSG on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Hmmm I was going to pose the question would this have got to number one without the rap at the beginning but given the eulogies above it’s obvious what the answer would be.

    Arif Mardin added the rap without Chaka’s involvement and as pointed out earlier she hated it and had to be talked round into keeping it on the track.

    I can’t hear it now without recalling Morris Major and The Minors’ “Stutter Rap” (I’m guessing those above hated that) which rendered it as “Chuck A Can” – so stupid it’s brilliant. Morris Major of course was Tony Hawks whose books I’d thoroughly recommend particularly “Round Ireland With A Fridge”.

    But I digress. This meant that, like Vince Carke, Prince got to the top as a writer long before he managed it as a performer. In his case of course he did it twice.

    Like Rosie this isn’t my kind of music but I do find it less annoying than the next one to feature a Wonder harmonica solo.

  26. 26
    LondonLee on 28 Aug 2009 #

    #22 I was going to add that a lot of ‘proper’ soul singers like Chaka and Patti Labelle, not to mention their male counterparts, had also been blown off course by disco. Then along comes rap/electro/hip-hop which was even further away from R&B as we knew it. No wonder she was peeved.

    Never mind Kashif, whatever happened to Narada Michael Waldren?

  27. 27
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    mike@22: ok my kashif-love is a bit perverse

    as for bad decisions, yes, this is part of the same thing think: it’s like the spark-gap between the theatre actor generation and the cinema actor generation — there’s an epoch of singers who were terrific in real space (and studio-ups thereof) and a successor epoch of singers terrific in collage space, and a lost generation queuing up to be great at the former just as it went out of style… what’s interesting about hendryx and labelle and khan is that they’re all pretty no-nonsensy in-control-of-their-own-lives types; and this was a quality that somehow worked against them? (whitney on the other hand: hoo boy)

  28. 28
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    talking of Janet wasn’t her duet with CLIFF denting the lower rungs of the chart badlands around this time?

  29. 29
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    ‘whatever happened to Narada Michael Waldren?

    I think I saw him on a soul documentary (maybe even Soul Brittania? hmm) a couple of years ago. I like ‘Divine Emotions’ :)

  30. 30
    Matt DC on 28 Aug 2009 #

    This is one of the few #1 records I think is actually perfect – 10 for me as well.

  31. 31
    pink champale on 28 Aug 2009 #

    i’m having my paradigm shifted here, ma! if asked i’d always have said this was a good record but i now realise i’ve never really given a moment’s thought to it, not least in not twigging that prince was involved, let alone mellie mel. (i’m pretty sure i worked stevie out). i haven’t heard it in ages and can’t while i’m at work, but as i read all this more and more of the record is coming back to me and in my head at least it’s sounding more and more brilliant. can’t wait to see whether this is a genuine revelation or if i’m just easily led.

  32. 32
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Narada Michael Walden is once again touring with Allan Holdsworth and Gong! They are the UK’s answer to Material!

    OK that’s a lie.

  33. 33
    LondonLee on 28 Aug 2009 #

    I have the 12″ of ‘Divine Emotions’. Can’t remember the last time I played it though, might sound a bit rubbish now.

  34. 34
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Meanwhile, a 12″ was just surfacing on import, with a clear debt to another Nona Hendryx/Material track, by a genre-mashing artist who we’ll be discussing – repeatedly and no doubt exhaustively – in Popular comment boxes to come…

  35. 35
    misschillydisco on 28 Aug 2009 #

    i’m quite sure that i’ve posted on FT about this song before…? maybe not.

    this is, i think, my favourite number one ever, with wuthering heights running a close second. it can transport me straight back to 1984. love the bit especially where it breaks down in the middle and chaka says “i…i think i love you”. as close to perfect as any record could ever get.

    i thought i remembered that green gartside was somehow to be involved, thanks to the folks above for confirming

  36. 36
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Well, Green Gartside must have been in the studio with Arif Mardin by then, working on Cupid & Psyche 85… so who knows?!

  37. 37
    misschillydisco on 28 Aug 2009 #

    hi mike, i edited my comment after scrolling thru and reading yours. classic case of being too keen to post my own comment before reading the others first! [i am a dufus.]

  38. 38
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Terrific comments thread so far by the way.

    At the time I hated this of course. I would go so far as to say it’s the second wrongest I’ve ever been about a number one. (“Third wrongest” harrumph the Don McLean posse)

  39. 39
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    The System, who do the band stuff on this, also did the band stuff on Cupid & Psyche 85, which is one reason that record sounds so gorgeous and so of-its-era.

  40. 40
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Wow, did The System play on this? I never knew that! I loved The System!

  41. 41
    Kat but logged out innit on 28 Aug 2009 #

    #35 – Pete did a review of this for the Top 100 Tracks of All Time list.

  42. 42
    LondonLee on 28 Aug 2009 #

    So I dug out my 12″ of ‘Divine Emotions’ (remix by Shep Pettibone!) which sounded OK but Walden’s vocal was a bit ropey.

    But looking for it I came across the 12″ of another record from earlier in 1984 that might have influenced this, at least they both seem to me like premier examples of how to mix electro and soul: “Let The Music Play” by Shannon.

  43. 43
    pink champale on 28 Aug 2009 #

    ha ha “do the band stuff”. this is also my understanding of what goes on in a recording studio. and that bloke on the other side of the glass with the big machine? apparently he does something too.

  44. 44
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Narada’s voice similar to Matthew Wilder I thought – and I loved the relatively strange character of it, his accentuations etc.

  45. 45
    lockedintheattic on 28 Aug 2009 #

    That´s a brilliant description of Prince´s original version of this song – and in fact I think ´goofy self discovery´sums up the whole of the album it came from, 1980´s ´Prince´, his second album. Nowhere near as sophisticated as his later stuff, it´s still one of my favourites just due to the sense of an artist having fun throughout. I also bet he had no idea that the song could be made this much better by a cover – and this wouldn´t be the last time, although the bunny prevents me from discussing the next time an artist took a throwaway Prince track, made it their own and took it to the top.

  46. 46
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    (And then there was the Prince song that made #2 for another act in 1986…)

    Listening to “I Feel For You” again this afternoon, with the Scritti Politti connection in mind and newly aware of The System’s involvement, I’m struck for the first time by how the arrangement owes a certain debt to that dear old warhorse, New Pop. So many tricksy little details in there, which my low-bitrate mental jukebox had erased…

  47. 47
    enitharmon on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Well, I’ve just listened to this again and I’m not the wiser about what’s going on here. Maybe this here mp3 version wot I have acquired isn’t the same thing that everybody else is hearing. What I’m picking up is a lot of full-frontal electronic noise, smeared with a nice bit of Stevie Wonder-ish harmonica (is it really him playing it? Did he know about it at the time?) and interspersed with a chap rapping on Chaka Khan’s name, while pushed somewhere in the distant background is Ms Khan singing as if in the studio changing room shower.

    Is this how it is or have I missed something?

  48. 48
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    It sounds wonderful from your description.

    I don’t think of Chaka as really background on this though, nor overshadowed. Even if that were the case it wouldn’t necessarily be worse than her obscuring everything else about the song (it would have to sound/be produced differently for that anyway).

    I haven’t thought much about what gets taken away from her here or how she could’ve played a bigger role on the record – that’s just never struck me as a problem. There are other ways this song could work (less maximal production, increased space) but that wouldn’t improve it.

  49. 49
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    I think that hearing the Prince original helped push this from an 8 to a certain 9 (and I was tempted by the 10 too) – it crystallised how strong the song is but also how much great stuff gets done to it.

  50. 50
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    In a way, it does sound like Chaka is merely guesting on her own record; there are so many competing, equally fore-grounded elements at work that it almost feels like a Chaka Khan tribute record, with Chaka herself being borne aloft above the clattering fray, slightly at one remove from it all. Which is cool in my book, but perhaps less cool if you approach this record expecting to hear a traditional artist-led “performance”… and evidently much less cool if you’re Chaka herself! (Compare and contrast with the struggles which Diana Ross had with the Chic boys four years earlier…)

  51. 51
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    playing my trusty 12″ copy as i print out the semi-final version of “black science fiction revisited” !!!, the weakness i hear (which an mp3 would amplify) is an absence of really REALLY full rounded bass bottom and room: one of the things UK post-punkers with an ear for dub were spoiled for i think — except in actual proper discos, lots of classic electro dancemixes have this flimsiness where there should be something BIGGER — and doubtless was, on systems with excellent bass

    though my speakers are older than any two posters combined except rosie and myself, their bass isn’t ba-a-a-d: PiL and actual real dub they get a grip on, but not quite this..: still pretty terrific in a prog-scratch sense tho…

  52. 52
    enitharmon on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Well yes, a traditional artist-led performance (without the quotes) is what I look for. Is there a problem with that? It’s largely what we’ve had in Popular up until the last Popular-year or so.

  53. 53
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    I don’t think he’s saying there’s a problem with wanting that – but in this case (and many others) I’m happy not to GET that.

  54. 54
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    It’s no less a traditional artist-led performance than “Strawberry Fields Forever” is, tho.

  55. 55
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    ‘Compare and contrast with the struggles which Diana Ross had with the Chic boys four years earlier…’

    Tell me more! not necessarily here perhaps but I only heard ‘My Old Piano’ for the first time this year and would champion that almost as much as this if I didn’t have such a strong memory of this from the time and subsequent nice history.

  56. 56
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Maybe what thrilled me more than anything else about this record is that it says: here’s the old school (Chaka, Stevie, Arif), here’s the new school (Prince, Melle Mel, Scritti Politti knocking at the studio door, and yes to #42, this does sound post-Shannon), and it’s all coming together in one place, and we know that pop music is fundamentally changing, and we welcome it, and it’s great.

    (Whereas others might have been thinking: ugh, pop music IS changing, and bollocks to this racket, I’m outta here!)

  57. 57
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    #55 – Miss Ross was Most Displeased that the Chic Boys had relegated her to a bit player on the Diana album, and so she grabbed hold of the master tapes and chopped out whole chunks of the Chic instrumental work-outs before its release, also pushing her own vocals higher in the mix – much to the annoyance of Rodgers and Edwards.

    Going back still further, The Temptations were similarly pissed off that Norman Whitfield had bit-parted them on the Masterpiece album, whole sections of which pass by without any vocal contribution at all, leading some wags of the day to re-christen them “The Norman Whitfield Chorale”….

  58. 58
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    music is a collective activity: singer-led music is a bit like actor-led movies; the output depends on the capacity of the actor to get all the other necessary stuff delivered well, basically: some are good at it (woody allen); some are pretty terrible (john travolta) (what d’you mean i’m cherrypicking my examples? some of woody’s films are in fact worse than battleship earth!)

    we’ve definitely moved into a phase of big-cast pop, where the cast is a lot of musical elements: quasi-orchestral though with a technologised orchestra, and delivered more by the conductor-composer than the performer — think it takes while (maybe till the rise of rave) for the mainly-instrumental stream and the songbased stream to separate

  59. 59
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    “the cast is a lot of musical elements” — er, yes, how eloquent i can be sometimes: i mean that the cast-orchestra is not made up of performer-instruments individually played, so much as sound-elements organised by the conductor-composer (the guy at the mixdesk, in other words)

  60. 60
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    I find all this fascinating and highly pertinent to arguments and discussions I’ve been having a lot lately e.g. I think it relates well to what Tom said in the pitchfork 00s essay regarding certain producers in rap and modern r&b becoming stars in their own right (or at least more than before) by crossing into pop and how it was their input which attracted people to the subsequent result of that rather than the performers…or at least the main performer (given how these producers would contribute more vocally themselves). Mind you in most of those cases we are not really talking about performers with voices like Diana’s or Chaka’s (that may be unfair).

    In summary, Woody Allen should’ve directed Battlefield Earth.

  61. 61
    lonepilgrim on 28 Aug 2009 #

    It seems only fitting that Prince had a number one this year – even if he wasn’t performing it himself – I’d have been delighted to see ‘When doves cry’ or ‘Let’s go crazy’ at the top.

    It’s a Frankenstein’s monster of a record for me – stitched together out of bits old and new and animated by Arif Mardin’s production skills to create something irresistable yet lacking in personality. So 8 or 9 for me.

    Now if it had been ‘Ain’t nobody’ – the aural equivalent of tantric sex – it would have definitely been a 10.

    It’s little surprise that CK failed to sustain a high profile – she had a great voice – but a vague persona. Whether that reflected poor marketing by the record company or her own waywardness I don’t know – Donna Summer enjoyed a high profile with less obvious talent – Anita Baker was justifiably lauded a few years later for ‘Rapture’ but I can’t think of a definitive CK album. She featured in ‘The Blues Brothers’ movie a year or so earlier but failed to make much of an impact. Given how few female artistes (particularly black ones) have failed to sustain a high profile career it’s not such a great failing but there’s always been a sense of unfulfilled potential about her.

  62. 62
    Tom on 28 Aug 2009 #

    How near did Prince come around this point? (sorry, in a rush here)

  63. 63
    will on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Re 61: Unfulfilled potential? With this, I’m Every Woman and Ain’t Nobody she fronted three of the greatest soul/ disco singles of all time. Loads of artists would kill to have had that sort of unfulfilled potential.

  64. 64
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Not to mention she guests on Rick Wakeman’s 1984 album…

  65. 65
    lonepilgrim on 28 Aug 2009 #

    re 63 – ‘Loads of artists would kill to have had that sort of unfulfilled potential’ – I agree – but she didn’t seem to turn the artistic success of those individual songs into a significant profile in the same way that Donna Summer did (for example). Not necessarily a bad thing.

  66. 66
    mike on 28 Aug 2009 #

    Let’s also hear it for the sublime “Clouds”, “I Know You, I Live You”, and Rufus’s glorious Quincy Jones-produced Masterjam album from 1979 (and for Rod Temperton’s “Live In Me” in particular).

  67. 67
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    ‘Ain’t Nobody’ is a strangely sad affair. I heard it recently somewhere (maybe just a bar) and despite having spent many years fed up with it (which, in the end, Richard & Liberty X did much to alleviate) it never sounded so remarkable.

  68. 68
    lockedintheattic on 28 Aug 2009 #

    When Doves Cry got to no. 4 in June & Purple Rain no. 8 in September. But we have a future no. 2 watch coming up in January…

  69. 69
    henry s on 28 Aug 2009 #

    re 46 – The System, Scritti, yeah, it’s all coming together now…Green went on provide backing vox (and dodgy vid cameo) on Chaka’s later/inferior “Love Of A Lifetime”…

  70. 70
    Billy Smart on 28 Aug 2009 #

    So much to say here…

    The idea of Chaka being a guest on her own record: The imaginary world that this conjours up for me is the singer having the magical ability to render herself fantasically alluring, hailed by synth thunderclaps and lightning bolts, hearing declarations of love that are simultaneously charmingly tongue-tied and seductively smooth, buzzed with glorious Stevie flourishes and even having her every step briefly wildly applauded! Wouldn’t it be great if real life was ever like that when we told others that we feel for them and think we love them?

    Cover appearances for Chaka in both the NME and Melody Maker on the strength of this. Be interesting to go back to those interviews and see if she manages to sound enthusiastic.

    We’d already got Scritti’s ‘Absolute’ in the summer of ’84 as a promise of the ‘Cupid & Pyche ’85′ peach to come – even that early in his career, it took him ages to come up with an album. It’s pretty hard to think of anything better from the mid-eighties than Scritti, I’d say.

  71. 71
    Billy Smart on 28 Aug 2009 #

    RE: great mid-eighties soul, why hasn’t anyone mentioned The SOS Band yet, unless its for tangential bunny reasons? Their great Jam & Lewis singles seemed to be the template for a lot of pop at the time, and their very greatest singles, such as ‘Just The Way You Like It’, present the experience of being in love as an astonishing and terrifying thing, that makes them amongst the greatest songs of their time.

  72. 72
    LondonLee on 28 Aug 2009 #

    And ‘Don’t Stop The Music’ by Yarborough & Peoples was the template for a lot of Jam and Lewis’ SOS Band productions. At least that’s where I always thought that sort of looping beat came from.

    Rufus were pretty big in the States far as I can tell, their ‘Tell Me Something Good’ is a bit of an oldies radio staple over here.

  73. 73
    Weej on 28 Aug 2009 #

    This is the first entry here that I actually had at the time. I was going to say “bought” but as I was 5 it’s probable that it was bought for me.
    Anyway, agreed, still a great track, hasn’t aged at all. A solid 9.
    Having said that, though, the 12″ mix I have here stretches it out in all the wrong ways. That would only get a 6.

  74. 74
    Steve Mannion on 28 Aug 2009 #

    ‘why hasn’t anyone mentioned The SOS Band yet, unless its for tangential bunny reasons?’

    you realise that this is, itself, bunny bait ha ha

    I could talk about mid-80s soul (or ‘groove’ which i suspects purists would prefer) all day and that’s just the hits. I guess I just really associate it with happy childhood days hearing those songs on Capital radio (although I didn’t hear things like ‘Twilight’ until a bit later).

    I have a folder of mp3s titled ‘Soul Weekender’ and I just throw in anything in there which I think has some kind of connection with that vibe but it’s fairly nebulous for the sake of what remains of my sanity. The earliest track in there is Claudja Barry’s ‘Love For The Sake Of Love’ and the latest is, er, Young Disciples ‘Apparently Nothin’ but that’s partly because I refuse to bother with an ‘Acid Jazz’ folder – it’s full of equally tenuous late 80s stuff (TT D’Arby, stuff from ‘Provision’, Soul II Soul, Paula Abdul’s ‘Straight Up’). Eep.

  75. 75
    TomLane on 28 Aug 2009 #

    This made it to #3 in the U.S. And it would be the last time she would have a solo hit in the Top 40 Pop charts. Who remembered the Prince version? Who remembers it today? This is a remarkable reinvention. I do agree that Chaka sounds like a “guest” on this one. But it leaps out out of your stereo and presents itself as a perfect radio hit.

  76. 76
    Nick P on 29 Aug 2009 #

    This was ubiquitous in my 15 year old life at the time and pretty much loved by myself and all my peers. Agree that this is such a well crafted song, the input of Prince, Arif Mardin, Stevie Wonder and The System, while not overwhelming Chaka’s vocal, certainly are each of equal individual importance.

    Strangely, unlike most of the rest of Prince’s contemporaneous output, I never feel the need to listen this song again. Still, it’s an 8 from me.

  77. 77
    swanstep on 29 Aug 2009 #

    I don’t have much to add to Tom’s excellent essay, let alone to all of the astute observations already made… I Feel For You was certainly a dance-floor monster at the time, and, like Frankie’s records, just sounded overwhelmingly massive and loud (an early entry in the ‘loudness’ wars perhaps?). Resistance was truly futile. There’s something cold and overly slick and machine-tooled about it, however, that does seem to freeze it in time so that it indeed hasn’t had the staying power of any of the hits from Purple Rain (I still can’t believe that there were no UK #1s from that, just as there weren’t from Off the Wall – maybe that’s a badge of honor!). Change metaphor: I Feel For You feels a little bit like a very good Hollywood blockbuster, e.g., Ghostbusters, Back to the Future (from the period), one that’s beautifully designed to hit every demographic, and touch every known, widely-shared pleasure center. That sort of thing is amazing in its way… but it necessarily lacks a personal angle. Vaguely relatedly: The Terminator is a surprise hit in the US at this time, and the Coens’ first film, Blood Simple, is blowing peoples minds at festivals (neither arrives in the UK until 1985 tho’).
    8

  78. 78
    tonya on 29 Aug 2009 #

    There’s a quote from Bill Drummond about him seeing the Clash in ’77 and thinking that was the most exciting thing he’d ever seen, then seeing them in ’82 and thinking they were rubbish, and then seeing Chaka Khan the same night and thinking THAT was the most exciting thing he’d ever seen. So thanks for that, Chaka.

  79. 79
    AndyPandy on 29 Aug 2009 #

    Steve @84: Tony Blackburn of all people used to cane “Twilight” everyday for months on his legendary Radio London morning soul/funk show at the time – the show that spawned the Radio London Soul Nights Out – I went to one in Windsor where everyone including very street blacks from the middle of London were chanting for “their leader”.

    Although I’ve heard he had always played a lot of black music back in his pirate/Radio One days of the 60s and 70s Tony Blackburn’s brief elevation to this mid-80s cult figure on the south-eastern dance scene must we one of the more surreal episodes in the history of British soul.

  80. 80
    enitharmon on 29 Aug 2009 #

    AndyPandy @ 79: It’s true that Blackburn was extremely irritating to wake up to on school mornings and was not, let’s say, highly regarded by my contemporaries, but his flying the Motown and (to a lesser but significant extent) Stax flags was a big redemption for him.

    (I’m listening to Fats Waller at the moment and thoroughly enjoying it.)

  81. 81
    LondonLee on 29 Aug 2009 #

    I used to wonder about how much Blackburn’s supposed championing of Motown was true or just a legend cooked up by him to rehabilitate his rather naff image. I certainly don’t remember him playing any more soul than other Radio One DJs when he was on that station but I could be wrong as I was just a kid at the time and he would have had to work within the playlist.

    The Radio London show really did skirt being very naff itself though, all the ridiculous double entendres – ‘Tony’s Twelve Inches’ and stuff like that — but the music made it worth listening to. SOS Band’s ‘Weekend Girl’ is the song that most reminds me of it.

  82. 82
    Kat but logged out innit on 29 Aug 2009 #

    I have just found out that Chaka is going to appear at this thing in Hyde Park which I have a ticket for! Hurray!

  83. 83
    abaffledrepublic on 29 Aug 2009 #

    Former Time Out journalist Garry Mulholland notes in ‘This Is Uncool’, his book about the best singles (in his view) since punk and disco, that inter-generational musical summits often seem like a good idea on paper but turn out to be damp squibs when put into practice (and he might have added, record labels love them because no matter how mediocre the results, the presence of two huge names on the same record all but guarantees a huge hit) but that this was clearly not the case here. This is the sum of its parts and then some.

    A record I love to bits and will never tire of hearing. A definite ten from me.

  84. 84
    wichita lineman on 29 Aug 2009 #

    Late arrival at the party… I can’t think of the last time I heard this before tonight. IFFY hasn’t had the long afterlife of either Ain’t Nobody or I’m Every Woman, both A-grade oldies staples and with good reason – both are astonishing songs/records. But, as has been mentioned, this is more of a production and an event than just a song/record.

    It takes Prince’s original (GRRREAT!!), adds Melle and Stevie’s cameos, and makes the song kind of distended – the chorus is rendered weak within this structure, not helped by the freak jazz chord that Arif M added on “I think I love you”.

    What it does sound like is modern pop. The approving alpha-male nod from Melle Mel paves the way for de-clawed Chaka K, and the balance tips from r&b song/performance into r&b production without record buyers seeming to mind. As has been said, the singer is definitely not the sole star*

    So, I didn’t get this at all at the time, and I was an electro/early hip hop lover, but its significance now is obvious. Agree with Billy and Lee on precedents, and that the SOS Band’s bunny baiter was truly truly great; it could bring tears to my ears. Just Be Good To Me was my personal 45 of the year alongside Hashim, The Smiths and (gosh) Lloyd Cole. This sounded like too much of an overly thought-out new soul/old soul** workout to appeal. Too cold – chilly the most, even, but not in a good way. Happy now to concede to the majority on the groundbreaking front.

    Two final thoughts: first, Prince’s version definitely makes more of the song. Second, Melle Mel wasn’t new school, more a valid representative of new school, his contribution to this being equivalent to Sugar’s contribution to Grunge – and (I think) he never had another hit until a brief, sad appearance as “ageing rapper Melle Mel” in a boxing ring on telly a few years later.

    *Lots of precedents, all-star cast aside – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, Everlasting Love, Sugar Baby Love et cet…

    **Stevie wasn’t exactly at the peak of his popularity with long-term fans when this came out, the greetings card-writing/electro cashing-in bastard!

  85. 85
    Billy Smart on 29 Aug 2009 #

    #84, of course, for the producers of Top Of The Pops, Lloyd Cole was a part of the new soul pop – For what other reason could his performance of ‘Perfect Skin’ have appeared backed by body-poppers?

    Apart from to make him look even more awkward than he would have done in the first place…

  86. 86
    Rory on 30 Aug 2009 #

    I’ve been trying hard to like this more than I do, but besides the low-key Chaka vocals I can’t get past that annoying harmonica sound. It ended up everywhere at the time (because of this?), and it just sounds so dated. The intro is fantastic, though. I’d got to six now, but that would be it.

    MikeMCSG @25 might be onto something about the impact of the “Stutter Rap” on certain people’s feelings towards this, including mine. That reached number two in Australia, higher even than “I Feel For You”. (My own Tony Hawks gimmicky-travelogue recommendation would be Playing the Moldovans at Tennis.)

  87. 87
    Billy Smart on 31 Aug 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Chaka’s appearances on UK television are rare ones;

    FRIDAY NIGHT WITH JONATHAN ROSS: with Chaka Khan, Gok Wan, Steve Carell, Primal Scream (2008)

    THE LENNY HENRY SHOW: with Lorren Bent, Llewella Gideon, Chaka Khan (1995)

    THE TUBE: with Jools Holland, Paula Yates, Virna Lindt, Gary Kemp, Tony Hadley, Jason Bratby, Chaka Khan, Spandau Ballet (1985)

    WOGAN: with George Cole, Jerry Hall, Simon Hoggart, Chaka Khan, Tracey Macleod, Nicola Scicluna (1985)

  88. 88
    logged out Tracer Hand on 31 Aug 2009 #

    guys guys! you are forgetting that for quite a few 11- and 12-year-olds at the time, this song was merely the (awesome) soundtrack to a music video that featured the elusive TURBO and OZONE from the box office smash BREAKIN – this video was a chance to actually see these legends again, without having to pay the price of a cinema ticket for the privilege. yeah chaka was cool, yeah the rap at the beginning was cool – but all songs like this were, at that time, just fodder for breakdancing, something to activate the 8×8 square of linoleum that you’d been lucky enough to nab and which lay rolled up in the corner waiting for you to do something on it. which of course is no slight – it’s another way in which this song was about a corralling of forces: songwriter, rapper, singer, musicians, dancers, actors – and the vast, anonymous breakdancing army out there which was sharpening up its skills.

  89. 89
    o sobek! on 1 Sep 2009 #

    TRACER HAND VERY OTM – i know in fourth grade in harris st. elementary in east point as much as our moms might’ve been excited about chaka and stevie and as much as it was cool to hear melle mel what was THE big deal about this song was boogaloo shrimp (and to a lesser extent shabba-doo). seriously in 1984 at my playground turbo was as much a figure of myth as prince or madonna or bernard king or dominique wilkins. i’ll give this a 9 as well but testament to the greatest top 40 (stateside) year of my lifetime i’m pretty sure this wouldn’t even make my top 10 list of BIG HIT singles from 84.

  90. 90
    Erithian on 1 Sep 2009 #

    Think of the number of times you see this nowadays – female singer with half-decent new-style R&B song gets to do her number and it sounds OK, but hang on a minute – it’s billed as “featuring” rapper X, who turns up (that’s if he does turn up – half the time the edit is so lousy that it sounds like something tacked on, by somebody in a different studio, who hasn’t heard the original song and couldn’t give a stuff about it anyway) and mumbles something irrelevant, bigging himself up, then goes away and possibly does the same (c)rap again later in the track.

    That’s precisely what this record isn’t. Look, I know I’m not the expert here, or the target audience for rap (and I stand by what I said about Jay-Z at Glastonbury which had Marcello call me an ignorant tw-t) but to me it’s bloody refreshing to hear a rap that isn’t boastful, misogynist, violent, slagging off other rapper Y or just plain meaningless. Melle Mel joins the party and delivers a tribute to the woman you’re about to hear which is memorable, leads up to her intro and contributes to the overall experience. The lady herself plays a blinder (she might have felt artistically compromised doing this sort of thing a decade after the likes of “Tell Me Something Good”, but boy does she hide it well) and the record’s a feast.

    I hadn’t realised it was such a summit meeting of the talents either – it clearly works as a passing of the baton between two or maybe more generations of black music. As for the listening audience, it’s the kind of thing that either brings the generations together or alienates half the fanbase of all involved. Judging by its chart performance and the reaction on here, it seems very much the former, and rightly so.

  91. 91
    Angela Lansbury on 1 Sep 2009 #

    erithian it’s a given that the rap would be copyright so need to put a (c) before it

  92. 92
    Martin Skidmore on 1 Sep 2009 #

    Re Tony Blackburn’s tastes, Peel used to regularly tell a story about arguments with him, where Peel was claiming that all the Motown nonsense Blackburn played would be forgotten in 20 years whereas all the great psychedelia he played would be popularly loved. I never listened to the shows, but that does suggest Blackburn was a particular champion of Motown.

  93. 93
    Steve Mannion on 1 Sep 2009 #

    I think Blackburn is on record as claiming Diana Ross ‘I’m Still Waiting’ as his favourite single of all time, or if not that then something in the same vein.

  94. 94
    Erithian on 1 Sep 2009 #

    Angela #91 – there was a question on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” once which went something like: “In which genre of popular music is Eminem a leading performer? A – reggae; B – techno; C – rap; D – soul?” I always thought the choice of letter for rap was deliberate from a rap-hating member of the production team!

  95. 95
    lonepilgrim on 1 Sep 2009 #

    re 90 I wonder whether Melle Mel’s rap is designed to remind everyone who is singing the song given the extent to which CK is subsumed within the overall package

  96. 96
    Tom on 1 Sep 2009 #

    re #88 and #95 – Melle Mel is there to give the kids who couldn’t breakdance something to do in the playground.

  97. 97
    crag on 1 Sep 2009 #

    Re#92- The follow-up story being when apparently Peel approached Backburn at a party at the end of the 70s and admitted that he had been wrong and Blackburn had been right.

    This is perhaps the first Popular entry that could enter the charts tomorow and would fit in perfectly, such is its fresh and modern sound. The incorporation of old-school elements within a state-of-production, rather than just trying to produce an “authentic”sounding retro track has resulted in much of the best pop since the late 90s IMO.

    Speaking of which, top notch pitchfork article, Tom but “BOB” as best single of the 00s??REALLY? Were you involved in this choice?

  98. 98
    AndyPandy on 2 Sep 2009 #

    London Lee at 81: I’d agree with you there if 1 track makes me think of his radio London show it’d have to be either ‘Weekend Girl’ or possibly Paul Hardcastle’s hiphop instrumental’Rain Forest’ (which was the one track that always got the office girls turning the radio up!).

    Now there’s a skein of music that’s all but forgotten now the 80s hiphop (as opposed to out and out electro)instrumental Rain Forest, Tyrone Brunson ‘The Smurf’, and Wally Badarou (Level 42’s producer/5th member) ‘Chief Inspector’etc.

  99. 99
    Tom on 2 Sep 2009 #

    #97 I was involved inasmuch as I got a vote! I think it’s a great record, and I marked it pretty high on my ballot, but not at #1. I played it at Poptimism last week though, and while it did indeed pull its thang out and bang, it wasn’t quite as rapturously received as another track in the P4K top ten that the Bunny prevents me naming.

  100. 100
    enitharmon on 2 Sep 2009 #

    [comment posted on wrong thread, now removed to that thread by kind passing editor]

  101. 101
    intothefireuk on 2 Sep 2009 #

    At some point I seem to have parted company with the main throng and am now skipping happily down my own path. Having read thru the somewhat sycophantic reviews so far I find myself at a bit of a loss. I’m with Chaka on this one, well mostly, as I’m not fully conversant with ALL her work. Certainly ‘Tell Me something Good’ & ‘Ain’t Nobody’ are a good deal better than this and it would have been those singles in particular that I was judging it against at the time. It was pretty obvious to me which ones would endure. Had it been purely CK’s vocal it might have been ok but the added elements weigh it down considerably. The naff stutter-rap (surely a joke) is it’s most hideous add-on whilst the inappropriately placed squeaky harmonica solos are equally cringe-making. The production is another minus – reverbed & delayed drum machines and digi synth pads – and poor old Chaka is buried in the mix. I wouldn’t in any shape or form class this as 80’s soul or disco – it doesn’t seem to have much at all to do with that particular genre and errs towards novelty pop. BTW Chaka’s appearance on The Tube will be forever etched on my mind for a wonderfully massive thighs in fishnet stockings moment.

  102. 102
    enitharmon on 2 Sep 2009 #

    Sorry, my entry number 100 is in the wrong thread. Can somebody please delete it while I put it where it belongs?

  103. 103
    mike t-d on 9 Sep 2009 #

    #34 – I must shame-facedly withdraw this ridiculous observation, which is a whole twelve months out of place and should have been appended to something from Autumn 1983. Forgive me! I am old and befuddled.

  104. 104
    Brooksie on 5 Mar 2010 #

    Never really liked this. An ok pop dance song with an catchy intro (for the kids), but to me slightly unremarkable. Good, but not great.

  105. 105
    Paytes on 12 Nov 2010 #

    don ‘t think anyone has talked about this already but the sample from Stevie’s own Fingertips (is at pt 1 or 2?) really adds to the old school v new school collision.

  106. 106
    seekenee on 11 Feb 2012 #

    Like Tom, I didn’t “get this” at the time when I was 13. It was popular with the breakdancers at the teenage Sunday afternoon nightclub no alcohol discos I attended – breakdancing had arrived during the summer seemingly from nowhere.

    I appreciated the clubbing together/community/gang aspect of breakdancing but didn’t connect it with any particular genre of music or connect with it as an activity though i went to Beat Street(?)in the cinema that autumn.

    re this song I think i resented it, and incorrectly gauged it as another signifier of the end of pop as I knew it/liked it. The cover feature in NME did not persuade me otherwise.

    I revisited it c.6 years ago compiling hits of 84 cds and was delighted with its flexible ecstatic jitteriness and really love it now(the joy of Automatic by Pointer Sisters springs to mind also).

    Before I read the comments here I was thinking it was the same universe as Absolute and New Order’s Arthur Baker work which i hugely enjoyed in 84 and that I should have “got” it then.
    Blows my mind that it was the same team that did the Scritti stuff and only in the 00s did i catch the electro basement party video for Absolute on youtube. I love it when a plan comes together

  107. 107
    Auntie Beryl on 10 Feb 2013 #

    Circling back to the Scritti / Arif / Chaka collaborations, Mr Green co-wrote, co-produced and appeared as a guest on Khan’s single Love Of A Lifetime as late as 1986: sadly the top 40 compilers were not called upon.

    That same year she collaborated with Steve Winwood on Higher Love, and slightly more obscurely, Addicted To Love’s original version before her vocals were removed due to Warner Bros denying permission for Chaka to appear. The small print still credits her with the vocal arrangement, though.

    Not long after that she headed for Minneapolis…

  108. 108
    swanstep on 1 Oct 2014 #

    Britney & Justin singing ‘I Feel For You’ on the Mickey Mouse Club.

  109. 109
    weej on 1 Oct 2014 #

    #108 – Fantastic find there. You wouldn’t think an 11-year-old girl could pull off that vocal but she really does.

  110. 110
    hectorthebat on 17 Dec 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010) 1-1001
    Blender (USA) – Top 500 Songs of the 80s-00s (2005) 152
    Dave Marsh (USA) – The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989) 335
    Michaelangelo Matos (USA) – Top 100 Singles of the 1980s (2001) 39
    Pause & Play (USA) – Songs Inducted into a Time Capsule, One Track at Each Week
    Slant (USA) – The 100 Best Singles of the 1980s (2012) 96
    Steve Sullivan (USA) – Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (2013) 601-700
    VH-1 (USA) – Nominations for the 100 Greatest 80s Songs (2006)
    Freaky Trigger (UK) – Top 100 Songs of All Time (2005) 27
    Gary Mulholland (UK) – This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock (2002)
    Mojo (UK) – 80 from the 80s: Our Fave 45s for Each Year, 1980-1989 (2007) 5
    NME (UK) – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2014) 392
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)
    Village Voice (USA) – Singles of the Year 9
    Face (UK) – Singles of the Year 3
    New Musical Express (UK) – Singles of the Year 11
    Spex (Germany) – Singles of the Year 8

  111. 111
    Abzolute on 9 Jan 2017 #

    Possibly THE favourite track of the 80’s…although it is in an eternal battle with “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” by Whitney which is also one of my other absolute favourites of that decade let alone year!

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