6
Sep 09

Popular ’84

FT + Popular/62 comments • 4,000 views

I give every record on Popular a mark out of 10 (and if you’re registered, so can you). Here’s where, by the magic of polling, we look at the year as a whole. Tick any and all records you’d personally give 6 or more out of 10 to, and then we can use the comments box to discuss 1984 from various perspectives.

Which Of These Number One Singles Of 1984 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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My highest mark of the year was a 10 for “Two Tribes”: my lowest a (perhaps generous) 3 for Stevie W.

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  1. 51
    speedwell54 on 6 Aug 2017 #

    19/4/1984 TOTP. A fortnight since the last show, but no episode on 5th April due to a strike(?) and there was a shortish episode last week with someone inappropriate so we missed out on The Caterpillar -Cure and Wood Beez -Scritti Politti, which is a shame.

    This week we have Powell and Davies. They introduce the Special AKA during the instrumental bit after the song’s intro. I remember this happening on the radio as well. The ladies have a more relaxed dress code this week and look all the better for it.

    Thompson Twins on video this time, and it’s not just a cheap one. Outside shots, abroad.

    Blancmange- back with Indian musicians although this sound is rather far back in the mix. It’s okay. Dances like he’s been watching Andy McCluskey.

    Queen – I Want To Break Free. Rememberable video which has two key parts, but is forever noted for the cross dressing Coronation Street tribute. Splits opinions but I think broadly if you liked them before you like them a bit more, and if you didn’t like them, you liked them a bit less. The video helped this to stick around in the charts for ages- as did the four different covers of the 7″ single.

    The Bluebells- I’m Falling. This is a great single and was unlucky not to crack the top 10. The guitar work at the end sounds very like the Alarm. The countdown with Peter.

    Nik Kershaw – Dancing Girls- He dances like he’s been watching Andy McCluskey. Countdown.

    OMD – The Locomotion – after the relative commercial failure of Dazzle Ships and the singles from it, this is much more pop. It worked. Dazzle Ships is a brilliant album which takes a tiny bit of effort to get into. Junk Culture the follow up was a bit more accessible. I like them both. The have a new album out at the beginning of September this year – The Punishment of Luxury. The tracks I’ve heard so far sound great.

    Lionel- Hello- video yet again- seems like he was too big to come over for a performance.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  2. 52
    speedwell54 on 12 Aug 2017 #

    26/04/1984 – Janice – in another off the shoulder, strapless number – and Bates, looking a lot more ‘with it’ than usual.

    Sandie Shaw and some Smiths- Shaw and Marr giving it their all, Joyce and Rourke showing less emotion. Sandie is suddenly on the floor (Vic I’ve fallen) and then she’s back on her feet, nothing broken. Hard to see but Sandie seems to be the only one wearing shoes. ~Class

    Phil Collins Against All Odds- nmcot- On the film soundtrack Big Country do a track which is pretty good called Balcony which sounds very U2 in places, don’t know who was nicking whose guitar sound at the time.

    Love Games-Belle and the Devotions – it’s quite a shang-a lang song isn’t it.

    One Love- another classic – uncharitable fact -Marley had three children to three women all born within 30 days. Macca pops up in the video, among other celebs.

    The Reflex – Duran Duran -in the studio this week. Highest new entry at No5. Third single from the album but remixed by Nile Rodgers so sounds quite different. Rogers still working with them 30 years later on Paper Gods.

    Julio Iglesias (Totp spelling his name correctly this week) and Willie Nelson – To All the Girls I’ve Loved Before. Nelson – the Lil Wayne of country; turning up on singles by other artists all over the place, excessive output, but hardly any hits over here. They make an odd couple. On the video Julio is in a tux, Nelson T-shirt and jeans. Charts.

    Echo and the Bunnymen with Silver sounding a little like the Cutter mixed with Seven Seas. Not quite as successful as the other singles around this time. Charts.

    Flying Pickets – When You’re Young nmcot
    Hello – Lionel Ritchie – last week at one and then out to a video again, this week Automatic which sounds great but looks awful, well just dated badly to be fair.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse

  3. 53
    speedwell54 on 13 Aug 2017 #

    3//5/1984 Read (again with the dark shades inside) and Wright- casual jacket.

    OMD – Locomotion. Andy is wearing a shirt almost identical to the one Simon Le Bon wore the week before. Black and white strips and blocks of red. This week he’s swapped his army trousers for jeans and he manages to get through the whole song without losing the microphone.

    Blancmange- Don’t Tell Me on video. A lot of smirking on this- abroad in the sun -staring a ladies in national costume. ok.

    New Order – Thieves Like Us. I bet it’s called ” It’s called love” on the running list stuck to the floor at gigs. They go for a live performance and it’s all gone horribly wrong, Apart from Hookie who thinks he’s in an entirely different band they’re playing statues and Gillian’s playing more statues (apart from a single arm) It’s rather amateur and there’s a lack of action -Hookie apart. Vocally it’s stretching for Bernard who’s doing it all eyes closed. If they stop and think it over, after last time, would they they want a repeat? Errors and nerves on Blue Monday previously on TOTP resulted in a poor performance. Despite all this I have mixed feelings, if you’re soft like me the fralities kind of make it endearing and it is a contrast to the smoothness and sleek production elsewhere.

    Kenny Loggins- Footloose. This joins Against All Odds on the list of films I’ve never seen. Massive stateside, less so over here. Countdown.

    Jocelyn Brown- Somebody Else’s Guy – nmcot but that is too dismissive of a proper decent track.

    The Human League- The Lebanon . In the studio. That guitar sound again and for a few seconds it’s U2 and then it clearly isn’t. This sounds great. I know they got some stick about the “shops” line but I don’t care. Surprisingly it didn’t get banned by the beeb. Countdown.

    No 1 Duran Duran The Reflex – on video, and like the video for the Lebanon it is kind of a mix of a fake live performance. Mike Read does a Kid Jensen impression (Cliff not around so much) and out to Dancing Girls- NK

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  4. 54
    Lazarus on 13 Aug 2017 #

    ‘Thieves Like Us’ presumably took its name from Robert Altman’s 1974 crime caper starring Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall – I haven’t seen it but it doesn’t sound like a very ‘arty’ film for the Factory funsters, you’d think they’d have gone for a Fellini or Bergman number really. Like ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Confusion’ this was only available as a 12 inch. The ‘follow-up’ if you can call it that, ‘Murder’ was with typical Factory perversity only released in Belgium, forcing diehards to fork out for import copies.

    I agree that the live rendition wasn’t very effective, Bernard singing with his eyes shut seemed to struggle with the higher notes.

    Read’s Jensen impression was not bad at all I thought, though the indoor sunglasses were becoming decidedly irritating by this point.

  5. 55
    Stuart Copeland on 14 Aug 2017 #

    I agree the New Order performance was pretty poor; many songs seemed to be playing at once. I thought in the documentary Stephen said after Blue Monday they decided to only do the vocals live.

    Having said that, the “variable” nature of their TotP (and the Roxy!) performances was part of what meant their appearances were quite an event in my household. Even towards the end of the decade, by which time they’d seemed to have tightened up, you were never which New Order would appear.

  6. 56
    speedwell54 on 14 Aug 2017 #

    10/05/1984 Jensen and Peel present. For the first time in a while I have nothing derogatory to say about either host’s appearance/dress. Both look normal!

    That’s more than I can say for Belle and the Devotions who are wearing awful clothes in awful colours. This isn’t an age thing either. They looked dire then. Song-wise I think it’s okay and in Eurovision you have got to be pretty immediate. You know everything about the song within 30 seconds. I think it did okay?

    Queen sticking at No3 get on again, and it’s the (whole) video of course.

    The Flying Pickets- When You’re Young – Sticking at no 7. I think even they would agree they are not conventionally good looking blokes. I go as far to say a little creepy. (no offence). So this week they’re all dressed in pyjamas! That hasn’t made them look more creepy or anything. Song’s not terrible just need to turn the pictures off.

    One Love – Struggled to find a complete list of “celebrities” on this video. Have read George Roper aka Brian Murphy is in the video (red gingham shirt and yellow background) but I am sure it’s not him. Any ideas? James Cossins perhaps. Countdown.

    Peel’s gone back to saying Depech-ay Mode. I do think they have a bet on around mispronouncing or going for strange emphasis; Nelson Man-day-lar.

    Terri Wells – I’ll Be Around – vaguely remember this, but not her. She has an unusual hairstyle-her suede shoes would be quite safe if it started raining.
    Countdown including Marillion with Assassing- is that a word?

    The Pointer Sisters – Automatic. Earlier I said the video was poor and the guys at the Beeb agree and think it’s too dull and we can’t manage to stomach the whole video. It needs to be broken up with some fan dancers (blokes), a guy doing robotics and Baltimora type dancer. Eventually we go back to the video. On youtube there is a video from Soul Train which is a bit more exciting. Wiki doesn’t mention the video we are watching tonight. With a half decent video this would have been no1.

    Duran Duran- The Reflex on video -No1 again. Why-y-y-y-y why why why-y-y-y-yeah? Well it stopped Collins being No1 and that’s enough.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse,

  7. 57
    speedwell 54 on 6 Sep 2017 #

    Back after my international break, and with nothing Yewtreed recently, we have the fifth TOTP in a row. Bates and Powell.
    Break Machine with Break Dance Party- which is pretty close to their last hit, including the whistles. They don’t really bother us again.

    Pete introduces the next track- He comes up with such a clumsy turn of phase that written down is a question, but he says it as a fact. “…Street Dance, and that is now a world wide hit, AND SO IS THIS GONNA BE, everyone’s tipping it for the top, it’s Deniece Williams. blah blah. Everybody’s wrong, especially Simon who alludes to this as a future number one at the top of the show. Songs ok.

    Marillion- Assassing – Video- I found a fan website that quotes Fish saying he had no idea why he put a “g” on the end. Rather serious and not my favourite by them; but not awful.

    Hazel Dean- Searchin’- before SAW got their hands on the production. Bit of a classic, but sounds less exciting now.

    Womack & Womack -Love Wars- this one the other hand, to my ears a least, sounds amazing today. In the studio and Cecil is playing a right handed guitar left handed. I can’t tell if he’s changed the strings over though.

    Ultravox – Dancing With Tears… In My Eyes, Pete and his weird inflections again. On video. Sounds upbeat but subject matter is rather more earnest as per.

    Duran Duran in the studio this week with the Reflex- still at number 1, and out to Loggins with the audience bopping away to Footloose. Camera lingers on a couple of blondes who look like they were on the books.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  8. 58
    Lazarus on 7 Sep 2017 #

    Evenin’ all. Haven’t watched one of these in ages, so live-bloggin’ (almost) tonight’s show. Steve Wright and the lesser-spotted Andy Peebles are our hosts.

    Bluebells – familiar to everyone from its 1993 ad use and re-issue. Good lively start to the show. The hits pretty much dried up after this, surprisingly.

    Human League – mid-period mediocrity. I bought this 45 at the time but frankly they were just one of my ‘pet bands’ (Orange Juice and the Associates among the others) – I would just buy everything they released. ‘Louise’ the next single is an underrated masterpiece however.

    Bob Marley/Wailers – reissue of ‘Waiting in Vain.’ I don’t recall this re-release and as Peebles says it was to promote the multi-platinum ‘Legend’ compilation. Vid filmed in Hawaii with, I presume, one of Bob’s kids. The beach ladies are lovely, for sure.

    Tina Turner – Billy Idol helps to introduce this, for some reason. Standout track (along with the title track) from Private Dancer. Very much a daytime radio favourite, I heard it on Magic just a few hours ago actually. TWKTC, or something. Charts.

    Alison Moyet – lead single from ‘Alf.’ Her chart career was disappointingly short wasn’t it, two albums basically with the prospect of endless slots on Eighties retrospectives and Sara Cox’s ‘Sounds of the Eighties’ show (on too late for me, but I have a pretty good idea of the content). This is OK if maybe a bit formulaic. Long time since I played the album if I’m honest. Charts. Gary Glitter alert!

    Scritti Politti – follow-up to the sublime ‘Wood Beez’ – that’s a mullet and a half on Mr Garside and the music follows suit. Bad miming and girl drummer. Not sure what else to say about it. I do like them/him though as a rule. Top 10.

    Number One – Frankie – not sure how long this has been up here though know it did 9 weeks in total. These days that’s a fleeting visit by Drake/Despacito standards. Maybe it has lost a bit of its power over the years, but at the time it was as much an event as a record. Much like ‘Ghost Town.’ I remember the video much better than this performance, though perhaps that was too hardcore for TOTP.

    Out to an old Michael Jackson song. Farewell my summer 2017. You were good while you lasted. OK show, though the content seems a bit bland (over-familiar, perhaps?) these days.

  9. 59
    speedwell54 on 10 Sep 2017 #

    07/06/84 Rhythm pals Kid and Peel host for the last time before Kid leaves for Capital Radio a few weeks later.

    Spandau Ballet – Only When You Leave. Nmcot really, but didn’t sound too bad. They, on the other hand, are over styled and have moved from looking confident, to looking a bit smug.

    Howard Jones – Pearl In The Shell. The title is mentioned in the song somewhere, unlike Hide and Seek and New Song, but I struggle to think which ones they are, until I hear a bar or too. I wasn’t a fan of the mime he used to have and this new one is no better.

    Evelyn Thomas – High Energy twktc, but it is great. Ian Levine produced this and later remixed stuff by the next two acts; Bananarama and Bronski Beat.

    Bananarama – despite all their hits -and even post SAW -they still had their fare share of misses. Rough Justice, no, justice.

    Bronski Beat- Smalltown Boy – Don’t think he sings the title on this stunning track. Unlucky timing, as this would have been number 1, but stumbled on FGTH and Wham who were stoppable at this time. 35-13-4 was a pretty rapid climb.
    Peel is genuine in his praise for this debut hit.

    John laughs, as he teases Snow Goose Kid, when they share the countdown to Wham. George not singing live. His t-shirt logo is covered in diamontes which weigh a tonne and make him look like he’s eaten too many pies. Not the case in ’84.

    Shame to loose Kid on TOTP; he did it well, and he has been consistent in not being annoying. Peel teams up with Janis Long in the main from now on.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  10. 60
    speedwell54 on 10 Sep 2017 #

    14/06/84 Read and Powell host. Peter casually sat on some railings.

    Susanna by The Art Company. Called VOF de Kunst in their native Holland, fair enough, change your name for the English market. Changing the title from Suzanne, hmmm? Lead singer has got ‘the boys from the black stuff’ look about him. He gets the crowd involved and it’s a good performance. Song’s hardly cool but I don’t mind it.

    Sad Songs – Elton John. On video. It’s the one when he has a brightly coloured waistcoat and a straw boater. Bit of dancing, a bit of acting, goes black and white for a bit. Wears funny glasses; you know the one. Not in the mood.

    Smiths – in the studio. It’s the one with Morrissey at the front, hearing aid, specs, half a tree hanging out the back of his trews. Marr, shades, looking cool, other two, just there,
    you know the one.

    Rod Stewart – Infactuation on video of course. It’s the one where he’s looking at a pretty lady, he’s dressed in clothes that he’s a bit old for, more ladies in bikinis, some ladies taking clothes off, you know the one.

    Scritti Politti – Absolute – In the studio. Like him and this. Saw him (Green) a few years ago supporting someone at Fibbers in York, playing stuff from the White Bread Black Beer album, which had some great tracks on it.

    Ozzy Osbourne – So Tired- good song, hammer house of horror video. A few more sweeping strings and it’s an ELO album track.

    Nick Heyward- Love All Day – “best single of the summer” says Peter and I’ve gone off him again. It really is just for the fans. I like him generally around Kite time but this is not him at his best. His miming here is poor.

    Nik Kershaw – I Wo(n’t)Let The Sun Go Down On Me- a hit second time round.

    Two Tribes- FGTH in the studio with lots of flags. This was exciting. Hype city of course and multiple 12″ mixes kept this atop the charts for longer than necessary, but still an event. It’s really the Holly and Trevor show. Having been deprived of Relax on radio and tv for so long there was a real eagerness for this.

    Out to an embarrassing Read impression -of Peter I think- and they show no chemistry on the final link. Motown release back catalogue Jackson stuff again. nmcot.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  11. 61
    speedwell54 on 15 Sep 2017 #

    28/6/84 TOTP- Andy Peebles and Steve Wright. Wright’s dressed like he’s off to a regatta and has a tennis racket for no apparent reason.(well maybe Wimbledon)

    The Bluebells – Young at Heart. Cover of the Bananarama album track with the addition of a violin solo played, by a Clark Gable lookalike. Not a lot of number 1 violin solos are there. Can only think of Come On Eileen as I write. Answers on a postcard. There is a young lad on stage with a guitar who has the look of a competition winner. Don’t know if he is proper Bluebell?

    Nik Kershaw – I Won’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. On video this week which is mainly a live concert video. The audience sing along and scream quite a bit. He seems very popular considering he hadn’t been around that long. He sings ” I Won’t let the Sun Go Down” 14 times in a row at the end of the song, we cut to Wright in the studio and he says “finally a hit for Nik Kershaw “DON’T Let The Sun Go Down On Me” Arse.

    The Human League – Life On My Own -I saw this lot a few years ago in Halifax and was stunned at the set and the effort they put into it. I like Phil’s underplayed vocal on this track. Joanne and Susanne perform an Escheresque illusion as they dance and sing backing vocals. You would swear that Joanne is dancing twice as fast as Susanne but yet they get back in sync each time.

    Waiting In Vain – Bob Marley & and the Wailers – another re issue promoting newly released Greatest Hits package “Legend” Whatever happened to that? Video shot in what looks like Hawaii – the natural home of reggae. twktc.

    Billy Idol pops ups and Steve speaks. We don’t really get to the bottom of why he’s here but a single’s not too far away. Tina Turner – on video with her biggest hit. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” Charts down to “Love Resurrection” from Moyet.

    More charts and Scritti Politti – again with Absolute. Perfect Way was their only big hit in America and I really don’t get it at all. It is one of my least favourite singles by them, but hey.

    Countdown to No1 and a repeat run from a fortnight a go. FGTH and Relax is also back up to 3. Jackson with Farewell My Summer Love again gets the last slot.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  12. 62
    speedwell54 on 24 Sep 2017 #

    12/7/1984 TOTP. John Peel and Tommy Vance. Tommy has lost his leather jacket and shades and tonight has a light grey suit and a Granda shirt.

    Shakatak- Down on the Street- nmcot Jazz funk type stuff washes over me like departure lounge music, but great bunch of guys. Vance proves he’s no stranger to dad dancing before the camera quite pulls away.

    Tina Turner – What’s Love Got To Do With It.- Biggest hit over here and back home in the US. That said she is now a Swiss citizen and pretty much retired; no studio albums this century.

    Neil – Hole in my Shoe. In the studio. I think he’s miming the song but adds loads of stuff not on the record. It cuts out before the line about Dennis Moore’s lupins that I didn’t get at the time and is a reference to a Monty Python sketch. Getting in touch with my inner Mike Read, this record was the highest chart debut since the fifties.

    Alison Moyet – On video- Love Resurrection – Heard her on a Desert Island Disc repeat from 2014 and she is a bit out there. Some demons over the years.

    Phil Fearon and Galaxy – Everybody’s Laughing. Not very memorable if inoffensive. It doesn’t really grab me and I find it hard to believe there’s enough there for anybody to buy a copy; but they did.

    Echo and the Bunnymen- Seven Seas- one of my early purchases. Still like it. Bunneyman bass player must of been on holiday or lost the argument ‘if Ian’s not wearing a stupid costume, I don’t see why I should’. Plus side, drummer gets to play up front for a change. Penguin looks okay, fish a bit weird. Countdown.

    Bluebells – Young at Heart. They have come back into the studio this week with different outfits, mainly waistcoats. twktc. Countdown to FGTH.

    Two Tribes- this is a different performance – Holly’s no longer doing his Norman Wisdom and his flat cap has gone. Out to Jacksons/Jagger with State of Shock.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

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