6
Sep 09

Popular ’84

FT + Popular/86 comments • 5,108 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?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

Loading ... Loading ...

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

Comments

1 2 3 4 All
  1. 76
    hardtogethits on 8 Oct 2017 #

    Hello again. Speedwell, there was something in your comment at 74 that mindblowingly reminded me that I once had experience of trying to get real permission for an unsigned band to do a cover version for the cd they wanted to hawk around record companies. It was so long ago it was like it was someone else, but it wasn’t. And in essence, my recollection was right, you do need permission, and the publishers are in charge of granting it.

  2. 77
    speedwell54 on 14 Oct 2017 #

    23/08/84 TOTP Read and Vance – joy. Both in black, and Read in shades again. Let’s see how they rub together.

    Alphaville – Big In Japan- Their only hit over here. I bought the album on the strength of the title track Forever Young. I liked the track so much back then, but on re listening it’s not quite as good as I thought it was. I didn’t get into the album at all, and pretty much just played that track.

    Next, Elton John- Passenger. On video this week. Dressing up and changing hats in the sunshine. He’s joined by a dance troupe who look like they’ve come off the set of Live and Let Die. Wanna get on.

    Bit of banter and into Break Machine – Are You Ready? . Not awful but same routine and they were lucky to get on, just being at No 40 at the time. Bye to them.

    Miami Sound Machine – Dr Beat. In the days before Gloria got a better billing. They’re in the studio and they splash out on medic’s uniforms and a hospital bed.

    Sunglasses- Tracey Ullman Machine. After being in the studio last time out she is on video, now with the help of Ade Edmondson on a beach somewhere. The song has a repeated chorus where the bass and drum hit on every beat (rather like Boxerbeat) which really drives the song.

    Charts countdown to Spandau Ballet Machine – I’ll Fly For You. Tony is earnest and sells the track. (he’s wearing an awful jacket btw) Kemp boys are a little annoying but on the whole I think it’s good. Nice middle eight.. I’m just an average boy… Charts with Mike.

    Rod Stewart Machine on video with Some Guys Have All The Luck – video. Cheap video for him – all in a studio and green screen. Too much time on Rod shows us he knows how to move but he can’t dance – guilty feet. I think he does a Mike Jagger at one point – in the blue suit.

    Top 10 to Number 1. George Michael-Machine in the the studio this week -Careless Whisper. Vance and Read seem to get a long well. Out to Laura BranniMachine- Self Control.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

    So Hardtogethits, what was the track then?

  3. 78
    speedwell54 on 23 Oct 2017 #

    06/09/84 TOTP Peel and Long. Buck Fizz get back to back performances which outside No1s was pretty unusual. Peel starts to explain why, but Jan interrupts. Last week’s episode which we missed due to Saville and Smitty, was partly on a train (!) Bucks were cut short before they Fizzed, and hence they get another go tonight.

    I remember All About Eve having some play back sound issues which gifted them a repeat appearance and lead to their only top 10. Back to Buck Fizz- this record seems a bit a change for them and the girls are almost redundant. The Weeknd borrowed a bit of the chorus on his last album and called it Secrets, but I presume he knew it from the the Romantic’s original rather than this. Unfortunately there have been many internal arguments over the years with this lot. Not happy bunnies.

    Spandau Ballet – I’ll Fly For You- On video this week and it looks like two videos. One a typical, on location shoot, and what looks like clips from a film. Unfortunately there have been many internal arguments over the years with this lot. Not happy bunnies.

    Sister Sledge – Lost In Music- this is a Nile Rogers remix. The girls look very happy here and start of with a routine for the chorus and then do their own thing dancewise. By this time they are far bigger over here, and their US chart career was pretty much over. We lost Joni Sledge- who takes the lead on this- earlier this year.

    Level 42 – Hot Water – I like this a lot more now, than I did then. They are all wearing long sleeved shirts with the sleeves rolled up. Mark wins, with them nearly rolled up to his armpits!

    Alphaville- Another studio performance. Two have swapped their trendy jumpers for trendy jackets. The lead singer finishes off the look with a red cummerbund and a black bow tie, maybe that look was big in Japan.

    Stevie Wonder – IJCTSILY – at No1 on video. The entire video being him, sat on a stool, next to a piano singing into a telephone. Halfway through he stands. Shed loads of people bought this, but try to find someone who likes it. The backing track sounds terrible and the last three notes are awful. He had 300 weeks of charting before this No1 and they were all better than this -which is a shame.

    Bruno Brookes pops up for a chat and we play out with Passenger by Elton John. The deaf Subtitler reverses the song meaning with the “deny the passenger, who want to get OFF”

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  4. 79
    speedwell54 on 24 Oct 2017 #

    20/09/1984 -Peebles and Wright together again after just a few weeks.BBC4 not showing last weeks due to DLT and we missed OMD, Aztec Camera, U2 and Depeche Mode among others -shame.

    Bronski Beat- hot on the heels of Smalltown Boy we get “Why” and another top 10. Not singing live this time.

    David Bowie – Blue Jean. The highest new entry and we get just of a clip of the full 20 minute Julien Temple video. I splashed out on the 12″ version and a big fan, not that there anything particularly exciting about it. TPL trash the album completely.

    Sister Sledge – Lost in Music- I said last time it was the Nile Rodgers remix but actually it doesn’t sound like the remix version at all. Not sure it wasn’t just on the 12″ version -which is what I presume people were mainly buying. Not that the original isn’t great. They turned up again and looked happy. Possibly the remix is too tricky for a mime.

    Hammer To Fall – Queen. Fourth track from the album and lowest charting. Bit old style with rock guitar riff, multi tracked vocals and guitar solo. Good. Live video with Roger in a Wham t-shirt. Choose Life.

    Nik Kershaw- Human Racing. Fourth track from the album and lowest placing. It sounds good to me. Countdown to Adam Ant at 28.

    Apollo 9 – Bought this too. Must have been flush. I do like this so much and played it loads. He definitely says ‘call me Adrian the gorilla’ Unusual structure with four repeated chorus 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 3 4 2 2 1.

    Hot Water- Level 42 -again- they came back for another studio performance. I am sure they must have changed fans from this jazz funk type stuff compared to their more poppy Lessons and Running that came later.

    Countdown to Wonder. twktc. Out to Love Kills and Freddie gets another shout. Crowd seem quite in to it and we get nearly the whole track. Another good track.

    Not so bad this week. No duffers apart from Stevie.

  5. 80
    speedwell54 on 27 Oct 2017 #

    04/10/1984 TOTP. We’ve missed another so a few repeats.

    Skinner and Bates host and we kick off the show (again) with Bronski Beat. They have come back; I know because Jimmy’s wearing different clothes and Larry Steinbachek hasn’t got that fat kazoo type thing in his mouth from two weeks ago. His t-shirt is a print of the single cover – man with head in hands. Steve looks bored in a Pringle jumper.

    Drive – The Cars on video. This got a second run just a year later with a rather more upsetting backdrop and went one place higher to No4.

    JohnWaite- Missing You
    None of his clothes fit him, he’s spent too much time on his hair and he looks like a taller, better shaven Chris de Burgh. (who also had a hit with Missing You )- different song. Other than that ok. Over played.
    Sims thinks it will be No1

    Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey – Together in Electric Dreams – from the film ED. Guess what, the video mixes bits from the film and bits of Phil singing. Moroder is in the video briefly.

    Culture Club – The War Song – what a dull chorus. How many people fell out of love with them when this came out. The rest of the song is okay but you can’t forget the chorus. Jon Moss plays the part of a backing singer/dancer – no drums in sight. Skinner suggest this might be No1 next week but he has a question in his voice.

    No More Lonely Nights – Paul McCartney- another song from a film. Film was a bit patchy and the soundtrack is better. This jumped 28 to 6, on its way to No2.

    The Stranglers- Skin Deep – Live in the studio and the first single from the album.

    Adam Ant – Apollo 9 – in the studio again and this week he is dressed as a cowboy, an astronaut wearing flying jacket, he really can’t decide. Call me Adrian the gorilla.

    Wonder at No1, and out to Love Kills (again) and they dance around their handbags. Moroder gets a second credit tonight, co writing this.

    Skinner does a good job and Bates is less annoying than usual.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  6. 81
    speedwell54 on 4 Nov 2017 #

    11/10/1984 Read (sunglasses inside) and Vance looking a bit trendy for them. Kim Wilde’s up first and a rather blokey intro seems of its time. The Second Time – not really her best but okay.

    Sade – Smooth Operator on video. Real actors tell a story. Sade seems to be the victim. I know a cover of this where some of the lyrics were changed “Coast to coast New College to Greenhead” but I don’t think we want to go down that road again.

    Wham! – Freedom. George is at his most energetic tonight and the band are all dressed up, including Noel Edmond’s doppelganger on keyboards. Pepsi and Shirlie are in their Supremes outfits on this slightly 60’s Motown number. Great track. No video for this at the time.

    Stephanie Mills – The Medicine Song- on video this week.

    Paul Young- I’m Gonna Tear Your Playhouse Down. In the studio this week, but without those two previously discussed backing singers. A good version of this, if you can forgive the keyboard players over use of the orchestra hit button, which I can’t.

    All Cried Out – Alison Moyet. Nothing wrong with this at all but nmcot.

    Charts to No11 and then the Style Council- Shout to The Top. Weller chews his way through this as he often did. Talbot still a mod on piano. Dee C Lee is there, ex of Wham. There’s a drummer too, but no string section visible on this string heavy hit. A new entry at 13, this climbed to peak at No7 week after, but then again, they never climbed more than once throughout their career. Sometimes not even once.

    Stevie Wonder for the last time– video again ffwd. Out to Bruce Springsteen with Cover Me.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  7. 82
    Speedwell54 on 5 Nov 2017 #

    18/10/1984 TOTP Janice and ooh Gary Davies. Hair immaculate and both have made the effort and are well turned out. They deliver their piece to camera and Janice is bopping away as the first track fades in.

    I’ve been struggling to get a good night’s sleep recently due to a bad back. The doctor made a home visit as he wanted to rule out workplace/environmental issues, before prescribing any medication. Any stress at work? No. Is it too light? No I have black out curtains. Any noise at night. No, quiet road and double glazing. What’s your bed like? Let’s have a look. This feels too firm. Let me have a look inside at the metal coils. I see your problem; they’re too Highly Sprung. I told Kemp G about this, and the rest is history. I think I was rather dismissive of this lot back I the day, but have listened again with these re runs. Lyrically occasionally questionable but the music and structure stand up well. Tony has a good voice and always delivers.

    Gordon Ramsay wasn’t always the great cook he is today. When I first started to work for him with my brother Alessandro we would often complain about the lack of variety. You see he didn’t like fish, so we never had fish. He didn’t like pasta so we didn’t have pasta. He couldn’t even cook vegetables without over boiling them until all the flavour had disappeared, so we never had vegetables. So for our evening meals we used to have sausages on Mondays, Hot dogs on Tuesdays, Frankfurters on Wednesday, chicken on Thursdays (he wasn’t a total loser) and weiners on Fridays. One day Alessandro just lost it and screamed at Gordon “No More Baloney Nights”. I told Macca about this and the rest is history. On video again- nothing to add.

    Whilst working for Gordon before he became famous he was still quite shouty, but because his mum worked in the same restaurant he was much less sweary. He was always very precise about everything and extremely controlling. I stopped working in the kitchen as there was too much pressure especially as we got closer to Christmas. I then waited on tables and on the whole that was much easier. At Christmas we did a set menu as it was quicker to serve when it was so busy. One night we had 15 work parties and it was pretty rowdy. Everyone being rather loud and wanting to get through the meal so they could get to the bar and have a dance to the local DJ. First course prawn cocktail, served and cleared. Next course turkey dinner, served and cleared. Then Christmas pudding, cleared and served. Then coffees. I went round with the large jug and filled everyone’s cup. This was all going well I thought. I went round for the second time for refills and people were leaving their tables and starting to dance. Then the music got a lot louder. I went back into the kitchen to put away the coffee jugs, and there on the side I saw the trays and trays of silver foiled encased treats, and realised I’d forgotten to serve these Christmas desserts . At that moment Gordon came into the back and saw me staring at hundreds of sweets. I eventually blurted out “shall I take these out now” – “No” he shouted it’s “Too Late For Mince Spies”
    I told Julian and the rest is history. I liked this a lot and bought this and the next single Valotte from the album of the same name. Forgotten how much Lennon Jnr looked like his dad. Seven years to wait for his next top 10 hit.

    Whilst still working for Gordon, me and my brother started would sometimes get a bit bored. Between clearing away lunch and before the evening guests arrived we had a few hours to kill each day. It wasn’t long enough to go home but too short to not do anything. Now in the kitchen, one of the cupboard doors right at the back of the room had come off, and rather than replacing it properly, there was a red cloth curtain pinned up over the front. The cupboard was just above head height so you couldn’t see in it without getting a two step. My brother invented this game where he put different foods on a plate and you had to identify them by reaching up and putting your hand through the curtain and touching the mystery food. After a while of blancmange and jelly, he became a bit more adventurous. It was my turn and I put my hand though the curtain and put my hand on the plate. What is this? We’ve had sponge before. What’s this, feels like soup, and this, carrots? I just worked out what it was when Gordon walked into the kitchen demanding to know what on earth I was doing. “I Feel for Stew” . I told Prince and the rest is history.
    Chaka Khan on video. Highest new entry at 22 on its way to the top. This means Stutter Rap can’t be far away.

    “Missing you”John Waite on video this week. In the video a lady storms out an apartment and he is stood behind the door as she bursts out. Cut to him rubbing his nose. I don’t think they were going for comedy but this is slapstick. Btw , he is missing you.

    Countdown and a bit of banter. These two get along together well.

    Meatloaf – Modern Girl – In places this sounds quite Steinman but it isn’t. He has the whole gang here in a studio performance, all guns blazing as they give it everything. Performance of the week.

    A few years later I was still working for Ramsay but his time in his new restaurant in California. One night Arthur Lee walked in. He use to be a regular there but was down on his luck and with no money coming in he became a little desperate. One night after he’d had a few he started talking to Ramsay at the bar asking him for a loan. Ramsay refused at first because he didn’t want to lose his money. Lee said he would put up future royalties from his back catalogue. I could not see exactly what was going on, but Ramsay produced a document that would detail the loan and the repayments. What have you got there I said?
    “Love’s Great Debenture” he replied.
    Ultravox in the studio tonight; the video was shot in Kenya the previous week we are informed. Don’t know if we’ll get to see it here though.

    Countdown to Wham! with Freedom. This is a recording from last week when they were in the studio. The dance out is Moroder and Oakey with Electric Dreams at No5. That bloke who looks like Duncan Norville gets a starring role tonight. We seem to be getting the full tracks on these playouts at the moment, tonight the record actually finishes.

    Gary and Janice did a good job tonight.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  8. 83
    speedwell54 on 9 Nov 2017 #

    08/11/1984 TOTP. Watched this one right through the other day and Bates was unbelievably annoying. Anyway here goes. We’ve missed two episodes DLT and Smitty the culprits. Heaven 17 is one we will never get to see but not missed too much. Skinner is the unlucky co host this week.

    Bates interrupts Skinner mid sentence on the very first link. Bates, and I quote “….Mandy, and she’s a Spurs supporter. She sings quite well, though. What are you talking about? He refers to Limahl’s sidekick on Never Ending Story. Bates also calls it Never Ending Song. Wiki informs me it’s not her singing anyway; just miming to the vocals of someone called Beth. They have a bit of a clutch during the instrumental bit. Limahl’s wearing a poppy. I think’s he’s the only one tonight; how times have changed.

    Next link from Bates introducing a video from Status Quo with the Wanderer. On the link he has a girl on each shoulder. The one with blue hair stares directly into camera the whole time. The other one is something very special. She is doing an audition to camera. Brilliant. Quo video is them on the back of a truck driving round London. Not totally unlike Howard Jones from just a few weeks ago. nmcot.

    Back to Skinner on his own and Depeche Mode with Blasphemous Rumours. I normally go into fashion police ‘mode’ with this lot. How out of step will Martin be is a common theme. He doesn’t seem too bad this time as they all seem to have some black leather element to their respective outfits. Hard to be definite but I think Martin’s leather has been fashioned into a skirt. Good track.

    Bates with some inane facts. And this is before google! Alf on video All Cried Out. Skinner introduces Billy Ocean with Caribbean Queen. He looks dapper in his suit and tie and throws a few shapes. Not a lot wrong with this. Seem to remember this coming out with different versions, African Queen, European Queen etc though never heard anything but this.

    Hard Habit to Break – Chicago. Never noticed till now that vocally it doesn’t sound that different to the Bee Gees. Cetera sings quite high. The video features women smoking e.g. a hard habit to break I think. Not subtle. They should have continued with the Hard prefix.

    Gary Numan- I think you have to listen to most of his stuff far longer than you want to, before you can like them. The seven strong band are all in white.

    Countdown to 11, but back the Eugene Wilde at No22. He’s been listening to Human Nature a little bit too much. Nice enough. Countdown to One. Bates talks out the time and Skinner doesn’t get a chance to say his piece. Chaka Khan with the same video from a few weeks ago.

    Out to ZZ Top with Gimme All Your Lovin’ – not heard this for a while. We get to see the girl with the blue hair again as the camera lingers for ages, but can’t see her mate.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  9. 84
    Mark G on 10 Nov 2017 #

    If music be the food of love, play on. If not, let’s have some Top of the Pops instead!

    And its our John Peel, looking for a proper oppo, but its Tommy Vance this time. Never mind, let’s have some Nick Heyward, and hey this one seems to have some actual life after the last few ‘This’ll do’ type singles. Laugh? I actually bought one! Well, the ‘Bullet in the head’ 12″ remix version. More of this sort of thing, and I’d have bought the album, but this was pretty much it for Nick. Moral of the story is : Make good singles all of the time.

    Chicago. Too boring to comment.

    The Kane Gang do a serviceable cover of “Respect Yourself” and there’s a bit of life in the place.

    Anyway, its the Human League up next, video for “Louise” looks like the river tour task off The Apprentice. I don’t recall the vid but I do recall the book-barge, was it in Camden? Oh, and there’s a bath I remember being in our hotel room in Edinburgh some years ago (but not this far back). Phil Oakley has normal hair! He bald now..

    Billy Ocean sings Carribean Queen. I believe “European Queen” was the b-side but I’ve never seen the version that supposedly came out first time that flopped until they changed the designation. Hmmmm.

    Murray Head. Gets onto the pops after donkeys years, and looks like he didn’t make the rehearsal. Runs out of lines, has to wait for choruses and stuff, doesn’t seem too bothered about it. Quite a lot between despair and ecstacy..

    John Peel could definitely do “I just called to say I luv yer”

    Shaking Stevens racking up the appearances – didn’t he get the all time top total? This sounds like an all time miss, but it actually made top five so hey. Bits of it seem very familiar without actually being the oldie, so they get to keep the money. Unless the writers of “Ivy will cling” by Arnold Stang get round to suing..

    Ok, a decent number one which still sounds great, but hey its got more ingredients than is good for it but it all works! A Prince song, a Stevie harmonica, a Melle Mel rap, a Wombat bass, keep going its good enough!

    And so the show ends, John introduces Limahl but its not him (or her) its two other people instead. And the lad dancer has just fallen off the podium.

    So, this is nineteen eighty four. When does it get interesting again?

  10. 85
    speedwell54 on 10 Nov 2017 #

    15/11/1984 TOTP – Mike Read and Bruno Brookes. The later came on as a sub a few weeks a go but he made his first full team debut tonight. Mike Read has gone from ‘my eyes are so good I need sunglasses inside’, to ‘I need glasses’. Both in dinner jackets. Read towers over Bruno as he does his Kid Jensen impression. They start an episode long exchange about going out after the show.

    Half a Minute -Matt Bianco in the studio and Basia plays up front on lead vocal for a change and Mark back in nets. Bruno says it’s cocktail bar music. Sounds like a Bossa nova, very pleasant without setting anything on fire. Their bid for a second top 40 hit and to pave the wave for a future solo career for Basia. Success, tick.

    Duran Duran – Wild Boys on video. Their bid for back to back No1 singles. No parent album out just yet, and following on from their last No1- The Reflex they must have had fingers crossed. Fail. Stalled at no2.Video won a Brit Award.

    Slade – All Join Hands- In their bid to a have another Christmas smash, this followed on from My Oh My the year before. Fail. Stalled at No15. Anthem writing again from Holder, real sing-a-long stuff. Came out two or three weeks too early possibly?

    Eurythmics- Sexcrime (1984) In a bid to make all things 4. Out in 1984, peaked at No4, second single from the album peaked at 44. It’s what Dave shouts when he make a poor shot in golf. Success.Tick

    I Should Have Known Better – Jim Diamond. In a bid not to be a one hit wonder via Phd. Success. Tick. Bit of a stutter though, I,I,I,I,I,I,I should have known …..

    Alvin Stardust- I Won’t Run Away. nmcot

    Nik Kershaw- The Riddle- In a bid to get people talking about a rather average single, the meaning of this song was much discussed. Success. Tick. Not by me I hasten to add. This would have been all over social media if it had existed.

    Chaka Khan. Video again, even though she’s right there, in the studio.

    I’m So Excited – The Pointer Sisters – Their bid to be perennial play out artists on Totp and to give this record a very long life. Success. Soundtracks, tv commercials and covers still continue.

    Not my favourite but there has been worse.

  11. 86
    Martin F. on 16 Nov 2017 #

    We’ve now reached the point where I started watching TOTP as a just-turning-6-year-old, so it’s been great revisiting these episodes on the Beeb accompanied by the comments here.

    From the time, I remember thinking that “Louise” seemed like a terribly mysterious and grown-up tale. “The Riddle”, not so much. (Did like the melodee though – still do.) We’re still about 18 months from my first 7″ purchase, but by the end of ’84 I’ll have
    taken possession of my dad’s radio cassette recorder and will be killing music with my home taping exploits. Mostly from the Network Chart Show on Metro Radio, but the official chart of the year will also end up on a C-120 that somehow survives endless plays on car journeys in the years ahead.

    Anyway, I have nothing much more of substance to contribute right now, just wanted to show a bit of appreciation for the posts!

1 2 3 4 All

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)

Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page