May 09

Popular ’82

FT + Popular/122 comments • 7,508 views

Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls, but they’re a nice way of summing up each year as we end it, so they stay. Every track on Popular gets a mark out of 10 from me – here’s where you tick any you’d have given 6 or more to (choose as many as you like).

No 1 Hits Of 1982: Which Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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My top mark this year went to “Come On Eileen” (10), and “Ebony And Ivory” and “Save Your Love” both got 1. Use the comments box to reflect on the year as a whole, if you like, and see you next week for 1983.


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  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    A surprisingly high 13 out of 21 for me, but about seven of those are hovering around the six mark.

    Let’s see if I can find some other perspectives to look at 1982 from…

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 8 May 2009 #

    Not a great year for number 1 singles but not too bad either.
    The year was more significant for movies for me – with Blade Runner, E.T. and One from the heart released that year.

  3. 3
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    NME Critics’ poll singles of 1982;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    3. Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    4. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    5. The Look Of Love – ABC
    6. Money’s Too Tight To Mention – The Valentine Bros.
    7. Only You – Yazoo
    8. The Boiler – Rhoda & The Special AKA
    9. There It Is – Shalamar
    10. Man Out Of Time – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    11. Walking On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge
    12. I Can Make You Feel Good – Shalamar
    13. Poison Arrow – ABC
    14. Don’t Go – Yazoo
    15. Inside Out – Odyssey
    16. Planet Rock – Afrika Bambaataa
    17. Young Guns Go For It – Wham!
    18. Temptation – New Order
    19. Beat Surrender – The Jam
    20. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    21. Just An Illusion – Imagination
    22. Fat Man/Moya – Southern Death Cult
    23. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? – Culture Club
    24. My Baby Just Cares For Me – Nina Simone
    25. Say Hello, Wave Goodbye – Soft Cell
    26. B-Movie – Gil Scott-Heron
    27. House Of Fun – Madness
    28. Ms Fine Brown Frame – Syl Johnson
    29. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    30. Know Your Rights – The Clash
    31. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    32. Stool Pigeon – Kid Creole & The Coconuts
    33. Slowdive – Siouxie & The Banshees
    34. Night Nurse – Gregory Isaacs
    35. Faithless – Scritti Politti
    36. I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll – Joan Jett
    37. Jump To It – Aretha Franklin
    38. Get Down On It – Kool & The Gang
    39. Mambo Bado – Orchestra Makassy
    40. Pinball Cha Cha – Yello
    41. Murphy’s Law – Cheri
    42. Promised You A Miracle – Simple Minds
    43. Head To Toe – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
    44. Wham Rap – Wham!
    45. State Of Independence – Donna Summer
    46. Party Fears Two – The Associates
    47. I Love A Man In Uniform – The Gang Of Four
    48. I Can’t Go For That – Hall & Oates
    49. Torch – Soft Cell
    50. I Don’t Wanna Dance – Eddy Grant

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    Sounds’ critics offered an end of year top 20 singles;

    1. The Message – Grandmaster Flash
    2. Come On Eileen – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    3. Straight To Hell – The Clash
    4. Buffalo Gals – Malcolm McLaren
    5. The Bitterest Pill – The Jam
    6. Feel Me – Blancmange
    7. Lumiere Urban – Champion Doug Veitch
    8. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
    9. Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
    10. Private Investigations – Dire Straits
    11. Uncertain Smile – The The
    12. Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre Of Hate
    13. A Town Called Malice – The Jam
    14. African & White – China Crisis
    15. Heartache Avenue – The Maisonettes
    16. Love Parade – The Undertones
    17. Let Me Go – Heaven 17
    18. The Look Of Love – ABC
    19. The Peel Sessions – The Nightingales
    20. Klactoveesedstein – Blue Rondo A La Turk

  5. 5
    JimD on 8 May 2009 #

    I don’t remember ever hearing Seven Tears until it was covered here, but since I gave it a listen a couple of weeks ago, it’s been constantly popping back into my head, and I’m quite fond of it now. So it gets a tick from me. As do 12 others.

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 8 May 2009 #

    And here are the 1982 charts seen upside-down, ie the singles that peaked at number 40;

    6 Feb Do You Believe In The Westworld? – Theatre of Hate – 2 weeks
    17 Jul The Big Bean – Pigbag – 1
    28 Aug Backchat – Queen – 1
    9 Oct Athena – The Who – 1
    27 Nov Back To Love – Evelyn King – 1
    4 Dec I’m Alright – Young Steve & The Afternoon Boys – 1

  7. 7
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    Yes, 15, with a couple of pretty borderline ones.

    A massive year for me. I lost both my father and my virginity in the space of a couple of months, got my first proper wage packet and the subsidiary part of my degree, saw the Stones at Wembley from so far away it seemed like a different postcode, and the Members at Royal Holloway from close enough to tell the time by Nicky Tesco’s watch. And began the best few months of my life over on the coast of southern Brittany, which makes this stretch of Popular a great nostalgia-fest.

  8. 8
    Erithian on 8 May 2009 #

    And the Radio 1 list of the top 30 best-sellers of the year (again the cut-off point of early December it seems, so tough luck R&R):

    1 Come On Eileen
    2 Fame
    3 Eye of the Tiger
    4 The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    5 Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    6 Pass The Dutchie
    7 I Don’t Wanna Dance
    8 Seven Tears
    9 Ebony and Ivory
    10 Town Called Malice/Precious
    11 Golden Brown – Stranglers (2)
    12 Mad World – Tears For Fears (3)
    13 Mickey – Toni Basil (2)
    14 Love Plus One – Haircut One Hundred (3)
    15 The Model/Computer Love
    16 Oh Julie
    17 Goody Two Shoes
    18 Only You – Yazoo (2)
    19 Heartbreaker – Dionne Warwick (2)
    20 Don’t Go – Yazoo (3)
    21 Walkin’ On Sunshine – Rockers’ Revenge (4)
    22 Zoom – Fat Larry’s Band (2)
    23 I Won’t Let You Down – PhD (3)
    24 Just An Illusion – Imagination (2)
    25 Hard To Say I’m Sorry – Chicago (4)
    26 Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band (2)
    27 Starmaker – The Kids From “Fame” (3)
    28 Centerfold – J Geils Band (3)
    29 House of Fun
    30 The Land of Make Believe

    Save Your Love, Beat Surrender, Happy Talk, I’ve Never Been To Me and A Little Peace didn’t make the top 30 of the year.

  9. 9
    justfanoe on 8 May 2009 #

    I voted for most of the songs I knew, except that I forgot to vote for Kraftwerk and there were a few I really didn’t like. In fact, I have not heard either of those The Jam songs so it seems like that’s all I’m really missing out on.

  10. 10
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 8 May 2009 #

    and what WAS the time by nicky tesco’s watch?

  11. 11
    DV on 8 May 2009 #

    Now we have the peachy new VOTING SYSTEM on every track you might think we don’t need these polls,

    Don’t you have to register to take part in that peachy new VOTING SYSTEM? I feel that I have registered on enough websites.

  12. 12
    admin on 8 May 2009 #

    at risk of milestone inflation, that’s the first 30 years of number 1s dealt with :-)

  13. 13
    Billy Smart on 9 May 2009 #

    Here are the phantom number ones of 1982, that got to pole position on the NME chart, but not the Gallup one; One Of Us, I Won’t Let You Down, Abracadabra, Private Investigations, The Bitterest Pill, Heartbreaker, Mirror Man, Time (Clock Of The Heart) – all for one week except for two weeks of Culture Club over Christmas.

  14. 14
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    The Face review of ’82 in the January ’83 issue resists the impulse to aggregate its writer’s top singles of the year, instead opting to allow individual columnists to nominate their favourites – perhaps as a democratic gesture or more likely to keep their options open.

    Robert Elms chose:
    Jump to it – Aretha Franklin
    Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
    Shipbuilding – Robert Wyatt
    Money’s too tight to mention – Valentine Bros
    If you study long you’ll study wrong – J. Gayle Gaynor
    The message – Grandmaster Flash
    Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson
    The Apple Stretching – Grace Jones
    How we gonna make the black nation rise – Brother D with Collective effort
    My baby just cares for me – Nina Simone

    The issue also reflects the rise of the Pop-Cultural commentator – featuring an interview with Peter York and an article entitled ‘The age of plunder’ by Jon Savage which concludes:

    The Past then, is being plundered in Pop as elsewhere in order to construct a totality that is seamless, that cannot be broken. It is characteristic of our age that there is little sense of community, of any real sense of history as THE PRESENT is all that matters. Who needs yesterday’s papers? In re-fashioning the past in our own image, in tailoring the past to our own preconceptions, the past is recuperated: instead of being a door OUT of our time, it merely leads to another airless room.
    The Past then is turned into the most disposable of consumer commodities, and is thus dismissable: the lessons which it can teach us are thought trivial, are ignored amongst a pile of garbage. a proper study of the past can reveal, however, desires and spirits not all in accordance with Mrs Thatcher’s mealy-mouthed idealogy as it spreads like scum to fill every available surface and it is up to us to address ourselves to them. What pop does or doesn’t do, ceases to be important.

  15. 15
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    Elms was never my favourite writer (understatement alert!) and there’s boring and/or over-exposed records in that list (flash/simone) and round about this time he wrote a real tin-eared review of a record by james blood ulmer which i evidently still haven’t forgiven him for, but that list is very redolent of this year for me — i was so hungry for people who wrote well about the soulboy-club axis, about its flaws as well as its excellence (its flaws as explored from the inside, i mean: not outsiders hammering on them): what always struck me as curious was how defensive it always seemed, in reference to subcultures outside itself

    i know savage so this comes with bias but boy has he aged better than peter york

  16. 16
    rosie on 9 May 2009 #

    Interesting that those lists of best singles of 1982 include (at least) two from an era even before my listening days!

    (Hey, Mark, nothing boring about Nina Simone, that’s a terrific, timeless, track!)

    The rise of the pop-cultural commentator surely began with Richard Hoggart. The Uses of Literacy being published in the same year that Reet Petite was originally released.

  17. 17
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    nina’s is the over-exposed one i think — she made dozens of much better records

    not hoggart, orwell! his stuff on saucy postcards, billy bunter etc (though he didn’t discuss pop music that i know of)

    pop-commentator as mainstream columnist is what’s on the rise with york and savage (and julie burchill just off-stage: her face column started in 83 i think)

  18. 18
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    USA perspective:

    Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” (1 week)
    J Geils Band – “Centerfold” (6 weeks)
    Joan Jett & the Blackhearts – “I Love Rock n’ Roll” (7 weeks)
    Vangelis – “Chariots of Fire” (1 week)
    Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder – “Ebony & Ivory” (7 weeks)
    The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” (3 weeks)
    Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger” (6 weeks)
    Steve Miller Band – “Abracadabra” (2 weeks)
    Chicago – “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” (2 weeks)
    John Cougar – “Jack and Diane” (4 weeks)
    Men at Work – “Who Can It Be Now?” (1 week)
    Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes – “Up Where We Belong” (3 weeks)
    Lionel Richie – “Truly” (2 weeks)
    Toni Basil – “Mickey” (1 week)
    Hall & Oates – “Maneater” (4 weeks)

  19. 19
    justfanoe on 9 May 2009 #

    Probably the best remembered and most played of these in the US is, by the way, “Jack and Diane”. Was this even a hit in the UK?

  20. 20
    Jonathan Bogart on 9 May 2009 #

    First pop-culture commentator by my lights would be Gilbert Seldes, The Seven Lively Arts, 1924 (I may be wrong by a year or two). One of the foundational texts of my own pop-culture journey.

    Very nearly the first guy to appreciate in writing what the Tin Pan Alley composers like Gershwin and Kern and Berlin were doing — musically as well as commercially — and had a good if uninformed word to say for jazz (a 1950s edition abases himself over it). Also revered in the comix world for being the first essayist to laud Krazy Kat. Also recognized the brilliance of the silent comedians beyond Chaplin — Keaton, Arbuckle, Normand, Turpin, etc.

    In fact there was a whole pop project in the 1920s that’s mostly unseen today (because we’re not familiar with what it replaced), in which the virtues of vernacular, immediately accessible, and widely popular work were trumpeted over the self-consciously artistic and pretentious. Not unlike punk, except they dressed better.

  21. 21
    Conrad on 9 May 2009 #

    I voted for 9. A brilliant year for music – the last great year for pop music to these ears – but not a great year for Number 1s.

    FWIW, my Top 12 of 82

    1. Japan – Ghosts
    2. Scritti Politti – Asylums in Jersusalem
    3. Dexy’s – Come On Eileen
    4. ABC – Look of Love
    5. Soft Cell – Torch
    6. Madness – Our House
    7. Aztec Camera – Pillar To Post
    8. Shalamar – There It Is
    9. Patrice Rushen – I Was Tired of Being Alone
    10. Imagination – Music & Lights
    11. Dollar – Videotheque
    12. Simple Minds – Someone Somewhere In Summertime

  22. 22
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 9 May 2009 #

    vachel lindsay also, jonathan — who i first heard of on the sleeve of a pere ubu lp

  23. 23
    lonepilgrim on 9 May 2009 #

    Thanks Jonathan, for the heads up on Gilbert Seldes (and for your writing on music of the 20s and 30s over at your blog). The Seven Lively Arts is available online at http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/SELDES/toc.html and it looks like an interesting read. There’s a fascinating quote:
    thanks to the cable and the efficacy of transatlantic mails, we now know virtually everything that isn’t so, and virtually nothing that is important, about Europe.
    that suggests that this forum is a development of an older conversation.

  24. 24
    Billy Smart on 14 May 2009 #

    NME readers’ poll best singles of 1982;

    1. The Jam – Town Called Malice
    2. Grandmaster Flash – The Message
    3. The Jam – Beat Surrender
    4. New Order – Temptation
    5. Robert Wyatt – Shipbuilding
    6. Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen
    7. The Jam – The Bitterest Pill
    8. Wah! – The Story Of The Blues
    9. The Clash – Straight To Hell
    10. Tears For Fears – Mad World
    11. The Stranglers – Golden Brown
    12. The Associates – Party Fears 2
    13. ABC – The Look Of Love
    14. Echo & The Bunnymen – The Back Of Love
    15. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
    16. Japan – Ghosts
    17. Culture Club – Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?
    18. The Special AKA – The Boiler
    19. Simple Minds – Promise You A Miracle
    20. Soft Cell – Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

  25. 25
    lonepilgrim on 14 May 2009 #

    I seem to recall that Shipbuilding missed out on a TOTP performance because there was a BBC strike the week the song went up the chart. I had bought a copy at the shop in town which I knew was one of the select sample that fed data for the chart.

  26. 26
    Darren on 15 Aug 2009 #

    7/21 for me.

    When push came to shove I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either Culture Club or Madness. Culture Club’s follow up singles were much stronger and House of Fun doesn’t even make into my top ten of Madness singles.

    One of the number ones that I did pick was Buck Fizz’s ‘My Camera Never Lies’, which really surprised me. I’m sure I didn’t think much of it at the time, but I love that thirty second intro. It’s cheesy but it immediately grabs you by the 1982 circa burgundy tank top.

  27. 27
    Lazarus on 15 Oct 2011 #

    There were a few stinkers that year weren’t there! I managed to find 10 (I generally try to find 10) and Eddy Grant was the one who just made the cut. Gratifying to see None of Them! beating Renee and Renato – the last time such a stunt was successfully pulled, unless you want to count the Flying Pickets of course.

  28. 28
    Brendan on 30 Sep 2012 #

    Re the NME critics poll Wham ahead of Party Fears Two and it barely scraping into the Top 50 – wtf!! PFT is one of my all-time favourite records (I could listen to that gorgeous piano riff from now till I die and never get bored).

  29. 29
    punctum on 4 Jul 2013 #

    Didn’t put in a link to the first TPL post for 1982 so here’s one.

  30. 30
    punctum on 17 Jul 2013 #

    TPL does LOUD HEAVY ROCK METAL http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/iron-maiden-number-of-beast.html

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