Sunday, February 20, 2011

My Birthday Number Ones (1982 - 1991)

My third decade of No.1 Birthday hits starts off with a classic:

1982: The Jam - A Town Called Malice

A bit controversial at the time, as EMI complained that as it was part of a 'double sided' single its aggregated sales were unfairly keeping their contender, Golden Brown by The Stranglers from reaching No.1. Life is tough.

1983: Kajagoogoo - Too Shy

The New Romantics are upon us! Kajagoogoo actually achieved a no.1 - this one - before Duran Duran ever did. Unfortunately it appears to have been their only one, and tensions in the band the band soon soon resulted in the lead singer, Limahl, being fired by his bandmates.

1984: Frankie Goes to Hollywood - Relax

Another iconic hit, notorious for being banned by the BBC at the time, and also for the scandalous original video, which only surfaced recently (the above is not it).

1984: Nena: 99 Red Balloons

In another amusing juxtaposition of styles and cultures, Frankie's raunchy number was followed immediately by Nena and her 99 red balloons.

1985: Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson - I Know Him So Well

Tim Rice, Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus teamed up to write the musical Chess and in the process wrote this mammoth hit for Elaine Paige and Barabara Dickson, which was number one for a whole month.

1985: Dead Or Alive: You Spin Me Round

After that, the country demanded something more energetic! - and got it with Dead Or Alive's classic. Apart from launching Pete Burns into the spotlight, the song was the first of many collaborations by Stock Aitken and Waterman.

1986: Billy Ocean - When The Going Gets Tough

Another song from the movies - this was the theme to The Jewel of the Nile starring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

1987: Ben E King - Stand By Me

History works in mysterious ways. This was originally released in 1961 - the year of my birth - and reached no. 27 in the UK charts. However, it recharted after the release of the movie Stand By Me in 1986 and went to no.1 in the UK following its use in a Levi's Jeans ad.

1988: Kylie Minogue - I Should Be So Lucky

I always think this was Kylie's debut but in fact it was her second hit. She flew to the UK to record with the by now ubiquitous Stock Aitken and Waterman. Apparently they forgot she was due to arrive and wrote this in 40 minutes while she waited in reception. She then recorded it in an hour. The rest is pop history.

1989: Simple Minds - Belfast Child

This beautiful song was written in the aftermath of the Enniskillen bombings.

1990: Sinead OConnor - Nothing Compares 2 U

Sinead's beautiful cover of the Prince song took it to worldwide prominence and launched her mainstream career.

1991: The Simpsons - Do The Bartman

Michael Jackson is another iconic figure who does not appear in my birthday charts. However. Michael wrote this (uncredited) because he loved the tv show. It went to number 1 in the UK but was never released in the USA.

And thus concludes my third decade - fourth coming up tomorrow.

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