Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Hits of 1984

What I'm Listening To

For 2020 I decided that I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' feature based on my favourite songs from a particular year. My dad's date suggestion was 1984, so here are my top ten favourite tracks of the year... This was one of the most difficult I've done - I could have ended up with a top 100!

The Riddle - Nik Kershaw

The lyrics make no sense but the song doesn't suffer any for it! It did well across western europe, no doubt helped by the kooky music video, and peaked at #3 in the UK.

Big in Japan - Alphaville

Debut single by German synth-pop giants Alphaville, Big in Japan was their only UK hit, peaking at #8. Sandra recorded a German language cover 'Japan ist Weit' (Japan is Far Away) in the same year for the domestic market, infamously selling just 125 copies.

99 Red Balloons - Nena

Another German smash hit, Nena had already had a number one hit everywhere from West Germany to New Zealand with '99 Luftballons' in 1983. Their 1984 English language version then went to #1 in the UK and Canada, and #3 in South Africa.

Girls Just Want To Have Fun - Cyndi Lauper

I only just learned that the song was originally written and recorded by Robert Hazard in 1979. Cyndi Lauper covered it in 1983 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Searchin' (I Gotta Find a Man) - Hazell Dean

Scraping into the charts in 1983, Searchin' was re-released in 1984 and made it to #6 in the UK.

Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat

Bronski Beat's debut single really set the tone for the kind of politically charged band they wanted to be. It seems ridiculous now, given what we know about 1980s popstars, but Bronski Beat were pretty much the only band in the UK pop press who were willing to say they were gay and proud of it, no qualifiers necessary.

Two Tribes (Annihilation Mix) - Frankie Goes To Hollywood

Relax was an amazing track, but this one gets on the list simply because it terrified me so much as a kid. And I hadn't even seen Threads then.

Agadoo - Black Lace

Peaking at #2, Agadoo spent 30 weeks in the Top 75 in 1984 and over 30 years as a school disco and wedding party staple. There was better stuff out in 1984, for sure, but this one brings back memories of playing Black Lace's greatest hits on cassette in the garden to have pretend parties as a little kid. (To the unrestrained joy of all the neighbours, no doubt...)

Jump - Van Halen

Although it made #1 in the States, it peaked at #7 in the UK.

Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr

Because how can you not love it?

What was your favourite hit of 1984? Let me know in the comments. :)

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What I'm Listening To

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