Monday, October 13, 2008

I started something I couldn't finish... Part 4

and so we come to 1983! Before I start I would like to apologize to drummers, Australians, people who wear wigs, fat blokes wearing makeup and the Scottish. Best line: 'shame they didn't warn him about young boys...'

Jan 1983

1) Phil Collins – You can’t hurry love (2 weeks at #1)

“Just trust in the good times, no matter how long it takes”

Pleasant enough remake of the Motown classic! Amusing video featuring three ugly drummers from Genesis… 6/10

2) Men at Work – Down Under (3)

“Can't you hear, can't you hear the thunder - you better run, you better take cover”

They’re from Australia don’t you know… where women glow and men plunder… Humorous song about being Australian, if that’s possible… 6/10

Feb 1983

3) Kajagoogoo – Too Shy (2)

“Modern medicine falls short of your complaints - Ooh, try a little harder”

Catchy song with its “Too shy shy, hush hush, eye to eye…” chorus! Kaja, the band that launched a haircut… silver on top with black underneath. Probably a wig! Didn’t reach these heights again – despite getting rid of Limahl… 7/10

Mar 1983

4) Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (1)

“People always told me be careful of what you do - don't go around breaking young girls' hearts”

Shame they didn’t warn him about young boys! I’m surprised this one only stayed at the top a week – good song with its hypnotic bass line and stylish video… Sales of gloves and white socks increase…7/10

5) Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the heart (2)

“We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks”

A classic line… hmmm… Bonnie rasping voice and an over the top video help this reach the top… 5/10

6) Duran Duran – Is there something I should know? (2)

“Don't say you're easy on me, you're about as easy as a nuclear war”

A good video is just as important as a good song in 1983 and this was a great video… The bad haircuts, bad make-up and frilly blouses of Planet Earth have disappeared and now the band has a more tailored (Taylored?) look and cool haircuts. Even Simon doesn’t look as fat as usual. A good song despite its contrived opening - a great verse and bridge let down slightly by a wordy chorus… 8/10

7) David Bowie – Let’s Dance (3)

“(Let's dance), Put on your red shoes and dance the blues”

Less is more for Bowie in this lyrically simple tune. Funky bass and some nice sax accompanied by a stylish Bowie in the obligatory cool video… 8/10

8) Spandau Ballet – True (4)

“Why do I find it hard to write the next line”

Gary Kemp turns balladeer and Tony Hadley holds back just enough for this to be a classic song of it’s time… 8/10

May 1983

9) New Edition – Candy Girl (1)

“My girls like candy, a candy treat”

The US boy band featuring Bobbi Brown amongst others, release a cheesy song that sounds much like the Jackson 5… 4/10

10) The Police – Every breath you take (4)

“I feel so cold and I long for your embrace”

Andy Summers clipped guitar notes and Stings plodding bass line set the backdrop for The Police’s best known song… A classic, kind of… (8/10)

July 1983

11) Rod Stewart – Baby Jane (3)

“Now you're moving in high society - don't forget I know secrets about you”

Average outing from Rod… no Maggie May but slightly less embarrassing than Do ya think I’m sexy... 6/10

12) Paul Young – Wherever I lay my hat (3)

“For I'm the type of guy who gives girl the eye, everybody knows”

Paul Young could sing, no doubt about that, but unfortunately he couldn’t write. You can only release so many covers before you get found out… this was a cover… 7/10

Aug 1983

13) KC & the Sunshine Band – Give it up (3)

“Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na na! Baby give it up, give it up”

Harmless white disco effort from KC and his band. Song of the year? Na, na, na, na, na, na, na, na, no… 5/10

Sep 1983

14) UB40 – Red red wine (3)

“Red, red wine goes to my head - makes me forget that I still need her so”

Pleasant enough reworking of the Reggae standard! Unfortunately, for the Brummy boys there were only so many gems tucked away in the Reggae vaults… 7/10

15) Culture Club – Karma Chameleon (6)

“Loving would be easy if your colours were like my dream - Red gold and green, red gold and green”

Wow – was this really up there for 6 weeks! Seems longer somehow… this sounded like a farewell song somehow, and so it proved for Culture Club… their career over in about 12 months… (7/10)

Nov 1983

16) Billy Joel – Uptown Girl (5)

“She's been living in her white bread world”

Billy’s most commercial effort to date… to date model Christie Brinkley who appeared in the video. It worked, they eventually married! This song however was a slap in the face who preferred Billy the piano troubadour. (6/10)

Dec 1983

17) The Flying Pickets – Only You (2)

“All I needed was the love you gave, all I needed for another day…”

More Christmas weirdness as an all male ‘a cappella’ group cover Yazoo’s electro-pop classic. A novelty at best… (5/10)

Ian’s Top Ten Number 1’s of 1983

1. David Bowie – Let’s Dance
2. Spandau Ballet – True
3. Duran Duran – Is there something I should know?
4. The Police – Every breath you take
5. Paul Young – Wherever I lay my hat
6. UB40 – Red red wine
7. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
8. Phil Collins – You can’t hurry love
9. Kajagoogoo – Too Shy
10. Culture Club – Karma Chameleon

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