1980 in British music

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1980s in music in the UK
Number-one singles
Number-one albums
Best-selling singles
Best-selling albums
Summaries and charts
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1979 1990
Top 10 singles
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984
1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989
1979 1990

This is a summary of 1980 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Events[edit]

Pop music[edit]

The 1980s got off to an odd start with a very varied list of artists reaching No. 1 in the singles chart. Kenny Rogers, The Jam and Odyssey were among those vying for the top position. The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums stated that the year had a very dated appearance, because of a number of songs reaching No. 1 which had been recorded years previously, such as the "Theme from M*A*S*H*" and Don McLean's cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying". The Ska and Mod revivals reached their peak this year, with strong chart showings by The Jam, The Specials and Madness. 1970s favourites ABBA and Blondie both had their last years as chart heavyweights, clocking up 5 No.1 singles between them. David Bowie scored his second No.1 this year, while the death of John Lennon at the end of the year gave him his first chart topper (and would dominate the early months of 1981). Kate Bush became the first British female artist to have a No.1 album, and The Police finished the year as the top selling act.

Events[edit]

Number-one singles[edit]

Issue Date Song Artist(s)
5 January "Another Brick in the Wall" Pink Floyd
12 January
19 January "Brass in Pocket" The Pretenders
26 January
2 February The Special AKA Live! The Specials
9 February
16 February "Coward of the County" Kenny Rogers
23 February
1 March "Atomic" Blondie
8 March
15 March "Together We Are Beautiful" Fern Kinney
22 March "Going Underground / Dreams of Children" The Jam
29 March
5 April
12 April "Working My Way Back to You" The Detroit Spinners
19 April
26 April "Call Me" Blondie
3 May "Geno" Dexys Midnight Runners
10 May
17 May "What's Another Year" Johnny Logan
24 May
31 May "Suicide Is Painless (Theme from M*A*S*H)" Johnny Mandel
7 June
14 June
21 June "Crying" Don McLean
28 June
5 July
12 July "Xanadu" Olivia Newton-John and
Electric Light Orchestra
19 July
26 July "Use It Up and Wear It Out" Odysssey
2 August
9 August "The Winner Takes It All" ABBA
16 August
23 August "Ashes to Ashes" David Bowie
30 August
6 September "Start!" The Jam
13 September "Feels Like I'm in Love" Kelly Marie
20 September
27 September "Don't Stand So Close to Me" The Police
4 October
11 October
18 October
25 October "Woman in Love" Barbra Streisand
1 November
8 November
15 November "The Tide Is High" Blondie
22 November
29 November "Super Trouper" ABBA
6 December
13 December
20 December "(Just Like) Starting Over" John Lennon
27 December "There's No-one Quite Like Grandma" St. Winifred's School Choir

Number-one albums[edit]

Issue Date Song Artist(s)
5 January Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 Rod Stewart
12 January Greatest Hits Vol. 2 ABBA
19 January Pretenders The Pretenders
26 January
2 February
9 February
16 February Last Dance Various Artists
23 February
1 March String of Hits The Shadows
8 March
15 March
22 March Tears and Laughter Johnny Mathis
29 March
5 April Duke Genesis
12 April
19 April Greatest Hits Rose Royce
26 April
3 May Sky 2 Sky
10 May
17 May The Magic of Boney M. – 20 Golden Hits Boney M.
24 May
31 May McCartney II Paul McCartney
7 June
14 June Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel
21 June
28 June Flesh and Blood Roxy Music
5 July Emotional Rescue The Rolling Stones
12 July
19 July The Game Queen
26 July
2 August Deepest Purple Deep Purple
9 August Back in Black AC/DC
16 August
23 August Flesh + Blood Roxy Music
30 August
6 September
13 September Telekon Gary Numan
20 September Never for Ever Kate Bush
27 September Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) David Bowie
4 October
11 October Zenyatta Mondatta The Police
18 October
25 October
1 November
8 November Guilty Barbra Streisand
15 November
22 November Super Trouper ABBA
29 November
6 December
13 December
20 December
27 December

Top 50 selling singles[edit]

Position Song Title Artist Sales Highest Position
1 "Don't Stand So Close To Me" The Police 808,000 1
2 "Woman In Love" Barbra Streisand 780,000 1
3 "Feels Like I'm in Love" Kelly Marie 760,000 1
4 "Super Trouper" ABBA 709,000 1
5 "D.I.S.C.O." Ottawan 706,000 2
6 "The Tide is High" Blondie 686,000 1
7 "Geno" Dexys Midnight Runners 683,000 1
8 "Together We Are Beautiful" Fern Kinney 672,000 1
9 "Coward of the County" Kenny Rogers 667,000 1
10 "Working My Way Back to You" Detroit Spinners 640,000 1
11 "9 to 5" Sheena Easton 638,000 3
12 "Baggy Trousers" Madness 623,000 3
13 "Ashes To Ashes" David Bowie 622,000 1
14 "Song from M*A*S*H" (Suicide is Painless)" Johnny Mandel 595,000 1
15 "Going Underground" / "Dreams of Children" The Jam 585,000 1
16 "Crying" Don McLean 580,000 1
17 "(Just Like) Starting Over" John Lennon 570,000 1
18 "The Winner Takes It All" ABBA 565,000 1
19 "Dance Yourself Dizzy" Liquid Gold 560,000 2
20 "There's No-one Quite Like Grandma" St Winifred's School Choir 550,000 1
21 "Atomic" Blondie 535,000 1
22 "Upside Down" Diana Ross 505,000 2
23 "Use It Up And Wear It Out" Odyssey 500,000 1
24 "Start!" The Jam 490,000 1
25 "Master Blaster (Jammin')" Stevie Wonder 475,000 2
26 "Funkytown" Lipps Inc 465,000 2
27 "I'm In the Mood for Dancing" The Nolans 450,000 3
28 "If You're Looking For a Way Out" Odyssey 435,000 6
29 "One Day I'll Fly Away" Randy Crawford 434,000 2
30 "The Special AKA Live!" (EP) The Specials 405,000 1
31 "What You're Proposing" Status Quo 401,000 2
32 Take That Look Off Your Face Marti Webb 400,000 3
33 "No Doubt About It" Hot Chocolate 390,000 2
34 "Stop the Cavalry" Jona Lewie 380,000 3
35 "Brass In Pocket" The Pretenders 370,000 1
36 "Oops Upside Your Head" The Gap Band 360,000 6
37 "What's Another Year" Johnny Logan 359,000 1
38 "Xanadu" Olivia Newton-John & Electric Light Orchestra 350,000 1
39 "Special Brew" Bad Manners 345,000 3
40 "King" / "Food for Thought' UB40 340,000 4
41 "And The Beat Goes On" The Whispers 339,000 2
42 "Modern Girl" Sheena Easton 335,000 8
43 "Jump To The Beat" Stacy Lattisaw 335,000 3
44 "Turning Japanese" The Vapors 330,000 3
45 "Call Me" Blondie 330,000 1
46 "Back Together Again" Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway 320,000 3
47 "With You I'm Born Again" Billy Preston & Syreeta 319,000 2
48 "My Girl" Madness 314,000 3
49 "Fashion" David Bowie 310,000 5
50 "Silver Dream Machine" David Essex 305,000 4

Top selling albums[edit]

  1. Super Trouper - ABBA
  2. Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police
  3. Greatest Hits - Rose Royce
  4. Guilty - Barbra Streisand
  5. Pretenders - The Pretenders
  6. Regatta De Blanc - The Police
  7. Flesh and Blood - Roxy Music
  8. Manilow Magic - Barry Manilow
  9. Off the Wall - Michael Jackson
  10. Duke - Genesis
  11. Sky 2 - Sky
  12. Double Fantasy - John Lennon
  13. One Step Beyond... - Madness
  14. 12 Gold Bars - Status Quo
  15. String of Hits - The Shadows
  16. Last Dance - Various Artists
  17. Greatest Hits Vol. 2 - ABBA
  18. Outlandos D'Amour - The Police
  19. The Magic of - Boney M
  20. Scary Monsters and Super Creeps - David Bowie
  21. Greatest Hits - Dr Hook
  22. Tell Me on a Sunday - Marti Webb
  23. Absolutely - Madness
  24. Not the Nine O'Clock News - Not the Nine O'Clock News
  25. Tears and Laughter - Johnny Mathis
  26. Signing Off - UB40
  27. Never for Ever - Kate Bush
  28. The Wall - Pink Floyd
  29. The Specials - The Specials
  30. I Just Can't Stop It - The Beat
  31. Greatest Hits Vol. 1 - Rod Stewart
  32. Give Me the Night - George Benson
  33. Get Happy!! - Elvis Costello and the Attractions
  34. Me Myself I - Joan Armatrading
  35. Bat Out of Hell - Meat Loaf
  36. McCartney II - Paul McCartney
  37. Emotional Rescue - The Rolling Stones
  38. Back in Black - AC/DC
  39. Peter Gabriel - Peter Gabriel
  40. Eat to the Beat - Blondie
  41. Autoamerican - Blondie
  42. Parallel Lines - Blondie
  43. Hotter Than July - Stevie Wonder
  44. Sometimes You Win - Dr Hook
  45. Wheels of Steel - Saxon
  46. The Game - Queen
  47. Sound Affects - The Jam
  48. Kings of the Wild Frontier - Adam & the Ants
  49. War of the Worlds - Jeff Wayne
  50. Breaking Glass - Hazel O'Connor

[1]

Classical music: new works[edit]

Opera[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Music Week, top selling albums of 1980 (pub. January 1981)