1984 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 1984 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Summary[edit]

1984 was a year of several huge selling releases, including at the time the biggest selling single ever. Six singles this year sold over a million copies, the joint highest number ever along with 1998. Out of the top 10 biggest selling songs of the 1980s, six of them all peaked in 1984 including the entire top 4.

One of the biggest bands of the year was Frankie Goes to Hollywood, a five-piece from Liverpool fronted by Holly Johnson. Their debut single "Relax" was banned by the BBC for sexually suggestive content, and was number 1 for five weeks. Their second single "Two Tribes" referenced the ongoing cold war and featured a music video of lookalikes of American president Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko violently fighting, and was number 1 for nine weeks in the summer, both songs selling over a million. In November they made chart history when their third single, "The Power of Love", also made number 1. They were only the second band in chart history to have their first three releases all go to number 1, following Gerry & The Pacemakers twenty years earlier; however, it would be their last. Their album "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" also reached number 1.

Wham! had their first number 1 single this year after four earlier top 10 hits, the upbeat "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go". This would soon be followed by their second, "Freedom" later in the year, and their second album Make It Big also reached the top. One of the members of the band, George Michael, also released a solo single this year, the ballad "Careless Whisper" co-written by his bandmate Andrew Ridgeley. It was number 1 for three weeks and sold over a million.

A big-selling singer who would go on to have many hits over the next two decades first appeared this year, American singer Madonna. Her debut hit "Holiday" reached number 6, and "Like a Virgin" charted three places higher at number 3. From the same country came Prince, who had his first two top 10 hits with "When Doves Cry" and "Purple Rain". For both artists, 1985 would bring even more hits as would the rest of the decade.

After eighteen years, Stevie Wonder achieved his first solo number 1 single with "I Just Called to Say I Love You", from the soundtrack of the film "The Woman in Red", selling over a million. He had first charted at the age of 15 with "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" in 1966, and had previously had a number 1 in 1982 with a duet with Paul McCartney, "Ebony and Ivory". In 1985 his harmonica playing featured in Eurythmics' number 1 hit "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)".

The Christmas number one single contained over 40 artists. "Do They Know It's Christmas?", written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, was made in response to ongoing famine in Ethiopia, so the supergroup Band Aid was formed to sing a charity record about it, all proceeds from the song going to the charity to raise money for help. Popular acts of the day such as Wham!, U2, Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and Boy George sung on the record.

Not only did the song become the Christmas number one, it sold over three million copies and became the biggest selling single of all time, a record that held for the next thirteen years. The song at number 2, Wham!'s Last Christmas, sold over a million (making it the highest selling song ever not to be number 1) and proceeds from that also went to the charity. Further Band Aid singles would be released in 1989 (Band Aid II) and 2004 (Band Aid 20), both also Christmas number one.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number one singles[edit]

[1]

Chart date
(week ending)
Song Artist(s) Weeks
7 January "Only You" Flying Pickets 1
14 January "Pipes of Peace" Paul McCartney 2
21 January
28 January "Relax" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 5
4 February
11 February
18 February
25 February
3 March "99 Red Balloons" Nena 3
10 March
17 March
24 March "Hello" Lionel Richie 6
31 March
7 April
14 April
21 April
28 April
5 May "The Reflex" Duran Duran 4
12 May
19 May
26 May
2 June "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" Wham! 2
9 June
16 June "Two Tribes" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 9
23 June
30 June
7 July
14 July
21 July
28 July
4 August
11 August
18 August "Careless Whisper" George Michael 3
25 August
1 September
8 September "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Stevie Wonder 6
15 September
23 September
30 September
6 October
13 October
20 October "Freedom" Wham! 3
27 October
3 November
10 November "I Feel for You" Chaka Khan 3
17 November
24 November
1 December "I Should Have Known Better" Jim Diamond 1
8 December "The Power of Love" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
15 December "Do They Know It's Christmas?" Band Aid 3
22 December
29 December

Number one albums[edit]

[2]

Chart date
(week ending)
Album Artist(s) Weeks
7 January Now 1 Various Artists 1
14 January No Parlez Paul Young 1
21 January Now 1 Various Artists 1
28 January Thriller Michael Jackson 1
4 February Touch Eurythmics 2
11 February
18 February Sparkle in the Rain Simple Minds 1
25 February Into the Gap Thompson Twins 3
3 March
10 March
17 March Human's Lib Howard Jones 2
24 March
31 March Can't Slow Down Lionel Richie 2
7 April
14 April Now 2 Various Artists 5
21 April
28 April
5 May
12 May
19 May Legend Bob Marley and the Wailers 12
26 May
2 June
9 June
16 June
23 June
30 June
7 July
14 July
21 July
28 July
4 August
11 August Now 3 Various Artists 8
18 August
25 August
1 September
8 September
15 September
22 September
29 September
6 October Tonight David Bowie 1
13 October The Unforgettable Fire U2 2
20 October
27 October Steeltown Big Country 1
3 November Give My Regards to Broad Street Paul McCartney 1
10 November Welcome to the Pleasuredome Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
17 November Make It Big Wham! 2
24 November
1 December Hits 1 Various Artists 5
8 December
15 December
22 December
29 December

Year-end charts[edit]

Best-selling singles[edit]

[3][4]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Do They Know It's Christmas? Band Aid 1
2 "I Just Called to Say I Love You" Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder 1
3 "Relax" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
4 "Two Tribes" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
5 "Careless Whisper" Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael 1
6 "Last Christmas"/"Everything She Wants" (Remix) Wham! 2
7 "Hello" Richie, LionelLionel Richie 1
8 "Agadoo" Black Lace 2
9 "Ghostbusters" Parker, Jr., RayRay Parker, Jr. 2
10 "Freedom" Wham! 1
11 "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" Wham! 1
12 "I Feel for You" Khan, ChakaChaka Khan 1
13 "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)" Grandmaster Melle Mel 7
14 "We All Stand Together" McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney and the Frog Chorus 3
15 "99 Red Balloons" Nena 1
16 "The Power of Love" Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
17 "The Reflex" Duran Duran 1
18 "Like a Virgin" Madonna 3
19 "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" Collins, PhilPhil Collins 2
20 "What's Love Got to Do with It" Turner, TinaTina Turner 3
21 "I Should Have Known Better" Diamond, JimJim Diamond 1
22 "No More Lonely Nights" McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney 2
23 "I Want to Break Free" Queen 3
24 "Hole in My Shoe" Neil 2
25 "Time After Time" Lauper, CyndiCyndi Lauper 3
26 "Radio Ga Ga" Queen 2
27 "Together in Electric Dreams" Moroder, GiorgioGiorgio Moroder with Philip Oakey 3
28 "When Doves Cry" Prince 4
29 "Doctor! Doctor!" Thompson Twins 3
30 "Self Control" Branigan, LauraLaura Branigan 5
31 "The War Song" Culture Club 2
32 "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" Lauper, CyndiCyndi Lauper 2
33 "The Wild Boys" Duran Duran 2
34 "I Won't Let the Sun Go Down on Me" Kershaw, NikNik Kershaw 2
35 "Like to Get to Know You Well" Jones, HowardHoward Jones 4
36 "Nellie the Elephant" Toy Dolls 4
37 "Pride (In the Name of Love)" U2 3
38 "Automatic" Pointer Sisters, TheThe Pointer Sisters 2
39 "Joanna" Kool & the Gang 2
40 "That's Livin' Alright" Fagin, JoeJoe Fagin 3
41 "Wouldn't It Be Good" Kershaw, NikNik Kershaw 4
42 "Street Dance" Break Machine 3
43 "Smalltown Boy" Bronski Beat 3
44 "Break My Stride" Wilder, MatthewMatthew Wilder 4
45 "The Riddle" Kershaw, NikNik Kershaw 3
46 "Dr. Beat" Miami Sound Machine 6
47 "Let's Hear It for the Boy" Williams, DenieceDeniece Williams 2
48 "The NeverEnding Story" Limahl 4
49 "Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)" Ocean, BillyBilly Ocean 6
50 "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" Dean, HazellHazell Dean 4

Best-selling albums[edit]

[5][6]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 Can't Slow Down Richie, LionelLionel Richie 1
2 Hits 1 Various Artists 1
3 Legend Marley and The Wailers, BobBob Marley and The Wailers 1
4 Make It Big Wham! 1
5 Now 3 Various Artists 1
6 Thriller Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 1
7 Diamond Life Sade 2
8 Welcome to the Pleasuredome Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1
9 An Innocent Man Joel, BillyBilly Joel 2
10 Now 4 Various Artists 2
11 The Collection Ultravox 2
12 Into the Gap Thompson Twins 1
13 Now 2 Various Artists 1
14 The Works Queen 2
15 Alf Moyet, AlisonAlison Moyet 3[a]
16 Human's Lib Jones, HowardHoward Jones 1
17 Eliminator ZZ Top 3
18 Private Dancer Turner, TinaTina Turner 2
19 Party Party: 16 Great Party Icebreakers Black Lace 4
20 Parade Spandau Ballet 2
21 The Unforgettable Fire U2 1
22 Human Racing Kershaw, NikNik Kershaw 5
23 Greatest Hits Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 8
24 No Parlez Young, PaulPaul Young 1
25 Alchemy: Dire Straits Live Dire Straits 3
26 Touch Eurythmics 1
27 Give My Regards to Broad Street McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney 1
28 Under a Blood Red Sky U2 6[b]
29 Now That's What I Call Music Various Artists 1
30 The Woman in Red Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder 2
31 Arena Duran Duran 6
32 Yesterday Once More Carpenters 10
33 Breaking Hearts John, EltonElton John 2
34 Break Out Pointer Sisters, TheThe Pointer Sisters 9
35 Colour by Numbers Culture Club 4[c]
36 Café Bleu Style Council, TheThe Style Council 2
37 Born in the U.S.A. Springsteen, BruceBruce Springsteen 2[d]
38 The Smiths Smiths, TheThe Smiths 2
39 Cinema Paige, ElaineElaine Paige 12
40 The Crossing Big Country 7[e]
41 The Art Garfunkel Album Garfunkel, ArtArt Garfunkel 12
42 The Riddle Kershaw, NikNik Kershaw 8
43 Purple Rain Prince & the Revolution 9[f]
44 Tonight Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie 1
45 Labour of Love UB40 11[g]
46 Sparkle in the Rain Simple Minds 1
47 Greatest Hits Queen 21[h]
48 Footloose Original Soundtrack 7
49 12 Gold Bars Volume II (And I) Status Quo 12
50 The Age of Consent Bronski Beat 4

Notes:

  1. ^ Reached number 1 in 1985
  2. ^ Reached number 2 in 1983
  3. ^ Reached number 1 in 1983
  4. ^ Reached number 1 in 1985
  5. ^ Reached number 3 in 1983
  6. ^ Reached number 7 in 1985
  7. ^ Reached number 1 in 1983
  8. ^ Reached number 1 in 1981

Classical music: new works[edit]

Musical theatre[edit]

Musical films[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

Music awards[edit]

BRIT Awards[edit]

The 1984 BRIT Awards winners were:

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1984 The Number One Singles". The Official Charts Company. 
  2. ^ "1984 The Number One Albums". The Official Charts Company. 
  3. ^ "Top 100 Singles". Music Week (London, England: Morgan-Grampian plc): 37. 26 January 1985. 
  4. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1985). "Top 100 singles: 1984". BPI Year Book 1985 (7th ed.). British Phonographic Industry. pp. 46–47. ISBN 0-906154-06-5. 
  5. ^ "Top 100 Albums". Music Week (London, England: Morgan-Grampian plc): 42. 26 January 1985. 
  6. ^ Scaping (1985). "Top 100 albums: 1984". pp. 48–49.
  7. ^ Howard Goodall: Works. Accessed 16 April 2013

External links[edit]