1981 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 1981 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.

Events[edit]

Charts[edit]

Number-one singles[edit]

Issue Date Song Artist(s)
3 January "There's No-one Quite Like Grandma" St Winifred's School Choir
10 January "Imagine" John Lennon
17 January
24 January
31 January
7 February "Woman"
14 February
21 February "Shaddap You Face" Joe Dolce Music Theatre
28 February
7 March
14 March "Jealous Guy" Roxy Music
21 March
28 March "This Ole House" Shakin' Stevens
4 April
11 April
18 April "Making Your Mind Up" Bucks Fizz
25 April
2 May
9 May "Stand and Deliver" Adam and the Ants
16 May
23 May
30 May
6 June
13 June "Being With You" Smokey Robinson
20 June
27 June "One Day In Your Life" Michael Jackson
4 July
11 July "Ghost Town" The Specials
18 July
25 July
1 August "Green Door" Shakin' Stevens
8 August
15 August
22 August
29 August "Japanese Boy" Aneka
5 September "Tainted Love" Soft Cell
12 September
19 September "Prince Charming" Adam and the Ants
26 September
3 October
10 October
17 October "It's My Party" Dave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin
24 October
31 October
7 November
14 November "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" The Police
21 November "Under Pressure" Queen and David Bowie
28 November
5 December "Begin the Beguine" Julio Iglesias
12 December "Don't You Want Me" The Human League
19 December
26 December

Number-one albums[edit]

Issue Date Title Artist(s)
3 January Super Trouper ABBA
10 January
17 January
24 January Kings of the Wild Frontier Adam and the Ants
31 January
7 February Double Fantasy John Lennon and Yoko Ono
14 February
21 February Face Value Phil Collins
28 February
7 March
14 March Kings of the Wild Frontier Adam and the Ants
21 March
28 March
4 April
11 April
18 April
25 April
2 May
9 May
16 May
23 May Stars on 45 Starsound
30 May
6 June
13 June
20 June
27 June No Sleep 'til Hammersmith Motörhead
4 July Disco Daze and Disco Nites Various Artists
11 July Love Songs Cliff Richard
18 July
25 July
1 August
8 August
15 August The Official BBC Album
of the Royal Wedding
Various Artists
22 August
29 August Time Electric Light Orchestra
5 September
12 September Dead Ringer Meat Loaf
19 September
26 September Abacab Genesis
3 October
10 October Ghost in the Machine The Police
17 October
24 October
31 October Dare The Human League
7 November Shaky Shakin' Stevens
14 November Greatest Hits Queen
21 November
28 November
5 December
12 December Chart Hits '81 Various Artists
19 December The Visitors ABBA
26 December

Year-end charts[edit]

The tables below include sales between 1 January and 31 December 1981: the year-end charts reproduced in the issue of Music Week dated 26 December 1981 and played on Radio 1 on 3 January 1982 only include sales figures up until 12 December 1981.

Best-selling singles[edit]

[1][2]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 "Tainted Love" Soft Cell 1
2 "Stand and Deliver" Adam and the Ants 1
3 "Prince Charming" 1
4 "This Ole House" Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 1
5 "Vienna" Ultravox 2
6 "One Day in Your LIfe" Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson 1
7 "Making Your Mind Up" Bucks Fizz 1
8 "Shaddup You Face" Dolce, JoeJoe Dolce Music Theatre 1
9 "The Birdie Song (Birdie Dance)" Tweets, TheThe Tweets 2
10 "You Drive Me Crazy" Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 2
11 "Ghost Town" Specials, TheThe Specials 1
12 "It's My Party" Stewart, DaveDave Stewart with Barbara Gaskin 1
13 "Being with You" Robinson, SmokeySmokey Robinson 1
14 "Happy Birthday" Altered Images 2
15 "Hands Up (Give Me Your Heart)" Ottawan 3
16 "Woman" Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon 1
17 "Stars on 45" Starsound 2
18 "Green Door" Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 1
19 "Imagine" Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon 1
20 "Begin the Beguine (Volver a Empezar)" Iglesias, JulioJulio Iglesias 1
21 "Don't You Want Me" Human League, TheThe Human League 1
22 "Jealous Guy" Roxy Music 1
23 "Kids in America" Wilde, KimKim Wilde 2
24 "Japanese Boy" Aneka 1
25 "Chi Mai" Morricone, EnnioEnnio Morricone 2
26 "Hooked on Classics" Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, arranged and conducted by Louis Clark 2
27 "Daddy's Home" Richard, CliffCliff Richard 2
28 "Souvenir" Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
29 "Can Can" Bad Manners 3
30 "Antmusic" Adam and the Ants 2
31 "(Do) The Hucklebuck" Coast to Coast 5
32 "Hold On Tight" ELO 4
33 "More Than in Love" Robbins, KateKate Robbins and Beyond 2
34 "Love Action (I Believe in Love)" Human League, TheThe Human League 3
35 "Body Talk" Imagination 4
36 "Stars On 45 (Volume 2)" Starsound 2
37 "Lately" Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder 3
38 "In the Air Tonight" Collins, PhilPhil Collins 2
39 "Going Back to My Roots" Odyssey 4
40 "Under Pressure" Queen and David Bowie 1
41 "Under Your Thumb" Godley and Creme 3
42 "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" Police, TheThe Police 1
43 "Happy Birthday" Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder 2
44 "Kings of the Wild Frontier" Adam and the Ants 2
45 "I Surrender" Rainbow 3
46 "Pretend" Stardust, AlvinAlvin Stardust 4
47 "How 'Bout Us" Champaign 5
48 "Endless Love" Ross, DianaDiana Ross and Lionel Richie 7
49 "Four from Toyah" (EP) Toyah 4
50 "Let's Groove" Earth, Wind & Fire 3

Best-selling albums[edit]

[3][4]

No. Title Artist Peak
position
1 Kings of the Wild Frontier Adam and the Ants 1
2 Greatest Hits Queen 1
3 Dare Human League, TheThe Human League 1
4 Face Value Collins, PhilPhil Collins 1
5 Shaky Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 1
6 Ghost in the Machine Police, TheThe Police 1
7 Love Songs Richard, CliffCliff Richard 1
8 Chart Hits '81 Various Artists 1
9 Prince Charming Adam and the Ants 2
10 Double Fantasy Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon and Yoko Ono 1
11 The Jazz Singer Diamond, NeilNeil Diamond 3
12 Making Movies Dire Straits 4
13 Stars on 45 Starsound 1
14 Hotter than July Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder 3[a]
15 Vienna Ultravox 3
16 Secret Combination Crawford, RandyRandy Crawford 2
17 The Visitors ABBA 1
18 The Best of Blondie Blondie 4
19 Bat Out of Hell Meat Loaf 9
20 Manilow Magic: The Best of Barry Manilow Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow 4[b]
21 Time Electric Light Orchestra 1
22 Pearls Brooks, ElkieElkie Brooks 5
23 Dead Ringer Meat Loaf 1
24 Anthem Toyah 2
25 Hooked on Classics Royal Philharmonic Orchestra 4
26 Guilty Streisand, BarbraBarbra Streisand 3[c]
27 Duran Duran Duran Duran 3
28 Present Arms UB40 2
29 Super Hits 1 & 2 Various Artists 2
30 This Ole House Stevens, Shakin'Shakin' Stevens 2
31 Wired for Sound Richard, CliffCliff Richard 4
32 Abacab Genesis 1
33 Disco Daze/Disco Nites Various Artists 1
34 Architecture and Morality Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark 3
35 Tattoo You Rolling Stones, TheThe Rolling Stones 2
36 The Simon and Garfunkel Collection: 17 of Their All-Time Greatest Recordings Simon & Garfunkel 4
37 Hi Infidelity REO Speedwagon 6
38 If I Should Love Again Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow 5
39 The Best of Bowie Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie 3
40 Super Trouper ABBA 1
41 No Sleep 'til Hammersmith Motörhead 1
42 The Official BBC Album of the Royal Wedding Various Artists 1
43 Christopher Cross Cross, ChristopherChristopher Cross 1
44 7 Madness 5
45 The River Springsteen, BruceBruce Springsteen 2
46 Tonight I'm Yours Stewart, RodRod Stewart 8
47 Greatest Hits Dr. Hook 2
48 Difficult to Cure Rainbow 3
49 Barry Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow 5
50 Signing Off UB40 2

Notes:

  1. ^ Reached number 2 in 1980
  2. ^ Reached number 3 in 1980
  3. ^ Reached number 1 in 1980

Classical music: new works[edit]

Opera[edit]

Musical theatre[edit]

Musical films[edit]

Births[edit]

Deaths[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Scaping, Peter, ed. (1982). "The Top 200 Singles: January–December 1981". BPI Year Book 1982 (5th ed.). London, England: The British Phonographic Industry Ltd. pp. 46–49. ISBN 0-906154-03-0. 
  2. ^ Jones, Alan; Lazell, Barry; Rees, Dafydd (1982). "The Top 200 Singles (UK)". Chart File 1982. London, England: Virgin Books. pp. 74–77. ISBN 0-907080-49-9. 
  3. ^ Scaping (1982). "The Top 200 LPs: January–December 1981". pp. 50–53.
  4. ^ Jones; Lazell; Rees (1982). "The Top 200 Albums (UK)". pp. 78–81.
  5. ^ Dean, Winton (1981). "Music in London: Anna Karenina". The Musical Times Vol. 122, No. 1661 (July 1981), p. 487. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  6. ^ Tilbury, John. Cornelius Cardew: A Life Unfinished Harlow: Copula, an imprint of Matchless Recordings and Publishing, 2008. ISBN 978-0-9525492-3-9
  7. ^ Bierley, Paul E; Rehrig, William H (1991). The heritage encyclopedia of band music : composers and their music. Westerville, Ohio: Integrity Press. ISBN 0-918048-08-7.