List of NME number-one singles of the 1980s

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NME (or New Musical Express) is a British weekly pop music newspaper. NME was the first record chart in the United Kingdom based on sales having imitated an idea started in American Billboard magazine on 14 November 1952. From 1960, Record Retailer began compiling a chart and this is regarded by The Official Charts Company and Guinness' British Hit Singles & Albums as the canonical source for the British singles chart. Prior to 15 February 1969, when the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) chart was established as part of a joint commission by Record Retailer and the BBC,[1] there was no one universally accepted or official source and many periodicals compiled their own chart.[2][3][4] Nevertheless, in the 1960s, NME had the biggest circulation of charts in the decade and was most widely followed.[2][3] Although, not regarded as the primary source for UK charts, NME continued to compile an independent chart until 14 May 1988. It was the longest independently complied chart and, when it ceased, NME published the Market Research Information Bureau chart.[5] From 19 February 1983 to 22 September 1984, the new NME chart was broadcast weekly on Capital Radio's Pick of the Pops Take Two, presented by Alan Freeman; this show also featured archive NME charts.

Notable differences when compared to the official chart run by BMRB and, later, Gallup are an additional two number-one singles in the decade for Rick Astley, David Bowie, Spandau Ballet and Phil Collins. Significantly, Tears for Fears' song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" spent three weeks at the top of the NME chart although it never topped the Gallup chart. Additionally, as well as making number one on the NME chart and not the official chart, a-ha's "Take on Me" and Ultravox's "Vienna" were also in the top five best-selling singles of their year.[6] Eighteen acts achieved a number-one single on the NME chart but never had an official number-one single[nb 1] although two of these had songs they had written reach number one when performed by another artist.[nb 2]

Number-one singles[edit]

Key
The song did not reach number one on the BMRB which later became the Gallup chart which is considered as the official chart after 15 February 1969.
[nb #] The song spent a week at number one where it shared the top spot with another song.
Contents
No. Artist[nb 3] Single[nb 3] Reached
number one[nb 3]
Weeks at
number one[nb 3]
1980
488 Pretenders "Brass in Pocket" 19 January 1980 2
489 Madness "My Girl" ‡ 2 February 1980 1
490 The Specials The Special A.K.A. Live![nb 4] 9 February 1980 1
491 Rogers, KennyKenny Rogers "Coward of the County" 16 February 1980 2
492 Blondie "Atomic" 1 March 1980 3
493 Kinney, FernFern Kinney "Together We Are Beautiful" 22 March 1980 1
494 The Jam "Going Underground" 29 March 1980 2
495 Liquid Gold "Dance Yourself Dizzy" ‡ 12 April 1980 2
496 Blondie "Call Me" 26 April 1980 2
497 Dexy's Midnight Runners "Geno" 10 May 1980 1
498 Logan, JohnnyJohnny Logan "What's Another Year" 17 May 1980 2
499 Hot Chocolate "No Doubt About It" ‡ 31 May 1980 1
500 M*A*S*H "Theme from M*A*S*H (Suicide is Painless)" 7 June 1980 2
501 Lipps Inc "Funkytown" ‡ 21 June 1980 1
502 McLean, DonDon McLean "Crying" 28 June 1980 2
503 Newton-John, OliviaOlivia Newton-John and the Electric Light Orchestra "Xanadu" 12 July 1980 3
504 Odyssey "Use It Up and Wear It Out" 2 August 1980 1
505 Ross, DianaDiana Ross "Upside Down" ‡ 9 August 1980 1
506 ABBA "Winner Takes It All, TheThe Winner Takes It All" 16 August 1980 2
507 Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie "Ashes to Ashes" 30 August 1980 2
508 The Jam "Start!" 13 September 1980 1
509 Crawford, RandyRandy Crawford "One Day I'll Fly Away" ‡ 20 September 1980 2
510 The Police "Don't Stand So Close to Me" 4 October 1980 4
511 Streisand, BarbraBarbra Streisand "Woman in Love" 1 November 1980 3
512 Blondie "Tide Is High, TheThe Tide Is High" 22 November 1980 2
513 ABBA "Super Trouper" 6 December 1980 2
514 Lewie, JonaJona Lewie "Stop the Cavalry" ‡ 20 December 1980 2[nb 3]2[nb 5]
1981
515 Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon "(Just Like) Starting Over" 3 January 1981 1[nb 3]1[nb 5]
516 Lennon, JohnJohn Lennon "Imagine" 10 January 1981 4
517 Collins, PhilPhil Collins "In the Air Tonight" ‡ 7 February 1981 2
518 Ultravox "Vienna" ‡ 21 February 1981 1
519 Joe Dolce Music Theatre "Shaddap You Face" 28 February 1981 2
520 Roxy Music "Jealous Guy" 14 March 1981 2
521 Shakin' Stevens "This Ole House" 28 March 1981 3
522 Bucks Fizz "Making Your Mind Up" 18 April 1981 2
523 Morricone, EnnioEnnio Morricone "Chi Mai (Theme from The Life and Times of David Lloyd George)" ‡ 2 May 1981 1
524 Starsound "Stars on 45" ‡ 9 May 1981 1
525 Adam and the Ants "Stand and Deliver" 16 May 1981 4
526 Robinson, SmokeySmokey Robinson "Being with You" 13 June 1981 2
527 Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson "One Day In Your Life" 27 June 1981 3
528 The Specials "Ghost Town" 18 July 1981 2
529 Spandau Ballet "Chant No. 1 (I Don't Need This Pressure On)" ‡ 1 August 1981 1
530 Shakin' Stevens "Green Door" 8 August 1981 1
531 Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder "Happy Birthday" ‡ 15 August 1981 1
re Shakin' Stevens "Green Door" 22 August 1981 2
532 Aneka "Japanese Boy" 5 September 1981 1
533 Soft Cell "Tainted Love" 12 September 1981 1
534 Adam and the Ants "Prince Charming" 19 September 1981 5
535 Stewart, DaveDave Stewart and Barbara Gaskin "It's My Party" 24 October 1981 2
536 Altered Images "Happy Birthday" ‡ 7 November 1981 1
537 The Police "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" 14 November 1981 2
538 Queen and David Bowie "Under Pressure" 28 November 1981 2
539 Iglesias, JulioJulio Iglesias "Begin the Beguine (Volver A Empezar) 12 December 1981 1
540 The Human League "Don't You Want Me" 19 December 1981 1[nb 4]1[nb 6]
1982
541 ABBA "One of Us" ‡ 2 January 1982 1[nb 4]1[nb 6]
re The Human League "Don't You Want Me" 9 January 1982 1
542 Bucks Fizz "Land of Make Believe, TheThe Land of Make Believe" 16 January 1982 2
543 Kraftwerk "Computer Love" / "The Model" 30 January 1982 3
544 The Jam "Town Called Malice" 20 February 1982 3
545 Tight Fit "Lion Sleeps Tonight, TheThe Lion Sleeps Tonight" 13 March 1982 3
546 Goombay Dance Band "Seven Tears" 3 April 1982 2
547 Bucks Fizz "My Camera Never Lies" 17 April 1982 2
548 McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney and Stevie Wonder "Ebony and Ivory" 1 May 1982 2
549 Ph.D. "I Won't Let You Down" ‡ 15 May 1982 1
550 Nicole "A Little Peace" 22 May 1982 1
551 Ant, AdamAdam Ant "Goody Two Shoes" 29 May 1982 1
552 Madness "House of Fun" 5 June 1982 2
re Ant, AdamAdam Ant "Goody Two Shoes" 19 June 1982 2
553 Charlene "I've Never Been to Me" 3 July 1982 1
554 Captain Sensible "Happy Talk" 10 July 1982 1
555 Steve Miller Band "Abracadabra" ‡ 17 July 1982 1
556 Cara, IreneIrene Cara "Fame" 24 July 1982 2
557 Dexy's Midnight Runners "Come On Eileen" 7 August 1982 4
558 Survivor "Eye of the Tiger" 4 September 1982 3
559 Dire Straits "Private Investigations" ‡ 25 September 1982 1
560 The Jam "Bitterest Pill, TheThe Bitterest Pill" ‡ 2 October 1982 1
561 Musical Youth "Pass the Dutchie" 9 October 1982 2
562 Culture Club "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" 23 October 1982 3
563 Grant, EddyEddy Grant "I Don't Wanna Dance" 13 November 1982 2
564 Warwick, DionneDionne Warwick "Heartbreaker" ‡ 27 November 1982 1
565 The Human League "Mirror Man" ‡ 4 December 1982 1
566 The Jam "Beat Surrender" 18 December 1982 1
567 Culture Club "Time (Clock of the Heart)" ‡ 25 December 1982 1[nb 5]1[nb 7]
1983
568 Renée and Renato "Save Your Love" 8 January 1983 1[nb 5]1[nb 7]
569 Collins, PhilPhil Collins "You Can't Hurry Love" 15 January 1983 2
570 Men at Work "Down Under" 29 January 1983 3
571 Kajagoogoo "Too Shy" 19 February 1983 2
572 Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson "Billie Jean" 5 March 1983 2
573 Tyler, BonnieBonnie Tyler "Total Eclipse of the Heart" 19 March 1983 2
574 Duran Duran "Is There Something I Should Know?" 2 April 1983 2
575 Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie "Let's Dance" 16 April 1983 3
576 Spandau Ballet "True" 7 May 1983 4
577 New Edition "Candy Girl" 4 June 1983 1
578 The Police "Every Breath You Take" 11 June 1983 2
579 Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie "China Girl" ‡ 25 June 1983 1
re The Police "Every Breath You Take" 2 July 1983 1
580 Stewart, RodRod Stewart "Baby Jane" 9 July 1983 1
581 Young, PaulPaul Young "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)" 16 July 1983 5
582 KC and the Sunshine Band "Give It Up" 20 August 1983 1
583 Spandau Ballet "Gold" ‡ 27 August 1983 2
584 UB40 "Red Red Wine" 10 September 1983 3
585 Culture Club "Karma Chameleon" 1 October 1983 6
586 Joel, BillyBilly Joel "Uptown Girl" 12 November 1983 3
587 The Assembly "Never Never" ‡ 3 December 1983 1
588 Young, PaulPaul Young "Love of the Common People" ‡ 10 December 1983 1
589 The Flying Pickets "Only You" 17 December 1983 2[nb 6]2[nb 8]
1984
re The Flying Pickets "Only You" 7 January 1984 2[nb 6]2[nb 8]
590 McCartney, PaulPaul McCartney "Pipes of Peace" 21 January 1984 1
591 Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Relax" 28 January 1984 3
592 Queen "Radio Ga Ga" ‡ 18 February 1984 1
re Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Relax" 25 February 1984 1
593 Nena "99 Red Balloons" 3 March 1984 4
594 Richie, LionelLionel Richie "Hello" 31 March 1984 5
595 Collins, PhilPhil Collins "Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)" ‡ 5 May 1984 1
596 Duran Duran "Reflex, TheThe Reflex" 12 May 1984 2
597 The Pointer Sisters "Automatic" ‡ 26 May 1984 2
598 Wham! "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" 9 June 1984 2
599 Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Two Tribes" 23 June 1984 8
600 Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael "Careless Whisper" 18 August 1984 3
601 Wonder, StevieStevie Wonder "I Just Called to Say I Love You" 8 September 1984 6
602 Culture Club "War Song, TheThe War Song" ‡ 20 October 1984 1
603 Wham! "Freedom" 27 October 1984 2
604 Khan, ChakaChaka Khan "I Feel for You" 17 November 1984 3
605 Diamond, JimJim Diamond "I Should Have Known Better" 8 December 1984 1
606 Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 15 December 1984 2[nb 7]2[nb 9]
1985
re Band Aid "Do They Know It's Christmas?" 5 January 1985 2[nb 7]2[nb 9]
607 Wham! "Everything She Wants" / "Last Christmas" ‡ 19 January 1985 1
608 Foreigner "I Want to Know What Love Is" 26 January 1985 2
609 Paige, ElaineElaine Paige and Barbara Dickson "I Know Him So Well" 9 February 1985 1
610 King "Love and Pride" ‡ 16 February 1985 1
re Paige, ElaineElaine Paige and Barbara Dickson "I Know Him So Well" 23 February 1985 1
611 Dead or Alive "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)" 9 March 1985 2
612 Bailey, PhilipPhilip Bailey (duet with Phil Collins) "Easy Lover" 23 March 1985 3
613 Frankie Goes to Hollywood "Welcome to the Pleasuredome" ‡ 13 April 1985 1
614 Tears for Fears "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" ‡ 20 April 1985 3
615 Nelson, PhyllisPhyllis Nelson "Move Closer" 11 May 1985 1
616 Hardcastle, PaulPaul Hardcastle "19" 18 May 1985 5
617 The Crowd "You'll Never Walk Alone" 22 June 1985 1
618 Madonna "Crazy for You" ‡ 29 June 1985 1
619 Sister Sledge "Frankie" 6 July 1985 3
620 Eurythmics "There Must Be an Angel (Playing with My Heart)" 27 July 1985 2
621 Madonna "Into the Groove" 10 August 1985 4
622 UB40 and Chrissie Hynde "I Got You Babe" 7 September 1985 1
623 Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie and Mick Jagger "Dancing in the Street" 14 September 1985 3
624 Ure, MidgeMidge Ure "If I Was" 5 October 1985 1
625 Rush, JenniferJennifer Rush "Power of Love, TheThe Power of Love" 12 October 1985 3
626 a-ha "Take on Me" ‡ 2 November 1985 1
re Rush, JenniferJennifer Rush "Power of Love, TheThe Power of Love" 9 November 1985 1
627 John, EltonElton John "Nikita" ‡ 16 November 1985 1
628 Sharkey, FeargalFeargal Sharkey "Good Heart, AA Good Heart" 23 November 1985 2
629 Wham! "I'm Your Man" 7 December 1985 2
630 Houston, WhitneyWhitney Houston "Saving All My Love for You" 21 December 1985 1[nb 8]1[nb 10]
1986
re Houston, WhitneyWhitney Houston "Saving All My Love for You" 4 January 1986 1[nb 8]1[nb 10]
631 Pet Shop Boys "West End Girls" 11 January 1986 2
632 a-ha "Sun Always Shines on T.V., TheThe Sun Always Shines on T.V." 25 January 1986 3
633 Ocean, BillyBilly Ocean "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" 15 February 1986 4
634 Ross, DianaDiana Ross "Chain Reaction" 15 March 1986 2
635 Bowie, DavidDavid Bowie "Absolute Beginners" ‡ 29 March 1986 1
636 Richard, CliffCliff Richard and The Young Ones "Living Doll" 5 April 1986 3
637 Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael "Different Corner, AA Different Corner" 26 April 1986 3
638 Falco "Rock Me Amadeus" 17 May 1986 1
639 Spitting Image "Chicken Song, TheThe Chicken Song" 24 May 1986 2
640 Doctor and the Medics "Spirit in the Sky" 7 June 1986 4
641 Wham! "Edge of Heaven, TheThe Edge of Heaven" 5 July 1986 1
642 Madonna "Papa Don't Preach" 12 July 1986 3
643 de Burgh, ChrisChris de Burgh "Lady in Red, TheThe Lady in Red" 2 August 1986 3
644 Gardiner, BorisBoris Gardiner "I Want to Wake Up with You" 23 August 1986 3
645 The Communards "Don't Leave Me This Way" 13 September 1986 5
646 Madonna "True Blue" 18 October 1986 1
647 Berry, NickNick Berry "Every Loser Wins" 25 October 1986 3
648 Berlin "Take My Breath Away" 15 November 1986 3
649 Europe "Final Countdown, TheThe Final Countdown" 6 December 1986 2
650 The Housemartins "Caravan of Love" 20 December 1986 1[nb 9]1[nb 11]
1987
re The Housemartins "Caravan of Love" 3 January 1987 1[nb 9]1[nb 11]
651 Wilson, JackieJackie Wilson "Reet Petite (The Sweetest Girl in Town)" 10 January 1987 3
652 Nevil, RobbieRobbie Nevil "C'est La Vie" ‡ 31 January 1987 1
653 Franklin, ArethaAretha Franklin and George Michael "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" 7 February 1987 3
654 King, Ben E.Ben E. King "Stand by Me" 28 February 1987 3
655 George, BoyBoy George "Everything I Own" 21 March 1987 1
656 Mel and Kim "Respectable" 28 March 1987 2
657 Ferry Aid "Let It Be" 11 April 1987 2
658 Madonna "La Isla Bonita" 25 April 1987 3
659 Starship "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" 16 May 1987 3
660 Houston, WhitneyWhitney Houston "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" 6 June 1987 3
661 The Firm "Star Trekkin'" 27 June 1987 2
662 Pet Shop Boys "It's a Sin" 11 July 1987 3
663 Madonna "Who's That Girl" 1 August 1987 1
664 Los Lobos "La Bamba" 8 August 1987 2
665 Jackson, MichaelMichael Jackson "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" 22 August 1987 2
666 Astley, RickRick Astley "Never Gonna Give You Up" 5 September 1987 4
667 M|A|R|R|S "Pump Up the Volume" 3 October 1987 2
668 Mead, AbigailAbigail Mead & Nigel Goulding "Full Metal Jacket" ‡ 17 October 1987 1
669 Bee Gees "You Win Again" 24 October 1987 2
670 Michael, GeorgeGeorge Michael "Faith" ‡ 7 November 1987 1
re Bee Gees "You Win Again" 14 November 1987 1
671 T'Pau "China in Your Hand" 21 November 1987 3
672 Astley, RickRick Astley "When I Fall in Love" ‡ 19 December 1987 1[nb 10]1[nb 12]
1988
673 Pet Shop Boys "Always on My Mind" 9 January 1988 2[nb 10]1[nb 12]
674 Carlisle, BelindaBelinda Carlisle "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" 23 January 1988 2
675 Tiffany "I Think We're Alone Now" 6 February 1988 2
676 Minogue, KylieKylie Minogue "I Should Be So Lucky" 20 February 1988 2
677 Bomb the Bass "Beat Dis" ‡ 5 March 1988 1
678 Astley, RickRick Astley "Together Forever" ‡ 19 March 1988 1
679 Aswad "Don't Turn Around" 26 March 1988 3
680 Pet Shop Boys "Heart" 16 April 1988 2
681 S-Express "Theme from S-Express" 30 April 1988 2
682 Fairground Attraction "Perfect" 14 May 1988 1

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Altered Images, The Assembly, Bomb the Bass, Randy Crawford, Dire Straits, King, Jona Lewie, Lipps Inc, Liquid Gold, Abigail Mead & Nigel Goulding, Ennio Morricone, Robbie Nevil, Ph.D., The Pointer Sisters, Starsound, Tears for Fears, Ultravox, and Dionne Warwick never had an official number-one single
  2. ^ Ennio Morricone's theme "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" was a number one for Hugo Montenegro and Tears for Fears' song "Mad World" reached number one when performed by Gary Jules.
  3. ^ a b c d The names, singles, week-ending dates and consecutive duration of the number-ones are from NME.[7]
  4. ^ This number-one record was not a single but a five-track extended play (EP) with "Too Much Too Young" as the lead track.[8] The rules now require at most four distinct songs to be eligible for the UK Singles Chart.[9] Although the EP is credited to The Special A.K.A. on the record sleeve the record label credits The Specials.[10]
  5. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 27 December 1980. In the preceding week, "Stop the Cavalry" was the number-one single. In the next published chart, "(Just Like) Starting Over" claimed the top spot.
  6. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 26 December 1981. In the preceding week, "Don't You Want Me" was the number-one single. In the next published chart, "One of Us" claimed the top spot.
  7. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 1 January 1983. In the preceding week, "Time (Clock of the Heart)" was the number-one single. In the next published chart, "Save Your Love" claimed the top spot.
  8. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 31 December 1983. For the two weeks preceding and succeeding the omitted chart week, "Only You" held the number-one spot.
  9. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 29 December 1984. For the two weeks preceding and succeeding the omitted chart week, "Do They Know It's Christmas?" held the number-one spot.
  10. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 28 December 1985. For the weeks preceding and succeeding the omitted chart week, "Saving All My Love for You" held the number-one spot.
  11. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 27 December 1986. For the weeks preceding and succeeding the omitted chart week, "Caravan of Love" held the number-one spot.
  12. ^ a b There was no chart published for the week ending 26 December 1987. In the preceding week, "When I Fall in Love" was the number-one single. In the two next published chart, "Always on My Mind" claimed the top spot.

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ "Key Dates in the History of the Official UK Charts". The Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 10 January 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Alan. "50s & 60s UK Charts – The Truth!". Dave McAleer's website. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b Leigh, Spencer (20 February 1998). "Music: Charting the number ones that somehow got away". The Independent. Retrieved 5 August 2010. 
  4. ^ Warwick, Neil; Kutner, Jon; Brown, Tony (2004). The Complete Book Of The British Charts: Singles and Albums (3rd ed.). London: Omnibus Press. p. v. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. Until 15th February 1969, there was no officially compiled chart. 
  5. ^ Smith, Alan. "Every No.1 in the 1960s is listed from all the nine different magazine charts!". Dave McAleer's website. Archived from the original on 10 May 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "Chart Archive - 1980s Singles". everyHit.com. Retrieved 22 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Rees, Lazell & Osborne 1995, pp. 351–483.
  8. ^ "Too Much Too Young". The Specials. Archived from the original on 27 April 2009. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Rules For Chart Eligibility" (PDF). The Official Charts Company. August 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 August 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "Record Details – The Special A.K.A. Live!". 45cat. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
Sources

Rees, Dafydd; Lazell, Barry; Osborne, Roger (1995). Forty Years of "NME" Charts (2nd ed.). Pan Macmillan. ISBN 0-7522-0829-2.