This week it’s pop legend Tina Turner. Turner had 34 top 40 hits including 10 top tens (4 with husband Ike)
In 1983, a decade after her last hit with Ike Turner with “Nutbush City Limits” she released a cover of Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” and so began a massively successful reinvention and solo career. The album it was on, “Private Dancer” was a smash, producing seven singles including “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” and “Private Dancer”.
Turner has some great songs and these two of many I like.
Firstly the song which kicked her solo career off.
“Let’s Stay Together” reached number 6 in 1983
(Uploaded to YouTube by legacy)
“We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)” reached number 3 in 1985. This was from the Mel Gibson film “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” in which Turner co-starred.
(Uploaded to YouTube by turnerfantube)
This week we have two indie one hit wonders from 1981. The songs were both in the chart in April of that year. They have little in common but strangely both feature snippets of telephone conversations!
Firstly we have British band Landscape. Strictly, I suppose they weren’t a one hit wonder as their second song “Norman Bates” made number 40 but it is this song they are remembered for. The weird, wacky and irritatingly catchy “Einstein a Go-Go”!
“Einstein a Go-Go” (extended) by Landscape reached number 5
(Uploaded to YouTube by Steve Chase)
Next is British punk/new wave band “Department S” who took their name from the 1969/1970 TV series.
“Is Vic there?” by Department S reached number 22
(Uploaded to YouTube by Adi Karić)
This week it’s American singer, songwriter and guitarist, Boz Scaggs.
Scaggs had a unique bluesy voice which added character to his songs.
He had four top 40 hits in the UK including one top ten, all in the 70s.
He is probably best known for “Lido Shuffle” which funnily enough wasn’t his highest charting hit. “Lido Shuffle” peaked at 13 whereas “What Can I Say” managed number 10 earlier the same year.
However, his most famous song is probably best known sung by someone else. “We’re All Alone” was released as a B side of “Lido Shuffle” but was covered by Rita Coolidge and reached number 6 in 1977 becoming one of her biggest hits.
Here are two of his songs.
“Lowdown” reached number 28 in 1976 (number 3 in the US)
(Uploaded to YouTube by BozScaggsVEVO)
”What Can I Say” reached number 10 in 1977 (number 42 in the US)
(Uploaded to YouTube by MrB0jangles70)
The US and UK obviously had differing opinions on which was the better song!
This week it’s American funk and disco band, Kool and the Gang. The group were very popular in the 70s and 80s. Two of their songs, “Ladies’ Night” and “Celebration” have become staple songs for party nights everywhere! They had 18 top forty hits including 7 top tens.
These two tracks are not quite as well known but are great dance tracks.
“Steppin’ Out” reached number 12 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by KoolAndTheGangVEVO)
“Get Down On It” reached number 3 in 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by hej6hej6tja6)
Some electronic pop this week from one of Britain’s most enduring and distinctive bands. They are still going today after forming back in 1980. It’s Depeche Mode who have had 43 top forty singles including 14 top tens. Here are just two of their hits.
“Just Can’t Get Enough” reached number 8 in Sept 1981
(Uploaded to YouTube by DaKraftyFella)
“Everything Counts” reached number 6 in July 1983
(Uploaded to YouTube by juliAna q-_-p)
This week we have two massively catchy one hit wonder songs from 1979 which is my favourite year in pop. This was a massively strong year with all the biggest hitters in music active. These two songs burned brightly for their artists who couldn’t match their success again.
“Pop Muzik” by British band M was number 2 for two weeks in May 1979. It would have been a number 1 most other times but 1979 was a strong year. It was held off the top spot by “Bright Eyes” by Art Garfunkel which turned out to be the biggest selling hit that year and that number one was deposed by “Sunday Girl” by Blondie which was the 9th biggest hit that year. “Pop Muzik” was the 14th biggest hit, so not too shabby!
disco version of “Pop Muzik” by M
(Uploaded to YouTube by Clasicos de la Disco)
Next up is “My Sharona” by American rock band The Knack. This song reached number 6 in June 1979 in the UK. It didn’t make the UK 100 songs of the year
but it did top the US BIllboard hot 100 year end song list beating off competition from Donna Summer, Chic, Rod Stewart and many other famous artists. The song is famous for its very distinctive drum and guitar riff.
(Uploaded to YouTube by TheKnackVEVO)
This week to celebrate the announcement that the original line-up are getting back together, it’s Bananarama!
Yes, Sara Dallin, Keren Woodward have reunited with original co-band member Siobhan Fahey for a tour. Although they carried on when Siobhan left in 1988 and Jacquie O’Sullivan did three years and then Keren and Sara continued as a duo, it is the original trio which is remembered with fondness and had their biggest hits.
The group had 25 top 40 hits including 10 top tens.
Both of these songs were massive at the time and it is surprising to see both only reached number 8!
“Cruel Summer” reached number 8 in 1983.
(Uploaded to YouTube by Walter Barrooshian)
Next is “Venus” which was a cover of the 1970 song by Shocking Blue. Funnily enough both versions reached number 8, the Bananarama one in 1986. Both versions did hit number one in other countries however.
Venus is different in production to Cruel Summer as it was the first collaboration with new producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman and the “hit factory” sound is very apparent. The previous producers ( for Cruel Summer) were Swain and Jolley who were famous for producing Imagination’s hits and Spandau Ballet’s albums True and Parade among others.
(Uploaded to YouTube by jeffrey a)