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 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 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)
Courtesy of GIPHY.com
A special update to my blog today. Today my husband Frank and I celebrate our Pearl wedding anniversary, which is 30 years of marriage. Yes, we married in the decade of big hair, even bigger phones, shoulder pads, ruched up sleeves but some pretty awesome tunes!
To celebrate I am posting two special songs.
This first song was a big hit at the end of the year when we first met 1984. It was everywhere at the time and the lyrics say it all.
“Solid” by Ashford and Simpson reached number 3 in Nov 1984
(Uploaded to YouTube by emimusic)
This song was spending its first week at number 1 in the week we got married in 1987 and was to spend another three weeks at the top. It was the second biggest selling song of that year (behind Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”)
Like “Solid” this song has very appropriate lyrics. The video intercuts the group with footage from the rom-com film “Mannequin” which it was from.
“Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” by Starship
(Uploaded to YouTube by StarshipVEVO)
This week it’s Trinidadian British singer Billy Ocean who had a number of hits in the 70s and 80s. He is still producing music and touring today. Oh and of course I wasn’t inspired this week by a certain sitcom 😉 😉
Ocean had 12 top 40 hits including 6 top tens and a number one.
“Red Light Spells Danger” reached number 2 in 1977
(Uploaded to YouTube by Disco.discotheque)
“Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run)” reached number 6 in 1984. My favourite song of his.
(Uploaded to YouTube by cinqo7)
This week it’s British band Scritti Politti who had hits mainly in the 80s. Lead singer Green Gartside’s floaty, ethereal voice over an electro,synthesiser beats made for a distinctive sound. They had five top 40s, including two top 10s.
“Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) reached number 10 in March 1984
(Uploaded to YouTube by Leon Campana)
“Absolute” reached number 17 in June 1984
(Uploaded to YouTube by SolsburyHill22)