It's a telling point that I've compiled a list of the top ten UK number ones of the 80s and left our Cliff Richards Mistletoe and Wine and I truly can't stand that song. I assure you next to the following list of (s)hit paraders you'll agree with me. For me the 80s was the most eclectic decade but unfortunately I also think it's the decade with the least consistency. Have a peep at my list and dare tell me I'm wrong....
10. Olivia Newton John/ELO - Xanadu
Despite its length at only 3 minutes long I feel like this song is about 3 minutes too long. Some credit has to go to the music sounding pretty decent but that's thanks to her backing band being ELO. It's saying something that the song was a global hit whereas the film was a total flop however for me this syrupy, disco spew deserves to be as forgotten about as that lame movie of the same name.
9. The Firm/ Star Trekkin'
The first in a series of novelty records on my list, an unfunny, geek sing-along themed around the successful Sci Fi show "Star Trek". This record was turned down by every major label in the country but unlucky for us the band recorded it themselves and somehow managed to get it played on the radio and it became a hit in what I can only assume was a quiet chart week. Details to sign my petition to send every last known copy to Venus are at the bottom of this blog. "It's a shit number one Jim, but not as we know it"
8. Nick Berry- Every Loser Wins
Way before Nick Berry was mugging our ears off with shitty, third rate ITV show music single tie ins (Heartbeat) Nick was mugging out ears off with shitty third rate BCC1 show music single tie ins (Eastenders). His character "Wicksy" had a band, and this was their song. It went on to sell massive amounts of copies which I'm sure wasn't helped by being continuously being played on Eastenders (with its average viewing figures of 15 million). Every loser wins perhaps Nick but they are still a loser.
7. Goombay Dance Band- Seven Tears
Who? Don't even bother checking it out it's truly terrible. Sing-along club tripe even Tony Christie would be embarrassed to record.
6. St Winfred school Choir- There's no one quite like Grandma.
More barf than laugh, this shamelessly pensioner targeted, sentimental snoozefest kept John Lennon off the Christmas number one spot in 1980. A song about grandma however seemed like the ideal gift to buy your annoying pocket money dispensing matriarch and I this song was a massive hit.
5. Chris De Burgh- Lady In Red
Question?. What to date is Chris De Burghs best achievement?
Answer: His daughter is a former Miss World winner...oh and he had this hit. It’s not that I don’t like some of his records it’s just this one is so overtly smooth and sappy that it borders on the ridiculous. Whenever he plays even to this day to his ever ageing fan base I’m sure that there is not a dry eye ( or seat) in the house but for me if I never hear this song again then I’d die a happy Matt.
4. Paul McCartney- Pipes of Peace
Pipes of peace? More like piles of piss. When Paul is at the gates of heaven being judged by St Peter I'm sure his case will be a compelling one...he wrote yesterdays, blackbird and Hey Jude after all. After lists of his charitable work are read out someone will shout out "'ere remember that pipes of peace" and in an instant he will be sent down to the gates of hell no doubt. Maybe it's not thaaat bad but we expect more from Sir Paul than some monotonous marching band staple.
3. Tight Fit- The lion sleeps tonight
I'm not sure what's more lame; the fact that this song sucks or that the "band" that promoted the record never sang one single note of it. The song is a cover version of an old African song that dated back to the 1920s and some later versions had some credibility at least however Tight Fits take on the song is more tragic than magic. It begs the question why did the lion sleep when it could have made a decent meal out of this pathetic trio. Harsh? Possibly but remember I've just had to listen to this in the name of research.
2. Band Aid 2- Do they know is Christmas?
Credit where credit is due the original band/live aid had a message and good intentions behind it. Unfortunately by 1989 the idea of a charity single was rife. Whereas the original record had Bono, Sting, Paul Young etc this time round we had to make do with the Stock/Aitkin and Waterman brats like Kylie and Jason, as well as such classic artists like Bros and Wet Wet Wet. This version came off as exactly what it was; a soulless, tacky rip off and despite its number one status I'd assume it's never been played since.
1. Joe Dolce - Shaddap Your Face
Apart from this song famously keeping “Vienna” by Ultrvox off the top spot on its release, its here as my all time worst UK 80’s number one because its the worst sound my ears have ever listened to. I’d take a dying whale scratching a Hanukkah candle down an infinite chalkboard while the Bee Gees sing harmony over ever having to listen to this noise again. Despite my reservations the song did sell well in the UK and all over Europe and even charted (lowly it has to be said) In the USA. Joe Dolce to his credit later became a pretty successful poet in his own right but this tune should be wrapped in concrete and dropped into the deepest ocean crevice in the hope that future generations never ever find it again.