Wikipedia informs us that April '84 was a month in which, amongst other things, the following newsworthy events were taking place: Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours; British comedian Tommy Cooper suffered a massive heart attack and - literally - died on stage; the 56th Academy Awards, hosted by Jack Lemmon, were held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, with Terms of Endearment winning Best Picture; and the term of Sultan Ahmad Shah as the 7th Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia ended (I'm sure we all remember where we were when that story broke).
But never mind all that, it's the platters that matter here (pop pickers), so here's how the UK Top 10 was looking this week in April 1984:
1. HELLO - Lionel Richie
2. AGAINST ALL ODDS (TAKE A LOOK AT ME NOW) - Phil Collins
3. I WANT TO BREAK FREE - Queen
4. YOU TAKE ME UP - Thompson Twins
5. THE REFLEX - Duran Duran
6. A LOVE WORTH WAITING FOR - Shakin' Stevens
7. WHEN YOU SAY YOU LOVE SOMEBODY (IN THE HEART) - Kool and the Gang
8. GLAD IT'S ALL OVER - Captain Sensible
9. PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE - Depeche Mode
10. LOCOMOTION - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
Hmm, not exactly the most inspiring list ever, eh, readers? It's ironic that, the higher up that chart you get, the poorer (or at least more annoying) the songs become, culminating with Lionel Richie's treacly Hello, the song that launched a thousand sickbags (or was that just the video?). But all is not lost - far from it! - as there were some absolutely cracking songs lower down the pop 40 that week, including these three gems:
I'm Falling by The Bluebells - which was, ironically, climbing up to #15 in this week's chart, on its way to a peak of #11 the following week. This was the Scottish combo's first real chart breakthrough, and it's still sounding as good as ever today.
The Bluebells - I'm Falling mp3
Next up - or down, if you like - is Just Be Good To Me by The S.O.S. Band which, unlike the aforementioned Bluebells hit, was actually falling this week, four places to #17, having just peaked at 13. A classic Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis production, this is miles better than the Beats International cover version that topped the UK charts six years later. Ain't it always the way...
S.O.S. Band - Just Be Good To Me (extended version) mp3
Last but not least today is Someday by The Gap Band, which was also plummeting, from its previous week's peak of #17 to 25 this week. This frankly marvellous song features backing vocals and harmonica courtesy of one Stevie Wonder. Just in case anyone was in any doubt as to Wonder's presence on the record, Charlie Wilson, the Gap Band's lead singer, shamelessly namedrops the Motown legend when urging him to "play it, Stevie", just as the harmonica solo kicks in. I think we can forgive him such antics, though, as this song is the absolute bee's knees. (I was saying much the same thing to dear, dear Larry Olivier shortly before he popped orf, don'tyaknow...)
The Gap Band - Someday mp3
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