It's the Gallup UK Top 100 Singles of the Year 1986 - and your chance to download a whopping 3% of them! Imagine that!
1986 being the zenith (or nadir, depending on your point of view) of my chart-pop-buying lifespan, I bought no less then thirty-eight of the songs listed below on either 7" or 12" vinyl (including the one at #2), and could still happily listen to most of them on a constant loop for the rest of eternity (if I happened to be immortal. Which I'm not. Or am I? We just don't know yet).
Anyway, here is that hot/tepid/cold (delete as applicable) hundred. Click on numbers 73, 68 & 39 to download these frankly wondrous snapshots of a mid-1980s Smash Hits-reading teenager's idea of pop heaven!
UK TOP 100 BESTSELLERS OF 1986
100 WHY CAN'T THIS BE LOVE - Van Halen 99 BROKEN WINGS - Mr Mister 98 SING OUR OWN SONG - UB40 97 MIDAS TOUCH - Midnight Star 96 GREATEST LOVE OF ALL - Whitney Houston 95 LOOK AWAY - Big Country 94 SET ME FREE - Jaki Graham 93 NEW BEGINNING (MAMBA SEYRA) - Bucks Fizz 92 THROUGH THE BARRICADES - Spandau Ballet 91 OPEN YOUR HEART - Madonna 90 HUMAN - Human League 89 FRENCH KISSIN' IN THE USA - Debbie Harry 88 CALLING ALL THE HEROES - It Bites 87 SHAKE YOU DOWN - Gregory Abbott 86 STUCK WITH YOU - Huey Lewis & The News 85 PETER GUNN - The Art Of Noise & Duane Eddy 84 THE POWER OF LOVE/DO YOU BELIEVE IN LOVE - Huey Lewis & The News 83 DANCING ON THE CEILING - Lionel Richie 82 LIVING IN AMERICA - James Brown 81 FOR AMERICA - Red Box 80 SUBURBIA - Pet Shop Boys 79 HUNTING HIGH AND LOW - A-ha 78 EACH TIME YOU BREAK MY HEART - Nick Kamen 77 RAGE HARD- Frankie Goes To Hollywood 76 CAN'T GET BY WITHOUT YOU - The Real Thing 75 SECRET LOVERS - Atlantic Starr 74 ANYONE CAN FALL IN LOVE - Anita Dobson 73 THE RAIN - Oran 'Juice' Jones 72 VENUS - Bananarama 71 CAN'T WAIT ANOTHER MINUTE - Five Star 70 WALK THIS WAY - Run DMC 69 BURNING HEART - Survivor 68 LOVE CAN'T TURN AROUND - Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk 67 LOVE MISSILE F1-11 - Sigue Sigue Sputnik 66 CAMOUFLAGE - Stan Ridgway 65 WEST END GIRLS - Pet Shop Boys 64 HI HO SILVER - Jim Diamond 63 SYSTEM ADDICT - Five Star 62 ELOISE - The Damned 61 ADDICTED TO LOVE - Robert Palmer 60 WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY - Janet Jackson 59 HOW WILL I KNOW - Whitney Houston 58 LIVE TO TELL - Madonna 57 EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART - Rod Stewart 56 BROTHER LOUIE - Modern Talking 55 TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN - Amazulu 54 ONLY LOVE - Nana Mouskouri 53 AIN'T NOTHIN' GOIN' ON BUT THE RENT - Gwen Guthrie 52 ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS - David Bowie 51 BREAKOUT - Swing Out Sister 50 BORDERLINE - Madonna 49 WALK OF LIFE - Dire Straits 48 THORN IN MY SIDE - Eurythmics 47 STARTING TOGETHER - Su Pollard 46 HAPPY HOUR - The Housemartins 45 YOU TO ME ARE EVERYTHING - The Real Thing 44 (I JUST) DIED IN YOUR ARMS - Cutting Crew 43 SHOWING OUT - Mel & Kim 42 SOMETIMES - Erasure 41 LIVIN' ON A PRAYER - Bon Jovi 40 YOU CAN CALL ME AL - Paul Simon 39 MY FAVOURITE WASTE OF TIME - Owen Paul 38 I CAN'T WAIT - Nu Shooz 37 MANIC MONDAY - The Bangles 36 WORD UP - Cameo 35 LET'S GO ALL THE WAY - Sly Fox 34 YOU KEEP ME HANGIN' ON - Kim Wilde 33 HOLDING BACK THE YEARS - Simply Red 32 A KIND OF MAGIC - Queen 31 WONDERFUL WORLD - Sam Cooke 30 (TOUCH ME) I WANT YOUR BODY - Samantha Fox 29 ALL I ASK OF YOU - Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman 28 SLEDGEHAMMER - Peter Gabriel 27 THE EDGE OF HEAVEN - WHAM! 26 GLORY OF LOVE - Peter Cetera 25 LESSONS IN LOVE - Level 42 24 IN THE ARMY NOW - Status Quo 23 WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN - The Bangles 22 ON MY OWN - Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald 21 THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV - A-ha 20 THE CHICKEN SONG/A NICE SOUTH AFRICAN - Spitting Image 19 CARAVAN OF LOVE - The Housemartins 18 RAIN OR SHINE - Five Star 17 REET PETITE - Jackie Wilson 16 THE FINAL COUNTDOWN - Europe 15 SPIRIT IN THE SKY - Doctor and the Medics 14 WE DON'T HAVE TO... - Jermaine Stewart 13 ROCK ME AMADEUS - Falco 12 A DIFFERENT CORNER - George Michael 11 TRUE BLUE - Madonna 10 SO MACHO/CRUISING - Sinitta 9 TAKE MY BREATH AWAY - Berlin 8 PAPA DON'T PREACH - Madonna 7 WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH - Billy Ocean 6 THE LADY IN RED - Chris De Burgh 5 CHAIN REACTION - Diana Ross 4 LIVING DOLL - Cliff Richard and the Young Ones 3 I WANT TO WAKE UP WITH YOU - Boris Gardiner 2 EVERY LOSER WINS - Nick Berry 1 DON'T LEAVE ME THIS WAY - The Communards
A worthy winner there in the Communards, I'm sure you'll agree (unless you remember the Harold Melvin version, in which case probably not). I remember Don't Leave Me This Way being a big floor-filler at all the school discos and parties I attended that year anyway (especially the bit near the end with the mega-long ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! baby!).
1986 also saw the release of fantastic singles such as Brilliant Mind by Furniture, Driving Away From Home by It's Immaterial, Panic, Bigmouth Strikes Again & Ask by The Smiths, E=MC2 by Big Audio Dynamite and New Order's Shellshock but none of these songs, despite all making the charts, were ever going to rob the likes of Madonna, George Michael and, umm, Nick Kamen of their rightful places in the year end chart.
There were also many memorable and/or innovative videos doing the rounds in '86: Sledgehammer, Addicted To Love, Reet Petite, Dancing On The Ceiling and Happy Hour, to name but several. But I know which 1986 video you really want to see here: Su Pollard's Starting Together! (Just don't tell Miss Cathcart!)
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