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!)
I've taken my eye off the blog ball a bit lately (there it goes now, sailing over the crossbar. Wheeeee), largely because pretty much all the stuff I've been listening to and watching has been Beatles-related. I suppose I could write about the Fabs here but in all honesty they've probably been spoken about once or twice in other places, so I think I'll leave it, if it's all the same to you.
Here's some non-Beatles-related music, anyway, to tide us over until I can get my act together. Abnormal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
I love this song. Not only is it a fab gear fantastic bit of music, the lyrics - about how young people think they know everything in spite of all the evidence - are brilliant as well. I even loved it when I was young and thought I knew it all myself.
Mildly Interesting Pop Fact: On his 1996 solo album 60 Watt Silver Lining, American Music Club frontman Mark Eitzel included a less than complimentary track about Southend-on-Sea (the town of my birth). Have a squiz at the lyrics here.
And with that he blew his chances of landing a presenting job on Wish You Were Here in one fell swoop. That'll learn him!
Adam's post about the recently departed Keith Waterhouse got me reminiscing about one of the TV series the late author co-wrote with Willis Hall, the none more 1970s Budgie starring Adam Faith as Budgie, a West End ducker & diver, and Iain Cuthbertson as his equally shady employer Charlie Endell. Seeking clips of it out on YouTube I stumbled upon the opening sequence of a short-lived Budgie spin-off series I'd not been aware of before entitled Charles Endell Esq which saw Iain Cuthbertson reprise his role as the titular Glaswegian gangster. It looks dead good actually.
The reason I mention all this here on what is, after all, a music blog is because of the frankly astonishing theme song, which Cuthbertson voices - I hesitate to use the word "sings" - himself and which you can hear in all its dubious glory in the clip below. I think I can safely say you'll never have heard anything like it!
My goodness but that Paddy McAloon's looking different these days, eh? I think I can safely say that I would never have recognised him in that photo above, had I not been furnished with the info beforehand. He really reminds me of someone else with that beard, anyway, but I just cannot put my finger on who for the moment. Any suggestions?
It's been flipping ages since I've roused myself to rip some old vinyl for use on a blog post, so it's high time I rectified this sorry state of affairs I reckon. In which case, please accept these three seemingly random yet suspiciously decent choices from my stack of early-mid-90s indie twelve-inchers.
I've always had a soft spot for Cud, despite the fact that they once released a single with the cringingly awful title Purple Love Balloon (which still didn't stop me buying it on picture disc). I was so gormlessly naive at the time, though, that I didn't even make the connection between the titular balloon and its saucy connotations until years later. Take a ride in your purple love balloon indeed!
I've done absolutely no research for today's post (which will obviously come as a massive shock to everybody reading this), but if memory serves Bleach hailed from Ipswich and were quite a hit with John Peel. They sound a lot like the early Lush on 1991's Shotgun, too, which is never a bad thing. There's even an attempt at what I can only describe as some middle-class white girl shoegazey rapping here. Marvellous!
My Life Story were one of the most under-rated bands of the Britpop era for me. Oh yes, you can keep your Blurs and Oasis' (Oasisis?) - give me Jake Shillingford and his hi-octane brand of orchestral pop any day of the week. This band were so good that they could even afford to consign songs as fine as the one above to obscure b-side status (this was one of the extra tracks on the Funny Ha Ha 12"). Listen to the way Jake pronounces some of the words, like he's the Queen of Sheba or something ("The Lady's always thaar, Camden Tiyn to Leicester Sqaar"). Magnificent. And how can you not love a band who christen their information service Sex & Violins? Impossible!
A washing powder-themed Three of a Kind today, inspired by the product pictured above. Made by the Paxan company of Iran, Barf - meaning 'snow' in Farsi - is an 100% genuine product (as opposed to a 54.68% genuine product) and is quite big in the Middle East, by all accounts. Here are some Dreft jams by way of tribute! (Thank you, I'm here all week.)
Just been going through a box of old CDs I'd not listened to for too long, and one of the first that jumped out at me (not literally - that would be ridiculous) was Looper's (i.e. the band fronted by former Belle & Sebastian bassist Stuart David) debut album Up A Tree.
Aside from the realisation that this album is somehow already a decade old (where the feck did those ten years go?) the other amazing thing about this CD is the following track, Impossible Things #2, which is one of the sweetest love songs I've ever heard. Basically, it's the musical equivalent of a lovely little puppy licking your face for five minutes and twenty three seconds. Or thereabouts. Don't say I didn't warn you!
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