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"New Wave" and the 1980s - one-hit wonders and biggest hits

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  • Also, Don’t forget the US top ten single Midnight Blue by Melissa Manchester in 1975

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    • This should be added: Michèle Torr: "Midnight Blue En Irlande"
      It's the French version and most likely hit #1 on the Europe 1 Top 75 mongrel chart as a joint entry with the original version. According to Wikipedia it "sold" 250'000 copies (but there is no proof of that).

      trebor's - 2016 in Country Music
      trebor's - 2015 in Country Music

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      • What about the following songs:

        - Camouflage: The Great Comandment
        - Icehouse: Hey Little Girl
        - Real Life: Send Me an Angel
        - Split Enz: I Got You
        - Thomas Dolby: She Blinded Me with Science

        I think they all fit more or less the criteria.
        My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

        Comment


        • Benny, Camouflage and Split Enz didn't enter in many countries, sadly, so they won't be appearing. I have a criteria of at least 10 countries to chart in. Others will follow, though - I hesitated to include Icehouse as they don't have one definite hit, but this one is ahead of the rest. After all, if I decided to include The Human League and Spandau Ballet, then Icehouse are a definite shoo-in

          trebor, thank you for this video! Looks like I should add this one, too

          Chartaholic, I have this album and been meaning to dig it out one day. I really like the hit, it's really an interesting combination, which maybe should've been explored better. Though at the same time I see how this can be a one-off with no real way of developing the concept further. Still, it was a nice addition to the charts of the day.

          Comment


          • Canada
            19 March 1983 - #7 - 18 weeks

            19 weeks on The Record chart, Peak 2.

            Comment


            • Thank you, Metalweb!

              Now, new entry, from the opposite end of the decade. We've already discussed Pet Shop Boys and their pop productions - here's another big hit, and the hit in a long carrier of Liza Minnelli. Have to say, I expected better results, given the surefire hit sound of the song, and more countries for it to chart in - but that seems to be it. Great version of a song, though, and a very big hit in Russia - heard it on the radio at least a couple times a week up to the early 2000s when I quite abruptly stopped listening to it, and the video has been omnipresent on TV. Liked that one very much, Liza looks stunning in it! Strangely her carrier as a pop star was very short lived, though you'd think she'd go for at least several years, but that was an era of a high-speed turnaround in the charts, and people very popular in the early 1989 could be all but forgotten by the end of the year, so maybe not that surprising.

              Comment


              • 105. LOSING MY MIND by Liza Minnelli

                Written by: Stephen Sondheim
                Produced by: Neil Tennant/Chris Lowe/Julian Mendelsohn
                Country of origin: USA
                Release date: 5 August 1989

                Australia
                AMR: 2 October 1989 - #58 - 7 weeks
                ARIA: #72

                Austria
                14 January 1990 - #19 - 5 weeks

                Belgium
                Het Belgisch Hitboek: 16 September 1989 - #15 - 8 weeks

                Finland
                1 October 1989 - #18 - 2 weeks

                France
                9 December 1989 - #42 - 6 weeks

                (West) Germany
                18 September 1989 - #17 - 21 weeks

                Ireland
                10 August 1989 - #2 - 4 weeks

                Italy
                TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 15 October 1989 - #21 - 17 weeks
                Musica e Dischi: 25 November 1989 - #20 - 2 weels

                Netherlands
                Nationale Hitparade: 2 September 1989 - #36 - 10 weeks
                De Nederlandse Top 40: 23 September 1989 - #31 - 4 weeks

                New Zealand
                22 October 1989 - #23 - 6 weeks

                Spain
                23 September 1989 - #7 - 19 weeks

                UK
                The Network Chart: 10 August 1989 - #2 - 7 weeks
                Music Week: 12 August 1989 - #6 - 7 weeks

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                • I came across 'Midnight Blue' on some TV show or other a few years after it'd been released and was annoyed I'd missed it. Perhaps it was more obviously going to be better-received on continental Europe than in the UK, but then again one can never always tell. Exactly the kind of record that simply doesn't get made nowadays; even with many modern acts still taking cues from the 1980s, you won't get any of them going down the U-Vox-type route, when the U2, Echo & Bunnymen, Talking Heads or even A-Ha options are apparently chiming more with artists mostly not born until after the decade's end.

                  'Losing My Mind' is very evocative of the era in which it emerged, as are a number of songs that charted around that same period for me. Ludicrously camp of course, but an incredibly infectious piece melodically. I'm hardly a Sondheim fan and tend to shun the whimsicality and indulgence of musical numbers, but the compellingly danceable synth bass and drum line turned this into one of the classiest club records around at that point. I still find myself humming this tune once in a while, over 30 years later, without having heard it; it just comes to mind! Pet Shop Boy productions were unmistakeable in the late '80s and it's a shame they didn't explore that role more in their early years.

                  Comment


                  • "Midnight Blue" was a big hit in Portugal. Dreamers' version peaked at no. 2. and it was the fifth best selling single of 1983. Louise Tucker was also a top 10 in our country (#5 in top musica & som maybe in the week charts).

                    https://www.discogs.com/artist/1014001-Dreamers-5



                    Pete Knarren was nº. 80 in the uk charts.

                    https://www.discogs.com/Pete-Knarren-Midnight-Blue/release/8518277



                    Some covers

                    Midnight Blue Dreamers 1982
                    Midnight Blue Ingmar Nordströms 1983
                    Midnight Blue Raymond Lefevre et son orchestre 1983
                    Midnight Blue Itsumi Osawa 1983
                    Midnight Blue Pete Knarren 1983
                    Midnight Blue (Morgen) Andante & Largo ‎1983
                    Midnight Blue Urban Agnas 1984
                    Midnight Blue The Studio London Orchestra 1985
                    Hiljaisuus Anneli Pasanen 1984

                    Originally posted by Passing_Strang View Post
                    104. Midnight Blue by Midnight Blue: a project with Louise Tucker & Charlie Skarbek

                    Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven/Charlie Skarbek/Tim Smit
                    Produced by: Charlie Skarbek
                    Country of origin: UK
                    Date of release: October 1982
                    Last edited by anpt; Thu February 6th, 2020, 21:57.
                    --
                    2019: 472. @anpt 47 posts

                    Comment


                    • Also produced and Written by Charlie Skarbek and Tim Smit

                      * Temptation - De Blanc - no. 4 in portugal (1982) https://www.discogs.com/De-Blanc-Tem...elease/4004704
                      * Feel Emotion - Twiggy (1985) https://www.discogs.com/Twiggy-Feel-...release/653492
                      * Light Of The World - Ava (1991) https://www.discogs.com/Ava-Light-Of...lease/10502056

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Skarbek

                      Skarbek wrote also the lyrics of "World In Union" with music originally from Gustav Holst.

                      Originally posted by Passing_Strang View Post
                      104. Midnight Blue by Midnight Blue: a project with Louise Tucker & Charlie Skarbek

                      Written by: Ludwig van Beethoven/Charlie Skarbek/Tim Smit
                      Produced by: Charlie Skarbek
                      Country of origin: UK
                      Date of release: October 1982
                      Last edited by anpt; Thu February 6th, 2020, 21:57.
                      --
                      2019: 472. @anpt 47 posts

                      Comment


                      • Gambo, nice to see you here again! I agree about Ultravox type of music being on the margins among today's revivalists. I feel it's mostly because the band simply disbanded in 1987 and wasn't really talked about until their comeback. Midge Ure definitely tried his damnedest to shed that "from Ultravox" tag (unsuccessfully). And if we look closely, the bands imitated today are those that kept going no matter what or disbanded for only a limited period of time: U2, Depeche, a-ha, and suchlike. Hell, even Eurythmics, one of the biggest bands of the whole 1980s both commercially and critically, are mentioned seldomly. So it's only natural (though sad) that bands like Ultravox did not get bigger in time. What's more, Visage are being namechecked more often, with numerous covers, remixes and high-profile rip-offs of "Fade to grey" being almost mandatory - though in their time Visage were seen, I gather, as a little brother to Ultravox. Funny stuff!

                        Also agree about the producing role of PSB - they should've been definitely doing it more often. I remember some of the remixes they did in late 2000s or early 2010s and those were very good, done with taste and feel for music. Maybe it could've invigorate their own songwriting, which to me was very spotty since about mid 1990s. But perhaps they didn't feel the need to, anymore. As for their cover of "Losing my mind", well, perhaps it's the complete revamp of the song that appeals to me - this "Tainted love" approach is the way to re-do a song, to me.

                        anpt, thank you for the info on "Midnight blue", a big number of recent cover versions - and then the song seemed to disappear... Strange.

                        Ok, so let's visit Canada - a country seldom mentioned, but one that gave the world a lot of great bands during the 1980s. A couple from the early 1980s we already discussed, here's one big hit from the latter part of the decade. Funny info on Wikipedia - so much samples that it's hard to understand what the writers have actually done with the song musically. Still, it's a very catchy song, and the main sample is used strikingly, I remember the hairs standing up when I first heard it. A one-hit wonder, of course - though I've heard their debut album and it's very good, if you like that late 1980s synthpoppy/dancey sound, I recommend to give it a listen.
                        Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sat February 8th, 2020, 17:36.

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                        • 106. I BEG YOUR PARDON by Kon Kan

                          Written by: Barry Harris/Joe South
                          Produced by: Barry Harris; Tom Gerencser
                          Country of origin: Canada
                          Release date: December 1988

                          Australia
                          AMR: 29 May 1989 - #70 - 5 weeks
                          ARIA: #100 - 1 week

                          Austria
                          Ö3-Hitparade: 18 June 1989 - #22 - 1 week

                          Belgium
                          6 May 1989 - #4 - 11 weeks

                          Canada
                          RPM: #19

                          Finland
                          16 April 1989 - #8 - 8 weeks

                          (West) Germany
                          15 May 1989 - #8 - 15 weeks

                          Ireland
                          15 March 1989 - #6 - 7 weeks

                          Israel
                          12 March 1989 - #1 (1) - 10 weeks

                          Netherlands
                          Nationale Hitparade: 15 April 1989 - #5 - 14 weeks
                          De Nederlandse Top 40: 29 April 1989 - #3 - 9 weeks

                          New Zealand
                          7 May 1989 - #7 - 19 weeks

                          UK
                          The Network Chart: 1 March 89 - #4 - 14 weeks
                          Music Week: 4 March 1989 - #5 - 13 weeks

                          USA
                          Billboard: 24 December 1988 - #15 - 18 weeks
                          Cash Box: 31 December 1988 - #22 - 19 weeks
                          Radio & Records: 20 January 1989 - #18 - 10 weeks

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                          • Catch up time:

                            I never really cared for 'Losing My Mind' by Liza Minelli. I always thought her voice spoiled what could otherwise have been a decent song. I didn't realise the track was written by Stephen Sondheim. I've always assumed it was a PSB original. In 1989 I much preferred the song that the PSB's did with Dusty Springfield, the excellent 'Nothing Has Been Proved'.

                            The first time I heard 'I Beg Your Pardon' by Kon Kan I honestly thought I was hearing the new single by New Order! I admit to being puzzled at the time as it was so commercial that I thought they had released some sort of novelty song but the synth intro and vocal style are pure New Order. Incidentally the synth intro is a recreated sample of Spagna's 'Call Me'.

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                            • I hadn't heard I Beg your Pardon for ages. I was misremembering it as a semi-novelty cover of Rose Garden but there are only a couple of fairly brief excerpts from that old country standard!

                              As Robbie says, the delivery is very New Order. The Spagna sample is obvious; the one from Silver Convention's Get Up and Boogie rather more subtle.

                              On reflection I'd say it hangs together pretty well...

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                              • Nanda Lwin gives 9 weeks in The Record chart, peak 19 on 4/3/89.

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                                • Used to love 'I Beg Your Pardon', although clearly it was a little too close melodically to 'Call Me' for comfort. My Mum was none-too-impressed at the 'Rose Garden' Lynn Collins snippet when she heard it, as that was one of her favourite records! Apparently there's a MC5 sample from a track called 'Kick Out The Jams' in the mix too, but I've never established which part of the Kon Kan composition it is.

                                  Never saw a New Order similarity before I I must say, though now you point it out Robbie I kind-of see where you're coming from.

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                                  • Completely off-topic (and sorry it it may disrupt the conversation).
                                    While catching up on Channel 4 this was played: Jona Lewie: "You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties"
                                    Find it superior to that Stop The Cavalry song. The synth, mood, and building are quite grand.

                                    trebor's - 2016 in Country Music
                                    trebor's - 2015 in Country Music

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Gambo View Post
                                      Never saw a New Order similarity before I I must say, though now you point it out Robbie I kind-of see where you're coming from.
                                      Yes, totally. Never realised this before.
                                      trebor's - 2016 in Country Music
                                      trebor's - 2015 in Country Music

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by trebor View Post
                                        Completely off-topic (and sorry it it may disrupt the conversation).
                                        While catching up on Channel 4 this was played: Jona Lewie: "You'll Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties"
                                        Find it superior to that Stop The Cavalry song. The synth, mood, and building are quite grand.

                                        It's a great song. And I agree, it's much better than 'Stop The Cavalry' though at the time it was the latter that I bought.

                                        Comment


                                        • I'd rate both Kitchen and Cavalry as pretty strong singles - I've even got a soft spot for Seaside Shuffle.....

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                                          • Yes! Jona Lewie should be remembered for both his hits, not just the Chrimbo one. '....At Parties' is one of the very few singles that can still raise a chuckle from me even as a middle-aged man. I particularly like "this was at some do at Palmer's Green" which markedly didn't rhyme with the preceding line! He probably doesn't want to get remembered for his Terry Dactyl era so much, but for those born in the '70s, 'Seaside Shuffle' was one of those comfy pop tunes designed for young kiddies to enjoy, along with the likes of 'Halfway Up The Stairs', 'The Smurf Song', and let's be honest, perhaps unintentionally,'Hooray It's a Holi-Holi-Day'. In my very very young days I was played stuff like 'Whispering Grass' and 'Matchstalk Men...' too, but regard myself as having been extremely fortuitous in being able to plough my own furrow on more 'serious' chart music in parallel, which I still enjoy today. By the time of 'The Birdie Song', 'Orville's Song', 'Superman' et al I was already considering myself well-beyond such childish fodder, despite still being in single figures!

                                            Anyway sorry; none of that is 'new wave', even by PassingStrang's loosest definition of the term So let's get back on track.

                                            Comment


                                            • Nothing against discussing other songs, trebor

                                              I have a problem with Mr Lewie - he had two genuine worldwide smashes (already mentioned), plus his UK flop follow-up to "Cavalry", "Louise", had its fair share of success abroad. And if we add "Seaside shuffle", Jona becomes a genuine hit maker, not a one- or two-hit wonder! I have a soft spot for him, he did quite a few great songs, and "Kitchen at parties" is indeed a great one, one of those songs that tend to get overlooked and written off as a novelty, but actually did their not-inconsiderable bit to bring electronic sound to the masses. So it is a great choice and there'd be nothing shameful if it was the only song to remember Mr Lewie by.

                                              Let's continue the thread, though - and another performer who had more hits than one, but this song is his biggest one for the 1980s. Funny story about it on Wikipedia that tells us one needs to act on impulse in certain circumstances, but I have nothing much to say, really - not the style of 1980s pop I have much time for, the beginning is fantastic but goes downhill when other instruments enter Still, a big hit in English-speaking parts of the world - though, apart from the usual allies from Benelux, other countries reacted coolly. Not such a rare occurrence, if we judge by this list - which defies the general perception that if a song hits big in the USA and/or UK than it automatically becomes a smash everywhere. At least for the 1980s, clearly people were much more selective then (sometimes to detriment of a great song).

                                              Yes, not much to say, I'm afraid, maybe someone else can sing praises of this one.
                                              Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sun February 16th, 2020, 00:59.

                                              Comment


                                              • 107. I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU by Dan Hartman

                                                Written by: Dan Hartman
                                                Produced by: Dan Hartman/Jimmy Iovine
                                                Country of origin: USA
                                                Date of release: April 1984
                                                Note: from the OST "Streets of fire"

                                                Australia
                                                9 July 1984 - #3 - 22 weeks

                                                Belgium
                                                Het Belgisch Hitboek: 17 November 1984 - #16 - 6 weeks
                                                Belgie Super 30: 17 November 1984 - #14 - 5 weeks

                                                Canada
                                                RPM: 28 July 1984 - #11 - 20 weeks

                                                France
                                                TMP France: 28 October 1984 - #46 - 12 weeks
                                                InfoDisc: 4 November 1984 - #62 - 1 week

                                                Ireland
                                                5 September 1985 - #4 - 3 weeks

                                                Israel
                                                2 September 1984 - #9 - 7 weeks

                                                Netherlands
                                                De Nederlandse Top 40: 27 October 1984 - #12 - 8 weeks
                                                Nationale Hitparade: 27 October 1984 - #18 - 7 weeks

                                                New Zealand
                                                23 September 1984 - #47 - 1 week

                                                South Africa
                                                19 October 1984 - #7 - 18 weeks

                                                Sweden
                                                Topplistan: 31 August 1984 - #13 - 8 weeks
                                                Trackslistan: 8 September 1984 - #13 - 3 weeks

                                                UK
                                                Music Week: 25 August 1984 - #78 - 3 weeks: 24 August 1985 - #12 - 8 weeks
                                                The Network Chart: 31 August 1985 - #9 - 6 weeks
                                                Melody Maker: 31 August 1985 - #10 - 6 weeks
                                                New Musical Express: 31 August 1985 - #11 - 6 weeks

                                                USA
                                                Billboard: 5 May 1984 - #6 - 25 weeks
                                                Cash Box: 5 May 1984 - #6 - 25 weeks
                                                Radio & Records: 1 June 1984 - #8 - 14 weeks

                                                Zimbabwe
                                                15 December 1984 - #1 (9) - 18 weeks

                                                Comment


                                                • I bought 'I Can Dream About You' back in 1985 simply for one reason - the B side, which was his big 1978 hit, and the one that overshadows everything else he ever did, 'Instant Replay'. I must admit I found 'I Can Dream About You' somewhat dull...

                                                  'Relight My Fire, another of Mr Hartman's songs, would be a UK number 1 in 1993 in a version by Take That featuring Lulu.

                                                  Comment


                                                  • I also acquired I Can Dream About You back in the 80s, only because I bought the Streets of Fire soundtrack to get the two Jim Steinman numbers! It's a pleasant enough track but would agree it's nothing special. Surprised to learn from Wikipedia that Hartman died young in '94. Don't remember hearing that at the time.

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