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

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  • 110. Only Crying by Keith Marshall

    Written by: Keith Marshall
    Produced by: Keith Marshall
    Country of origin: UK
    Date of release: March 1981

    Australia
    30 November 1981 - #19 - 28 weeks

    Austria
    Der Musikmarkt: 15 August 1981 - #8 - 22 weeks

    Belgium
    Het Belgisch Hitboek: 20 June 1981 - #1 (4) - 13 weeks

    France
    Top 75: 23 August 1981 - #46 - 7 weeks

    (West) Germany
    13 July 1981 - #5 - 24 weeks

    Israel
    22 June 1981 - #4 - 8 weeks

    Italy
    Musica e Dischi: 20 June 1981 - #9 - 19 weeks
    TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 20 September 1981 - #12 - 16 weeks
    RAI Hit Parade: 3 October 1981 - #15 - 8 weeks

    Netherlands
    De Nederlandse Top 40: 6 June 1981 - #3 - 11 weeks
    Nationale Hitparade: 13 June 1981 - #10 - 11 weeks

    New Zealand
    31 January 1982 - #24 - 7 weeks

    Switzerland
    Der Musikmarkt: 1 September 1981 - #5 - 10 weeks
    Sonntags-BLICK Hitparade: 6 September 1981 - #3 - 8 weeks
    DRS Hitparade: 6 September 1981 - #3 - 7 weeks

    UK
    Record Business: 30 March 1981 - #17 - 11 weeks
    Music Week: 4 April 1981 - #12 - 10 weeks
    Melody Maker: 25 April 1981 - #11 - 6 weeks
    New Musical Express: 25 April 1981 - #12 - 5 weeks
    Last edited by Passing_Strang; Wed February 26th, 2020, 14:01.

    Comment


    • Only Crying is ok but give me Hello any day!

      They made a string a classic glam singles after the movement's early 70s heyday.

      Only Tell Him and New York Groove were real hits but Games Up and Star Studded Sham were great too!

      Hadn't realised OC wasn't an Irish hit - it certainly is odd.

      It didn't do quite as well on Record Business either:

      30 March 81 #17 11 weeks
      Last edited by Metalweb; Sat February 22nd, 2020, 23:09.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Metalweb View Post
        Only Crying is ok but give me Hello any day!
        nothing epochal, but perfect summery laid back pop song

        Comment


        • I didn't mind 'Only Crying'. A bit lightweight perhaps but a pleasant song.

          I've just found out (via wikipedia) that one of the members of Hello was Jeff Allen. Whose brother is Chris Allen, otherwise known as Chris Cross. Of Ultravox.

          Comment


          • Robbie, that was really an outrageous thing when I found out! But even more crazy is that Chris actually co-wrote quite a few Hello songs with his bro (and Mr Mitchell, sometimes)! Here the band's last single, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FoDjW3ToQ0 And it's really strange to get one's head around - one man took part in writing of glam-pop - and stuff as biting and extreme as the early Vox albums (particularly "Ha!-Ha!-Ha!"). Still, publishing money were very welcome, I guess, plus Chris had a feel for pop melody, so maybe all that is not that surprising, after all...

            Haven't heard much Hello yet. Maybe I'll rectify it one day.

            Comment


            • I also had to go to Wikipedia to get some background information. Also, chuckled a bit when reading the relation to Ultravox.
              Don't really like this song that much and had no real clue who Hello were/is other than seeing them charting in Germany (and others).

              Passing_Strang
              Don't have the charts with me at the moment but I will certainly check the issue with "Only Crying"'s Italian chart runs, i.e. debut dates.
              trebor's - 2016 in Country Music
              trebor's - 2015 in Country Music

              Comment


              • A bit of a hiatus here, but no more! (hopefully) I'll now go to Australia - not literally, of course, only regarding the next few entries. All great songs, I assure you. And the first one is my particular favourite. There was a whole wave of New Romantic-sounding bands in Australia in 1983-1984, inspired by Ultravox, mainly. One such band, Pseudo Echo, I already featured, here's another - Real Life. They really worked the Ultravox angle in their music, right down to synth player doubling on violin! They differed from their peers in that they got the commercial break straight away, and, crucially, not only in their home country, but abroad too - in Europe and even in the USA. In fact, these guys managed not one, but two international hits back to back and their first album sold in vast numbers. They couldn't build on this foundation, however, and languished until 1989, when, after the success of "Blue monday" remix, they decided to do the same - and actually managed to outperform the original version in the USA. One of the first such instances. This didn't lead to a major commercial revival and record company problems hampered their progress. The band recorded independently for years afterwards, even managed a great album in early 2000s, but of course they stayed where they were. Their main hit, however, is a solid (synth)pop gold and simply must be highlighted.

                Strange chart performance, though - you'd expect a GAS smash to at least manage a minor chart action in Benelux, but no, nothing, never. And of course it went completely over (or under) the radar in the UK - though you'd think it was tailor-made for that market. In other words, I expected a bit more countries to be covered

                Oh, and let's not forget that these guys, I can be argued, gave the world the phenomenon that is Modern Talking! It was a cover version of this hit that started the partnership of Dieter Bohlen and Thomas Anders. So Real Life themselves made a name as an influence!
                Last edited by Passing_Strang; Mon March 2nd, 2020, 17:23.

                Comment


                • 111. SEND ME AN ANGEL by Real Life

                  Written by: David Sterry/Richard Zatorski
                  Produced by: Ross Cockle
                  Country of origin: Australia
                  Release date: May 1983

                  Australia
                  6 June 1983 - #6 - 20 weeks

                  Austria
                  Der Musikmarkt: 15 June 1984 - #9 - 12 weeks
                  O3-Hitparade: 17 June 1984 - #8 - 10 weeks

                  Canada
                  28 January 1984 - #18 - 11 weeks

                  Denmark
                  13 July 1984 - #6 - 10 weeks

                  France
                  TMP France: 4 March 1984 - #19 - 19 weeks

                  (West) Germany
                  30 April 1984 - #1 (4) - 20 weeks

                  New Zealand
                  24 July 1983 - #1 (1) - 19 weeks

                  Spain
                  15 September 1984 - #19 - 9 weeks , (Los 40) 6 oct 84 #1 (1) / 5w

                  Sweden
                  Trackslistan: 8 September 1984 - #4 - 4 weeks

                  Switzerland
                  6 May 1984 - #2 - 13 weeks

                  USA
                  Billboard: 12 November 1983 - #29 - 19 weeks
                  Cash Box: 26 November 1983 - #22 - 19 weeks
                  Radio & Records: 9 December 1983 - #26 - 9 weeks

                  111.1. SEND ME AN ANGEL '89 by Real Life

                  Australia
                  AMR: 31 July 1989 - #51 - 8 weeks

                  New Zealand
                  27 August 1989 - #22 - 8 weeks

                  USA
                  Cash Box: 13 May 1989 - #20 - 18 weeks
                  Billboard: 13 May 1989 - #27 - 16 weeks
                  Radio & Records: 2 June 1989 - #22 - 8 weeks

                  Comment


                  • I don't think I've heard 'Send Me An Angel' since 1983 or 1984. It's a decent enough track and while I can see (or more, hear) why it wasn't a big UK hit it does sound like something that would have charted in the lower reaches of the Gallup top 100 back then.

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                    • It's okay. The lyrics are a tad clumsy but it's surprising it wasn't at least a minor hit.

                      The title "Send Me An Angel" was quite a popular one around this time. American rock band Blackfoot had a minor UK hit in '83 with a cracking single of the same name (it also made Number Two on the Metal Charts I'm currently posting in another thread!)

                      The Scorpions also reached the UK Top 30 in '91 with their own similarly titled follow-up to Wind Of Change.


                      Comment


                      • I don't believe I heard 'Send Me An Angel' contemporaneously - perhaps its relative lack of exposure here led to its failure to dent any of our published charts at the time. But a mate who knows my secret affection for early '80s synth-led pop pap put me onto it about 11 years back, and I have to say I enjoyed it as a great slice of period Euro-pop (even though they were an Aussie act), and was disappointed that it didn't make it here. Although objectively, perhaps it did just sound a bit too Euro-ish to take-off here, besides any lack of promotion it might've suffered from. If only we had accurate airplay charts etc from back then we could check that theory.

                        Perhaps the bigger shock here is that it seems to have performed rather well in America! Top 30 across the three charts of note. It's akin to the oddity of A Flock Of Seagulls' 'I Ran' being a Top 10 smash in the US while it never broke the 40 at home; if one doesn't know better one would invert those stats. I guess you just never know.

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                        • Send Me An Angel peaked at 22 on The Record (11 weeks in).

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                          • 'Send Me an Angel' was huge in Germany and is remembered as an 80s classic nowadays.The follow-up 'Catch Me If I'm Falling' peaked at number 9 and was the band's second and last German top 40 hit.
                            My YouTube Channel - The best songs of the 80s, 90s and 2000s

                            Comment


                            • Alright, sorry for long absence - got distracted by work and life. So much had happened in the world that maybe it's no use, but let's continue with the thread like nothing happened.

                              We're in Australia still (figuratively, though maybe there are some Aussie readers here?) and the next band is Icehouse. Now, I just love them - if one is to ask me about the underrated bands from the 1980s, they are to be on the list very, very high. They are often accused of being not much more than a Roxy Music rip-off but to me that's bollocks - while they may have some striking resemblances in some songs, overall they are quite distinct - and let me be controversial, I much prefer them to RM and their singer Iva Davies to Bryan Ferry (just like I much, much prefer, say, Peter Murphy to David Bowie). And the music's just fine, especially on ballad-y stuff. Their song "Trojan Blue" is one of my all time favourites and overall they excelled on slower ones - their brand of melancholy with a dash of dramatic is so, so good! I could roll off quite a list of great songs by them, but let me just recommend these from their repertoire: "Icehouse, "Primitive man", "Measure for measure" and "Man of colours". These albums are stellar works, very few bands could be so consistent. Of course they had their spottier moments - but never released a bad or embarrassing album, which is quite an achievement.

                              Their inclusion here may be debatable, though - they don't have a firm big hit. In fact, the song I'm going to feature, "Hey little girl", didn't even chart in North America (not surprising - they were on Chrysalis, that excelled at dampening carriers of non-US acts there, and also Roxy Music themselves struggled with the American public). But this one is such a big hit everywhere else, while their US hits barely registered elsewhere. So it seems fair and only logical.

                              "Who can you run to now?" - prophetic, eh?

                              Comment


                              • 112. HEY LITTLE GIRL by Icehouse

                                Written by: Iva Davies
                                Produced by: Iva Davies/Keith Forsey
                                Country of origin: Australia
                                Release date: 26 October 1982

                                Australia
                                15 November 1982 - #7 - 18 weeks

                                Austria
                                O3-Hitparade: 19 June 1983 - #11 - 11 weeks
                                Der Musikmarkt: 1 July 1983 - #9 - 10 weeks

                                Belgium
                                Het Belgisch Hitboek: 27 November 1982 - #13 - 9 weeks
                                BRT Top 30: 11 December 1982 - #14 - 6 weeks

                                France
                                TMP France: 24 April 1983 - #5 - 27 weeks
                                InfoDisc: 30 July 1983 - #13 - 17 weeks

                                (West) Germany
                                11 April 1983 - #5 - 18 weeks

                                Ireland
                                27 February 1983 - #15 - 4 weeks

                                Israel
                                7 March 1983 - #4 - 11 weeks

                                The Netherlands
                                Nationale Hitparade: 13 November 1982 - #12 - 7 weeks
                                De Nederlandse Top 40: 13 November 1982 - #13 - 6 weeks

                                New Zealand
                                5 December 1982 - #9 - 17 weeks

                                Sweden
                                19 April 1983 - #12 - 8 weeks

                                Switzerland
                                Sonntags-BLICK Hitparade: 8 May 1983 - #1 (1) - 9 weeks
                                DRS Hitparade: 15 May 1983 - #2 - 8 weeks
                                Der Musikmarkt: 15 May 1983 - #6 - 10 weeks

                                UK
                                Music Week: 29 January 1983 - #17 - 11 weeks
                                Melody Maker: 12 February 1983 - #12 - 5 weeks
                                New Musical Express: 5 March 1983 - #14 - 4 weeks

                                112.1. HEY LITTLE GIRL '97 by Icehouse

                                Spain
                                11 October 1997 - #6 - 3 weeks

                                UK
                                6 September 1997 - #182 - 1 week
                                Last edited by Passing_Strang; Mon March 30th, 2020, 22:59.

                                Comment


                                • I love 'Hey Little Girl', it's a great single that has stood the test of time. I've always thought that Iva Davies' vocals on the song sounds like David Sylvian trying to sound like Bryan Ferry.

                                  Icehouse were a band that should have been a lot more successful in the UK than they were. 'Hey Little Girl' was one of three singles I bought by them, the others being 'No Promises' and 'Crazy'.

                                  Comment


                                  • I used to like Icehouse back in the day but haven't listened to them for a long while.

                                    From what I recall Hey Little Girl was the only track on which Iva Davies really sounded like Bryan Ferry - and musically the two bands had little in common.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                                      I love 'Hey Little Girl', it's a great single that has stood the test of time. I've always thought that Iva Davies' vocals on the song sounds like David Sylvian trying to sound like Bryan Ferry.

                                      Icehouse were a band that should have been a lot more successful in the UK than they were. 'Hey Little Girl' was one of three singles I bought by them, the others being 'No Promises' and 'Crazy'.
                                      Couldn't agree more, although I have to confess that 'HLG' was by far their most commercial single, and if that couldn't get beyond the back echelon of the Top 20, it would've been peculiar if their other singles did - though of course stranger things have happened chart-wise. One of my favourites still. This is partly because it's a melodic, understated, crisp and stylish pop production of the kind that seldom makes any noise nowadays, and partly because while I'm no professional singer, the one artist I'm fairly sure to do some justice to at a karaoke party is David Sylvian, as my voice seems to be similar - lucky really considering Japan were always a great band to me and I enjoy belting out things like 'Quiet Life' and 'Ghosts' in my front room! Iva definitely does 'do a Dave' on this song and as I find I can sing along reasonably accurately to it.

                                      Do keep these coming PassingStrang; threads of this sort are more important now than ever.

                                      Comment


                                      • ^
                                        Speaking of Iva doing a Dave, his band certainly does do a Dave on 'No Promises' which is from 1986. The melody is reminiscent of the then year old 'This Is Not America' by David Bowie and the Pat Metheny Band...

                                        Comment


                                        • Yes that is probably their next-best offering for me and criminally-underrated.

                                          Comment


                                          • Originally posted by Robbie View Post
                                            ^
                                            Speaking of Iva doing a Dave, his band certainly does do a Dave on 'No Promises' which is from 1986. The melody is reminiscent of the then year old 'This Is Not America' by David Bowie and the Pat Metheny Band...
                                            Yes, "No promises" is such a delight! Should've been such a bigger hit than it was! The first song by Icehouse I ever heard - and it never fails to compel, even to this day. Davies had this knack of, let's say, doing his musical paintings - quite a few of his songs have this dreamy quality with mythical, quasi-historical themes, he's really a master in this field (which is quite unexpected from an Australian guy). And he can do songs by others equally as good - please sample his cover of "Love like blood", it's a masterpiece!
                                            Speaking of Sylvian - a fun fact: who plays drums on "No promises"? That's one Steve Jansen

                                            And speaking of Sylvian again - my, how I tried to tolerate his "singing"! God knows I did my best - but years passed while I couldn't enjoy the music of Japan (barring their great instrumentals). Only fairly recently something eased inside me, probably I simply learned to hear his singing as another instrument or something. I even prefer Ferry to him, I think his style during Japan years was a bit too much (still better than post-1980 Numan, though). So I can't actually lose myself in their music, only admire them from a distance (and I didn't really have a nerve or inclination to try Sylvian solo records - though from the scant few I've heard he seems to sing normally on them). I'm afraid vocals are the deciding part for me in most cases.

                                            And Gambo, I hear what you say about feeling comfortable singing "Hey little girl"! I regularly try that (when no-one's around) and am convinced I could pull it off! Not that I really have a nerve to try karaoke ;)

                                            Comment


                                            • Now, the band I'm aware of, but know very little about in a way of music. Their discography is a bit intimidating, though I always meant to investigate. And it's a much-loved band in their home country (we're still in Australia, of course ). Like quite a few bands from there, they had a worldwide hit (well, almost) - and it's the one I'm going to feature. Great uplifting song, though somehow seems longer than it actually is. Like many of their compatriots they weren't able to replicate the success, but the song's still remembered fondly - so here it is:

                                              P.S. Should I add videos here, too?
                                              Last edited by Passing_Strang; Sat April 4th, 2020, 17:06.

                                              Comment


                                              • 113. LIVE IT UP by Mental as Anything

                                                Written by: Andrew McArthur "Greedy" Smith
                                                Produced by: Richard Gottehrer
                                                Country of origin: Australia
                                                Date of release: 20 May 1985
                                                Note: from the OST "Crocodile" Dundee

                                                Australia
                                                3 June 1985 - #2 - 23 weeks

                                                Austria
                                                Der Musikmarkt: 1 May 1987 - #15 - 10 weeks

                                                Belgium
                                                Het Belgisch Hitboek: 19 April 1986 - #40 - 1 week

                                                Finland
                                                3 May 1987 - #7 - 5 weeks

                                                (West) Germany
                                                13 April 1987 - #6 - 15 weeks

                                                Ireland
                                                22 February 1987 - #2 - 7 weeks

                                                Israel
                                                8 March 1987 - #2 - ?

                                                The Netherlands
                                                Nationale Hitparade: 5 April 1986 - #42 - 1 week

                                                New Zealand
                                                11 August 1985 - #6 - 15 weeks

                                                Norway
                                                8 April 1987 - #4 - 14 weeks

                                                Sweden
                                                Topplistan: 20 May 1987 - #20 - 2 weeks

                                                UK
                                                Music Week: 24 January 1987 - #3 - 15 weeks
                                                The Network Chart: 7 February 1987 - #2 - 13 weeks
                                                Melody Maker: 14 February 1987 - #6 - 10 weeks
                                                New Musical Express: 21 February 1987 - #3 - 10 weeks

                                                Comment


                                                • I quite liked 'Live It Up'. As Alan Jones reported in Record Mirror when the record first charted in the UK in early February 1987 the song dates back to 1983, presumably when it was first recorded as a demo. The single itself was recorded in 1984.

                                                  I'm surprised the single wasn't a hit in the US. It had been released as a single in February 1986 (the same month it was first released in the UK) but unlike the UK it doesn't seemed to have been re-released when the film became a box-office success.

                                                  I'd like you to add videos but I'll go along with what others think. I nearly always access ukmix on a computer so videos don't cause me a problem. Some people may access the site on a mobile device and may have a different preference.

                                                  Comment


                                                  • I really like Live It Up, though it was obviously only a hit here because of the Crocodile Dundee connection - oddly, as far as I can remember it was barely in the film at all, just on in the background during a party sequence.

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