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

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Postby Passing_Strang » Sun Feb 18, 2018 6:50 pm

47. LET THE MUSIC PLAY by Shannon

Written by: Christopher Barbosa/Ed Chisolm
Produced by: Christopher Barbosa/Mark Liggett
Country of origin: USA
Release date: September 1983

Australia
14 May 1984 - #62 - 10 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 26 May 1984 - #20 - 1 weeks

Canada
4 February 1984 - #12 - 15 weeks

Finland
March 1984 - #20 - 1 month

France
TMP France: 15 January 1984 - #4 - 16 weeks
InfoDisc: 4 March 1984 - #79 - 2 weeks

(West) Germany
13 February 1984 - #5 - 16 weeks

Israel
13 February 1984 - #18 - 6 weeks

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 28 April 1984 - #15 - 7 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 29 April 1984 - #10 - 7 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 6 May 1984 - #12 - 9 weeks

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 14 April 1984 - #17 - 6 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 21 April 1984 - #25 - 5 weeks

New Zealand
22 April 1984 - #2 - 11 weeks

Switzerland
29 January 1984 - #23 - 4 weeks

UK
Music Week: 19 November 1983 - #51 - 3 weeks; 14 January 1984 - #14 - 14 weeks
New Musical Express: 26 November 1983 - #33 - 2 weeks; 4 February 1984 - #14 - 8 weeks
Melody Maker: 4 February 1984 - #13 - 9 weeks

USA
Billboard: 12 November 1983 - #8 - 24 weeks
Cash Box: 19 November 1983 - #8 - 25 weeks
Radio & Records: 6 January 1984 - #9 - 11 weeks

Zimbabwe
28 April 1984 - #5 - 15 weeks

47.1. Let The Music Play (2002 remix) by Shannon

Germany
18 March 2002 - #83 - 2 weeks

47.2. Let the Music Play by BBG feat. Erin

UK
23 March 1996 - #46 - 1 week

47.3. Let the Music Play by Märy Kiani

UK
27 April 1996 - #19 - 3 weeks

47.4. Let the Music Play by Beatbox feat. Rael

Germany
17 August 1998 - #32 - 10 weeks

47.5. Let the Music Play by DJ Blackskin feat. G-Va & Nate the Great

Germany
13 July 2007 - #73 - 4 weeks

47.6. SOS (Let the Music Play) by Jordin Sparks

UK
3 October 2009 - #13 - 9 weeks

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 10 October 2009 - #51 - 10 weeks

Sweden
16 October 2009 - #7 - 15 weeks

Australia
#54
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby yuvalzirler » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:01 pm

Passing_Strang wrote:47. LET THE MUSIC PLAY by Shannon

Written by: Christopher Barbosa/Ed Chisolm
Produced by: Christopher Barbosa/Mark Liggett
Country of origin: USA
Release date: September 1983

Australia
14 May 1984 - #62 - 10 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 26 May 1984 - #20 - 1 weeks

Canada
4 February 1984 - #12 - 15 weeks

Finland
March 1984 - #20 - 1 month

France
TMP France: 15 janvier 1984 - #4 - 16 weeks
InfoDisc: 4 March 1984 - #79 - 2 weeks

(West) Germany
13 February 1984 - #5 - 16 weeks

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 28 April 1984 - #15 - 7 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 29 April 1984 - #10 - 7 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 6 May 1984 - #12 - 9 weeks

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 14 April 1984 - #17 - 6 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 21 April 1984 - #25 - 5 weeks

New Zealand
22 April 1984 - #2 - 11 weeks

Switzerland
29 January 1984 - #23 - 4 weeks

UK
Music Week: 19 November 1983 - #14 - 17 weeks
New Musical Express: 26 November 1983 - #33 - 2 weeks; 4 February 1984 - #14 - 8 weeks
Melody Maker: 4 February 1984 - #13 - 9 weeks

USA
Billboard: 12 November 1983 - #8 - 24 weeks
Cash Box: 19 November 1983 - #8 - 25 weeks
Radio & Records: 6 January 1984 - #9 - 11 weeks

Zimbabwe
28 April 1984 - #5 - 15 weeks

47.1. Let The Music Play (2002 remix) by Shannon

Germany
18 March 2002 - #83 - 2 weeks

47.2. Let the Music Play by BBG feat. Erin

UK
23 March 1996 - #46 - 1 week

47.3. Let the Music Play by Märy Kiani

UK
27 April 1996 - #19 - 3 weeks

47.4. Let the Music Play by Beatbox feat. Rael

Germany
17 August 1998 - #32 - 10 weeks

47.5. Let the Music Play by DJ Blackskin feat. G-Va & Nate the Great

Germany
13 July 2007 - #73 - 4 weeks

47.6. SOS (Let the Music Play) by Jordin Sparks

UK
3 October 2009 - #13 - 9 weeks

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 10 October 2009 - #51 - 10 weeks

Sweden
16 October 2009 - #7 - 15 weeks

Australia
#54
Israel-
entered 13.2.1984, charted for 6 weeks, at least #18 (24-?-18-30-?-40-out)
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Postby grendizer » Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:50 am

None of these entered the charts :

VAMOS A LA PLAYA by Righeira No commercial release in Japan
NEVER NEVER by The Assembly No commercial release in Japan
DOLCE VITA by Ryan Paris No commercial release in Japan

THE SAFETY DANCE by Men Without Hats
LIVING ON VIDEO by Trans-X
I.O.U. by Freeez
ROCKIT by Herbie Hancock
SUNSHINE REGGAE by Laid Back
LET THE MUSIC PLAY by Shannon
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Postby Passing_Strang » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:15 pm

Back again - work seems to get in the way at will :x

Yuval and grendizer, thank you, as usual, for the info - will correst the previous entires ASAP.

Now, nearing the completion of the first half of my list, a great relaxing dance-pop song that captured imagination worldwide during the early half of 1984. Strangely, it didn't get much success in Sounthern Europe (maybe because there was no shortage of great relaxing dance-pop songs there) but hit big in frosty Scandinavia :D Practically a one hit wonder (which the mid 1980s were so rich for) - but managed to became a certified pop classic with successful cover versions in succeeding decades (to date only 2010s failed to launch a big hit with a take on this song). No doubt kept its authors happy along the way.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:23 pm

48. BREAK MY STRIDE by Matthew Wilder

Written by: Matthew Wilder/Gregory Prestopino
Produced by: Peter Bunetta/Rick Chudacoff/Bill Elliott
Country of origin: USA
Release date: August 1983

Australia
23 January 1984 - #6 - 20 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 25 March 1984 - #6 - 11 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 1 April 1984 - #8 - 8 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 10 March 1984 - #2 - 8 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 10 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks

Canada
26 November 1983 - #5 - 19 weeks

Denmark
#7

France
TMP France: 1 April 1984 - #53 - 5 weeks
InfoDisc: 29 April 1984 - #63 - 6 weeks

(West) Germany
20 February 1984 - #7 - 13 weeks

Iceland
17 February 1984 - #1 (2) - 6 weeks

Ireland
15 January 1984 - #3 - 8 weeks

Israel
16 January 1984 - #2 - 10 weeks

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 3 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 3 March 1984 - #5 - 9 weeks

New Zealand
12 February 1984 - #3 - 12 weeks

Norway
25 January 1984 - #1 (3) - 9 weeks

Poland
18 February 1984 - #27 - 6 weeks

South Africa
2 March 1984 - #4 - 22 weeks

Sweden
3 April 1984 - #14 - 4 weeks

Switzerland
1 April 1984 - #22 - 4 weeks

UK
Music Week: 14 January 1984 - #4 - 12 weeks
Melody Maker: 21 January 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
New Musical Express: 28 January 1984 - #4 - 9 weeks

USA
Billboard: 17 September 1983 - #3 - 29 weeks
Cash Box: 17 September 1983 - #2 - 32 weeks
Radio & Records: 18 November 1983 - #9 - 12 weeks

Zimbabwe
19 May1984 - #8 - 12 weeks

48.1. Break My Stride by Unique II

Australia
15 December 1996 - #2 - 23 weeks

Austria
11 August 1996 - #1 (7) - 26 weeks

Canada
#18

New Zealand
16 March 1997 - #1 (2) - 15 weeks

Sweden
Trackslistan: 26 October 1996 - #17 - 4 weeks

48.2. Break My Stride by Bluelagoon

Austria
22 August 2004 - #6 - 16 weeks

Belgium
Flemish Ultratop: 13 November 2004 - #49 - 2 weeks

Denmark
3 December 2004 - #10 - 5 weeks

France
30 January 2005 - #18 - 17 weeks

Germany
23 August 2004 - #2 - 18 weeks

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 20 November 2004 - #45 - 6 weeks

Sweden
10 March 2005 - #4 - 20 weeks

Switzerland
29 August 2004 - #15 - 15 weeks

48.3. Break My Stride by Bodybangers feat. Tony T.

Austria
30 August 2013 - #62 - 1 week

Germany
30 August 2013 - #90 - 1 week
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby yuvalzirler » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:39 pm

Passing_Strang wrote:48. BREAK MY STRIDE by Matthew Wilder

Written by: Matthew Wilder/Gregory Prestopino
Produced by: Peter Bunetta/Rick Chudacoff/Bill Elliott
Country of origin: USA
Release date: August 1983

Australia
23 January 1984 - #6 - 20 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 25 March 1984 - #6 - 11 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 1 April 1984 - #8 - 8 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 10 March 1984 - #2 - 8 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 10 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks

Canada
26 November 1983 - #5 - 19 weeks

Denmark
#7

(West) Germany
20 February 1984 - #7 - 13 weeks

Iceland
17 February 1984 - #1 (2) - 6 weeks

Ireland
15 January 1984 - #3 - 8 weeks

Israel
Top 10

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 3 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 3 March 1984 - #5 - 9 weeks

New Zealand
12 February 1984 - #3 - 12 weeks

Norway
25 January 1984 - #1 (3) - 9 weeks

Poland
18 February 1984 - #27 - 6 weeks

South Africa
2 March 1984 - #4 - 22 weeks

Sweden
3 April 1984 - #14 - 4 weeks

Switzerland
1 April 1984 - #22 - 4 weeks

UK
Music Week: 14 January 1984 - #4 - 12 weeks
Melody Maker: 21 January 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
New Musical Express: 28 January 1984 - #4 - 9 weeks

USA
Billboard: 17 September 1983 - #3 - 29 weeks
Cash Box: 17 September 1983 - #2 - 32 weeks
Radio & Records: 18 November 1983 - #9 - 12 weeks

Zimbabwe
19 May1984 - #8 - 12 weeks

48.1. Break My Stride by Unique II

Australia
15 December 1996 - #2 - 23 weeks

Austria
11 August 1996 - #1 (7) - 26 weeks

Canada
#18

New Zealand
16 March 1997 - #1 (2) - 15 weeks

48.2. Break My Stride by Bluelagoon

Austria
22 August 2004 - #6 - 16 weeks

Belgium
Flemish Ultratop: 13 November 2004 - #49 - 2 weeks

Denmark
3 December 2004 - #10 - 5 weeks

France
30 January 2005 - #18 - 17 weeks

Germany
23 August 2004 - #2 - 18 weeks

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 20 November 2004 - #45 - 6 weeks

Sweden
10 March 2005 - #4 - 20 weeks

Switzerland
29 August 2004 - #15 - 15 weeks

48.3. Break My Stride by Bodybangers feat. Tony T.

Austria
30 August 2013 - #62 - 1 week

Germany
30 August 2013 - #90 - 1 week
Israel-
entered 16.1.1984, charted for 10 weeks, peaked at #2 behind Lionel Richie's "Running with the night" (20-10-6-3-2-?-10-18-?-32-out)
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Postby Robbie » Tue Mar 06, 2018 1:24 pm

'Let The Music Play' by Shannon was something of a groundbreaking track and to me still has a lasting appeal. I bought both the single and the parent album, as well as all the other singles that were released from the album.

'Break My Stride' by Mathhew Wilder was a decent track. Although musically lighweight it was a catchy track. Although American, the frizzy hairstyle and moustache made Wilder look like he should have been part of a German or Dutch pop act!
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:34 pm

Yuval, thank you! :D

Robbie, Shannon song do stand out even today, I agree. The problem with the whole electro stuff was that it had quite a narrow palette and few rhythmic variations. Not to mention that it was a singles genre, not really suited for albums. So Shannon album was - to me - just some more in the vein of a hit. That may explain her short-lived carrier. Still, she had a couple of hits more which is surprising, so she might've had some artistic worth compared to many others.

As for Wilder, I think it was that very lightweightness that helped his song. The charts at the time (UK especially) were full of foreboding stuff - and "Break My Stide", I'm sure, really stood out. It's interesting how 1984 - one of the greatest ever years for pop and dance music - had these two main streams: "end of the world" stuff and some of the brightest pop ever, both equally represented in the charts. The latter have won, it seems...

Anyway, now another band that had a curious carrier path - being a one-hit wonder in their homeland, they found big success on the other side of the Atlantic. And, briefly, in most of the continental Europe, too. Must admit, their music leave me rather cold and I don't really see how this song managed to become so successful - it's, to my ears, stuff for 20-30s positions in the chart, not for Top 10s. But maybe I'm missing something. The thing is, that's their beggest hit worldwide and has a right to be represented here:
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Mar 08, 2018 12:41 pm

49. DANCE HALL DAYS by Wang Chung

Written by: Jack Hues
Produced by: Chris Hughes/Ross Cullum
Country of origin: UK
Release date: 6 January 1984

Australia
4 June 1984 - #7 - 16 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 20 May 1984 - #22 - 3 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 31 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 7 April 1984 - #3 - 8 weeks

Canada
21 April 1984 - #9 - 23 weeks

France
InfoDisc: 15 July 1984 - #25 - 13 weeks
TMP France: 19 February 1984 - #4 - 30 weeks

(West) Germany
30 April 1984 - #5 - 18 weeks

Ireland
11 March 1984 - #12 - 4 weeks

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 31 March 1984 - #2 - 16 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 15 April 1984 - #1 (5) - 17 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 22 April 1984 - #2 - 14 weeks

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 24 March 1984 - #9 - 8 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 31 March 1984 - #10 - 7 weeks

New Zealand
24 June 1984 - #6 - 12 weeks

Sweden
17 April 1984 - #9 - 12 weeks

Switzerland
29 April 1984 - #5 - 10 weeks

UK
Music Week: 14 January 1984 - #21 - 14 weeks
Melody Maker: 11 February 1984 - #21 - 8 weeks
New Musical Express: 3 March 1984 - #24 - 7 weeks

USA
Billboard: 21 April 1984 - #16 - 22 weeks
Cash Box: 28 April 1984 - #17 - 21 weeks
Radio & Records: 25 May 1984 - #15 - 10 weeks

Zimbabwe
17 November 1984 - #13 - 7 weeks
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:35 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Gambo » Thu Mar 08, 2018 1:34 pm

Yes. Still really like this; the kind of song that actually does still get written and produced by some modern acts whose music has more than a nod to eighties sensibilities, but simply would have no chance whatsoever of reaching even the compressed Top 100 chart of today - largely because it's about as far as one could get from the processed formulaic urban/hip-hop genre that so dominates the tastes of streamers and buyers these days. This is partly why I still find such joy in listening to material from this era, besides the obvious nostalgia factor. In this instance, even at the time of its release when it sounded contemporary, it only limped to a Top 30 placing in the UK, with Wang Chung never troubling the upper echelons of the charts again on their home turf, despite being a notable indie success. It's at least heartening to find its performance was stronger in nearly all other European, Antipodean and even American countries. And even-more-so that you haven't identified any dreadful dance/rave/Eurobeat covers from the nineties or noughties, as there seems to have so-often been in the case of many of these new wave tracks!
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Postby yuvalzirler » Thu Mar 08, 2018 5:42 pm

Passing_Strang wrote:49. DANCE HALL DAYS by Wang Chung

Written by: Jack Hues
Produced by: Chris Hughes/Ross Cullum
Country of origin: UK
Release date: 6 January 1984

Australia
4 June 1984 - #7 - 16 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 31 March 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 7 April 1984 - #3 - 8 weeks

Canada
21 April 1984 - #9 - 23 weeks

France
Infodisc: 15 July 1984 - #25 - 13 weeks
TMP France: 19 February 1984 - #4 - 30 weeks

(West) Germany
30 April 1984 - #5 - 18 weeks

Ireland
11 March 1984 - #12 - 4 weeks

Israel
Top 10

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 31 March 1984 - #2 - 16 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 15 April 1984 - #1 (5) - 17 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 22 April 1984 - #2 - 14 weeks

The Netherlands
De Nederlandse Top 40: 24 March 1984 - #9 - 8 weeks
Nationale Hitparade: 31 March 1984 - #10 - 7 weeks

New Zealand
24 June 1984 - #6 - 12 weeks

Sweden
17 April 1984 - #9 - 12 weeks

Switzerland
29 April 1984 - #5 - 10 weeks

UK
Music Week: 14 January 1984 - #21 - 14 weeks
Melody Maker: 11 February 1984 - #21 - 8 weeks
New Musical Express: 3 March 1984 - #24 - 7 weeks

USA
Billboard: 21 April 1984 - #16 - 22 weeks
Cash Box: 28 April 1984 - #17 - 21 weeks
Radio & Records: 25 May 1984 - #15 - 10 weeks

Zimbabwe
17 November 1984 - #13 - 7 weeks
Strange but I couldn't find this song in any of the Israeli charts I have.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:08 pm

Yuval,I thought that being quite a hit in the UK and US WC would also feature in Israeli charts too. But it doesn't seem to be the case - so I deleted the entry for Israel. If, however, you'll find that the song charted, if only for a week or so, please do let me know :)

Gambo, I'm somewhat surprised that there were next to no attacks on the song over the years - seems to be as singular to the original band as, say, "The Safety Dance" :D By the way, both MWH and WC did their own remixes of their hits in late 1980s and early 1990s but those thankfully didn't chart and are very little-known.

Agree with your other thoughts - and actually it's a bit of a mystery to me why urban/hip-hop, which was always a niche genre, became so dominant - to the extent when practically 1/2 of the songs played have one of more of its elements. And I wonder how many of the songs from early XXI century will be as fondly remembered as those 1980s classics.

Oh well. In the meantime we've reached the middle of my list, with the next entry being No. 50. Hooray! :D This one, unlike some of the previous ones, has been a huge hit not only in capitalist Europe (and, to lesser extent, overseas), but also in the socialist camp. What I find surprising is that it had a widespread success in the USSR, being played even at the village discos across the country. The song is very catch, but somewhat angular for the public tastes here, synthpop generally has never been that hot in Russia, Soviet or otherwise (with the only exception being Depeche Mode, who are tremendously big here even to this day). My No. 50 guys - Alphaville - can be seen as ones approaching that level. While in the West they've never had any kind of lasting success, losing their bigness even in homeland by the end of 1980s, they were always fondly remembered here and since late 1990s play here regularly to packed clubs and even appear on some stadium nostalgia shows. What has drawn people to them, when most of their peers are ignored or not more than cult bands/artists, I have no idea. It's not like they are instigators of the genre, their albums are far from being seamless (even their great debut, "Forever Young", has a couple of right stinkers, the latter ones are even more patchy). Maybe it was that certain air of mystery about them that intrigued? Of course they had their share of classics - "Forever Young", "Sounds Like a Melody", "Dance with Me" and the one that'll appear shortly, maybe that ensured their place? But who knows for sure why some bands endure while others, oftne being more deserving, fade (or don't even rise).

By the way, I should not the surprisingly wide success of the band during their debut - the first three singles all became cross-continental smashes and the album did likewise. Even such German grands as Nena or Peter Schilling managed only one hit even the year prior while Alphaville simply owned the European charts for most of the 1984! Quite an achievement for a Continental act even today.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:14 pm

50. BIG IN JAPAN by Alphaville

Written by: Marian Gold/Frank Mertens/Bernhard Lloyd
Produced by: Orlando (Wolfgang Loos)
Country of origin: West Germany
Release date: January 1984

Australia
23 July 1984 - #67 - 10 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 18 March 1984 - #5 - 13 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 15 April 1984 - #4 - 12 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 12 May 1984 - #2 - 9 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 12 May 1984 - #3 - 9 weeks

Canada
4 August 1984 - #67 - 11 weeks

Finland
July 1984 - #17 - 4 months

France
3 November 1984 - #13 - 10 weeks

(West) Germany
20 February 1984 - #1 (3) - 23 weeks

Iceland
6 July 1984 - #10 - 1 week

Ireland
26 August 1984 - #4 - 8 weeks

Israel
23 September 1984 - #1 (1) - 10 weeks

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 7 April 1984 - #2 - 19 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 22 April 1984 - #2 - 17 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 29 April 1984 - #2 - 16 weeks

The Netherlands
Nationale Hitparade: 5 May 1984 - #5 - 10 weeks
De Nederlandse Top 40: 5 May 1984 - #2 - 9 weeks

Norway
30 May 1984 - #3 - 15 weeks

Poland
29 September 1984 - #9 - 8 weeks

Portugal
at least #8

South Africa
15 June 1984 - #5 - 17 weeks

Spain
18 August 1984 - #2 - 22 weeks

Sweden
1 May 1984 - #1 (6) - 16 weeks

Switzerland
25 March 1984 - #1 (4) - 18 weeks

UK
Music Week: 11 August 1984 - #8 - 14 weeks
Melody Maker: 25 August 1984 - #9 - 9 weeks
New Musical Express: 1 September 1984 - #4 - 8 weeks

USA
Billboard: 24 November 1984 - #66 - 10 weeks
Cash Box: 1 December 1984 - #68 - 9 weeks

Zimbabwe
15 December 1984 - #2 - 9 weeks

50.1. BIG IN JAPAN 1992 A.D. by Alphaville

Sweden
4 March 1992 - #15 - 6 weeks

50.2. Big in Japan by Guano Apes

Austria
9 April 2000 - #19 - 10 weeks

Germany
3 April 2000 - #9 - 12 weeks

Italy
FIMI: 30 March 2000 - #5 - 18 weeks
Musica e Dischi: 1 April 2000 - #10 - 24 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 21 May 2000 - #5 - 1 week

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 3 June 2000 - #82 - 1 week

Switzerland
2 April 2000 - #24 - 13 weeks

50.3. Big in Japan by Ane Brun

Sweden
25 September 2008 - #3 - 9 weeks
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NothingFails » Tue Mar 13, 2018 3:15 am

Wang Chung were definitely not a one hit wonder. Everybody Have Fun Tonight was a massive US hit.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:13 pm

Yes, it was successful in the USA (also Australia, South Africa, Canada) but to the other world Wang Chung are one hit wonders. Anyway, "Dance Hall Days" is their biggest hit overall and a signature tune.
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Postby yuvalzirler » Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:18 am

Passing_Strang wrote:This one, unlike some of the previous ones, has been a huge hit not only in capitalist Europe (and, to lesser extent, overseas), but also in the socialist camp. What I find surprising is that it had a widespread success in the USSR, being played even at the village discos across the country. The song is very catch, but somewhat angular for the public tastes here, synthpop generally has never been that hot in Russia, Soviet or otherwise (with the only exception being Depeche Mode, who are tremendously big here even to this day).
That's really interesting! Which genres and international artists were more poular in the USSR in the 80's?
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Postby Passing_Strang » Fri Mar 16, 2018 8:01 pm

Good question, Yuval! It was the Soviet, communist time so all the official (and quite a few underground) media were state-controlled and ideologically-guarded. The non-USSR music had to be "unthreatening" to the values (until the late 1980s, at the very least). So no heavy rock of any kind, for example, loud guitars were frowned upon. May seem odd but disco was approved of and almost officially endorsed - for example, Boney M were superstars at the same time as their heyday in Europe. Likewise ABBA, while not strictly a disco act, were widely and wildly popular. Also acts like Baccara, Eruption and a whole slew of Hansa Ariola disco acts. Donna Summer and Bee Gees, too, though the European disco generally had an upper hand. The erotic nature of disco music has been heavily criticised, but powers viewed the genre as a necessary distraction to divert attentions of youth from heavy rock (and rock in general).

That's not to say that those actions were successful and rock has no popularity - it just wasn't that easily available, no licensed records, for example, ulike with disco. But these two genres were dominant through the 1980s - hard rock (and, to lesser extent, heavy metal) and dance music. After the fall of the original disco music the substitute has been found in pop music from Italy - Ricchi e Poveri, Matia Bazar, Al Bano e Romina Power, Riccardo Fogli, Pupo etc. Italian pop has always been well-loved by Russian audience, but from 1983 onwards, after the TV airings of San Remo festival, it took off in a really big way. After 1986 there was a huge wave of German disco - Modern Talking especially, who were the biggest act in the USSR for a while, but also others like Sandra, C.C. Catch, Bad Boys Blue etc. To the extent that the Soviet pop music, whose popularity was sagging, almost plagiarised them to gain new currency and every second act was a copy of Modern Talking, musically and visually (not to say that those attempts at "modern pop music" were all artistically nondescript - there were some real successes, but their percentage was low, unfortunately, compared to simple copycat stuff).

What's interesting is that Italian pop was officially endorsed - it was happy, melodic, in a language few understood, in short - "unthreatening". While German disco found its way through word-of-mouth and underground communication, bypassing the official media.

Concurrently, with perestoika really starting in about 1987, there was a resurgence of public interest in rock music - from the Soviet forms of it ("Russian rock", as it came to be known) to hard-n-heavy. Lots of it was due to politics and politically charged, if we take public impact one can say it was a Soviet form of punk. But it fell out of favour by 1991, with the collapse of the USSR and Soviet system in general, when general public reverted its attentions to escapist dance pop.

As for New Wave, unfortunately it didn't spread as widely and remains a cult, underground phenomenon. Its golden years were also time of a Cold War tensions, when the ideologic control was strengthening. So very few leaked through the Iron Curtain (bands like Duran Duran, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Human League - well, "The Names"), but they didn't have a widespread popularity, though heavily influenced some strains of underground music. Of the whole New Wave it was Depeche Mode that had the last laugh - globally, and in Russia too. Can't say what spearheaded it, but in the early 1990s, around "Violator", they were huge, with the whole army of fans around the country and their own copycat bands. They are still the best-known of all New Wave, though Duran Duran tend to be quite well-known too.

That's the main description, if you (or anyone) have any specific questions, feel free to ask! :D
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Postby Jerz » Fri Mar 16, 2018 9:20 pm

Is that true that New Wave music were quite rarely popular in Philippines?
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Postby Gambo » Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:39 pm

Albeit a corny, cliched-sounding composition, arguably even by mid-'80s standards, 'Big In Japan' was an understandably sizeable hit, with its austere-yet-poppy production inevitably appealing to tastes across Europe. What really surprises me in retrospect is that it was as successful here in the UK as on the continent; so many 'Europop' songs - which this unquestionably was despite it being a paean to the East - failed to capture an audience here, however commercial. It's sad that follow-up anthem 'Forever Young' never caught on in Britain, but perhaps it was just too Teutonic in its sensibilities for us.

Actually, that album by Alphaville contains hugely catchy infectious synth melodies and some intriguing, if sometimes lost-in-translation lyrics. Even the non-hits sound like potential singles, and in some cases have been inspirations for later acts looking to capitalise on lesser-known music from the past in apparent absence of any new ideas of their own. For those not familiar with 'Sounds Like A Melody', try listening to that back-to-back with 'U Got 2 Let The Music' by Cappella and see if you notice anything!
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Postby yuvalzirler » Mon Mar 19, 2018 5:38 am

Passing_Strang wrote:Good question, Yuval! It was the Soviet, communist time so all the official (and quite a few underground) media were state-controlled and ideologically-guarded. The non-USSR music had to be "unthreatening" to the values (until the late 1980s, at the very least). So no heavy rock of any kind, for example, loud guitars were frowned upon. May seem odd but disco was approved of and almost officially endorsed - for example, Boney M were superstars at the same time as their heyday in Europe. Likewise ABBA, while not strictly a disco act, were widely and wildly popular. Also acts like Baccara, Eruption and a whole slew of Hansa Ariola disco acts. Donna Summer and Bee Gees, too, though the European disco generally had an upper hand. The erotic nature of disco music has been heavily criticised, but powers viewed the genre as a necessary distraction to divert attentions of youth from heavy rock (and rock in general).

That's not to say that those actions were successful and rock has no popularity - it just wasn't that easily available, no licensed records, for example, ulike with disco. But these two genres were dominant through the 1980s - hard rock (and, to lesser extent, heavy metal) and dance music. After the fall of the original disco music the substitute has been found in pop music from Italy - Ricchi e Poveri, Matia Bazar, Al Bano e Romina Power, Riccardo Fogli, Pupo etc. Italian pop has always been well-loved by Russian audience, but from 1983 onwards, after the TV airings of San Remo festival, it took off in a really big way. After 1986 there was a huge wave of German disco - Modern Talking especially, who were the biggest act in the USSR for a while, but also others like Sandra, C.C. Catch, Bad Boys Blue etc. To the extent that the Soviet pop music, whose popularity was sagging, almost plagiarised them to gain new currency and every second act was a copy of Modern Talking, musically and visually (not to say that those attempts at "modern pop music" were all artistically nondescript - there were some real successes, but their percentage was low, unfortunately, compared to simple copycat stuff).

What's interesting is that Italian pop was officially endorsed - it was happy, melodic, in a language few understood, in short - "unthreatening". While German disco found its way through word-of-mouth and underground communication, bypassing the official media.

Concurrently, with perestoika really starting in about 1987, there was a resurgence of public interest in rock music - from the Soviet forms of it ("Russian rock", as it came to be known) to hard-n-heavy. Lots of it was due to politics and politically charged, if we take public impact one can say it was a Soviet form of punk. But it fell out of favour by 1991, with the collapse of the USSR and Soviet system in general, when general public reverted its attentions to escapist dance pop.

As for New Wave, unfortunately it didn't spread as widely and remains a cult, underground phenomenon. Its golden years were also time of a Cold War tensions, when the ideologic control was strengthening. So very few leaked through the Iron Curtain (bands like Duran Duran, Ultravox, Spandau Ballet, Human League - well, "The Names"), but they didn't have a widespread popularity, though heavily influenced some strains of underground music. Of the whole New Wave it was Depeche Mode that had the last laugh - globally, and in Russia too. Can't say what spearheaded it, but in the early 1990s, around "Violator", they were huge, with the whole army of fans around the country and their own copycat bands. They are still the best-known of all New Wave, though Duran Duran tend to be quite well-known too.

That's the main description, if you (or anyone) have any specific questions, feel free to ask! :D
Thank you very much for this interesting answer!
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Postby Passing_Strang » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:19 pm

Sorry, guys - my job has taken over again. There'll be further interruptions, too - but for now I seem to be a bit easier and can continue with the next fifty. Let's kick it off with one of the best ballads of the mid 1980s - first seen its video on an old VHS sometime in mid 2000s, not very impressed wih it still - but the song!.. Such a stellar vocal performance, the kind of which are almost extinct in today's music, and that riff is impossible to forget. Heard the song comppared variously to Ultravox and Heaven 17 - great compliments in my book, but maybe it hampered the band's chances in the long run (or maybe the record company screwed up, as is so often the way). Still, to be remembered for one song is no small feat.

By the way, what was it in the air in the mid 1980s? So many one hit wonders (sometimes of epic proportions)! Did the labels lose their will to further carriers of their signings - or is it that there was simply so many music that bands and singers often had ony this one chance to shine? Something to ponder on!
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Postby Passing_Strang » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:23 pm

51. (FEELS LIKE) HEAVEN by Fiction Factory

Written by: Kevin Patterson/Eddie Jordan
Produced by: Peter Wilson
Country of origin: UK
Release date: January 1984

Australia
16 April 1984 - #51 - 17 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 6 May 1984 - #20 - 7 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 1 June 1984 - #20 - 2 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 3 March 1984 - #8 - 7 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 3 March 1984 - #8 - 6 weeks

(West) Germany
26 March 1984 - #10 - 15 weeks

Ireland
22 January 1984 - #4 - 5 weeks

Israel
#6

Italy
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 1 July 1984 - #20 - 11 weeks

The Netherlands
Nationale Hitparade: 25 February 1984 - #16 - 7 weeks
De Nederlandse Top 40: 3 March 1984 - #12 - 7 weeks

New Zealand
22 April 1984 - #24 - 8 weeks

Poland
10 March 1984 - #18 - 9 weeks

Sweden
3 April 1984 - #14 - 8 weeks

Switzerland
25 March 1984 - #2 - 13 weeks

UK
Music Week: 14 January 1984 - #6 - 9 weeks
Melody Maker: 14 January 1984 - #6 - 7 weeks
New Musical Express: 28 January 1984 - #5 - 6 weeks
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Jerz » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:39 pm

I heard (Feels Like) Heaven that contains beautiful beats and it was fine true masterpiece from this Scottish band for me.

Sadly, after only one UK Top 40 hit and their second album Another Story failed to chart (as well as third and final single from first album Throw the Warped Wheel Out and three entire singles from Another Story), Fiction Factory disbanded first in 1987 before reformed in 2007 and 2011 but they kept on disbandment. Guitarist Chic Medley went on to another Scottish band, this time a world music project, Mouth Music.

I think it was quite rarely popular hit in Philippines when I heard this track from Fiction Factory.

Is that true that New Wave music were quite rarely popular in Philippines?
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Postby Robbie » Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:13 am

'Big In Japan' is a great single. It was a song that I'd known for months before it became a UK hit. I notice from 45cat.com that the single was released in May 1984 but didn't chart until mid August 1984 so I'm assuming I must have heard it played on my local independent radio station for a good couple of months before it charted.

'(Feels Like) Heaven' was another good song from 1984. This one reminds me of snowy weather and a check reveals that January 1984, when the track first charted, was indeed snowy in the north east of England where I live.

I bought the Aphaville single and while I always intended to buy the Fiction Factory single I never got around to it.
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Postby Nameless » Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:50 pm

Some great songs! Nice to see the chart placings for all those countries.
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