"New Wave" one-hit wonders and biggest hits - 1979-1988

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Postby Gambo » Mon Apr 09, 2018 2:30 pm

Another corker! '(Feels Like) Heaven' remains one of the prettiest and catchiest singles of the era, and it's now one of the few tunes I can perform at a karaoke night, as my voice can just about cope with it! Such a shame that the early promise didn't translate into further classics. This kind of composition has become a rare thing - a plaintive song lyrically yet full of the joys of spring musically (although as Robbie says, a hit in the bleak midwinter - this and several other contemporary chartbusters remind me of arsing about in several inches of the white stuff - 'Bird Of Paradise' by Snowy White and 'Wishful Thinking' by China Crisis among them!).
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Postby Robbie » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:32 pm

Gambo wrote:Another corker! '(Feels Like) Heaven' remains one of the prettiest and catchiest singles of the era, and it's now one of the few tunes I can perform at a karaoke night, as my voice can just about cope with it! Such a shame that the early promise didn't translate into further classics. This kind of composition has become a rare thing - a plaintive song lyrically yet full of the joys of spring musically (although as Robbie says, a hit in the bleak midwinter - this and several other contemporary chartbusters remind me of arsing about in several inches of the white stuff - 'Bird Of Paradise' by Snowy White and 'Wishful Thinking' by China Crisis among them!).
Yes, 'Bird Of Paradise' also reminds me of the snow we had back then. In fact it has a wonderfully bleak, wintry, feel to it (and the singer has a very appropriate name). Two records I bought back in January 1984 also bring back memories of the snowy weather, 'Here Comes The Rain Again' by Eurythmics and 'Wonderland' by Big Country (both bought on Saturday 13 January 1984 on a day when the weather led to the cancellation of a Newcastle football match) along with another record I somehow never got around to buying, 'Love Is A Wonderful Colour' by the appropriately named The Icicle Works.
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Postby Gambo » Wed Apr 11, 2018 11:01 am

Yes! Almost added the Icicle Works single to my list, but didn't want to over-indulge in my essentially off-topic wistful recollections of my innocent childhood spent frolicking in the snow! I think basically any song that was taking-off that month will trigger those wintry memories for those of us around at the time, but Snowy White probably leads them all if only because his name was so apt, with the Icicle Works a close second!

One minor correction though Robbie - something I so seldom get to do - I think you meant Saturday 14th January 1984.... :roll:
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Postby Robbie » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:38 pm

Gambo wrote:Yes! Almost added the Icicle Works single to my list, but didn't want to over-indulge in my essentially off-topic wistful recollections of my innocent childhood spent frolicking in the snow! I think basically any song that was taking-off that month will trigger those wintry memories for those of us around at the time, but Snowy White probably leads them all if only because his name was so apt, with the Icicle Works a close second!

One minor correction though Robbie - something I so seldom get to do - I think you meant Saturday 14th January 1984.... :roll:
Oops yes, I meant the 14th January not the 13th!
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Postby yuvalzirler » Wed Apr 11, 2018 7:02 pm

Passing_Strang wrote: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
Israel-
entered 13.2.1984, charted for 6-8 weeks, at least #6 (21-?-9-6-?-10-?-?-out)
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:51 am

Yuval, thanks for the info, as usual - but please, don't quote the whole entry. The heading is more than enough :D

Jerz, I cannot comment on New Wave's popularity in Philippines in any way expertly, probably best to ask someone from that country if he or she may ever road the pages of UKMix :) I just know the tale that everyone knows that lots of little-known NW artists were "all the rage" there. But it may very well be that they were played on some radio stations and/or clubs by some perceptive DJs. One thing I know firsthand is that quite a few of "Philippines-relesed" CDs of rare 1980s albums are actually done by Russian guys. Not all, mind, but a good number of them.

Gambo and Robbie, thank you for the memories! "Here Comes the Rain Again" is a painful video to watch - seeing Annie in (presumably) only her nightie walking barefoot through this visibly cold and wet landscape, almost shaking in pain, while Dave films her while being almost completely covered in warm clothes... As a person who has troubl standing cold weather (and appropriately lives in Russia!) I sympathize with her immensely, almost feel sorry for her. Still, it was a transatlantic Top 10 hit, so the effort have surely been worth it!

Glad the Fiction Factory song triggered so many memories, it was very interesting to read, guys! I actually bought the single - not at the time of release, of course, but a couple of years ago at a vinyl fair in Moscow, seeing it sandwiched between some eurodisco stuff and wanting to rescue it :) "Big in Japan" was my second ever piece of vinyl bought, some 10 years ago - still like the song, but its impact has dulled somewhat with passing years, like with other overplayed 1980s hits, "Fade to Grey", "Sweet Dreams" etc. I however absolutely adore its B-side "Seeds", it's fantastic and probably my fave Alphaville song ever. Recommend it to anyone.

Now let's meet King of Pop, shall we? The only way he could've qualified for a topic like this one is by some sort of collaboration - which he did most famously in 1984. Poor guy his collaborator is - he wrote the song, co-produced and performed it, starred in the video, and all everyone remembers of it all is the chorus line sung by Jacko! Not the nicest way to go down in history - especially being practically a one-hit wonder, with scant chart entries afterwards.

The song is practically unknown by the general public in Russia - but Jackson was as famous in the USSR as anywhere else after 1983. Of course up until the late 1980s the official press has been pretty scathing of him (especially his videos like "Thriller" and his adoration by fans), but that didn't mean any less popularity, more on the contrary :D Afterwards - the same as in other countries, up until he started to go astray in late 1990s, after that his reputation took a nosedive. Still, there are fevered fan clubs across the country and songs played regularly on air and in clubs (once I watched a girl dancer attempting to do striptease to "Billie Jean" - and complaining how tough it was to even dance to the song, not to mention stripping! :o Can't remember how did I get to that club in the first place, by the way :oops: ...).

Ok, enough reminiscing, here's...
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:57 am

52. SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME by Rockwell

Written by: Rockwell
Produced by: Rockwell/Curtis Anthony Nolen
Country of origin: USA
Release date: January 1984

Australia
14 May 1984 - #12 - 12 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 25 March 1984 - #7 - 13 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 15 May 1984 - #14 - 2 weeks

Belgium
Belgie Super 30: 25 February 1984 - #1 (1) - 12 weeks
BRT Top 30: 10 March 1984 - #1 (1) - 10 weeks

Canada
18 February 1984 - #2 - 15 weeks

Denmark
#5

Finland
April 1984 - #18 - 3 months

France
TMP France: 26 February 1984 - #1 (2) - 26 weeks
InfoDisc: 1 April 1984 - #1 (8) - 18 weeks
Top France: 5 May 1984 - #7 - 12 weeks

(West) Germany
19 March 1984 - #2 - 15 weeks

Iceland
9 March 1984 - #1 (3) - 8 weeks

Ireland
19 February 1984 - #6 - 4 weeks

Israel
#2

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 28 April 1984 - #14 - 9 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 5 May 1984 - #13 - 9 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 13 May 1984 - #17 - 10 weeks

Japan
5 April 1984 - #54 - 7 weeks

The Netherlands
Nationale Hitparade: 3 March 1984 - #4 - 10 weeks
De Nederlandse Top 40: 18 February 1984 - #2 - 11 weeks

New Zealand
15 April 1984 - #5 - 9 weeks

Norway
14 March 1984 - #7 - 4 weeks

Poland
10 March 1984 - #8 - 7 weeks

Portugal
#5

South Africa
11 May 1984 - #5 - 14 weeks

Spain
31 March 1984 - #1 (1) - 20 weeks

Sweden
20 March 1984 - #4 - 12 weeks

Switzerland
8 April 1984 - #3 - 12 weeks

UK
Music Week: 4 February 1984 - #6 - 11 weeks
Melody Maker: 11 February 1984 - #4 - 9 weeks
New Musical Express: 11 February 1984 - #5 - 9 weeks

USA
Cash Box: 28 January 1984 - #2 - 22 weeks
Billboard: 28 January 1984 - #2 - 19 weeks
Radio & Records: 3 February 1984 - #2 - 13 weeks

Zimbabwe
19 May 1984 - #1 (3) - 16 weeks
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Postby Gambo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:37 am

Thanks Passing for continuing with your list. I shouldn't worry too much about Rockwell's fortunes in life after having just that one hit; the only thing I can remember about him was that he was the son of the globally-renowned (and enormously wealthy) Motown mogul Berry Gordy! Unless his dad had cause to cut him off, I imagine having another hit single wasn't required in order to secure him a decent existence, materially at least.
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Postby Jerz » Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:22 pm

Rockwell got another Top 40 hit in US, ''Obscure Phone Caller''. This was the only country that he never to be an one-hit wonder here. After that, he left Motown. Three decades later, in 2010, he married Nicole Moore until 2013. I cannot believe that they had no children.

No Jacko/Michael Jackson ever appeared here in the music video of ''Somebody's Watching Me'', just only his voice during the chorus.

''Somebody's Watching Me'' might be one of the songs that occasionally or regularly considered as Halloween or used during Halloween parties until now. (Michael Jackson's '''Thriller'' also considered as one of the Halloween songs.)

I really loved this two songs from Rockwell (''Somebody's Watching Me'' and ''Obscure Phone Caller'') that I heard.
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Postby anpt » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:22 pm

The reason why Rockwell didn't hit a highest peak!

Música & Som - September - 1984 MS 95 (Previous Month)
https://rocknosotao.blogspot.pt/2011/10 ... -tops.html

01 I Want To Break Free - Q / 02 Red red ballons - N / 03 Hello - LR / 04 Radio Ga Ga - Q
05 State Of The Nation - Industry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noS1viHX6zA
06 Somebody's Warching Me - R / 07 Thriller - MJ
08 Tonight - Bryan Adams (re-release) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfr1e2hC8M0
09 Street Dance - BM / 10 Infatuation - RS

And "Against all Odds", "Self Control" and Art Company were coming.
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Postby anpt » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:30 pm

You could consider the DJ BoBo version: "Somebody Dance with Me and Beatfreakz version
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somebody%27s_Watching_Me

Passing_Strang wrote:52. SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME by Rockwell
We may suggest - at any time - some good records that were only successful in one or two foreign countries and could be remembered but maybe don't have conditions to be in the main list.

Classix Nouveaux (Never Again) P #1
Nancy Nova (Made In Japan) - P #2
Scarlet Party (Eyes Of Ice) P #6
Industry (State Of The Nation) I #1 - P #4
The Catch (25 Years) G #3 A #6 CH #8
Cook Da Books (Your Eyes) I #1 A #10
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Postby Passing_Strang » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:12 pm

anpt, thank you for your info! And your idea of minor 1980s hits is certainly appealing - I thought of it and have lots of candidates for the list. But let's finish with this one first (hope I'll be able to do it during the year with all the unexpected work demands :lol: ).

Now another big dance hit of 1984, indicative of the dance craze at the time - breakdancing. This craze was unusual in that it swept similtaneously not only "capitalist" countries but the "socialist camp" too - even the USSR! Breakdancing was even sanctioned by the authorities who saw it as some kind of rebellion against the "robotising/dehumanising life under the capitalist regime" (or somesuch ideological crap). It appeared in popular movies (like this one from 1985) and was even allowed as a part of official pop music presentation. It was so widespread than in schools there were fractions like metalheads vs breakers, and one could've very well been beaten on a bad night for belonging to a wrong one! Good harmful fun, as was so often the way then :D Lasted for several years, well into the late 1980s.

Can't say if this particular song had any kind of big success though it must've been a hit given its worldwide smash status. How strange though that the song flopped in the USA, of all countries...
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Postby Passing_Strang » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:19 pm

53. STREET DANCE by Break Machine

Written by: Jacques Morali/Henri Belolo/Fred Zarr/Keith Rodgers
Produced by: Jacques Morali/Henri Belolo
Country of origin: USA
Release date: December 1983

Australia
2 April 1984 - #21 - 18 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 8 April 1984 - #11 - 11 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 15 May 1984 - #17 - 4 weeks

Belgium
Belgie Super 30: 24 March 1984 - #4 - 9 weeks
BRT Top 30: 24 March 1984 - #6 - 8 weeks

Denmark
#3

Finland
April 1984 - #7 - 4 months

France
TMP France: 18 December 1983 - #1 (2) - 20 weeks
InfoDisc: 8 January 1984 - #1 (4) - 20 weeks
Top France: 14 January 1984 - #1 (10) - 21 weeks

(West) Germany
9 April 1984 - #12 - 16 weeks

Iceland
23 March 1984 - #2 - 6 weeks

Ireland
26 February 1984 - #11 - 5 weeks

Israel
#2

Italy
Musica e Dischi: 28 April 1984 - #7 - 12 weeks
RAI Hit Parade: 29 April 1984 - #8 - 11 weeks
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 6 May 1984 - #11 - 13 weeks

The Netherlands
Nationale Hitparade: 7 April 1984 - #7 - 8 weeks
De Nederlandse Top 40: 7 April 1984 - #14 - 7 weeks

Norway
14 March 1984 - #1 (5) - 16 weeks

Poland
25 February 1984 - #14 - 7 weeks

Portugal
#8

Spain
31 March 1984 - #1 (1) - 23 weeks

Sweden
6 March 1984 - #1 (2) - 18 weeks

Switzerland
26 February 1984 - #7 - 12 weeks

UK
Music Week: 28 January 1984 - #3 - 16 weeks
Melody Maker: 11 February 1984 - #2 - 11 weeks
New Musical Express: 11 February 1984 - #3 - 11 weeks

USA
Billboard: 28 April 1984 - #105 - 7 weeks

53.2. Street Dance by Southside Rockers

Germany
27 September 1999 - #70 - 7 weeks

53.3. Street Dancer by Avicii

The Netherlands
Mega Top 100: 5 March 2011 - #67 - 6 weeks
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Postby Gambo » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:31 pm

Hmm; a less-worthy offering to my mind, particularly compared to some of the illustrious counterparts on this list, though a spot-on representation of the type of music that epitomised that dance craze for that brief time from 1982-'84. Let's face it it was always more about the amazing never-seen-before moves on the videos than the backing songs. Plus I still have Ollie & Jerry's 'Breakin' (There's No Stopping Us)' in my collections, which is of a similar ilk and not so elevated musically, so I probably shouldn't criticise anyone who favours Break Machine.

Is it "new wave" though? I know a broader definition is being applied for this purpose than perhaps many would subscribe to, but with the inclusion of Shannon's (albeit ground-breaking) 'Let The Music Play', I have started to wonder whether the criteria have been set too widely? It hardly matters though, as it's always interesting to see comparative chart performances in different countries for the same track in a single listing and thankfully my tastes go beyond the stylised melodic white synth-rock that came to characterise 'new wave' in the UK post-punk.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:55 pm

I get what you say, Gambo! This one was a late addition to the list, I've been simply astonished by its achievements and a strange performance (missing out in North America mainly) + it's a synth-based track. Add to which, I've seen electro being included as a subgenre of New Wave quite a few times - and this track is one of its (electro's) biggest commercial successes. I'm not a huge fan of it too - still it's an interesting curio.

As for the broad definition of New Wave, you're right - unfortunately, if I'd stick with the main image of this movement, I'd have to stop the thread quite soon. So I decided to get to the late 1980s, including songs that had echoes of NW sound or some relation to it. Won't be much in a way of complete pop trash, though - I hope :D The matter of taste applies too, of course - sometimes one just wants to see some song/band belonging to a particular genre when clearly it's not the case. The trick, I suppose, is not to apply this rule too often :)
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Postby Gambo » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:52 am

That's all fine by me Passing_Strang. Those of us reading your thread regularly all appreciate the work you're putting in and the extra information we're getting out, so don't think anyone's getting too hung-up on definitions. Good point about the thread being (sadly) too short if a stricter interpretation of the genre were applied.
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Postby anpt » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:15 am

Let's Break!

"Street Dance" by Break Machine was a big hit in Portugal but it only peak at #6 on Top Música & Som (weekly charts published on TV TOP). "Break Dance Party" also by Break Machine was a #5 on the same charts. Break Dance Party was no. 9 in the uk single charts.

For those who do not know, Jacques Morali and Henri Belolo were the team behind the Village People and The Ritchie Family.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:00 pm

Thank you guys for your feedback!

Now, for something completely different. This band can hardly be described as one hit wonders in their homeland, in fact they are now seem to be even more revered than in their heyday. Still, for some reason they had a hard time breaking through to the other world (I have a feeling it didn't matter much financially, with their homeland being the biggest market, except maybe for a matter of prestige), with the following song being their most successful by a long mile. It nags at me a bit as they are among my favourite bands of the whole "New Wave", with a suprising number of stellar albums (actually I'd recommend all of them :) ) - so I'd really love to see more of their songs charted around the world and them being more widely known. Still, even their existing level of success was more than enough for them to be counted among the most successful in a genre (but no #1s on official charts, bizarrely, even with this gem of a song!).

Now, I'm off for a week or so, no further posts until 7 May. Have fun :D
Last edited by Passing_Strang on Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Passing_Strang » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:04 pm

54. DRIVE by The Cars

Written by: Ric Ocasek
Produced by: Robert John “Mutt” Lange
Country of origin: USA
Release date: 23 July 1984

Australia
10 September 1984 - #10 - 19 weeks

Austria
Ö3-Hitparade: 4 November 1984 - #3 - 11 weeks
Der Musikmarkt: 15 November 1984 - #8 - 10 weeks

Belgium
BRT Top 30: 29 September 1984 - #8 - 6 weeks; 19 October 1985 - #19 - 3 weeks
Belgie Super 30: 29 September 1984 - #11 - 5 weeks; 12 October 1985 - #18 - 5 weeks

Canada
RPM: 11 August 1984 - #6 - 20 weeks
The Record: #5 - 18 weeks

Finland
December 1984 - #11 - 2 months

France
TMP France: 30 September 1984 - #10 - 20 weeks

(West) Germany
29 October 1984 - #4 - 17 weeks

Iceland
16 November 1984 - #8 - 3 weeks

Ireland
30 September 1984 - #3 - 12 weeks

Israel
#2

Italy
TV Sorrisi e Canzoni: 11 November 1984 - #43 - 7 weeks

The Netherlands
Nationale Hitparade: 15 September 1984 - #21 - 5 weeks; 5 October 1985 - #12 - 6 weeks
De Nederlandse Top 40: 15 September 1984 - #28 - 5 weeks; 28 September 1985 - #14 - 7 weeks

New Zealand
23 September 1984 - #5 - 16 weeks

Norway
19 November 1984 - #9 - 2 weeks

Poland
22 September 1984 - #3 - 15 weeks

South Africa
25 January 1985 - #11 - 10 weeks

Sweden
Trackslistan: 29 September 1984 - #7 - 4 weeks
Topplistan: 12 October 1984 - #15 - 10 weeks

Switzerland
11 November 1984 - #3 - 12 weeks

UK
Music Week: 22 September 1984 - #5 - 14 weeks; 27 July 1985 - #4 - 13 weeks
New Musical Express: 29 September 1984 - #4 - 9 weeks; 3 August 1985 - #4 - 12 weeks
Melody Maker: 6 October 1984 - #3 - 8 weeks; 3 August 1985 - #3 - 10 weeks

USA
Radio & Records: 3 August 1984 - #2 - 13 weeks
Billboard: 4 August 1984 - #3 - 19 weeks
Cash Box: 4 August 1984 - #4 - 19 weeks
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Postby yuvalzirler » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:38 am

Israeli charts-
Rockwell-entered 5.3.84, charted for 10 weeks, #2 behind Art Company's "Susanna" (16-?-6-?-?-2-5-10-19-24-out)
Break Machine-entered 12.3.84, charted for 10 weeks, #2 behind Art Company (?-14-?-?-3-2-7-18-25-30-out)
The Cars-entered 7.10.84, charted for 11 weeks, #2 behind Queen's "Hammer to fall" (20-19-14-4-2-3-?-?-18-26-30-out)
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Postby Robbie » Fri Apr 27, 2018 6:21 am

'Somebody's Watching Me' by Rockwell was a fairly decent track, mainly led by its chorus which of course featured Michael Jackson.

Like Gambo I was surprised to see 'Street Dance' included here but the explanation of it being an electro song makes sense in the context of including it. It's a great song.

Now it's my turn to say "I can't believe this song has been included", this time for 'Drive' by The Cars. Were they new wave? In the US, yes they were considered to be new wave though I always thought that stretched the imagination a little though it's fair to say their early hits were slightly quirky. But 'Drive' is so conventional that I'm really not sure it should be here at all! That said, it's a great track that I bought back in October 1984. It's also a fairly rare example of a record that reached the top 10 on two separate chart runs within a year in the UK. The second time it reached the top 10, in August 1985, was due to the inclusion of the song on Live Aid while being played over a haunting montage of clips of dying children in Ethiopia.
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Postby Gambo » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:28 pm

I really like 'Drive'; I think it is a genuinely thought-provoking and understated pop song - style and substance, which I know not every '80s track gets credited for even now. And so different to 'My Best Friend's Girl' from only six years earlier. Admittedly that was more 'new wave' by comparison, but of the two, 'Drive' has to be the one people remember, if only because of the belated association with the Live Aid movement which gave rise to its second chart run. Am I wrong in remembering it as backing that rather harrowing Michael Buerk documentary? Certainly helped bring the song more gravitas if so, although I like to think it just made people realise and appreciate better the more serious aspects of what at first could've been dismissed as a lightweight pop serenade.

I have heard other stuff by The Cars that wasn't successful here but presumably had been in the US and I liked it. Shame they only caught-on briefly a couple of times (latterly due to charity and - Robbie will correct me on this - initially because the 'Best Friend's Girl' single was made available on a rather natty car-shaped picture disc; something of a novelty in 1978?!).
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Postby Robbie » Tue May 01, 2018 8:56 pm

Gambo wrote:I really like 'Drive'; I think it is a genuinely thought-provoking and understated pop song - style and substance, which I know not every '80s track gets credited for even now. And so different to 'My Best Friend's Girl' from only six years earlier. Admittedly that was more 'new wave' by comparison, but of the two, 'Drive' has to be the one people remember, if only because of the belated association with the Live Aid movement which gave rise to its second chart run. Am I wrong in remembering it as backing that rather harrowing Michael Buerk documentary? Certainly helped bring the song more gravitas if so, although I like to think it just made people realise and appreciate better the more serious aspects of what at first could've been dismissed as a lightweight pop serenade.

I have heard other stuff by The Cars that wasn't successful here but presumably had been in the US and I liked it. Shame they only caught-on briefly a couple of times (latterly due to charity and - Robbie will correct me on this - initially because the 'Best Friend's Girl' single was made available on a rather natty car-shaped picture disc; something of a novelty in 1978?!).
I'm not sure if any of Michael Buerk's original (and harrowing) report from October 1984 ever made it onto the 'Drive' video that was shown at Live Aid. The video that was shown at Live Aid was made by CBC (the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and I believe it was one of their own reports that was shown.

Yes, 'My Best Friend's Girl' was made available as a limited edition picture disc when it was first released.

http://www.45cat.com/record/k12301

It's the reason why the single entered the UK charts at number 10, a very rare event back then for an act who had yet to have a hit single. I can remember everyone talking about it at school the next day with most people being very surprised that the single had entered the charts so high. And to show how much the charts mattered back then there was even a report on Radio 1's Newsbeat about the feat. As you can see from the above link the picture disc wasn't actually car shaped but rather featured an image of a car. And as you can also see the picture disc version was the fourth time the single had been released in 1978, with the first three times being on a conventional black vinyl 7" single. I suppose the thinking was if at first you don't succeed try and try again to have a hit. Well the picture disc version certainly did make it succeed...
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Postby Gambo » Wed May 02, 2018 11:29 am

All interesting additional - or more precise - information on this, thanks Robbie. Odd to learn that this single - or indeed ANY short-player - should have been released FOUR times during one calendar year; as you say this shows remarkable conviction and determination that the song should've been a chart contender. I notice that there was only one month between the first and second black vinyl releases, and only two between the second and third, and the third and the picture disc. Given this was during an era where a single could well take at least one month to make a chart showing, and sometimes two or more to reach its sales peak, this seems an enormously-impatient and unconventional release pattern, as notionally the maiden release had barely had time to have registered an impact before arrival of the second attempt. Presumably these earlier releases were of a limited pressing? Maybe it was an early example of building momentum behind a song longer-term by reissuing slightly-varied versions in short runs, before hitting them with the big marketing tool of the day, the pic disc? History shows a huge success in any case, with an immediate No 10 showing in the UK - although for those real pedants among us, one could technically consider that to have been registered on its second week in the shops. The pic disc's release date was Friday 27th October, and the single charted W/E Saturday 11th November, based on a survey week of Monday 30th October to Saturday 4th November. So with its two days on sale the previous week, presumably 'My Best Friend's Girl' would've shifted enough to have ranked somewhere outside the published Top 75 for W/E Saturday 4th November, making it a likely very big climber from whatever position that was to No 10 the following week, rather than a brand-new entry. Confoundingly, we shall never know unless somebody somewhere unearths and publishes those full BMRB Top 100/200s!
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Postby Passing_Strang » Tue May 08, 2018 5:30 pm

Thank you gouys for all this very interesting info and a discussion - enjoyed reading it all :D The Cars I consider to be very much New Wave, despite all the changes of sound - the main characteristics are all there. In fact, I generally prefer them to Blondie or almost any other major US act of the genre (except maybe for Devo). There's something strange about such a widespread success of theirs - it's not like they're in any way typical of the US mainstream, everything suggests they'd be much more comfortable in Europe - which almost didn't happen, as we know. World of music is such a strange place!

Now, I'll stretch the definition of "New Wave" even further. Moreover, the next several entries would've been more comfortable under the heading "biggest hits of the 1980s" and not specifically NW. For that I really have no explanation except that by mid 1980s it's increasingly difficult to categorize anything as New Wave, because the sound almost became commonplace. So that's maybe a bit of a turning point in my list. Hope you all, readers, will kindly forgive me for the by now more and more misleading title of the thread :)

Still, one thing is that the performer of this song has been featured before and the other is that its producer worked with lots of New Wave bands and artists - so maybe it qualifies after all, if only by association.
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