This Week In 1984: August 26, 1984
I used to get quite disappointed when songs I really liked didn't go higher on the chart. And then I reached a certain point where I kind of liked the fact that I was into music not everyone else had discovered.
But back in 1984, I would almost take it personally when what I saw as a good song failed to live up to my expectations. This week in 1984, every new entry on the ARIA chart ended up disappointing me - in terms of their ultimate peak positions, that is.
A song that couldn't have gone any higher ascended to number 1 this week in 1984. "When Doves Cry" by Prince interrupted Wham!'s run at the top... but not for long.
Listen to the full top 50 here:
Off The Chart
Number 97 "Maybe Only I Dream" by Eurogliders
Peak: number 56
What a shock this was. Yes, This Island had already spent a considerable amount of time in the upper reaches of the albums chart, but this energetic follow-up to "Heaven (Must Be There)" should really have been much bigger.
Number 48 "You Take Me Up" by Thompson Twins
Peak: number 47
In the UK, "You Take Me Up" outdid both "Hold Me Now" and "Doctor! Doctor!" to peak at number 2 and become Thompson Twins' highest-charting single ever, but in Australia, the trio could only take themselves up one more spot from this entry position. Unlike those earlier two singles, "You Take Me Up" brought a new element to Thompson Twins' synthpop sound: the African-American work song, which fitted in neatly with the lyrics about "working in factories and sweatshops... the modern forms of slavery", according to singer and co-writer Tom Bailey. While I don't think the song deserved to peak above than the band's previous two singles, it should've reached a good 20 or 30 places higher.
Number 36 "Power" by Sharon O'Neill
Peak: number 36
The theme tune she'd written for TV series Sweet And Sour jumped into the top 20 this week, but this song written and performed by Sharon O'Neill proceeded no further despite being a) a brand new release and b) really quite good. "Power" would end up as Sharon's final release for CBS Records, with whom she became entangled in a lengthy legal dispute over the next couple of years. By the time she returned with a new record deal and album in late 1987, the momentum she'd gained at the start of the decade was lost and she only achieved one more top 40 hit with "Physical Favours" (another song that should've done better than it did).
Peak: number 17
Paul Weller established his post-The Jam project on the chart in 1983 with two easy, breezy top 30 hits, "Speak Like A Child" and "Long Hot Summer". And although Australia didn't take to the excellent (and deserved to do better) "My Ever Changing Moods", we made up for it by getting behind The Style Council's most exquisite sophisti-pop creation, "You're The Best Thing". Released as Groovin', a double A-side release comprising "You're The..." and the funkier "The Big Boss Groove", the record could've done with even more support, but a top 10 hit wasn't far away...
Peak: number 8
Speaking of reaching the top 10, you might think this single by The Pointer Sisters did pretty well to achieve that, especially given it flopped earlier in the year when it was initially released. But, really, "Jump (For My Love)" should've been a number 1 hit. My second favourite single from 1984 - and one of my 20 favourite songs of all time - the dance-pop anthem never fails to give me a lift.
My favourite bit is around the three-minute mark when it segues from the "Xanadu"-ish middle eight into the key change - one of pop's best ever moments. Somewhat surprisingly (or not, since key changes have become a bit passé), that modulation was omitted from the Girls Aloud remake in 2003. "Jump...", which had the "(For My Love)" bit added to the title to avoid confusion with Van Halen's "Jump" was also a top 10 hit in the UK and the US, where its use of footage of athletes doing as they were instructed was a nice tie-in to that year's Los Angeles Olympics.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1984:
Next week: a single that didn't do as well as you'd think given it's one of the most popular songs by a beloved Australian rock band. Plus, a track named after a movie that didn't end up getting used in the film.