This Week In 1984: May 27, 1984
I've always loved it when songs are remixed from their album versions for single release. Well, I say "always", but I actually prefer my favourite song of all time in its album incarnation than its single mix, so that's a pretty big exception to the rule.
But more often than not, a single remix transforms a good song into a great one and/or gives new life to a track that's been kicking around for a while on an album. This week in 1984, a remix did both those things to the third song lifted from Duran Duran's Seven And The Ragged Tiger - and restored the band to the ARIA top 5.
At the pinnacle of the top 5 this week in 1984, "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins spent a second week at number 1 and held off the comic onslaught from the two runners-up.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "State Of The Nation" by Industry
Peak: number 78
The first of three singles that were good enough to have done much better, "State Of The Nation" was an anti-war-themed song by American new wave band Industry, who broke up later in the year.
Number 98 "It's My Life" by Talk Talk
Peak: number 73
Turned into a hit almost two decades later by No Doubt, the original version of "It's My Life" is an overlooked classic by the band who'd reached the Australian top 40 with their eponymous hit.
Number 80 "The Caterpillar" by The Cure
Peak: number 51
After a trio of commercially successful stand-alone singles, the only track lifted from The Cure's fifth album, The Top, just missed out on a top 50 berth.
Number 50 "Only For Love" by Limahl
Peak: number 50
Spending a couple of weeks at the very bottom of the top 50 was the debut single by Limahl following his ignominious dismissal from Kajagoogoo (although he'd released two songs as Christopher Hamill prior to joining the band). Not a bad pop tune, "Only For Love" didn't have the same impact as "Too Shy", the Nick Rhodes-produced top 10 hit that'd made Limahl and Kajagoogoo famous in the first place. Limahl would have much more success on the ARIA chart over the '84-'85 summer.
Number 46 "Ghost Ships" by The Saints
Peak: number 46
Seven years earlier, The Saints had sneaked to number 98 with their debut single, "(I'm) Stranded" - a song that's now regarded as one of the most influential records of the punk rock era. Over the ensuing years, the Brisbane band continued to operate outside the mainstream (in one line-up or another) but returned to the chart for the first time since 1977 with "Ghost Ships". The first single from sixth album A Little Madness To Be Free, it had only a brief stay in the top 50, but it was a key step towards the band's true commercial breakthrough a couple of years later.
Peak: number 43
Sounding like an ABBA song produced by Phil Spector, "Don't Ask Me" was the second and final Australian top 50 hit for prog rock band The Alan Parsons Project. The British group, anchored by the duo of Alan and Eric Woolfson, had previously reached number 22 with the light and breezy-sounding "Eye In The Sky", but didn't make quite as much of an impression with this Wall Of Sound-inspired lead single from the Ammonia Avenue album.
Number 41 "The Reflex" by Duran Duran
Peak: number 4
The last time we'd seen Duran Duran on the top 50, it'd been with the under-performing second single from Seven And The Ragged Tiger, "New Moon On Monday". Thanks to a sparkling remix by Nile Rodgers, the album's third single, "The Reflex", put the band back at number 4, exactly where they'd peaked with the two singles before "New Moon...". Not that the album version was bad, but at five-and-a-half minutes, it certainly benefitted from the tightening up. Besides its Australian success, "The Reflex" topped the UK and the US charts, and was the beginning of a successful working relationship between Nile and the band that'd see him produce their next single and their post-hiatus album, Notorious.
Peak: number 26
Landing on the top 50 one place below the latest from Mondo Rock was the second single by the wife of the Australian band's lead singer, Ross Wilson. "Strong Love" was the follow-up to Pat Wilson's number 2 debut smash hit, "Bop Girl", and was actually a duet with Ross (aka "Her Daddy O"), who wrote and co-produced the song. He also performed the B-side, "Tacky Too", which I'm guessing was linked to "Tacky", the B-side to "Bop Girl". "Strong Love" was nowhere near as good as "Bop Girl" nor anywhere near as successful, and it ended up being Pat's final single release.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1984:
Next week: the debut of one of the most successful Australian recording artists of all time. Plus, another hit from one of the year's biggest movies and the song that'd end up in a legal dispute with another soundtrack hit.