This Week In 1983: November 27, 1983
As well as being a great 12 months for music, 1983 was an important year for developments in computers. Apple's Lisa desktop, Microsoft Windows, Belkin, the movie Wargames and the MIDI all emerged that year.
With computers at such an exciting stage in their history, songs about them were also still relatively cutting edge — even though it had been four years since the release of "Computer Games" by early adopters Mi-Sex. This week in 1983, another band from our part of the world jumped on the tech bandwagon.
On top of the ARIA singles chart this week in 1983, "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club spent a fifth week at number 1. But, in seven days' time, it'd make way for a revolving door of chart-toppers in coming weeks.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Come Live With Me" by Heaven 17
Peak: number 100
Peak: number 34
The only explanation for this third solo single by the Split Enz member not doing any better can only be that Tim Finn's LP Escapade had been a fixture in the top half of the albums chart since July. As with "Made My Day", albums sales seem to have prevented Tim from scoring another big hit — and that was despite the fact he hedged his bets on this release by combining the upbeat Asian-influenced synthpop of "Staring At The Embers" with the more straightforward pop/rock of "Through The Years". Naturally, I prefer the former, but either track could've stood on its own and still deserved a better reception than this. This would be Tim's final top 100 appearance on his own for the time being, but new Split Enz music was imminent...
Number 41 "Computer One" by Dear Enemy
Peak: number 15
Big things were expected for Melbourne band Dear Enemy, who were signed to an American label and recorded their debut album, Ransom Note, in the US with Peter McIan, who'd produced Men At Work's Business As Usual and Cargo, and Nuovo Mondo for Mondo Rock. With its synthpop sound and lyrics in which the singer asks an all-knowing computer why his girlfriend left him, "Computer One" was right on trend and duly became a top 20 hit in Australia. Was it the beginning of a bright future for the band? Time would tell...
Number 39 "Come Back And Stay" by Paul Young
Peak: number 18
His career was finally off and running following the success of his third single, "Wherever I Lay My Hat (That's My Home)", and Paul Young struck gold again with another cover version of a little known song. "Come Back And Stay" had been originally recorded by its writer, Jack Lee, on his album, Jack Lee's Greatest Hits Vol. 1, which also included his version of "Hangin' On The Telephone" (a tune first recorded by his band The Nerves and later covered by Blondie).
Like Paul's remake of the Marvin Gaye track, it's unlikely many people would ever have heard of Jack's song — and so "Come Back And Stay" was effectively a brand new tune. In the UK, it gave Paul back-to-back top 5 hits, while in Australia, it became his second top 20 single. It was also his first proper hit in the US, reaching number 22 (compared to number 70 for "Wherever I..."). I suspect the video below was made for the American market — and it was during its filming that Paul met his future wife, model Stacey Smith. You can check out the song's earlier clip here.
Listen to every top 50 hit (that's on Spotify) from the second half of 1983 on my playlist:
Next week: another new single from Tim Finn — this time with Split Enz. Plus, the song that stops a male performer from being a one-hit wonder and a tune about having the snip.