This Week In 1984: December 9, 1984
After the deluge of debuts over the previous few weeks, things quietened down on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1984 as those new songs settled in. And so while there's only one new entry this week, it's the biggest hit from a group fronted by a man who's now been making music for over 40 years.
Interestingly, six other songs missed the top 50 this week - and they're all by acts who'd landed hits before. Meanwhile, at number 1 this week in 1984, Stevie Wonder registered his eighth and final week on top with "I Just Called To Say I Love You".
Off The Chart
Number 97 "East Of Eden" by Big Country
Peak: number 93
It was second album time for Scotland's Big Country, but this lead single from Steeltown didn't give them another hit locally. They'd have to wait until 1986 for one.
Number 96 "Master And Servant" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 89
Another UK band failing to live up to earlier successes was one of my favourite groups with the controversial, BDSM-themed second single from Some Great Reward.
Number 95 "Highly Strung" by Spandau Ballet
Peak: number 69
Now this was a surprise - although not really, since this is what you get when you don't release the best singles from your album. Spandau Ballet would put things right in 1985.
Number 94 "Promise Me You'll Call" by Jimmy Barnes
Peak: number 86
You know things are rough when even Jimmy Barnes misses the top 50 - and by some margin. Of course, this was the second single from Bodyswerve, which had already been to number 1 by this point.
Number 92 "Let's Gamble" by Electric Pandas
Peak: number 81
I wonder how different things would've been if Electric Pandas had released this follow-up to "Big Girls" as a 7" single instead of a 12" EP. The two-minute "Let's Gamble" certainly had a catchy enough chorus to have been a bigger hit.
Number 55 "If It Happens Again" by UB40
Peak: number 55
More than a year after they reached number 2 with their cover of "Red Red Wine", UB40 returned to the top 100 with this original track - an anti-Thatcher protest song from the Geffery Morgan album.
Number 48 "Shout To The Top!" by The Style Council
Peak: number 8
While six previously successful acts faltered with their latest singles, The Style Council went from strength to strength, debuting on the top 50 with the song that'd give them their highest chart placement locally. The band led by Paul Weller had been building up to this moment over the previous year-and-a-half - going from landing top 30 hits with "Speak Like A Child" and "Long Hot Summer" to moving in to the top 20 with "You're The Best Thing / The Big Boss Groove" a couple of months earlier.
Unlike those more languid singles, "Shout To The Top!" was a jolt of energy. From its opening piano stab, the song positively cracks along - a little reminiscent of the biggest single by Paul's previous group, The Jam, "Town Called Malice" (number 15 in 1982). By out-performing that track, "Shout To The Top!" became the biggest hit of Paul's career in Australia - and remains so to this day, with nothing released subsequently by The Style Council or Paul during his solo career able to match it.
Listen to this week's new entry on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1984:
Next week: a few more new entries, including the latest from two women who both topped the chart earlier in 1984, and a top 10 single by a one-hit wonder supergroup.