diamond geezer

 Sunday, October 26, 2003

Turning back the years

Let's remember the top 10 records of exactly 20 years ago. (Why 20 years? Because 30=David Cassidy and 10=Meatloaf, that's why)

1) Culture Club - Karma Chameleon: Boy George's finest moment, saleswise at least, and also the top selling single of 1983 with five million copies sold worldwide. Nowadays, however, all this track can shift is that tacky chameleon telephone, as seen in last year's BT advert.
2) Lionel Richie - All Night Long: Lionel's second post-Commodores single, released before he scared the life out of us with that blind clay sculpture video. This upbeat hornfest is now a mainstay of London's 100%-inoffensive Heart FM radio station, where it gets played roughly twice an hour between midnight and dawn.
3) Tracy Ullman - They Don't Know: This Kirsty McCall cover was Tracey's biggest hit, two years after Three of a Kind and well before her US TV show spawned The Simpsons. This was the single with the video that didn't destroy Neil Kinnock's career.
4) Duran Duran - Union Of The Snake: The first hit off the album 'Seven and the Ragged Tiger', spearheading the UK invasion of a fledgeling MTV. But The Reflex was much-much-much-much-much better.
5) Howard Jones - New Song: The debut hit for the synth wizard from High Wycombe, complete with Jed the dancing handcuffed dwarf. Howard is now to be found writing tracks for Sugarbabes albums, and is hoping to rake in the royalties when yet another greatest hits album is released next month.
6) Rocksteady Crew - Hey You (The Rocksteady Crew): A bunch of one hit wonders (well, maybe not the 'wonder' part) performing their 'digital electric boogaloo'. The breakdancing crew were Crazy Legs, Baby Love, Prince Ken Swift, Buck 4, Kuriaki and Doze, if you care.
7) Billy Joel - Uptown Girl: On its way up to number one, the video featured Mr Joel as a car mechanic fiddling under Christie Brinkley's bonnet. Recently murdered by Westlife (the song, that is, not the long-legged model).
8) Men Without Hats - Safety Dance: In my humble opinion, the best of the ten records listed here, and the second to feature a dwarf in the video. A bunch of Canadians who've spent the rest of their career failing to emerge from the shadow of this three minutes of brilliance.
9) George Benson - In Your Eyes: This was the former jazz singer's final top 10 hit, nearly twenty years after his recording career began. It's more Heart FM fodder, and produced by the legendary Arif Mardin.
10) Black Lace - Superman (Gioca Jouer): Just to show that the past still has its fair share of crap, here are two Timmy Mallett clones with that nauseating cover version of an Italian holiday smash. Gert has the full story. I've still not recovered from this auntie-favourite being wheeled out at my brother's wedding disco ten years ago, but at least it's not Agadoo. Sleep. Wave your hands. Hitch a ride. Sneeze. Go for a walk. Let's see you swim. And ski. Spray. Macho man. Sound your horn. And ring the bell. OK. Kiss. Comb your hair. Wave. Wave your hands. Superman! Retch.

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