diamond geezer

 Friday, December 16, 2005

Silver discs (December 1980)
A monthly look back at the top singles of 25 years ago

The not-quite-Christmas Top 10 (16th December 1980)
1) (↑20) John Lennon - Just Like Starting Over: One week after Lennon's untimely death, his latest single rose twenty places to top the chart (which is still one of the biggest ever leaps to reach the number 1 position). Joined in the Top 10 the following week by both Happy Christmas War Is Over and Imagine. The nation expressed its grief in sales of vinyl.
"It's been too long since we took the time, no-one's to blame, I know time flies so quickly. But when I see you darlin', it's like we both are falling in love again, it'll be just like starting over "
2) (→) St Winifred's School Choir - There's No One Quite Like Grandma: Was there ever a more sickly-sweet chart-topper? Performed by a choir of pink angels in sensible school blouses and short trousers, bought by their peer group as a thought-free festive gift, and adored by a doting generation of grandmothers who probably didn't even own a gramophone on which to play it. A rare outbreak of emotional distaste saw this record topple John Lennon from the Christmas number 1 slot the following week. And I still cringe when I hear that girl singing.
"And one day when we're older, we'll look back and say, there's no one quite like Grandma, she has helped us on our way"
3) (→) Jona Lewie - Stop The Cavalry: Surely one of the finest Christmas records ever made (which would have made number 1 in the New Year had it not been for John Lennon's murder). A bouncy breathy melody with a haunting brass band backing and some subtle anti-war lyrics sprinkled on top for good measure. Absolutely enchanting, and still hasn't lost its sparkle 25 years later.
"Bang goes another bomb on another town, while the Czar and Jim have tea. If I get home, live to tell the tale, I'll run for all presidencies. If I get elected I'll stop, I will stop the cavalry"
4) (↓3) Abba - Super Trouper: The last of Abba's nine chart-toppers, and the only Number 1 song ever written about a) Glasgow, and b) a 1956 followspot stagelamp.
5) (↑4) Police - De Do Do Do De Da Da Da: Some deep meaningful words there from the pen of philosopher Sting.
6) (↓2) Madness - Embarrassment: If you ever thought this was a cheery chirpy cockney record, think again. No, think mixed-race pregnancy and narrow-minded family prejudice instead.
7) (↓2) Boomtown Rats - Banana Republic: If you ever thought this was a jaunty bubbly reggae record, think again. No, think "Bob Geldof really pissed off by petty Irish bureaucracy" instead.
8) (↓2) Spandau Ballet - To Cut A Long Story Short: I mentioned last month how much I adored this record. In December the rest of the country caught up with me.
9) (↑1) Stray Cats - Runaway Boys: Do you remember this as an uplifting rockabilly street anthem, or do you just remember lead singer Brian Setzer's unfeasibly large quiff?
10) (↑6) Adam And The Ants - Antmusic: Stuart Goddard's signature tune spent its first week in the Top 10 (so unplug the jukebox and do us all a favour).

20 other hits from 25 years ago: Do You Feel My Love (Eddy Grant), Flash (Queen), Lady (Kenny Rogers), Lies (Status Quo), Celebration (Kool And The Gang), Rock'n'Roll Ain't Noise Pollution (AC/DC), Rabbit (Chas'n'Dave), Love On The Rocks (Neil Diamond), Don't Walk Away (ELO), Over The Rainbow (Matchbox), Lonely Together (Barry Manilow), Never Mind The Presents (Barron Knights), December Will Be Magic (Kate Bush), Too Nice To Talk To (Beat), Blue Moon (Showaddywaddy), Looking For Clues (Robert Palmer), Do Nothing (Specials), This Wreckage (Gary Numan), It's Hard To Be Humble (Mac Davies), Lorraine (Bad Manners) ...which hit's your favourite?

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