diamond geezer

 Saturday, February 24, 2007

Silver discs (February 1982)
A monthly look back at the top singles of 25 years ago

My ten favourite records from February 1982 (at the time)
Soft Cell - Say Hello, Wave Goodbye: If you're of a certain age, this bittersweet warbling ballad no doubt tugs uncontrollably at your heartstrings and brings an emotional tear to the eye. If you're rather younger, you've probably only ever heard David Gray's coffee table version. Your loss. [ToTP]
"Standing in the door of the Pink Flamingo crying in the rain"

XTC - Senses Working Overtime: The only Top 10 hit from one of my very favourite bands, lifted from the quintessential English Settlement album. Here Andy Partridge looked at the everyday world through fresh eyes (and fresh ears, fresh noses, etc). Swindon never sounded so good. [video]
"And all the world is football-shaped, it's just for me to kick in space"

The Jam - A Town Called Malice / Precious: Not so much a double A side as a double A+ side. The band were even allowed to perform both songs on the same edition of Top of the Pops which was unheard of, but then they had just crashed straight in at number 1 in the era before records smashed in regularly at number 1. [video]
"To either cut down on beer or the kids' new gear, it's a big decision in a town called Malice "

Depeche Mode - See You: By rights the band should have faded after Vince Clarke left, but they had another unexpected songwriter up their sleeve and so survived. A bit twee maybe, but this puts all their later darker stuff into proper contrast. [Tube]
"You can keep me at a distance if you dont trust my resistance, but I swear I wont touch you"

China Crisis - African and White: Soft, hook-laden propaganda direct from the dark continent (ie Liverpool). This, the first of their mostly-underrated single output, stalled at number 45 in the charts.
"Afrikaner, african and white, you're closer than you really ever know"
Bow Wow Wow - Go Wild In the Country: All praise to Malcolm McClaren for rescuing 14-year old Annabella Lwin from her after-school job in a dry cleaners and creating this nugget of angry pop energy. Woof! [video]
"Swinging from the trees, naked in the breeze, but I got no boiled chicken, I wanna go hunting and fishing"

Thompson Twins - In the Name of Love: This storming track from the South London collective took US dance clubs by storm, but we Brits proved harder to impress. The opening synth fanfare found its way into the middle of Love On Your Side a year later, but only a few of us remembered where we'd heard it first. [live]
"Hey you, I've seen your face before, it's you in the picture which hangs on my bedroom wall"

Leisure Process - Love Cascade: I'm probably the only person who remembers this turntable hit, from a briefly-flowering electro-duo much loved on evening Radio 1 at the time. The band featured session saxophonist Gary Barnacle, later to perform behind Level 42, Kim Wilde and Jamiroquai.
"Make way, here comes our love cascade, our triumphs on parade, why were we so afraid?"
Blue Rondo A La Turk - Klactoveesedstein:A ridiculous yet charming audio trifle, although people were no doubt too embarrassed to ask for it by name in record shops which probably is why it faded without trace. The band were named after a jaunty Dave Brubeck jazz track which, to be honest, was probably much better.
"I've gotta find out what it means, it's got to mean something, it's not just a dream "
Funboy Three and Bananarama - It Ain't What You Do It's The Way That You Do It: Siobhan, Sara and Keren piggy-backed into the limelight on the back of this finger-clicking 1939 jazz classic, and never went away again. The trio became the UK's most successful all-girl band ever, and the song title has entered the vernacular. [video] [ToTP]
"You can try hard, don't mean a thing, take it easy and then your jive will swing"

10 other hits from 25 years ago: The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Tight Fit), I Can't Go For That (Hall and Oates), Centrefold (J Geils Band), Maid of Orleans (Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark), Easier Said Than Done (Shakatak), Fool If You Think It's Over (Elkie Brooks), Cardiac Arrest (Madness), You're The One For Me (D Train), Queen of the Rapping Scene (Modern Romance), Theme From Hill Street Blues (Mike Post) ...which hit's your favourite? ...which one would you pick?

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