It’s been a long time, I shouldn’ta left you. Without a dope beat to step to.
January 1st, 2014. Perfectly sandwiched between ‘20 years ago today‘ and Forty Years On, it’s time to celebrate the annus mirabilis that was Nineteen Eighty Four.
My main hypothesis which I intend to establish in a series of blog posts this year states that 1984 was, by any sane metric, the greatest year in popular music in the history of the world. In addition, I will establish that 1984 was also the greatest year of my life, against which all others have been measured and found wanting. It was the year that I peaked academically, socially and sexually.
For one whole week in 1984 I had achieved the highest possible grade in every national exam I had taken. After that things went a bit squiffy.
I hosted a party in my parents house in the Summer of 1984. We had just restored the sound system and the turntable blasted grooves from ceiling-high speakers that were built in to the walls. I received several 12″ records as gifts including Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” from a future Chief Rebbetzin of Ireland.
Over the course of the 12 months that made up 1984 I snogged a total of four different girls (nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 in a lifetime tally of 8). I was practically a god.
As the year progresses I intend to record my media consumption during 2014 and contrast it with the glory of 1984 through frequent references to the diary which I kept that year as well as the Official Top 40 Charts.
First Interesting Fact about Music in 1984
In the whole of 1984 only 14 songs reached No. 1 in the UK charts. If you’re reading this blog post, you probably know the words to every single one of them.
Because of the holiday season there was no new chart published at all in the first week of 1984. No.1 at the start of the year was the same song that topped the chart just before Xmas 1983 – The Flying Pickets with their a capella cover version of Yazoo’s “Only You”.
Watching the video now, several things occur to me. The lead singer’s sideburns were very disturbing. One of the group looks like Stan Boardman dressed up as Doctor Who. In late 1983 a bald man with eyeliner seemed much more menacing than it does today.
For the first post of the year and my new attempt at writing more consistently here are today’s Bridget Jones-style stats:
- Tuna sandwiches consumed – 4 rounds
- Currently reading Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan – p. 39 – so far so good.
- Podcasts listened to – Slate Culture Gabfest – Wolfie is my Safe Word edition
- Total no. of levels of Candy Crush completed – 283
- No. of Facebook comments left today – 13
- TV episodes watched today – None, I’ve been writing this. Hoorah!
1984 – the best year for music. This is not true, and I have 3 examples:
1. Nena released 99 Red Balloons, and I had to learn this in German for my GCSE. I can still recite the chorus in German, by heart, and I get weird looks when I accidentally do this out loud.
2. Let’s Hear It for the Boy was the 13th best selling song of the year and it’s terrible.
3. Tina Turner released “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” and even she said it was her worst song.
I remember sitting with my family and grandparents watching Top of the Pops and Culture Club appeared, singing Karma Chamaleon. We all argued whether Boy George (we didn’t know his name at the time) was a boy or a girl. I was 11, and this may have been responsible for the impact upon my social awareness later in life.
The only redeeming thing about music in 1984 was Nellie The Elephant. This was a musical landmark which demonstrated pop had stopped being so serious, following the monotonous drivel of the 1970s and early 80s.
Bradley, Bradley, Bradley. Not content with sharing my birthday, you are now attempting to disprove my hypothesis with your absurd whining about Teutonic Übermensch, Nena. Challenge accepted. Oh, and just for the record, Karma Chameleon was soooooo 1983. #redgoldandgreen
spent the day trying to figure out what snogged means. when consulted a native of England was left dissapointed
As were many of the young ladies under discussion.
good to have u back, gf
Thank you, sir.
1976 was the best year for pop music actually, apart from The Flying Pickets of course. Looking forward to reading more as the year progresses. On which date do you think you’ll be giving the names of those girls you snogged?
A gentleman never snogs and tells.
Rubbish. A 15 year old gentleman will be on the phone to a friend within about 15 minutes of her dad picking her up.
I’d like to believe I’ve become more of a gentleman, even if I wasn’t much of one then.