We now reach the year 1982 in Music to My Years. This was the year we moved from Horsell to Mayford and a much bigger house. I went on Brownie Camp to Bristol. My sister, Davina, was born which meant there were now 6 of us.
In 1982, there was plenty of stand-out music for me and, as you can see below, I was heavily influenced by the film ‘Fame’ and the subsequent television series, ‘The Kids from Fame’.
As I am now a radio presenter on Radio Ninesprings, and I will be sharing my Top 10 all week and sharing 1 track from the list each day, Monday to Friday, on my show from 3pm. Plus, there is now a compilation show on Sunday’s at 6pm.
Here are this week’s honourable mentions:
- The Look of Love by ABC
- It Started with a Kiss by Hot Chocolate
- Inside Out by Odyssey
- Young Guns (Go for It!) by Wham
- Hard to Say I’m Sorry by Chicago
- Living on the Ceiling by Blancmange
- Poison Arrow by ABC
- Annie, I’m Not Your Daddy by Kid Creole and the Coconuts
- Shy Boy by Bananarama
- Just an Illusion by Imagination
- Really Saying Something by Fun Boy Three and Bananarama
20. The Lion Sleeps Tonight By Tight Fit
A complete classic of a tune, even now you can sometimes hear me singing ‘a-whim-away’ to one of my kids! Rex is intrigued by it. Grace is usually embarrassed these days! An enjoyable sing-along track for me.
19. Don’t Go By Yazoo
I have always loved Yazoo and I can remember when Erasure came onto the scene thinking it was Yazoo but they had changed their name. I was half right! Vince Clarke and Alison Moyet are both such talents and I love this track.
18. The Land of Make Believe By Bucks Fizz
Bucks Fizz became a very big deal for me after they won the Eurovision song contest in 1981 and, even today, I love Eurovision (despite the fact that we regularly land up bottom of the pack these days! Poor James Newman). This track is one that I bought on 7″ single and one of the tunes I danced along to in my room.
17. LayLa by Derek and The Dominoes
The guitar riff at the beginning of this song is just iconic. Eric Clapton has always been a familiar character in my life – especially as he lived in Ripley, Surrey near to where I grew up. I still love listening to this song to appreciate the music.
16. Ant Rap By Adam and The Ants
Even though this song was widely panned by critics, “Ant Rap” was one of the earliest rap singles to chart in the UK. It entered at number 9 and reached number 3.
15. I’ll Find MY Way Home By Jon and Vangelis
I have always loved the haunting melody to this song. I mainly remember Vangelis for the theme to Chariots of Fire but I really appreciate his skill at writing music.
14. Centrefold By J Geils Band
I remember really liking the beat and tempo to this song when it came out – not realising the subject matter! It is about a man who is shocked to discover that his high school crush appearing in a centerfold spread for a men’s magazine!
13. Zoom By Fat Larrys Band
I can really remember this song being the last on the A side of a tape I received for Christmas along with my very first Sony Walkman. I would wonder around the house listening to it with my headphones on. I lost count how many times I wore out the batteries!
12. I won’t Let You Down by PHD
I love this track. Another haunting melody, it reminds me a lot of a Vangelis track. I can recall a number of years later thinking that Jim Diamond and ‘I Should Have Known Better’ sounds so similar. It was then, only recently, that I realised that it is the same singer!
11. Abracadabra By The Steve Miller Band
This track is kind of a big deal for me. As mentioned at the top of this post, we went on Brownie Camp in this year. One of our tasks was for each tent to put on a cabaret number. Our tent and the one next door got into a big argument about who was going to sing ‘Fame’ by Irene Cara. We lost – and chose this instead. We did OK and it will always remind me of Brownie Camp!
10. Fantasy Island By Tight Fit
This track is the second – and more preferable for me – from Tight Fit on this week’s chart. I had never realised that it was a cover hit. It was originally released by The Millionaires just 3 months earlier – probably the shortest gap in history! I still sing along to it today.
9. House of Fun By Madness
It was a number of years later when I really understood the context of this song. I am sure that my parents were wondering around with their head in their hands every time I started singing along to it. When I did become aware, I was kind of embarrassed but now I just find it hilarious! In 2015 the British public voted it as the nation’s 8th favourite 1980s number one which is no surprise to me as it is great fun! I shall forever think of the band dressed up in overalls and head scarves, looking like old ladies!
8. Fame By Irene Cara
This started the COMPLETE obsession of Fame for me. I read the book on holiday that year (I was probably a bit young!) as I was not allowed to see the Alan Parker film due to the film’s rating being too old for me. I would listen to the track over and over and, as mentioned at number 11, wanted to sing it at Brownie camp. This was the song that made me want to be famous!! Alas, that is never to be – and quite frankly I don’t regret it! You will see more influences from Fame higher up in this chart.
7. Dead Ringer For Love By Meat Loaf and Cher
I have always loved this tune and it never really registered with me until years later that Cher was the female singer on this track. I just really loved Meat Loaf’s voice!
Although Cher appears in the video with Meat, they never performed it live together. The video reminds me of my love of juke boxes. How I used to love putting in my money, selecting my tunes and really looking forward to hearing them when they came on!
6. Only You by Yazoo
I can really recall my mum loving Alison Moyet. Vince Clarke was still in Depeche Mode when he wrote this track. It was released as Yazoo’s first single on 15 March 1982 and peaked at number 2 on 16 May. The days when you actually climbed the chart! The Flying Pickets were the Christmas number one in 1983 with an acapella version.
5. My Camera Never Lies By Bucks Fizz
I have already mentioned Bucks Fizz and my love of Eurovision earlier on this list but I have to say that I think this song is the better one. Plus, it is very applicable now to me given my main profession! It became the group’s second consecutive (and third overall) UK number one in April 1982.
4. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll By Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
This song was first released by The Arrows in 1975, but this one is the more well known one and for good reason! Joan Jett first performed it with two members of the Sex Pistols and she then recorded it with the Blackhearts which she landed up charting with. It reached number one in the US and number 4 in the UK.
The song stands up brilliantly to this day and I can recall Ross performing it with D-State a few years back. It is one of those tunes which will ALWAYS get me up dancing! It is another one which reminds me of jukeboxes too!
3. One Step Further By Bardo
This is a complete tune! It was one that I selected for my 40th Birthday Party. It was our Eurovision entry for 1982 and was sung by Sally Ann Triplett and Stephen Fischer.
The bookies had this as the favourite to win that year, as did commentator Terry Wogan. DJ, John Peel has also stated that this was his favourite Eurovision song of all time. Unfortunately it wasn’t to be on the night. We had won the previous year with Bucks Fizz, so the contest took place in Harrogate.
Sadly, we came 7th (something we can only dream of now!) and reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart. Something no UK Eurovision entries charted as highly at until 1996. I think what failed them on the night was the fact that it was with a full orchestra instead of the familiar synths that the recording was set to. Plus, the vocals weren’t great!
2. Hi-Fidelity By The Kids From Fame
I told you I had an obsession with Fame! My sister, Steph and I, had Fame bags, leg warmers and we watched The Kids from Fame religiously every week!
This track was sung by our favourite character, Doris, whom we both wanted to be! Bruno, the pianist and musician character in the show was looking for a new keyboard and took Doris and Danny – as well as his dad – with him. Bruno started playing the keyboard and, as is the case with any musical, Doris burst into song. A really upbeat tune.
1. Starmaker by The Kids From Fame
Well, with my obsession with The Kids from Fame, what did you expect?! Some of the singing on this track is questionable but the sentiment is fantastic. The actor playing Mr. Crandall, Michael Thoma, was diagnosed with cancer and had to leave the show so the writers accommodated this by having Crandall forced from the school due to budget cuts.
The song was sung to him at his leaving do on the show – and he had no idea it was going to happen. The tears he shed during the song were real. It really has extra meaning when you know the actors are really saying farewell to their colleague, who died shortly afterwards.
The song is sung by many people including Lori Singer who went on to play Ariel in Footloose (not a great singer though!) and the wonderful singing talent of Debbie Allen who can now be seen as Catherine Fox in Greys Anatomy.
Find my playlist over on Spotify: