The year 1983 is a sterling one for Music to My Years. Songs were becoming more of a part of my life than ever before. Lyrics started to have meaning for me. Dance routines were formed in my room. I desperately wanted to be a songwriter and singer! Memories are still connected to many tracks and my love for Fame was still lingering. However, popstars started to make their way onto my walls! It was also a year where we went to a hotel in Westgate-On-Sea for the first year of two in a row. I can distinctly recall there being a kids disco and listening – and dancing to – the KC and the Sunshine Band song!
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:
- Karma Chameleon by Culture Club
- Uptown Girl by Billy Joel
- Every Breath You Take by The Police
- Give It Up by KC and The Sunshine Band
- Too Shy by Kajagoogoo
- Wham Rap (Enjoy What You Do) by Wham
- Words by FR David
- Love of the Common People by Paul Young
- Beat It by Michael Jackson
- The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up) by Level 42
- Puss ‘N’ Boots by Adam Ant
20. THE Safety Dance By Men Without Hats
This is the first group with the word ‘Men’ in the title on the chart this week. I can really recall the video to this song and remembering loving hearing it! I can also remember it being featured in Glee a few years back where the character Artie – who was in a wheelchair – imagined he could actually dance and sang this song.
The writer and lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that “The Safety Dance” is a protest against bouncers prohibiting dancers from pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was declining.
19. Church of The Poison Mind By Culture Club
It is funny how the more prominent songs from bands have started to decline in preference for me as they got played SO much. This song is a fab one from Culture Club which just doesn’t get played enough (in a good way!). I can remember buying it on 7 inch single at a bargain price in our local sweet shop. Then bringing it home and playing it continuously!
18. All Night Long By Lionel Ritchie
My father LOVED this song. As did all of the family. We danced to it a lot and it holds many happy memories for me.
The video to this track was produced by former Monkee, Mike Nesmith.
17. Nobody’s Diary By Yazoo
My love for Yazoo – and the synthesiser – continued with this song by Yazoo. Alison Moyet wrote this track at the age of 16 when she was playing in bands in Essex.
16. Double Dutch By Malcolm Mclaren
This track started my very short-lived obsession with double dutch skipping! I thought they were amazing and wondered how on earth they could skip with TWO ropes! I never thought Malcolm McLaren was a great singer but it was still an enjoyable song.
15. Hey You (The RockSteady Crew) By The RockSteady Crew
I thought that the break dancing in this video was amazing! Things were starting to change and music was becoming even more exciting and I really enjoyed this tune at the time. I can also recall that rap was really starting to become more prominent.
14. Africa By Toto
This track has continuously made its way onto my list over the years. Still brilliant now.
13. Bad Boys By Wham
I absolutely loved Wham when they came onto this scene – and I can recall knowing all the words to this and wanting to be one of their backing singers (Pepsi or Shirley) and so wanted their clothes! George Michael was just 19 when he composed this!
12. Calling Your Name By Marilyn
Born Peter Robinson, he took his name from his love of Marilyn Monroe. I found him a little self-obsessed but loved this track! Marilyn became a regular at The Blitz club run by Steve Strange of Visage and the place where many made their names as bands (including the one next up in my list!). During this time, Marilyn met Boy George and they shared a squat together.
This track peaked at number 4 in December ’83.
11. TRUE By SpandaU Ballet
Had it been a number of years ago, this track would have been higher up on my chart. I thought it was a deserving number one but felt that Spandau have had better.
It was their third single from their third album and written by Gary Kemp. It stayed at number one for 4 weeks. It is Spandau’s biggest hit and the only one to reach the top ten in the US. In 2011, it received a BMI award as one of the most played songs in US history with four million airplays.
10. DOWN UNDER BY MEN AT WORK
This is a song which is still great. I still listen to it and smile and it always makes me feel more upbeat. It was originally a B side (for kids who don’t know what that means, it is the other side of a single release!). It was then re-released and went to number one in Australia in December ’81, then topped the charts in New Zealand in 1982, topped the Canadian chart in October ’82, went to number one in America in January ’83 and finally reached number one in the UK in January and February 1983.
I can remember it making me want to try Vegemite! When my parents employed an Australian au pair called Nerida, we actually got to try some.
9. Friday Night By Kids From Fame
My Kids from Fame obsession continued and, whilst my sister and I really liked Doris as a female character, our favourite male was Danny. We always wanted him and Doris to get together! This tune was so upbeat and I can remember the Kids from Fame coming to London to do a concert – and was really proud that the video to this song was a live performance from that very concert!
8. Total Eclipse Of The Heart By Bonnie Tyler
This is still such an immense song. I can recall singing it VERY loudly at the school disco – directly at the boy I used to fancy the pants off (hello Richard Vaughan!). It was Bonnie Tylers biggest hit and spent 4 weeks at number one. It was also nominated for best female vocal at the Grammys.
7. Is There Something I should Know? By Duran Duran
This is without doubt my favourite Duran Duran song. I can remember trying to play the drums along to it at the beginning.
This was the first ‘battle of the band’ thing that I can remember – long before Blur and Oasis – and it was between this group and the ones who won in my book, Spandau Ballet. I can recall having major discussions with my friends Emma and Julia (the former a Spandau fan, the latter a Duran fan).
It was Duran Duran’s first number one.
6. Gold By Spandau Ballet
Whilst True was brilliant, this track tops that one! The video features Sadie Frost who went on to marry – and eventually divorce – the song’s writer, Gary Kemp. It reached number 2 in the UK and is the band’s second most successful single. It was held off the top by KC and the Sunshine Band!
5. Temptation by Heaven 17
What a tune this is – still! A big track, I love the way it builds. Carol Kenyon is the female vocalist and went on to become a backing singer for Go West (I can recall seeing her in concert with them).
It peaked at number 2 and was certified silver by the BPI in May 1983 for sales exceeding 250,000 copies.
4. Who’s That Girl by Eurythmics
A brilliant track written by both Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart, it was the Eurythmics third hit and reached number 3. I was intrigued by the lyrics ‘Cooler than ice cream and warmer than the sun’.
The video features, Cheryl and Jay from Bucks Fizz, Hazel O’Connor and all 4 members of Bananarama – including Siobhan who went on to become Dave Stewart’s wife and Jacquie who replaced Siobhan. It also features Marilyn!
3. Mama By Genesis
This song still sounds so current. The drum beat was written by Mike Rutherford and it is still the biggest hit release in the UK from Genesis. Hard to believe but understandable too!
2. Flashdance…What a Feeling by Irene Cara
With the Fame era still in full force, it was great to see Irene Cara back with another track – although she wasn’t in the film ‘Flashdance’!
It was the first example of girl power for me as Jennifer Beals plays a lady who works in a steel mill by day, is an erotic dancer by night and wants to become a professional ballerina. The song is still wonderful today and I never tire of hearing it. The song spent one week at number two on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending July 9, 1983, behind “Baby Jane” by Rod Stewart.
1. I’m Still Standing By Elton John
I hear this song over and over and still marvel at how positive and upbeat it is. It is definitely one of my most favourite Elton John songs. So much positivity! It only reached number 4 in the UK but got to number one in Canada and Switzerland.
The video is very memorable. It was filmed in Cannes and Nice – and features a young Bruno Tonioli as one of the dancers. Elton John bumped into Duran Duran. Apparently, he complained to them that he was exhausted at having been up since 4 o’clock in the morning. Simon Le Bon decided he should have a martini. “So I did,” John later recalled, “I had six.”