The final part! Peaking at number fifteen this week was the fantastic In Between Days by The Cure, it was about 2 years after they had taught the boy Keir about good pop, and this was good pop indeed. I very liked The Cure and had three of their VHS video tapes. I started by buying The Love Cats when I was 12. Whether it's The Cure or ABBA, it's hard to beat great pop with depth. Down to 14 having peaked at 4 was Cherish by Kool And The Gang, which I don't remember. I doubt it was very good, it was a good few years since their best one I recall, the sort of half-decent Get Down On It, and over a year since the crappy Joanna. Up to 13, before peaking at 12 the next week, was Excitable by Amazulu. Amazulu got a vague thumbs up at the time, they seemed sort of like a crowd of empowered, positive women, thumbs up, but now I come to think of it I don't think any of the music was much cop. I remember Excitable, annoying. I supposed they were like a third-rate Belle Stars, if you can imagine that.
Down to 12, having been at 6, was Live Is Life by Opus. Yes, na na na-na na. You'll know that. It's an anthem, of sorts. It's also shit, if you ask me. Up to 11 on the way to 7 was Say I'm Your Number One by Princess, her first and biggest hit, it wasn't really very good, but she had a reasonable voice, I suppose, if I recall correctly. Up to 10 was Nik Kershaw with Don Quixote. His last week ever in the top 10. This wasn't his best but he did some decent pop songs. The subject matter was typical of a time when pop sometimes aspired to a certain intellectual content that it couldn't deliver on. and it would often fail badly, but at least the aspiration was there.
Straight in at 9 on its way to 3 was Kate Bush with Running Up That Hill, a commercial return to form welcomed by many but for me a retreat from more interesting stuff that wasn't very popular. Still, it was great, objectively, and I'll always look on whatever she does (within reason) charitably because of what she's done in the past. A proper artist, a proper great artist. Up to 8 on the way to 4 was The Cars' Drive, which was a crap ballad, its revival driven by the mawkish in a good cause video of starving babies that accompanied it on Live Aid, but there's no excuse for it getting to 5 the year before. It was a bizarrely random choice of song too. Poor Cars, their first single of 1984, You Might Think, was decent but only got to 88 here, perhaps they did other decent stuff that failed in the UK and which I never heard.
Peaking at 6 was White Wedding, possibly the least ridiculous song by the clown Billy Idol. Sort of sort of okay sort of I guess. Down to 5 from its peak of 4 was Money For Nothing by Dire Straits. Yeah, blah blah MTV blah blah. Shut up Sting. Compared to other Dire Straits stuff of the time it was relatively decent, but... naaah. Don't get me wrong, it's a hundred times better than Frankie by Sister Sledge, but... naaah. If I was forced to listen to a Dire Straits song I'd listen to Sultans Of Swing or something. Down to 4 from its peak of 3 was Tina Turner with The Shit Mad Max Song. That's it's official title, I have just decreed it. Up to 3 on its way to 1 was UB40 with Chrissy Hynde and their crap cover of I got You Babe. For some terrible reason the top two were both Madonna, the nasty old Holiday up to 2 for some reason and Into The Groove at 1. Meh. It's meh. It was the best Madonna song in the Top 40 that week. And it was better than I Got You Babe, and better than most of the top 40 just by being less deeply annoying than a lot of them. It is mediocre in a banal way, not in such a deep painful way as some of them.
There will be an audio supplement to this trilogy on my audioboo thing (see left).
that's all from me for now
see you around
Posted by Keir Hardie at 5:00 am