No more love on the run: best singles of 1984


Because it’s summer, and I don’t often compile them, and they’re fun, I cobbled together my longest list to date: the best singles of 1984. Save me the trouble of ranking them. What my generation often considers the greatest pop year of our lifetime deserves random output; most of these songs occurred to me without consulting another list, so omnipresent do they remain. A few caveats:

1. Miami was a dance town. We play dance music ’round the clock. We also boast a high snowbird population, ensuring strong adult contemporary programming. This means that by my estimate seventy-five percent of this list I heard on one of those stations when I was nine and ten years old. Although I didn’t hear “Two Tribes” in 1984 (“Relax” got — gets — the honor), we did get “Jam On It,” “Smalltown Boy,” “High Energy,” and especially “Give Me Tonight.” I love “Give Me Tonight” more than “Let The Music Play.” Shannon was so hot in South Florida in 1984-1985 that “My Heart’s Divided” and “Do You Wanna Get Away” got as much play as Shannon’s only top forty pop hit.

2. I have tried to avoid album-single duplication. If an album appears in my top forty, then I avoid listing its single unless its will to power compelled its inclusion.

3. I did not expect two former Beatles on my list. “No More Lonely Nights” is unassailable, though, garnished with David Gilmour’s finest moment. Yes, I meant that.

4. In two cases, the B-sides proved as irresistible as the A’s, so I included both.

4. 1984 is my 1965. I don’t suffer heaves of nostalgia though. I can come up with fifty great singles and tracks any year you care to name.

5. I’ll be happy to elaborate on any of these choices.


1. John Waite – Missing You
2. Shannon – Give Me Tonight
3. Jermaine and Michael Jackson – Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’ (Too Good to Be True)
4. Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes
5. Tina Turner – Better Be Good To Me
6. Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey – Together in Electric Dreams
7. Psychedelic Furs – The Ghost in You
8. Kid Creole and the Coconuts – My Male Curiosity
9. Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights
10. Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again
11. Pretenders – Middle of the Road
12. Cameo – She’s Strange
13. Debbie Deb – Look Out Weekend
14. Rolling Stones – Too Much Blood (Dance/Dub 12″)
15. Diana Ross – Swept Away
16. Phil Collins – Against All Odds (Take a Look At Me Now)
17. Go-Go’s – Head Over Heels
18, Duran Duran – New Moon on Monday
19. John Lennon – Nobody Told Me
20. The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make?
21. Sheila E. – The Glamorous Life
22. Madonna – Borderline
23. Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
24. Prince – When Doves Cry/17 Days
25. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark (Blaster Mix)
26. The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men
27. Lou Reed – I Love You, Suzanne
28. Evelyn Thomas – High Energy
29. R.E.M. – So. Central Rain
30. Newcleus – Jam On It
31. The Replacements – I Will Dare
32. The Bangles – Hero Takes a Fall
33. Christine McVie – Got a Hold On Me
34. Sheena Easton – Strut
35. New Order – Thieves Like Us/Lonesome Tonight
36. Chaka Khan – I Feel For You
37. Deniece Williams – Let’s Hear It For the Boy
38. Cyndi Lauper – She Bop
39. Pointer Sisters – Automatic
40. Steve Perry – Oh Sherrie
41. Dan Hartman – I Can Dream About You
42. Lionel Richie – Stuck On You
43. Jeffrey Osborne – Don’t Stop
44. Daryl Hall and John Oates – Out of Touch
45. Thompson Twins – Hold Me Now
46. Don Henley – Boys of Summer
47. Pat Benatar – We Belong
48. Romeo Void – Girl in Trouble (Is a Temporary Thing)
49. Rebbie Jackson – Centipede
50. Debarge – Love Me in a Special Way

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