Singles peaking at #6, UK edition: 1980-1983

Besides the chilling dependability of Shakin’ Stevens, on whom I can depend on at least one top ten during this period, these songs demonstrated a fascination with reggae and other Caribbean rhythms their American cousins ignored if Stevie Wonder wasn’t re-purposing them. But ignore the island riddims and listeners got Gary Numan, the Human League, the Jacksons, and ABC’s, not to mention the glistening permafrost covering Tina Turner’s Al Green Cover and the sprung rhythm of The Police’s “So Lonely.”

Reading how tracks too outre for American ears crossed over gives me the tickles, like Kool and the Gang’s followup to “Get Down On It,” “Celebration,” and “Too Hot,” the Rock Steady Crew making a mockery of what the American charts were capable of, and even Musical Youth establishing a base for a brief career that doesn’t look like a novelty. A pleasant post-boogie non-entity, Booker Newberry III’s “Love Town” I can imagine Larry Levan spinning early in the evening at his Paradise Garage set.


The Hague

Jon and Vangelis – I’ll Find My Way Home


Men Without Hats – The Safety Dance
Elaine Paige – Memory (from Cats)
Odyssey – If You’re Lookin’ for a Way Out
Graham Bonnet – Night Games
Musical Youth – Never Gonna Give You Up
Lionel Richie – Truly
The Look – I Am the Beat
Gary Numan – She’s Got Claws

Sound, Solid

Eurythmics – Love is a Stranger
Booker Newberry III – Love Town
Elvis Costello and the Attractions – A Good Year for the Roses
The Teardrop Explodes – Reward
Gary Byrd and the GB Experience – The Crown
The Human League – Being Boiled
Madness – Night Boat to Cairo
Kool and the Gang – Let’s Go Dancin’ (Ooh La La La)
Depeche Mode – See You
Tenpole Tudor – Swords of a Thousand Men
Shakin’ Stevens – Shirley
The Piranhas – Tom Hark

Good to Great

The Beat – Tears of a Clown/Ranking Full Stop
Tina Turner – Let’s Stay Together
ABC – Poison Arrow
The Jacksons – Can You Feel It
Roxy Music – More Than This
Teena Marie – Behind the Groove
The Human League – Open Your Heart
Rock Steady Crew – (Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew
Depeche Mode – Everything Counts
Gary Numan – I Die: You Die
The Gap Band – Oops Up Side Your Head
Motorhead – Motorhead (Live)
The Specials – Stereotype/International Jet Set
Hall and Oates – Maneater
The Police – So Lonely

3 thoughts on “Singles peaking at #6, UK edition: 1980-1983

  1. I’m working with UK charts, too. So I knew the re-released Police single peaked in early 80. I have trouble “believing” this came after the likes of “Walking on the Moon”, though (which is the single I decided to be closing the decade). So I respected the original releasing for my sequencing.
    The upper list is bonkers. I can’t remember The Beat made a cover of THAT. Is there any bad Beat single? What a juggernaut that band was. They just couldn’t stop it. And what a shame America was oblivious of them but not to, say, the Stray Cats, sheez. The Specials released great singles, too. But I think they were spottier.

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