Top 100 Singles of the 80s: 60-56
Tears for Fears: Mad World
Curt Smith claims that when Tears For Fears wrote Mad World back in 1982, he and Roland Orzabal had absolutely no idea it would become a hit. But it went further than that: having reached number three in the UK, it returned to the UK chart in 2001 and hit number one with Gary Jules’ Donnie Darko version. It also, surprisingly, transcended the greatness of singles like Head Over Heels and Woman In Chains to be the only TFF track to make our Top 100.
Dexys Midnight Runners: Come On Eileen
When this won Best British Single at the 1983 Brit Awards, it was hard to believe that it was from the same group – as featured in this issue’s pos(t)er section – that had released Geno just a couple of years before. But this is Kevin Rowland we’re talking about, and if the reinvention from soul boys to denim-clad ragamuffins seemed like a big jump, we still had the business suit and the male underwear eras to come.
Depeche Mode: Just Can’t Get Enough
The last Depeche Mode single to feature Vince Clarke, Just Can’t Get Enough reached number eight in the UK and number 26 on the US dance chart at the tail-end of 1981. The song has since taken on a life of its own – way beyond the primitive art-pop of Daniel Miller’s production and Mute Records’ S&M sleeve – becoming a big football chant for Celtic, a number-two hit for girly group The Saturdays and the soundtrack to a pink-neon party scene in TV series Glee.
Blondie: Call Me
The biggest song of 1980, Call Me was number one in the UK (Blondie’s fourth of five in the Eighties) and the band’s biggest-selling single in the USA. Cover versions by artists ranging from Tiffany to Franz Ferdinand are testament to the song’s universal appeal, but it almost wasn’t a Blondie song. The track was based on an instrumental electro piece Giorgio Moroder was working on for the film American Gigolo. His first choice for vocals? Stevie Nicks.
Howard Jones: New Song
You may have heard it recently in Breaking Bad (during a meeting between Jesse, Badger and Skinny Pete), but this single goes right back to the very start of Howard Jones’ story. Released in September 1983, it reached number three in the UK and a respectable number 27 in the US, kicking off a string of 10 chart hits. And, lest we forget, this was also the single that launched Jed Hoile – Howard’s on-stage companion and mime artist – on an unsuspecting public.