The Eighties Best-Selling 20 Singles Of The UK (and 100 of my own)

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Yes, Magic Kingdom, Disney World as the 80’s passed into the 90’s

There are now 24 80’s million sellers, as many tracks remain popular on downloads and streaming – this chart is still based on paid-for sales though, not streaming “sales-equivalent”, so the likes of a quarter-of-a-million stream-equivalent sales for Billie-Jean don’t matter here as Jacko has still only sold around 850,000 in paid sales, with the nearest track to miss out being Lionel Ritchie’s Hello. It may be a few years before we get another 80’s million-seller though, as none are that close (970,000 at best).

There are, however, 4 new tracks since the last list 6 years ago, headed as expected by a Christmas perennial – The Pogues is once again in the UK top 5 this Christmas week 2018, and just sells every year regardless. Hence it is already the 14th best-seller. It may eventually overhaul the still-selling Blue Monday, but there’s a huge gap of 120,000 sales to overhaul Tainted Love, so it may be a while to go any higher!

The loss of George Michael and Christmas has boosted him and Wham!, while the Rocku movie popularity just keeps Survivor selling very well, now top 5 from not even a million-seller prior to downloads. Stevie Wonder is 120,000 ahead, so that’s a bit of an ask for a non-christmas track. Journey enter at 16 with a huge 21st century monster anthem – almost all it’s sales are from this century, as it was a minor UK hit that remained largely unknown until Glee, movies, and TV brought it into the mainstream. It was, of course, big in the USA in the 80’s, though. Red Red Wine is another steady seller for UB40, giving Neil Diamond a song if not an actual record in the million-sellers lists. Finally, Rick Astley has made a comeback as an artist, and a rick-rollin’ internet fame-driven kitsch-tinged boost in sales for Never Gonna Give You Up, and a well-deserved new entry for a great pop record.

 

1 ( 1 ) DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? BAND AID 1 1984
2 ( 2 ) RELAX FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1 1983
3 ( 4 ) LAST CHRISTMAS/EVERYTHING SHE WANTS WHAM! 2 1984
4 ( 3 ) I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU STEVIE WONDER 1 1984
5 ( 8 ) EYE OF THE TIGER SURVIVOR 1 1982
6 ( 6 ) DON’T YOU WANT ME? HUMAN LEAGUE 1 1981
7 ( 5 ) TWO TRIBES FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD 1 1984
8 ( 9 ) CARELESS WHISPER GEORGE MICHAEL 1 1984
9 ( 7 ) KARMA CHAMELEON CULTURE CLUB 1 1983
10 ( 10 ) THE POWER OF LOVE JENNIFER RUSH 1 1985
11 ( 11 ) COME ON EILEEN DEXY’S MIDNIGHT RUNNERS 1 1982
12 ( 12 ) TAINTED LOVE SOFT CELL 1 1981
13 ( 13 ) BLUE MONDAY NEW ORDER 3 1983
14 ( NEW ) FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK POGUES FT KIRSTY MACCOLL 2 1987
15 ( 14 ) GHOSTBUSTERS RAY PARKER JR. 2 1984
16 ( NEW ) DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’ JOURNEY 6 1982
17 ( 15 ) RIDE ON TIME BLACK BOX 1 1989
18 ( 16 ) FAME IRENE CARA 1 1982
19 ( NEW ) RED RED WINE UB40 1 1983
20 ( 18 ) UPTOWN GIRL BILLY JOEL 1 1983
21 ( 17 ) STAND & DELIVER! ADAM AND THE ANTS 1 1981
22 ( 19 ) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT TIGHT FIT 1 1982
23 ( 20 ) ESPECIALLY FOR YOU KYLIE MINOGUE & JASON DONOVAN 1 1988
24 ( NEW ) NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP RICK ASTLEY 1 1987

 

 

The 20 biggest sellers, actual confirmed sales up to July 2013 including downloads, all but no.20 million-sellers

1 DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS? Band Aid
2
RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
3 I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU Stevie Wonder
4 LAST CHRISTMAS/ EVERYTHING SHE WANTS Wham!
5 TWO TRIBES Frankie Goes To Hollywood
6 DON’T YOU WANT ME Human League
7 KARMA CHAMELEON Culture Club
8 EYE OF THE TIGER Survivor
9 CARELESS WHISPER George Michael
10 THE POWER OF LOVE Jennifer Rush
11 COME ON EILEEN Dexy’s Midnight Runners
12 TAINTED LOVE Soft Cell
13 BLUE MONDAY New Order
14 GHOSTBUSTERS Ray Parker Jnr
15 RIDE ON TIME Black Box
16 FAME Irene Cara
17 STAND AND DELIVER Adam & The Ants
18 UPTOWN GIRL Billy Joel
19 THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT Tight Fit
20 ESPECIALLY FOR YOU Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan
and my 100 Best “Selling” (thats chart points from my charts since Dec 1979)
1 BILLIE JEAN Michael Jackson
2 LITTLE LIES Fleetwood Mac
3 THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL Abba
4 THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
5 WHAT HAVE I DONE (TO DESERVE THIS) Pet Shop Boys/Dusty Springfield
6 RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
7 LET’S DANCE David Bowie
8 YOU WIN AGAIN Bee Gees
9 HUMAN Human League
10 LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!

11 TWO TRIBES Frankie Goes To Hollywood
12 WEST END GIRLS Pet Shop Boys
13 (JUST LIKE) STARTING OVER John Lennon
14 EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD Tears For Fears
15 DRIVE Cars
16 BOYS OF SUMMER Don Henley
17 TAINTED LOVE Soft Cell
18 SOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVE Tears For Fears
19 SACRIFICE Elton John
20 SUPERTROUPER Abba

21 THE LAST KISS David Cassidy
22  A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
23 IT’S A SIN Pet Shop Boys
24 ALWAYS ON MY MIND Pet Shop Boys
25 THE POWER OF LOVE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
26 MOONLIGHT SHADOW Mike Oldfield
27 A FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK The Pogues/ Kirsty MacColl
28 ASHES TO ASHES David Bowie
29 HOLIDAY Madonna
30 ONE OF US Abba

31 HEART Pet Shop Boys
32 HEALING HANDS Elton John
33 THE SUN ALWAYS SHINES ON TV A-Ha
34 LOVE ACTION (I BELIEVE IN LOVE) Human League
35 DON’T DREAM IT’S OVER Crowded House
36 IN THE AIR TONIGHT Phil Collins
37 CRY Godley & Creme
38 TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin
39 BAD Michael Jackson
40 I DON’T WANT TO LOSE YOU Gloria Estefan

41 LAY ALL YOUR LOVE ON ME Abba
42 DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME Police
43 CAN YOU FEEL IT Jacksons
44 I’M STILL STANDING Elton John
45 I CAN’T GO FOR THAT (NO CAN DO) Daryl Hall & John Oates
46 IT MUST BE LOVE Madness
47 THERE SHE GOES La’s
48 YOU CAME Kim Wilde
49 VIENNA Ultravox
50 THE LAND OF MAKE BELIEVE Bucks Fizz

51 LOVE IS ALL THAT MATTERS Human League
52 ONE MORE TRY George Michael
53 YOUNG AT HEART Bluebells
54 COME ON EILEEN Dexy’s Midnight Runners
55 LA ISLA BONITA Madonna
56 XANADU ELO/Olivia Newton-John
57 NEW BEGINNING (MAMBA SEYRA) Bucks Fizz
58 UNDER YOUR THUMB Godley & Creme
59 LEFT TO MY OWN DEVICES Pet Shop Boys
60 YOU USED TO Distant Cousins

61 BEING WITH YOU Smokey Robinson
62 CRYING Don McLean
63 ‘1999’ Prince
64 DON’T YOU WANT ME Human League
65 19″ Paul Hardcastle
66 RUNNING UP THAT HILL Kate Bush
67 ALL AROUND THE WORLD Lisa Stansfield
68 OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
69 DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS Band Aid
70 SOUVENIR OMD

71 IT STARTED WITH A KISS Hot Chocolate
72 THE MAN IN THE MIRROR Michael Jackson
73 THIS WOMAN’S WORK Kate Bush
74 I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) George Michael/Aretha Franklin
75 MAD WORLD Tears For Fears
76 SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Rockwell/ Michael Jackson
77 CLOUDBUSTING Kate Bush
78 TRUE BLUE Madonna
79 ORDINARY LIVES Bee Gees
80 ATOMIC Blondie

81 MESSAGES OMD
82 WOOD BEEZ (PRAY LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN) Scritti Politti
83 DOWN UNDER Men At Work
84 CIRCLE IN THE SAND Belinda Carlisle
85 YOU SPIN ME ROUND (LIKE A RECORD) Dead Or Alive
86 TELL IT TO MY HEART Taylor Dayne
87 THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART) Eurythmics
88 TRUE FAITH New Order
89 THE LOOK OF LOVE ABC
90 PARTY FEARS TWO Associates

91 HEAD OVER HEELS Abba
92 NO DOUBT ABOUT IT Hot Chocolate
93 E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
94 THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL Michael Jackson
95 MONKEY George Michael
96 DOMINO DANCING Pet Shop Boys
97 SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS) Eurythmics
98 OPPORTUNITIES (LET’S MAKE LOTS OF MONEY) Pet Shop Boys
99 TROUBLE Lyndsey Buckingham
100 OUR LIPS ARE SEALED Fun Boy Three
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