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Music in 1984

By Patrick Mondout

This was one of those ultra-rare years in pop music where the best albums were also the best sellers. The year produced two of the monster albums of the Awesome80s: Bruce Springsteen's Born in the USA and Prince and the Revolution's Purple Rain, which served as the soundtrack to the movie of the same name. Each has sold in well in excess of 10 million copies though it was Purple Rain that spent 20 weeks atop the album charts - usually with the Boss a close second. Other big albums of the year included Van Halen's appropriately titled 1984, Madonna's inappropriately titled Like a Virgin (like, yeah right!), Heartbeat City by The Cars, and Tina Turner's remarkable comeback album, Private Dancer. But none of these won the Grammy for album of the year. That honor went to former Commodore Lionel Richie for Can't Slow Down.

Prince had quite a year in 1984. In addition to the five hits on Purple Rain (which resulted in a Best Score Oscar) and the b-side Erotic City (#1 Dance), he co-wrote Jungle Love (#20 Pop; #6 R&B) and The Bird (#36 Pop) for The Time, wrote The Glamorous Life (#7 Pop; #9 R&B; #1 Dance), The Belle Of St. Mark (#34 Pop) and others for Sheila E., wrote Sex Shooter (#24 R&B) and Manic Monday for Apollonia 6 (the latter remains unreleased though The Bangles took it to #2 Pop in 1986), wrote Sugar Walls (#9 Pop; #3 R&B; #1 Dance) for Sheena Easton, and wrote Nothing Compares 2 U for The Family (which became a worldwide #1 hit in 1990 for Sinead O'Connor). Lastly, his 1978 song I Feel For You, was revived by Chaka Khan (#3 Pop; #1 R&B). Even if you don't count the last one, that's 14 hits dating to this period!

Here are some of the albums you may have been listening to in 1984:

Alan Parsons - Ammonia Avenue

Bangles - All Over The Place

Berlin - Love Life

Billy Idol - Rebel Yell

Billy Ocean - Suddenly

Bob Marley and The Wailers - Legend: The Best Of

Bon Jovi

Bruce Springsteen - Born In The U.S.A.

Bryan Adams - Reckless

Cars - Heartbeat City

Chaka Khan - I Feel For You

Chicago - 17

Culture Club - Waking Up

Daryl Hall & John Oates - Big Bam Boom

David Bowie - Tonight

Don Henley - Building The Perfect Beast

Elton John - Breaking Hearts

Glenn Frey - The Allnighter

Jacksons - Victory

Joe Jackson - Body and Soul

The Fall - The Wonderful & Frightening World

Footloose (Soundtrack)

Ghostbusters (Soundtrack)

Go-Gos - Talk Show

Howard Jones - Human's Lib

Husker Du - Zen Arcade

INXS - The Swing

Klymaxx - Meeting In the Ladies Room

Laura Branigan - Self Control

Lindsay Buckingham - Go Insane

Los Lobos - How Will The Wolf Survive?

Madonna - Like a Virgin

Meat Puppets - Meat Puppets II

Minutemen - Double Nickels On The Dime

Nena - 99 Luftballons

New Edition

Pretenders - Learning to Crawl

Prince - Purple Rain

Ratt - Out Of The Cellar

R.E.M. - Reckoning

Rick Springfield - Hard To Hold (Soundtrack)

Robyn Hitchcock - I Often Dream Of Trains

Scandal - The Warrior

Scorpions - Love At First Sting

Shannon - Let The Music Play

Sheena Easton - Private Heaven

Sheila E. - Glamorous Life

Smiths - Hatful of Hallow

Spandau Ballet - Parade

Steve Perry - Street Talk

Stevie Wonder - The Woman in Red (Soundtrack)

Streets Of Fire (Soundtrack)

Survivor - Vital Signs

Talk-Talk - It's My Life

The The - Soul Mining

Thompson Twins - Into The Gap

.38 Special - Tour de Force

The Time - Ice Cream Castle

Tina Turner - Private Dancer

Tony Carey - Some Tough City

U2 - The Unforgettable Fire

Van Halen - 1984

Wham! - Make It Big



10: Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper

9: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go - Wham!

8: I Just Called To Say I Love You - Stevie Wonder

7: Let's Go Crazy - Prince and the Revolution

6: What's Love Got to Do With It? - Tina Turner

5: Jump - Van Halen

4: Ghostbusters - Ray Parker Jr.

3: Caribbean Queen - Billy Ocean

2: Live a Virgin - Madonna

1: When Doves Cry - Prince and the Revolution

1984 memorabilia!

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