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Retro top 10: this week in 1989


Ferry 'Cross the Mersey

Ferry 'Cross the Mersey

Ferry 'Cross the Mersey

The Hillsborough disaster claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans, crushed to death during a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield on April 15, 1989.

Soon after the disaster, with Liverpool still reeling from the shock, Gerry Marsden, lead singer with prominent 1960s Merseybeat group Gerry and the Pacemakers, approached Pete Waterman of hit production team Stock, Aitken and Waterman, to suggest a charity single to help The Hillsborough Disaster Fund.

Marsden suggested they record a new version of his own 'Ferry Cross The Mersey', originally a hit for Gerry and the Pacemakers in 1964 and a Liverpool anthem. Some famous Liverpudlians were approached to take part, including Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and The Christians.

Waterman has stated that during recording he had to explain to Marsden why the new, more soulful version had to be so different in style from the sixties pop original. 'Gerry had recorded it with George Martin as a hit; we were now recording it with Paul McCartney and everybody else to raise money for a charity. We were creating an emotional message to wrench money out of people's pockets. Our job was to make money for an appeal and for that we had to be mercenary.'

The single struck a chord with the public, staying at number one in the UK charts for three weeks, and at the top in Ireland for two.

The original 'Ferry Cross The Mersey', from the soundtrack of the film of the same name, had reached No. 8 in the UK in late 1964, and number six in the US.

1 Ferry Cross The Mersey Gerry Marsden, Paul McCartney, Holly Johnson and The Christians

2 Hand On Your Heart Kylie Minogue

3 Miss You Like Crazy Natalie Cole

4 Requiem London Boys

5 I Want It All Queen

6 Bring Me Edelweiss Edelweiss

7 Eternal Flame The Bangles

8 I'm Every Woman Chaka Khan

9 Beds Are Burning Midnight Oil

10 The Look Roxette

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