Monday 23 September 2019

Retro top 10: this week in 1984

Stevie Wonder: just one No. 1 hit in the UK.
Stevie Wonder: just one No. 1 hit in the UK.

In a career spanning six decades, Stevie Wonder has only visited the number one spot in the UK singles chart on one occasion.

HIs self-penned 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' spent six weeks at number one and remains Motown Records' biggest selling single in the UK. It was the third best selling single of the entire eighties in that market.

Written by Stevie Wonder, 'I Just Called...' was composed for the soundtrack to the romantic comedy 'The Woman In Red' directed by and starring Gene Wilder. The song gave the movie an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

In 2012 Stevie Wonder successfully defended a lawsuit in which Lloyd Chiate claimed 'I Just Called To Say I Love You' was copied from a song he and another songwriter Lee Garrett wrote in 1976. The jury concluded that there was 'virtually no similarity of melody'.

Wonder said afterwards that he 'felt hurt that someone felt I would steal a song'.

'I Just Called...' dislodged another eighties classic from the top of the charts. George Michael's 'Careless Memories' reached number one in nearly 25 countries and sold six million copies around the world.

'Careless Whisper' was the fifth best selling single of 1984 in the UK, outsold only by Band Aid's 'Do They Know It's Christmas?', two huge Frankie Goes To Hollywood' hits, 'Relax' and 'Two Tribes', and 'I Just Called To Say I Love You'.

The following year, in the US, Billboard named 'Careless Whisper' the No. 1 song of 1985.

Despite all this commercial success, George Michael did not think much of the song.

In 1991 he said: 'It disappoints me that you can write a lyric very flippantly - and not a particularly good lyric - and it can mean so much to so many people. That's disillusioning for a writer.'

1 I Just Called To Say I Loved You Stevie Wonder

2 Careless Memories George Michael

3 Agadoo Black Lace

4 Like To Get To Know You Well Howard Jones

5 Passengers Elton John

6 Ghostbusters Ray Parker Jr.

7 Dr Beat Miami Sound Machine

8 Self Control Laura Branigan

9 I'll Fly For You Spandau Ballet

10 Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go) Hazell Dean

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