I got thinking a while back that, once the calendar turned over into 2023, I could have some fun out of creating a new series for the blog, turning the clock back 40 years to look at some of the great music that was released in 1983, perhaps throwing in a few stories/recollections/memories of the era. In doing so, I have created a bit of a dilemma for myself, but I’ll come back to that tomorrow.
In the meantime, to give you an idea of how good a start it was to 1983, here’s a single that had been released just prior to Christmas where it bubbled away outside the Top 40 for a few weeks, unable to compete with the might of Renee and Ronato, Phil Collins, David Essex or Shakin’ Stevens, not forgetting the unlikely duet from Bing Crosby and David Bowie.
The first week in January saw it reach #34 and an invitation from the Top of The Pop producers for the 24-year-old lead singer to realise his pop star ambitions.
The following week, Story of The Blues climbed all the way to #6 and then the following week to its peak position of #3. All told, it stayed in the Top 20 for six weeks and didn’t drop out of the Top 75 until late March. I wrote about this song back in 2015. I’ll stand by whhat I said then
To my young(ish) ears it sounded like no other record that had ever been released at that point in history. To my old(er) ears it still sounds like no other record that has ever been released in history.
And, because you’re worth it, here’s the full version, ripped at a high quality direct from the Canadian import 12″ single :-
The same week that Pete’s epic peaked at #3, saw a bunch of his mates achieve the highest new entry in the singles charts:-
Oh, how the 19-year-old me loved throwing shapes to this one on the floor of the student union disco as I lay down my raincoat and grooved.
I did a lot of grooving in 1983 as it turned out to be a more than decent year for alternative pop music, albeit there was still a great deal of dross dominating the higher end of the charts most weeks.