Avatar Not number one

Occasionally, over the years, I’ve found myself in a conversation about what was at number one in the charts when I was born. These conversations come up from time to time, probably more often than they deserve to, usually prompted by a DJ on the radio talking about it.

For a long time my answer has been “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie, number one in the UK charts in early May 1984. That’s quite a fun song to be at the top when I was born and usually gets a laugh. Great. Everyone’s happy.

Yesterday I looked it up to see what else was in the charts that week, and was dismayed to find that I had somehow got it wrong.

“Hello” was a UK number one single, and Lionel Ritchie with his blind student making a creepy clay head had a run of six weeks at the top of the charts in spring 1984. But that run ended in April, and by Sunday 5 May Lionel’s informal greeting based ballad was only just in the top ten. The number one single when I was born was actually “The Reflex” by Duran Duran, which is nowhere near as much fun. As you can imagine, I was distraught.

To cheer myself up, I decided to see if my birthday number one was better than yours.


Let’s hope Kev is a fan of Frankie Goes to Hollywood because they were apparently everywhere in late July 1984. They were at number one with “Two Tribes”, and also at number three with the famously banned orgasm themed classic “Relax”. The rest of the top ten is mostly forgettable; at number two is a novelty single spin-off from The Young Ones, and the rest include Tina Turner, Cyndi Lauper and Shakatak. I feel like I’m on safe ground here.


Well, this is disappointing. Number one in mid-November 1983 was “Uptown Girl” by Billy Joel, a massive singalong smash hit. Adding insult to injury is the rest of the top ten, which contains at least another five stone cold hits: “Say Say Say” by Paul McCartney (and Jacko, but we’ll skim over that); “Love Cats” by the Cure; Men Without Hats’ ridiculous “Safety Dance”; “Karma Chameleon”; and even “All Night Long” by the very same Lionel Ritchie who callously abandoned me on my birthday.

In summary, then, I am disappointed that my birthday number one turns out to be a Duran Duran single, and not a very good one at that, and thanks to the fact that he basically cheated by being born in 1983, Ian wins.

17 comments on “Not number one

  • Being children of the 80’s our birth number ones were all pretty much guaranteed to be garbage anyway, so don’t beat yourself up too much.

  • I feel like I should have expected both those responses.

    For my part I’ve decided to take it on the chin and learn to love The Reflex.

  • You don’t have to do that to yourself. The Reflex (flexflexflex) is awful. You can stick with ‘Hello’, after all, much like having that one family member we all have that no one really likes, you can’t choose where or when you were born, but you can choose which shit 80’s music you listen to voluntarily.

  • The ‘aggro’ is in my comment above. They supplied far too much synthy pop poop. It’s not for me.

  • There’s no point trying to convert him to the Ranran. Kev’s a Lionel Ritchie fan through and through. That’s why he built the upside-down ballroom in his house, so he could dance on the ceiling.

  • Exactly. You know what he has for Lionel Ritchie? Endless Love.

    Wait. There’s a whole post for these jokes somewhere else. I’ll head over there instead.

  • Maybe we should mix it up with some Duran Duran puns. I’ll start.

    Do you think Kev really hates Duran Duran’s music, or is he just put off because they’re such Wild Boys?

  • Sorry I didnt retort sooner, you see I was a bit busy. I’d been waiting for the New Moon on Monday, and after One Last Night in the City, I boarded the Night Boat, heading over to Rio.

    I was having such a Nice time making Careless Memories with Electric Barbarella that, What are The Chances? I was kidnapped by The Wild Boys who said they were holding me hostage for a ransom and locked me in their Sunset Garage. I sat for a while, hoplessly thinking “why couldnt this happen to Someone Else Not Me“, but then through a small window I could see them leave. Now, with the Pressure Off, I climbed up on to the roof thinking I could shimmy down and run away. But my plans quickly Come Undone and as I was Falling Down to the ground I cursed the Paper Gods.

    Having picked myself up and escaped I called for The Chauffer to take me to Tiger Tiger, where I had arranged to Meet El Presedente and tell him of my plight. He said that they were a Notorious gang and he would come down on them with A View to a Kill using all the Violence of Summer.

    Things had got me Out of My Mind, so I got on a plane and came home. Was that Too Much Information?

  • He put a lot of time into it. Normally, 16.02 is the part of the afternoon that he spends looking at nudey ladies on the internet, but because he was busy posting that instead, he didn’t get to look at any Girls on Film.

    #tenuous #libellous

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