It was a bad year for Mike Read, guardian of the nation’s morals. First up he smashed a copy of Frankie Goes To Hollywood‘s gay anthem ‘Relax’ live on air, turning it into a hit in the process. And then he hosted a Saturday Superstore phone-in with hapless popsters Matt Bianco only to hear them called a bunch of wankers on prime time telly. Still, it was a worse year for soul legend Marvin Gaye. He was shot dead by his own dad.
Gone: Nena. Previously Germany had given us Kraftwerk and X-Mal Deutschland, but it wasn’t all Teutonic cool as ’99 Red Balloons’, a chirpy synth-pop ditty about nuclear annihilation, proved. “Worry worry, super scurry / Send the troops out in a hurry”. Wise words indeed. Album of the year: The Smiths – ‘The Smiths’
Single of the year: Frankie Goes To Hollywood: ‘Relax’
Band of the year: Frankie Goes To Hollywood
1984 belonged to: Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Event of the year: Band Aid. Moved to action by visions of famine, Bob Geldof gathered together the cream of pop talent, raised millions for Ethiopia and inadvertently created a musical monster. Thereon in, it was all Frankie, with ‘Two Tribes’ cemented at the top of the charts. Purple poser Prince emerged as the first decent megastar of the decade with the multi-million selling ‘Purple Rain’. A fledgling Madonna followed closely behind. But as music became increasingly over-produced and reliant on big budget videos, it was The Smiths who made the year worthwhile with their incredible self-titled debut album. Suddenly it was cool to be a geek.
The Special AKA‘s ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ became a slogan to rival ‘Frankie says’ but it was Band Aid‘s ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’ was 1984’s loudest rallying cry. ‘They’ didn’t of course. Because ‘They’ weren’t Christians.