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Record Sleeves

Single Covers
There is always the common believe that chart music, especially the stuff high up in the charts, let's say the Top 10, is of inferior quality and only of short-term interest. But in my opinion this theory does not hold for the 80s.
So, to prove my point, I have assembled a list of 50 songs that reached the German Top 10 in this decade but are nevertheless classic pop songs which to this day have not lost their appeal and fascination. If you should miss some songs in this list you should bear in mind that the German charts had their very own characteristics. So, for example, none of the following great UK #1 hits did manage to reach the German Top 10 : neither Blondie's 'Atomic' (reached #20) and 'Call Me' (did a bit better at #14) nor Steve "Silk" Hurley's 'Jack Your Body' (also a #14). The Specials 'Ghost Town' even did not chart at all.
The list is presented in chronological order, yet I have singled out my Top 3 and have added comments to those songs that might not be that well known outside of Germany.
  Chart Entry Highest Pos. Weeks In Top 10
  1980 - 1983
  Abba   The Winners Takes It All   04.08.80 4 9  
  The Boomtown Rats   Banana Republic   22.12.80 3 9  
  Visage   Fade To Grey   23.02.81 1 17  
  Soft Cell   Tainted Love   26.10.81 1 16  
  Spider Murphy Gang   Skandal im Sperrbezirk   07.12.81 1 18  
German Flag
Sadly my hometown Munich does not have a rich musical legacy of any kind so this song is the only reference to it on this website. It has aged remarkably well and is still a huge popular favourite in the whole of Germany. And the line "Und draußen vor der großen Stadt stehen die Nutten sich die Füße platt!", a massive schoolyard chant back then, still brings a smile to my face each time I hear it.
  Joachim Witt   Goldener Reiter   14.12.81 2 12  
German Flag
This can be seen as the archetypal NDW song: an artist which has been in the business for quite a while albeit without much success, a catchy melody, lyrics about a subject which is usually not referred to in a pop song (mental hospitals) and the use of primitive electronic equipment.
  Nena   Nur geträumt   13.09.82 2 13  
  Abba   The Day Before You Came   01.11.82 5 6  
Number 2
During the 70s Abba songs were either over sentimental ballads or camp disco songs. But in the same way as their marriages fell apart towards the start of the 80s their musical output improved. "The Winner Takes It All" was a first step, the following album "The Visitors" (their last) another one. But the culmination was this forgotten masterpiece.
  Culture Club   Do You Really Want To Hurt Me   22.11.82 1 15  
  New Order   Blue Monday   16.05.83 2 11  
Number One
Not much discussion about the first place. This is not just the best song in this list but surely the best single of the 80s. And it's amazing that this rather complex and refrainless piece of music did sell so well.
  David Bowie   China Girl   27.06.83 6 6  
  Boytronic   You   12.09.83 10 1  
  Acts with the most Top 10 Hits in the 80s in Germany  
  Depeche Mode 11  
  Pet Shop Boys 10  
  Madonna 9  
  Phil Collins 8  
  Falco 8  
  Modern Talking 7  
  Kim Wilde 7  
  Tina Turner 7  
  Michael Jackson 7  
  Sandra 7  
  Acts with the most #1 Hits in the 80s in Germany  
  Modern Talking 5  
  Falco 4  
  Pet Shop Boys 3  
  Frankie Goes To Hollywood 3  
  Rick Astley 2  
  Whitney Houston 2  
  Abba 2  
  Mel & Kim 2  
  Phil Collins 2  
  1984 - 1986
  Frankie Goes To Hollywood   Relax   06.02.84 1 12  
  Propaganda   Dr. Mabuse   24.04.84 7 5  
  Alphaville   Sounds Like A Melody   04.06.84 3 9  
  Ultravox   Dancing With Tears In My Eyes   25.06.84 7 3  
  Talk Talk   Such A Shame   09.07.84 2 13  
  Duran Duran   The Wild Boys   13.11.84 1 10  
  Frankie Goes To Hollywood   The Power Of Love   17.12.84 4   7  
  Band Aid   Do They Know It's Christmas?   24.12.84 1 8  
  Dead Or Alive   You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)   25.03.85 2 8  
  Simple Minds   Don't You (Forget About Me)   13.05.85 4 6  
  Talking Heads   Road To Nowhere   23.10.85 6 8  
  Pet Shop Boys   West End Girls   23.12.85 2 8  
  a-ha   The Sun Always Shines On TV   24.01.86 5 5  
  Depeche Mode   Stripped   03.03.86 4 5  
  Prince & The Revolution   Kiss   24.03.86 4 7  
  David Bowie   Absolute Beginners   24.03.86 7 3  
  Animotion   I Engineer   21.04.86 2 8  
  Bangles   Walk Like An Egyptian   24.11.86 1 9  
  Ten #1 Hits That Time Forgot #1 for
   Frank Duval Angel Of Mine 5 weeks in 1981
   Joe Dolce Shaddup Your Face 3 weeks in 1981
   Stars On 45 Stars On 45 7 weeks in 1981
   Evelyn Thomas High Energy 4 weeks in 1984
   Bruce & Bongo Geil 4 weeks in 1986
   M.C. Miker "G" & Deejay Sven Holiday Rap 5 weeks in 1986
   Bonnie Bianco & Pierre Cosso Stay 4 weeks in 1987
   Guillermo Marchena My Love Is A Tango 2 weeks in 1988
   Koreana Hand In Hand 3 weeks in 1988
   Mysterious Art Das Omen (Teil 1) 9 weeks in 1989
  Songs everybody thinks were Top 10 hits but in fact weren't     Reached #
   Blondie The Tide Is High 15 in 1980
   ABC The Look Of Love 36 in 1982
   Survivor Eye Of The Tiger 13 in 1982
   Toto Africa 14 in 1982
   Billy Joel Uptown Girl 18 in 1983
   Michael Jackson Thriller 21 in 1984
   Katrina & The Waves Walking On Sunshine 28 in 1985
   Bryan Adams Summer Of 69 62 in 1985
   Whitney Houston How Will I Know 26 in 1986
   Bon Jovi Living On A Prayer 20 in 1986
  1987 - 1989
  Housemartins   Caravan Of Love   19.01.87 2 9  
  Depeche Mode   Never Let Me Down Again   07.09.87 2 6  
  New Order   True Faith   07.09.87 8 4  
  M/A/R/R/S   Pump Of The Volume   12.10.87 2 7  
  Black   Wonderful Life   12.10.87 2 12  
  Pet Shop Boys   Rent   02.11.87 10 1  
  Pet Shop Boys   Always On My Mind   14.12.87 1 9  
  Rainbirds   Blueprint   25.01.88 7 5  
  O.K.   Okay   08.02.88 2 12  
German Flag
One of the few sample based hit singles by a German act. It's certainly technically inferior to comparable efforts by English or American bands but impresses with its uncommon sampling sources: news presenters, politicians, department store employees and at the end an excerpt from the famous radio commentary of Germany's sensational victory in the 1954 football final.
  Bomb The Bass   Beat Dis   14.03.88 6 5  
Number Three
Along with MARRS's "Pump Up The Volume" and Coldcut's "Doctorin The House" (which sadly reached only #11) this forms a trio of sample based hit singles. It seems that these bands had to compensate for the lack of proper technology by using an extra portion of creativity and imagination which their peers sadly missed.
  Salt'n'Pepa   Push It   14.04.88 9 4  
  S-Express   Theme From S-Express   16.05.88 2 10  
  Tanita Tikaram   Twist In My Sobriety   09.01.89 2 10  
  Neneh Cherry   Buffalo Stance   23.01.89 2 10  
  Hithouse   Jack To The Sound Of The Underground   23.01.89 6 3  
  Marc Almond & Gene Pitney   Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart   30.01.89 1 10  
  Mysterious Art   Das Omen (Teil I)   15.05.89 1 16  
  Neneh Cherry   Manchild   05.06.89 2 9  
  Lil Louis   French Kiss   14.08.89 2 12  
  Depeche Mode   Personal Jesus   11.09.89 5 8  
To Part Two