Released today in 1987: Father Figure

1228

Epic EMU4

The GEORGE MICHAEL Story Part 4

“We became the all-time ultimate pin-up band. And that was what I thought I wanted, but as success has a tendency of doing when it finally comes round, you find it wasn’t really what you were after and you have to re-evaluate. I could easily have carried on like that, I think I am a good enough actor to have pursued a solo career and Wham!, but we felt, ‘why should we?’. We proved that we did it better than anyone else so why bother carrying on an image that wasn’t suited to you anymore? I mean, I’m a more serious person now, I have rapidly got older and I know we could have got away with it, but why bother? It’s much better this way.” So George Michael told Smash Hits in June 1986, shortly before Wham!’s final gig at Wembley Stadium. Confirmation that the band was ending came on the 1st March 1986 edition of the television chat show ‘Aspel And Company’, where Michael admitted, “There’s no point trying to tell people we’re not splitting up… what we wanted to do when we formed the band four years ago had been just about achieved.” The following week, he flew to LA to record his next solo single, his first with no involvement from Andrew Ridgeley. The two had agreed to an amicable split by mid-1985, as Michael explained in a letter to fans that he asked Smash Hits to print: “Basically, Andy and I had decided that Wham!’s natural timespan was drawing to a close, that it was time to move on… the ‘split’ was not to be immediate, as we still had a few records planned, and wanted to play Wembley Stadium during the summer. And that’s still how we feel. Our differences with our now departed management company, unfortunately brought everyone’s attention to our plan, roughly six months early. That’s all. What’s important for you to know is that no matter what you read or hear, Andrew and I are still the good friends we always were…”

It was the change of management company that had heightened speculation that Wham! were about to split, as the rumour was Michael had changed his arrangements without informing Ridgeley. CBS remained neutral: they publicly welcomed solo material from both artists. While an album from Ridgeley wouldn’t be forthcoming until the 1990s, Michael’s solo career was already establishing itself before Wham! had put our their final record. “I’m making a single with Aretha Franklin, and possibly one in June with Michael Jackson,” he said. “With opportunities to work with people like that how can you not be happy?” There was even a rumour of an anti-apartheid single with Stevie Wonder. In the meantime, that Wham! farewell at Wembley – a six-hour extravaganza on 28 June 1986 – sold out in little more than twice that time. A final EP made #1 that summer.

1987 began with the release of the duet with Franklin (another #1), followed by I Want Your Sex, a song with deliberately provocative lyrics which sounded like he had recorded it in his garage and which he appeared to drop from his repertoire soon after. “Sex is natural, sex is good/not everybody does it, but everybody should,” he sang; the promotional clip saw Michael writing the words ‘explore monogamy’ in lipstick on a model’s back in case he was accused of inciting orgies. This scene in the clip was also the only acknowledgement from Michael of the concept of safe sex, and this being the year of the government’s Don’t Die Of Ignorance campaign to combat the rising numbers of HIV cases in the UK the release of I Want Your Sex didn’t seem very timely. Broadcasters were nervous about it too, and it received little airplay except some late-night airings of the video on MTV. It made #3, sales generated by the mild controversy it had caused and audience loyalty.

The rest of the content of Faith, his debut album, was more conventional, although none of the singles made #1 in Britain, the title track (and next single) coming closest when it reached #2. Nevertheless, the album was well received, sold millions worldwide, and won the Grammy for album of the year in 1989, and the 1988 Faith World Tour was a sell-out success. However, these achievements required Michael to work full-time on the Faith album and its related products for over two years, and he found the schedule (writing, recording, PAs to promote singles, video and photo shoots, live dates and rehearsals, world travel, award acceptance, interviews, etc) exhausting. To leave himself time for developing his music, he told CBS he wanted a reduced promotional workload on future records.

☛ What happened next
Michael’s assertion that “I’m a more serious person now” in that Smash Hits interview quoted at the top of this article set the tone for his 1990s career. The pretentiously (and some at the time said, arrogantly) titled second album Listen Without Prejudice Volume One was a rather solemn affair, and he did very little in the way of promotion for it, refusing even to appear in promotional clips for the singles. The album went to #1 all the same, but while it sold millions it was nowhere near selling as many copies as Faith. Michael blamed Sony (who had acquired CBS); they argued that his self-instigated reduced profile lessened the appeal of the product for fans. A lengthy legal dispute between Michael and Sony began, which would ultimately do him few favours, during which time he refused to record any new material, abandoning a Volume Two of Listen Without Prejudice from which just one single, Too Funky, emerged. Successful covers of Elton John (1991) and Queen (1993) songs were released during the dispute (on Fontana and Parlophone respectively) that returned him to #1 in the UK.

Thereafter, his recordings have appeared sporadically. In 1996 he returned on Virgin with Older, a critical and commercial triumph that confirmed him as one of Britain’s premier recording artists. All six of its singles made the Top 3, with Jesus To A Child and Fastlove making #1, his last chart-topping singles. The album was his last album of original material for eight years, although a number of standalone singles and collaborations kept him in the singles chart, with every release in the ten and a half years from late 1991 to early 2002 making the Top 10. A ‘best of’ and an album of standards were money-spinning long-players in the late 1990s. He returned to Sony in 2004 for his next – and to date, last – studio album Patience. It went straight to #1 although it lacked the string of big hit singles that might have been expected. But for some 25 years Michael has positioned himself as an ‘albums artist’ rather than the maker of chart singles he was in the 1980s. The industry pays attention when he releases a record, as do the critics, and his standing remains such that he was asked to participate in the closing ceremony at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 28
1987
BANANARAMA I Can’t Help It (London NANA15)
DEPECHE MODE Behind The Wheel (Mute BONG15)
Billy IDOL Hot In The City (Re-mix) (Chrysalis IDOL12)
George MICHAEL Father Figure (Epic EMU4)
1988
DURAN DURAN All She Wants Is (EMI DD11)

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Released today in 1985: Last Christmas

1209

Epic WHAM1

Which half of the 1980s produced the best pop music? There was plenty of good stuff from both of the periods 1980 – 1984 and 1985 – 1989, of course. But the songs that the decade is most closely associated with are probably those million-selling singles that everyone remembers. 20 singles first released in the 1980s have to date sold over a million copies each in the UK, and interestingly the vast majority were first issued in the earlier half of the decade.

Just three were first released in the UK in the late ‘80s, and two of those owe much to the early part of the decade. Jennifer Rush’s The Power Of Love was first issued on her album Jennifer Rush on 2 March 1984 in Germany, and released as a single there in the same year. Her career wasn’t launched in Britain until 1985. Black Box’s Ride On Time relied heavily on sampled vocals and instrumental sections from Loleatta Holloway’s 1980 hit Love Sensation, so might also be considered a product of the early part of the decade. The only song definitely composed in the second half of the ‘80s is The Pogues’ Fairytale of New York; Shane MacGowan talked about the song’s composition in the Christmas edition of Melody Maker in 1985, although it wasn’t ready for release then. It underwent a number of changes before it was finally recorded in 1987. It should be noted that it reached #2 when first released and was some way off selling a million at the time; it is only recently that it has achieved this, through seasonal re-issues and the inclusion of digital download sales in the last few years.

In release date order, the 20 best-selling singles in Britain first released in the 1980s are:

Stand And Deliver by Adam And The Ants (1981)
Tainted Love by Soft Cell (1981)
Don’t You Want Me? by The Human League (1981)
The Lion Sleeps Tonight by Tight Fit (1982)
Eye Of The Tiger by Survivor (1982)
Fame by Irene Cara (1982)
Come On Eileen by Dexy’s Midnight Runners and The Emerald Express (1982)
Blue Monday by New Order (1983)
Karma Chameleon by Culture Club (1983)
Uptown Girl by Billy Joel (1983)
Relax by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1983)
Two Tribes by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (1984)
Careless Whisper by George Michael (1984)
Ghostbusters by Ray Parker Junior (1984)
I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonder (1984)
Do They Know It’s Christmas? by Band Aid (1984)
Last Christmas/Everything She Wants by Wham! (1984)
The Power Of Love by Jennifer Rush (1985)
Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl (1987)
Ride On Time by Black Box (1989)

NEW SINGLES on sale from Dec. 9
1983
VISAGE (Steve Strange) In The Year 2025 (Polydor POSP660)
1985
WHAM! Last Christmas [Re-issue] (Epic WHAM1)

Released today in 1983: Club Fantastic Megamix

Inner Vision IVLA3586

Inner Vision IVLA3586

Club Fantastic Megamix was a medley of tracks from Wham!’s Fantastic album that had not already been issued as singles. Half of the eight tracks on it already had been chart hits, and with A Ray Of Sunshine, Love Machine and Come On segued together for this release, that meant only Nothing Looks The Same In The Light failed to make it on to 45rpm. Wham! were not happy about Club Fantastic Megamix. “We don’t approve of it and we don’t feel that we can recommend that anybody should buy it,” they said in a press statement. “In fact, we would be very unhappy to think that any of our fans might waste their money on it.”

At the time, they were involved in a dispute with their record company, Inner Vision, over the nature of their contract. George Michael described it as “probably the worst contract of any hit and in the last five years. We’re not making any money basically…there’s no way we can work with them anymore.” Instead, Wham!’s management were negotiating a new deal with CBS, Inner Vision’s distributor. A solo single from Michael was postponed while the dispute was ongoing (Careless Whisper was written and ready to go, but Michael didn’t want Inner Vision to make money out of this certain hit) and in the meantime, there was an opportunity for another single from Fantastic. Wham! had at one point been considering a re-mix of a song to be the next single, but only if the person responsible was someone they could trust. Boston-born DJ John Luongo, who mixed tunes by a whole host of acts signed to the CBS group, was a name Michael had in the frame for this project. What Inner Vision came up with was not what he or Andrew Ridgeley had in mind at all. Michael said it was “absolutely disgusting. I just hope the radio don’t play it. It would be so irritating to hear something you think is so bad.”

The problem was that the three songs mashed up to form Club Fantastic had already been released first. The publisher who holds the copyright for a song is able to grant the first licence to release a recording of it, and in the case of the three songs concerned here, that licence had been given to Inner Vision. The intent in granting the licence was to issue all three of the songs on an album, not to make them available on a single, but there was nothing Wham! could do to stop this happening as well. Wham! refused to promote the single, and encouraged fans not to buy it; they advised that an EP of new material was in preparation and that they should save their money for that. It would be released when the contractual dispute with Inner Vision was resolved, they hoped by the spring of 1984.

Meanwhile, another legal battle rumbled on: an American band called Wham were suing the British duo for use of ‘their’ name. “Yeah, all this legal stuff,” said Michael resignedly. “But we’ve got a good lawyer.”

NEW SINGLES on sale from Nov. 25
1983
Nick HEYWARD On A Sunday (Arista HEY4)
TEARS FOR FEARS The Way You Are (Mercury IDEA6)
WHAM! Club Fantastic Megamix A Ray Of Sunshine/Love Machine/Come On (Inner Vision IVLA3586)
1985
BREATHE Don’t Tell Me Lies (Siren SIREN11)
Julian LENNON Because (EMI EMI5538)
MADONNA Dress You Up (Sire W8848)

Released today in 1984: Careless Whisper

Epic A4603

Epic A4603

The GEORGE MICHAEL Story Part 2

“He has a huge reputation as a real asshole and there’s no doubt that Simon will make a lot of money out of us,” said George Michael in 1985 about new Wham! manager Simon Napier Bell. “But what he really wants out of it is to be responsible for managing a group that is one of the biggest in the world.” Part of getting Wham! that kind of star status meant getting them released from their contract with Inner Vision, and Mark Dean held Napier Bell responsible for driving the final wedge between his label and the Wham! duo. But strong management from an experienced music industry professional like Napier Bell was exactly what the group needed at this point. He got them a lucrative deal with CBS records, and Michael and Andrew Ridgeley now received proper reward and remuneration as artists on the Epic subsidiary which helped motivate them to focus their efforts on scoring their first #1.

Napier Bell couldn’t work miracles all the time though. He couldn’t prevent Inner Vision’s issue of the dreadful Club Fantastic single, an awful medley of tracks from the Fantastic album released at the end of 1983. Inner Vision won an injunction to prevent Wham! recording for another company on 11 November 1983, and the single was released two weeks later. (Michael and Ridgeley urged fans to treat it as the cash-in it was and not to buy it, but even so it went to #15, such was their popularity.) But, while he negotiated the out-of-court settlement that would release Wham! from Inner Vision in March 1984, Napier Bell did ensure that Inner Vision had no right to release Careless Whisper in that period, a track already written when Wham! joined the label, but one not appearing on Fantastic. This song was to be reserved for Wham!’s next record company and, as it was to play out, for Michael’s first solo record.

But before that, there was Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, the first release under the Epic deal. Dee C. Lee had left the group by this point, although she had also signed to CBS (shortly before Wham!) as a solo artist. (She also started to work regularly with the band she was later to join, The Style Council.) She was replaced by Pepsi Demacque, and this new line-up on their new label came with a new attitude and new look. The Club Tropicana atmosphere was preserved for ‘Go-Go’: it was a party record, a full-of-energy contemporary take on mid-century pop classics with its “pa-pa” backing vocals which mentioned the dance-craze jitterbug. Unlike Club Tropicana the video for the song was studio based this time, but it again depicted Wham! with other fun-seekers, this time an audience of adoring fans. Wham! were depicted as a band for the first time with a full set of musicians on stage with Michael and Ridgeley, the latter cast as guitar player. Famously, they wore Katharine Hamnett T-shirts with the legend CHOOSE LIFE for the first half of the film, changing into day-glo colours in the second; Michael came to despise the luminous gloves he wore when this image of him was over-used.

So strongly did ‘Go-Go’ come to identify Wham! in the weeks following its release, it is probably just as well that the follow-up, issued just over two months later, was done so in Michael’s name rather than the band’s. The previously mentioned Careless Whisper was a mature ballad with sensitive lyrics (Michael didn’t think so, dismissing the song as frivolous in later years) and a memorable sax solo. It was a sensible move to issue it as a solo single because it is difficult to see how Ridgeley could have contributed to its promotion, but it should be noted that he is credited as co-writer. Also, Michael made it clear at the time though that this wasn’t the start of his solo career: work on a second Wham! album was to continue, and tours were planned. But the music industry was starting to take him more seriously. He’d just taken two singles to #1, the second of which had given Epic their first million-seller, and in addition to records the mention of his name could sell concert tickets, clothing, magazines, and more: when people copied his Careless Whisper haircut (dubbed the most expensive in history, as he had it re-styled during the video shoot for the single meaning for continuity reasons expensive scenes had to be re-shot) he became a trend-setter in fashion circles too. All this, and it was only half-way through 1984: he was still yet to truly make it big.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 23
1982
The ASSOCIATES 18 Carat Gold Love (Associates ACS3)
CHINA CRISIS African And White [re-issue – check label] (Virgin INEV011)
The FUN BOY THREE Summertime (Chrysalis CHS2629)
1984
George MICHAEL Careless Whisper (Epic A4603)

Released today in 1983: Club Tropicana

Inner Vision IVLA3613

Inner Vision IVLA3613

In 2006, celebrating George Michael’s 25 years in the music industry, Sony Music released the appropriately-titled Twenty-five, a compilation of tracks from (supposedly) throughout his career. There were pitifully few selections from his years in Wham!, with just four songs (all 1984 – more tomorrow) making the cut: Everything She Wants, Freedom, Last Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. (Two other tracks recorded during the Wham! years were included – Careless Whisper, also 1984, and A Different Corner from 1986 – but in the UK at least these were issued as solo singles.) This made the collection somewhat lacking, as it really only commemorated a 22-year period given that the first Wham! album, Fantastic, was ignored. Had I been compiling it, I would certainly have found a place for one track from that record, Club Tropicana.

A satirical look at the popular Club 18/30 holiday culture, it’s a song about sun, sand, sangria and … well, not sea, because “all that’s missing is the sea,” as the lyrics state. (“But don’t worry, you can suntan!”) The opening line, “Let me take you to the place/Where membership’s a smiling face,” is just wonderful; if only that were true of the exclusive Pikes hotel (the scene of a number of lavish celebrity parties in the 1980s) in Ibiza where the memorable promotional clip was filmed, with the group dressed in beachwear at the start and revealed to be airline pilots and stewardesses at the end. Fun, witty, knowing: it was Wham!’s first great single and set a standard for their forthcoming second album Make It Big, on which most of the other tracks that did make it on to Twenty-five first appeared.

Footnote: I would also have made a case for 1985’s standalone single I’m Your Man’s inclusion on Twenty-five.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Jul. 22
1983
The BELLE STARS (Jennie McKeown) Indian Summer (Stiff BUY185)
STRAWBERRY SWITCHBLADE Trees And Flowers (92 Happy Customers HAP001)
WHAM! Club Tropicana (Inner Vision IVLA3613)
1985
Nik KERSHAW Don Quixote (MCA NIK8)
UB40 I Got You Babe (DEP International DEP20)

Released today in 1983: Bad Boys

Inner Vision IVLA3143

Inner Vision IVLA3143

The GEORGE MICHAEL Story Part 1

What a kick just a buddy and me/
We had every big shot good time band on the run boy/
We were living in a fantasy/
We won the race/
Got out of the place.

Freedom 90

In those lyrics from 1990, George Michael must have been looking back to his days in 80s group Wham! with friend Andrew Ridgeley. They met at school and both wanted to be in a band. In 1981 they put together some demos (recorded in Ridgeley’s parents’ living room) and tried to get a record deal. None was forthcoming until a friend of Ridgeley’s, Mark Dean, heard the tapes and saw their potential. Dean had just secured a contract with the mighty CBS records in the UK: his own independent label, Inner Vision, would be partially funded by CBS and they would handle the manufacture and distribution of Inner Vision’s records, paying Dean a royalty for those sold. An agreement seemed beneficial to both Wham! and Inner Vision. Michael and Ridgeley would get the attention and personal service associated with being on a small independent label while having a major company ensuring their product made it to the record shop racks; Inner Vision would be launched with an exciting new band. In March 1982, a contract was drawn up, but Michael received advice that it wasn’t a particularly attractive one. Royalties were small and there were all sorts of clauses that limited his and Ridgeley’s earning potential. At that time, the Wham! boys were rehearsing in inadequate facilities and Michael’s father was not sure George should be investing so much time in this pipedream of becoming a rock star, given there was a job for him in the family business. So when Dean informed Michael that CBS would not include Wham! in the summer release schedule unless Inner Vision had him under contract, Michael signed anyway despite the concerns with the terms. The alternative seemed to be another year going past before a Wham! single was issued, and even the smallest percentage of some sales was better than 100% of no sales at all.

Wham Rap! (Enjoy What You Do) was chosen for the first single. Was it a protest record? Was this serious political commentary? What was a white boy from Hertfordshire like Michael doing making a rap record? And what exactly was Ridgeley’s contribution? The answers to these questions weren’t terribly important: it was just a fun song with a bit of a social conscience and an early fan was Neil Tennant, who made it his Single Of The Fortnight when writing in Smash Hits on 24 June: “A hard, hot and witty rap on the subject of unemployment. Brilliant words, real excitement, hundreds of ideas, built-in participation and maximum humour. I’d be lost in admiration if I could find time to stand still.” Despite this endorsement, it wasn’t a hit. It did scrape inside the Top 100 for a few weeks in July but that was it.

Next single Young Guns (Go For It) established Michael as main composer, lead singer and producer (and sometimes instrumentalist) for Wham!. The group’s big break came in November 1982, when another act pulled out of appearing on the BBC’s early-evening ‘Top Of The Pops’ show. Although the single was only at #42 that week – ‘Top Of The Pops’ usually focused on the hits in the Top 40 – they were invited to fill the slot that had opened up. Shown on the edition of 4th November, it was a remarkably assured debut featuring a charismatic performance from Michael and Ridgeley and regular backing singers/dancers D. C. Lee and Shirlie Holliman (who would appear on the cover of Smash Hits herself a few years later as part of duo Pepsi and Shirlie). The single went up the chart 18 places the following week. It was what they had needed to get themselves noticed, and a repeat broadcast of the same performance on the show two weeks later sent the single into the Top 10.Wham1

The next move was to re-promote Wham Rap! which made the Top 10 early the following year. By now, work on the debut Wham! album, to be titled Fantastic, was nearing completion. Bad Boys was the final single to be released prior to the album and it became Wham!’s biggest hit to date when it was released on the May Day bank holiday in 1983, going all the way to #2. It also gave them their only hit from Fantastic in America, making #60 on the Hot 100. Despite this, it has apparently never been one of Michael’s favourite compositions; he once described it as an “albatross”. (The 1997 album If You Were There, from which the title of this blog is taken, was compiled by Michael himself and included all he thought worth preserving from his Wham! years. Bad Boys was notable by its absence, although it had appeared on other Wham! compilations in the past.)

Unfortunately, at this stage Michael and Ridgeley weren’t making any money, and the realisation that they weren’t likely to in the near future no matter how many records they sold had started to dawn on them. The production costs of Fantastic were covered by Inner Vision but they were recoupable from Wham!’s sales royalties. Wham! found even after three Top 10 hits that if they were making a PA in the evening, they had no money to get a cab home again afterwards. Much of this had to do with the deal that Dean had made with CBS over a year earlier. It included clauses such as this: CBS would pay no royalties to Inner Vision for 12” singles until a minimum of 30,000 copies of a title had been sold. As Inner Vision was specializing in dance music – the very genre where the 12” format was most popular – this restricted an important potential revenue stream for Dean. He had passed this problem on to Wham! with their contract with Inner Vision: Michael and Ridgeley didn’t receive royalties for 12” singles at all, no matter how many they sold. As they were a dance act, and tens of thousands of the singles sold were likely to be on 12”, not all the sales contributing to a high chart placing were earning them any money.

Michael decided his band needed a new producer and new record company. Just as Fantastic appeared in the shops in July 1983, Simon Napier Bell was hired to look after them.

NEW SINGLES on sale from May. 2
1980
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK Messages (Dindisc DIN15)
1983
WHAM! Bad Boys (Inner Vision IVLA3143)

Today in 1986

Die-cut 7" sleeveSpotlight Research compiled a weekly chart of music video (VHS and Betamax) sales in the mid-80s and this is the Top 20 for the week ending 19 April 1986:

1 > Alchemy Live, Dire Straits
2 > The Visions of Diana Ross, Diana Ross
3 > Hits 4 Video Collection
4 > Stop Making Sense, Talking Heads
5 > The Single File, Kate Bush
6 > Video Hits 2
7 > The Virgin Tour, Madonna
8 > The Making Of Arena, Duran Duran
9 > Live In Rio, Queen
10 > Live In Concert, Dio
11 > Wham! ’85, Wham!
12 > The Unforgettable Fire Collection, U2
13 > The High Road, Roxy Music
14 > Live After Death, Iron Maiden
15 > Dance On Fire, The Doors
16 > Live In NYC, John Lennon
17 > Mirage Tour, Fleetwood Mac
18 > Live, Big Country
19 > The Video, Wham!
20 > Greatest Flix, Queen

The tapes in the list above are representative of the type of visual material that was available for sale in the 80s, which can be divided into five categories:

>Concert or tour films (positions 1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18)
A recording of a concert, or a collection of footage from various shows in a tour. The #4 tape, ‘Stop Making Sense’, was unusual. Directed by Jonathan Demme for cinema release, it was a recording of a concert but shot differently to the standard live video, attempting to more accurately capture the experience of what it was like to actually attend a Talking Heads gig. Accordingly the usual establishing shots of the audience were kept to a minimum (when you’re at a show, you look at the stage, not the audience); crowd noise was also removed from the soundtrack as far as possible, to allow cinema and home audiences to react to what they saw on screen themselves, rather than being prompted by what people present on the night of taping had responded to. Close ups of the group members weren’t used (again, you don’t see the group’s faces up close at a concert) and lighting effects were kept as plain as possible. There was also no attempt to conceal stage hands or the movement of instruments and equipment about the stage during the show – what the audience on the night saw stayed in the film; typically in other ‘live’ videos, this type of thing would be edited out.

>Video EPs (positions 2, 11, 19)
So-called ‘video EPs’ were collections of promotional clips, usually from an era in an artist’s career rather than films set to related musical pieces. Ross’s collection included one or two clips used to promote singles from each of her albums Why Do Fools Fall In Love (1981), Silk Electric (1982), Swept Away (1984) and Eaten Alive (1985) – but curiously nothing from 1983’s Ross. The two Wham! tapes featured between them the clips to all their singles to date, except Young Guns (Go For It!) and Bad Boys.

>Various artist compilations (positions 3, 6)
The visual equivalent of the Now That’s What I Call Music! audio compilation series, but usually featuring B-list artists. The #6 collection was your chance to own the promotional clip for Su Pollard’s Starting Together.

>Album accompaniments (positions 5, 12, 20)
Themed collections of promotional clips tied to an album release. E.g. Queen’s ‘Greatest Flix’ was the companion video to their Greatest Hits album and contained all the songs on that album for which a promotional clip was filmed. U2’s collection featured the promotional clips to the singles taken from their album of the same name, but was extra value for money in that it included a ‘making of’ featurette unavailable elsewhere. Kate Bush’s cleverly titled The Single File originally referred to box set EMI had made available in January 1984, containing reissues of all 12 of her UK singles from 1978 to 1982. Bush had made promotional clips for all but one of these singles PMI (EMI’s video arm) had issued this video cassette simultaneously collecting them all in chronological order. The box set contained a bonus, the single Ne T’En Fui Pas, issued in France in 1983 (EMI had issued an injunction against import specialist Conifer in August that year to stop its release in the UK). Similarly, the video contained a bonus clip: Suspended In Gaffa , a single in Europe in place of the UK choice, There Goes A Tenner.

>Archival footage (position 15)
Typically footage from television performances, interviews, extracts from stage shows, etc from across an artist’s career, especially if they were no longer performing and were from before the MTV era (as Jim Morrison wasn’t and was).

That leaves one video that doesn’t really fit into any of these categories, so obscure was its premise: ‘The Making of Arena’ by Duran Duran. ‘Arena (An Absurd Notion)’, a previous release, had subverted the usual concert/tour video format by including a fictitious storyline running alongside the usual stage footage (the visual equivalent of a ‘concept album’, I suppose). The tape in the chart above was the behind-the-scenes story of the making of that film.

NEW SINGLES on sale from Apr. 19
No release scheduled for this date.