From Frankie Goes to Hollywood to John Lennon and Sonia, Merseyside artists made the Number One spot their own throughout the 1980s.
Paul McCartney topped the UK singles’ chart twice, the second time with Stevie Wonder, and Dead or Alive hit the heights with You Spin Me Round (Like a Record).
In addition, there were the charity collaborations Let It Be and You’ll Never Walk Alone, featuring Ferry Aid and the Crowd.
Gerry Marsden’s iconic anthem Ferry Cross the Mersey, sung by various artists in aid of the Hillsborough disaster, also reached the top slot.
Southport singer-songwriter Marc Almond went to Number One in January 1989 duetting with Gene Pitney on Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart.
Frankie Goes to Hollywood notched up three Number Ones with Relax, Two Tribes and the Power of Love, while Sonia rounded off the decade in July 1989 with You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You.
Merseyside bands featured strongly in the wider chart too. Wild Swans, A Flock of Seagulls, Echo and the Bunnymen and the Teardrop Explodes were all flying the flag for Liverpool.
Liverpool’s first three chart-toppers of the decade were posthumous after the murder of John Lennon at the Dakota Building in New York on December 8th 1980.
Fan Mark David Chapman shot the former Beatle at close range twice in the back and twice in the shoulder. Lennon was pronounced dead on arrival at Roosevelt Hospital at 11.15pm.
A few hours earlier, Lennon had autographed a copy of his new album Double Fantasy for Chapman. Two chart-topping singles would come from it.
The first was (Just Like) Starting Over which had been released on October 24th 1980 with Kiss Kiss Kiss by Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono on the B side.
It went to Number One in the UK and US after Lennon’s death and was ranked as the 62nd biggest song of all time by Billboard Magazine in 2013.
The second chart topper from Double Fantasy was the track Woman written as a tribute to Yoko Ono and all women. It hit the top spot in February 1981.
It was the only title for which Lennon and McCartney composed separate songs. McCartney’s version, written under the pseudonym Bernard Webb, was recorded by Peter and Gordon.
Sandwiched between Starting Over and Woman was the classic single Imagine from the 1971 album of the same name. It went to Number One in January 1981.
Fellow Beatle Paul McCartney released the single Ebony and Ivory from his Tug of War album with Stevie Wonder in March 1982.
With its theme of racial harmony, the song went to Number One on both sides of the Atlantic, but was banned by the South African Broadcasting Company during the apartheid era.
McCartney was back at the top of the singles chart again in January 1984 with the song Pipes of Peace – the title track of the album of the same name.
Linda McCartney and 10cc’s Eric Stewart provided backing vocals during the recording at AIR Studios while the voices of the Pestalozzi Children’s Choir were added at a separate session.
Pipes of Peace was replaced at Number One by what has been described as ‘one of the most controversial and commercially successful records’ of all time – Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood.
It eventually sold more than two million copies in the UK and stayed in the Top 40 for 37 consecutive weeks. For 35 of those it was banned by the BBC for its ‘overtly sexual’ lyrics.
The band followed up Relax with Two Tribes in June 1984 and The Power of Love in December. Two Tribes sold more than 1.58 million copies and became the longest-running Number One single of the 1980s.
The Power of Love spent only one week at the top of the charts being displaced by Band Aid’s Do They Know It’s Christmas.
Dead or Alive’s single Spin Me Round (Like a Record) went to Number One in March 1985. It has the rare distinction of being the first chart-topping record from the Stock Aitken Waterman production trio.
Former Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp described Spin Me Round, featuring Pete Burns as lead singer, as ‘one of the best white dance records of all time’.
Stock Aitken Waterman were established hit-makers when they wrote and produced Sonia’s Number One single You’ll Never Stop Me Loving You in July 1989. It was the trio’s sixth chart topper of the year!
Sonia’s debut album, Everybody Knows released in April 1990, produced five Top 20 hits – a first for a UK female artist.
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