Charlie Sloth

On Air Now 16:00 – 17:45

What happened in 1984

  • The famine in Ethopia prompted Bob Geldolf to form Band Aid and release Do They Know it's Christmas. The proceeds of the UK No 1 single went to feed the starving people in Africa.
  • Bishop Desmond Tutu won the Nobel peace prize. The South African Anglican General-Secretary was awarded it in recognition of his non-violent opposition to the oppressive apartheid regime.
  • The UK's Daley Thompson became only the second competitor in history to win the decathlon at two Olympic Games, winning gold medals in the 1980 and 1984. He equalled the achievement of the American Bob Mathias, who won Olympic decathlon gold medals in 1948 and 1952.
  • US athlete Carl Lewis won his fourth gold medal of the LA games, matching the feat achieved by Jesse Owen in the 1936 games. At 23, Lewis took gold in the 4x100m relay, the 100m, the 200m and the long jump.
  • Basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, 37, reached a career points of 31,420 with a trademark skyhook shot. That made him the NBA's all time leading scorer. Michael Jordan joined the NBA and signed with the Chicago Bulls.
  • Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer.
  • The Cosby Show debuted on US TV. It is now widely considered the most popular sitcom of the 80s.
  • BMX mania hit the UK.

In the music

  • Marvin Gaye died after being shot by his father Reverend Marvin Gay Sr. The pair had a troubled relationship and Marvin Jr had moved home after problems with depression and drug addiction. The shooting followed a bitter argument.
  • Sade released her debut album Diamond Life which went top ten. In 1985 it went platinum and reached No 5 in US charts.
  • Michael Jackson's hair caught fire during the filming of a Pepsi commercial. He underwent reconstructive surgery to his scalp and face.
  • With an investment of $2,500 a piece Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin started up Def Jam Recordings from Rubin's dorm room. LL Cool J's I Need a Beat was the first record independently released by Def Jam.
  • Lionel Richie's hit Hello became Motown's first ever million-selling UK single.
  • Beat Street opened at the box office, produced by Harry Belfonte and featuring appearance from hip hop legends Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E Fresh and Kool Herc. Breakdance - The Movie also opened in cinemas.
  • The release of both Purple Rain the album and the movie made Prince a superstar. It eventually sold over ten million copies in the US and spent 24 weeks at No 1. Prince's touring band, The Revolution, partially helped to record the album which featured tracks such as Purple Rain, I Would Die For You and When Doves Cry. Prince won an Oscar for Best Song Score at the 1985 Oscars.
  • Maxi Priest and Paul Robinson produced the first UK reggae track to reach No 1 in Jamaica, Papa Levi from Saxon Sound's Mi God Mi King.

Key Releases



Grammy awards


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