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The Story of 1984

1984 sees Top of the Pops at the height of its 80s pomp - the year of big hair and big tunes. Plus Frankie Goes io Hollywood, Hi-NRG, one-man acts, jazz pop and Band Aid.

1984 sees Top of the Pops at the height of its 80s pomp - the year of big hair and big tunes. A BBC ban on Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Relax in January leads to an embarrassing Frankie-shaped hole on the show when it reaches No 1. One of the sounds of 1984 is Hi-NRG, that goes overground from the gay club scene into the mainstream charts. And 1984 is perhaps the gayest year in pop, with a trail blazed by Bronski Beat, who are out and proud and on Top of the Pops.

1984 sees the rise of the one-man acts such as Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. And jazz pop's soaraway star is Sade, who brings a stripped-back soulful vibe to Top of the Pops. Yet 1984 isn't all about smooth sounds. German singer Nena hits the top spot with 99 Red Balloons - shocking Brits with her hairy armpits. And The Special AKA's Free Nelson Mandela combines a political message with an irresistible tune.

And the year ends on a landmark moment when many of the stars of the chart-topping Band Aid single appear in the studio as the climax to the Christmas show. It's a moment that reaffirms Top of the Pops's place at the heart of British pop culture.

Featuring original interviews with Trevor Horn, members of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Hazell Dean, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw, Paul Young, Nigel Planer, Nena, Jerry Dammers and Midge Ure.

1 hour

Last on

Sat 30 Dec 2017 02:00

Clips

Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 10:00

    Scritti Politti

    Absolute

    • Cupid & Psyche 85.
    • Virgin.
  • 10:02

    Tina Turner

    1984

    • Private Dancer.
    • Capitol Records.
  • 10:03

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    Relax

    • Welcome To The Pleasuredome.
    • ZTT.
  • 10:08

    Miquel Brown

    So Many Men So Little Time

    • The Best of Miquel Brown.
    • Record Shack Records.
  • 10:09

    The Weather Girls

    It's Raining Men

    • Success.
    • Columbia.
  • 10:09

    Evelyn Thomas

    High Energy

    • The Best of Evelyn Thomas.
    • Record Shack Records.
  • 10:11

    Village People

    In the Navy

    • Go West.
    • Casablanca.
  • 10:11

    Hazell Dean

    I Couldn’t Live Without You For A Day

  • 10:12

    Miquel Brown

    So Many Men So Little Time

    • The Best of Miquel Brown.
    • Record Shack Records.
  • 10:12

    Hazell Dean

    Searchin'

    • Heart First.
    • Proto Records.
  • 10:14

    Hazell Dean

    Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go) Remix

    • Heart First.
    • Proto Records.
  • 10:15

    Bronski Beat

    Smalltown Boy

    • Age of Consent.
    • Forbidden Fruit / London Records.
  • 10:17

    Bronski Beat

    Why

    • Age of Consent.
    • Forbidden Fruit / London Records.
  • 10:18

    Wham!

    Freedom

    • Make It Big.
    • Epic / CBS Records.
  • 10:18

    Duran Duran

    The Wild Boys

    • Arena.
    • Parlophone.
  • 10:18

    Spandau Ballet

    I'll Fly For You

    • Parade.
    • Chrysalis.
  • 10:19

    Culture Club

    It's A Miracle

    • Colour By Numbers.
    • Virgin.
  • 10:19

    Howard Jones

    New Song

    • Human's Lib.
    • WEA.
  • 10:20

    Howard Jones

    Hide & Seek (live)

    • Human's Lib.
    • WEA.
  • 10:21

    Nik Kershaw

    Wouldn't It Be Good

    • Human Racing.
    • MCA.
  • 10:23

    Blue Rondo à la Turk

    Klactoveesedstein

    • Chewing The Fat.
    • Virgin.
  • 10:24

    Ken Dodd

    Hold My Hand

    • Images Records.
  • 10:25

    Pride

    When You Can't Back Down

  • 10:26

    Sade

    Your Love Is King

    • Diamond Life.
    • Epic / CBS Records.
  • 10:27

    Matt Bianco

    Get Out Of Your Lazy Bed

    • Whose Side Are You On.
    • WEA.
  • 10:28

    Animal Nightlife

    Mr Solitaire

    • Shangri-La.
    • Island.
  • 10:28

    Sade

    Smooth Operator

    • Diamond Life.
    • Epic / CBS Records.
  • 10:30

    The Toy Dolls

    Nellie The Elephant

    • Dig That Groove Baby.
    • Volume Records.
  • 10:31

    Break Machine

    Are You Ready

    • Break Dance Party.
    • RCA Victor.
  • 10:31

    Cyndi Lauper

    Girls Just Want To Have Fun

    • She's So Unusual.
    • Portrait.
  • 10:32

    Madonna

    Like A Virgin

    • Like A Virgin.
    • Sire.
  • 10:34

    Depeche Mode

    Master and Servant

    • Some Great Reward.
    • Mute Records.
  • 10:35

    The Damned

    Driller Killer

  • 10:35

    Neil

    Hole In My Shoe

    • Neil's Heavy Concept Album.
    • WEA.
  • 10:37

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    Two Tribes

    • Welcome To The Pleasuredome.
    • ZTT.
  • 10:42

    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

    Talking Loud and Clear

    • Junk Culture.
    • Virgin.
  • 10:43

    Nena

    99 Luftballons

    • 99 Luftballons.
    • Epic / CBS Records.
  • 10:44

    Nena

    99 Red Balloons

    • 99 Luftballons.
    • Epic / CBS Records.
  • 10:46

    Bananarama

    Rough Justice

    • Bananarama.
    • London Records.
  • 10:47

    Culture Club

    The War Song

    • Waking Up With The House on Fire.
    • Virgin.
  • 00:00

    The Special A.K.A.

    Free Nelson Mandela

    • In The Studio.
    • Chrysalis.
  • 10:52

    Band Aid

    Do They Know It's Christmas?

    • Phonogram.
  • 10:53

    Nik Kershaw

    The Riddle

    • The Riddle.
    • MCA.
  • 10:54

    Frankie Goes to Hollywood

    The Power of Love

    • Welcome To The Pleasuredome.
    • ZTT.
  • 10:55

    Wham!

    Last Christmas

    • Music From The Edge of Heaven.
    • Columbia.
  • 10:55

    Band Aid

    Do They Know It's Christmas?

    • Phonogram.
  • 10:58

    Dead or Alive

    You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

    • Youthquake.
    • Epic / CBS Records.

Credits

Role Contributor
Producer David Vincent
Director David Vincent
Executive Producer Mark Cooper

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