Monday, November 19, 1984

Tears for Fears released "Shout"


Tears for Fears

Writer(s): Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley (see lyrics here)

Released: November 19, 1984

First Charted: December 1, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 12 CB, 13 RR, 6 AR, 1 CO, 4 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.25 UK, 1.35 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 177.6 video, 164.66 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In the UK, “Shout” was the lead single from Tears for Fears sophomore album Songs from the Big Chair. However, the song wasn’t released in the United States until after “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” hit #1. “Shout” followed its predecessor to the top in America, besting its #4 peak in the UK.

People understandably assumed the song was about “primal scream treatment, which worked by getting people to confront their fears by shouting and screaming.” SF The band did, after, all take their name from Prisoners of Pain, the book by Primal Therapy psychologist Arthur Janov. The band also used primal scream therapy as a theme for their first album, The Hurting.

However, according to band member Roland Orzabal “Shout” was not about primal scream theory. He said, “It is actually more concerned with political protest.” WK Bandmate Curt Smith said the song “encourages people not to do things without actually questioning them.” WK

Musically, the song was marked by “power chords, heavy percussion, a synth bass solo, and a vocal-sounding synth riff.” WK Orzabal said it was written on a small synthesizer and a drum machine. He thought the chorus “was very repetitive, like a mantra” WK and after playing it for Ian Stanley, the band’s keyboardist, and Chris Hughes, the producer, “they were convinced it would be a hit around the world.” WK


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First posted 8/7/2020; last updated 8/5/2022.

Saturday, November 17, 1984

Wham! hit #1 with “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go


Writer(s): George Michael (see lyrics here)

Released: May 14, 1984

First Charted: May 26, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 12 CB, 12 RR, 4 AC, 12 UK, 14 CN, 17 AU, 8 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 1.7 UK, 4.16 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 436.62 video, 692.92 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The British pop duo Wham! was comprised of George Michael and Andrew Ridgely who met in 1975 in school when they were 12 years old. They first made music together in a ska-band called the Executives before forming Wham! in 1981. They achieved three top-10 hits in the UK from their debut album, Fantastic, but couldn’t crack the top 40 in the UK. However, their second album, Make It Big!, proved to be a prohetic title.

The album’s lead single, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” went to #1 in the U.K. in June 1984. It ended up being the crossover hit the group needed in America; five months later it topped the Billboard Hot 100. It also went on to reach the pinnacle in Australia, Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

The idea for the song came about when George and Andrew were teenagers and enjoyed going to the discos to party. One night when George came by Andrew’s house, he noticed a sign over the bed which he guessed Andrew put on the door for his mom to see before she left for work. It said “wake me up-up before you go-go.” George said it would make a great line in a song, or even as a title. Andrew explained he’d accidentally written “up” twice and the purposely compounded the error with “go-go. “ FB

When George developed it into a song, he was aiming for “a really energetic pop record that had all the best elements of Fifties and Sixties records.” WK The song tells the story of a guy who’s upset when his girlfriend goes out dancing while he’s asleep. In the future, he asks that she wake him up before she goes.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Wham!
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 598.
  • KL Jon Kutner/Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. Page 296.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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First posted 11/28/2020; last updated 11/6/2022.

Wham! hit #1 in UK with Make It Big

First posted 5/30/2008; updated 11/29/2020.

Make It Big


Released: November 5, 1984

Peak: 13 US, 12 UK, 1 CN, 12 AU

Sales (in millions): 6.0 US, 1.2 UK, 13.8 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: pop


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go (5/26/84, 13 US, 12 CB, 12 RR, 4 AC, 12 UK, 14 CN, 17 AU, sales: 2.84 million)
  2. Everything She Wants (12/15/84, 1 US, 4 AC, 12 RB, sales: ½ million)
  3. Heartbeat
  4. Like a Baby
  5. Freedom (10/13/84, 3 US, 1 UK, 4 AC)
  6. If You Were There
  7. Credit Card Baby
  8. Careless Whisper (8/4/84, 13 US, 14 CB, 12 RR, 15 AC, 8 RB, 13 UK, 12 CN, 14 AU, sales: 6 million)

Total Running Time: 38:02

The Players:

  • George Michael (vocals, keyboards)
  • Andrew Ridgeley (guitar, backing vocals)


3.952 out of 5.00 (average of 11 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“The title was a promise to themselves, Wham!’s assurance that they would make it big after struggling out of the gates the first time out. They succeeded on a grander scale than they ever could have imagined, conquering the world and elsewhere with this effervescent set of giddy new wave pop-soul, thereby making George Michael a superstar and consigning Andrew Ridgeley to the confines of Trivial Pursuit.” AMG

“It was so big and the singles were so strong that it’s easy to overlook its patchwork qualities. It’s no longer than eight tracks, short even for the pre-CD era, and while the four singles are strong, the rest is filler, including an Isley Brothers cover. Thankfully, it’s the kind of filler that’s so tied to its time that it’s fascinating in its stilted post-disco dance-pop rhythms and Thatcher/Reagan materialism – an era that encouraged songs called Credit Card Baby.” AMG

“If this dichotomy between the A-sides and B-sides is far too great to make this essential, the way Faith later would be, those A-sides range from good to terrific. Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go is absolute silliness whose very stupidity is its strength, and if Everything She Wants is merely agreeable bubblegum, Freedom is astounding, a sparkling Motown rip-off rippling with spirit and a timeless melody later ripped off by Noel Gallagher.” AMG

“Then, there’s the concluding Careless Whisper, a soulful slow one where Michael regrets a one-night stand over a richly seductive background and a yearning saxophone. It was an instant classic, and it was the first indication of George Michael’s strengths as a pop craftsman – which means it points the way to Faith, not the halfhearted Edge of Heaven.” AMG

The album reached #1 in the UK in November 1984. Three months later, it topped the charts in the United States as well.

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Monday, November 5, 1984

Bryan Adams released Reckless

First posted 3/28/2011; updated 9/7/2020.


Bryan Adams

Buy Here:

Released: November 5, 1984

Peak: 12 US, 7 UK, 14 CN, 2 AU

Sales (in millions): 5.0 US, 0.9 UK, 12.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock

Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.)

  1. One Night Love Affair (8/31/85, #10a US, 7 AR, 19 CN, 85 AU)
  2. She’s Only Happy When She’s Dancin’
  3. Run to You (11/3/84, #6 US, 11 UK, 1 AR, 4 CN, 4 AU)
  4. Heaven (1/28/84, #1 US, 38 UK, 9 AR, 12 AC, 11 CN, 4 AU, airplay: 2 million)
  5. Somebody (1/19/85, #10a US, 35 UK, 1 AR, 13 CN, 76 AU)
  6. Summer of ‘69 (12/8/84, #4a US, 42 UK, 40 AR, 11 CN, 3 AU, airplay: 1 million)
  7. Kids Wanna Rock (12/15/84, #42 AR)
  8. It’s Only Love (with Tina Turner) (11/24/84, #14a US, 29 UK, 7 AR, 14 CN, 57 AU)
  9. Long Gone
  10. Ain’t Gonna Cry

Total Running Time: 37:58


4.444 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)


About the Album:

“Sales figures may point to 1991’s Waking Up the Neighbors as the peak of Bryan Adams career, but the songs from Reckless will most certainly prove to be his lasting legacy.” ER His fourth album upped the ante on Cuts Like a Knife from the year before. That album had given Adams’ his first appearances on the Billboard top 40 with 3 songs, including top ten hit “Straight from the Heart” and the top 20 title cut.

“Bryan Adams capitalized on the momentum…with 1984’s Reckless, a virtually flawless collection of melodic hard rock which would dominate radio for years to come.” ER “Although some songs haven’t aged very well (especially the overtly cheesy Kids Wanna Rock), these weak links are easily eclipsed” ER by a hits-loaded package. The album’s six singles all charted within the top 15 of the Billboard Hot 100, a feat previously accomplished only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A.. WK

Run to You was a brilliant lead-off single which remains one of Adams’ best songs ever.” ER The song was Adams’ first #1 album rock track and his second top-ten pop hit. It was also his highest charting hit to date in his native Canada, reaching #4.

As the album’s second official single, Somebody, with its “irrepressible pop chorus,” ER gave Adams his second album-rock chart-topper.

The third single was Heaven, “the ballad to end all ballads.” ER The song had actually emerged at the beginning of 1984 as part of the soundtrack for A Night in Heaven. It gave Adams his first chart-topper in America.

Summer of ‘69 emerged as the fourth single from the album, although it had received radio airplay on album rock stations when the album was first released. It gave Adams his second top-five hit in the U.S. There is some debate about whether the title refers to the sexual position or the year. Adams has said it is about the former, but Jim Valance, the song’s co-writer, has denied this.

In August 1985, during the chart run of “Summer,” Reckless finally topped the Billboard album chart. The album had initially peaked at #6 in January 1985. Two more singles – One Night Love Affair and It’s Only Love, a duet with Tina Turner, would keep the album in the spotlight for the rest of the year.

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Thursday, November 1, 1984

Pat Benatar's Tropico released

First posted 9/20/2020.


Pat Benatar

Released: November 1, 1984

Peak: 14 US, 31 UK, 21 CN, 9 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.06 UK, 1.16 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: classic rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Diamond Field (Giraldo, Myron Grombacher, Benatar) [3:20] (20 AR)
  2. We Belong (Eric Lowen, Dan Navarro) [3:40] (5 US, 3 AR, 22 UK, 8 CN, 7 AU)
  3. Painted Desert (Giraldo, Grombacher) [5;24]
  4. Temporary Heroes (Nick Trevesick, Ginny Clee) [4:30]
  5. Love in the Ice Age (Giraldo, Charles Giordano, Grombacher, Benatar) [4:05]
  6. Ooh Ooh Song (Giraldo, Benatar) [4:28] (36 US, 22 AR, 89 CN, 41 AU)
  7. The Outlaw Blues (Giraldo, Grombacher) [3:47]
  8. Suburban King (Giraldo, Billy Steinberg) [1:48]
  9. A Crazy World Like This (Giraldo, Tom Kelly, Steinberg) [4:02]
  10. Takin’ It Back (Giraldo, Benatar) [4:07]

Total Running Time: 39:18


3.502 out of 5.00 (average of 5 ratings)


About the Album:

After three top-5 albums, Benatar missed the top 10 with her Live from Earth album. Tropico also missed the mark, but maintained her perfect record of million-selling albums, giving her a sixth platinum record.

The album marked a conscious attempt to “move away from Benatar’s hard rock sound and start experimenting with new gentler styles and sounds.” WK The previous studio album, Get Nervous, had started that movement by focusing on more pop and new-wave sounds. All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said “the change in direction revitalized the singer, resulting in her best album since Precious Time.” AMG That praise is a bit odd, since Get Nervous was the only other studio album she’d released since Precious Time.

The lead single, We Belong, matched the top 5 success of “Love Is a Battlefield” from the year before. While it still reached #3 on the album rock chart, it was a decidedly more pop-leaning song than previous rockers like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” and “Heartbreaker.” The same was true for the follow-up single, Ooh Ooh Song. It was a top 40 hit and minor hit on the album rock chart, but was a long way from her more guitar-driven rock staples.

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