Number Ones: #31

031_H17_Lie

  • HEAVEN 17 ..(And That’s No Lie) (Virgin)
  • Week Ending 19th January 1985
  • 2 Weeks At #1

 

Our first completely new chart-topper of 1985 proved a watershed moment for my chart, and sadly for the act themselves. Up until this point, all of the singles to reach #1 on my Top 40 had been reasonably successful on the actual UK listings; the #25 peak of The Lion’s Mouth by Kajagoogoo had been the lowest, followed by the #23 achieved by Heaven 17’s This Is Mine.

The latter band chose the beginning of January to release its follow-up. The third single from How Men Are was unusual for a number of reasons; the original track was a meandering and ambitious finale to the album that ran for over 9 minutes, and by containing all of the songs’ name within parentheses, it effectively became the shortest-titled UK chart entry in history when it made #52. The cover image of Jesus was also an odd choice, considering Christmas was now over (Virgin went to the trouble of issuing about 5 or 6 different coloured variations to boost sales….and that worked out well!).

I chose the purple 12″ edition, pictured above. It cost 2.99, which felt a bit of a rip-off (prices for singles had just been increased again), but the revamped “enhanced for danceability” mix that kicked off the A-side was sensational. Spooky, funky, and almost Pleasuredome-esque in its sound, it was barely recognisable from the LP version.

Perhaps if the 7″ edit (which curiously, I didn’t get to own until some 20 years later) had included more of those dynamics, it might not have ended Heaven 17’s run of consecutive hit singles (nasty 90s remixes aside, they would never return to the upper reaches of the chart), but by missing the UK Top 40, ..(And That’s No Lie) marked the onset of a change in my listening habits which were no longer as influenced by the charts as they had been; Singled Out (a.k.a. Round Table) replaced the Tuesday premiere of the new Top 40 as the most essential radio programme of the week.

Meanwhile, Record Mirror magazine had pretty much usurped both Smash Hits and Number One as my ultimate source of new release and outside-the-Top 40-chart information, so that a single peaking at #99 for a solitary week could have just as much impact on my world as the big hits of the day. By the end of 1985, several of my #1s were flops that not only fell short of the Top 40, but the Top 75 too.

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