Number Ones: #34


  • DEAD OR ALIVE You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) (Epic)
  • Week Ending February 23rd 1985
  • 2 Weeks At #1


Now considered one of the most iconic ’80s singles, You Spin Me Round nearly wasn’t a hit at all. For close to three months, it huffed and puffed around the outskirts of the Top 40, with next to no support from mainstream radio. Then, in an echo of Relax‘s breakthrough from exactly a year earlier, the traditional New Year chart clearout allowed it to finally sneak in at the basement position of #40. From there, its ascent to the summit was less controversial but just as swift.

The lack of airplay must have been a factor in its struggles, as despite listening to BBC Radio 1 and Capital Radio during the evenings and holidays, I’d never even heard You Spin Me Round until its arrival in the Top 40. Once I did, the impact was immediate; not since Two Tribes had a record excited me as much.

The belated success of the single also proved something of a Sliding Doors moment for its producers, Stock Aitken & Waterman; had they not had such a smash with You Spin Me Round, their best-known work would have remained a solitary Top 5 hit with Hazell Dean and some camp Hi-NRG efforts with Divine. Bananarama quite possibly wouldn’t have wanted to work with them, a collaboration which resulted in Venus and the development/refinement of what became the signature SAW formula.

As it was, You Spin Me Round proved the start of a golden era for the trio, who will be featured more than once, and with a handful of different acts, as we work through the rest of the ’80s and into the ’90s.

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