Best #1 single of the year retrospective: 1984

The year is now 1984. The year has always been 1984. New Wave’s metamorphosis into “80s pop” has become complete, but there’s still a surprising amount of rock in the charts as well. We’re approaching the last big boom period in the history of the Billboard charts, where singles start to come and go from #1 at rapid-fire pace. 20 songs were doubleplusgood enough this year to be #1, including “Say Say Say” returning from last year.

You know the drill - put on your new pair of Victory boots, be thankful that the chocolate ration is up to 20 grams this week, and pick your favorite.

Previous polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 2012 2013

Cyndi Lauper. With Ray Parker Jr. coming in second.

Van Halen’s* 1984* and the lead single “Jump” came in like a fucking 747 and blew people’s minds.

Was hard to choose between Time After Time and Karma Chameleon, but in the end, I had to give it to Cyndi.

Definitely Jump. It’s the song that epitomizes the 80s.

“When Doves Cry” is one of the greatest singles of any year.

For many who had been Van Halen fans before 1984, “Jump” spelled the beginning of the end. It did, however, catapult them from being just another arena-packing hard rock band to probably the biggest rock band in the world at the time.

“When Doves Cry.” No contest. Consolation prizes to Cyndi, Tina, and Boy George.

“Jump” is fun, but it is pandering.

Wow, there are some classics in there. But When Doves Cry is arguably my favourite Prince song. Though I really like Time After Time, and have great fondness for Karma Chameleon, The Reflex, and Ghostbusters. The rest are rubbish.

Cyndi takes this one. “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” was her first big hit, and I remember thinking that she was just a wild-haired, gimmicky bubblegum pop singer. “Time After Time” showed that she had more range, both musically and stylistically. It still stands up as a great slow, sad ballad.

Yeah, Cyndi has a true pop song that perfectly captures that 3AM “What am I going to do?” broken heart vibe. It’s never been topped.

Time After Time is great, but had to go with Ghostbusters.

Some good songs here, but a lot of them remind me of why I don’t like 80s-era music. :wink:

I went with Tina Turner, but Lauper and Madonna are also great.

Cindy Lauper, just ahead of Yes. For the rest, half a dozen of MP3-player-worthy songs.

Footloose. If Girls Just Wanna Have Fun had been on the list, that would have been it, but as it is…

I was tempted by Phil Collins and Tina, but both their hits were in the good-but-not-great category, and I never cared for most of Prince’s work, about which I feel as Edgar Nye felt about Wagner - Prince’s music is better than it sounds.

Thank God the 80s recovered from the dreck of the 70s.


Really tough choice between “Time After Time” and “When Doves Cry.” I went with Prince.

I agree. It’s been covered by innumerable jazz artists, as well.

Now we’re talking! This is the year I’ve been practically salivating for. 1984 is the best year for pop music since the early to mid-sixties. And as it was the end of my eighth grade year/beginning of my freshman year of high school, it’s the pop year that I hold nearest and dearest personally (and I’m not just talking music, either).

The obvious choice here is, of course, “When Doves Cry”, and that is certainly what I went with. But nearly-as-great songs such as “Time After Time”, “Karma Chameleon”, “Jump”, “Footloose”, “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”, “What’s Love Got to Do with It”, “The Reflex”, “Missing You”, His Royal Badness’s “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”, “Like a Virgin”, and last year’s holdover “Say Say Say” are all worthy contenders, too.

Good lord, I love this year!

So many good songs on this list. Best year we’ve had in a long time for pop music, as Eddie F. says. “When Doves Cry” is literally the first song that my eyes went to, but looking through the list, there’s not a single stinker on there, in my opinion. This would make a good mix tape or playlist or whatever it is the kids do these days. In the end, I did go with Prince.

While Duran Duran is my favourite band of all time, I had to go with “Footloose” for best song of that year. It’s still catchy, danceable and relevant to this day.

Agreed. Was going to go with Let’s Go Crazy, but actually read other posts this time and agree that When Doves Cry is a better choice.

Madonna/Like a Virgin blew her up past her initial fame, marking the beginning of her run as a mega-celebrity. Another great choice.

As for Van Halen - huge, but the beginning of their pop/Hagar phase. Wish Panama had been on the list :wink: As for Cyndi Lauper - great song, but she remained a “One Album Wonder” until her work on Kinky Boots recaptured the spotlight. She’s had trouble getting out of her own way…