Welcome to 1981


1981 was an amazing year of change for Top Of The Pops. As we entered 1981 the world was in shook of the murder of John Lennon in New York on December 8th 1980 and the charts became flooded with his music either sung by John himself or other artists covering his songs. Jealous Guy by Roxy Music went to number one in just 2 weeks after it's release.


It was the year music fans debated that the charts were fixed or controlled after Vienna by Ultrovox froze at number 2 for 4 weeks while a rather awful Australian with a fake Italian accent held the number 1 position. Even though the end of year chart saw Vienna as the 6th best selling single of the year and Shaddap You Face not even entering the top 30, which was revealed on the Christmas Top Of The Pops.


The eyes of the whole world were on the U.K. as the Royal Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer went live on television pulling in the biggest audience of all time and only ever has been beaten by Live Aid in 1985.


In July Top Of The Pops was given a whole you title sequence and theme. Midge Ure and Phil Lynott remixed Phil Lynotts track of Yellow Pearl and came up with the new theme that was to be used until 1984. The special effects was coloured vinyl being thrown through dry ice and reversed with the end shot being a slab of pink Ice smashed from behind which at the time was cutting edge effects and welcomed by all.


There was extreme hardship as be spring of 1981 one in ten adults of working age were out of work which be todays population would be over 9.5 million without a job and the only industry to not suffer was the music industry as more and more records were being bought as an aid to the depression and the riots that plagued the country. So much so that it took no time for The Specials to make a record about the situation of the country which was catapulted to number 1.


As the year closed many artists were bringing out new singles in a hope to be the Christmas number 1, including Christmas songs and re-releases of bi-gone hits. To everyone's surprise it was an album track of the 'Dare' album from the Human League Album 'Don't You Want Me' that not only made the Christmas number 1 but the best selling single of the year and stayed at number one for 5 weeks, 3 of which brought us in to 1982.


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