Taking a look through my singles list, I was initially surprised to see three reggae tunes included, as I'm sometimes quick to dismiss any reggae made after 1980. An erroneous generalisation on my part. Aswad's last great moment, 'Chasin For the Breeze', Patrick Andy's melancholic 'Regular Heartbreaker' and Michael Palmer's wicked 'Lick Shot', still sound great to these ears.
Elsewhere, two singles apiece from The Smiths, REM and Bruce Springsteen made it into my top 20. The first Smiths LP and 'Reckoning' were massively important records for me, but, in retrospect, 1984 was a funny old year for this long-term Springsteen fan. A brace of unforgettable live shows rubbed shoulders with a very commercial album that I find difficult to listen to now. 'Dancing in the Dark' certainly wouldn't be at No.1 if I made the list today.
Clay Allison was the name on the sticker of an American import EP I bought in 1984, though by that time the band had re-christened themselves as Opal. The line-up featured Kendra Smith from The Dream Syndicate and former Rain Parade guitarist David Roback. Smith was replaced by Hope Sandoval in 1987 and the duo later found success as Mazzy Star.
The debut Jesus & Mary Chain single was an extraordinary thing to play in the shop, in amongst the endless Nik Kershaw, Sade and Miami Sound Machine tosh. I wasn't destined to become a long time fan of the band, but 'Upside Down' remains a quite magnificent racket. Frankie Goes to Hollywood's 'Two Tribes' is that rarest of beasts, a massive, virtually omnipresent, hit single that I never got tired of hearing. At the other end of the popularity spectrum was Float Up CP, a band who emerged from the ashes of Rip Rig + Panic, issued one fine album to a largely indifferent public, before disintegrating. Four years later, lead singer Neneh Cherry would release 'Buffalo Stance' and have her own massive hit single.
Glancing down the remainder of my favourite singles of 1984, I'm pleased to note that there are no absolute stinkers, no major regrets about what I included (though what I omitted is another matter - no 'C.R.E.E.P.' for example. What was I thinking?). Next time, I'll take a look at my top 20 LPs from 1984. Anyone care to guess what might have made the list?