51 Weeks: 51 Songs From The Past: Week 34: Dead Or Alive – You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

Time to leave the 1990s behind, where we spent the last two weeks, and head back a decade to the 1980s. Back then, there was a certain trio by the names of Stock, Aitken and Waterman who were going to start making their move on the music industry. No, we won’t be meeting them today, but let me introduce you to the song that started it all off for them.

51 weeks 51 songs from the past poster

Here we are in the year 1984, where Mr Stock, Mr Aitken and Mr Waterman were about to produce their first number one single with a band by the name of Dead Or Alive. It was November, and they sat back and waited, and waited, and waited.  While we wait with them, let’s check out the song.

Incredible as it may seem, You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) took 17 weeks to reach the number one spot on the UK charts. Now, it may not hold the record (excuse the pun) for taking the longest time to get there but, back in those days, songs took a lot longer to reach the top of the charts compared to how they do today. Getting to the number one spot the week a record was released, was very rare.

Pete Burns, the lead singer of Dead Or Alive, also had to fund the recording of the song as the record company were not convinced it was going to be a hit. £2,500 later, Pete Burns and the group were delighted with the success of the song, given that they also had to pay for the video production. Of course, they made the money back with interest and left some staff at the record company with egg on their faces.

The song went on to become a worldwide hit, also making it to the number one spot in Canada, Switzerland and Ireland. In the U.S.A, it peaked at number 11 on the billboard hot 100.

Do you have a favourite song that was in some way a first for somebody? Share a link to that song in the comments section.

Thank you to everyone who left a link to a favourite song in the comments section of last week’s post. And a big thank you to Kat and Barbara, who joined in with publishing a blog post of a favourite song, and to Terri for linking a post to this weekly feature.

Want to join me in building up your 51 favourite songs from the past? Leave a link in the comments section below and showcase your next song.

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  1. Have I mentioned before how much I adore this series, Hugh? You invariably introduce me to music (or a video) that I had never heard/seen before. Or, like today, you give me a great memory jog to a song that I loved but haven’t heard for ages. Thanks for all of your work that you put into this!

  2. Can’t say it was a favourite at the time but, like a lot of songs do in the subsequent years, it brings back memories of the time – and what’s not to like about the ’80s? (Don’t answer that!)
    Picking up on your theme of firsts, I have – inevitably – taken a lateral view on that and recalled the first time I actually heard a song from a particular band that I not only liked, but loved in spite of the dross that had come from them before…

  3. Hi Hugh. You have chosen one of my very favourite songs from the 1980’s. I love this one and I can’t resist a singalong. Sadly Pete Burns is no longer with us, like so many stars we grew up with.
    My choice of song is “Don’t Make Me Over” by Dionne Warwick.A song written by the brilliant Burt Bacharach and Hal David. It marked the recording debut of Dionne Warwick in 1962. This song was never meant to be her first single and was in fact the ‘B’ side, but the radio stations had other ideas. She of course, went on from there to be one of most-charted female vocalist of all time.

    1. Hi, Chris. It was so sad when the news broke that Pete Burns had passed away. You’re so right about those stars we grew up with that are now passing on. There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t hear the news of somebody passing away who I grew up with.

      Glad you liked my choice of song for this week. Just about everyone seems to agree that it’s one of those songs high on the list of many. I remember dancing to it many a time on a flashing-light, smoke-filled dance floor.

      I enjoyed your choice of song, even with the poor quality of our TV screens back in those days. Heavens forbid if our screens were like that these days. Thank you for joining in with the challenge.

  4. Another one I missed! This week I pulled up “What a Swell Party This Is” for Sally Cronin’s weekend bash – from Grace Kelly’s last movie, sung by Sinatra and Crosby.

  5. A brilliant song and I have the original 12 inch single, still. After all these years. My friends and I used to dance to this before we went out. Happy days.

  6. That was a really fantastic song, and I sstill love listening to it now. How sad to look at Pete Burns and remember how good looking he was before all the plastic surgery, and of course, now he is no longer with us.
    This group caused a sensation with their first hit! I LOVED it, but especially loved Paul Rutherford, I thought he was gorgeous!

        1. ‘On the Beach’ always makes my all time Top 10 also ‘Wired to the Moon’ which makes me think of my daughter when she was born in 1985. Not sure about ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ as one of his best.

  7. Oh Hugh! I’m in the nail shop and now I want to spun around in my chair! I loved this song and remember watching them on Top Of The Pops!!!!

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