1986 in British music

1986 in British music

This is a summary of 1986 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.


The first number 1 single of 1986 was the breakthrough hit for London synthpop duo the Pet Shop Boys. Their song "West End Girls" had climbed the charts during late 1985 and reached number 1 for two weeks in January. They would have three more top 20 hits this year as well as two top 20 albums, and were still reaching the top 10 in 2006, twenty years later. Another popular synthpop duo this year were Erasure, with their song "Sometimes" reaching number two in the autumn and would be followed by many more hits throughout the decade.

After four successful years, the band Wham! split up in the Spring. Made up of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, they finished with a farewell concert at Wembley Stadium, a greatest hits album "The Final" which reached number 2, and the single "The Edge of Heaven", their fourth and final number 1. George Michael also reached number 1 this year with a solo release, "A Different Corner", and went on to have a highly successful solo career.

The formation of the charity Comic Relief provided an unusual song from Cliff Richard, a singer with several huge hits in the 1950s and 60s. He teamed up with the cast of the popular sitcom The Young Ones (itself named after a Richard song) for a new version of his 1959 single "Living Doll", half sung by Richard and half shouted by the Young Ones cast. With proceeds going to the charity, it reached number one for three weeks and was Richard's first number 1 of the decade. Another novelty number one was "The Chicken Song", sung by the cast of satrical puppet show Spitting Image. With lyrics such as "Hold a chicken in the air, stick a deckchair up your nose" it was intended as a parody of novelty holiday songs which were popular at the time, and also topped the chart for three weeks.

American singer Madonna had the biggest selling album of the year with "True Blue". All singles released from it made the top five, including the number 1s "Papa Don't Preach", "True Blue", and "La Isla Bonita" which topped the chart the year after. The biggest selling single of the year went to The Communards, with a hi-NRG cover of the disco song "Don't Leave Me This Way". The band included singer Jimmy Somerville who had previously enjoyed success with Bronski Beat, and later started a solo career.

The Christmas number one single was something of a surprise, a re-issue of Jackie Wilson's 1957 single Reet Petite. Wilson had died in 1984, but the song been re-issued after being used in a television advert for Levi's, with a new video made of a claymation version of Wilson. Having first been released 29 years earlier it broke the record for the longest time between a single being released and it hitting number 1, a record that would last until 2005 when Tony Christie's 1971 song (Is This the Way to) Amarillo topped the chart.


Top 40 Singles of 1986

Music awards

BRIT Awards

The 1986 BRIT Awards winners were:

*Best British producer: Dave Stewart
*Best international solo artist: Bruce Springsteen
*British Album: Phil Collins - "No Jacket Required"
*British female solo artist: Annie Lennox
*British group: Dire Straits
*British male solo artist: Phil Collins
*British Single: Tears for Fears - "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
*British Video: Paul Young - "Everytime You Go Away"
*Best British Newcomer: Go West
*International group: Huey Lewis and the News
*Outstanding contribution: Wham! and Elton John (Joint Winners)

External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/chart/ BBC Radio 1's Chart Show]
* [http://www.theofficialcharts.com/ The Official United Kingdom Charts Company]

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