1981 Number 1 Hits

Where to begin? I guess that the flavour for the early part of 1981 in terms of UK chart singles was set on 8 December 1980 with the death of John Lennon. Two of his singles, the searching Imagine and the paean to love, Woman were released posthumously and saw Lennon on top of the UK chart until 21 February 1981.

Lennon was replaced by Australian Joe Dolce with his dreadful Shaddap You Face. Dolce, who famously / infamously / boringly kept Ultravox’s Vienna off the top spot, staying there until 14 March, when another John Lennon song – Jealous Guy – this time sung by Roxy Music knocked him off the number one spot.

The rest of the UK number 1 records in ’81 were a cracking bunch.  We saw Adam & The Ants sit proudly atop the charts with both Stand & Deliver and Prince Charming.  The Specials’ Ghost Town took its place at the top and finally the number 1 Christmas single was Don’t You Want Me by The Human League.  1981 was a good year for UK hit singles.

Artist Title Topping out date
John Lennon Imagine January 10 1981
John Lennon Woman February 7 1981
Joe Dolce Music Theatre Shaddap You Face February 21 1981
Roxy Music Jealous Guy March 14 1981
Shakin’ Stevens This Ole House March 28 1981
Bucks Fizz Making Your Mind Up April 18 1981
Adam and the Ants Stand and Deliver May 9 1981
Smokey Robinson Being With You June 13 1981
Michael Jackson One Day In Your Life June 27 1981
The Specials Ghost Town July 11 1981
Shakin’ Stevens Green Door August 1 1981
Aneka Japanese Boy August 29 1981
Soft Cell Tainted Love September 5 1981
Adam and the Ants Prince Charming September 19 1981
Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin It’s My Party October 17 1981
The Police Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic November 14 1981
Queen & David Bowie Under Pressure November 21 1981
Julio Iglesias Begin The Beguine (Volver A Empezar) December 5 1981
The Human League Don’t You Want Me December 12 1981

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