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|