Chart Week: December 22, 1984
Song: “The Belle of St. Mark” – Sheila E.
Chart Position: #34, 9th week on the chart. Peaked at #34 for three weeks over December and January.
One last 1984 countdown to close out the year. And, holy crap, what a countdown it was! The summer of ’84 gets all the glory, but this week was pretty spectacular, too. “Like A Virgin,” “Out of Touch,” “Cool It Now,” “We Belong,” and “I Feel For You” in the Top 10. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go,” “Run to You,” “Born in the USA,” “Easy Lover,” “The Boys of Summer,” “Careless Whisper,” and “I Would Die 4 U” were all also in the Top 40. “Careless Whisper,” at #37, led a stellar group of debuts that also included “Sugar Walls,” “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” and “Smalltown Boy.”
With all those monster songs, why do I pick this one?
A, because I’ve always loved it.
B, because anytime I hear it, I think of Christmas Break of that year.
C, it demonstrates how deep music was that year.
This is a great, great song. And I bet to a lot of folks it has been totally forgotten.
My memories of so many songs on this list go back to point B. I can distinctly remember listening to several of these songs at various points during my two-week break from school that year. I remember hearing “The Belle of St. Mark” on that stretch of I–435 just west of the Grandview Triangle, where there are those two big hills with the valley between them, while we were on our way to a family dinner at some Chinese place.
I know, I’m weird.
Christmas 1984 was a huge point in my life. There was a lot going on then, much of which I didn’t realize the significance of until I was older. It was also the last real Kid Christmas I had, before the gifts under the tree all transitioned to the practical and mature.
Several times I’ve tried to write something about the final weeks of 1984 and what they meant to my childhood. I’ve never been as successful as I’ve wanted to be. And I’ve never been sure if they are best shared through a blog post, or if they are a jumping off point for some kind of longer work. I hope someday I can find the correct path and method of getting them out of my head and onto some kind of text document.
For now, Sheila E. singing Prince’s words over his music – her percussion excepted, of course – will have to do.