Chart Week: March 24, 1984
Song: “They Don’t Know” – Tracey Ullman
Chart Position: #30, 5th week on the chart. Peaked at #8 for two weeks in April/May.
It’s been a minute or two since I’ve done one of these. Part of that is because my AT40 workflow has changed. My normal, weekday routine is to turn on the iHeart Radio Classic American Top 40 station while making breakfast, eating lunch, and other moments during the day when I am in the kitchen alone. Those moments have disappeared with everyone stuck at home.
It also seems like the local, Sunday replays have been repetitive of countdowns I’ve heard on the streaming channel relatively recently, so I haven’t been listening to those much either.
Sunday I caught 30 minutes or so of the local broadcast while making French toast. Casey didn’t share a great tidbit about this song or its artist. But it is a song that I’ve always loved and think never got its due.
While she’s had a long, varied, and successful career, Tracey Ullman is probably most famous for her variety show that ran on Fox in the late 80s. And it is most famous for being the launching point for The Simpsons, which originated as shorts on her show. Ullman also sang, and she released two albums in the 80s.
This song appeared on her 1984 album You Broke My Heart in 17 Places and was written and originally performed by the wonderful, late Kirsty MacColl. It sounded so out of place in 1984, with its 60’s callbacks. But it was a delightful song that has made me happy every time I’ve ever heard it. And I think right now we could all use more happy songs.
Enjoy this campy video and watch for a pretty significant cameo near the end.
Lydia Loveless put her own twangy, Midwestern spin on the song for her 2014 album Somewhere Else.