They say it’s your birthday…
- Two multiple No.1 achieving male vocalists were both born on 8 January – one in 1935, one in 1947. Name them.
Elvis Presley (1935) and David Bowie (1947).
- Two songs with the title “Happy Birthday” reached No.2 in the charts in 1981. Name the artists.
Stevie Wonder and Altered Images. Perhaps surprisingly, Altered Images’ song remained in the charts for longer.
- Which song featured the lines, “Oh what a birthday surprise/
Judy’s wearing his ring”?
“It’s My Party”, originally recorded by Lesley Gore in 1963 and taken to No.1 by Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin in 1981. (What was it about 1981 and birthdays?)
- The Police song “On Any Other Day” features a version of “Happy Birthday To You” in the background. On which album does it appear, and what is unusual about it compared to other songs by The Police?
It appeared on Reggatta de Blanc. Unusually, Stewart Copeland (the drummer) sang lead vocals.
- Which famous singer, renowned for his extravagant birthday parties, held a wild party in 1986 featuring waitresses wearing nothing but body paint, and (rumour has it) dwarves carrying bowls of cocaine on their heads?
Ice-cream and jelly
- According to one of their songs, in which town did Chas ‘n’ Dave plan to buy jellied eels?
- “Cooler than ice-cream/And warmer than the sun…” Name the song and the group.
“Who’s That Girl?” by The Eurythmics.
- Who performed the rock-’n’-roll classic “Shakin’ All Over”, which was hi-jacked by a famous jelly-making company for an advert some years later?
Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.
- Which male vocal duo were famous for not actually singing on any of their records?
Milli Vanilli. (OK, so I stretched a point a little.)
- Which famous singer once dressed up as a theatre ice-cream seller and gave away the ice-creams to the audience for a laugh?
- “Simon Says” is a popular game at kids’ parties. Which group took a song of that title to No.2 in 1968?
1910 Fruitgum Co.
- “Neunundneunzig Luftballons” reached No.1 in the UK in 1984 under a slightly different title in English translation. What was it?
“99 Red Balloons” by Nena. (The original translates as “Ninety-nine Balloons” – no colour’s mentioned.)
- What’s the real name of Marillion’s lead singer Fish, and how did he get his nickname?
Derek Dick. He got the name “Fish” because of the amount of time he spent in the bath, to his landlord’s chagrin.
- Associates had their first and greatest hit with “Party Fears Two” in 1982. What was the name of their first album, which featured it?
- Which famous singer, when asked if he wanted children, replied, “I think I’d rather have another cat”?
Send in the clowns
- Who took “Send In The Clowns” to No.6 in 1975?
- “Oh, and while the King was looking down/The jester stole his thorny crown…” Name the song, the original artist, the year it first appeared in the UK charts, and the highest chart position.
“American Pie”, by Don McLean, in 1972. It peaked at No.2.
- “Tears Of A Clown” was a No.1 for Smokey Robinson and The Miracles in 1970. Who did a two-tone cover version in 1979?
- Who performed his first hit on Top Of The Pops dressed up in a clown’s costume? What was the song?
Leo Sayer. The song was “The Show Must Go On”.
- “Oh yes, I’m the Great Pretender/Just laughing and gay like a clown”. The Platters took this classic to No.5 in 1956. Which famous singer took it to No.4 in 1987?
Time to go home
The songs in order of hitting the Top Ten are:
- 1966: “Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon (and some backing vocalist or other).
- 1981: “Bed Sitter” by Soft Cell.
- 1982: “Our House” by Madness.
- 1989: “Homely Girl” by UB40.
- 1993: “Living On My Own” by Freddie Mercury. (This was the remix – the original (and far better) version was released in 1985 but only made it to No.50.)
How did you do? Why not comment and let us know?