DEAD OR ALIVE
80S SONGS AND ALBUMS
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
R.I.P. Pete Burns (Aug 5th 1959 - 23rd Oct 2016).
Pete Burns was certainly a controversial and outspoken character, but if I had to choose three things to remember him for, then it would be the following;
1. Being the eccentric lead singer of the 80s New Wave, dance-pop band Dead Or Alive.
2. The iconic hit single "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)".
3. His outrageous antics on Celebrity Big Brother in January 2006 - that robotic dancing scene with George Galloway still haunts me to this day!
Of course, there is so much more to remember him for, and on this page I well delve further into the musical career of Pete Burns and his band during the 1980s.
Our video playlist above features all of Dead Or Alive's biggest hits from the 1980s;
- That's The Way I Like It
- You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)
- Lover Come Back To Me
- In Too Deep
- My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor)
- Brand New Lover
- Something In My House
- Turn Around And Count 2 Ten
- You Spin Me Round (reissue)
- Pete Burns and George Galloway on Big Brother - look away now!
Dead Or Alive's first studio album, Sophisticated Boom Boom, was released in 1983. Five singles were released from the album, but only one managed to hit the British Top 30 - a cover of That's The Way I Like It - which reached No.22 in the UK charts and No.28 in the U.S. Dance Charts.
Producers Stock, Aitken & Waterman worked their magic on the follow-up album, Youthquake. Subsequently, it proved to be more successful, with the first single, "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)", reaching No.1 in the UK, No.2 in Germany and No.2 in the U.S. Dance Charts.
"You Spin Me Round" has since been released another three times. There was a 1996 remix, a 2003 version which reached No.23 in the UK, and a 2006 re-release which reached No.5 in the UK Charts following lead-singer Pete Burn's memorable appearance on UK reality show, Big Brother featuring the aformentioned robotic dancing with MP George Galloway.
Three more singles were released from the Youthquake album; Lover Come Back To Me (No.3 - UK), In Too Deep (No.14 - UK) and My Heart Goes Bang (Get The Doctor) which reached No.23 in the UK Charts.
Released in February 1987, Mad, Bad and Dangerous To Know (also produced by Stock, Aitken & Waterman) spawned two Top 40 UK singles Brand New Lover (No.31 in 1986) and Something In My House (No.12 in 1987), the latter sounding like a recycled version of You Spin Me Round.
Peter Burns and Steve Coy produced the next album, Nude, and it was not very successful, although the single Turn Around And Count To Ten did reach No.1 in Japan and No.6 in Germany in 1988. Unfortunately, the single only crawled to No.70 in the UK and the album failed to chart.
1984 Sophisticated Boom Boom (#29 UK)
1985 Youthquake (#9 UK)
1987 Mad, Bad And Dangerous To Know (#27 UK)
1990 Fan The Flame (Part 1)
80s album sleeves
BEFORE DEAD OR ALIVE
Pete Burns, Julian Cope, Pete Wylie and Phil Hurst formed The Mystery Girl in 1977, but played just one gig in November of the same year before dissolving. In the spring of 1979, Burns formed a new band Nightmares in Wax with Martin Healy (keyboards), Mick Reid (guitar), Paul Hornby (drums) and Walter Odgen (bass). They were signed to Eric's Records after performing their first gig at Eric's music club in Liverpool in June 1979.
However, the band was short-lived and Burns went on start a new project which eventually became Dead Or Alive in 1980, after being encouraged to do so by music promoters in Liverpool. The line-up of the band changed many times before eventually being signed to Eric's Records in 1983, with the line-up of Mike Percy (bass), Tim Lever (keyboards/sax), Steve Coy (drums), Wayne Hussey (guitar) and, of course, Pete Burns as lead vocalist.
The Fall Out with BOY GEORGE
Singles released from Youthquake
1983 Misty Circles #100
1983 What I Want #88
1984 I'd Do Anything #79
1984 That's The Way I Like It #22
1984 What I Want (re-issue) #87
(Chart positions shown are for the UK)
This photo features the band in 1985. Wayne Hussey left the band in 1984, just before the band released the album Sophisticated Boom Boom and started having chart hits - the fool!
Moderate mainstream success came in 1984 with the release of the aformentioned album (which reached #29 in the UK album charts) and a cover of KC & The Sunshine Band's hit song That's The Way (I Like It) which peaked at #22 in the UK singles chart.
LOVER COME BACK TO ME (1985)
In Too Deep (1985)
MY HEART GOES BANG (GET ME TO THE DOCTOR)
7" vinyl single
12 inch vinyl single
12" Vinyl Maxi Single
Pete Burns on the cover of Smash Hits (28th Mar - 10th Apr 1985)
SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE (1987)
TURN AROUND AND COUNT 2 TEN (1988)
Star Box is a rare 1993 Japanese-only 14-track compilation CD album which comes with a 44-page picture sleeve booklet.