It was the year that Lionel Richie said Hello, George Michael let loose a Careless Whisper and Frankie told everyone to Relax, drawing gasps of horror from the BBC.

And it seems that 1984 struck a chord with pop-loving Brits, who have picked it as the best 12 months for music since the charts began. 

Despite its questionable fashions, the public believes the 1980s were fertile grounds for songwriters and singers, with many saying that music peaked in the first half of the decade. 

Before the Britpop battle of the bands saw Blur clash with Oasis, music-buyers were enthralled by the softcore struggle for chart domination between Duran Duran and Wham!.

But fans of any other genre than pop music will be disappointed, as easy-listening tunes ruled the day. Even novelty band Black Lace made a top 10 of the best-selling singles with the comedy track Agadoo.

The year was singled out by the listeners of Greatest Hits Radio, who took part in a survey looking for the UK’s favourite according to the station’s listeners. 

Despite stellar bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones bestriding the 60s and 70s, those decades were snubbed in favour of the era of Phil Collins, Madonna, and U2. 

Although not all of the decade’s output has survived the test of time, is was still a pivotal time for music fans.

Musical highlights from 1984 included the release of Prince’s iconic album Purple Rain, Queen’s single  Radio Ga Ga and the formation of the “supergroup” of artists for the Band Aid record Do They Know It’s Christmas.

Top-selling artists included Cyndi Lauper, Nick Kershaw and Bananarama, while it was also the year George Michael achieved five top-10 singles.

Greatest Hits Radio Presenter Mark Goodier said: “The results prove how defining the 80s were as a decade for music. Artists such as Queen, Wham! and Madonna were at their peak and of course the Band Aid release bought together some of the biggest acts. 

“Songs released in the crucial year of 1984 are still recognised and celebrated today, as many respondents stated, the 80s was a time for classics.

“At Greatest Hits Radio we know music and particularly great songs from an individual’s formative years make you feel good and we want to acknowledge some of the biggest songs of the 70s, 80s and 90s.”

The charts in 1984 would be incomprehensible to a teenager from today, with no rap, rock or dance music making a top-10 list of the best-selling singles. 

Instead, the year was dominated by the likes of Stevie Wonder, who released I Just Called to Say I love You, Chaka Khan, who recorded ‘I Feel For You’, and Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It?’.

But there are signs that tastes were changing with electronic and synthesiser-based music coming more to the fore. 

And while most of the top tracks in 1984 would safely be considered non-threatening by today’s listeners, the year saw one of the biggest controversies in pop music with the release of Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s debut single Relax.

Filled with overt sexual references, and with a video set in a gay nightclub, the song was deemed to risque to be broadcast by the BBC.

Banned from both radio and TV, with DJ Mike Read particularly scathing of its subject matter, it was nevertheless still played by commercial stations and climbed the charts, spending five weeks at number one despite never featuring on Top of the Pops. 

Late night DJs such as John Peel ignored the ban and played the track, adding to its notoriety, and it went on to sell two million copies in the UK alone, making it the seventh best-selling single in UK history.

It was also the breakout year for Bronski Beat, The Thompson Twins, Nik Kershaw and Howard Jones. 

During the 1980s, albums reigned supreme as a way of telling a band’s popularity. 

In the days before the internet, the only way to own music was to purchase a black vinyl copy, and the top artists sold them in the millions.

However, physical sales no longer translate into chart-topping success nowadays, with digital services long having taken over from trips to the record shop. 

Last year just 32 million CDs were sold  – almost 100 million fewer than in 2008.

Yet, a total of 91 billion songs were played on Spotify, Apple Music and their competitors last year – the equivalent of 1,300 songs per person in the UK – and streaming now accounts for nearly two-thirds (63.6%) of all music consumption in the UK.

Aside from an appreciation of music, nostalgia played a big part in people’s choices. Fans of 80s music who took part in the survey said they picked 1984 because it was either the year they left school, or they considered it coming in around their peak teenage years.

The fact that the year saw a long, hot summer also meant people had particularly good memories of dancing the night away.

One-third of respondents said their favourite year stood out to them because of their personal experiences, while more than half said they remember it “purely because of the music”.

The survey of 1,488 adults also found that eight in 10 said music helps bring back nostalgic memories for them. 

Aside from the 80s, when it came to the 70s, 1970 came out top as the nation’s favourite year, while 1999 dominated the 90s. Overall, Queen reigned as both the 1970’s and 1980’s favourite band, with one in five people voting them as the top group  of those decades.

The rock quartet also beat the likes of Blondie and Pink Floyd to the best single of the 1970s with Bohemian Rhapsody, which stayed at the top of the charts for nine weeks.

And 65 per cent said Queen’s Live Aid performance in 1985 was the “best” live event from the three decades. 

Oasis came out as the top artist from the 1990.

Greatest Hits Radio presenter Pat Sharp added: “1984 was an amazing year, I’m not surprised it has been voted the greatest for music and memories, and Band Aid gave us a Christmas to never forget.”