Thursday, January 26, 2012

Charting 1997: 1st February

As we move further into January, the big names start to appear in earnest. And we get the first release I could claim to have been really looking forward to this year.

01.(NE) Blur - Beetlebum

Even allowing for the fact that sales are low in January, it says something of how big Blur were at this point that even a self-consciously anti-commercial move could give them a Number One single. They'd already been granted the rare honour of a pre-release appearance on Top of The Pops.
Blur were pretty much my favourite band at the time, but I was open to a new direction and went into town to get the red vinyl 7" and one of the two CDs - I'm not even sure I'd heard the song before but I was very pleased with what I got, a brilliant combination of experimentalism and accidental pop brilliance. 1997 Number One singles don't come much better than this in my opinion. 
02. (1) White Town - Your Woman
03.(NE) George Michael - Older/I Can't Make You Love Me

Just under a year after the big comeback single 'Jesus To A Child', George was still scoring hits from his Older album, though even adding a new flipside (albeit a cover version) to the title track wasn't enough for it to join his previous three singles in the Top 2. Just as we weren't told that 'Beetlebum' was (probably) about drugs, it wasn't common knowledge at this point that this song was about the death of his partner. 
04.(NE) Placebo - Nancy Boy

The hit that changed them from AN Other indie band only with a singer who looked a bit like a woman into household names of a sort. A heavily remixed version of the original album cut and a major improvement: I remember David Bowie requesting this track when guesting on Stuart Maconie's short-lived Radio 1 show but insisting on the single version. I always thought they sounded like a band trying too hard, but this was one time they at least got somewhere.
05. (5) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
06. (3) Texas - Say What You Want
07.(NE) Gabrielle - Walk On By

Well-produced, well-sung but utterly pointless cover, added to later pressings of her second album.
08. (2) Tori Amos - Professional Widow (It's Got To Be Big)
09.(NE) The Blueboy - Remember Me

Not to be confused with twee indie act Blue Boy, utterly ubiquitous jazz-sampling dance hit of early 1997.
10. (9) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
11. (4) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
12. (7) Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina
13.(NE) Skunk Anansie - Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)

Big fans of the bracketed song title (were Skunk Anansie). Their first proper slow single, albeit with a decidedly chunky rhythm section, and a song I could never totally make up my mind about. Nothing dates like newly-invented special effects in pop videos though. 
14.(NE) Babybird - Candy Girl

The week after 'You're Gorgeous' finally departed the Top 75, Stephen Jones reaches the Top 20 for the second (and last) time with a song that's even more irritating. I didn't think either of them was as good as 'Goodnight' from 1996. Or indeed 'Sugar-Coated Iceberg' further down this chart. 
15.(13) Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
16.(17) Whitney Houston - Step By Step
17.(NE) Gene - We Could Be Kings

As it turned out, they couldn't, but they should have. Even though I didn't like Blur any less, Gene emerged as strong competitors for my affection as I began to look a little further afield for my music. I bought this on on 7" too, although with hindsight this edit isn't as good as the album version. Still the sort of thing that makes me wonder whether we're peaking a bit too soon.
18.(11) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
19. (8) Reef - Come Back Brighter
20.(16) Ginuwine - Pony
21.(NE) Bally Sagoo - Tum Bin Jiya

This was the era when British Asian music (the sort of thing that's called Desi Beats nowadays) seemed to be on the verge of a big mainstream breakthrough, and there's no logical reason it shouldn't have but in the end it seemed more to be a matter of sporadic individual hits. Sagoo had made headlines when his previous single 'Dil Cheez' cracked the Top 20 but this slightly smaller follow-up hit seems to have been and gone without attracting much notice beyond the people who bought it. 
22.(10) Lisa Stansfield/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - People Hold On (Bootleg Mixes)
23.(14) Byron Stingily - Get Up (Everybody)
24. (6) Suede - Saturday Night
25.(20) The Prodigy - Breathe
26.(12) Nas - Street Dreams
27.(NE) Cyndi Lauper - You Don't Know

And quite possibly you didn't know that she was still having hits as late as 1997, though this was her last and a fairly minor one at that. Even though she went on Noel's Houseparty and everything. 
28.(15) East 17 - Hey Child
29.(24) Mark Morrison - Horny
30.(21) Robert Miles Featuring Maria Nayler - One And One
31.(NE) The Offspring - All I Want

OK, I don't remember this at all, I didn't even realise they'd had an actual hit between 'Self Esteem' and 'Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)' until much later. Not to be confused with a recent identically-titled hit by the aforementioned Skunk Anansie. 
32.(NE) The Braxtons - So Many Ways

Toni's sisters carry on after she'd gone solo. Hope they had a better accountant.
33.(22) The Lightning Seeds - Sugar Coated Iceberg
34.(19) Kavana - I Can Make You Feel Good
35.(18) The Outhere Brothers - Let Me Hear You Say 'Ole 'Ole
36.(23) Orbital - Satan (Live)
37.(25) MC Lyte - Cold Rock A Party
38.(NE) The Boo Radleys - Ride The Tiger

Their seventh and last Top 40 hit, as the reflected glory of 'Wake Up Boo' finally expired. Oddly enough, the only single of theirs I actually bought, though I've acquired some of the albums since. 
39.(31) The Beautiful South - Don't Marry Her
40.(NE) Shaquille O'Neal - You Can't Stop The Reign

You wouldn't have thought the UK would be a fertile market for rap records by basketball players, but here he is having his only UK hit with a single that was a bit of a flop in the US. 

44.(NE) Jayn Hanna - Lost Without You
47.(NE) Paganini Traxx - Zoe/Make Me Come

60.(NE) Beth Orton - Touch Me With Your Love

Making a Top 75 debut with one of her dancier numbers. Sorry about the unflattering still on that embed.
61.(NE) Martine Girault - Revival {remix}
62.(NE) The Corrs - Love To Love You/Runaway
Already second time around for 'Runaway' - it'd take a remix two years later for it to break into the Top 40.
63.(NE) Redd Kross - Get Out Of Myself

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