Friday, February 24, 2012

The 1997 Brit Awards

I don't intend to put a lot of non-chart-related events into Charting 1997, but it seemed apt to mention the big UK industry event of the year, like it or no. And it's a way to get an extra post out of a few embeds and some stuff off Wikipedia.

The big stars of the night were the Manic Street Preachers, with two wins including Best Group and another two nominations (plus one for producer Mike Hedges). Nicky Wire did not carry out his former promise to urinate on either of them, at least not in public. Picking up the Outstanding Contribution prize were the Bees Gees, who closed the show with the obligatory medley:

And other performances I could find online included another medley from The Fugees:

Spice Girls (in perv-o-vision):

Skunk Anansie 'Teenage Kicks':

The Artist Formerly And Subsequently Known As Prince 'Emancipation':

Manic Street Preachers 'A Design For Life':

The Winners were:

Best British Album: Manic Street Preachers Everything Must Go
Best British Single: Spice Girls 'Wannabe'
Best Video: Spice Girls 'Say You'll Be There'
Best British Male: George Michael
Best British Female: Gabrielle
Best British Group: Manic Street Preachers
Best British Newcomer: Kula Shaker
Best British Dance Act: The Chemical Brothers
Best British Producer: John Leckie

Best International Male: Beck!
Best International Female: Sheryl Crow
Best International Group: the Fugees
Best International Newcomer: Robert Miles
Best Soundtrack: Trainspotting

Full story and pictures at The Official Brits website.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Charting 1997: 1st March

And in a shocking development, we get a single staying at Number One for a second week!

01. (1) No Doubt - Don't Speak
Second-biggest weekly sales of the year so far too, though I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that it was beaten as the year wore on.
02.(NE) Sash! - Encore Une Fois

Little did I realise that they would have more hits. Or that everyone on this record is actually German.
03.(NE) The Source - You Got The Love {1997 remix}
Highest-charting version of this song with the original vocal, although topically enough Florence Welch and Dizzee Rascal went one place better in 2010.
04. (3) No Mercy - Where Do You Go?
05.(NE) The Bee Gees - Alone
Their third of four Top 5 singles in this decade, though they're seldom talked of as a 1990s act.
06. (5) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
07.(NE) Bush - Swallowed
The hit single we'd been waiting for after the album went Top 10 a few weeks ago. And in fairness it's not that bad a record if you can get over the awful lyrics.
08. (2) Warren G - I Shot The Sheriff
09.(10) Blueboy - Remember Me
10. (4) 911 - The Day We Find Love
11.(NE) Cathy Dennis - Waterloo Sunset
Remember when she went on a songwriting course with Ray Davies and reinvented herself as a Britpop star? No I don't think many people do either, but this was her last throw of the dice as a performer before she really started to recoup the money from the writing course.
12. (8) DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat
13.(NE) Republica - Ready To Go {1997 re-issue}
A flop from the previous year revived on the claim that it had been some sort of hit in America. It was still just as annoying though.
14. (7) Daft Punk - Da Funk/Musique
15. (6) U2 - Discotheque
16.(18) OTT - Let Me In
17. (9) James - She's A Star
18.(13) Apollo 440 - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub
19.(12) Mark Owen - Clementine
20.(11) LL Cool J - Ain't Nobody
21.(NE) Az Yet - Last Night
Guy bands they called these, presumably in the hope of a bonfire. A record that could have been released at any time since about 1986.
22.(20) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
23.(15) White Town - Your Woman
24.(19) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
25.(NE) Everything But The Girl - Before Today
Single Number Four off their Walking Wounded album, which consolidated their switch from dinner jazz to darker dance sounds.
26.(NE) Ben Folds Five - Battle Of Who Could Care Less

A song I was slightly obsessed with for a while back in 1997, went off for a while in the early 2000s and now like again.
27.(NE) Maxwell - Sumthin' Sumthin' The Mantra
Big-haired RnB smoothie who released a lot of immaculately-produced singles with long titles that I found hard to tell apart.
28.(16) Texas - Say What You Want
29.(21) Eels - Novocaine For The Soul
30.(NE) Jay-Z Featuring Mary J Blige - Can't Knock The Hustle
I had no particular intention of doing so anyway, thanks. Can't say this made much impression on me at the time, little would I have thought we'd hear from this guy again.
31.(NE) Belinda Carlisle - California
Her last Top 40 hit to date, perhaps surprisingly. Features the actual Brian Wilson on backing vocals, apparently.
32.(14) Space - Dark Clouds
33.(22) The Wonders - That Thing You Do!
34.(17) Barbra Streisand And Bryan Adams - I Finally Found Someone
35.(NE) My Life Story - The King Of Kissingdom
Possibly less notable for the song (which isn't really any good, to be honest) than for the 7" picture disc format which, as EMI's mailshot of the time explained, could be used as Valentine's card. Only trouble is that, as you might already have calculated from the date of this chart, it ended up being released on the 17th of February.
36.(NE) Bjork - I Miss You
It seems slightly anomalous that Björk ever got to be such a big chart star, though this wasn't one of her bigger hits. It did have the disadvantage of being the sixth single from an album released almost two years earlier.
37.(25) Whitney Houston - Step By Step
38.(NE) Us3 - Come On Everybody (Get Down)
And the award for Generic Song Title Of The Week goes to... Jazzy hip-hoppers who were offered unprecedented access to the Blue Note back catalogue for sampling.
39.(24) Michelle Gayle - Do You Know
40.(NE) Lithium And Sonya Madan - Ride A Rocket
Another of the Britpop/dance crossovers that seemed such a feature of the times.

41.(NE) Delirious? - White Ribbon Day
43.(NE) The Aloof - Wish You Were Here...
46.(NE) Van Morrison - The Healing Game
56.(NE) Jump - Funkatarium
61.(NE) ORN - Snow
64.(NE) DJ Prof-X-Or - Walkin' On Up
69.(RE) Michael Jackson - Stranger In Moscow
74.(RE) Boyzone - A Different Beat

Charting 1997: Album chart 1st March

As the album chart seems to be going the way of the singles chart, we get another change at the top with Blur surprisingly losing the top spot after only one week - and to labelmates too. I can't now remember why the barrage of "classic" re-entries low in the chart.

01.(NE) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern (Spotify(Amazon)
The unusual debut album from the cult prog revivalists was a bit of a surprising Number One, even after four hit singles. It's a pseudo-concept album with all the tracks running into each other (although as I bought it on vinyl, my copy still stops every two or three songs). They were always an easy band to dislike but buried beneath wanky song titles like 'Mansun's Only Love Song' are some good tunes.
02. (5) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
03. (3) Spice Girls - Spice
04. (1) Blur - Blur
05. (9) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
06. (2) Texas - White On Blonde
07. (4) Original Soundtrack - Evita
08.(NE) Gene - Drawn To The Deep End (Spotify) (Amazon)
Ah, now we're talking. Followers of my various online activities may already be aware that I root for Gene as one of the most underrated indie acts of this era, and whilst there have been some signs of reassessment in the last couple of years much of the fuss still seems to be about their first and most successful album Olympian. I like that one too, but for me this is the masterpiece, the meticulously-arranged songs about Martin Rossiter's depression did a lot for me at the time. Conventional wisdom suggests that the first side of the album is much better than the second, and I do tend to agree but there are some subtly brilliant overlooked tracks there too, including 'The Accidental'.
09. (8) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
10. (6) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
11.(NE) Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene 7-13
A sequel to the original Oxygene album, which I could never be bothered with. Apparently the last record he made in this style.
12. (7) Reef - Glow
13.(21) Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys
14.(30) Space - Spiders
15.(NE) Adiemus - Adiemus II Cantata Mundi
And to add to the diversity of the chart, the second album from Karl Jenkins and his classical/world music project thing. I've never listened to them, please let me know if I'm missing out.
16.(16) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
17.(11) Celine Dion - Falling Into You
18.(14) Toni Braxton - Secrets
19.(17) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
20.(24) Kula Shaker - K
21.(10) George Michael - Older
22.(15) Placebo - Placebo
23.(RE) LL Cool J - All World
24.(22) Manic Street Preachers - Everything must go
25.(NE) Nuyorican Soul - Nuyorican Soul
A nice bit of smooth disco soul from Kenny "Dope" Gonzales, "Little" Louis Vega and their guest stars.
26.(12) Suede - Coming Up
27.(18) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
28.(34) Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
29.(26) Robert Miles - Dreamland
30.(29) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
31.(25) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
32.(20) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
33.(32) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
34.(31) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
35.(13) The Divine Comedy - A Short Album About Love
36.(33) Fugees - The Score
37.(28) The Lightning Seeds - Dizzy Heights
38.(19) Rod Stewart - If We Fall In Love Tonight
39.(RE) Maxwell - Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite
40.(RE) The Commitments - The Commitments (OST)

43.(RE) Robson And Jerome - Robson & Jerome
53.(RE) Toni Braxton - Toni Braxton
54.(RE) Seal - Seal
59.(RE) Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion I
60.(RE) M People - Elegant Slumming
61.(RE) Guns N' Roses - Use Your Illusion II
62.(RE) Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
66.(RE) Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction
70.(NE) Erykah Badu - Baduizm
74.(RE) Dodgy - Homegrown (Amazon)
One of the other classic albums of Britpop.

75.(RE) kd Lang - Ingenue

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Charting 1997: Album chart 22nd February

01.(NE) Blur - Blur (Spotify) (Amazon)
The reinvented album that Damon Albarn called "More Iggy Pop than Britpop", though actually "More Sub Pop than Britpop" might be an even more accurate spin on their wholesale embrace of US indie styles. As you can imagine, I had some trepidation when I brought this home - particularly since it's an example of one of my musical pet hates, putting the single at the start of the album - but I was pleased to find that they had, perhaps despite themselves, allowed their natural flair for melody to shine through and come out with a record of some brilliance. It only sounds slightly less good now.

02. (1) Texas - White On Blonde
03. (4) Spice Girls - Spice
04. (2) Original Soundtrack - Evita
05.(NE) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
In chart terms, they were a bigger deal in the Nineties than the Seventies, though they failed to score a hit single from this album. The track listing on the Smurfs Wiki includes such joys as 'Ooh Aaah Smurf A Little Bit' and 'Smurf Billy Rock, Smurf Billy Roll'.
06. (7) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
07. (3) Reef - Glow
08. (9) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
09.(10) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
10.(11) George Michael - Older
11.(13) Celine Dion - Falling into you
12. (8) Suede - Coming Up
13.(NE) The Divine Comedy - A Short Album About Love (Spotify)(Amazon)
Rushed out in time for Valentine's Day of course, a seven-song mini-album supposedly recorded live at soundchecks with a thirty-piece orchestra (though they did later admit to a little touching-up in the studio). Apparently it was all a vehicle for the song 'I'm All You Need'. Arguably Neil Hannon's best work.
14.(16) Toni Braxton - Secrets
15. (5) Placebo - Placebo
16.(12) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
17.(15) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
18.(20) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
19.(22) Rod Stewart - If We Fall In Love Tonight
20.(19) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
21.(RE) Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys
22.(18) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
23. (6) David Bowie - Earthling
24.(23) Kula Shaker - K
25.(21) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
26.(24) Robert Miles - Dreamland
27.(NE) Pavement - Brighten The Corners (Spotify)(Amazon)
Possibly the most-cited influence on Blur's new direction, which is certainly how the album came to my attention. But actually releasing it in the same week as Blur may have done more harm than good, keeping it from adding to their tally of Top 20 albums.
28.(25) The Lightning Seeds - Dizzy Heights
29.(26) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
30.(33) Space - Spiders
31.(29) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
32.(27) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
33.(32) Fugees - The Score
34.(31) Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
35.(28) Daft Punk - Homework
36.(37) Mark Owen - Green man
37.(34) Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley shoals
38.(35) The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
39.(17) The Offspring - Ixnay on the hombre
40.(14) Thunder - The Thrill of it all

44.(RE) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
59.(NE) Cyndi Lauper - Sisters Of Avalon
64.(RE) Celine Dion - The Colour of my love
72.(RE) Paul Weller - Stanley Road
73.(RE) Van Morrison - The Best Of Van Morrison
75.(RE) M People - Bizarre Fruit/Bizarre Fruit II

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Charting 1997: 22nd February

And for another week the previous Number One single slips out of the Top 3 (indeed the Top 5 on this occasion) so we've got something new at the top again. And a minor invasion of minor indie acts at the bottom of the Top 75 too.

01.(NE) No Doubt - Don't Speak

If I'd been following the progress of  Tragic Kingdom up the album chart for the previous few weeks, this probably wouldn't have come as a great surprise to me. Of course, back then you could let airplay for a forthcoming single sell the album in a way that's harder nowadays. The real breakthrough for them in the UK after 'Just A Girl' had scraped into the Top 40.
02.(NE) Warren G - I Shot The Sheriff
Second time in a row he'd scored a Number 2 single with an updated cover version, following the previous year's attempt at 'What's Love Got To Do With It'. The fact that these two tracks are at the end of the album suggests even he didn't think they were any good. 
03. (2) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
04.(NE) 911 - The Day We Find Love
Spike, Lee & Jimmy crack the Top 5 for the first time with their fourth hit, though in the harsh late 90s boyband climate they were lucky to be given that long. This was of course a drippy ballad, possibly timed for Valentine's Day. 
05. (6) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
Yet another week in the Top 5 for this.
06. (1) U2 - Discotheque
07.(NE) Daft Punk - Da Funk/Musique

One of the most droppable names in early 1997, and another case of a single being held back until after the album, which you'll recall had entered in the Top 10 a couple of weeks earlier. In fact, 'Da Funk' was originally released on 12" in 1995, but only became a proper hit now. Nobody ever mentions 'Musique', which was a new non-album track.
08.(NE) DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat
The YouTube video is full of comments from people accusing somebody called Mac Miller of ripping this off. Of course it's based on '900 Number' by the 45 King, which older Brits will also know from Chad Jackson's 'Hear The Drummer Get Wicked' and of course the sax was already a sample in the original.
As for this track, I'm not sure whether it's brilliant or terrible. Probably both. 
09.(NE) James - She's A Star
The big comeback hit from one of the major pre-Britpop indie acts who survived. Never a song I was that keen on really, although it has a certain stately quality.
10. (8) Blueboy - Remember Me
11. (5) LL Cool J - Ain't Nobody
12. (3) Mark Owen - Clementine
13. (7) Apollo 440 - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub
14.(NE) Space - Dark Clouds
An act whose success was more shortlived, and I doubt anyone really remembers this particular song now. 
15.(11) White Town - Your Woman
16.(13) Texas - Say What You Want
17.(16) Barbra Streisand And Bryan Adams - I Finally Found Someone
18.(12) OTT - Let Me In
19.(17) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
20.(15) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
21.(10) Eels - Novocaine For The Soul
22.(NE) The Wonders - That Thing You Do!
Title song of the Tom Hanks movie about a Sixties US pop group. Written by Fountains of Wayne, of whom more later. 
23. (4) Depeche Mode - Barrel Of A Gun
24.(14) Michelle Gayle - Do You Know
25.(26) Whitney Houston - Step By Step
26. (9) Mansun - Five (EP): She Makes My Nose Bleed
27.(23) Gabrielle - Walk On By
28.(25) Skunk Anansie - Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
29.(21) Amen! UK - Passion
30.(27) George Michael - Older/I Can't Make You Love Me
31.(18) Placebo - Nancy Boy
32.(28) Tori Amos - Professional Widow (It's Got To Be Big)
33.(33) Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
34.(NE) Bennet - Mum's Gone To Iceland
An unlikely signing to the heavy metal label Roadrunner, this indie band so nerdy they make Weezer look like Def Leppard. I of all people wouldn't call that a bad thing though. 
35.(34) Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina
36.(NE) Corona - Megamix
Last throw of the dice for the dance act who already seemed very 1994.
37.(20) The Orb - Toxygene
38.(NE) Alfonzo Hunter - Just The Way
Very ordinary smooth 90s RnB. Obviously not much of a crossover success.
39.(32) Newton - Sometimes When We Touch
40.(NE) Suzanne Vega - No Cheap Thrill
Making her last Top 40 hit with a song that I quite like. Though I'd probably understand the metaphors better if I knew more about card games.

41.(NE) Eat Static - Hybrid
42.(29) Blur - Beetlebum
Out of the Top 40 already in its fourth chart week.
45.(NE) Legend B - Lost In Love
46.(NE) Black Box - Native New Yorker
48.(NE) Silver Sun - Last Day
I actually bought the cassette single of this. Which wasn't a great idea in retrospect, but at least I have for the track on CD elsewhere. Fine power-pop. 
52.(NE) Tha Kid Chris - Feel Tha Vibe
53.(NE) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Into My Arms
55.(RE) Mark Owen - Child
56.(NE) Veruca Salt - Volcano Girl
57.(NE) Tiger - On The Rose
59.(NE) Edward Ball - Love Is Blue

Indie veteran Ed "not to be confused with a billiard" ball made a stab at being a pop star around this time, and with anything on Creation Records being taken seriously as a commercial prospect, he nearly made it too. 
63.(NE) Dweeb - Scooby Doo
64.(NE) Urusei Yatsura - Strategic Hamlets
68.(NE) Neneh Cherry - Feel It
Not a song I actually recall hearing at the time, but worth a mention for Michel Gondry's imaginative video.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Charting 1997: 15th February

Another week and again the previous chart-topper falls straight out of contention so it's time for another massive new entry.

01.(NE) U2 - Discotheque

Yes, possibly the biggest band in the world at the time with what was reportedly their fastest-selling single yet - though this arguably says more about the direction the singles market was going in at the time than the popularity of the song itself. I quite liked it though.
I remember a lot of publicity about them dressing as the Village People in the video. It wasn't until half-way through I realised they hadn't been doing it all along.
02. (2) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
Oh yeah, this had climbed to 2. I forgot to mention that last week.
03.(NE) Mark Owen - Clementine

Rather a surprising release from an ex-member of Take That, especially after the hideously drippy debut single 'Child'. Actually quite a good sing-along number this.
04.(NE) Depeche Mode - Barrel Of A Gun
The big comeback single after Dave Gahan's battle with addiction and brief death. Not one I was especially fond of.
05. (1) LL Cool J - Ain't Nobody
06. (5) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
07.(NE) Apollo 440 - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub
You wouldn't have thought Van Halen would have given permission for people to sample them, would you? But this does indeed feature the riff from 'Ain't Talking About Love'.
08.(13) Blueboy - Remember Me
09.(NE) Mansun - Five (EP) - She Makes My Nose Bleed
I suppose it was only a matter of time before Mansun had a Top 10 hit. Pity the first was this one, which seems (understandably) forgotten in favour of smaller hits like 'Wide Open Space'. Perhaps drugs and sadomasochistic sex are interesting for the people who are doing them but not so much for us listening to the record.
10.(NE) Eels - Novocaine For The Soul

Now this is a bit more like it, Mr E and his colleagues with a brilliantly smart-arsed reminder that alternative music back then wasn't all Britpop.
11. (3) White Town - Your Woman
12.(NE) OTT - Let Me In
Boybands covering Osmonds songs will always be with us.
13. (8) Texas - Say What You Want
14. (6) Michelle Gayle - Do You Know
15.(16) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
16.(10) Barbra Streisand And Bryan Adams - I Finally Found Someone
17.(18) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
18. (9) Placebo - Nancy Boy
19.(NE) Audioweb - Bankrobber

Their only big hit single was this slightly annoying version of the slightly annoying Clash song.
20. (4) The Orb - Toxygene
21.(15) Amen! UK - Passion
22.(NE) Korn - ADIDAS
Yeah, it's an acronym. Very clever.
23.(12) Gabrielle - Walk On By
24.(NE) Souvlaki - Inferno
Yes, it's dance with sped-up sampled vocals. These people may have heard 'I'm Alive' by Stretch & Vern.
25.(19) Skunk Anansie - Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
26.(22) Whitney Houston - Step By Step
27.(11) George Michael - Older/I Can't Make You Love Me
28.(17) Tori Amos - Professional Widow (It's Got To Be Big)
29. (7) Blur - Beetlebum
30.(NE) Dru Hill - Tell Me
This is what Sisqo did before he discovered thongs.
31.(NE) SL2 - On A Ragga Tip '97
Another common theme of late-90s charts: pointless remixes of old dance tracks. I know they still do them, but they don't chart so often now. At least the original was pretty good.
32.(NE) Newton - Sometimes When We Touch
A fireman from Stockport, if I remember correctly.
33.(23) Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
34.(21) Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina
35.(NE) Electronic - Second Nature
They didn't make many records, but they did a few rather good ones, including this. Sadly no sign of the original recording on video sites, so you'll have to enjoy Bernard Sumner's live vocals.
36.(NE) Hole In One - Life's Too Short
Every trance cliche in five minutes, in case life really is too short.
37.(NE) Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Days Of Our Livez
Singing "bum-bum" was their trademark.
38.(14) David Bowie - Little Wonder
39.(24) Nuyorican Soul ft India - Runaway
40.(27) Ginuwine - Pony

41.(NE) Public Demand - Invisible
47.(NE) Morcheeba - The Music That We Hear (Moog Island)
49.(NE) Total - Do You Think About Us
50.(NE) Jocasta - Go
Tim Arnold claims on his website that this was a Top 40 hit. It wasn't, but not far off to be fair.
51.(NE) Alibi - I'm Not To Blame
58.(NE) Donell Jones - Knocks Me Off My Feet
In case you were wondering, it is indeed a cover of the Stevie Wonder song, from the man who almost topped the chart three years later.
60.(NE) Laurent Garnier - Crispy Bacon
64.(NE) Montage - There Ain't Nothin' Like The Love

Chartin 1997: album chart 15th February

01.(NE) Texas - White On Blonde (Spotify) (Amazon)
The fourth album that finally made them stars. We'll keep seeing hits from this throughout the year, so no need to say too much about it right now.
02. (2) Original Soundtrack - Evita
03. (1) Reef - Glow
04. (3) Spice Girls - Spice
05.(RE) Placebo - Placebo (Amazon)
An album that had dropped out of the Top 200, now redistributed and revived off the back of the Nancy Boy single and touring with David Bowie.
06.(NE) David Bowie - Earthling (Spotify) (Amazon)
Yes, it's his Drum N Bass album. No, that's not as bad an idea as it sounds although it is a bit of its time now - the namecheck for Boyzone is a bit of a giveaway there.
07. (4) The Beautiful South - Blue Is The Colour
08. (5) Suede - Coming Up
09. (6) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
10. (9) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
11. (7) George Michael - Older
12.(12) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
13. (8) Celine Dion - Falling into you
14.(NE) Thunder - The Thrill of it all
15.(10) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
16.(15) Toni Braxton - Secrets
17.(NE) The Offspring - Ixnay on the hombre
Apparently there was some big lawsuit about which record company got to release this album. Epitaph seem to have lost, because they ended up doing it.
18.(13) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
19.(11) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
20.(28) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
21.(19) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
22.(20) Rod Stewart - If We Fall In Love Tonight
23.(14) Kula Shaker - K
24.(21) Robert Miles - Dreamland
25.(16) The Lightning Seeds - Dizzy Heights
26.(25) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
27.(22) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
28.(18) Daft Punk - Homework
29.(23) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
30.(NE) Paul Rodgers - Now
Who knew he'd end up with Queen?
31.(17) Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
32.(24) Fugees - The Score
33.(30) Space - Spiders
34.(27) Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley shoals
35.(31) The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
36.(35) Baby Bird - Ugly Beautiful
37.(43) Mark Owen - Green man
38.(NE) Silverchair - Freak Show
Australian grunge band. Possibly not the best time for that.
39.(26) Slade - Greatest hits feel the noize
40.(NE) Spacehog - Resident Alien
They of the slow-burning hit 'In The Meantime', but possibly better remembered now for the fact that one of them was married to Liv Tyler.

44.(NE) Curtis Mayfield - New World Order (Spotify) (Amazon)
His final album, recorded over a number of years while he was paralysed after an accident with a lighting rig. Sadly he never really recovered and died a couple of years later.
58.(RE) Sleeper - The It Girl
61.(RE) Babyface - The Day
63.(RE) Radiohead - Pablo Honey
72.(RE) Radiohead - The Bends

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Charting 1997: 8th February

It's that time of the week again (or it isn't, depending on when you read this) and we're back with a fresh chart. I've also cut down on the number of embeds in the hope that the page will load a bit faster.
Speaking of fast, Blur slip an almost unprecedented six places so there's room for a new Number One single again - but still a bit of a surprise result.

1.(NE) LL Cool J - Ain't Nobody

I mean, really, WTF? I'm not sure I even knew this record existed and suddenly it's Number One - and at a time when it was still rare for a rap single to do that. I'm not convinced even LL Cool J remembers this record, but here it is, somebody must have liked it. 
2. (5) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
3. (2) White Town - Your Woman
4.(NE) The Orb - Toxygene
Another somewhat forgotten number, the last big hit for "Dr" Alex Patterson was a rejected remix for Jean-Michel Jarre, hence the slightly altered title. 
5.(10) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
I can't remember why this returned to its peak position after a month, although I suspect the answer wouldn't be that exciting anyway.
6.(NE) Michelle Gayle - Do You Know
Return of one of the more successful pop stars to emerge from Eastenders, with more of her usual breezy if lightweight soul-pop.
7. (1) Blur - Beetlebum
8. (6) Texas - Say What You Want
9. (4) Placebo - Nancy Boy
10.(NE) Barbra Streisand And Bryan Adams - I Finally Found Someone
A duet that's every bit as subtle as you'd expect. From a film called The Mirror Has Two Faces, it says here.
11. (3) George Michael - Older/I Can't Make You Love Me
12. (7) Gabrielle - Walk On By
13. (9) Blueboy - Remember Me
14.(NE) David Bowie - Little Wonder

15.(NE) Amen! UK - Passion
A record I have a copy of and once wrote a blog post about, and I still can't remember much about it. One of many pseudonyms for dance producer Paul Masterson.
16.(11) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
17. (8) Tori Amos - Professional Widow (It's Got To Be Big)
18.(18) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
19.(13) Skunk Anansie - Hedonism (Just Because You Feel Good)
20.(NE) 808 State - Lopez

After 1996 had been a big breakthrough year for Manic Street Preachers, there was no new material from them in 1997 - but they kept their hand in with collaborations, of which this was one of the best, setting the unmistakable voice of James Dean Bradfield over brilliantly moody and sad electronic music - a sound they've attempted since but probably never bettered. Though I must admit I didn't appreciate this at the time and had pretty much forgotten it until I bought the CD single for a pound years later. Good investment.
21.(12) Madonna - Don't Cry For Me Argentina
22.(16) Whitney Houston - Step By Step
23.(15) Toni Braxton - Un-Break My Heart
24.(NE) Nuyorican Soul featuring India - Runaway
AKA Masters At Work AAKA Lil' Louis (of heavy breathing fame) and Kenny "Dope" Gonzales (of Bucketheads fame).
25.(NE) The Supernaturals - The Day Before Yesterday's Man
I still have this on a yellow 7", complete with the amusing (if NSFW) B-side 'Honk Williams'. For that matter the A-side is the uncensored original version too. Possibly their best single in my opinion.
26.(NE) Geneva - Into The Blue
Second single from the self-consciously epic indie act who might have made more of a commercial impact if they'd waited until more people had heard of Jeff Buckley. This particular track catches them in more pop-friendly, focused mood and is my favourite of theirs. Sorry guys.
27.(20) Ginuwine - Pony
28.(NE) Sub Merge - Take Me By The Hand ft Jan Johnston
Yeah, it's some sort of trance I suppose. Not exactly my scene.
29.(23) Byron Stingily - Get Up (Everybody)
30.(19) Reef - Come Back Brighter
31.(NE) Tin Tin Out - All I Wanna Do
A somewhat more credible dance sound than their later collaborations with Emma Bunton and Tony Hadley.
32.(25) The Prodigy - Breathe
33.(24) Suede - Saturday Night
34.(NE) The Candyskins - Monday Morning
Now this is more like it. Already veterans of pre-Britpop indie, and now stars of the recent documentary Anyone Can Play Guitar, they crept into the Top 40 for the first (and only) time with this brilliantly chirpy retro-pop smash. It's a great pity that I couldn't find the studio recording on YouTube, and it even seems to have been taken off Spotify since I compiled my playlist. You can probably get a secondhand copy of Shine 8 pretty cheap though. 
35.(22) Lisa Stansfield/Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - People Hold On (Bootleg Mixes)
36.(NE) Partizan - Drive Me Crazy
In a busy week for dance producers with multiple pseudonyms, here's "Tall" Paul Newman.
37.(30) Robert Miles - One And One ft Maria Nayler
38.(14) Babybird - Candy Girl
39.(NE) Donna Lewis - Without Love
The follow-up to one of the the biggest US hits by a Welsh act in the 1990s.
40.(29) Mark Morrison - Horny

45.(NE) Juno Reactor - Jungle High
48.(NE) Pavement - Stereo
Basking in some reflected glory after being cited as an influence on Blur's new sound.
59.(NE) Chrissy Ward - Right And Exact {1997 remix}
62.(NE) These Animal Men - Life Support Machine
70.(NE) KRS-One - Word Perfect

Charting 1997: Album chart 8th February

A proper new Number One this time, with an actual entry at the top. Not that much more happening though.

01.(NE) Reef - Glow (Spotify) (Amazon)
The high-water mark of the impressive start to their career. It was around this time that somebody wrote to Q to complain they'd printed a picture of Gary Stringer's hairy back, and their career was never the same after that.
Yes, this is the one with 'Place Your Hands' on it.
02. (1) Original Soundtrack - Evita
03. (2) Spice Girls - Spice
04. (3) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
05.(18) Suede - Coming Up
06. (6) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
07. (9) George Michael - Older
08. (5) Celine Dion - Falling into you
09.(20) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
10. (7) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
11.(10) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
12.(24) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
13.(14) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
14.(13) Kula Shaker - K
15.(12) Toni Braxton - Secrets
16.(11) The Lightning Seeds - Dizzy Heights
17. (4) Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
18. (8) Daft Punk - Homework
19.(15) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
20.(41) Rod Stewart - If We Fall In Love Tonight
People had obviously started their Valentine's shopping.
21.(19) Robert Miles - Dreamland
22.(17) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
23.(21) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
24.(16) Fugees - The Score
25.(23) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
26.(22) Slade - Greatest Hits Feel the Noize
27.(26) Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley Shoals
28.(33) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
29.(25) East 17 - Around The World The Journey So Far
30.(27) Space - Spiders
31.(19) The Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation
32.(28) Robson And Jerome - Take Two
33.(30) Faithless - Reverence
34.(31) Boyzone - A Different Beat
35.(34) Baby Bird - Ugly Beautiful
36.(32) Enigma - Le roi est mort vive le roi
37.(45) Seal - Seal
38.(37) Beck - Odelay
39.(40) Blur - Parklife
40.(35) Whitney Houston - The Preachers Wife

52.(NE) The Stranglers - Written In Red
Their last new album to chart in the 20th Century, from the post-Cornwell years.

54.(NE) Talk Talk - The Very Best Of (Spotify(Amazon)
Their second full-price compilation. The band probably weren't too happy about this but it gives me an excuse to embed one one of the less over-familiar tracks from the album.