Friday, March 30, 2012

Charting 1997: 4th April

And the turnover at the top continues.

01.(NE) The Chemical Brothers - Block Rockin' Beats

Supposedly one of the least airplayed Number One singles ever, but an anthem of the emerging Big Beat sound - the sort of dance music even indie fans like us could understand. The following year it won the Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance so if you agree with that category they're possibly the only act to have topped the chart with both vocal and instrumental singles. 
02. (1) Spice Girls - Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?
03. (3) No Doubt - Don't Speak
04.(NE) The Charlatans - North Country Boy
If I remember correctly, this was announced as the Number One single on the ITV Chart Show, but by Sunday evening it had been beaten by their old friends and collaborators. I doubt they felt too hard done by. I always think of this as something of a transitional single for them, and really their first since Rob Collins died; 'One To Another' had already been pressed by the time of his accident. 
I'd actually rather forgotten how brilliant a record this is, especially when the bass comes back near the end. 
05. (2) R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
06.(NE) DJ Quicksilver - Bellissima
More dance from mainland Europe. Pretty decent for what it is. 
07.(NE) Cast - Free Me
Though relatively little-mentioned now, the band led by former La's member John Power started their career with five consecutive Top 20 hits in 1995-6. And it wasn't just a flash in the pan either, with the lead single from their second album bringing them back to the Top 10. It can't be anything other than coincidence but I always thought the "So far away" middle section was reminiscent of David Bowie's 'Little Wonder' from a few weeks earlier.
08.(NE) B Real, Busta Rhymes, Coolio, LL Cool J, Method Man - Hit 'Em High (The Monstars' Anthem)
A collection of rappers score yet another hit from the Space Jam movie. It might make more sense if you knew more about basketball. 
09. (6) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
10.(NE) 3T - Gotta Be You ft Herbie
Funny thing, the career of 3T, who were of course Michael Jackson's nephews. This was their fifth Top 20 (indeed Top 11) hit in 15 months, but they haven't charted here since. The presence of rapper Herbie does suggest an attempt to appeal to a more adult audience, but it presumably didn't work. 
11.(NE) N-Trance - DISCO
One of their many remakes with additional rapping by Ricardo Da Force (of KLF fame). It aims for the same ground as their 1995 version of 'Staying Alive' but doesn't have quite the same charm. Better than Chico's version though. 
12.(NE) Livin' Joy - Where Can I Find Love
You know how DJs sometimes loop the intro of a song when they segue into it? Livin' Joy saved them the trouble by doing that on the track itself, hence my brother pointing out that it sounds like she's singing about Wigan at the start of this. Otherwise, it's another taste of the same formula they'd been using since 'Dreamer' back in 1994.
13.(NE) Reef - Consideration
As one or two critics pointed out at the time, it was so conventional for the third single from a rock album to be a slowie that even Reef felt they had to do it, despite this not seeming the most natural direction for them. 
14.(11) Wet Wet Wet - If I Never See You Again
15. (8) Boyzone - Isn't It A Wonder
16. (4) Backstreet Boys - Anywhere For You
17.(10) Gina G - Fresh
18. (5) BBE - Flash
19.(14) Fugees - Rumble In The Jungle
20.(15) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
21.(20) The Bee Gees - Alone
22.(18) Damage - Love Guaranteed
23.(21) Kula Shaker - Hush
24. (7) Madonna - Another Suitcase In Another Hall
25.(12) Tall Paul - Rock Da House
26.(17) Lisa Stansfield - The Real Thing
27.(24) Blueboy - Remember Me
28.(25) Eternal - Don't You Love Me
29.(13) Seal - Fly Like An Eagle
30.(NE) JT Playaz - Just Playin'
Second hit of the year for Mark Summers (aka Souvlaki) who now makes his living producing fake versions of samples that couldn't be cleared. 
31.(44) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
I presume this had hit the bargain bins once it fell out of the Top 40.
32.(33) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
33.(16) Whitney Houston - I Believe In You And Me
34.(NE) Silverchair - Freak
Australia's answer to Bush.
35.(26) Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?
36.(NE) Yvette Michelle - I'm Not Feeling You
Not without my permission you're not.
37.(NE) Brian Kennedy - Put The Message In The Box
Only a few weeks after singing all over Van Morrison's songs, he has a hit of his own with this cover of the World Party song. 
38.(19) Puff Daddy - Can't Nobody Hold Me Down ft Mase
39.(32) Alisha's Attic - Indestructible
40.(29) Clock - It's Over

42. (9) Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day
Notable as only the second Top 10 hit only to spend one week in the Top 40, not counting the days when the chart was only a Top 12. 
44.(NE) Horse - Careful {1997}
49.(NE) Beth Orton - Someone's Daughter
Presumably after the effort of miming the spoken parts in her previous video she refused to do any in this one.
53.(NE) Dinosaur Jr - Take A Run At The Sun
Appears only on the UK version of his/their then-current album.
54.(NE) David Devant And His Spirit Wife - Ginger
Arch performance-art act who seemed deeply annoying at the time but this actually sounds OK now. Don't call the lead singer "David".
59.(NE) Frankie Cutlass - The Cypher - Part III
60.(NE) Thunder - Love Worth Dying For
61.(NE) Clueless - Don't Speak
Yes, a dance cover of the No Doubt hit.
65.(NE) DJ's Rule - Get Into The Music ft Karen Brown
70.(NE) Spacemaid - Baby Come On
71.(RE) The Prodigy - Breathe

Charting 1997: Album chart 5th April

01. (1) Spice Girls - Spice
02.(NE) Lisa Stansfield - Lisa Stansfield
Possibly not an act you'd instantly associate with 1997, but this is jointly her highest-charting album.
03. (2) The Bee Gees - Still Waters
04. (6) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
05. (5) Manic Street Preachers - Everything must go
06. (4) U2 - Pop
07. (7) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
08. (3) Eternal - Before The Rain
09. (8) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
10.(10) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
11.(23) Reef - Glow
12.(NE) Gina G - Fresh
Yeah, this happened.
13.(11) Kula Shaker - K
14.(19) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
15.(14) Alisha's Attic - Alisha Rules The World
16.(NE) Machine Head - The More Things Change
They're still going, apparently.
17.(22) Original Soundtrack - Evita
18.(16) George Michael - Older
19.(13) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
20.(21) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
21.(12) Ocean Colour Scene - B sides seasides and freerides
22.(27) Texas - White On Blonde
23.(NE) The Notorious BIG - Life After Death
An apt title, or rather a prophetic one as he was shot a couple of weeks earlier and it must already have been in the supply chain by then. In terms of his UK chart career, perhaps the final song being called 'You're Nobody (Til Somebody Kills You)' was too. 
24. (9) Aerosmith - Nine Lives
25.(17) Robert Miles - Dreamland
26.(18) Beck - Odelay
27.(15) The Monkees - The Greatest hits
28.(20) John Denver - The Rocky mountain collection
29.(35) Blur - Blur
30.(25) Fugees - The Score
31.(28) Celine Dion - Falling into you
32.(29) Toni Braxton - Secrets
33.(34) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
34.(24) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
35.(38) Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself
36.(30) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
37.(NE) 10cc - The Very best of
38.(41) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill
39.(32) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
40.(42) Erykah Badu - Baduizm

53.(NE) Cake - Fashion Nugget
56.(NE) Clock - About Time 2
See what they've done there?
64.(NE) Nanci Griffith - Blue Roses From The Moons
68.(RE) The Beautiful South - Carry On Up The Charts The Best of
71.(NE) Hank Marvin - Hank Plays Live
73.(NE) Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - A World Without Dave (Spotify)
After a brief split in the mid-1990s, they returned on the Cooking Vinyl label, who had a policy at the time of launching acts with mini-albums. 
74.(RE) Peter Andre - Natural

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Out today: Now 36

The first Now album of 1997, collecting hits from the start of the year and a few from the end of 1996.
You can read a more thorough study over on my other blog, but here's what you got for your money.

Disc One
  1. Spice Girls 'Mama'
  2. Texas 'Say What You Want'
  3. Bee Gees 'Alone'
  4. The Beautiful South 'Don't Marry Her'
  5. No Doubt 'Don't Speak'
  6. White Town 'Your Woman'
  7. The Blueboy 'Remember Me'
  8. Jamiroquai 'Virtual Insanity'
  9. Robert Miles feat. Maria Nayler 'One and One'
  10. George Michael 'Spinning the Wheel (Forthright Edit)'
  11. Mark Morrison 'Horny'
  12. Peter Andre 'Natural
  13. Damage 'Love Guaranteed'
  14. Eternal 'Don't You Love Me'
  15. Gabrielle 'Walk on By"
  16. Kavana 'I Can Make You Feel Good'
  17. East 17 'Hey Child'
  18. Boyzone 'A Different Beat'
  19. Backstreet Boys 'Anywhere for You'
  20. 911 'The Day We Find Love'
Disc Two
  1. U2 'Discothèque'
  2. Prodigy 'Breathe'
  3. The Chemical Brothers 'Block Rockin' Beats'
  4. Placebo'Nancy Boy'
  5. Monaco 'What Do You Want from Me?'
  6. Sheryl Crow 'Everyday Is a Winding Road'
  7. Blur 'Beetlebum'
  8. James 'She's a Star'
  9. Mansun 'Wide Open Space'
  10. Cast 'Free Me'
  11. Space 'Dark Clouds'
  12. Cathy Dennis 'Waterloo Sunset'
  13. The Divine Comedy 'Everybody Knows (Except You)'
  14. Alisha's Attic 'Indestructible'
  15. Ant and Dec 'Shout'
  16. The Source feat. Candi Staton'You Got the Love'
  17. Sash! 'Encore Une Fois'
  18. DJ Quicksilver 'Bellissima'
  19. BBE 'Flash'
  20. Amen! UK 'Passion'

Friday, March 23, 2012

Charting 1997: 29th March

Quite a cinematic week, with four new entries from films in the Top 20. 

01. (1) Spice Girls - Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?

Third week at the top and the third video for this release - the non-Comic Relief version of 'Who Do You Think You Are', as released outside the UK.
02.(NE) R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
First of many hits from the big basketball/hip-hop/cartoon film Space Jam.
03. (4) No Doubt - Don't Speak
04.(NE) Backstreet Boys - Anywhere For You
One of their seemingly dozens of interchangeable ballad hits. I'd totally forgotten it existed until I had to write the blog post about it last year, and then I forgot about it again until now.
05.(NE) BBE - Flash
From the days when instrumental dance tracks could still make the Top 5. Not bad.
06. (5) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
07.(NE) Madonna - Another Suitcase In Another Hall
Her third hit from the Evita soundtrack. Barbara Dickson's version was in the chart exactly 20 years earlier too. Interestingly enough, in the original version of the musical, the song isn't sung by Evita at all, but that was changed for the film, presumably with an eye to this potential hit. 
08. (2) Boyzone - Isn't It A Wonder
09.(NE) Pet Shop Boys - A Red Letter Day
A slightly ironic title, though not necessarily intentionally on this occasion. This is actually a decent enough song but doesn't really seem exciting enough for a single. 
10. (6) Gina G - Fresh
11. (3) Wet Wet Wet - If I Never See You Again
12.(NE) Tall Paul - Rock Da House
Paul Newman (not that one) makes his first chart appearance as producer, though he still seems a bigger deal as a DJ than music maker.
13.(NE) Seal - Fly Like An Eagle
Second of the hits from Space Jam, covering the Steve Miller Band song and making it even more boring. 
14. (8) Fugees - Rumble In The Jungle
15.(12) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
16.(NE) Whitney Houston - I Believe In You And Me
Cover of an unsuccessful Four Tops single, which I might remember if I'd seen the film it was in. 
17. (9) Lisa Stansfield - The Real Thing
18. (7) Damage - Love Guaranteed
19.(NE) Puff Daddy - Can't Nobody Hold Me Down ft Mase
Sean Combs makes his first chart appearance as a performer with a song that uses the beat from 'The Message', plus some awful rapping from him, some slightly less awful rapping from Ma$e, and bit's of 'Break My Stride' by Matthew Wilder.
20.(11) The Bee Gees - Alone
21.(13) Kula Shaker - Hush
22.(NE) Sheryl Crow - Hard To Make A Stand
I never really understood why this was a single. 
23.(NE) The Beautiful South - Blackbird On The Wire

Following two Top 10 hits, this was a bit of an underperformer but I've always had a big soft spot for this one: a more reflective and possibly more emotionally genuine Beautiful South song than some of Paul Heaton's  harsher misanthropic numbers. One of his best vocals too. 
24.(16) Blueboy - Remember Me
25.(15) Eternal - Don't You Love Me
26.(18) Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?
27.(NE) Sean Maguire - Today's The Day
The former Grange Hill actor had already released two albums to minor success before he tried to do Britpop. His TOTP appearance with this song is only for the brave.
28.(NE) Fun Lovin' Criminals - King Of New York
One of those fourth singles from an album that nobody really remembers. Although their biggest hits were still to come, the schtick was already wearing a bit thin. 
29.(10) Clock - It's Over
30.(NE) Lamb - Gorecki

Their only Top 40 single, and as it turned out the CD skipped on the chart rundown so it didn't get played in full. Pity, it's actually quite good. 
31.(NE) The Braxtons - The Boss
Toni's sisters cover the Diana Ross hit.
32.(24) Alisha's Attic - Indestructible
33.(21) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
34.(14) The Divine Comedy - Everybody Knows (Except You)
35.(23) The Source - You Got The Love {1997}
36.(26) Republica - Ready To Go {1997}
37.(19) Mark Morrison - Moan And Groan
38.(22) Cake - The Distance
39.(17) Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene 8
40.(27) Ant And Dec - Shout

42.(NE) Gorky's Zygotic Mynci - Diamond Dew
A video I'd have been happy to embed here if I could find any more of it than half a minute on a Korean website. One thing I do like about this era is that outré acts like Gorky's could get signed to major labels and come close to the Top 40 (though never quite close enough, which is why they got dropped the following year). I must admit that my brother is right, they're not singing "and they play the sport of Dutchmen".
49.(NE) Kerbdog - Mexican Wave
51.(NE) Stereophonics - Local Boy In The Photograph
Their first chart hit, with a song that went on to become a much bigger hit the following year. In fact I think this is the 1998 version of the video but it'll do for now.
53.(NE) Apache Indian - Lovin' (Let Me Love You)
55.(NE) Smaller - Is ft Noel Gallagher
The band fronted by Noel Gallagher's drinking buddy Peter "Digsy" Deary, who of course has an Oasis songs named after him. Even with that endorsement and with Gallagher himself playing guitar on this track (though not in the video) the single couldn't make the Top 40, which seems to speak volumes.
58.(NE) Richie Rich And Esera Tuaolo - Stay With Me
59.(NE) Benz - If I Remember
64.(NE) Sweetback - You Will Rise
Sade minus Sade.
71.(NE) NRG - Never Lost His Hardcore
73.(NE) Dub War - Million Dollar Love

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Charting 1997: Album chart 29th March

Not the most inspiring of weeks to be honest with you.

01. (1) Spice Girls - Spice
02. (2) The Bee Gees - Still Waters
03.(NE) Eternal - Before The Rain
See, this largely forgotten girl-group effort is the highest new entry. Their third album, for the record.
04. (3) U2 - Pop
05. (5) Manic Street Preachers - Everything must go
06. (8) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
07. (6) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
08. (9) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
09. (4) Aerosmith - Nine Lives
10.(14) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
11.(10) Kula Shaker - K
12. (7) Ocean Colour Scene - B sides seasides and freerides
13.(12) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
14.(29) Alisha's Attic - Alisha Rules The World
15.(21) The Monkees - The Greatest hits
16.(13) George Michael - Older
17.(11) Robert Miles - Dreamland
18.(17) Beck - Odelay
19.(15) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
20.(19) John Denver - The Rocky mountain collection
21.(28) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
22.(18) Original Soundtrack - Evita
23.(34) Reef - Glow
24.(20) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
25.(25) Fugees - The Score
26.(16) Van Morrison - The Healing game
27.(27) Texas - White On Blonde
28.(22) Celine Dion - Falling into you
29.(24) Toni Braxton - Secrets
30.(23) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
31.(NE) Live - Secret Samadhi
Entered the US chart at 1, but not as big a deal over here.
32.(31) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
33.(NE) Mary Black - Shine
The Irish folk-rock singer who seems to sell mainly to the diaspora over here. This album is notable for including five covers of songs by David Gray (including the title cut), a couple of years before he was famous even in Ireland.
34.(39) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
35.(35) Blur - Blur
36.(26) Elkie Brooks - The Very Best of Elkie Brooks 1997
37.(RE) The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
Two of the ex-members were of course about to emerge.
38.(37) Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself
39.(30) Eels - Beautiful Freak
40.(46) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?

46.(NE) Queensryche - Hear In The Now Forever
52.(NE) Death In Vegas - Dead Elvis
Debut album from Richard Fearless (not his real name) and then-collaborator Tim Holmes. Paved the ground for the massive acclaim and relative commercial success of The Contino Sessions in 1999.
62.(RE) Radiohead - Pablo Honey
68.(RE) Spearhead - Chocolate Supa Highway
70.(RE) The Commitments - The Commitments (OST)
72.(NE) Gladys Knight & The Pips - The Singles Album

Friday, March 16, 2012

Charting 1997: 22nd March

01. (1) Spice Girls - Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?

Last week I treated you to the Mother's Day side of the single. This sales week included Comic Relief night, and so it's the ideal time to mention the other side of the single, which was the official song of the appeal, another reason they were able to score a fourth Number One single from an already massive album. Seeing the Comic Relief version of the video, it's also noticeable that this early in their career, their individual images were already fixed enough in the public consciousness for this sort of parody to work.
02.(NE) Boyzone - Isn't It A Wonder

Another act with seemingly unstoppable singles chart success - this was the eighth of sixteen singles in their original career and every single one of them went Top 5. It's fair to say that neither they as people nor most of the songs made the same kind of cultural impact as the Spices: this song isn't that bad, but I doubt many people who don't own the record have heard it since about 1998. 
03.(NE) Wet Wet Wet - If I Never See You Again
And another for the forgotten Top 3 hits club. This was actually the last time the Wets reached such a high position before the wheels started to come off their career later in the year. If you don't remember this song, just try and remember one of their other slow ones, to be honest. 
04. (2) No Doubt - Don't Speak
05. (4) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
06.(NE) Gina G - Fresh
Third hit for the Eurovision non-winner. Seems odd in retrospect.
07.(NE) Damage - Love Guaranteed
It's a good job I remember 1997, because hardly any of these songs seem to have been treated well by posterity. From the band who always seemed to fall between the stools of boyband and serious RnB act.
08. (3) Fugees - Rumble In The Jungle
09.(NE) Lisa Stansfield - The Real Thing
Her first solo hit of the year though of course we'd already heard her on the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels single. I quite liked this one although it's not earth-shattering. 
10.(NE) Clock - It's Over
Even I didn't remember this track. Another hit from the Eurodance act best known for their cover versions. This isn't the Level 42 or Roy Orbison numbers though, it's an original which contains the classic rhyme, "Too many times you made the blunder by telling me you'd be with me through rain and thunder."
11. (5) The Bee Gees - Alone
12. (9) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
13. (6) Kula Shaker - Hush
14.(NE) The Divine Comedy - Everybody Knows (Except You)

Neil Hannon and his ill-advised facial hair make their first singles chart appearance of the year with a romantic number that walks the tightrope between novelty and lovelorn balladry.
15. (8) Eternal - Don't You Love Me
16.(13) Blueboy - Remember Me
17.(NE) Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene 8
Unlike some people at least he admitted he was just recycling the same tune. 
18.(11) Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?
19. (7) Mark Morrison - Moan And Groan
20.(NE) INXS - Elegantly Wasted
Some people claimed at the time that it sounded like they were singing "better than Oasis" on the chorus, in recognition of the band who seemed to have taken over their mantle as loveable rock bad-boys. 
21.(15) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
22.(NE) Cake - The Distance
Irritating novelty hit by irritating US college rockers. Apparently still going.
23.(14) The Source - You Got The Love {1997}
24.(12) Alisha's Attic - Indestructible
25.(NE) Symposium - Farewell To Twilight
You don't hear much about Bratpop these days but for a while circa 97 it was the next big thing in the music press. Symposium were one of the acts who did manage a few hits but could never quite cross over the barrier into the Top 20, despite a famously devoted fanbase. Some of them later became Hell Is For Heroes. 
26.(17) Republica - Ready To Go {1997}
27.(10) Ant And Dec - Shout
28.(16) Peter Andre - Natural
29.(18) Robin S - Show Me Love '97
30.(23) Babyface - Every Time I Close My Eyes
31.(22) Foxy Brown - Get Me Home ft Blackstreet
32.(NE) Fountains Of Wayne - Radiation Vibe
A decent week for power-pop here, from the people who brought you 'That Thing You Do!' a couple of weeks ago. Surprising in retrospect that they had a hit here so early and yet struggled to follow that success for a long time afterwards.
33.(30) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
34.(25) DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat
35.(19) Dodgy - Found You
36.(NE) Zee - Say My Name
Big house-diva stuff. OK for what it is.
37.(NE) Photek - Ni-Ten-Ichi-Ryu
And a very different kind of dance from drum-n-bass Wunderkind Rupert Parkes. His only Top 40 hit, as it turned out, but he was doing well even to manage one with a less-than radio-friendly track (and title).
38.(21) The Sneaker Pimps - Spin Spin Sugar
39.(24) Beck - The New Pollution
40.(44) Dunblane - Knockin' On Heaven's Door/Throw These Guns Away
It had been in the Top 75 constantly since release in December 1996, but this was only its fourth (and last) Top 40 week, as March 1997 coincided with the anniversary of the massacre. Famously, the first time Bob Dylan had allowed his lyrics to be re-written. 

43.(NE) Roger Sanchez Presents Transatlantic Soul - Release Yo'self
49.(NE) Agent Provocateur - Agent Dan
53.(NE) Grass-Show - 1962
From what you might call the Swedish wing of Britpop, an impressively effervescent number that'd be a singalong classic if anyone other than me remembered it. 
57.(NE) ABC - Stranger Things
Last chart appearance from Martin Fry and whoever else was in the band by then. 
60.(NE) Ice Cube - The World Is Mine
61.(NE) Yazz - Never Can Say Goodbye
62.(NE) Eric Benet - Spiritual Thang
64.(NE) Gold Blade - Strictly Hardcore
74.(NE) Angelheart - I'm Still Waiting ft Aletia Bourne

Charting 1997: Albums 22nd March

The run of new Number Ones finally abates, with a return from the biggest stars of the year. Much of the rest seems aimed at the Mother's Day market.

01. (2) Spice Girls - Spice
02.(NE) The Bee Gees - Still Waters (Spotify)
See what I mean? Their umpeeenth studio album and their last of the 1990s.
03. (1) U2 - Pop
04.(NE) Aerosmith - Nine Lives
I suppose I should say something catty about this.
05. (3) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
06. (5) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
07. (4) Ocean Colour Scene - B sides seasides and freerides
08.(12) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
09. (6) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
10.(11) Kula Shaker - K
11. (8) Robert Miles - Dreamland
12.(14) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
13. (9) George Michael - Older
14.(13) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
15.(16) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
16.(10) Van Morrison - The Healing Game
17.(19) Beck - Odelay
18. (7) Original Soundtrack - Evita
19.(NE) John Denver - The Rocky Mountain Collection
As it turned out, the last release of his lifetime.
20.(24) Crowded House - Recurring Dream - The Very Best of
21.(NE) The Monkees - The Greatest Hits
RIP Davy Jones. Now we know that 1997 was the last time all four originals toured together (they made a new album too but that didn't chart). I can't remember precisely what was on this one, but I presume it covered most of the same ground as the other Monkees compilations.

22.(18) Celine Dion - Falling into you
23.(15) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
24.(23) Toni Braxton - Secrets
25.(21) Fugees - The Score
26.(23) Elkie Brooks - The Very Best of Elkie Brooks 1997
27.(20) Texas - White On Blonde
28.(27) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
29.(51) Alisha's Attic - Alisha Rules The World
30.(17) Eels - Beautiful Freak
31.(32) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
32.(34) Hypnosis - Voices Of Tranquility Vol 2
33.(31) Republica - Republica
34.(37) Reef - Glow
35.(29) Blur - Blur
36.(NE) My Life Story - The Golden Mile
Famously acclaimed by a now-defunct music magazine as the worst album ever made. It's not that bad but neither is it as good as Jake Shillingford sounds like he thinks it is. Ironically, I bought my copy in a sale months later in the same transaction as the best album ever made. 
Here's their most popular song, even if it does shortchange you slightly:

37.(48) Fun Lovin' Criminals - Come Find Yourself
38.(28) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
39.(40) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
40.(26) James - Whiplash

47.(RE) Queen - Made In Heaven
Apparently there was a big special offer on EMI catalogue albums, hence the re-entries in the last couple of weeks. 
63.(NE) John Lee Hooker - Don't look back
The last new recordings of his lifetime, produced by Van Morrison. Indeed the title track of Van's Healing Game album (see further up this chart) is also on this album.
65.(RE) The Divine Comedy - A Short Album About Love
Like My Life Story, only with good singing.
67.(RE) Queen - Greatest Hits
71.(RE) Babyface - The Day
72.(RE) The Beatles - With The Beatles
Their second album, which is the one with 'All My Loving' and George Harrison's first song 'Don't Bother Me'. The CD version on sale at the time was mono, the current one stereo, but t's debatable which is better.
74.(RE) Dodgy - Free Peace Sweet
The last album by the original line-up until a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Charting 1997: Album chart 15th March

01.(NE) U2 - Pop(Spotify)
The last album of their experimental phase, before they embarked on trying very hard to sound like U2 at the turn of the century. They admit that this album was rushed to fit in with a planned tour and it seems a bit written out of their history. Not that this apparent dissatisfaction stopped them releasing singles from it at the time, but they all seem to appear in reworked versions on later compilations.
02. (1) Spice Girls - Spice
03. (2) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
04.(NE) Ocean Colour Scene - B-sides Seasides and Freerides
Actually, it's just B-sides really. But in those days of multi-format releases, the offcuts from one album easily yielded enough material for a full album, which catches them in a more relaxed mood than the A-sides. I loved this at the time and still like some of it now, including the opener 'Huckleberry Grove' which has one of the best trombone solos ever on a B-side.
05. (3) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
06.(30) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
07.(14) Original Soundtrack - Evita
08.(11) Robert Miles - Dreamland
09. (8) George Michael - Older
10.(NE) Van Morrison - The Healing Game
One of his 90s albums where Brian Kennedy repeats everything Van sings. Don't know about you but I like him even less than I like Van himself.
11.(10) Kula Shaker - K
12. (7) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
13.(15) The Beautiful South - Blue Is The Colour
14.(12) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
15. (4) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
16. (6) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
17. (5) Eels - Beautiful Freak
18.(22) Celine Dion - Falling into you
19.(29) Beck - Odelay
20.(16) Texas - White On Blonde
21.(18) Fugees - The Score
22.(NE) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - The Boatman's Call (Spotify)
Released after a relative commercial breakthrough, this is a relatively sombre and reflective collection, with the famous opening lyric "I don't believe in an interventionist God." As with Van Morrison, I've never been interested enough in Cave to bother listening to one of his albums.
23.(NE) Elkie Brooks - The Very Best of Elkie Brooks 1997
24.(31) Crowded House - Recurring Dream: The Very Best of
25.(24) Toni Braxton - Secrets
26. (9) James - Whiplash
27.(21) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
28.(25) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
29.(17) Blur - Blur
30.(NE) Ben Folds Five - Whatever And Ever Amen (Spotify)
Another big favourite of mine at the time and just in time for my birthday. Easily the best work in Folds' long career with a good balance between well-observed serious lyrics and the more humorous songs he's better known for. Unsurprisingly, some students have made videos for the album tracks, but it's nice to see some ducks in this one:

Incidentally, buying this album the week it came out means I have an original pressing with some studio dialogue between tracks and a hidden track at the end. Apparently that was all dropped from later copies.;
31.(NE) Republica - Republica
A whole album of Essex techno-rock. It was the mid 1990s alright.
32.(26) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
33.(42) Simply Red - Greatest Hits
34.(NE) Hypnosis - Voices Of Tranquility Vol 2
35.(23) Space - Spiders
36.(20) Warren G - Take A Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality)
37.(27) Reef - Glow
38.(32) Adiemus - Adiemus II Cantata Mundi
39.(13) 911 - The Journey
40.(39) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack

49.(NE) Celine Dion - C'est Pour Vivre
A collection of early French-language recordings.
60.(RE) Tina Turner - Simply The Best
61.(RE) Robson And Jerome - Take Two
62.(NE) Apollo Four Forty - Electro Glide In Blue (Spotify)
Not a band I'd generally have much time for, but this does feature one of the last performances by the late Billy MacKenzie, who'd died a couple of months earlier. It also features a track that became rather better known a few months later.
68.(RE) Queen - Greatest Hits II
69.(NE) Anthony Way - Wings Of A Dove
Reality TV has been around a bit longer than people remember.
70.(RE) Massive Attack - Blue Lines
72.(37) Gene - Drawn To The Deep End
One of favourite albums lives down to its title, in its third and last chart week.
75.(NE) Entombed - To Ride Shoot Straight And Speak The Truth

Friday, March 09, 2012

Charting 1997: 15th March

Hope you didn't get too comfortable with No Doubt at the top for three weeks - it had to end when they ran into the juggernaut that was the Spice Girls.

01.(NE) Spice Girls - Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?

The fourth Number One off the album, complete with in-no-way-cynically-timed lead track 'Mama' just before Mother's Day. 
02. (1) No Doubt - Don't Speak
03.(NE) Fugees - Rumble In The Jungle
Nobody knew it then, but this proved to be their last single before they splintered into solo projects - a reunion in the 2000s produced little or no new material. Not an album track, it came from a documentary film about boxing and is also one of the few hits to use an Abba sample (from 'Name Of The Game').
04. (4) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
05. (5) The Bee Gees - Alone
06. (2) Kula Shaker - Hush
07.(NE) Mark Morrison - Moan And Groan
Although largely remembered for the one song nowadays, he was briefly a bigger star than posterity would suggest, this being his fifth (and last) consecutive Top 10 single. If you like RnB loverman posturing, you might enjoy this. 
08. (3) Eternal - Don't You Love Me
09. (7) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
10.(NE) Ant And Dec - Shout
From their Britpop phase, and with a hint of 'Walk On The Wild Side'. Presumably you're not supposed to like this but I think it's brilliant.
11.(NE) Monaco - What Do You Want From Me?
Debut hit in this combination, though both David Potts and Peter Hook had been in the uncharted act Revenge. Hook was also in a couple of other bands which may have given this more initial attention than it'd otherwise get, but this is a decent pop record under his guttural vocal. 
12.(NE) Alisha's Attic - Indestructible
Another hit for the duo who knew how to make that Number 12 position their own. Not one of the songs people know them for now, I suspect. 
13.(10) Blueboy - Remember Me
14. (8) The Source - You Got The Love {1997 remix}
15.(12) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
16. (6) Peter Andre - Natural
17.(15) Republica - Ready To Go {1997 reissue}
18. (9) Robin S - Show Me Love '97
19.(NE) Dodgy - Found You
Another act enjoying the fourth hit from their album, albeit not quite as big as the Spice Girls. I rather liked it but it is arguably more album track material. 
20.(NE) 3 Colours Red - Sixty Mile Smile
Their second hit of the year, from the days when people seemed determined to buy anything on Creation until new Oasis material arrived.
21.(NE) The Sneaker Pimps - Spin Spin Sugar
A remix of this was a massive club hit, and got its own release the following year. 
22.(11) Foxy Brown - Get Me Home ft Blackstreet
23.(13) Babyface - Every Time I Close My Eyes
24.(14) Beck - The New Pollution
25.(17) DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat
26.(16) Bush - Swallowed
27.(21) Cathy Dennis - Waterloo Sunset
28.(20) Warren G - I Shot The Sheriff
29.(NE) Live - Lakini's Juice
You know how everyone says grunge disappeared in 1994? Not from the American MTV it didn't. 
30.(27) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
31.(NE) Qattara - Come With Me
If I'd realised just how many dance tracks spent one week in the Top 40 in 199, I might have formatted this a bit differently. 
32.(22) Aerosmith - Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
33.(18) JX - Close To Your Heart
34.(25) Daft Punk - Da Funk/Musique
35.(19) Prince - The Holy River
36.(26) 911 - The Day We Find Love
37.(31) Texas - Say What You Want
38.(24) Ultimate Kaos - Casanova
39.(28) U2 - Discotheque
40.(29) Apollo 440 - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub

41.(NE) Olive - Miracle
45.(NE) Spearhead - Why Oh Why
46.(NE) Bis - Sweet Shop Avengerz
56.(NE) dEUS - Roses
I used to have this on a free cassette from Select magazine. It's grown on me a bit since then. 
58.(RE) Celine Dion - All By Myself
59.(NE) 18 Wheeler - Stay
I'm pretty sure this was on that same cassette. The only Top 75 single from another Creation act, who are more famous for Tony Blair getting their name wrong than anything they did musically. Maybe nobody needed  a techno version of Teenage Fanclub. 
62.(RE) Boyzone - A Different Beat
67.(NE) Scotti Deep - Brooklyn Beats
69.(NE) Zero VU - Feels So Good ft Lorna B
70.(NE) Shawn Colvin - Get Out Of This House
74.(RE) Peter Andre - I Feel You

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Charting 1997: Album chart 8th March

Something like normal service resumes, and a strong dose of the Brits Effect, perhaps most obvious in the top two positions. Also several re-entries from classic Beatles albums; I presume there was a reason for that but I can't remember why now. 

01. (3) Spice Girls - Spice
02.(24) Manic Street Preachers - Everything Must Go
03. (9) Lighthouse Family - Ocean Drive
04. (1) Mansun - Attack of the Grey Lantern
05.(RE) Eels - Beautiful Freak (Spotify)
A minor chart success on its original "soft" UK release earlier in the year: before that it had done relatively well on import, and I remember Stuart Maconie playing various tracks on his short-lived Radio Album Show back in 1996. Now it got full distribution on the back of the 'Novocaine For The Soul' single and brought E his highest ever UK chart position - meanwhile it never made the Top 100 in the US.
Whilst personally I think Eels went on to make better records, this is certainly one of the debuts of the year. And one of my Dad's favourites too, oddly enough.
Exactly a year later, Eels won their own Brit Award.

06. (2) The Smurfs - The Smurfs Hits 97 Vol 1
07. (5) No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom
08.(21) George Michael - Older
09.(NE) James - Whiplash (Spotify)
Highest genuine new entry of the week from the indie veterans. The title proved unfortunately apt when Tim Booth injured his neck during a concert in the US a few months later. At least they had the sense of humour to call the next album Millionaires.
10.(20) Kula Shaker - K
11.(29) Robert Miles - Dreamland
12.(19) Jamiroquai - Travelling Without Moving
13.(NE) 911 - The Journey
A common sight in charity shops. So far I've managed to resist the temptation.
14. (7) Original Soundtrack - Evita
15.(10) The Beautiful South - Blue is the colour
16. (6) Texas - White On Blonde
17. (4) Blur - Blur
18.(36) Fugees - The Score
19.(NE) The Orb - Orblivion
Their last studio album to bother the Top 75 until a collaboration with Dave Gilmour in 2010. Apparently it was in the can for almost a year before the record company could be bothered to release it.
20.(NE) Warren G - Take A Look Over Your Shoulder (Reality)
The second album that seemed to guarantee nobody would ever take him seriously again.
The best track is of course 'Reel Tight Intro'.

21.(33) Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow
22.(17) Celine Dion - Falling into you
23.(14) Space - Spiders
24.(18) Toni Braxton - Secrets
25.(27) Gabrielle - Gabrielle
26.(16) Skunk Anansie - Stoosh
27.(12) Reef - Glow
28.(28) Bush - Razorblade Suitcase
29.(52) Beck - Odelay
30.(58) The Bee Gees - The Very Best Of
31.(34) Crowded House - Recurring Dream: The Very Best of
32.(15) Adiemus - Adiemus II Cantata Mundi
33.(13) Backstreet Boys - Backstreet Boys
34.(25) Ocean Colour Scene - Moseley shoals
35.(30) Oasis - (What's The Story) Morning Glory?
36.(11) Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene 7-13
37. (8) Gene - Drawn To The Deep End
38.(23) LL Cool J - All world
39.(63) Mark Morrison - Return of the Mack
40.(31) Alanis Morissette - Jagged Little Pill

43.(NE) Suzanne Vega - Nine Objects Of Desire (Spotify) (Amazon)
A twelve-track album, despite the title, and part of her collaboration with Mitchell Froom which had by this point extended to marriage and parenthood. The former didn't last but the latter inspired one of the least sick-making songs of its type in 'World Before Columbus'.
54.(RE) Radiohead - The Bends
56.(RE) The Beatles - Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
58.(RE) The Beatles - Abbey Road
62.(NE) QFX - Alien Child
64.(RE) The Beatles - Revolver
72.(RE) Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
73.(RE) The Beatles - Rubber Soul

Friday, March 02, 2012

Charting 1997: 8th March

A third week on top for No Doubt here, still selling more than any of the previous chart-toppers of the year had managed.

01. (1) No Doubt - Don't Speak
02.(NE) Kula Shaker - Hush

The most obvious beneficiaries of the old record company habit of releasing a single in Brits week. With a brand new track (albeit not an original composition) they must have fancied their chances of the Number One but in the end they were no match for No Doubt's sales and ended up with their second appearance as runner-up. Things would never be this big again for them though, not least because of an ill-advised joke during promotional interviews for this single in which Crispian Mills suggested using giant flaming swastikas on stage.
03.(NE) Eternal - Don't You Love Me
Their first Top 3 hit.
04. (2) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
05. (5) The Bee Gees - Alone
06.(NE) Peter Andre - Natural
Part of his run of six consecutive Top 10s, though how many people remember the ones after 'Mysterious Girl' is open to question.
07. (4) No Mercy - Where Do You Go
08. (3) The Source - You Got The Love {1997}
09.(NE) Robin S - Show Me Love '97
It's 1997 so there must be a pointless remix of an old dance track, right? If you don't know this song from its many chart runs, you might have had the misfortune to hear Jason DeRulo sample it in 2011.
10. (9) Blueboy - Remember Me
11.(NE) Foxy Brown - Get Me Home ft Blackstreet
Her first UK hit with lead credit. Samples 'Gotta Get You Home Tonight' by Eugene Wilde.
12. (6) En Vogue - Don't Let Go (Love)
13.(NE) Babyface - Every Time I Close My Eyes
...It's because I'm listening to this dull music? 
14.(NE) Beck! - The New Pollution

Now this is more like it. For all his prominence and acclaim, Beck has only ever had two Top 20 singles in the UK, and this is the higher-peaking of them, albeit only by one place. This is the song that did a lot to allay my previous suspicion that he couldn't match up to the hype, and eventually persuaded me to buy the Odelay album. Sadly, he was never this much fun again either.
PS - Apologies for the rather creepy screenshot on that embed. 
15.(13) Republica - Ready To Go
16. (7) Bush - Swallowed
17.(12) DJ Kool - Let Me Clear My Throat
18.(NE) JX - Close To Your Heart
Yeah, who knew he was still going this late on? Turns out he had yet another hit exactly seven years later too, but I don't remember that one. 
19.(NE) Prince - The Holy River
Obviously, not actually calling himself Prince at the time. He had actually performed at the Brits, but not this song. 
20. (8) Warren G - I Shot The Sheriff
21.(11) Cathy Dennis - Waterloo Sunset
22.(NE) Aerosmith - Falling In Love (Is Hard On The Knees)
You'd think a lot of things would be hard on Steven Tyler's knees at his age. He was actually only 48 at the time but he already looked a lot older. Mind you the tediousness of yet another vaguely rude-sounding Aerosmith anthem would have that effect on anyone. 
23.(NE) Erasure - Don't Say Your Love Is Killing Me
OK then, I won't.
24.(NE) Ultimate Kaos - Casanova
The band who made Des Lynam say "Hoochie Booty" return two years on with a cover of the Levert hit. Somebody must have thought that was a good idea. 
25.(14) Daft Punk - Da Funk/Musique
26.(10) 911 - The Day We Find Love
27.(24) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
28.(15) U2 - Discotheque
29.(18) Apollo 440 - Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Dub
30.(17) James - She's A Star
31.(28) Texas - Say What You Want
32.(22) Backstreet Boys - Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)
33.(26) Ben Folds Five - Battle Of Who Could Care Less
34.(19) Mark Owen - Clementine
35.(20) LL Cool J - Ain't Nobody
36.(23) White Town - Your Woman
37.(16) OTT - Let Me In
38.(NE) Armand Van Helden - The Funk Phenomena
From the record contract he got off the back of the Tori Amos remix. They may have been expecting something a bit more popular than this. 
39.(34) Barbra Streisand And Bryan Adams - I Finally Found Someone
40.(29) Eels - Novocaine For The Soul

42.(NE) Section X - Atlantis
51.(NE) Energy 52 - Cafe Del Mar
A bigger hit in 1998.
52.(NE) De La Soul - 4 More ft Zhane
53.(NE) Sharkey - Revolutions EP
[Revolution Part One; Revolution Part Two; Revolution Part Two remix]
60.(NE) Feeder - Tangerine
Their first Top 75 hit. Apparently it really is about a citrus fruit. 
61.(NE) The Carter Twins - Twelfth Of Never/Too Right To Be Wrong
63.(NE) Mombassa - Cry Freedom '97
66.(NE) Sybil - When I'm Good And Ready {1997 remix}