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

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