Friday, May 11, 2012

Charting 1997: 17th May

The hyperactivity continues with 27 new entries and a further four re-entries in the Top 75. And even more unusually from this era, a single climbing into the Top 40.

01.(NE) Olive - You're Not Alone {1997 re-issue}

The latest new Number One single is a reissue of a track that had peaked at 42 the previous year from the dance-pop act formed (but, as you can see, not fronted) by former Simply Red member Tim Kellet. I didn't like this one much at the time but it's grown on me since. 
02. (4) The Cardigans - Lovefool {1997 re-issue}
And an unusual climber. I'm not sure whether this was the week the film came out or something like that. 
03.(NE) Damage - Wonderful Tonight
Just in case drippy wannabe RnB boybands and Eric Clapton's awful slush ballad weren't bad enough individually, here they are combined. This single's greatest claim to fame is that one of the B-sides was written by a young competition winner called Craig David, who grew into a major transatlantic star in his own right around the turn of the century.
04. (7) Shola Ama - You Might Need Somebody
Two climbers in the Top 5, which is rather extraordinary for 1997. I can't really think what would have occasioned that, other than Gary Barlow's evident collapse in sales.
05. (5) R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
06. (1) Gary Barlow - Love Won't Wait
07.(NE) North And South - I'm A Man Not A Boy
The boy-band-with-instruments who starred in their own children's sitcom No Sweat. Er, I mean it was aimed at children, it wasn't made by their children; I don't think they were really old enough yet.
08.(NE) Primal Scream - Kowalski
Perhaps the most musically extreme of the new entries in this Top 10, and only their second single to reach such heights. A major critical comeback after the trad rock of their previous album. Also the second Top 10 entry in consecutive weeks to feature an ex-member of the Stone Roses: Gary Mounfield, whose departure had finally ended the Roses, plays the distinctive bass part which dominates the track.
09.(NE) Eels - Susan's House
Another act claiming their second - and in this case last - Top 10 single. This brilliantly-observed, darkly humorous jazz/funk/slacker/indie/hip-hop/whatever track was the first Eels song I ever heard and for my money the best thing in this entire chart. The video's a bit pony though, which is why I haven't embedded it.
10. (9) DJ Quicksilver - Bellissima
11. (3) The Seahorses - Love Is The Law
12.(NE) Brownstone - 5 Miles To Empty
Comeback hit from the RnB group I struggle to remember. I don't want to sound too dismissive of this type of music but I can't dispute that little of it made an impact on me at the time, if only because  relatively little of it broke through to a mainstream audience in those days even when it sold well.
13.(50) Katrina And The Waves - Love Shine A Light
Here's the climber then, albeit not an unexplained one. For yes, the United Kingdom had won the Eurovision Song Contest the previous weekend, albeit with the help of an American singer. Thus your video linked to above is the performance on the night. I wonder whether people rushing out to buy this single could have contributed to the Cardigans and Shola Ama climbs?
14. (2) George Michael - Star People '97
Of course, the fact that this was ahead of both of them the previous week and has tumbled a dozen places won't have done them any harm either.
15.(NE) Mary J Blige - Love Is All We Need
One of her thousands of unmemorable hits.
16.(10) 911 - Bodyshakin'
17.(13) Blackstreet - Don't Leave Me
18. (6) Jamiroquai - Alright
19.(NE) CJ Bolland - The Prophet
Though I'd always been under the impression CJ Bolland was Belgian, apparently he's actually from Stockton-On-Tees. The second of only three chart hits in a prolific career, this samples dialogue from The Last Temptation of Christ.
20.(NE) Delirious? - Deeper
Speaking of Christ, this was the first major hit from the God-squad rock band who always reminded me of a less exciting version of James, somehow.
21. (8) Michael Jackson - Blood On The Dancefloor
22.(18) Republica - Drop Dead Gorgeous
23.(NE) The Space Brothers - Shine
Trance duo Ricky Simmons and Stephen Jones under one of their many aliases. This track eventually made the Top 20 in a remixed version in 2000.
24.(NE) OTT - Forever Girl
They'd lost one member since their previous hit in February. At least they'd only have had to split their tiny income from this single four ways.
25.(11) Red 5 - I Love You... Stop!
26.(NE) Suggs And Co - Blue Day ft The Chelsea Team
Preparing for the imminent FA Cup final.
27.(NE) My Life Story - sTrumpet
The only one of their six (consecutive) Top 40 singles to breach the Top 30, and in truth one of their best songs, despite Jake Shillingford's rather painful singing.
28.(NE) Sinead O'Connor - Gospel Oak EP
[This Is To Mother You; I Am Enough For Myself; Petit Poulet; 4 My Love]
Her last hit, a one-off release not obviously connected to any album.
29.(17) Robbie Williams - Old Before I Die
30.(12) Foo Fighters - Monkey Wrench
31.(20) The Course - Ready Or Not
32.(23) No Doubt - Don't Speak
33.(NE) Paul Young - I Wish You Love
Also his last hit, despite a new record contract, a new musical direction (vaguely country-rock) and new facial hair.
34.(NE) Embrace - Fireworks EP
[The Last Gas; Now You're Nobody; Blind; Fireworks]
In contrast, the first Top 40 hit for this then hotly-tipped indie band, after their limited-edition debut single 'All You Good Good People' had sold out fast. Strangely, the lead track is by far the worst, but also the only one on YouTube in its original form: the two slower tracks only seem to show up in the inferior re-recorded versions from their album.
35.(14) Ant And Dec - Falling
Deservedly so.
36.(NE) Laurie Johnson/London Big Band - Theme From 'the Professionals'
There must have been some really good reason for this single to be (re?)-released and in the chart in the 1990s, but I can't really fathom it.
37.(NE) Babybird - Cornershop
Stephen Jones (not the same one who was in the Space Brothers) pulls a fourth hit off the album, whether we like it or not.
38.(33) Sash! - Encore Une Fois
39.(24) Brainbug - Nightmare
40.(NE) Propellerheads - Spybreak!
Their first hit, probably better known for its appearance in an advert than its minor chart success.

42.(NE) Team Deep - Morning Light
45.(NE) Scooter - Fire!
52.(NE) Ca$ino - Sound Of Eden/Bad Apple
53.(RE) Blue Amazon - And Then The Rain Falls
54.(RE) Spice Girls - 2 Become 1
55.(NE) Billy Bragg - The Boy Done Good/Sugar Daddy
A new A-side co-written by Johnny Marr and a track from his album of the previous year.
64.(NE) Rebekah Ryan - Woman In Love
65.(NE) Salad - Cardboy King
67.(RE) Boyzone - Isn't It A Wonder
69.(NE) Paul Van Dyk - Forbidden Fruit
72.(RE) U2 - Discotheque
73.(NE) Rootjoose - Can't Keep Living This Way
75.(NE) Ann Nesby - Hold On

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