Friday, June 22, 2012

Charting 1997: 28th June

A bit more action going on in the chart this week.

01.(NE) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
Rather a surprising chart-topper for me; I had no idea so many people cared about the Notorious BIG, to whom this is a tribute by his producer and widow (it also credits forgotten vocal group 112, for whom this must have paid a few bills, though not as much as Sting must have made from it). 
02.(NE) The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony

And speaking of surprises... Well, I suppose by the week of release this had become a big airplay hit and of course the video was soon to become iconic, but at the start of the year The Verve were a defunct cult band who'd split without a Top 20 single to their name. I'd bought their second album A Northern Soul during the brief time it was mid-price in 1996 (it got priced back up again after this), and little did I know that around the same time Richard Ashcroft was trying out Bernard Butler as a member of his new solo band, which was effectively the Verve minus lead guitarist Nick McCabe. Butler didn't work out and finally Ashcroft called back his former colleague: the rest was history, no pun intended. Like many people, I bought this single the week it came out so I have an original pressing with the original Jagger/Richards/Ashcroft writing credit.
03. (1) Hanson - Mmm Bop
04.(NE) Ocean Colour Scene - Hundred Mile High City
One of the few OCS songs that even people not otherwise fond of the band will admit to liking, later made famous again by Guy Ritchie. It's slightly unfortunate that it gets these slightly laddish beery associations.
05.(NE) Blur - On Your Own
And here's a band who know all about trying to avoid laddish associations. Even from the experimental Blur album, this seemed a wilful choice of third single, and it's a fair bet that it owes a lot of its chart success to the B-sides: live recordings from a performance in John Peel's garden, including a version of the then-hard-to-find non-album hit 'Popscene'. 
As you might have noticed, this is the fourth new entry in the Top 5, an unprecedented event at the time. Less than 18 months later we had a chart with five new entries in the Top 5.
06. (2) Eternal - I Wanna Be The Only One ft BeBe Winans
07. (4) Ultra Nate - Free
08.(NE) Echo & The Bunnymen - Nothing Lasts Forever
Returning after an even longer absence than the Verve, although they'd been groping towards it for a while with Ian McCulloch and Will Sergeant working together as Electrafiction. Bringing back original bassist Les Patterson (the only other surviving member of the classic line-up) made this the first quorate Bunnymen album in ten years and brought them their third Top 10 single, as well as one of the few songs by them I've ever liked. 
09.(NE) Cast - Guiding Star
These new entries are starting to look more like the tracklisting of a Shine compilation.  I realise this concept will confuse some people, but this has always been one of my least favourite Cast songs, maybe because it was their most overplayed.
10. (8) Mr President - Coco Jamboo
11.(NE) Celine Dion - Call The Man
Bit of a change from Cast here. Not one of her better-remembered hits, I think it's meant to be about God or something.
12. (3) Sarah Brightman And Andrea Bocelli - Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)
13.(NE) Wyclef Jean - We Trying To Stay Alive ft Refugee Allstars
After sampling Abba on the last Fugees single, Wyclef makes the logical follow-up move of using a Bee Gees tune. The following year, his bandmate Pras Michel had his only two solo hits with tracks written by Gibb brothers. 
14. (5) Rosie Gaines - Closer Than Close
15.(NE) Paula Cole - Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
Not a song I was ever keen on, a vaguely feminist lament from Peter Gabriel's former backing singer. 
16.(NE) Primal Scream - Star
Their second single release in as many months, a relatively gentle number about the importance of civil rights. Unfortunately, the lyric is poorly-written even by Bobby Gillespie's standards, notoriously suggesting that Rosa Parks was dead (she wasn't, at the time). 
17. (7) Az Yet - Hard To Say I'm Sorry
18.(11) Savage Garden - I Want You
19.(13) Red Hot Chili Peppers - Love Rollercoaster
20.(16) Finley Quaye - Sunday Shining
21.(NE) The Brand New Heavies - You Are The Universe
Another vaguely-empowering sounding hit from them. Well enough made. 
22.(12) The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You {1997}
23.(NE) Depeche Mode - Home
I read a review of the album in my student paper which claimed that this track featured Dave Gahan's best vocal on there. Which I wouldn't disagree with, except that the singer on this track is actually Martin Gore, who'd take the odd lead vocal here and there. Possibly for that reason, one of my favourite Depeche singles.
24. (6) The Charlatans - How High
25. (9) Foxy Brown - I'll Be ft Jay-Z
26.(19) DJ Quicksilver - Bellissima
27.(18) Olive - You're Not Alone {1997}
28.(NE) ETA - Casual Sub (Burning Spear)
Instrumental dance track which I actually quite liked, oddly. I remember listening to this while playing with Lego in my student house one evening, possibly the high point of my entire experience there. 
29.(10) Supergrass - Sun Hits The Sky
30.(24) En Vogue - Whatever
31.(20) Skunk Anansie - Brazen 'Weep'
32.(23) The Cardigans - Lovefool {1997}
33.(27) Shola Ama - You Might Need Somebody
34.(17) The Porn Kings - Amour (C'mon)
35.(15) Jon Bon Jovi - Midnight In Chelsea
36.(NE) Amen! UK - People Of Love
I've already forgotten this one. 
37.(31) Toni Braxton - I Don't Want To
38.(28) R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
39.(NE) Travis - All I Want To Do Is Rock
A reissue of their first ever single, reminiscent of Primal Scream - but the therapy, rather than the band. 
40.(26) Wet Wet Wet - Strange

43.(NE) Funky Green Dogs - The Way
49.(NE) Q-Tex - The Power Of Love '97
53.(NE) Paradise Lost - Say Just Words
58.(NE) Urusei Yatsura - Fake Fur

68.(NE) Wireless - I Need You
69.(RE) The Chemical Brothers - Block Rockin' Beats
73.(NE) React II Rhythm - Intoxication

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