Friday, September 28, 2012

Charting 1997: 4th October

Some big names this week, and even a couple of climbers. No change at the top of course.

01. (1) Elton John - Something About The Way You Look/Candle In The Wind
In percentage, or indeed nominal, terms there was a big sales decrease from the previous week, but it was still in seven figures, and demand was still at least keeping pace with supply if not outstripping it. 
02.(NE) Oasis - Stand By Me
The week's biggest new single and a big seller by most standards at 137,000, but obviously no match for Elton. Ironically, it's probably the most loved of the three singles from Be Here Now but the only one not to top the chart.
03. (2) Dario G - Sunchyme
Actually sold more this week than last, but was still overtaken by Oasis.
04.(NE) Louise - Arms Around The World
Launching her second album with her highest chart peak to date on a song where somebody's pressed the button marked "ethnic" on a synthesiser. 
05. (3) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
06.(NE) Janet Jackson - Got 'Til It's Gone ft Q-Tip And Joni Mitchell
Joni's second singles chart appearance comes via a sample of her first ('Big Yellow Taxi' of course). I always thought this record was a bit of a mess but then I've never got what the fuss was about with Janet Jackson.
07.(NE) U2 - Please
It only seems like a couple of weeks since 'Last Night On Earth', but here's the fourth single from Pop, a song about the Northern Ireland peace process. Yep, Bono's saving the world again. 
08.(NE) M People - Just For You
Another big comeback act. I actually thought this was an OK single, atypically subtle. 
09. (5) Will Smith - Men In Black
10. (4) The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
11. (9) Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
12. (8) Bellini - Samba De Janeiro
13.(NE) 2 Eivissa - Oh La La La
Dance record sampling 'Gypsy Woman'. I suppose it had to happen. 
14.(13) Sly And Robbie - Night Nurse ft Simply Red
15. (7) Blackstreet - Fix
16.(NE) No Doubt - Spiderwebs
Their third UK hit, which I'd totally forgotten about. Mind you, I don't remember hearing much of it at the time either, I think it was selling on reflected glory. It does mean that this Top 40 features alumni of both my primary and secondary schools. 
17.(10) Ricky Martin - (Un, Dos, Tres) Maria
18.(12) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
19. (6) George Michael - You Have Been Loved
20.(11) Hanson - Where's The Love
21.(16) Boyz II Men - 4 Seasons Of Loneliness
22.(NE) The Rolling Stones - Anybody Seen My Baby?
The first single from their last album of the century, Bridges To Babylon. The chorus is so similar to kd lang's 'Constant Craving' that she (and co-writer Ben Mink) get a credit and share of the royalties. It also features former Beach Boy Blondie Chaplin on backing vocals and percussion. Still not really any good though.
23.(NE) Pixies - Debaser
Reaching their highest chart position five years after they'd split (and another five or six before they reunited).  This was a belated single release of the opening track from their 1989 album Bossanova, promoting a best-of compilation. Each of the three formats lead with a different version of 'Debaser' itself - a radio mix on one CD, a live version on the other and a demo on the 7".
24.(NE) House Traffic - Every Day Of My Life
Italian house music. You kind of know what to expect.
25.(18) Mariah Carey - Honey
26.(17) All Saints - I Know Where It's At
27.(NE) Super Furry Animals - Play It Cool

I'm not making a point of embedding all the Super Furries videos, but this one is so brilliant I couldn't resist it. The track itself isn't their best to be honest, although it's re-recorded from the album version. I still bought it on 7" in a poster-bag sleeve.
28.(NE) Sleeper - She's A Good Girl
The comeback lead single from their third album which was probably expected to be a lot bigger. It's not bad - and it's certainly better than that weird soap about a female rock band that Louise Wener's had on Radio 2 this week in 2012 - but people were obviously starting to lose interest. Many of the other Britpop acts were about to find themselves in the same position. 
29.(35) Chris De Burgh - So Beautiful
Creeping into the (singles) Top 30 for only the fourth time in his career, though two of the others had made the Top 3.
30.(NE) Daft Punk - Burnin'
The point where they crossed the line from exciting dance music to sounding like a fire alarm. 
31.(19) Mark Morrison - Who's The Mack!
32.(24) Gala - Freed From Desire
33.(37) Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
Unusual for a single to climb from such a low entry in those days.
34.(NE) Mrs Wood - Joanna {1997 mix}
Remix of a Number 40 from two years earlier. She was really called Jane Rolink, I don't know whether there was a Mr Wood.
35.(34) Shola Ama - You're The One I Love
36.(20) Adam F - Circles
37.(32) DJ Quicksilver - Free
38.(30) Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
39.(31) The Sundays - Summertime
40.(14) Robbie Williams - South Of The Border

54.(NE) Rangers FC - Glasgow Rangers (Nine In A Row)
How times have changed.
58.(NE) Pierre Henry And Michel Colombier - Psyche Rock

62.(NE) T2 - You Got The Love ft Robin S
Apparently not the same song as the Candi Staton/Source one.
63.(NE) Mint Condition - Let Me Be The One
64.(NE) Black Science Orchestra Vs Lisa Stansfield - The Line/D Disco
Another remix granted her a fourth chart single of the year. 
68.(NE) Rootjoose - Long Way

Friday, September 21, 2012

Charting 1997: 27th September

01. (1) Elton John - Something About The Way You Look/Candle In The Wind
Its first full week of sales and the biggest weekly sale in UK chart history: 1,546,688.
02.(NE) Dario G - Sunchyme
As a result, this record holds the unenviable record for biggest ever losing margin by a Number 2 single; it "only" sold about 86000. I was never a fan but I can deny it made its mark - if you're trying to remember it, it's the dance track that samples 'Life In A Northern Town' by Dream Academy.
03. (5) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
04. (3) The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
05. (4) Will Smith - Men In Black
06. (2) George Michael - You Have Been Loved
07.(NE) Blackstreet - Fix
Not one I remember at all from the time, but it proves to be a soul-rock-rap crossover featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard and Slash. Despite that it's actually not bad, although one of Blackstreet keeps shouting over it annoyingly.
08.(NE) Bellini - Samba De Janeiro
Very much the era of the vaguely Latin dance track.
09.(12) Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
10. (6) Ricky Martin - (Un, Dos, Tres) Maria
11. (7) Hanson - Where's The Love
12.(11) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
13.(14) Sly And Robbie - Night Nurse ft Simply Red
Not sure why this climbed. It hadn't got any better.
14.(NE) Robbie Williams - South Of The Border
Missing the Top 10 for the first time in his solo career (and the last time until 2006) with this poor-even-by-his-standards Oasis pastiche. The title would fit neatly with the Bellini song were it not blatantly about blowjobs.
15.(NE) Blur - MOR

Also the end to a long run of Top 10s: their previous seven singles had got there and only one missed the Top 5. That's despite this being heavily re-worked from the album version - though confusingly, the video is cut to the US single version, which is different again. The original idea for the video was for the stuntmen to be wearing realistic masks of the band members, but apparently when they arrived on set they were so unconvincing they had to be covered by balaclavas, which rather ruined the concept. I still like it though. 
Though not Blur's biggest hit, it did attract attention from lawyers for David Bowie and Brian Eno, who pointed out that the composition is not entirely unlike 'Boys Keep Swinging' and resulted in a change to the writing credit.
16.(10) Boyz II Men - 4 Seasons Of Loneliness
17. (9) All Saints - I Know Where It's At
18.(16) Mariah Carey - Honey
19.(13) Mark Morrison - Who's The Mack!
20.(NE) Adam F - Circles
Alvin Stardust's son with a dance track I actually do remember from the time. It's aged pretty well, better in my opinion than all the shouty rap records he made a few years later.
21.(NE) Brownstone - Kiss And Tell
This week's forgotten RnB girlgroup hit..
22.(NE) Joe - The Love Scene
...And this week's forgotten RnB loverman hit. Ever consider a more exciting stage name?
23.(19) N-Tyce - We Come To Party
24.(20) Gala - Freed From Desire
25.(NE) Wyclef Jean - Guantanamera ft Refugee Allstars
I'm not sure whether the Refugee Allstars actually existed or were just a subtle way to remind you which band Wyclef and Lauryn Hill came from, but either way his second solo hit was a version of the Cuban song known to football fans as 'There's only one [insert name here]'.
26. (8) Portishead - All Mine
27.(25) Finley Quaye - Even After All
28.(NE) TJR - Just Gets Better ft Xavier
Another anonymous dance act, but an OK song. 
29.(NE) Genesis - Congo
Their first single since the departure of Phil Collins. The two remaining original members recruited replacement singer Ray Wilson, previously of chart-topping grunge cash-in act Stiltskin, though he wasn't granted full band membership. I presume they brought in a new drummer too, but nobody ever mentions him.
Either way, this was the only Top 40 hit by this incarnation of the act, and the album performed poorly, particularly in America (it had entered at 2 here but tailed off fast) so they called it a day. They did of course reconvene a decade later with Collins for a tour but no more new material.
30.(27) Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
31.(15) The Sundays - Summertime
32.(23) DJ Quicksilver - Free
33.(24) Cast - Live The Dream
34.(26) Shola Ama - You're The One I Love
35.(NE) Chris De Burgh - So Beautiful
His last Top 40 single, barring a guest vocal on a charity single at the back end of 2010.
36.(29) Dannii Minogue - All I Wanna Do
37.(NE) Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
One of those irritating US frat-boy hits that would make minor but persistent incursions to the UK chart around this time.
38.(28) The Notorious BIG - Mo Money Mo Problems
39.(36) Meredith Brooks - Bitch
40.(18) Jaydee - Plastic Dreams

44.(NE) Eat Static - Interceptor
46.(NE) Fluke - Squirt
48.(NE) Vicki Sue Robinson - House Of Joy
50.(NE) Mike Scott - Love Anyway
During the brief period when the only constant member of the Waterboys wasn't using the name. You can tell he wasn't keen on making videos.
55.(NE) Savage Garden - To The Moon And Back
For a while they looked like one-hit-wonders. We should have enjoyed it while it lasted.
61.(NE) JDS - Nine Ways
65.(NE) Niagra - Cloudburst

68.(NE) Freakyman - Discobug '97
69.(NE) The Adventures Of Stevie V - Dirty Ca$h {1997 remix}
Good song, poor mix. Can't remember whether there was any good reason for this.
74.(NE) China Drum - Somewhere Else

Friday, September 14, 2012

Charting 1997: 20th September

01.(NE) Elton John - Something About The Way You Look/Candle In The Wind
OK, you knew this one was coming didn't you? And I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that this went on to become the biggest-selling single of the year, and indeed of all time. The nominal A-side was the single he'd been planning to release anyway, although the original cover art would probably have seemed inappropriate now.
02.(NE) George Michael - You Have Been Loved
It's not uncommon for a single to lead the pack all week long and then be overtaken on the last day - indeed it could happen this weekend - but in no such case has a record ended up with a losing margin of over half a million. This was of course because the Elton John single was rush-released on the Saturday.
I'm sure he wouldn't have anyway, but at least in this case he can hardly complain that the Number One position was stolen away from him by external events; though this song was over a year old (as was its sometimes listed flipside 'The Strangest Thing') and the release had obviously been scheduled long in advance, a song about bereavement was well-placed to tap into the public mood after Diana's death. And of course, this was the sixth single from his Older album to make the Top 3.
03. (1) The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
04. (2) Will Smith - Men In Black
05. (2) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
06.(NE) Ricky Martin - (Un, Dos, Tres) Maria
In other news, the UK chart debut of the former Menudo singer and Spanglish superstar. It was almost another two years until 'Livin La Vida Loca' became so big as to obliterate popular memory of his earlier hits. 
07. (4) Hanson - Where's The Love
08.(NE) Portishead - All Mine
The first fully-released single from their long-awaited second album (although in retrospect, three years doesn't seem that long) became their first and only Top 10 hit. It's also their only song to have been covered by Tom Jones.
09. (6) All Saints - I Know Where It's At
10.(NE) Boyz II Men - 4 Seasons Of Loneliness
Another song mopey enough to have gained from the mood.
11. (5) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
12. (9) Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
13.(NE) Mark Morrison - Who's The Mack!
His comeback hit from the stopgap mini-album Only God Can Judge Me, which also includes interviews and prayers.
14.(NE) Sly And Robbie - Night Nurse ft Simply Red
The legendary reggae rhythm section who've played on countless hits but only had a couple in their own names. Here they and Mick Hucknall cover the old Gregory Isaacs hit to underwhelming effect.
15.(NE) The Sundays - Summertime
An act who'd kept their fans waiting even longer than Portishead's for new material, so I'd never heard of them until this single. But I liked it and bought the red vinyl 7". I later discovered the guitarist went to my school.
16. (8) Mariah Carey - Honey
17.(NE) The Chemical Brothers - Elektrobank

The third single from Dig Your Own Hole was never likely to follow the first two to the top of the charts but it falls way short here. Memorable video though.
18.(NE) Jaydee - Plastic Dreams
Not bad electronic number, though I don't especially remember it from the time.
19.(12) N-Tyce - We Come To Party
20.(13) Gala - Freed From Desire
21.(NE) Snoop Doggy Dogg - We Just Wanna Party With You ft JD
JD is famous producer Jermaine Dupri, of course.
22.(NE) Kylie Minogue - Some Kind Of Bliss
The start of the Indiekylie persona, a song with writing and production input from members of the Manic Street Preachers only five years (or one week) after they'd failed to get her onto 'Little Baby Nothing'. Unfortunately, it was for a long time her smallest ever solo hit and the album probably would have been postponed even if it didn't have the potentially controversial title Impossible Princess.
23.(11) DJ Quicksilver - Free
24. (7) Cast - Live The Dream
25.(10) Finley Quaye - Even After All
26.(15) Shola Ama - You're The One I Love
27.(18) Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
28.(NE) Marilyn Manson - Tourniquet
Following his other hit in the same vein. Ahem.
29.(19) Dannii Minogue - All I Wanna Do
30.(22) The Notorious BIG - Mo Money Mo Problems
31.(NE) Tin Tin Out - Strings For Yasmin
OK as Tin Tin Out songs go. Coincidentally, they would later have a major hit with a cover of a Sundays song
32.(14) Staxx - Joy {1997}
33.(27) Mary J Blige - Everything
34.(17) Chicane With Power Circle - Offshore '97
35.(NE) Praxis - Turn Me Out (Turn To Sugar) ft Kathy Brown
I do actually remember Mark Goodier announcing this as a new entry. More so than I remember the record, alas.
36.(28) Meredith Brooks - Bitch
37.(NE) Deni Hines - I Like The Way
This must have been when they realised the UK wasn't going to be a big market for her.
38.(24) Ginuwine - When Doves Cry
39.(32) Coolio - C U When U Get There ft 40 Thevz
40.(20) Ocean Colour Scene - Traveller's Tune

41.(NE) Dubstar - Cathedral Park
Their first single to miss the Top 40, albeit only just.
45.(NE) B-Crew - Partay Feeling ft Barbara Tucker, Ultra Nate, Dajae And Mone
52.(NE) Mr President - I Give You My Heart
My brother bought this single. Not many other people did.
55.(NE) Monaco - Shine (Someone Who Needs Me)
59.(NE) Chilli - Tic Tic Tac (Dance To Boi Bumba!) ft Carrapicho
64.(RE) Gary Barlow - So Help Me Girl
66.(NE) KRS-One - Heartbeat/A Friend/Step Into A World
70.(NE) Chevelle Franklyn - Dancehall Queen ft Beenie Man
71.(NE) Helen Love - Does Your Heart Go Boom?
Dissing fellow 1997 hitmakers Bush and Kula Shaker, but namechecking Atari Teenage Riot.
72.(NE) PJ - Happy Days
Apparently not Ant McPartlin gone solo.
75.(NE) Shades - Serenade

Friday, September 07, 2012

Charting 1997: 13th September

Interesting times for the chart this week, as the sales period officially began on Sunday the 31st of December, the day when Britain woke up to the news that Diana  Princess of Wales had died. Whatever you felt about that at the time, it had a massive impact on what songs got played on the radio this week, and the knock-on effects are visible here. 

01.(NE) The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
Of course, this one was already hotly-tipped for the top anyway, but the sombre mood abroad this week probably gave it a hand too. I loved them at the time although I never got round to buying this single.
02. (1) Will Smith - Men In Black
03. (2) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
Only falling one place on the sales chart, but more like 40 places on the airplay one (it did recover later)
04.(NE) Hanson - Where's The Love
Their second British hit, complete with a video shot here in London the day after 'Mmmbop' entered at 1. Topically, also the first record Chris Moyles played at Radio 1.
05. (6) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
There was some speculation that this might actually return to the top again. It never happened, possibly because the Verve sopped up some of that market.
06. (4) All Saints - I Know Where It's At
07.(NE) Cast - Live The Dream
Their sixth consecutive Top 10 single, with a title that became a catchphrase for Steve Lamacq, coincidentally or otherwise. One of their prettier songs but a bit inconsequential. 
08. (3) Mariah Carey - Honey
09.(11) Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
10.(NE) Finley Quaye - Even After All
A rather more likeable track than his first single, at least in retrospect.
11. (7) DJ Quicksilver - Free
12.(NE) N-Tyce - We Come To Party
Oddly-spelt girl-group klaxon!
13. (9) Gala - Freed From Desire
14.(NE) Staxx - Joy {1997 remix}
A dance track that was a Top 30 hit in 1993, now reworked to give them their only Top 20 appearance.
15.(12) Shola Ama - You're The One I Love
16.(NE) Kavana - Crazy Chance '97
And speaking of remixes... Hard not to suspect that the point of the new version was mainly to sell this to his fans again. 
17.(NE) Chicane With Power Circle - Offshore '97
A few years before mash-up hits became ubiquitous, this was a legit version of a bootleg combining Chicane's 1996 hit 'Offshore' with a vocal from Power Circle's 'A Little Love A Little Life', hence the credit. Presumably Power Circle's management couldn't persuade the label to represent their song title as well.
18.(14) Backstreet Boys - Everybody (Backstreet's Back)
19.(13) Dannii Minogue - All I Wanna Do
20. (5) Ocean Colour Scene - Traveller's Tune
21.(NE) Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
You know how everybody goes on about Led Zep not releasing singles? They tend to forget about this slightly pointless (and as it turned out, not ideally-timed) release. Presumably this was intended to promote the upcoming BBC sessions album, although this is the studio version. Either way it was probably intended to make a bigger impact after all those years.
22.(15) The Notorious BIG - Mo Money Mo Problems
23.(NE) Boris Dlugosch Presents Boom! - Hold Your Head Up High
The German producer later famous for remixing Moloko's 'Sing It Back', and apparently Mousse T was also involved. 
24.(10) Ginuwine - When Doves Cry
25.(21) Conner Reeves - My Father's Son
26.(NE) Ce Ce Peniston - Finally {1997 remix}
Apparently the 1st of September was National Release A Remix Day. Not sure this song needed it really.
27.(22) Mary J Blige - Everything
28.(19) Meredith Brooks - Bitch
29. (8) Radiohead - Karma Police
30.(NE) Echo & The Bunnymen - I Want To Be There When You Come
Underwhelming performance for the follow-up to a Top 10 comeback, but then it's not really much of a song. 
31.(NE) Roni Size/Reprazent - Heroes
Sorry the video cuts off a bit early there. First mainstream hit for the Bristol DnB producer and his band. Good soul track really, seems a bit forgotten now.
32.(23) Coolio - C U When U Get There ft 40 Thevz
33.(18) Refugee Allstars/Lauryn Hill - The Sweetest Thing
34.(NE) SWV - Someone ft Puff Daddy
Despite man of the moment Sean Combs appearing, a single that underperformed in both the UK and the US. 
35.(NE) Eels - Your Lucky Day In Hell
This probably wasn't going to follow their previous two singles into the Top 10 anyway, but it's an obvious victim of its release date. A very good song though, one of the first I ever heard by them. 
36.(16) No Mercy - Kiss You All Over
37.(27) Ultra Nate - Free
38.(17) Bentley Rhythm Ace - Bentley's Gonna Sort You Out!
39.(24) Boyzone - Picture Of You
40.(NE) 'N Sync - Tearin' Up My Heart
First sighting of Justin Timberlake in the UK chart, although 'N Sync always seemed to suffer in European markets from the fact that Backstreet Boys got here first. This did go on to become a Top 10 hit in 1999, though.

41.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - Motorcycle Emptiness {1997 re-issue}
Their biggest pre-1996 song (in sales and familiarity, if not chart position) leads the pack of a set of re-releases of all six singles from their debut album. It's a safe bet that this would have gone T40 a week earlier.
43.(NE) Nine Inch Nails - The Perfect Drug
49.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - You Love Us {1997 re-issue}
This is of course a re-release of the 1992 re-recording, which had gone Top 20, rather than the original version from the previous year.
50.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - Little Baby Nothing {1997 re-issue}
Later quoted in a Steps press release, apparently. Notable for the appearance in the video of Shampoo, whose entire chart career took place between the original release and this re-issue.
52.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - Stay Beautiful {1997 re-issue}
Had been their very first Top 40 hit in the summer of 1991. 
54.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - Slash 'N' Burn {1997 re-issue}
The only one of these releases to differ in content from the original - in 1992 this included the rare early single 'Motown Junk', which was probably a major contributor to its Top 20 placing, but that was dropped on this occasion. 
55.(NE) Manic Street Preachers - Love's Sweet Exile/Repeat {1997 re-issue}
Presumably selling worst of the six because there was only one track not already available on the album. And little casual trade for these songs, I'd imagine. 

60.(NE) Stereolab - Miss Modular
63.(NE) T-Shirt - You Sexy Thing
A big hit in Australia, apparently. One of the members was Miranda Cooper, later famous as part of the Xenomania songwriting/production collective.
64.(NE) Tilt - Places
66.(NE) Jimmy Somerville - Dark Sky
74.(NE) Arab Strap - The Girls Of Summer (EP)
[Hey! Fever; Girls Of Summer; The Beautiful Barmaids Of Dundee; One Day, After School]