Friday, October 19, 2012

Charting 1997: 25th October

Well, Elton had to be deposed eventually. This of course shows one reason why compiling lists of the "Top Singles Ever" on chart performance is flawed: 'Candle In The Wind '97' was already the biggest-selling single ever but its very fast sales meant a relatively short run. 

01.(NE) Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life
So, here we go then, a sea change from the serious hand-wringing of the Elton track, a song that's self-referential and silly even by Spice standards, and is one of their least-remembered chart-toppers. Despite (or because of?) this, I rather liked it. It does sound a tiny bit like they're shouting "wanker!" in the middle eight, or so I convinced myself at the time.
02.(NE) Aqua - Barbie Girl
And speaking of frivolity... I'm struggling to remember now whether I actually like this record or merely enjoy how much it annoys some people. Either way I win.
03. (1) Elton John - Something About The Way You Look/Candle In The Wind
04. (2) Sash! - Stay ft La Trec
05. (3) Dario G - Sunchyme
06. (4) Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me
07. (5) Eternal - Angel Of Mine
08. (6) Chumbawamba - Tubthumping
09.(11) The Brand New Heavies - You've Got A Friend
Their first - and as yet only - Top 10 appearance.
10.(NE) Ash - A Life Less Ordinary
Their only hit this year, and their first with second guitarist Charlotte Hatherley, was the title song of the film that was marketed as a follow-up to Trainspotting: it's not a sequel but it has the same director and some of the same actors. Having got the commission, Tim Wheeler wisely avoided trying to actually sing the song title, but it sounds even more like he's saying "wankers" - apparently the real lyric is "put on your dress, white goddess". 
Drummer Rick McMurray was taken ill during the filming of the video, which is why you see so little of him in close-up. Luckily he had a stunt-double anyway.
11.(12) Clock - U Sexy Thing
Another small climber. Maybe Spice Girls fans really liked 70s cover versions?
12. (8) Janet Jackson - Got 'Til It's Gone ft Q-Tip And Joni Mitchell
13.(NE) Jimmy Ray - Are You Jimmy Ray?
I think he was supposed to be a sort of 90s version of Shakin' Stevens or something, although it's debatable whether the target audience would have known who Fay Wray and Link Wray were. Oddly this song had some success in America.
14. (7) Propellerheads With David Arnold - On Her Majesty's Secret Service
15.(17) Tina Moore - Never Gonna Let You Go
16.(14) Will Smith - Men In Black
17.(NE) Primal Scream - Burning Wheel
The opening track from the classic Vanishing Point album, which wins the prize for most abrupt 7" edit of the year - it just seems to start in the middle of a note. Buyers were compensated by the brilliantly funky instrumental 'Hammond Connection', possibly my favourite ever Primal Scream track.
18. (9) Lighthouse Family - Raincloud
19.(NE) Smash Mouth - Walkin' On The Sun
First hit for the US rock act who presumably were riding on the success of No Doubt (though they weren't really as ska-based). I can't remember whether the lyric "I want to buy the world a toke" was left in the UK radio edit. Either way this is a lot better than their bigger US hit 'All Star'.
20.(20) The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work
21.(15) Louise - Arms Around The World
22.(13) Oasis - Stand By Me
23.(NE) Lil' Kim - Crush On You {1997 Re-release}
Also features Lil' Cease and - for contrast - Notorious BIG. I presume this swift re-release was marketed as a tribute, though it did improve on the original peak.
24.(19) M People - Just For You
25.(NE) Jay-Z - Sunshine ft Babyface And Foxy Brown
One of his more obviously commercial tracks. Not very good, to be honest. 
26.(NE) Rolf Harris - Sun Arise {1997 re-recording}
Yes, it's a new version of the song that brought the (faked) sound of the didgeridoo to Britain in the 1960s. Believe it or not, 808 State were involved, and supplied remixes.
27.(22) 2 Eivissa - Oh La La La
28.(NE) 2K - Fuck The Millennium
The KLF at their most pointless and tiresome. Scooter's song of the same title is better. 
29.(21) Coolio - Ooh La La
30.(18) Supergrass - Late In The Day
31.(NE) Nuyorican Soul - I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun ft Jocelyn Brown
Pretty if not especially catchy track. I think they were only supposed to be a one-off project.
32.(NE) Belle And Sebastian - 3... 6... 9... Seconds Of Light
[A Century Of Fakers; Le Pastie De La Bourgeoisie; Beautiful; Put The Book Back on The Shelf]
Finally they make the Top 40! And with an EP that has no title track, as well. The lead track features the same backing track as 'A Century Of Elvis' from the previous one, but with a sung vocal instead of the spoken word. The second track is based on some graffiti that Alex Kapranos (later of Franz Ferdinand) saw written on a local branch of Greggs.
The other two songs are exclusive to the CD and 12" formats, as is the hidden bonus track 'Songs For Children'. Not bad for £1:99.
33.(23) Bellini - Samba De Janeiro
34.(16) Busta Rhymes - Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Could See
35.(27) Roachford - The Way I Feel
36.(NE) Lalo Schifrin - Bullitt
Yes, the music from the film, reissued thanks to this advert - cutting edge if controversial at the time. 
37.(10) Mansun - Seven (EP) - Closed For Business
38.(NE) Travis - Happy
The only one of their first 11 charting singles not to outpeak the one before it, fact fans.
39.(31) Sly And Robbie - Night Nurse ft Simply Red
40.(34) Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You

44.(NE) Poppers Presents Aura - Every Little Time
45.(NE) Lynden David Hall - Sexy Cinderella
48.(NE) The Supernaturals - Prepare To Land
Remixed slightly from the album version. Seemingly one single too far though.
49.(NE) Martha Wash - Carry On '97
51.(NE) De Bos - On The Run
54.(NE) Vanessa-Mae - Storm
58.(NE) The Corrs - Only When I Sleep
First single from the Talk On Corners album, which was to be one of the biggest of 1998.
60.(NE) Hardfloor - Acperience
68.(NE) Cecil - Hostage In A Frock
70.(NE) Sparks - Number One Song In Heaven {1997}
In what seems coincidentally in tune with the trends of late 2012, they did an album re-recording a load of their old songs in modernised versions. I believe Jimmy Somerville contributed to this track. 

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