Friday, December 21, 2012

Charting 1997: 27th December

So here it is, the big Christmas chart that everybody had been waiting for. Thanks go to Gezza76 at the Buzzjack forum for supplying some sales information for this post. 

01.(NE) Spice Girls - Too Much
In a way we've come full circle, as the year started with the Spices' first Christmas Number One single and now we get their second, also featured in their film Spiceworld. Sold 252000 this week. It's kind of the end of their absolute peak: it was of course their sixth consecutive chart-topper, an unprecedented start to a career but a run broken by their next hit, 'Stop'. Even though four of them went on to enjoy a third consecutive Christmas Number One that year, a record matched only by the Beatles, they'd never be quite this big again. There are (now) six million-selling singles in this chart, but this isn't one of them. 
02. (1) Teletubbies - Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!
Sold 203000, giving the Spice Girls more of a run for their money than they'd had in 1996 when they won by miles. 
03. (2) Various Artists - Perfect Day
Sold "only" 132000.
04. (4) All Saints - Never Ever
05. (6) Janet Jackson - Together Again
06. (3) Aqua - Barbie Girl
All the Top 6 sold into six figures this week.
07. (5) Robbie Williams - Angels
08. (8) Natalie Imbruglia - Torn
09. (7) Boyzone - Baby Can I Hold You/Shooting Star
10.(NE) Mase - Feel So Good
Here's the odd one out in the Top 10! The first solo single from the Puff Daddy protege (who had of course already guested on hits by Puffy). The chorus is based on 'Bad Boy' by Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine; Bad Boy was of course also the name of Puffy's record label on which this was released. Sales this week: 53000.
11.(10) Elton John - Something About The Way You Look/Candle In The Wind
12. (9) Steven Houghton - Wind Beneath My Wings
13.(13) Barbra Streisand And Celine Dion - Tell Him
14.(RE) Vanilla - No Way No Way
Just when you thought it was safe! They appeared on the first Top Of The Pops of 1998,(on their way down the chart, I guess they were short of acts just after Christmas) although they had to cut the spoken section because I suppose it was too hard to mime.
15.(NE) Chicken Shed - I Am In Love With The World
A hot tip that was getting odds as high as 4-1 from bookies at the start of the month, this came from the theatre company of which Diana had been a patron during her lifetime. It seems like a combination of John Lennon and St Winifred's in a Christmas chart battle, but for once people shopped with their ears instead of their hearts and a reported 250000 shipment only spawned about 34000 sales this week. The company continues to do good work but has thankfully steered clear of the singles chart since.
16.(11) Celine Dion - The Reason
17.(14) Lutricia McNeal - Ain't That Just The Way
18.(16) Reds United - Sing Up For The Champions!
19.(15) Five - Slam Dunk (Da Funk)
20.(20) Steps - 5, 6, 7, 8
21.(23) Louise - Let's Go Round Again
22.(22) Sheryl Crow - Tomorrow Never Dies
23.(25) Backstreet Boys - As Long As You Love Me
24.(27) Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing {1997}
25.(NE) Paul McCartney - Beautiful Night
Twenty years earlier he'd had the Christmas chart-topper as a member of Wings and thirty years back he'd done so as one of the aforementioned Beatles ('Hello Goodbye' was their fourth and last, a still unbeaten tally by any act). He wasn't a major contender with this third single from Flaming Pie, though with hindsight it's a pretty decent song. Features Ringo Starr on drums. 
26.(28) The Seahorses - You Can Talk To Me
27.(29) The Verve - Lucky Man
28.(31) The PF Project - Choose Life ft Ewan McGregor
29.(18) Bryan Adams - Back To You
30.(19) Propellerheads And Shirley Bassey - History Repeating
31.(30) Gala - Let A Boy Cry
32.(NE) Rakim - Guess Who's Back
There's a bit of a clue in the question, isn't there? The vocal half of Eric B. & Rakim officially became a solo artist this year after a five-year hiatus, although this single was barely noticed in the Christmas rush. I don't know what he's up to now.
33.(12) U2 - If God Will Send His Angels
34.(17) Sting And The Police - Roxanne '97
35.(24) Levellers - Dogtrain
36.(NE) Fountains Of Wayne - I Want An Alien For Christmas
The only identifiable Christmas song in the chart, though a curiously forgotten song nowadays. I've got the CD single somewhere and this is probably the week to pull it out. Their second Top 40 hit of the year, but they didn't manage another until 2004 (and still haven't had a fourth).
37.(34) Spice Girls - Spice Up Your Life
38.(NE) Aerosmith - Pink
Another veteran act burying a new release in a busy week, although this one got a second lease of life after the success of 'I Don't Wann Miss A Thing'. You can safely miss this though, it's a poor song notorious for the lyric "Pink, it's like red but not quite". 
39.(36) Will Smith - Just Cruisin'
40.(33) Blackstreet - (Money Can't) Buy Me Love

57.(NE) Paid And Live featuring Lauryn Hill - All My Time
Well, there had to be a Fugee somewhere.
67.(NE) Gant - Sound Bwoy Burial/All Night Long

And here ends Charting 1997 (unless I ever get around to putting the album charts on, don't bank on it). If you have been, thanks for reading. 
A reminder that all the hits I could find on Spotify from this year can be heard here, from '2 Become 1' to 'All My Time'.

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