Monday, December 19, 2005

The only chart that counts (5/6)

There's a theme to these last two festive charts we've picked out, the most recent of all closing the run off on Thursday, but first:

1 Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
What happened was three weeks earlier this had become the highest new entry ever by an act who'd never charted before at number three, then it climbed to number one, then got knocked off, then returned to everyone's surprise on the crest of a wave of parents buying an extra stocking filler. Jeremy Clarkson was in the video well before making an impact outside Top Gear, incidentally. "UK, male pink, yellow spotted blob vocalist" is his Guinness Book label.

2 Take That - Babe
The only That single that Sick Mark Owen sang lead on, one of only two in their recorded catalogue it says here. The previous week this had become the third of their eight number ones, and this put them off Christmas singles for life - even the remixed single off their Greatest Hits is out in February.

3 Chaka Demus and Pliers featuring Jack Radics and Taxi Gang - Twist And Shout
Apparently there was a craze in Jamaica for naming yourself after tools at the time. Their current status as a comedy name for nostalgia purposes notwithstanding, their success hastened a mini-summer of reggae in 1994 that was never likely to get Lee Perry shaking.

4 Bee Gees - For Whom The Bell Tolls
Don't remember this at all, but having released one record in the 80s the Gibbs made a habit throughout the 90s of having big hits every couple of years.

5 East 17 - It's Alright
Music to vomit jacket potatoes to, this was a typical slab of synth battering and wonky London rapping a year ahead of Stay Another Day. What did happen to Tony Mortimer's follow-up band Sub Zero?

6 Meatloaf - I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)
Or is it Meat Loaf? Did anyone ever work out for definite which it is? This had just spent seven weeks, or was it decades, at number one and was the year's biggest seller, coming from the inevitable Bat Out Of Hell II. All hail Meat's "sex and drums and rock'n'roll".

7 Dina Carroll - The Perfect Year
Nobody seems to remember Dina now but as we'll see again later she was huge for about six months at this time as she got caught between her dance music roots and big piano balladeering. This was never going to be released in June, was it?

8 Meat( )Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
Because that's just what you'd do, isn't it, re-release the title track from the album you've just brought out as its follow-up.

9 Elton John and Kiki Dee - True Love
No Don't Go Breaking My Heart, although it is one of the most charted songs ever, having been made most famous by Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. Win a pub quiz one day by mentioning Kiki's real name is Pauline Matthews. Whyever did she change it?

10 Frankie Goes To Hollywood - The Power Of Love
There's no obvious reason why this should have been re-released, but there you go. What did happen to their comeback with a specially auditioned new singer?

11 Bryan Adams - Please Forgive Me
Slow and laborious, as per, having stayed at number two for ages. Was it from the soundtrack to Zorro? The mind's eye says Bryan in a mask in the video, which is must the best way.

12 Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle - A Whole New World
Peabo, sir! He's had three UK top 40 singles but all with other people, this the theme from the Aladdin film. Seemed to be more ubiquitous than its position, this its peak, suggests.

13 K7 - Come Baby Come
"Swing batta batta batta batta batta swing!" File next to Luniz in the one hit and never likely to be any more rap hitmakers file.

14 M People - Don't Look Any Further
To think that Mike Pickering was a Hacienda house DJ, too. This is from their infamous Mercury winner Elegant Slumming, the album that enabled Shovell to start a seperate career of televisual boisterousness for years.

15 Janet Jackson - Again
One of a host of interchangeable mid-90s singles where she got stuck in a baladeering morass between Rhythm Nation feistiness and Scream renaissance. Moving on...

16 Dina Carroll - Don't Be A Stranger
The previous week this had been top ten as well as The Perfect Year, and there can't have been many occasions since where two consecutive charts have featured two different artists having two top ten singles at once. Her unofficial website's news page stops in November 2004, having had one entry in the previous six months.

17 Diana Ross - Your Love
And the next slushy ballad, please! Her previous single was a reissued Chain Reaction, whatever that might have been in aid of.

18 Mariah Carey - Hero
Third week in a row in this position, followed by two weeks of climbing. Were she to release something like this now it'd be hailed as a return to form. Or, if she's deemed to be on form at the moment, a new peak. Then it was just dull showing off.

19 Cliff Richard - Healing Love
Keeping quiet this year. Not even a Greatest Hits repackage.

20 Pet Shop Boys - I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
They'd just turned into the poet laureates of hi-energy and started wearing the big hats and radiation-esque suits, this the follow up to Go West. Neil Tennant came out at this time. Few were surprised. They're working with Trevor Horn on their next album. What took them so long to come round to that?

21 Ice-T - That's How I'm Livin'
Post-Cop Killer and Original Gangster, but this was his first top 40 single. We imagine he's concentrating on acting now, having nearly become the family friendly side of gangsta rap. We imagine Badass TV is buried deep within his CV.

22 Haddaway - I Miss You
23 EYC - Feelin' Alright
Ah, the early to mid 90s.

24 U2 - Stay (Faraway, So Close)/I've Got You Under My Skin
The latter was his duet with Frank Sinatra, the former the first single from Zooropa, five months after its release after changing their minds several times.

25 Shabba Ranks - Family Affair
26 Bad Boys Inc - Walking On Air

27 Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'
What a pisspoor time this is if this sort of record was being randomly reissued. There may be people who don't know Jeff 'Skunk' Baxter is now one of the world's leading counterterrorism experts, but there's no harm in repetition.

28 Cypress Hill - I Ain't Goin' Out Like That

29 Hulk Hogan with Green Jelly - I'm The Leader Of The Gang
Yes. WWF was having one of its biennual spans of proper popularity, rubbish New York comedy metallers Green Jelly had had a summer hit with a cover of Three Little Pigs (James Hetfield and him out of Tool on backing vocals, allegedly) and less of one with a Flintstones-inspired cover Anarchy In The UK in the meantime. Hulk claimed that one of the B-sides was a tribute to James Bulger.

30 Lesley Garrett and Amanda Thompson - Ave Maria
You'll be resorting to this one day, Katherine Jenkins.

31 Blind Melon - No Rain
The immediate post-grunge years threw up some oddities - are we allowed to mention the Spin Doctors in polite company? - and here's two of them now, heroin-encrusted Beatles-esque types who ensured the Bee Girl is part of any future US VH-1 I Love The 90s - yes, they do have the rights...

32 Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
...and country-tinged Minneapolis earnest types chiefly remembered for Dave Pirner being Winona Ryder's ex and the video to this featuring the details of missing children, keeping it in the top 40 for about six months. Tommy Stinson from the Replacements is in them these days, it says here.

33 Michael Jackson - Gone Too Soon
What's going on here? It got no higher than this, but then it was a) right on the back of the Jordy Chandler allegations and b) the ninth single from Dangerous.

34 Bjork - Big Time Sensuality

35 Snoop Doggy Dogg - What's My Name
"Rap will never sell in the massive quantities it does in America, making the reign of Snoop Doggy Dogg as short and sweet as all the rest" says the contemporary chart review we're working off. Well, they weren't to know. The jokes, of course, wrote themselves.

36 Nirvana - All Apologies/Rape Me
Their last single and second from In Utero, which to be fair was never exactly going to be their great pop crossover.

37 Saint Etienne - I Was Born On Christmas Day
Here's a song you never hear even at this time of year, Sarah duetting with Tim Burgess in a song inspired by Bob Stanley being, well, born on Christmas Day. The corresponding tour featured Oasis as support. Imagine that clash.

38 Village People - YMCA (remix)
Bloody hell.

39 UB40 - Bring Me Your Cup

40 Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
This had been 1992's festive leader in the middle of a nine week run at the top, and with The Bodyguard out on video it was shoved out again. Go on, do you remember anything about The Bodyguard?

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