Monday, May 04, 2009

You can have it all but how much do you want it?

More old chart foraging, and this list is from 23rd April 1994, a fifteenth anniversary just passed of something quite notable in British music history:

40 Urban Species - Brother
No idea. Interesting to see an entry at 55 for Get It Up For Love - "oh, he means his cock!" - from Luciana. Now here's someone with a storied history. Luciana Caporaso by name, an associate of acieeed housers D-Mob who alternated Yazz-style between dance diva and soul balladeer to little major label success. Then she went and joined Crush, the band Donna Air was in with Jayni Hoy of Byker Grove, because Jellyhead had become a surprise US club success straight after Hoy had given up on pop semi-fame. After that she did club vocals and joined a band who made it to the Dawson's Creek soundtrack, then showed up as vocalist with Portobella, a post-Republica shouty beats thing who yet again were much touted - the blogs loved them for a little while, we recall - to little comeback. Finally she managed to wangle her way onto a hit two years ago on Bodyrox's Yeah Yeah, then last year provided vocals on a Taio Cruz top five single. Persistence, see, pays off eventually. Even if you, like her, do have that not-exactly-Dickie Davies two-tone blonde/black hair thing going on.

39 Ice-T - Gotta Lotta Love
No idea either, but at 42 were the Auteurs with Chinese Bakery, one of their three singles to make the top 50 without ever giving Luke and fiends a top 40 entry. (That said, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci managed five and nobody's rushing to give Euros Childs a book deal) It's revealed in Bad Vibes that this is about Brenda Khan, a Greenwich Village folkie who contrived to annoy Haines, not entirely tricky in fairness, throughout the course of a US tour support. That book is still recommended to all, but we've just received another volume published later in the month about Haines, one with a much looser connection with reality, and we'll be posting about that imminently.

38 The Proclaimers - What Makes You Cry?
Indistinguished fare from duo Paula Yates dubbed "something really weird", which judging by her standards is putting Craig and Charlie at a far higher premium than anyone could imagine.

37 Fluke - Bubble
Waiting around for big beat to be invented.

36 Daniel O'Donnell - Singing The Blues
Been a while since we've heard from every Irish mother's favourite who'd invite anyone passing to his house for tea, or something.

35 Taylor Dayne - I'll Wait
Another one from the overflowing pile of early 90s hi-NRG American divas, who didn't even get an invitation to sing on Keep On Jumpin'.

34 Degrees Of Motion Featuring Biti - Shine On
33 Driza Bone - Pressure
32 Urban Cookie Collective - High On A Happy Vibe
You forget how much of this was around at the time as every other producer rushed to drain the dregs of post-rave dance.

31 Oasis - Supersonic
And here we reach the nub. Its only ever week in the top 40 despite all Creation's reissues of the entire single back catalogue but a song with its own mythology (for timeline purposes, Girls And Boys exited the top 40 this very week), the celebrated Wibbling Rivalry interview appearing in the NME this very week. They didn't have to stand around looking nonchalantly hard on a rooftop for much longer.

30 Roachford - Only To Be With You
In the preceding minutes to the John Harris observed showdown, he'd witnessed Liam spot Andrew Roachford in the Edinburgh bar in which they were comfortably esconsed and approach the one time soul voice of a nation with the words "Cuddly Toy, man! Tune of the eighties!" We last reprinted that anecdote roughly six weeks ago. Hope you enjoyed it as much this time.

29 Frances Ruffelle - Lonely Symphony
Daughter of Sylvia Young and Tony Award winning (for Les Miserables) stage musical actress, but also the UK's Eurovision entry for that year, finishing tenth. In those days we expected nothing and got somewhere.

28 Garth Brooks - Standing Outside The Fire
Oleaginous ex-Spurs lengthy sentence proprietor of limited charisma given to giving his opinions while extending the right index finger up the side of his face as if in intellectual mode.

27 PJ And Duncan - Why Me?
And here's the start of something else entirely, as the first spin-off hit single from Grove Matrix - Tonight I'm Free was released but only reached number 62 - launches Byker's tragicomic double act to a wider world. Thirteen top 20 singles, they had. Look up how the final episode in 2006 ran, it's a cracker of a storyline.

26 The Pretenders - I'll Stand By You
One of a long line of covers Girls Aloud failed to understand, Chrissie and this year's boys have been reduced to putting out their new album with a greatest hits CD added.

25 Mariah Carey - Without You
At the time you'd have imagined Carey was unlikely to have a Harry Nilsson-like lost weekend. How little we knew.

24 Terrorvision - Oblivion
Hail-fellow-well-met Bradford rockers with no likelihood to turn into Thunder, not as long as Tony Wright was appearing on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. Still playing last ever tours to this day.

23 Black Machine - How Gee
A poor man's Us 3.

22 JX - Son Of A Gun
Jake Williams, now recording less commercially obvious dance as Rex The Dog, hires the sort of wailing diva that were being given away like Metro is now.

21 Kate Bush - The Red Shoes
Title track from what's still her last but one album, accompanied by the video album The Line The Cross And The Curve, which is either a fascinating celebratory attempt at reinforcing that you are still something other than most of the mainstream or, if you're Kate Bush, "a load of bollocks".

20 Des'ree - You Gotta Be
Feminine empowerment anthem in waiting, although little Ms Weeks' fault, we argue. That she's only now remembered for the later ghost/toast business, however, is.

19 Toni Braxton - Another Sad Love Song
Whatever did happen to Babyface?

18 Loveland Featuring Rachel McFarlane Vs Darlene Lewis - Let The Music (Lift You Up)
Dangerous overmanning.

17 Crystal Waters - 100% Pure Love
Forever to be the Gypsy Woman, um, woman, and no amount of ladies' night out fare will change that.

16 Madonna - I'll Remember
Anyone? Post-Sex pre-Orbit was very much a lost period in the Madonna discography.

15 D:Ream - U R The Best Thing
Piano house placeholding, actually their second biggest hit behind you know what but far too fast for even Mandelson to mime and clap along to.

14 Pet Shop Boys - Liberation
From Very, for our money the PSBs' best work, and accompanied by a video which illustrated how they'd often experiment with 3D fractalisation throughout the first half of the decade to the detriment of their visual image. Now that stuff's back they'll be all over it again, we bet.

13 Doop - Doop
Wonder if the lyrics were ever in Smash Hits.

12 Salt-N-Pepa With En Vogue - Whatta Man
Still to be heard whenever any regional news presenter does a smirking catwalk turn at a local fashion show.

11 CJ Lewis - Sweets For My Sweet
1992 to 1994 saw several attempts at breaking pop-ready reggae, and indeed ragga, in the UK, of which shouty covers by chancers like Lewis were near enough the final throw. Chaka Demus presumably knew the jig was up.

10 Ace Of Base - The Sign
Nasty feeling that these will be reclaimed as some sort of guilty pleasure cool in the next couple of years. It's Eurodance reggae, for goodness sake!

9 Haddaway - Rock My Heart
Pretty much blew his load first time out with What Is Love?, and last seen collaborating with Dr Alban on a single called I Love The 90s. We're not making that up.

8 Bitty McLean - Dedicated To The One I Love
1992 to 1994 saw several attempts at breaking pop-ready reggae, and indeed ragga, in the UK, of which McLean was pretty much the final throw. Big Mountain would have to sit by disconsolate.

7 Reel 2 Real Featuring The Mad Stuntman - I Like To Move It
Somewhat surprised to learn that Reel 2 Real was Erick Morillo, who like JX eventually went back underground and built himself up again. Not quite Tidy Trax being run by one of Jive Bunny, but not far off.

6 Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia
Broooce grows a Robert Pires beard and goes all low-key earnest. Better than it sounds, and actually better than the Hanks vehicle it was written for.

5 Crash Test Dummies - Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm
Not actually a one hit wonder but less than fondly remembered nonetheless, largely for Brad Roberts' baritone, its setting up permanent camp on Virgin 1215 and its ease of parody use. Produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads and The Modern Lovers.

4 Erasure - Always
They'll always shift a certain amount of units but as far as consistently big hits goes this was nearly the end of the run.

3 Tony Di Bart - The Real Thing
Although not an official one hit wonder, he and his poor man's Peter Cunnah act never did anything like this good again.

2 Take That - Everything Changes
Fifth of six singles from the same titled album, four of which, this included, were number one. Not as lighters aloft as Pray or as ballsy as Relight My Fire, no wonder Gary gave it to Robbie.

1 The Artist Formerly Known As Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
"Upon the seventh day of the sixth month, nineteen hundred and ninety-three, marking the beginning and ending of cycles of creation, Prince, reaching the balance of thirty-five years, put into practice the precepts of perfection: Voicing bliss through the freedom of being one's self; incarnating the New Power Generation into the close of the six periods of involution, giving birth upon himself to regenerate his name as O(+> -- for in the dawn, all will require no speakable name to differentiate the ineffible one that shall remain." To which nations responded "can't we just use TAFKAP?" His first single using what nobody called the Love Symbol, this, the whole 'SLAVE' business coming about as Warners were refusing to release the album this was recorded for as he'd just released two sets of older songs in a year. The UK concurred in terms of market saturation, giving him only one top ten single and four in the top 40 since. What's more, it's the kind of soul ballad that until the year before last's O2 experience made people forget what a musical virtuoso he was. That baritone's quite something, though.


alcxxk said...

chris alcxxk of "stn favourites" Internet Forever used to be Luciana Caporaso's booking agent's assistant. is that a Top Pop Fact yet?

Simon said...

It's as physically close as this blog's ever going to get to one.