Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Summer ends

Been ages since we did a retro chart, so here's the top 40 from 8th October 1994, because a) fifteen years ago was a very odd time for music and b) the top end demonstrates something that's quietly died off in the last few years.

40 China Black - Searching
Twas the summer of reggae, for one thing. Or heavily studio-processed reggae, at least. Big Mountain's pension plans never got far.

39 All-4-One - I Swear
The chart this week lost lost Shampoo, Suede and Saint Etienne but hung onto this former number two sappy R&B before the term was recontextualised, only really notable because everyone thinks it was by Boyz II Men.

38 Wayne Marshall - Ooh Aah (G-Spot)
Subtlety, always subtlety. Britain couldn't quite 'do' lover's soul yet.

37 Bruce Dickinson - Shoot All The Clowns
Yeah, bastards.

36 Warren G And Nate Dogg - Regulate
Not often, even now, that radio gets colonised by songs in which the protagonists shoot dead a group of attempted muggers before making off with some prozzies like a Death Row Records Grand Theft Auto, but maybe we were all that bit less knowledgeable then.

35 Red Dragon With Brian And Tony Gold - Compliments On Your Kiss
You started to sympathise with Paul Nicholas, really.

34 Let Loose - Crazy For You
Sold as a boy band at the time, but history reveals them as more a smoothed over soft pop-rock proposition. Which is the lesser of two evils?

33 The Prodigy - Voodoo People

32 The Time Frequency - Dreamscape '94

31 REM - What's The Frequency, Kenneth?
In 1986 CBS News anchorman Dan Rather was assaulted in a Manhattan street by a man who continually yelled at him "Kenneth, what's the frequency?" Hence the title, hence this:

30 Heavy D And The Boyz - This Is Your Night

29 Sophie B Hawkins - Right Beside You

28 Body Count - Born Dead
Paving the way for rappers to say they like rock. Admittedly the rock they like is Coldplay or, at a pinch, Nirvana.

27 2wo Third3 - I Want The World
You don't hear much from Tom Watkins any more, the impresario who managed Bros, East 17 and the Pet Shop Boys for a bit and was last heard of attempting to promote an entirely virtual pop star for the new millennium. That worked. These were his doings too, a vaguely PSB-ish trio plus non-performing member and cartoon mascot. And, yes, a horrible, horrible name. You can't write that on your pencil case in a hurry, you'd accidentally put the end s in.

26 Kylie Minogue - Confide In Me
Now, was this Indie Kylie or Sex Kylie? It was on an independent label but overtly sexual in video tone. Like Kylie videos aren't.

25 Youssou N'Dour Featuring Neneh Cherry - 7 Seconds
Pop pub quiz winner: the first verse is in Wolof.

24 Radiohead - My Iron Lung
"Creep! Radiohead! Dickhead!"

23 The Rolling Stones - You Got Me Rocking
There was an obsession for most of the late 80s/early 90s with making out the Stones were making music as good as anything in their heyday. Then the same people gave up and started taking the piss out of Mick instead.

22 Kym Mazelle And Jocelyn Brown - Gimme All Your Lovin'

21 2 Unlimited - No One
Ray and Anita have recently reunited, proving there really are no depths low enough.

20 Snap! Featuring Summer - Welcome To Tomorrow

19 Reel 2 Real Featuring The Mad Stuntman - Can You Feel It?

18 PJ And Duncan - If I Give You My Number
Ant & Dec's new autobiography is worth a furtive flick in the shop if only because they slag off about 90% of their life's output, entire musical career inclusive. Can't think why.

17 Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy
Millionaire playboy makes record about how great is. World subsequently has issues with feeling his pain.

16 Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around
Previously a live favourite cover of REM's, and the video concept partly ripped off their own for Radio Song. Who does all that reflect worse on?

15 M-Beat Featuring General Levy - Incredible
Junglist massive. And it was supposed to be, but this was its moment in the sun, at least in a vaguely crossover sense, and it ended up inspiring Ali G catchphrases.

14 The Cranberries - Zombie
Tanks, bombs, bombs, guns. Funny thing, cogent political statements.

13 CJ Lewis - Best Of My Love
More reggae! And a cover at that. It's like that summer of ska we're supposed to have every few years suddenly reared up in the opposite direction.

12 Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You

11 Elton John - Circle Of Life
From The Lion King, of course, and arguably, weave notwithstanding, the moment where Pinner Elton finally becomes Vegas Elton.

10 Luther Vandross And Mariah Carey - Endless Love

9 Michelle Gayle - Sweetness
For the soap actress cliche, surprisingly useful as a pop-soul vocalist. No longer married to Mark Bright, or doing much at all, really. Has a best of coming out soon, apparently.

8 Lisa Loeb And Nine Stories - Stay (I Missed You)
Mouskori-glassed one hit wonder and imaginary band. Would be all over One Tree Hill if she emerged today.

7 East 17 - Steam
Subtlety hasn't been this top 40's strong point.

6 Pato Banton - Baby Come Back
With Ali and Robin Campbell, of course. CD collection of Bob Marley whereabouts presently unknown.

5 Madonna - Secret

4 Cyndi Lauper - Hey Now (Girls Just Want To Have Fun)
Entirely pointless half speed reworking that failed to supplant the original in hen night status.

3 Corona - The Rhythm Of The Night
The Basshunter of their day, masterminded, splendidly, by a Francesco Bontempi.

2 Bon Jovi - Always
Keeping lighter salesmen in business to this day.

1 Whigfield - Saturday Night
So here's the rub - when was it that post-holiday hits dried out? It wasn't a passing phase either - number one this week five years ago was Eric Prydz, ten Eiffel 65, twenty Black Box. Even taking Crazy Frog into account, at this time of year Prydz was probably the last to come out of the Spanish clubs and into the charts, and even that had a heavy visual helping hand. As for Sannie Carlson, she's still not dead and she still won't do the dance.

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