Sunday, December 13, 2009

The only chart that counted: 1989

40 Bon Jovi - Living In Sin
Meh. Really entertaining stuff between 41 and 100, with perhaps the most wonderfully ludicrous of all the late 80s charity singles at 47, Smoke On The Water by Rock Aid Armenia, an earthquake relief effort involving Bryan Adams, Ritchie Blackmore, Bruce Dickinson, Keith Emerson, Ian Gillan, David Gilmour, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Paul Rodgers and Roger Taylor among others. Damian, who'd had a hit with a cover of The Time Warp, was failing to do likewise with Sweet's Wig Wam Bam at 52, and there's also records by Kevin Bloody Wilson, Jonathon Morris off Bread and, in the wake of Kylie'n'Jasonmania, not only Old-Fashioned Christmas by Ann Charleston and Ian Smith (Madge and Harold) but at 82 'Neighbours Theme (Episode 2001)'. Uh? Especially as Episode 2001 went out in 1993.

39 The Beautiful South - I'll Sail This Ship Alone
Critical reappraisal slowly emerging for Heaton's second band. It's not that far from the still cooler Housemartins, this, in their Build phase.

38 Jimmy Somerville With June Miles-Kingston - Comment Te Dire Adieu
Not Miles Kington's evil twin but a former member of The Mo-dettes who became the Fun Boy Three's drummer before embarking on a jazz singing career. This was also Somerville's solo debut. Perhaps it was conceptual.

37 Inner City - Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin'

36 49ers - Touch Me

35 Kylie Minogue - Never Too Late
In fact the mysterious Episode 2001 Theme was a lyrical rewrite for episode 1001 ("Hilary finds that motherhood has unexpected pitfalls. Des and Jane's engagement party causes Mike to rethink his future. Henry tries to hide his jealousy from Bronwyn." Still no clearer as to the special occasion) performed by cast members, including the aforementioned Charleston and Smith as well as a pre-Check 1-2 Craig McLachlan and the latterly omnipresent Alan Dale. The co-rewriter was Mark Little. Said lyrics suggest a much more sinister, paranoid path than Hatch and Trent's sunny disposition ("Neighbours, for us poor blighters here in Ramsay Street/Drama is only a footpath away") and includes a reference to "sipping tea up at Daf's gossip shop". Who commissioned this?

34 All About Eve - December
There was also an album of largely traditional songs called Christmas With Your Neighbours. How much of a cash cow these proved is debatable.

33 The Christians - Words
Like Simply Red, Fine Young Cannibals and the Blow Monkeys, a smooth 80s soul band with post-punk connections, main songwriter Henry Priestman (who went on to produce a Mark Owen album) having been in Stiff Records act Yachts. Touring with one original member!

32 Sonia - Listen To Your Heart
And to think less than a decade later she'd be ekeing a living as Lily Savage's stooge.

31 Duran Duran - Burning The Ground
"The song is essentially a clever megamix of Duran Duran's history, featuring tidbits of all of the band's hits of the previous ten years. Instrumental elements of Save A Prayer, Hungry Like The Wolf, Rio, The Reflex and The Wild Boys, including the camera flash sound from Girls on Film, form the core of the first part of the song, while the "chorus" is built up of alternating chants of "Girls!" (from Girls on Film) and "Boys!" (from The Wild Boys). The nonsense syllables from several songs, such as the "noh-noh" bits from Notorious, the "bop bop bop" from Skin Trade and the "tana nana" and the "fle fle fle fle flex" from The Reflex, were also incorporated. Elements from A View To A Kill, Notorious, I Don't Want Your Love and later singles are gradually woven into the mix." Doing your own new megamix is some way forward. Sorry, backward.

30 FPI Project - Going Back To My Roots/Rich In Paradise

29 Lisa Stansfield - All Around The World
Interesting that this debut single came seven years after her celebrated Razzmatazz hosting, before which she'd won a Granada talent search. Now, that's a development deal.

28 Simple Minds - The Amsterdam EP
Actually a double A side, one of which was a cover of Sign O' The Times. Presumably their own attempts at political grandstanding proving less saleable over time so they were doing it with everyone else's.

27 Phil Collins - Another Day In Paradise
Just think about it.

26 Silver Bullet - 20 Seconds To Comply

25 De La Soul - The Magic Number/Buddy
Double Dee & Steinski rip via Bob Dorough from then uber-hip trio two years short of a hopelessly misjudged Teenage Fanclub link-up.

24 The Stone Roses - Fool's Gold/What The World Is Waiting For
The soon celebrated Roses/Mondays Top Of The Pops had happened a month before this chart - for what it's worth sharing backstage facilities were Big Fun and Fine Young Cannibals with Bobby Brown, Jeff Wayne (we'll get back to that), Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville, New Kids On The Block and Prince & Sheena Easton on tape. Register your software, for Pete's sake!

23 Wet Wet Wet - Broke Away

22 Erasure - You Surround Me

21 UB40 - Homely Girl
Three titans of the later part of the decade with three songs there is absolutely nothing to say about.

20 Van Morrison And Cliff Richard - Whenever God Shines His Light
Van had a spiritual AOR of an Eighties, as opposed to his rationalist AOR since, and this was one of his own songs given a healthy festive push. No Ring Worm, but what is?

19 Alexander O'Neal - Hit Mix (Official Bootleg Megamix)
Official bootleg? It's not Dylan we're dealing with here. The megamix is a very 1989 thing, the possibilities and permutations of dance music's development parlayed into many songs mixed over one beat. Just buy a greatest hits.

18 Sydney Youngblood - Sit And Wait
Paved the way for Haddaway.

17 Big Fun - Can't Shake The Feeling
Even by early boy band stakes they were overreaching somewhat, even though Yell! had already been and gone.

16 Latino Rave - Deep Heat '89
If Vicks Vaporub doesn't work you would get desperate.

15 Dusty Springfield - In Private
The Pet Shop Boys sponsored comeback gave Dusty three more top 20 singles, of which this none-more-Pettibone NY disco was the last.

14 Rob 'N' Raz Featuring Leila K - Got To Get
Leila K was allegedly mainland Europe's biggest selling singer in 1993 - strange, strange musical times. Down to earth and gracious with it, too.

13 Electronic - Getting Away With It
Serial contributor/air-punching everyman/occasionally Neil Tennant supergroup of limited greatness. luckily including this.

12 Bros - Sister
Last top ten single for what was by now a duo - assume you know Ken is now rich and powerful in the industry, yes? Yes - realising those cars won't refinance themselves.

11 Jeff Wayne - Eve Of The War
Again, once the mainstream gets hold of dance culture it attempts to bring it straight down by doing things like remixing this. Wayne's Wikipedia entry has a section on his interest in tennis.

10 New Kids On The Block - You Got It (The Right Stuff)
As those who recall the chorus lyrics will have wondered, where does the 'it' come into it?

9 Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville - Don't Know Much
Gloopy AOR mush originally recorded in 1980, only to win a Song Of The Year Grammy a decade later. How does that work?

8 Tina Turner - I Don't Wanna Lose You
Yeah, alright, keep the volume down.

7 Madonna - Dear Jessie
Pink elephants, lemonade, love parade, all that. Justify My Love wasn't far off.

6 Andy Stewart - Donald Where's Your Troosers?
Now he's a respectable broadcaster it's easy to forget Simon Mayo's occasional attempts to launch something so off-beam into the charts when he hosted the Radio 1 breakfast show - Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life, Kinky Boots and The White Heather Club host's ode to kilt wearing.

5 Kaoma - Lambada
Not as good as when Bruce Forsyth and Rosemarie Ford danced it.

4 Soul II Soul - Get A Life
Well back before band branding Jazzie B's sound system, clothing range store and self regard made them all sorts of young business opportunity pioneers. Be selective, be objective.

3 Jason Donovan - When You Come Back To Me
"So many people, smile on their faces/Armful of presents, going to places..." And there's your Christmas commerciality optioning for PWL right there.

2 Jive Bunny And The Mastermixers - Let's Party
The Jive Bunnies! Celebrated at the time for matching Gerry and the Pacemakers and Frankie Goes To Hollywood's record of three number ones from the first three singles, a hit rate that'd get a band dropped these days if they fell short.

1 Band Aid II - Do They Know It's Christmas?

That's from the 2nd December, Geldof made the call on the 1st and recording was done with SAW (Waterman cancelled his wedding!) on the 3rd, receiving an airing on the 5th. And it's rubbish. In fact, Band Aid 20's timeline virtually wrote it out of history. Matt Goss cocked up the big line, various others sang badly or were put in a bad order, the refrain was completely diluted by being sung throughout, Rolf Harris and Technotronic are on it... history will look kinder on Dizzee Rascal's later intervention.

No comments: