Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It was twenty years ago today, Ken taught the band to play

All hail the best new website we've seen in a while, Chart Stats. It may be nothing more than a breakdown of every singles chart ever and an increasing archive of the album lists too, but... well, there it all is. Privately we suspect the reason the likes of EveryHit have compromised archives is fearing contact from The Official Charts Company, but if that happens we can just parry that with "well, when are you using the archive to put out another Guinness Book Of Top 40 Charts, then?"

As an example of the wonders on offer, this was the top 40 of this week in 1988. We know when we've done this in the past we've passed comment on every entry, but ultimately life's too short.

40 INXS - Never Tear Us Apart
39 Natalie Cole - Everlasting
38 LA Mix - Check This Out
Nothing says 1988 more than a megamix. Not even those four numbers in order.

37 Scritti Politti - Oh Patti (Don't Feel Sorry For Loverboy)
However much Green enjoyed colliding plastic soul and upturned lyrical content, by this point this was not a career high point. That said, the Shabba Ranks duet was still to come.

36 Glenn Medeiros - Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You
Vic Reeves wielding a large painting was just around the corner.

35 Elton John - I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That
34 Joy Division - Atmosphere
To promote Substance, and here joined to its Anton Corbijn oversized Puritan video.

33 Glen Goldsmith - What You See Is What You Get
No memory of Glen Goldsmith at all. Wikipedia - of course Wikipedia - says he had a few soul hits, was on Band Aid II and later wrote Peter Andre's Mysterious Girl, "the only song released three times by the same artist in the history of popular music" according to one blissfully ignorant source.

32 Hazell Dean - Maybe (We Should Call It A Day)
31 T'Pau - I Will Be With You
30 Fairground Attraction - Perfect
29 Sade - Paradise
"Have you heard this new music called jazz?"

28 Aswad - Give A Little Love
27 The Communards - There's More To Love
Their last single, and as everyone in a pub knows Richard Coles gave up a radio job as the unthinking man's pre-cancer John Diamond and has fairly recently been ordained.

26 Tracy Chapman - Fast Car
25 A-ha - The Blood That Moves The Body
The attempts at an Abba-style critical rehabilitation seem to have foundered once people realised that "Chris Martin likes them" isn't really in the Suicide class of critical influence. The single after this was Touchy, which might explain why it was doomed to failure.

24 Salt-n-Pepa - Push It/Tramp
Like everybody else who was famous at some point in America in the 1980s, they've been the subject of a revivalist VH1 docusoap, just the sort of thing to set female rap back another few years.

23 Belinda Carlisle - Circle In The Sand
22 The Sisters Of Mercy - Lucretia My Reflection
21 Bruce Springsteen - Tougher Than The Rest
20 Rose Royce - Car Wash/Is It Love You're After
Now there's a song that's outlived the film it was recorded for. No idea why it was reissued. General nostalgia?

19 Mica Paris - My One Temptation
18 Eurythmics - You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart
17 Matt Bianco - Don't Blame It On That Girl/Wap-Bam-Boogie
What an odd concept Matt Bianco were. Obviously there was deemed a gap in the New Pop market for a swing jazz influence. And they've reformed!

16 Voice Of The Beehive - Don't Call Me Baby
Not as great as you remember, sadly.

15 Tiffany - I Saw Him Standing There
14 Aztec Camera - Somewhere In My Heart
There's a definite other post, possibly later this week, about this song; in the meantime, consider the distance covered from The Sound Of Young Scotland to working with Mark Knopfler.

13 Morrissey - Every Day Is Like Sunday
12 Kylie Minogue - Got To Be Certain
First recorded for SAW by Mandy Smith. Where is she now?

11 Erasure - Chains Of Love
10 Wet Wet Wet/Billy Bragg With Cara Tivey - With A Little Help From My Friends/She's Leaving Home
Guess which side got the airplay. This was the charity release for Childline ("oh eight hundred double one...DOUBLE ONE"), and Bragg did get a week on TOTP. He'd forgotten the lyrics and had them taped to the floor by his feet, only to see them covered in dry ice. Later distracted by an audible crash he autopiloted his way to the end assuming there'd be a retake. There wasn't.

9 UB40 With Chrissie Hynde - Breakfast In Bed
8 Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight
You have to wonder how he really feels about having his bitter divorce song hijacked by a bloke in a gorilla suit. Wonderbra did a failed viral version - go on, guess how that went - only really notable for starring Jentina. Jentina! The alleged British gypsy Kelis of 2003 whose career was ended by Lady Sovereign! Reduced to online shilling for bras!

7 Desireless - Voyage Voyage
One of the great barely remembered one hit wonders of the decade, largely due to being all in another language which 'we' supposedly won't go for.

6 The Pasadenas - Tribute (Right On)
Essentially someone's idea of a British Temptations. Possibly whoever was buying Big Fun records, we can't say.

5 Maxi Priest - Wild World
4 The Fat Boys With Chubby Checker - The Twist (Yo, Twist)
Ah, Buffy The Human Beat Box. Early hitmaking rap was largely playful but after a while it perhaps became too facetious, especially when this sort of thing is becoming a hit. Roll on the black CNN.

3 Sabrina - Boys (Summertime Love)
One word, Ms Salerno (now a recording studio and management agency owner): straps.

2 The Timelords - Doctorin' The Tardis
We're all across who this was and what was published on the back of it, right? Good. Apart from the fact that not one of the artists that has openly cited The Manual as a major influence has had a number one single, the sometime Time Boy and Lord Rock admit in it that it is "a book that will be completely redundant within twelve months" due to the vagaries of popular culture.

1 Bros - I Owe You Nothing
A title that was never used smirkingly when Matt and Luke later filed for bankruptcy, oh no. Whatever happened to Tom Watkins?


Ass Hat said...

thanks for the jentina update. good to check in with her every now and then.

simon h b said...

Given the NME's failed attempt to get the Sex Pistols to number one this year, it's good to recall that the Childline single was taken from the NME's Sgt Pepper album and - thus - the paper's only really successful campaign to get a single to the top of the charts was for Wet Wet Wet.

Anonymous said...

Re: The Manual. You're wrong on this (unless I'm misunderstanding you) as Edelweiss (the band) did hit number one. From Wikipedia

"They reached a Europe-wide #1 position with their hit Bring me Edelweiss, by supposedly following the instructions given in The Manual, which was their main influence in getting their two hits. Bring Me Edelweiss sold five million copies worldwide. Bill Drummond, an author of "The Manual", mentioned that in the epilogue of the German release of "The Manual", which was originally published in 1989 (in English)."


Simon said...

Citation required on that - it reached, I think, number 5 in Britain.

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