Thursday, August 21, 2008

We've been here before

Another of our irregular dips back into charts of yore, and with The Verve reforming (and possibly splitting up again) we wondered what the scene was like in those less than halcyon immediately post-Britpop days when they first reappeared, 28th June 1997:

40 Wet Wet Wet - Strange
We don't keep lists of Men Least Likely To Be Harbouring Severe Heroin Addictions, but if we had around this time Marti Pellow wouldn't have had a look-in. Shows what we know.

39 Travis - All I Want To Do Is Rock
"...then All I Want To Do Is Rock went in at 39 and I thought, bloody hell, we'll have a number one in 38 singles' time!" Two years short of an almost personable if still dreck-ridden ubiquity largely forgotten now as Coldplay followed a year later.

38 R Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly
37 Toni Braxton - I Don't Want To
36 Amen! UK - People Of Love

35 Jon Bon Jovi - Midnight In Chelsea
Everyone has written a song about Manhattan's Chelsea Hotel, and the Libertines recorded some of those regular sessions Pete gives away there, perhaps thinking it has some sort of residual glamour. If they'd actually read up about Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen, or more precisely heard Jeffrey Lewis' The Chelsea Hotel Oral Sex Song, mayeb they wouldn't.

34 The Porn Kings - Amour (C'mon)

33 Shola Ama - You Might Need Somebody
Yes, they had new queens of Brit-soul back then too.

32 The Cardigans - Lovefool
Mark Lamarr, sitting in for Mark Radcliffe on the Radio 1 graveyard shift, played this without hearing it first as he loved their previous work, and didn't even wait for it to finish before laying into it. Then look what happened.

31 Skunk Anansie - Brazen 'Weep'
30 En Vogue - Whatever
29 Supergrass - Sun Hits The Sky

28 ETA - Casual Sub (Burning Spear)
What a convoluted title. In fact it was a club tune called Casual Sub that sampled Burning Spear by Burning Spear, and presumably someone misread the bit about crediting samples.

27 Olive - You're Not Alone
26 DJ Quicksilver - Bellissima
25 Foxy Brown Featuring Jay-Z - I'll Be
24 The Charlatans - How High
23 Depeche Mode - Home
22 The Rembrandts - I'll Be There For You
21 The Brand New Heavies - You Are The Universe

20 Finley Quaye - Sunday Shining
Our great lost... no, not talent, let us think about this for a moment. Eccentric? No, too kindly. Arse, that's it. He could have been as untrustworthy as Jamiroquai if only he'd stuck around for longer.

19 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Love Rollercoaster
Men in their pants, always amusing.

18 Savage Garden - I Want You
17 Az Yet - Hard To Say I'm Sorry

16 Primal Scream - Star
No, Bobby, no, it's not automatically dub if you get Martin Duffy to play a melodica and then put some echo on every now and again.

15 Paula Cole - Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
Hugely odd Sheryl Crowesque part whispered thing from one hit wonder who sported a mask on TOTP. Wiki: "In 2008, on the eve of the NBA Finals, sports songwriter Ryan Parker did a parody entitled "Where Have All The White Boys Gone?", referring to how the Boston Celtics, who were playing in that year's Finals, had a significantly larger number of African-American players when compared to their successful 1980s squads." Is that not just slightly dubious?

14 Rosie Gaines - Closer Than Close
Speed garage ahoy! It's basically dubstep now, of course.

13 Wyclef Jean Featuring Refugee Allstars - We Trying To Stay Alive
No, go on, guess the sample.

12 Sarah Brightman And Andrea Bocelli - Time To Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro)
Eat it raw, Jenkins.

11 Celine Dion - Call The Man

10 Mr President - Coco Jamboo
Everyone forgets this Eurodance hit, probably because it was so much cribbed off the sound of all the others during the decade that it might well have been made by osmosis.

9 Cast - Guiding Star
Essentially as close as Cast ever got to sounding like the La's, although they'd still have been better off looking for a mixing desk with 60s dust on it.

8 Echo & The Bunnymen - Nothing Lasts Forever
The song that still convinces Ian McCulloch that coming back, and back, and back again is a worthwhile idea. Noel Gallagher's based the last three Oasis albums on it.

7 Ultra Nate - Free

6 Eternal Featuring BeBe Winans - I Wanna Be The Only One
"You should be more properly dressed in the house of the lord!"

5 Blur - On Your Own
Just a... just a mess of Stuff. Blur hasn't all stood up well, in truth, but the best bits are better than ever. This isn't one of them.

4 Ocean Colour Scene - Hundred Mile High City
Britpop's own contribution to the R&B boom, a little late, cram several thousand riffs into four minutes. The OCS song it's OK to move your head slightly to?

3 Hanson - Mmm Bop
The drummer's a girl. Pass it on. Actually, this does give us an opportunity to float one of our favourite 'whatever happened to?' queries, namely Hillman Minx, who got brought in supposedly by the band as they didn't want to be supported at Wembley by B*Witched, and who can blame them, then got a lot of Mark & Lard play for list song single I've Had Enough, then were never heard of again. Worth a punt asking if anyone knows any more, s'pose.

2 The Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
The whole idea that the world had been waiting for the comeback of some pedal-friendly psychedelic shamanism to show us the anthemic way came entirely from History, their authentic Noelrock moment and thus the one that could be used as a demonstration of how they influenced Oasis while leaving out all the potentially difficult swirling long stuff. The video became famous because Ashcroft looked a bit moody and northern, thus Liam. The stage was set for lots of pointing outwards with the microphone, which continues to this day with whatever they're trying to pull off with the new album.

1 Puff Daddy And Faith Evans - I'll Be Missing You
P Diddy invents Kanye's rapping style on Through The Wire, only Kanye had a reason at the time to sound like that. People get to pretend Sting is trendy. Notorious BIG remains dead, and then gets even deader when Puffy samples Duran Duran's Notorious for him. Tell us, who really wins?


Steve Williams said...

I remember this chart so well, because on the Saturday of this week I was staying in a Travelodge in Plymouth en route to getting the ferry to France the next day, and some sales rep in the room above had the repeat of Top of the Pops blaring out.

I also remember getting very annoyed that we'd scheduled our holiday then, because Kenickie re-released Punka that week, and I was annoyed I wouldn't be able to watch them on Top of the Pops the following week.

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