Post by misterhamster on Oct 9, 2020 22:29:42 GMT 1
Oi oi! We reach the 1990s - a decade that would transform dramatically in musical terms across its 10 years. The 80s had brought innovative electronic sounds but they were falling out of fashion as we headed into a new decade. Dance music was now a major force in the charts and while the manufactured pop acts still had their place they were being forced to come up with new ideas, after a few years of resting on their laurels.
Alternative rock found itself pushed aside in the 80s in favour of big-haired, big-voiced power ballads. However, different movements were happening on both sides of the Atlantic, bringing a degree of chart success, but more importantly, they would prove to be hugely influential in years to come.
A reminder of the points system: 1 point for no.40 in the singles chart, 2 points for no.39, all the way up to 37 points for no.4, then it's 40 points for no.3, 45 points for no.2 and 50 points for no.1.
Before the countdown, here are some of the songs that didn't make the top 40:
(as ever, position in the end-of-year sales chart is in brackets - for this year this has been taken from an estimated list found here at Haven, rather than an official one)
46(58) BETTY BOO - Doin' The Do (238 points)
Betty Boo was 20-year-old Londoner Alison Clarkson, who had previously appeared as a featured vocalist with the Beatmasters. She would go on to win the Brit Award for Best Newcomer in 1991, which has been the beginning of the end of many a career. She put music on hold when her mother had terminal cancer and would subsequently focus on writing, penning tracks for the likes of Girls Aloud, Dannii Minogue and Louise.
54(50) HAPPY MONDAYS - Step On (224 points)
An anthem of the Madchester/baggy scene, this track shot to no.5 in April, spending three weeks inside the top 10 for Shaun Ryder, Bez et al. "Kinky Afro" would also reach no.5 later in the year. The band would later split as numerous drug habits spiralled out of control. Ryder would later form Black Grape who had a string of hits from their hugely successful debut album but they would also split in acrimonious circumstances. He also appeared on Gorillaz's no.1 single "Dare".
68(78) THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS - Birdhouse In Your Soul (193 points)
A barking mad piece of pop perfection, this reached no.6 in April. The duo have been prolific over the decades, releasing more than 20 studio albums but their only other top 40 appearance in the UK singles chart was "Boss Of Me", the theme tune to Malcolm In The Middle, which reached no.21 in 2001.
72(64) DEPECHE MODE - Enjoy The Silence (188 points)
Another of those songs that makes you think "How wasn't this huge?" I mean three weeks at no.6 is good going but it deserved more given some of the other monster hits we would have during the year.
73(43) MADONNA - Justify My Love (184 points)
A no.2 hit just before Christmas, it featured Madonna talking mucky over a drum loop. The video caused a sensation and was banned from being shown pre-watershed. Tame stuff compared to what you see and hear today.
75(87) 808 STATE VS MC TUNES - The Only Rhyme That Bites (184 points)
A UK top 10 hit several months before Vanilla Ice rolled up in his 5.0, dance producers 808 State teamed up with moustachioed rapper MC Tunes. They would combined for another top 20 hit later in the year. Tunes (real name Nicky Lockett) would later go on to front the Dust Junkys, who had a top 40 hit with "What Time Is It?" and whose track "Rinse (Beatbox Wash)" was used as a main sample on Fatboy Slim's "Gangster Trippin", earning them a 25% songwriting credit.
87(88) CHARLATANS - The Only One I Know (169 points)
Another part of the Madchester scene, though most of the band were from the West Midlands. This was their first chart hit, reaching no.9, and launched a stellar career that has a fair mix of triumph and tragedy. Singer Tim Burgess has become a hugely popular figure on Twitter with his "Listening Parties", which began during lockdown and focus on classic and sometimes little-known albums, with the artists in question providing a running commentary.
107(-) GEORGE MICHAEL - Praying For Time (140 points)
The finest moment of George Michael's career? This was the lead single from "Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1". It topped the chart in the US, his final no.1 over there, but only reached no.6 in the UK. George opted not to do any promotion for the album, which led to the label not really bothering either. Despite that, it actually outsold "Faith" in the UK but its US sales were disappointing compared to its predecessor and the subsqeuent bitter feud between the singer and Sony meant it would be another six years before his third solo album appeared.
Post by misterhamster on Oct 9, 2020 23:00:24 GMT 1
Part 1 (40-36):
40(34) KYLIE MINOGUE - Tears On My Pillow (251 points) Top 40 run: 2-1-2-3-9-15-28
Kylie's first and only no.1 of the decade. Her fortunes would take a bit of nosedive after this year, leading to a radical reinvention a few years down the line, which brought her new admirers but not a huge amount of sales. It wouldn't be until 2000 that she would find her way back to the top of the pop mountain.
39(42) ERASURE - Blue Savannah (252 points) Top 40 run: 12-8-3-4-5-14-16-22-35
A surprisingly 80s-sounding track for such a forward-thinking act. Not my favourite of theirs by a long way but my mam loved it.
38(38) KYLIE MINOGUE - Better The Devil You Know (255 points) Top 40 run: 5-2-2-3-6-15-24-31-40
The song that saw Kylie throw off the "sweet and innocent" shackles and unleash the inner sex kitten that Michael Hutchence had discovered. Possibly the best track SAW ever wrote, this should've been a no.1 (compared with some of Kylie's other work) but was kept off the top by a monster of a hit.
37(48) THE KLF - What Time Is Love? (257 points) Top 40 run: 34-25-16-11-7-5-6-7-14-28
Having already reached no.1 as the Timelords with "Doctorin The Tardis", the Anglo-Scottish duo of Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond returned as the KLF in 1990. This is was the first of several big hits, which led to them being named Best British Group at the 1992 Brit Awards and their spectacular exit from the music business. More on that in 1991.
36(49) MANTRONIX - Got To Have Your Love (265 points) Top 40 run: 12-4-5-4-5-8-12-21-33
Given what was going on in the British music scene at the time, it should come as no surprise that this was a much bigger hit in the UK than in the US, where the group was based. The track was later covered by Liberty X, for whom it reached no.2 in 2002.
Post by misterhamster on Oct 11, 2020 0:42:01 GMT 1
Part 2 (35-31):
35(39) NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK - Tonight (270 points) Top 40 run: 17-8-6-4-3-5-8-20-30
NKOTB were the hottest property in the world of pop in 1991. "Hangin' Tough" reached no.1 at the start of the year and the lead single and title track from their second album "Step By Step" shot to no.2 in June but quickly dropped down the chart. This effort was a mixture of slushy ballad and cheesy crap. Somehow it became a longer-lasting hit than the others they had during the year.
This aria from Puccini's opera Turandot was used by the BBC as its theme music for the 1990 World Cup in Italy, starting a trend (sadly abandoned in recent years) of using classical music for its major tournament title sequences. It certainly caught the public's imagination, with the great Pavarotti's rendition reaching no.2 while the tournament was on. ITV meanwhile went for some forgettable Rod Argent tune, heralding the start of a decade-long era of them being totally outdone by the BBC in the theme music stakes. England losing on penalties, Gazza's tears, Big Jack and Ireland's dream run, Scotland being Scotland, Cameroon kicking the living s**t out of Argentina in the opening game. The quality of football was poor but the memories will last forever.
33(51) HEART - All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You (272 points) Top 40 run: 33-23-15-11-8-8-9-11-15-18-29-40
Three years after "Alone" became the group's biggest hit, this track reached no.8 but stayed in the top 40 for 12 weeks, helping it reach the top 40 on the points list.
32(27) BOBBY VINTON - Blue Velvet (274 points) Top 40 run: 16-3-2-3-6-10-17-20-28
There was a bit of a trend for old songs becoming hits again (or in the case of this song, for the first time) in 1990. Maybe the success of Jive Bunny had sparked a bit of interest in older music? Composed in 1950, it was recorded by Vinton in 1963, reaching no.1 in the US but failing to chart in the UK. It really should've become a hit in 1986 on the back of David Lynch's film of the same name but it wasn't until it was used in a Nivea advert four years later that it finally became a hit over here. If my memory serves me correctly, this was one of The Chart Show's "phantom" no.1s that topped their chart but never the official one.
Whilst this Rolling Stones cover was very much in keeping with the Madchester/baggy trend of the time, the Soup Dragons were actually from Scotland. The additional vocals on the track came from reggae star Junior Reid. Follow-up "Mother Universe" would be their only other UK top 40 hit, though did reach the top 40 in the US with "Divine Thing" in 1992. Like many of the big hits from around this time, "I'm Free" still receives regular airplay on Absolute Radio.
My celebrity crushes : Monika Sedziuviene, Kristina Ivanova (YVA).
In my head I like to imagine LastDreamer in the land of Lithuania right now with a suitcase of simcards, a box of chocolates and a wedding ring. It would be a great base for an epic Eurovision fan fiction.
Post by misterhamster on Oct 12, 2020 23:23:31 GMT 1
Part 3 (30-26):
30(17) TECHNOTRONIC ft YA KID K - Get Up (Before The Night Is Over) (280 points) Top 40 run: 3-2-2-3-4-9-15-26
With Ya Kid K now credited in her own right and taking centre stage, this infectious track matched the peak of its predecessor "Pump Up The Jam". It also showed that not only was Ya Kid K a solid rapper, she could also hold a tune.
29(33) SNAP! - Ooops Up (283 points) Top 40 run: 13-6-5-5-10-9-11-15-22-31
This partial Gap Band cover was the follow-up to a bigger hit that we'll see later. Closer in style to Soul II Soul than their other singles, it seemed to be going OK until Turbo B showed up with one of his nonsensical raps.
28(32) DNA & SUZANNE VEGA - Tom's Diner (283 points) Top 40 run: 13-3-2-2-2-5-15-25-39
The mysterious electronic duo transformed Vega's original acapella track (which was the first song ever converted to MP3), initially without the permission of Vega or her label. However, Vega loved the new interpretation which led to her label deciding to release it themselves, giving her her biggest UK hit and a second top 5 hit in the States. It spent three weeks at no.2 in the UK during the summer, denied by possibly the worst two no.1 singles of the year.
27(29) LONDONBEAT - I've Been Thinking About You (284 points) Top 40 run: 27-12-4-2-3-5-10-14-24-33
Having had their UK breakthrough hit in 1988 with "9AM (The Comfort Zone)", it took another two years for Londonbeat to reach the top 40 again but this effort gave them easily their biggest hit, reaching no.2 in the UK and no.1 in the US. In 1995, the group were one of the contenders to find the UK's Eurovision song but lost out to Love City Groove's eponymous song.
26(35) UB40 - Kingston Town (286 points) Top 40 run: 30-11-4-4-5-6-9-12-15-28
Whilst most of UB40's big hits were covers, (like this one, originally recorded by Lord Creator) you could tell they always respected the music they were paying homage to, unlike some other acts that would pop up during the decade.
Post by misterhamster on Oct 16, 2020 0:27:29 GMT 1
Part 4 (25-21):
25(30) EMF - Unbelievable (287 points) Top 40 run: 25-15-5-3-3-6-7-10-12
One of music's great mysteries. Not that this track was a huge hit (no.3 in the UK late in the year and no.1 in the US in 1991) but the fact for decades the song has featured a sample containing the f-word that has gone largely unnoticed (albeit, fairly well-disguised). Follow-up single "I Believe" reached the top 10 in 1991 but they struggled to match that success after that, their only other top 10 appearance being a cover of "I'm A Believer" with Reeves & Mortimer in 1995. The group split in 1997 but have reunited several times. Bass player Zac Foley died of a drug overdose in 2002.
After the stellar success of Kylie and Jason (and the not to stellar success of Stefan Dennis), Craig McLachlan was the next Neighbours star to pursue a chart career. It started well with this annoying catchy track that reached no.2 during the summer. He had a couple more hits during the early part of the decade and later appeared in the stage version of Grease opposite Debbie Gibson, with whom he had a top 20 hit with their version of "You're The One That I Want".
23(24) STEVE MILLER BAND - The Joker (291 points) Top 40 run: 34-14-6-1-1-2-6-12-29-40
Another old song that became a big hit on the back of a TV ad, this proved a highly controversial no.1 with chart enthusiasts due to the method used to compile the chart at the time. In 1990, the chart was still based from a sample, rather than every single sale being processed and calculated electronically. This track ended up in a tie with Deee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart" (which we'll see shortly), but as increase in sales was used as a tie-breaker by Gallup, "The Joker" got the no.1 spot, having jumped from no.6, compared to Deee-Lite's no.4. The track scored a more decisive victory the following week so it is a legitimate no.1 but many feel Deee-Lite had been robbed a week earlier.
22(20) KIM APPLEBY - Don't Worry (292 points) Top 40 run: 16-5-3-2-4-4-7-17-27
Less than a year after her sister Mel had lost her long battle with cancer, Kim returned with this uplifting track that gave her a deserved solo hit, reaching no.2 in November. The following two singles "G.L.A.D" and "Mama" both reached the top 20 but she wouldn't have another top 40 hit after that.
21(26) DEEE-LITE - Groove Is In The Heart (304 points) Top 40 run: 32-13-4-2-2-3-8-11-17-28
Despite controversially missing out on the no.1 spot, this infectious disco track finishes ahead of "The Joker" on the points list. Deee-Lite was a multi-national effort featuring American singer Lady Miss Kier, Japanese producer Towa Tei and Ukrainian DJ Dmitry. "Groove Is In The Heart" also featured cameos from Bootsy Collins and A Tribe Called Quest rapper Q-Tip and was a worldwide hit. Follow-up "Power Of Love" would be their only other UK top 40 hit.
Post by misterhamster on Oct 18, 2020 18:08:48 GMT 1
Part 5 (20-16):
20(31) BLUE PEARL - Naked In The Rain (313 points) Top 40 run: 34-17-8-6-4-4-5-9-8-17-26
One of several big dance hits during 1990, this was the debut for the duo of Durga McBroom and Martin Glover. McBroom was previously a backing vocalist for Pink Floyd, which led to David Gilmour and Richard Wright from the band playing on some of their tracks.
19(25) PAULA ABDUL - Opposites Attract (319 points) Top 40 run: 36-17-5-3-2-3-5-7-14-17-33
Another big hit for Abdul, who teamed up with The Wild Pair for this track, the Wild Pair being Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, though the video, which received a ton of airplay on MTV, made it look like she was dueting with one person (or an animated cat to be precise).
18(23) B-52s - Love Shack (321 points) Top 40 run: 33-14-6-2-2-2-6-10-14-21-38
This was a huge hit, spending three weeks at no.2 (kept off the top by two tracks we're yet to see). Their only previous top 40 appearance was "Rock Lobster" (twice). They had a subsequent hit with "Roam" and returned to the top 3 in 1994 with their version of the Flintstones theme (released under the name The BC-52's). Vocalist Kate Pierson would also appear with REM on their hit "Shiny Happy People".
17(12) BEAUTIFUL SOUTH - A Little Time (322 points) Top 40 run: 30-9-4-1-2-2-4-9-15-34
The group's only no.1 single, this was a duet between the under-utilised Dave Hemingway and Northern Irish vocalist Briana Corrigan, with Paul Heaton taking a rare back seat. It would be six years before the group had another top 10 hit, by which time Corrigan had left to be replaced by Jacqui Abbott, who continues to record and perform alongside Heaton today.
16(18) ALANNAH MYLES - Black Velvet (325 points) Top 40 run: 33-17-3-2-2-3-7-8-13-21-33
A huge hit in both the UK and US (where it reached no.1), it surprisingly only reached no.10 in her native Canada, despite the fact she would have continued success at home, while she failed to make an impact anywhere else after this hit.
Some fabulous hits there - Naked In The Rain (which I can’t watch as it’s blocked for me, but know how it goes so no biggie), Black Velvet, and Groove Is In The Heart (which was robbed). Also love Don’t Worry - but G.L.A.D. is far superior to these ears.
Post by Earl Purple on Oct 18, 2020 20:47:26 GMT 1
They blocked the song in South Africa, or your authorities don't like a song with the word Naked in the title on youtube?
I mean Ian Dench of E.M.F during the time he was in Whistler - a few times in fact, and Carol was with me on the last of those occasions. He later went on to write songs with Amanda Ghost of "Glory Girl" fame (at least it was in my chart). One of their songs "Beautiful Liar" was a UK #1 for Beyoncé and Shakira in 2007.
They blocked the song in South Africa, or your authorities don't like a song with the word Naked in the title on youtube?
“The uploader has made this video unavailable in your country”
I am 100% sure it’s not the latter considering our radio stations play unedited versions of songs on the radio - they don’t bat an eyelid at playing the Jason Derulo song and include the version with the line “give two f***s” at 8:30 in the morning. So I’m sure there is nothing controversial about Naked In The Rain! Unless it’s the word “Rain” because or our dam levels - but “They Say It’s Gonna Rain” is a daily staple for KFM!
Alan Jones gave a full explanation of the Deee-Lite/ Steve Miller Band contretemps in Record Mirror.
The only reason the two records ended up with identical sales was because panel figures were rounded to the nearest whole number. (I think they were calculated by adding the total number detected divided by 17).
If we say the figure was X fortunately for Gallup The Joker was just a fraction above this and so was rounded down while Groove was a fraction below which was nearer to X than X-1 so was rounded up to X giving them the same total so The Joker had actually sold a handful more copies.
However it would have been interesting had it been the other way about for under the bigger sales increase rule The Joker would have been named #1.
Of course it was Deee-Lite's record company and The Sun which kicked up all the fuss about it.
"Controversy raged last week over the tussle for the Gallup Chart’s Number One spot between Steve Miller’s ‘The Joker’ and Record Mirror favourites Deee-Lite’s ‘Groove Is In The Heart’. The latter’s record company issued a press release last week attacking the fairness of the Gallup Chart for placing the Miller track at Number One, despite both records achieving the same “panel sales” – the first time it’s happened with the Number One spot. Here Alan Jones, Record Mirror’s chart statistician and a chart consultant with Gallup, explains the complexities of the situation from the chart compilers’ point of view, while on page 31 News Plus looks at the music industry’s response to the affair.
The reality of the situation is that according to Gallup’s best guess, the Steve Miller Band single actually sold eight copies more than Deee-Lite’s and only the way in which Gallup presents the information to suit record industry tradition conceals the fact.
The “panel sales” of 2595 mentioned by WEA in its press release are a distillation of a very complex mathematical logarithm. A panel sale represents about one in every 17 actual sales, even though Gallup actually monitor a good deal more. The notion of a panel sale exists because from when the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) started to compile the chart in 1969 to when Gallup took over in 1983, the panel of shops used to compile the chart was 250 strong. Gallup immediately set about strengthening the panel for the good reason that a larger panel makes hyping very expensive and difficult, and provides statistically significant samples from which they can (and do) extrapolate a mass of marketing information for record companies. The chart is only the tip of the iceberg.
Today more than 900 shops are equipped with the Epson machines into which they key, or more frequently ‘wand’ their sales by passing a light pen over a barcode. Gallup’s computer collects data from them all. The problem is that the record industry needs to see sales represented by a constant base of shops, so all the sales are distilled back down to a typical sample of 250 every week.
Gallup breaks the UK record market down into small “cells” to analyse its sales. If for the sake of argument, there are 104 medium sized independent shops in London and Gallup has Epson computers in 26 of them which register 59 sales for a record, the assumption is that the record would sell 236 copies in the 104 shops as a whole. Similarly, if Gallup has established the fact that there are, say, 30 small Woolworths branches selling records in the South East, of which the 12 on the panel sell 18 copies of a record, they wouldn’t be far wrong in estimating that a total of 45 would be sold by the 30 Woolies together.
Sales from the shops on the Gallup panel are all “grossed up” in this way until the company has an estimate of the total number of sales for each of the 20,000 or so different titles on which it detects sales every week.
It could represent this information to the industry as an estimate of actual sales. For example, last week’s number three by Bombalurina sold an estimated 40,596 copies. The problem is, as I said before, that the industry knows where it is with its weighted average of 250 shops so everything has to be reduced to represent the wider picture in microcosm. Two hundred and fifty shops represent about a 17th of the actual UK total. All sales are therefore reduced to a 17th of their grossed up totals. Bombalurina thus ended up with 2388 panel sales.
‘The Joker’ and ‘Groove is In The Heart’ you will recall both had published panel sales of 2595. But these are “rounded” figures. The Gallup computer actually adjudged that ‘The Joker’ sold 44,118 copies and that ‘Groove is In The Heart’ sold 44,110 copies, which equate to panel sales of 2595.2 and 2594.7 respectively. So either way you look at it, ‘The Joker’ was Number One".
I remember the article well. It was also mentioned somewhere that it could have cost them album sales as they might have promoted the album with the fact it had a number one single on it. I just don’t like the Steve Miller song, so it is what it is.
Anyway justice has been served as it’s two places higher on this excellent points chart!