This is the first of these so I’ll start off by explaining how it works. I wanted to share some memories of hit singles so I decided to do this by picking a UK singles chart at random. I put the numbers 1-31 in a bag to select the day, January-December in another to select the month, and 1985-2012 in a third to select the year. The first date that I created was 13 December 1997 so I will look at that chart and pick about ten songs that I want to share my memories of. I have noticed that most charts run to a Top 100, to officially be a hit your single must peak at number 75 at least so I may even be able to review some non-hits from 76-100 if I can remember them. A few credits: all chart information is taken from http://www.officialcharts.com, all record sleeve pictures are taken from http://www.chartarchive.org, and all memories are taken from my own mind. Let’s go then…
1 (new entry) “Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!” – Teletubbies. Well I have picked a really good one to start with here, haven’t I? The Teletubbies were really big in 1997 to the point that they had that year’s Christmas Number One single. I remember that most TV and radio stations didn’t play this song much, not because it was banned as such, but because I imagine that it couldn’t be tolerated by anyone over the age of three. Somebody must have bought it though.
2 (down 1) “Perfect Day” – various. The previous week’s Number One. Lou Reed and co. get together to tell us how wonderful the BBC is. I remember one critic at the time described this song as from “that achingly cool pay your TV licence ad”. However, it would return to Number One in early-1998.
3 (non-mover) “Barbie Girl” – Aqua. This was another mighty chart-topper in 1997. But I never really liked it. I did used to listen to the Top 40 with Mark Goodier on BBC Radio 1 around this time, I remember not being very impressed when this song was in the Top Ten endlessly. Aqua would go on to have two more number one singles in the UK.
12 (new entry) “Tomorrow Never Dies” – Sheryl Crow. This was the theme to the new James Bond film. I’ve never really been a big fan of this genre of films but Bond themes are always a big chart success. It’s a surprise to realise that no Bond theme has ever been a UK number one single. That might all change soon though with the theme to the new Bond film Spectre coming to the chart.
14 (down 5) “Ain’t That Just That Way” – Lutricia McNeal. Now this was a song that I liked and it was the first of Lutricia’s three Top Ten hit singles in the UK.
38 (down 2) “Tubthumping” – Chumbawumba. This was a big hit for the angry anarchists in the summer of 1997. During this year I listened to Capital regularly which was about the only time that I’ve ever done so, and even they were always playing it. I can’t imagine a single like this on Capital nowadays. You always know when your song has made an impact when the lyrics briefly become a national catchphrase, and “I get knocked down, but I get up again” seemed to be shouted by almost every wally at the time. It even went on to be a hit in America.
51 (new entry) “My Desire” – Amira. I have always liked records like this in the dance genre. However, like most dance acts I know almost nothing about Amira, but this song was re-released a few times and finally made the Top 20 in 2001.
90 (down 4) “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – The Verve. The breakthrough single for the Wigan group who also had a number one single in this year. The famous video was made on Hoxton High Street, not far from where I live, indeed I’m fairly sure that it is a road that I have been down myself. The video was also famously parodied a year later for Fat Les’s World Cup song “Vindaloo”. The Verve’s follow-up single “Lucky Man” was also on the chart this week, and the video was famously banned from appearing on The Chart Show.
96 (re-entry) “I Know Where It’s At” – All Saints. The first hit single for the girl band. I must admit that I was never a big fan of them, but this is my favourite single by them. Also on this chart was the follow-up “Never Ever” which was in the Top Ten and would eventually become a Number One in early-1998.
That’s it for now, I hope you’ll enjoy these memories, and I will try and review at least one chart from every year from the mid-80s to the early-10s, we’ll just have to see what date is picked at random next. Also, I have remembered that there is a box featuring some old CDs and cassettes somewhere so I might have a raid through that and review some of the classic singles (or otherwise) that I find on here too.