30, 20, 10 (Part 5)

The latest installment in the monthly series looking back at the songs which were #1 in the indie charts on the first day of the month 30, 20 and 10 years ago.

Last month gave us what you would imagine to be an atypical trio of indie hits over the decades with New Order, Oasis and Arctic Monkeys featuring. September 1987 continues in a similar vein but the #1s from the following two decades are as far from indie as you can imagine….especially 2007.

1 September 1987 : mp3 : The Smiths – Girlfriend In A Coma

Some four weeks prior, the UK weekly newspaper NME had exclusively revealed the break-up of The Smiths just as the band were preparing to promote the first single to be lifted from their fourth studio LP although details were hazy.  The story was followed up a week later with the revelation that guitarist Johnny Marr had left the band (or been sacked depending on the spin you believed) but that a replacement was being sought to allow things to carry on as normal.  It was a bizarre time for fans of the band and things weren’t really helped with the first exposure to the new single which, at just over 2 mins in length and with a nonsensical lyric over a lightweight tune, isn’t easy to fall in love….well, not until repeated exposure and then you realise there is some wonderful guitar playing within it as well as the hints of strings, albeit synthetically reproduced thanks to electronica. It’s grown on me over the years but I still think it is one of, if not the, weakest single the band released back in the day.

1 September 1997 :  Tina Moore – Never Gonna Let You Go

I have no idea what this sounds like…can’t recall it at all.  Nope.  Think it’s the first time I’ve ever heard it.  It’s ghastly.  Turning to wiki:-

“Never Gonna Let You Go” is a single by American singer Tina Moore. Originally released in 1995, the song reached #27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In 1997, a UK garage remix of the song by Kelly G was released and became a Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at #7 on the UK Singles Chart.

DJ Magazine ranked it number 62 in their list of Top 100 Club Tunes in 1998. MTV Dance placed “Never Gonna Let You Go” at #92 in their list of The 100 Biggest 90’s Dance Anthems Of All Time in November 2011.

If you must listen…..

It qualified for the indie charts via that loophole I mentioned in an earlier posting;

“Inclusion on the indie chart was always about distribution. Initially, the record needed to be delivered by a distribution service that was independent of the four major record companies: EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and Universal Music Group and the genre of music was irrelevant. The major labels however got round this by setting up subsidiary labels and outsourcing the shipping of those singles to smaller distribution services.

It took until June 2009 to close this loophole when the industry altered the rules so that in addition to distribution criteria a single was only eligible for the Indie Chart is it was on a label that was at least fifty per cent owned by an entity that was not one of the main four record companies.”

Tina Moore was on a subsidiary of Warner Bros.

But here’s probably the best possible example of the rules being bent….

1 September 2007 : Elvis Presley – My Baby Left Me

If you look this up, you’ll find that it’s a song that dates back to 1950 and that Elvis Presley recorded and released it in 1956 as a b-side to I Want You, I Need You, I Love You.  I have no idea why it was released as a single in 1997 – it was of course the 20th anniversary of his death and it could well have been related to that.  It was put out on Memphis Recordings but let’s face the facts….Elvis was really part of RCA Records most of his career up until his death and so all recordings can be traced back to whichever multinational was in ownership of the songs in 2007 (I think it was Sony).

Much more of these outcomes and I’ll be dropping this series for breaching trading standards descriptions.


2 thoughts on “30, 20, 10 (Part 5)

  1. You’re being kind, JC. ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’ is an insipid song, one of the few WTF? moments in their otherwise formidable catalog.

  2. This is a great series, JC – although I do love ‘Girlfriend in a Coma’, fellas. Seem to remember a lot of Pete Waterman’s PWL label hitting the top of the indie charts 30 years ago – will be interesting to see if the series treads on any of these.

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