30, 20, 10 (Part 12)

It’s all gone a bit dancey the past couple of months, which hasn’t proved to be detrimental to the continuity of the series looking back at the songs which were #1 in the indie charts this time of year in 88,98 and 08.

Have any major labels exploited the loopholes around distribution and cheated their way to the top at the expense of the genuinely small operations?

1 April 1988 : mp3 : Erasure – Ship of Fools

It’s on Mute Records so I’ve no issue with it being a genuine qualifier.  Acts such as Erasure and Depeche Mode brough big money into the label which allowed Daniel Miller to release all sorts of low-selling singles and albums by all sorts of acts, including Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds whose rise to fame was still a few years off.

Can’t say I remember much about this 45, so have turned to wiki:-

The song was issued as the lead single from Erasure’s third album The Innocents  but not as a single in the United States.

“Ship of Fools” marked Erasure’s first release without record producer Flood. Known for creating slick, pop-oriented production style, Stephen Hague took over producing duties for The Innocents album. “Ship of Fools” and its B-side, “When I Needed You”, were both written by Vince Clarke and Andy Bell.

Upon its release, “Ship of Fools” hit number six in the UK singles chart, becoming the group’s third consecutive Top 10 single (and fourth overall).

1 April 1998 : Run D.M.C vs Jason Nevins – It’s Like That

The original dates back to 1983 and was a minor hit in the USA but not in many other places.  Fast forward 14 years and it gets the remix treatment by house DJ Jason Nevins.  Again, nothing much happened and it wasn’t until its release in the UK in February 1998, in response to the import getting a great response in clubs, that it took off in great style.  Not only did it spend six weeks at the top of the indie chart, it did the same on the ‘proper’ chart and went on to be the third best-selling single of the year.

It was on Smile Communications which itself was a sub-label of Profile Records which itself was owned by Sony.  It was only through such a connection that it proved possible to get enough copies of the single into the shops to meet demand – it wasn’t just the UK who went nuts for it as it went Top 3 in most European countries and in Australia and New Zealand with estimated sales of 5m worldwide in 97/98.

1 April 2008 : mp3 : This Is Seb Clarke – Rock n Roll Alamo pt 7

I had no idea who this was. Here’s wiki:-

This Is Seb Clarke or (TISC) are a 12-piece soul-punk ensemble from Stoke-On-Trent, North Staffordshire. Their line-up plays Hammond organ, piano, bass, drums, lead guitar, rhythm guitar and has a brass section. The group are named after their frontman and principal songwriter, Sebastian Clarke.

Playing soulful ballads with an acoustic guitar and blues harp. A tour of acoustic tents at numerous festivals culminated in a performance at T in the Park in 2004. Later that year, the line-up expanded to incorporate a bass player and drummer, but this trio rapidly grew into the twelve-piece.

This Is Seb Clarke’s debut album, Rover was released in 2005. “Spring Morning Sunshine” reached #12 in the UK Indie Chart in 2006. The follow-up single, “I Just Can’t Carry On”, from their second album, Vox, entered the indie chart at #7. Their third single “Rock ‘n’ Roll Alamo – pt 7” reached #1 on the same chart.

I’m guessing they broke up not too long afterwards as there’s next to nothing on t’internet beyond this. On the basis of this 45, they don’t impress me much.

JC

 

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