THE BIG HITS…..30 YEARS ON (9)

Sunday 2 September 1990.  It’s a day when the music sitting atof the top of the charts, along with the various new entries into the Top 75, exemplifies the weirdness of that particular year. It’s worth listing the Top 20 in full, especially as none of the songs were new entries

1. ITSY BITSY TEENY WEENY YELLOW POLKA DOT BIKINI – BOMBALURINA
2. FOUR BACHARACH AND DAVID SONGS (EP) – DEACON BLUE
3. WHERE ARE YOU BABY? – BETTY BOO
4. GROOVE IS IN THE HEART – DEEE-LITE
5. TONIGHT – NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
6. THE JOKER – THE STEVE MILLER BAND
7. WHAT TIME IS LOVE? – KLF
8. NAKED IN THE RAIN – BLUE PEARL
9. RHYTHM OF THE RAIN – JASON DONOVAN
10. PRAYING FOR TIME – GEORGE MICHAEL
11. CAN CAN YOU PARTY – JIVE BUNNY AND THE MASTERMIXERS
12. SILHOUETTES – CLIFF RICHARD
13. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART – ROXETTE
14. VISION OF LOVE – MARIAH CAREY
15. TOM’S DINER – DNA FEATURING SUZANNE VEGA
16. TURTLE POWER – PARTNERS IN KRYME
17. I’M FREE – SOUP DRAGONS FEATURING JUNIOR REID
18. U CAN’T TOUCH THIS – MC HAMMER
19. END OF THE WORLD – SONIA
20. KING OF WISHFUL THINKING – GO WEST

It would have made for fairly depressing listening as the DJ in question revealed the latest rundown on BBC Radio 1 from 5pm onwards, with the Top 20 played in its entirety, prior to which any new entries into the Top 40 and significant movers would also be aired, all of which would have meant a very rare peak time radio play for one of the UK’s biggest cult acts, for coming in at #34 was this:-

Get Me Out – New Model Army

NMA had been around for ten years, and with them constantly switching the type of music they were recording and performing, they had been impossible for the critics to pin down into a particular genre. They are still on the go some thirty years on and causing the same grief! From the outset, they had attracted a highly dedicated fan following which having eventually morphed into ‘The Family’ whose numbers ensured the band would be guaranteed the live shows would always be successful, albeit this didn’t always transfer into huge sales on vinyl/CD. Get Me Out was their tenth successive single to make the Top 75, and like the others, it would come into the charts somewhere in the region of 31-50 before immediately dropping out, all down to ‘The Family’ making the initial purposes.

And that, unless there is a guest posting, will likely be the only mention of New Model Army on the blog (albeit they will get a further mention in this series in a couple of months time).

There were some other interesting entries in the chart this week, from acts that are no strangers to the pages of TVV.

Iceblink Luck – Cocteau Twins (#39)
Rollercoaster – The Jesus and Mary Chain (#46)
White Lightning – The Fall (#56)

Cocteau Twins would hang around that position in the charts for another couple of weeks but the other two dropped out almost immediately. I don’t think either song would have given mainstream exposure. Worth mentioning in passing the next again JAMC single, released in February 1992, would be Reverance. And in reaching #10 would give the band its biggest ever success in terms of a single. Oh, and yet again it’s a cover that brings a bit of chart success the way of The Fall.

The other new entries came courtesy of Adamski (The Space Jungle – #23), Caron Wheeler (Livin’ In The Light – #29), Janet Jackson (Black Cat – #32), Faith No More (Epic (1990 re-release) – #35), Quireboys (There She Goes Again – #51), Dan Reed Network (Lover – #52), Grand Plaz (Wow Wow, Na Na – #58) and Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Higher Ground (1990 re-release) – #59).

Down at the lower end of the new entries were a couple of bangers, included here as I know at least a couple of regular readers will remember them

Hard Up – Awesome 3 (#64)
Dance Dance – Deskee (#74)

In acknowledgment of the fact you’ve been asked to spend a lot of time getting this far, I’m going to have a race through each of the remaining four charts in September 1990. There’s also the fact that the latter part of the month has a lot of singles of great interest…….

September 9: New Entries

Suicide Blonde – Inxs (#16)
Show Me Heaven – Maria McKee (#26)
Nothing To Lose – S’Express (#40)
Empty World- Dogs D’Amour (#63)
Way Down Now – World Party (#66)
Summer In Siam – The Pogues (#67)
You Don’t Love Me – Jagged Edge (#71)
Greenbank Drive – The Christians (#72)
Pain Killer – Judas Priest (#74)

I’ll mention in passing that those of us who had seen or listened to Lone Justice in previous years quite stunned but secretly pleased that Maria McKee was finally coming to the attention of a wider public. Just a pity it proved to be a one-off with a song whose video was packed with scenes from the latest Tom Cruise blockbuster.

Many of the other new entries this week reflect what I had been mentioning a few months back in that the music of the clubs and fields was moving into the mainstream

Tunes Splits The Atom – MC Tunes vs 808 State (#44)
Burundi Blues – Beats International (#56)
Sunrise – Movement 98 (#62)

The first of these would eventually go Top 20.

The Stone Roses also made a re-appearance in the charts at #32 with Fool’s Gold, just seven months after it had previously dropped out of the charts, albeit the radio stations were now spinning the other side of the single, What The World Is Waiting For.

The final mention for 9 September goes to this:-

Timeless Melody – The La’s

It had been two years since There She Goes had been released, and it was a period when The La’s were being talked up as the next great British indie-guitar bands. It would transpire that the intervening period had seen singer/songwriter Lee Mavers recording and re-recording their intended debut album, with a constantly changing band line-up and all sorts of would-be producers coming and going. Timeless Melody was the first of the new material and rather worryingly for all concerned, #57 was as high as it got. Things would, however, improve, before the year was out.

September 16: New Entries

Holy Smoke – Iron Maiden (#3)
Thunderstruck – AC/DC (#16)

Yup, the heavy metal brigade were out in force this week with the two highest new entries. Further down the charts, there was a smattering of pop hits from Monie Love (It’s A Shame – #35), River City People (What’s Wrong With Dreaming – #40), Bell Biv Devoe (Do Me! – #56) and Sinitta (Love and Affection – #62)

For the most part, however, a mix of indie and dance was showing the way:-

Then – The Charlatans (#19)
Cult of Snap! – Snap! (#21)
I Can’t Stand It – Twenty4Seven feat. Captain Hollywood (#28)
Make It Mine – The Shamen (#42)
Rock and Roll Nigger – Birdland (#47)
Omen – Orbital (#52)
You’re Walking – Electribe 101 (#54)

I’m guessing the Birdland cover would get into a spot of bother these days……but then again, Patti Smith does seem to get a free pass over such things.

September 23: New Entries

This was the week that Maria McKee began a four-week stay at the top of the charts, by which time Lone Justice fans were hiding away copies of the old albums….

The power of the gogglebox can be demonstrated by the fact that a new entry this week, at #16 (but it would eventually reach #2!!!) was Blue Velvet by Bobby Vinton.  I had assumed it had something to do with it soundtracking the David Lynch film of the same name, but that was a 1986 release.  Instead, it had been used as the music for an advert for face cream and there had been enough public demand for it to be re-released and become a hit, a full 37 years on.  Its things like this that make me wish we had the American approach to singles in that they really don’t matter (but then again, my cupboard full of vinyl would be quite sparse).

The metal boys were still having a field day with Megadeath (Holy Wars….The Punishment Due – #24), Thunder – She’s So Fine (#38) and Slaughter (Coming Back For More #62).  There were also a fair number of new pop hits, far too many to mention even in passing, so it’s straight to the indie/dance/established alternative efforts

Never Enough – The Cure (#15)
World In My Eyes – Depeche Mode (#28)
Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) – The Wedding Present (#29)
Dreams Burn Down – Ride (#34)
Heaven (1990 version) – The Chimes (#36)
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Neneh Cherry (#45)

The Wedding Present and Ride tracks were songs from the Three EP and the Fall EP respectively. It also led to a rare appearance on Top of The Pops for Gedge & co. Neneh Cherry‘s excellent single was the taster for the album Red Hot + Blue, a compilation album on which a wide range of contemporary singers and bands offered up their take on songs written by Cole Porter. The album would go on to sell more than a million copies worldwide and raise substantial sums for the Red Hot Organisation, a charity that had been established to fight AIDS.

September 30: New Entries

Yup…. a five week month (but look on the bright side, each of October and November will have just four weeks). It was also a quieter week for new entries, helped by the fact that none of the metal bands chose to release any singles!

The highest new entry belonged to a duo whose impending new album was their first new material in two years, having dominated the UK charts in the second half of the 80s

So Hard – Pet Shop Boys (#4)

Elsewhere, chart regulars such as Technotronic (Megamix – #12), MC Hammer (Have You Seen Her – #15), Mica Paris (Contribution – #43), Phil Collins (Hang In Long Enough – #47), Paul Simon (The Obvious Child – #61) and Paul Young (Heaven Can Wait – #72) were polluting the atmosphere.

A few others to mention.

A Little Time – The Beautiful South (#30)

Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway had caught a few folk by surprise with the change of direction after the break-up of The Housemartins, enjoying three hit singles and a #1 debut album in 1989. The first of the new material quietly entered the charts at #30 and two weeks later it was at #1.

Right Here, Right Now – Jesus Jones (#37)
Good Morning Britain – Aztec Camera feat Mick Jones (#52)

Two songs that would become staples of the ‘indie’ compilations that would flood the shops as the decade wore on.

And that concludes a bumper edition of this series, with 27 songs on offer, most of which had to be sought from outside the collection.  It took a fair bit of time and I’m glad this particular project is nearing an end.

JC
(aged 57 years and 3 months)

 

11 thoughts on “THE BIG HITS…..30 YEARS ON (9)

  1. I scrolled down the top 20 then reached for the hand sanitizer.

    The comments re: Lone Justice and Maria McKee chime. From the utter shouty delight of the Lone Justice debut to the shoulder shrug of the solo debut. I wished her well as we parted ways.

    I enjoy(ed) New Model Army but disliked members of ‘The Family’ that I was unfortunate to meet – essentially thugs in steel toe cap boots. Boy, did it hurt when you got kicked in the back with those in the mosh pit.

    What I own from the countdown:

    The Wedding Present
    Ride
    The Cure
    Depeche Mode
    Birdland
    Cocteau Twins
    JAMC
    New Model Army
    The Charlatans
    The La’s
    Jesus Jones

    I imagine the horror of December’s rundown will outstrip this.

  2. Thanks for solving the mystery of Blue Velvet for me. I remember the film still being shown in cinemas in a double bill with The Fly around this time but always doubted that could explain the sudden popularity of the song. Having no TV at the time I have never seen that ad. YouTube here I come.

  3. Some good stuff in there among the rest and you’re right about the sheer weirdness of the top 20. It has some of the worst records ever made (Bombalurina, Jive Bunny, Sonia, Cliff, that Turtle record, Go West FFS) and two that are among the best of that year and can still get spun today regularly (Dee Lite and The KLF) plus Blue Pearl and DNA/ Vega (both excellent period pieces). Several worlds colliding in the charts.

  4. If this really is the penultimate posting in this series, thanks for the work and the memories that have gone into it. This was a period of time when, due to work commitments, I (almost) fell out of love with new music. Looking back (thanks to your posts) I was more engaged than I thought. The list of indie new entries on 23rd September includes many that I purchased. Perhaps my descent into old-gitism took a few more years. As with @Flimflamfan above, I really love early (and recent) NMA. Might almost be tempted to an ICA…

  5. Sorry JC. Total brainfart about what month we’re in. Only been back at work 2 weeks but feels like Christmas must be just around the corner. Either that or Friday night alcohol haze!

  6. Wow, a mammoth post, JC! Sep 1990 was also the time I left the UK for a year working and traveling in Australia. Was the state of the mainstream music charts subconsciously an influence? Maybe more than I thought! Mind you, the Australian Top 20 was even worse when I arrived…!

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