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Old 12-17-2022, 08:38 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Going back into the previous century (oh yeah I sure do feel old duh) to check out what was perched at the top of the charts in 1992:

Title: “End of the Road”
Artist: Boys II Men
Nationality: American
Genre: R&B
Written by: Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Antonio “LA” Reid, Daryl Simmons
Original release date: June 30 1992
Progress to the top: Entered chart at 36, took eight weeks to slowly climb until it got to number 2 on October 17 and spent two weeks there before moving onto the top spot, which it held for three weeks. Its progress back down the chart was slow, showing the song remained very popular even after it had dropped from the top spot. It took three weeks to drop out of the top ten, and five to drop out of the top forty.
Weeks spent at number one: 3
From the album: Boomerang soundtrack (also on reissue of their Cooleyhighharmony album)
What do I know about this artist? Another boyband, what’s to know?
What do I think of this single?It’s a decent ballad, with a lot of soul and the kind of 60s/70s doo-wop sound that you might get from the likes of Smokey and his ilk. It’s a really nice song, and I guess that’s one thing you can say about boybands, that they write - or at least record - good ballads. To their credit, this is written by members of the band. I could do without the formulaic spoken part though, these seldom work unless you’re the great Barry White, and then he only ever used that as an introduction.
What have I learned about this single? I’ve learned it was even more successful in the USA (not surprisingly) where it spent a massive 13 weeks at number one, the record at the time for a chart-topping single. It was released as part of the soundtrack to the movie Boomerang (no, I never heard of it and don’t know what it is about, nor do I care) but due to its phenomenal success, having not been on the album Cooleyhighharmony, it was included on the reissue of that album later that year.
My rating: A+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDKO6XYXioc
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Old 12-20-2022, 03:30 PM   #22 (permalink)
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And forty years back, in 1982, this was on top.

Title: “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”
Artist: Culture Club
Nationality: English
Genre: New Wave/Blue-Eyed Soul/Reggae
Written by: Roy Hay, Boy George, Mikey Craig, Jon Moss
Original release date: September 6 1982
Progress to the top: Entering the chart at 66 on September 18, it moved a massive chunk the next week, hanging just outside the top 30 and the next week another huge jump to 15. After an appearance on Top of the Pops it leaped into the top three, getting to number two the next week and then number one, where it spent three weeks before slowly falling back down the chart.
Weeks spent at number one: 3
From the album: Kissing to Be Clever
What do I know about this artist? I don’t know all that much about Culture Club, other than what I saw on the telly (and sneered at, and kind of still do to some extent) but I watched Boy George on the TV show The Apprentice and he was very engaging.
What do I think of this single? Never really liked it, or them. It’s a sort of bump’n’grind ballad with a somewhat annoying sense of reggae in it.
What have I learned about this single? Not much. It was their third single, the first two having failed to chart, and said to have been their last chance to get a record deal. Of course, after this it was all roses for the band as they took the eighties by storm.
My rating: B+
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Old 12-30-2022, 06:17 AM   #23 (permalink)
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All the way back fifty years, and November 1972 saw this single top the charts.

Title: “Mouldy Old Dough”
Artist: Lieutenant Pigeon
Nationality: English
Genre: Pub Rock
Written by: Nigel Fletcher, Rob Woodward
Original release date: February 1972
Progress to the top: Although a complete flop on its initial release, second time round was the charm and it entered the chart at 38 on September 16, moving into the top 20 the next week and then to the number 3 and then 2 spot, until the next week it reached the top and remained there for four weeks.
Weeks spent at number one: 4
From the album: Mouldy Old Music
What do I know about this artist? Nothing
What do I think of this single? One of the old quirks of the seventies, an instrumental single with one or two sung lines; a real oddity but somehow catchy.
What have I learned about this single? That one of the band members’ mothers played the piano on it, that it was only successful after flopping by way of a Belgian TV show, whose popularity pushed the song into the Belgian charts and had the UK label give it another go, whereupon it raced to number one. It says the title refers to a jazz phrase “vo-de-o-do”, though it does not say what this means.
My rating: A
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Old 01-05-2023, 09:26 PM   #24 (permalink)
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So back to the chart proper we go, and while of course now it’s Christmas time, at least chartwise, I’m going back a month because otherwise every fucking other record is a Christmas one, and that’s not what this is about. Plus I’m out of sickbags. So, this time the RNG brings me a number even lower than 33, this being 38.

And this year, a month ago, we find this at that position.

Title: “Under the Influence”
Artist: Chris Brown
Nationality: American
Genre: R&B/Pop
Written by: Ayoola Oladapo Agboola, Chris Brown, David Adedeji Adeleke, Tiffany McKie
Original release date: September 6 2022
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 7 (UK) 14 (USA) ***
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: Descending
From the album: Indigo
What do I know about this artist? Not much; some link to Whitney Houston I think, something about domestic violence? Not my kind of music though I have heard the name. Oh I see it wasn't Whitney Houston, it was Rihanna. Leave me alone: I'm old and to quote Mr. Hall, out of touch. If | was ever in touch, that is.
What do I think of this single? You know, it’s not terrible. I could do, as ever, without the autotune (Trademark Registered to Hell Music Plc.) but it’s a slow, grinding sort of almost ballad with a measured beat and not a terrible amount of boasting or preening. Don’t quite get the Codeine aspect to be honest; he does mention Robitussin at the beginning (who would have ever thought a cough bottle for kids would feature in a chart single?) but other than that, kind of a standard bump’n’grind love song. Wouldn’t be completely averse to hearing it again. Surprisingly decent.
What have I learned about this single? That it’s about having sex under the influence of Codeine, which if you ask me is a strange drug to choose. I know it’s addictive but was he just bored of writing about snorting coke or shooting heroin? Apparently it was what’s called a “sleeper hit”, having been initially recorded for release on the expanded version of his album in 2019, but then going viral for some reason and thereafter entering the charts. It made Brown the first r&b artist in history to have over fifty hits in the top forty, it says here.
My rating: A


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfxyk1glEq4

*** Got higher (no pun intended) in the dance charts or something, but I'm only taking the mainstream ones into account here.
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Old 01-11-2023, 08:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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And so going back 10 years, what was residing at number 38 in 2012?
Well, this.


Title: “Gold Dust”
Artist: DJ Fresh
Nationality: English
Genre: Drum and Bass
Written by: Dan Stein
Original release date: December 2 2012 (re-re-release)
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 22 (UK)
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: Rising
From the album: Kryptonite
What do I know about this artist? Not a thing
What do I think of this single? Meh, it’s all right I suppose. Somebody is wetting themselves on the Wiki page about the skipping video that accompanies it, like "OMG THIS IS AMAZING U HAVE 2 SEE IT!” Bollocks. It’s interesting, it’s skilful but I wouldn’t go mad about it. Decent enough tune but no more than that. I suppose the video makes it more than it is. Not my thing at all.
What have I learned about this single? Like a lot of dance music (to use a probably inappropriate term) it’s seen release in various versions, the first being in 2008 and then a re-release in 2010, with this being a remix.
My rating: B

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNuUgbUzM8U
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Old 01-14-2023, 09:55 AM   #26 (permalink)
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And further back we go, into the very edges of the twenty-first century. In 2002 this was at number 38.

Title: “Poor Leno”
Artist: Röyksopp
Nationality: Norwegian
Genre: Electronica, Progressive House
Written by: Svein Berge, Torbjørn Brundtland, Erlend Øye
Original release date: December 3 2001
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 38
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: None; new entry and its highest position anyway
From the album: Melody A.M.
What do I know about this artist? Nothing
What do I think of this single? It’s okay. Has a nice beat to it though the singing is a little drony and the video that accompanies it and tells the story is somewhat upsetting.
What have I learned about this single? Very little. It was used in some videogame (SSX 3). It was originally released in 2001 where it did even more poorly, getting only to 59. Didn’t exactly set the charts alight the second time either, entering at 38, and going no further. Not sure why they bothered to be honest.
My rating: B

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4px0qQrG5E
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Old 01-18-2023, 08:14 PM   #27 (permalink)
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So off to another century we go, and into the depths of 1992, where this was hoping to get higher than 38.


Title: “Who Can Make Me Feel Good?”
Artist: Bassheads
Nationality: English
Genre: House
Written by: Eamonn Anthony Deery
Original release date: Dunno; I can only find the year. It was that important, yeah.
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 38
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: None; new entry and that’s as far as it got
From the album: N/A
What do I know about this artist? British House duo who pissed Roger and Dave off when they used samples from “Is There Anybody Out There?” as well as others like Afrika Bambatta and, um, The Osmonds. Though not on this single. Seems like they had a few very very minor hits, this being one of their last, and then broke up. Not exactly a stellar career then.
What do I think of this single? Not a lot. I decided to take a listen to the one they got in trouble with Floyd on, their remix of “Is There Anybody Out There?” and I quite liked what I heard. It was nine minutes and change so I didn’t listen to it all, but I certainly liked it more than I like this one. Very harsh, pounding House-style piano with some woman singing (possibly sampled) in a quite high-pitched tone which really does nothing for me at all.
What have I learned about this single? Nothing at all.
My rating: C+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gq_dHQ-PPE4
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Old 01-21-2023, 08:44 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Back to my favourite decade then, 1982 saw this at 38 - ah now ye’re talkin’!


Title: “Here I Go Again”
Artist: Whitesnake
Nationality: English
Genre: Hard Rock, Blues Rock
Written by: David Coverdale, Bernie Marsden
Original release date: October 1982
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 34 (re-released in 1987 and hit number 1 in the US and 9 in the UK)
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: Rising
From the album: Saints & Sinners
What do I know about this artist? Ah, Whitesnake! Many was the night I listened to Live.. In the Heart of the City, Lovehunter, Come an’ Get It or Slide it in! Good times, good times. One of the premier British hair metal bands of the 1980s, then Coverdale had to get all up himself and that was that. Marsden slays though.
What do I think of this single? Love it. It’s a classic power ballad with real punch, and who doesn’t remember Coverdale’s uber-sexy wife in the video? Ah. Might just have to go watch it just one more time. For research, you understand, of course.
What have I learned about this single? Nothing I didn’t really know already. I knew it was re-released five years later and was far more successful, with for some reason the word “hobo” in the chorus being changed to “drifter”, and I always wondered if it was because the word was being mistaken for “homo”? Seems odd, but there you go. Great song, and Coverdale could really belt the tunes out back then. Still, despite the sexy video I have to say I prefer the original: there’s more honesty, more soul and aching need in this one, whereas the ‘87 version is polished to the nines and you get more of the confident swagger, whereas here he seems much more down to earth. Oh well, whichever version you prefer, it’s a killer song, the likes of which we will probably never hear again.
My rating: A+++
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Old 01-31-2023, 09:55 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Which takes us all the way back to 1972, when another hair metal legend was creeping up the chart but currently at number 38.


Title: “Wig-Wam Bam”
Artist: The Sweet
Nationality: English
Genre: Glam Rock
Written by: Nicki Chinn, Mike Chapman
Original release date: September 1 1972
Highest chart position (at time of writing): 4
Chart position (at time of writing): 38
Progress, if any, at time of writing: Descending
From the album: The Sweet
What do I know about this artist? One of the big glam rock bands of the 1970s, Sweet all but formed the soundtrack to that era, with hits such as “Fox on the Run”, “Ballroom Blitz” and “BlockBuster”, also heard on the TV series Life on Mars.
What do I think of this single? It’s not their best, and as the genre says above, a bit more bubblegum pop than glam rock, or anything rock really, and the lyric would certainly have had a lot of SJWs flying to Twitter and Facebook in protest, but hey, it was the seventies, there was no harm meant, and I doubt many Native Americans took offence. Fun, remember that? No? It was quite big in the seventies.
What have I learned about this single? It was apparently the first single The Sweet released on which they actually played their instruments, having had a backing band prior to this, and is actually based on the poem Hiawatha by Longfellow, so I guess it’s not just appropriating Native American culture (unless you accept/assume Longfellow was doing that anyway). It was also the first song on which the bass player joined in on the singing, a style the band would adopt after this. Seen, too, as their first real glam rock single, though I wouldnt’t personally call it glam rock. Or any rock.
My rating: A-
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