My Top 10 Fave Sitcoms

10. AMERICAN DAD (2005-2019)

Another Seth McFarlane animated Fox show – albeit dropped in 2014 and picked up by TBS – starring McFarlane as a redneck CIA agent Stan Smith with a typecast homebody housewife (at least she seems to be at first, but Fran’s as mad as Stan is). The nerd son Steve hangs about with his nerd friends, one of them voiced by Moonlighting’s Curtis Armstrong, while Steve is voiced by Scott Grimes, currently starring alongside Seth in the fab The Orville. Last family members are left-wing protestor hippie Hailey (Rachel McFarlane, Seth keeping it in the family) and Roger the alien (also Seth), a moral-free gender-fluid selfish alien taken in by the Smiths, and who has a million disguises. Lastly there’s Klaus the German fish – or rather a former spy in the body of a goldfish, still hoping to be a man again and as mad as the rest of the clan.

The mix is pretty fine for plots, social commentary, sci-fi, political, parodies, surreal (even the apocalypse end of days!) and sometimes very dark humour, and also features oodles of famous guest stars, notably the recurring role of Stan’s CIA boss – Patrick “Captain Picard” Stewart sending himself up beautifully. As with other Seth shows Walter Murphy is on hand to score the show fabulously – for oldies like me he’s the bloke who had a 1976 hit with A Fifth Of Beethoven, a disco classical bit of fun. Some of my fave guest stars: Alyson Hanigan, Andy Samberg, Bryan Cranston, Burt reynolds, Chris Isaak, David Boreanaz, Eartha Kitt, Ed Asner, George takei – and that’s just a selection of A to G on the full list! For cult TV fans like me (and clearly the show’s stars and creators) it’s a paradise of riches. Some of the episodes don’t always work, some of the stuff the characters do can make you feel a bit icky – but it’s not real! It’s got a talking walking goldfish and an alien! Still great.

 

9. CHEERS (1982-1993)

Great theme tune, heartwarming song and concept, that you can get a “family”, friends & romance by going out and drinking alcohol regularly – not sure about the last bit, but it certainly can help joining a club! Anyway, classy show which took time to become a huge hit, great writing, great cast (Shelley Long, Ted Danson, Woody Harrelson, Kelsey Grammer, Bebe Neuwirth, Kirstie Alley, and many more who have appeared in things Star Trek, Star Wars, Pixar). Frasier was the spin-off success which is making a comeback soon, and while individual episodes were variable in belly-laughs, they tended to revolve around the Sam/Diane verbal sparring – he a former baseball star now running a bar, she a pretentious intellectual having to work as a barmaid – and their ongoing love/hate relationship. When Shelley Long left the show, Kirstie Alley brought in a new dynamic as hot-desperate-loser and corporate ownership of the bar as an extra. Still very watchable and the first of 2 American 80’s shows in the top 10.

8. BLACKADDER (1983-89)

Covering all 4 series & specials of the decade, this show falls only behind the over-rated Only Fools & Horses in polls to find the best comedy series of all-time in the UK, I would place it either 2nd or first in terms of UK series – today it’s second, but a year from now it might be top again, depends on how I’m feeling on the day. Richard Curtis, Rowan Atkinson & Ben Elton staked a unique premise – the same characters in different time-periods and different roles, which gave great opportunity to comment on themselves, the time-period, and contemporary society – this is currently being used again in Ben Elton’s great Upstart Crow series, a show that would definitely be included in my list of faves if I were to start from scratch today. The dialogue is sharp & witty & biting, the acting (or rather the cartoon over-acting) is fab, and the cast top-notch, the best of the 80’s pop up along the way, not least Rowan Atkinson & Tony Robinson as the conniving Blackadder & his put-upon dumb servant Baldrick, the core of each show. My fave series was Blackadder II in the Elizabethan period with Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry & a host of memorable guest spots from the likes of Rik Mayall & Tom Baker. The final scene of the final World War 1 episode (let’s just forget that Millennium Dome special) was as heart-breaking a moment as you can get in cartoon whimsy. Unlike most short-run series (just 24 episodes) I’ve never got bored with these 24 (plus specials).

 

7. THIRD ROCK FROM THE SUN (1996-2001)

Manic, slapstick, quirky, this endearingly mad sitcom was broad in it’s humour, but followed the tradition of The Addams Family & Mork & Mindy in having central other-worldly characters able to shine a light on the quirks of the society they find themselves in – in this case 4 aliens are assigned a mission to observe culture from the point of view humans, and they masquerade as a family (The Solomons) led by the brilliant John Lithgow, a great actor who is in overdrive here, as Dick, the father, future movie-star Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the son Tommy (the oldest, wisest of the 4 aliens), Kristen Johnson as Sally, her militaristic alien having to cope with changing sex to a leggy female hot blonde, and Harry (French Stewart) as the sender of their messages to home through his seemingly-quite-damaged brain. The fab Jane Curtin (of sitcom Kate ‘n’ Allie, and Saturday Night Live 70’s fame) plays Dick’s co-Professor love interest, and Seinfeld’s Wayne Knight (also of Jurassic Park) plays a loveable tubby Police Officer with a crush on blunt Sally.

The humour comes from the antics of the aliens misunderstanding social niceties, having a ball let loose with all the nicer things in life, and yet still having anxieties about the bosses coming (William Shatner doing OTT fabulously, as The Big Giant Head, & John Cleese, trying to steal Mary away from Dick, being an extreme version of John Cleese). The cast were regulalrly rewarded with performance nominations, but the writing and show were never that highly-regarded, probably because it appeals to kids with it’s slapstick, manic broadness. I love it though, sometimes character, plot and acting is more than enough to be funny.

 

6. M*A*S*H (1972-83)

One of the most unlikely premises for a sitcom ever, never mind one that hit high ratings for a decade, the show was essentially a spin-off of the 1970 movie of the same title which was a dark comedy cult success. Set in the early 50’s Korean War, the show ran 3 times longer than the war did, but what it really was a political and socially liberal criticism of the Viet-Nam war, which had been running for 7 years by this time as the US plunged into the Watergate crisis along with the realisation that they can actually lose wars. So how did it work? There was a Marx Brothers disrespectfulness of stupid authority (later borrowed by Blackadder), lead Alan Alda (who had been in the Phil Silvers Show back in the 50’s) was even showed as a Groucho Marx fan, but this was tempered with the realisation that these 2 surgeons (drafted into military service to work in the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital) were entirely brilliant at their job – saving lives of young injured men. Co-star Wayne Rogers was a good foil for lead Hawkeye Pierce, as they weaved amongst a great cast of characters and actors (Loretta Swit, Head Nurse Hotlips Houlihan, who played it by the military book but wasnt above dalliances with prestigious military officers, or her weasel regular Frank Burns, a not-great surgeon with right-wing selfish views, and the butt of many a prank and caustic comment – played comically by Larry Linville).

One of the strengths of the show was the coming and going of cast members and characters: clumsy well-meaning Commnder Henry Blake was actually memorably and tearfully killed off when actor McLean Stevenson left, and was replaced by the great Dragnet-actor, and sitcom veteran Harry Morgan. A one-off character, Cpl KIlnger (Jamie Farr), dressed in drag to get a discharge from the army on mental grounds, became a huge fave and cast regular as his outfits got ever-more extravagant (no-one explained where he got the cash!) and his antics ever-more extreme to get that never-acquired discharged. The madness of living with war & death was the theme, and the show swung from black humour, farce to stark reality, commenting on the inhumanity of man to others. The show ran with the then-traditional laugh-track (against the producers, cast & writers wishes) in the States, except during the surgery scenes, but in the UK from day one there was no laugh track. This was a major plus in the critical acclaim of the show, leaving you to decide what was funny. I used to watch re-runs in the USA with the laugh track and it cheapens the impact quite considerably, the themes were too important for tackiness. Eventually some of the cast moved on to a spin-off, after Alda decided he’d had enough – by that time his power and influence over the show had moved it too much into maudlin self-righteousness at the expense of the darker edge that the early years had in spades – and the War ended in the most-watched final TV episode of all-time in the States. With 106 million, and viewing figures now split amongst online media, that will easily remain the biggest none-sporting or event moment of all-time. Biggest Ever TV episode of any show.

 

5. FATHER TED (1995-1998)

Gentle, amiable, loveable comedy set amongst witless priests in Ireland, this is the top-rated UK (Channel 4) sitcom on the list. It was irreverent, silly, had running character gags, cartoon-styled surreal plots and visuals, taking the piss out of the format, pop culture and people. Some of the great moments include “I don’t believe it” with Victor Meldrew actor Richard Wilson on location going apeshit at hearing his tired catch-phrase, Father Ted trying to explain to simple Father Dougal about cows in the distance not being the same as toy cows just because they looked the same size, a milk-float with a bomb on it a la Speed, and A Song For Europe’s My Lovely Horse.

Writer’s Arthur Matthews & Graham Linehan were men on a mission, inspired by Seinfeld, and Fawlty Towers, and the cast and characters were great OTT extremes: Dermot Morgan’s conniving Father (“the money was just resting in my account!”) Ted, Ardal O’Hanlan’s simple Father (“That’s mad Ted”) Dougal on hearing something religious, Frank Kelly’s angry alcoholic woman-chasing Father (“GIRLS! BOOZE! FECK!”) Jack, Pauline McLynn’s tea-obssessed Mrs (“tea father? Ah go on go on go on go on, GO ON!”) Doyle and a host of great supporting characters, not least Graham Norton as a hyperactive priest riverdancing with some students in a small unstable caravan.

The wistful irish theme tune and original songs were composed by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy. Fans of the show were many and famous, Maurice Gibb being buried with a DVD box set of the show, and it just runs and runs to this day in the UK & Ireland. Sadly, 3 series was all there is, following actor Dermot Morgan’s sudden death shortly after the wrap-up of 3rd series filming and the decision to leave it there was made.

 

 

4. GREEN ACRES (1965-71)

The oldest sitcom in the top 20, the highest-placed non-animation show, and one of the most inventive and surreal shows, well ahead of it’s time. I watched it as a boy and loved it, watched it as a teen in Singapore and loved it, watched it as an adult and still loved it, and bought the book of the series with a foreword by Matt Groening who was inspired and influenced by it. Is it dated? Well yes, but also no: it exists in it’s own version of reality – in the first series it starts off traditional sitcom: an affluent New York City attorney (Eddie Albert) gets fed-up with the soul-less rat-race and moves to the country, buying a farm deep, deep in rural from an engaging conman Mr Haney (Pat Buttram) and drags his Hungarian socialite wife (Eva Gabor, the younger more talented sister of Zsa Zsa) kicking & screaming to a ramshackle farm in Hooterville, location of sister show Petticoat Junction, and including some of the cast as supporting occasional characters. Executive Producer Paul Henning had already had major success with The Beverley Hillbillies – Hick hillbillies strike oil and move to affluent Beverley Hills – and Petticoat Junction, and offered the show to writer/producer Jay Sommers, which was a stroke of genius.

From the first second the bouncy memorable theme tune burst into action the show hit the ground running, (the Vic Mizzy theme later popped up in many a hit record, notably Groove Is In The Heart (Deee-Lite) and Just Buggin’ (Whistle), Mizzy already having struck TV theme immortality with The Addams Family, and reportedly Green Acres was being planned to become a musical, starting with the theme song, but has yet to appear) parodying the famous 1930 painting American Gothic. Plotwise, the local community citizens seem to be a bit eccentric and out-of-time, treating anything more recent than the 20’s or 30’s and newly fandangles, or naive, or bizarre (not least Arnold The Pig, the most-famous TV pig ever, who appropriately loved watching TV and getting involved in people’s lives, with dreams of becoming a Hollywood star). Yes, this is 1965, and yes it’s a real pig.

The cast is brilliant, the characters live in their own universe with their own logic – at first Lisa Douglas (Gabor) seems utterly out of place and hates it, while the community views husband Oliver as a sad city dweller with no clue (but they are all supportive and utterly loveable and free from malice) – he drives a tractor dressed in his best NYC lawyers suit – but by the second season it’s Lisa who joins their mad world and lives by their inverted logic. The show isn’t really in the countryside, it’s painted backdrops, the credit sequences are aware that they are TV credits and pop up anywhere, on chicken eggs (even square ones laid by the square-egg chicken), side of buildings, and the cast (usually Eva Gabor) muse on them and what is happening this week with them, pure breaking-the-fourth-wall years before any other show did. They pioneered a return to nature a decade ahead of The Good Life. The Douglas’ farmhouse never got improved (The Monroe Brothers worked on it for 6 years and never managed to improve anything, Alf & Ralf quarrelled, Ralf always looked forlornly for a man – she was a girl, breaking stereotype barriers years ahead of other shows where women were housewives, even the fantasy shows, not manual labourers/”skilled” workers), Hank Kimball was the local agricultural advisor – who turned up, rambled in a chain of thought that he interrupted himself on, lost the plot quickly, and had to be prompted to get back to the point (sound familiar? Ronnie Corbett, The Two Ronnies?) and as played by Alvy Moore I never tire of the wordplay. All episodes were written by Jay Sommers, which gave the show continuity, running gags, and increasing playfulness with the format as it went on. Kids loved the slapstick and wacky characters, adults appreciate the wordplay and knowing winks.

Sadly, healthy ratings couldn’t save any of the rural shows surviving a massive purge of any rural-based or themed shows in 1971 when CBS decided they weren’t pulling in enough ad revenue. They opted instead for more urban-based shows missing the point that these were parodies of modern America, not dumb hick shows appealing to “dumb hicks” with no spending money.

Happily, TV Guide listed 2 of the episodes amongst the Top 100 Greatest Episodes Of All-Time, and it lives on in spirit in The Simpsons. Not bad for a 55-year-old daft show that no-one has heard of these days….

 

3. FAMILY GUY (1999-2019)

I didn’t take to this Fox show immediately – coming after The Simpsons it seemed harsher, brasher, less loveable, and walked a thin line between edgy humour and bad taste, something it has retained throughout the 20 years of production. Fox seemed to think so too, as it was cancelled in the early years, but always sprung back following strong performances on DVD and reruns. Creator & star Seth McFarlane (of which I’m a huge fan, still, with latest sci-fi show The Orville, movies like A Million Ways To Die In The West & Ted, & spin-off animated shows like American Dad & The Cleveland Show) based Family Guy on The Simpsons & the US 70’s sitcom All In The Family (itself a rewrite of UK Till Death Us Do Part) – which is why irreverence, politics, society, pop culture, relationships, get the same unsentimental, critical treatment. Being animated (taking the piss is protected under US law) allows them to go places other shows can’t, but also allows affection parody, most notably the trio of episodes based around the original Star Wars movies, which are brilliantly accurate and amusing without losing the love.

The Griffin family is led by Peter, a loud-mouthed buffoon with no social skills or boundaries (in one episode he is turned gay) is clearly modelled on Archie Bunker, and his wife Lois (Alex Borstein) on Edith Bunker, right down the parody of All In The Family’s TV theme song, while dumb Chris (voiced by Buffy’s Seth Green), plain, unpopular Meg, the butt of everyone’s bullying (voiced by movie star Mila Kunis), Stewie (a matricidal, genius-inventor talking baby) make up the kids, and talking , walking conceited racist dog Brian (voiced by MacFarlane, along with Peter & Stewie) completes the family. Back-up characters include Mayor West (Batman’s Adam West playing a scatty version of himself), ancient wanna-be paedophile Herbert, sex-obssessed borderline-abuser Quagmire, dull Cleveland, and disabled angry cop Joe, among many many more.

So….not surprising it’s not to everyone’s taste! There is no subject they won’t tackle or ridicule, sometimes go too far (for me it was the ridiculing of Amy Winehouse’s behaviour before she died, or the AID’s song) more often they hit the right note, showing a wide range of viewpoints but generally taking the “right” stance from my point of view, and the cult shows they reference are a joy to me. The violence? It’s the same as Tom & Jerry where Tom gets sliced into pieces, only to come back to life immediately, just bloodier. Usually. Sometimes the point is to lampoon, say, the media’s response to a tragedy, rather than laugh at the tragedy (it’s a cartoon, it’s not real!) and that point might get missed by some.

Anyway, still running, still on TV every night…

here’s some good bits from season 11, quality is pretty much consistent throughout.

2. FUTURAMA (1999-2013)

A Simpsons Matt Groening spin-off, stylistically, and probably my fave sitcom by virtue of the futuristic, sci-fi nerd worshipping setting and cast, and in-references to all things sci-fi/fantasy (long before Big Bang Theory). Problem was, it was never as big as The Simpsons, due to it’s more niche appeal, and kept getting cancelled, first time in 2003, from thereafter living on through DVD issues, one-off DVD’s, re-commissioning, and ultimately going for a good 140 episodes and 7 seasons. More compact than The Simpsons, the plots obviously have a wider remit, as they can take place anywhere, anytime (though The Simpsons did this, it wasn’t every episode) and they had brilliant writers, including key mover David X Cohen, who’d written many of the best Simpsons episodes. It’s no shock that the dip in quality of The Simpsons was directly attributable to the instant quality of Futurama, appealing to people you might not expect it to – such as Private Eye editor Ian Hislop. It didn’t hurt that they had talking heads in jars of 20th century politicians to keep commentaries contemporary, if less obvious. It also didn;t hurt that the writers were by far the most “over-educated” PHD-galore cast of sci-fi nerds in TV history (probably), packing as much into a show as they could, honing it constantly.

The cast was set around 20th century delivery-boy loser Fry getting frozen, awoken in the far future to become…a spaceship-based delivery boy (Played by Billy West, a regular voice-over in animation, and playing multiple characters like Zapp Branigan & Jewish crustacean Dr Zoidberg, and Professor Farnsworth, Fry’s distant and ancient mad-scientist nephew). He yearns for one-eyed assertive Leela, a mutant from the sewers of New New York (played by the fab Katey Sagal of Married: With Children fame), and his best mate moral-free loudmouth robot Bender, more into floozy female robots, beer and money than actual bending and working deliveries.

Amazingly, even after years away, the cast & crew all came back renewed with the same high quality as if they’d never been away, still dragging in guest stars (like the one with most of the Star Trek: Next Gen cast as their characters as if they were real and set in the future, or the one where Leonard Nimoy is the guest head in the water-filled bottle nibbling on fish food, or the one with Vice President Al Gore doing his Global Warming stuff – but funny). Overall the show has more consistency than Groening’s other show….but that other show at it’s best was as good as Futurama, AND was influential, so for that it’s getting top spot (even though I’d rather rewatch Futurama).

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

 

1. THE SIMPSONS (1989-19 so far)

From primitive Matt Groening shorts featured in The Tracey Ullman Show to the longest-running sitcom in US TV history. Sitcoms elsewhere may have lasted longer than 30 years (Last Of The Summer Wine ran from 1973 to 2010) but that involved complete cast changes and comparatively fewer episodes – 295 over 31 series (it regularly missed years during it’s run – while The Simpsons is still going, 656 episodes, 30 series, and commissioned for more, so apart from chronologically it will overhaul Wine shortly. Sadly, the quality hasn;t kept up with the decades. The first series was quirky and charming, but slow compared to it’s prime run (series 2 through 10 or 11) after which it became increasingly patchy. At it’s best though, oh my goodness it was a cultural phenomenon and completely changed the sitcom format in terms of what became possible: lampooning, satire, media references, a vast cast of recurring characters, a Tom & Jerry attitude to violence (Itchy & Scratchy were a pisstake of what it really look like), an awesome cast of famous guest voices, either as themselves, or as characters, and a whole mini-universe of musings on human beings and their quirks with elements of truth to them. More, it often went off at tangents and experimented with the animated format – computer-graphics, annual halloween gore-fests set outside the regular family Simpson “reality”, future-world guessing (in one famous instance they predict President Trump), but always good-natured – even when faced with actual monsters like Mr. Burns.

Bart Simpson, the son, was geared around being the centrepiece of the show initially, with his rascally catchphrases and conscience-lite “Just do it” attitude – he even got Michael Jackson on board with a chart-topping single Do The Bartman, and guesting too as an inmate who thinks he’s Michael Jackson. Don;t expect to see that one in future, though. Elsewhere, comics, games, a fab movie spin-off very late in the run, the fun Simpsons 3D ride at Universal Studios, and lucrative salaries for it’s ongoing stable of voice-over actors: Dan Castellenata as Homer, the actual star of the show once it found it’s feet, was also in the Tracey ullman Show along with Marge Simpson (and her sisters) actor Julie Kavner. Julie was long-familiar to me as beloved sister of Rhoda (The Mary Tyler Moore Show spin-off which was widely-screened in the UK in the mid-70’s), while Hank Azaria (A NIght At The Museum’s Boris Karloff-a-like, Friends) and Harry Shearer (Spinal tap and much more) made up the bulk of the voices of most of the subsidiary characters. liberal hippie daughter Lisa (Yeardley Smith) & brash Bart (Nancy Cartwright, who also does a lot of the other kid voices) make up the main cast. One regular famous guest voice was Marcia Wallace (Mrs Krabappel – “Hah!” – Bart’s teacher, who’d been a fave of mine from 70’s sitcoms like The Bob Newhart Show, and guest spots in Bewitched, Taxi and many more. She became a fixture on US gameshows (being as she was funny) and I got to see her in 1979, guesting in The Match Game aka Blankety Blank, while in LA (they were giving out free audience tickets on Sunset Boulevard).

Name dropper.

Fave characters? Comic Book Guy. Chief Wiggum. Ned Flanders. Krusty The Clown. Kelsey Grammar as Sideshow Bob. The wacky style of characters can be traced back to Green Acres, one of Groening’s TV show inspirations. Fave running gag? Bart phoning Mo for made-up people: “Phone call for Amanda. Last name Huggenkiss”. Mo (to the Bar): I’m looking for Amanda. Anyone seen Amanda. I’m after AmandaHuggenkiss”. Well, aren’t we all….

Greatest TV comedy show ever? Very probably. There isn’t a great compilation overview though, so here’s a Halloween cartoon within a cartoon clip cos you’ve all seen The Simpsons, and if you haven’t where have you been for 30 years!?

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My Retro April 1969 Charts

5th April 1969

It’s 3 weeks on top for The Boxer as my then-number-one track is up to 2 for Mary Hopkin in a quiet top 10. Good climbs for The Ronettes’ future Pearls hit to 12, and Ruby & The Romantics’ future Carpenters hit to 14, & Johnny Nash gets a 3rd top 20 with Sam Cooke’s Cupid. Another reggae cover (Tchaikovsky) for The Cats enters at 75, and a future hit in 1972 for Mardi Gras, and a much better uptempo version, is in for Marvin Gaye’s slow soulful Too Busy Thinking About My Baby at 54.

Highest newie is Fleetwood Mac’s Man Of The World – OK it’s not charting yet, but I watched that episode of Top Of The Pops for this week at the time, and pretty much for the rest of the spring & summer I watched every episode until the end of August – at which point there was a 2-year-gap before I saw another episode. Cream are back with a Badge – they “don’t need no steenkeen badgers”! Thanks Mel Brooks & Richard Prior. Bill Deal is back for his second chart entry of ’69, with a future Northern Soul hit for Guy Darrell in 1973, I’ve Been Hurt, Betty Everett & Aretha keep the big soul ballads coming, & the Philly sound is back with Archie Bell & co, Curtis Mayfield is back again with his Impressions, “just like that”, & Diane & Mary & Cindy scrape in with a bit of a drop in quality, The Composer pushing out the epic Love Child.

1 ( 1 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
2 ( 9 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 2
3 ( 2 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
4 ( 5 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
5 ( 3 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
6 ( 4 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
7 ( 7 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
8 ( 10 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 8
9 ( 6 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
10 ( 8 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4

11 ( 12 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
12 ( 24 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 12
13 ( 11 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
14 ( 43 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 14
15 ( 20 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 15
16 ( 15 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
17 ( 13 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
18 ( 22 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 18
19 ( 14 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
20 ( 39 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 20

21 ( 16 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
22 ( 17 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
23 ( 18 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
24 ( 19 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
25 ( 21 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
26 ( 28 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 26
27 ( 29 ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 27
28 ( 26 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
29 ( 25 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
30 ( 33 ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 30

31 ( 23 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
32 ( 38 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 32
33 ( 30 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 20
34 ( 27 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 16
35 ( 50 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 35
36 ( NEW ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 36
37 ( 40 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 37
38 ( 52 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 38
39 ( 34 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
40 ( 53 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 40

41 ( 36 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
42 ( 46 ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 42
43 ( 35 ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney # 35
44 ( 32 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10
45 ( 47 ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 45
46 ( 31 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield # 15
47 ( 45 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
48 ( 56 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 48
49 ( 54 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra # 49
50 ( 58 ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 50

51 ( 37 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge # 37
52 ( 68 ) ANY DAY NOW Percy Sledge # 52
53 ( 60 ) IF YOU GO AWAY Scott Walker # 53
54 ( NEW ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 54
55 ( 67 ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 55
56 ( 72 ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 56
57 ( 62 ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 57
58 ( 59 ) RHYTHM OF LIFE Sammy Davis Jr # 58
59 ( 71 ) I WAS A BOY (WHEN YOU NEEDED A MAN) Billy Shields aka Tony Orlando # 59
60 ( 66 ) THE WALLS FELL DOWN The Marbles # 60

61 ( 42 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin # 9
62 ( 44 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips # 10
63 ( NEW ) BADGE Cream # 63
64 ( 70 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals # 64
65 ( NEW ) THE COLOUR OF MY LOVE Jefferson # 65
66 ( 75 ) JULY YOU’RE A WOMAN John Stewart # 66
67 ( NEW ) I’VE BEEN HURT Bill Deal & The Rhondells # 67
68 ( NEW ) I CAN’T SAY NO TO YOU Betty Everett # 68
69 ( 73 ) (WE’VE GOT) HONEY LOVE Martha & The Vandellas # 69
70 ( NEW ) I CAN’T SEE MYSELF LEAVING YOU Aretha Franklin # 70

71 ( 74 ) (I’M A) ROAD RUNNER Junior Walker & The All Stars # 71
72 ( NEW ) JUST A LITTLE BIT CLOSER Archie Bell & The Drells # 72
73 ( NEW ) SEVEN YEARS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 73
74 ( NEW ) THE COMPOSER Diana Ross & The Supremes # 74
75 ( NEW ) SWAN LAKE The Cats # 75

5th April Retro-Then

1 ( NEW ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 1 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
4 ( 3 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
5 ( 5 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
6 ( 7 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
7 ( 4 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
8 ( 6 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
9 ( 8 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
10 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin

11 ( 16 ) GET READY The Temptations
12 ( 15 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
13 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
14 ( 9 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
15 ( 18 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
16 ( 14 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
17 ( 19 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
18 ( 13 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
19 ( 20 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
20 ( 10 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

 

12th April 1969

It’s a first week on top for Mary Hopkin’s Goodbye, her second chart-topper, and mirroring my actual chart-topper of the time for a change, while it’s another high new entry for another Paul McCartney song at 20 – yes The Beatles are in at a lowly debut for Get Back, though Billy Preston gets his top 20 debut out of it, and the B side slides in at 60, John Lennon’s as-ever passionate plea of Don’t Let Me Down, both of them on the roof in London for their final public performance, and as shown on TOTP at the time. The highest new entry? The Isley Brothers massive Motown classic Behind A Painted Smile is in at 3, frantic, passionate and brilliant.

Ruby & The Romantics get a first top 10 – though strictly-speaking Our Day Will Come was a childhood fave and would have done th same – and The Ronettes also get a first, though Be My Baby would have topped for weeks in 1966 when dad bought it. Clodagh Rodgers gets a first top 10, and in my memories of that time Mary & Clodagh are like a double female vocal whammy as she enters at 8 in my old charts too. A big climb for the Mac, a second top 20, and a gospel anthem is in at 22 for the Edwin Hawkins Singers, Oh Happy day was another summer fave of mine, especially the rousing climax.

Martha and her Vandellas replace themselves new for old in my chart, and the latest Dusty In Memphis single, both A & B side are in at 66 and 72 respectively, giving Windmills Of Your Mind 2 listings, while the first track on the album enters at 62 – so that’s over half the album having charted! Rolf Harris was still a kiddie fave, painting and singing, and Bluer Than Blue was not a future mission statement, it was a nice tune at 69, oops! Tommy Roe’s follow-up to Dizzy slips in at 71 Heather Honey was just hitting the UK charts as I left the UK for 2 years, annoyingly, as I only got to hear it once or twice before having to wait quite a few years to hear it again in 1974. The great Henry Mancini is in – but not one of his own fab melodies, it’s a cover of the movie theme – and a Trems cover is in at 75.

1 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
2 ( 1 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
3 ( NEW ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 3
4 ( 4 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
5 ( 8 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
6 ( 5 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
7 ( 6 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
8 ( 14 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 8
9 ( 12 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
10 ( 15 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 10

11 ( 3 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
12 ( 9 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
13 ( 10 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
14 ( 13 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
15 ( 11 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
16 ( 7 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
17 ( 36 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 17
18 ( 20 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
19 ( 16 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
20 ( NEW ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 20

21 ( 17 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
22 ( NEW ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 22
23 ( 18 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 18
24 ( 21 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
25 ( 22 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
26 ( 23 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
27 ( 35 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 27
28 ( 19 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
29 ( 32 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 29
30 ( 38 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 30

31 ( 28 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
32 ( 40 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 32
33 ( 29 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
34 ( 24 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
35 ( 25 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
36 ( 26 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 26
37 ( 50 ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 37
38 ( 42 ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 38
39 ( 48 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 39
40 ( 54 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 40

41 ( 27 ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 27
42 ( 39 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
43 ( 53 ) IF YOU GO AWAY Scott Walker # 43
44 ( 41 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
45 ( 31 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
46 ( 52 ) ANY DAY NOW Percy Sledge # 46
47 ( 33 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 20
48 ( 55 ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 48
49 ( 30 ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 30
50 ( 56 ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 50

51 ( 47 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
52 ( 34 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 16
53 ( 57 ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 53
54 ( 60 ) THE WALLS FELL DOWN The Marbles # 54
55 ( 63 ) BADGE Cream # 55
56 ( 58 ) RHYTHM OF LIFE Sammy Davis Jr # 56
57 ( 37 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 37
58 ( NEW ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 58
59 ( 68 ) I CAN’T SAY NO TO YOU Betty Everett # 59
60 ( NEW ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 60

61 ( 45 ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 45
62 ( NEW ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 62
63 ( 66 ) JULY YOU’RE A WOMAN John Stewart # 63
64 ( 64 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals # 64
65 ( 65 ) THE COLOUR OF MY LOVE Jefferson # 65
66 ( NEW ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 66
67 ( 67 ) I’VE BEEN HURT Bill Deal & The Rhondells # 67
68 ( 70 ) I CAN’T SEE MYSELF LEAVING YOU Aretha Franklin # 68
69 ( NEW ) BLUER THAN BLUE Rolf Harris # 69
70 ( 44 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10

71 ( NEW ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe # 71
72 ( NEW ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 72
73 ( 73 ) SEVEN YEARS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 73
74 ( NEW ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 74
75 ( NEW ) I WILL SEE YOU THERE Linda Kendrick # 75

RETRO THEN
1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 3 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
4 ( 12 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
5 ( 4 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
6 ( 7 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
7 ( 5 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
8 ( NEW ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
9 ( 15 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
10 ( 6 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

11 ( 8 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
12 ( 10 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 13 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
14 ( 9 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
15 ( 17 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
16 ( 19 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
17 ( 14 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
18 ( NEW ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes
19 ( 16 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
20 ( 11 ) GET READY The Temptations

My March 1987 Charts

3rd March 1987

It’s straight in on top for a remix of Children Of The Revolution as 1972 and 60’s nostalgia takes a firm hold on me in the absence of any new mighty classics. I missed Marc Bolan terribly by this time, and the record had under-performed first-time round, so now they get a 6th chart-topper keeping off Jackie Wilson’s 1972 big hit reissue of I Get The Sweetest Feeling as I got nostalgic for the music of my teens and childhood. Throw in The Beatles epic anniversary reissue of a previous chart-topper and that’s 80% of my top 5 oldies. I’ll be honest if Mental as Anything and The Jets were at 2 and 3 I would have been over-rating them, though Christians & a-ha have lost out as 4 and 5 would still have been too low..

Big Audio Dynamite rocket in at 27 as V13 is the highest new song, Cyndi covers Marvin Gaye quite nicely and is in at 35, and The Cult get a 3rd top 40. The Beastie Boys get a big climb into the 40, and the Rainmakers debut at 53 with a great song title (and song). Freddie Mercury goes solo again, as he put his heart on his sleeve with his choice of Platters cover – he really was telling the whole world what he had, but no-one realised. Erasure return quickly, and it’s a hugely welcome return from the fab Labi Siffre, absent since 1972, although Madness had made a big hit of his gorgeous It Must Be Love in 1981, 10 years on. This time it’s a South African political commentary, and powerful with it.

1 ( NEW ) CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ’87 T.Rex
2 ( NEW ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
3 ( 2 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
4 ( 1 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
5 ( NEW ) PENNY LANE/STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
6 ( 6 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
7 ( 3 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
8 ( 8 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
9 ( 4 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
10 ( 27 ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha

11 ( 7 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
12 ( 5 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
13 ( 9 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
14 ( 26 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
15 ( 15 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
16 ( 11 ) YOU ARE MY WORLD The Communards
17 ( 23 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
18 ( 18 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
19 ( 10 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
20 ( 13 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis

21 ( 12 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
22 ( 14 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
23 ( 32 ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red
24 ( 29 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
25 ( 16 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
26 ( 17 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
27 ( NEW ) V13 Big Audio Dynamite
28 ( 20 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
29 ( 19 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
30 ( 22 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks

31 ( 21 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela
32 ( 59 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys
33 ( 36 ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama
34 ( 46 ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
35 ( NEW ) WHAT’S GOING ON Cyndi Lauper
36 ( 28 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
37 ( 24 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
38 ( NEW ) LOVE REMOVAL MACHINE The Cult
39 ( 54 ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
40 ( 53 ) HOW MANY LIES Spandau Ballet

41 ( 39 ) STAY OUT OF MY LIFE Five Star
42 ( 25 ) BEHIND THE MASK Eric Clapton
43 ( 50 ) FREE TO FALL Debbie Harry
44 ( 37 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
45 ( 73 ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
46 ( 70 ) DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES Paul Simon
47 ( 69 ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
48 ( 33 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop
49 ( 57 ) STILL THE SAME Slade
50 ( 75 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George

51 ( 34 ) THIS WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees
52 ( 49 ) HUMAN Human League
53 ( NEW ) LET MY PEOPLE GOGO The Rainmakers
54 ( 31 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy
55 ( 55 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( 30 ) HEARTACHE Pepsi & Shirlie
57 ( 41 ) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES The Doobie Brothers
58 ( 58 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
59 ( 35 ) ROCK THE NIGHT Europe
60 ( 56 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin

61 ( 48 ) CANDY Cameo
62 ( 64 ) GOOD TO GO LOVER Gwen Guthrie
63 ( 52 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
64 ( 72 ) WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING Paul Johnson
65 ( 63 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna
66 ( 66 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
67 ( 71 ) HAVE YOU EVER LOVED SOMEBODY Freddie Jackson
68 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( 38 ) LOVE LIKE A ROCKET Bob Geldof
70 ( 51 ) REET PETITE Jackie Wilson

71 ( NEW ) I GOT THE FEELING (IT’S OVER) Gregory Abbott
72 ( NEW ) THE GREAT PRETENDER Freddie Mercury
73 ( NEW ) (SOMETHING INSIDE) SO STRONG Labi Siffre
74 ( 40 ) SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE The Smiths
75 ( NEW ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE Erasure

PLAYIST OLDIES

1 CITY LIGHTS David Essex
2 THESE DREAMS Heart
3 OH PEOPLE Patti Labelle

 

 

10th March 1987

It’s yet another oldie on top as they take turns, The Beatles replacing T.Rex with their 1967 classic double A that last topped my charts in 1976. Cyndi lauper joins the oldies vibe rocketing up to 10 with her Marvin Gaye cover, making only 3 of the top 10 actually being released on single in 1987 as new songs. Talking of oldies, Boy George shoots into the 20 with his Ken Boothe cover of his reggae cover of the Bread ballad. The Beastie Boys launch nicely into my top 20. Now I may be wrong, and stand to be corrected (if I spot one one day) but this was their one and only top 20 track I think, for me. Mel & Kim get a respectable leap into the 30, Prince enters at 26 with one of his very greatest tracks, Sign O’ The Times – though the line about the rocketship exploding as if the Challenger disaster was in some way responsible for the world’s ills still bugs me.

Bruce Willis also gets a respect-able top 40 climb, as his TV show theme enters at 38 for Al Jarreau – far and away the best hour-long US TV show of the time (hard to call it drama, except during that turgid 3rd season) – and The Rainmakers Let My People Go Go at 31. Alison Moyet enters at 34 with one she didn’t bother doing when I saw her the other week, a goodie regardless, Iggy Pop shades himself lower down the chart, Nick Kamen jumps on the classic soul cover bandwagon (Four Tops), Berlin get a 3rd hit and a 3rd in the chart simultaneously. That won’t last, mark my words! Frankie taper out watching wildlife, Billy Idol starts a good year for him with a good single 9 years on from Generation X, Tina Turner shoves out another album track single, and Genesis do the same.

1 ( 5 ) PENNY LANE/STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
2 ( 2 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
3 ( 4 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
4 ( 3 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
5 ( 1 ) CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ’87 T.Rex
6 ( 6 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
7 ( 7 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
8 ( 9 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
9 ( 10 ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha
10 ( 35 ) WHAT’S GOING ON Cyndi Lauper

11 ( 24 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
12 ( 14 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
13 ( 17 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
14 ( 50 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George
15 ( 15 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
16 ( 8 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
17 ( 13 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
18 ( 12 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
19 ( 27 ) V THIRTEEN Big Audio Dynamite
20 ( 32 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys

21 ( 11 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
22 ( 23 ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red
23 ( 16 ) YOU ARE MY WORLD ’87 The Communards
24 ( 34 ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
25 ( 45 ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
26 ( NEW ) SIGN O’ THE TIMES Prince
27 ( 47 ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
28 ( 38 ) LOVE REMOVAL MACHINE The Cult
29 ( 20 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
30 ( 33 ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama

31 ( 53 ) LET MY PEOPLE GOGO The Rainmakers
32 ( 21 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
33 ( 18 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
34 ( NEW ) WEAK IN THE PRESENCE OF BEAUTY Alison Moyet
35 ( 19 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
36 ( 22 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
37 ( 39 ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
38 ( NEW ) MOONLIGHTING Al Jarreau
39 ( 46 ) DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES Paul Simon
40 ( 28 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil

41 ( 25 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
42 ( 26 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
43 ( 43 ) FREE TO FALL Debbie Harry
44 ( 36 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
45 ( NEW ) SHADES Iggy Pop
46 ( 30 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
47 ( 72 ) THE GREAT PRETENDER Freddie Mercury
48 ( 44 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
49 ( 63 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
50 ( 31 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela

51 ( 29 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
52 ( 75 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE Erasure
53 ( 55 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
54 ( 52 ) HUMAN Human League
55 ( 37 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
56 ( 67 ) HAVE YOU EVER LOVED SOMEBODY Freddie Jackson
57 ( NEW ) LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER Nick Kamen
58 ( 58 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
59 ( 48 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop
60 ( 64 ) WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING Paul Johnson

61 ( 40 ) HOW MANY LIES Spandau Ballet
62 ( 51 ) THIS WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees
63 ( 60 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin
64 ( 49 ) STILL THE SAME Slade
65 ( 71 ) I GOT THE FEELING (IT’S OVER) Gregory Abbott
66 ( 66 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
67 ( 65 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna
68 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( NEW ) LIKE FLAMES Berlin
70 ( NEW ) WATCHING THE WILDLIFE Frankie Goes To Hollywood

71 ( NEW ) DON’T NEED A GUN Billy Idol
72 ( 54 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy
73 ( NEW ) WHAT YOU GET IS WHAT YOU SEE Tina Turner
74 ( 41 ) STAY OUT OF MY LIFE Five Star
75 ( NEW ) TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT Genesis

PLAYLISTED TRACKS OF THE WEEK
1 I’M INTO SOMETHING GOOD Herman’s Hermits
2 I’LL BE THERE The Jackson 5
3 HELL IN PARADISE Yoko Ono

 

 

17th March 1987

It’s another week, another oldie on top – this time Jackie Wilson makes it third time lucky after I get The Sweetest feeling peaked inside my top 10 in 1972 (4 years after it’s US chart-run), then top 30 in 1975, and finally peaking with a spiffy new video (there were no performances or videos for the track at all for either run). Percy Sledge goes back up to a new peak of 2, but it’s not all oldies, there’s a mass influx of new tracks, including many fab ones, the highest of which is a belated entry for La Isla Bonita (I’d already loved it for months but couldn’t chart it till it was released as a single, due to my daft chart rules), in at 4.

Mel & Kim get a second top 10, Prince an umpteenth with a big climb for his brilliant Sign O’ The Times, and The Beastie Boys also bring some life to a previously stagnant oldies-dominated top 10. Herb Alpert is the first of 2 Jam & Lewis entries, as they make the veteran trumpeter go all 80’s dance – not as unlikely as you might think if you bear in mind that he owned the label Janet Jackson was signed to, who also appears on Herb’s album, and new in at 74 with a Jam & Lewis ballad. That’s Herb’s first chart entry in 7 years and a chart run of 19 years almost (he was high in my first chart in 1968 with This Guy’s In Love).

Aretha’s back with a solo, for 2 in the chart, Ruby Turner covers Chicken Shack aka Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac 18 years on for I’d Rather Go Blind, and there’s a Magician popping up at 34 – from Scottish band Secession, a tune that sounds very familiar, the instrumental riff is SO Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, Ryuichi Sakamoto’s fab movie theme. Gary Moore’s back, still in rock mode (yawn) his much better Blues period coming in the 90’s. John Farnham gets a debut solo biggie, You’re The Voice on the way to being as big as his top 10 1979 Little River Band vocal for Lonesome Loser, which I bought on holiday in California with student friends after working most of the summer to pay for it.

U2 return with a classic..and I’m bizarrely under-whelmed. Think I was expecting another Pride, not a subdued starter. Club Nouveau enter with a danced-up cover of Bill Wither’s brilliant 1972 chart-topper Lean On Me. To be honest it’s not even as good as Mud’s pretty good cover from 1976. The Pretenders return for an 8th year, Lionel Richie for a 13th year (or 6th year solo), Lone Justice pop in with another forgotten goodie, and Wet Wet Wet take bottom rung with a perfect pop record, all tuneful, bouncy and wistful at the same time. Nothing they did was ever as good, as they decided warbling dreary ballads was the way forward (or godawful covers of 60’s songs), though when they showed restraint and a bit more class they could pull it off.

1 ( 2 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
2 ( 7 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
3 ( 1 ) PENNY LANE/STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
4 ( NEW ) LA ISLA BONITA Madonna
5 ( 3 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
6 ( 10 ) WHAT’S GOING ON Cyndi Lauper
7 ( 25 ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
8 ( 26 ) SIGN O’ THE TIMES Prince
9 ( 4 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
10 ( 20 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys

11 ( 6 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
12 ( 13 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
13 ( 8 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
14 ( 14 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George
15 ( 27 ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
16 ( 9 ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha
17 ( 34 ) WEAK IN THE PRESENCE OF BEAUTY Alison Moyet
18 ( 5 ) CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ’87 T.Rex
19 ( 37 ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
20 ( 11 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party

21 ( 12 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
22 ( 31 ) LET MY PEOPLE GOGO The Rainmakers
23 ( 17 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
24 ( NEW ) KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME Herb Alpert
25 ( 39 ) DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES Paul Simon
26 ( 16 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
27 ( 21 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
28 ( 15 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
29 ( 18 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
30 ( RE ) (SOMETHING INSIDE) SO STRONG Labi Siffre

31 ( 22 ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red
32 ( 19 ) V THIRTEEN Big Audio Dynamite
33 ( 23 ) YOU ARE MY WORLD ’87 The Communards
34 ( NEW ) THE MAGICIAN Secession
35 ( 38 ) MOONLIGHTING Al Jarreau
36 ( 24 ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
37 ( 52 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE Erasure
38 ( 57 ) LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER Nick Kamen
39 ( 32 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
40 ( 47 ) THE GREAT PRETENDER Freddie Mercury

41 ( 49 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
42 ( NEW ) SEVERINA The Mission
43 ( 71 ) DON’T NEED A GUN Billy Idol
44 ( NEW ) JIMMY LEE Aretha Franklin
45 ( 69 ) LIKE FLAMES Berlin
46 ( NEW ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Ruby Turner
47 ( 36 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
48 ( 40 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
49 ( 70 ) WATCHING THE WILDLIFE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
50 ( 73 ) WHAT YOU GET IS WHAT YOU SEE Tina Turner

51 ( 29 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
52 ( 48 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
53 ( 44 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
54 ( 28 ) LOVE REMOVAL MACHINE The Cult
55 ( 53 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( 54 ) HUMAN Human League
57 ( 75 ) TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT Genesis
58 ( 35 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
59 ( 46 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
60 ( 58 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross

61 ( 33 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
62 ( NEW ) WILD FRONTIER Gary Moore
63 ( 30 ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama
64 ( NEW ) YOU’RE THE VOICE John Farnham
65 ( NEW ) WITH OR WITHOUT YOU U2
66 ( 45 ) SHADES Iggy Pop
67 ( 66 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
68 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( NEW ) LEAN ON ME Club Nouveau
70 ( 67 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna

71 ( NEW ) MY BABY The Pretenders
72 ( NEW ) SELA Lionel Richie
73 ( NEW ) I FOUND LOVE Lone Justice
74 ( NEW ) LET’S WAIT AWHILE Janet Jackson
75 ( NEW ) WISHING I WAS LUCKY Wet Wet Wet

Playlist oldies of the week
1 NO FEAR NO HATE NO PAIN Eurythmics
2 HOUND DOG Elvis Presley
3 KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound

50’s 60’s 80’s this week. I always did like oldies, even ones older than me laugh.gif

 

 

24th March 2019

It’s 2 weeks on top for Jackie Wilson as he also tops my playlist of the week with his next single and future chart-topper. Oops gave it away! Madonna hits 2, Bruce Willis gets his only top 10 single, Alison Moyet adds to her list of top 10’s about 8 or 9 to date, and obscure band Secession leap up to 9, hoho that’s Magic! Herb Alpert is top 20, Billy Idol shoots his gun straight into the 20 from outside the 40, his 4th or 5th, Club Nouveau do even better, from doing a 69 they make Lean On Me a third-time top 20 song.

Labi Siffre gets his first top 20 in 15 years, hooray! Highest new entry starts a theme of cover versions, this time charity record Let It Be, The Beatles former twice-chart-topper, from Ferry Aid, while Siouxsie does another cover, Iggy Pop this time (The Passenger), and Fine Young cannibals radically rework Buzzcocks, not so much punk as funk. Dead Or Aliove get the highest new song, keeping the run of success going at 47 with Hooked On Love (at least here if not the UK charts). Janet Jackson gets a huge leap into the top 40, not content to wait awhile at all, Peter Gabriel does a funked up Big Time clone follow-up to his classic Sledgehammer, David Grant keeps his 7-year run going on diminishing returns, ditto The Thompson Twins 4-year-run, Jaki Graham’s 2-year-run, and Smokey Robinson has a come-back after being away a few years, to extend his run to 18 years. Most significant debut, though, is Terence Trent D’Arby one of the key egos, I mean key acts, sorry, of 1987. If You Let Me Stay was a goodie and set him up to be an albums success to boot.

1 ( 1 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
2 ( 4 ) LA ISLA BONITA Madonna
3 ( 3 ) PENNY LANE/STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
4 ( 7 ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
5 ( 8 ) SIGN O’ THE TIMES Prince
6 ( 5 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
7 ( 15 ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
8 ( 17 ) WEAK IN THE PRESENCE OF BEAUTY Alison Moyet
9 ( 34 ) THE MAGICIAN Secession
10 ( 2 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge

11 ( 6 ) WHAT’S GOING ON Cyndi Lauper
12 ( 24 ) KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME Herb Alpert
13 ( 13 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
14 ( 10 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys
15 ( 9 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
16 ( 43 ) DON’T NEED A GUN Billy Idol
17 ( 22 ) LET MY PEOPLE GOGO The Rainmakers
18 ( 69 ) LEAN ON ME Club Nouveau
19 ( 30 ) (SOMETHING INSIDE) SO STRONG Labi Siffre
20 ( 11 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything

21 ( 14 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George
22 ( 16 ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha
23 ( 19 ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
24 ( NEW ) LET IT BE Ferry Aid
25 ( 18 ) CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ’87 T.Rex
26 ( 37 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE Erasure
27 ( 12 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
28 ( 27 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
29 ( 44 ) JIMMY LEE Aretha Franklin
30 ( 42 ) SEVERINA The Mission

31 ( 21 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
32 ( 74 ) LET’S WAIT AWHILE Janet Jackson
33 ( 23 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
34 ( 40 ) THE GREAT PRETENDER Freddie Mercury
35 ( 38 ) LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER Nick Kamen
36 ( 20 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
37 ( 45 ) LIKE FLAMES Berlin
38 ( 46 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Ruby Turner
39 ( 26 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
40 ( 49 ) WATCHING THE WILDLIFE Frankie Goes To Hollywood

41 ( 36 ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
42 ( 65 ) WITH OR WITHOUT YOU U2
43 ( 64 ) YOU’RE THE VOICE John Farnham
44 ( 39 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
45 ( 35 ) MOONLIGHTING Al Jarreau
46 ( 50 ) WHAT YOU GET IS WHAT YOU SEE Tina Turner
47 ( NEW ) HOOKED ON LOVE Dead Or Alive
48 ( 33 ) YOU ARE MY WORLD ’87 The Communards
49 ( 29 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
50 ( NEW ) THE PASSENGER Siouxsie & The Banshees

51 ( 31 ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red
52 ( 57 ) TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT Genesis
53 ( 41 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
54 ( 51 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
55 ( 55 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( 52 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
57 ( 28 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
58 ( 53 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
59 ( 56 ) HUMAN Human League
60 ( NEW ) EVER FALLEN IN LOVE Fine Young Cannibals

61 ( 25 ) DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES Paul Simon
62 ( NEW ) BIG TIME Peter Gabriel
63 ( 60 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
64 ( 71 ) MY BABY The Pretenders
65 ( NEW ) TAKE US BACK David Grant
66 ( 72 ) SELA Lionel Richie
67 ( 47 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
68 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( NEW ) IF YOU LET ME STAY Terence Trent D’Arby
70 ( 67 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!

71 ( 48 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
72 ( NEW ) JUST TO SEE HER Smokey Robinson
73 ( 70 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna
74 ( NEW ) STILL IN LOVE Jaki Graham
75 ( NEW ) GET THAT LOVE The Thompson Twins

Oldies Playlist
1 HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
2 ON MY OWN Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald
3 WHY CAN’T WE LIVE TOGETHER Timmy Thomas

 

 

31st March 1987

It’s 3 weeks on top for the late Jackie Wilson as Prince threatens to get his first chart-topper at 2 with the awesome Sign ‘O The Times. Billy Idol gets a 5th top 10, and Hot Choc remix their 1978 terrific riff-laden Winner back in at 8, top 10 for the second time. Ferry Aid means one Beatle song in, one out, of the 10 and Herb Alpert gets his 3rd top 10, one for each decade.

Rod Stewart brings Sailing back into the 20 for the 3rd time, I have no idea why, Tina Turner goes top 40, and Fleetwood Mac drop the first single to their great comeback album Tango In The Night, Big Love at 28. Boy George’s version of Ken Boothe’s cover of Bread’s Everything I Own plummets, as Ken enters at 29 13 years on. U2 finally go top 40, Peter Gabriel grabs another shot at the Big Time too, and FYC return all Buzzcocky, Siouxsie rides along, and The Pretenders also go top 40 for a very much ’78/’79 theme, along with The Whispers coming back new at 48 with 1980 top 10 And The Beat Goes On.

Future 90’s oldie smash, Crazy, from Patsy Cline enters at 50 20-odd years after she died in a plane crash, following a terrific vintage clip on The Tube I think, and veteran 60’s World Music star charter Hugh Masekela is also back with new material keeping the anti-apartheid theme strong in the chart. That leaves Kool & The Gang sneaking in for a last time (probably) and The Stranglers Shakin’ Life A Leaf, probably for the same reason.

1 ( 1 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
2 ( 5 ) SIGN O’ THE TIMES Prince
3 ( 7 ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
4 ( 2 ) LA ISLA BONITA Madonna
5 ( 4 ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
6 ( 8 ) WEAK IN THE PRESENCE OF BEAUTY Alison Moyet
7 ( 16 ) DON’T NEED A GUN Billy Idol
8 ( NEW ) EVERYONE’S A WINNER (REMIX) Hot Chocolate
9 ( 24 ) LET IT BE Ferry Aid
10 ( 12 ) KEEP YOUR EYE ON ME Herb Alpert

11 ( 11 ) WHAT’S GOING ON Cyndi Lauper
12 ( 3 ) PENNY LANE/STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
13 ( 6 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
14 ( 18 ) LEAN ON ME Club Nouveau
15 ( 19 ) (SOMETHING INSIDE) SO STRONG Labi Siffre
16 ( 17 ) LET MY PEOPLE GOGO The Rainmakers
17 ( 9 ) THE MAGICIAN Secession
18 ( 13 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
19 ( NEW ) SAILING Rod Stewart
20 ( 30 ) SEVERINA The Mission

21 ( 10 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
22 ( 15 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
23 ( 26 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE Erasure
24 ( 32 ) LET’S WAIT AWHILE Janet Jackson
25 ( 46 ) WHAT YOU GET IS WHAT YOU SEE Tina Turner
26 ( 14 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys
27 ( 29 ) JIMMY LEE Aretha Franklin
28 ( NEW ) BIG LOVE Fleetwood Mac
29 ( NEW ) EVERYTHING I OWN Ken Boothe
30 ( 20 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything

31 ( 42 ) WITH OR WITHOUT YOU U2
32 ( 62 ) BIG TIME Peter Gabriel
33 ( 35 ) LOVING YOU IS SWEETER THAN EVER Nick Kamen
34 ( 31 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
35 ( 36 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
36 ( 25 ) CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION ’87 T.Rex
37 ( 22 ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha
38 ( 60 ) EVER FALLEN IN LOVE Fine Young Cannibals
39 ( 64 ) MY BABY The Pretenders
40 ( 50 ) THE PASSENGER Siouxsie & The Banshees

41 ( 28 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
42 ( 43 ) YOU’RE THE VOICE John Farnham
43 ( 33 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
44 ( 38 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Ruby Turner
45 ( 27 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
46 ( 69 ) IF YOU LET ME STAY Terence Trent D’Arby
47 ( 47 ) HOOKED ON LOVE Dead Or Alive
48 ( NEW ) AND THE BEAT GOES ON The Whispers
49 ( 44 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
50 ( NEW ) CRAZY Patsy Cline

51 ( 21 ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George
52 ( 52 ) TONIGHT TONIGHT TONIGHT Genesis
53 ( 23 ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
54 ( 39 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
55 ( 55 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( 49 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
57 ( 66 ) SELA Lionel Richie
58 ( 34 ) THE GREAT PRETENDER Freddie Mercury
59 ( 53 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
60 ( 56 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna

61 ( 59 ) HUMAN Human League
62 ( NEW ) BRING HIM BACK HOME Hugh Masekela
63 ( 63 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
64 ( 37 ) LIKE FLAMES Berlin
65 ( 65 ) TAKE US BACK David Grant
66 ( 48 ) YOU ARE MY WORLD ’87 The Communards
67 ( 54 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
68 ( 40 ) WATCHING THE WILDLIFE Frankie Goes To Hollywood
69 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
70 ( 72 ) JUST TO SEE HER Smokey Robinson

71 ( 75 ) GET THAT LOVE The Thompson Twins
72 ( RE ) WISHING I WAS LUCKY Wet Wet Wet
73 ( 73 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna
74 ( NEW ) STONE LOVE Kool And The Gang
75 ( NEW ) SHAKIN’ LIKE A LEAF The Stranglers

FAVE OLDIES OF THE WEEK
1 THING Edwina Biglet & The Miglets
2 LOVING YOU AIN’T EASY Pagliaro
3 WEEKEND Alvin Stardust

141. ‘Telstar’, by The Tornados

Great Review!

The UK Number 1s Blog

To fully appreciate this next #1, I want you to go back and listen to the previous chart-topper, Elvis’s ‘She’s Not You’. Off you go. Done? Good. Because we need to make sure we know exactly where we are in October 1962. We’re in a bit of a post rock ‘n’ roll slump, with lots of middling pop and quirky novelties rather than an easily definable ‘Sound of ‘62’. And after that mediocre piece of Elvis-by-numbers, this song’s going to Blow. Your. Mind.

MAINtornados

Telstar, by The Tornados (their 1st and only #1)

5 weeks, from 4th October – 8th November 1962

The intro alone to ‘Telstar’ has enough innovative weirdness for there to have been papers written and conferences held on it. It’s an intro that sets a scene. I imagine a dust track at night in the Nebraskan desert. What sounds like a car coming…

View original post 830 more words

My Retro March 1969 Charts

1st March 1969

It’s 2 weeks on top for the Bee Gees in a static top 8, more or less, due to the sheer classicness, though The Beach Boys shoot up to 9, and Colin Blunstone gets a second top 10 of the year. Highest new entry, as usual when they have a new single out, is Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich and their final release in a 3-year-run (and more) of under-appreciated varied pop dramas, in at 16. Booker T & The MG’s also enter high with their Johnny Walker lunchtime Top 30 rundown instrumental backing, & The Tempts have an old Motown reissue beating out their new stuff.

Mama Cass does a slightly-more uptempo cover of Harmony Grass’ Move In A Little Closer – and I have to say the version I know best is Mama’s as it was on the budget albums I bought in 1974 and played to death. Jazzrock classic You’ve Made Me So Very Happy also goes top 40, while lower down newies from The Hollies keep the run of hits going for another year, Sorry Suzanne was a fave of the time, Gene Pitney still good with Maria Elena, The Chambers Brothers Slytastic flop Are You Ready (much better than their big hit, I think), Gary Puckett being Gary Puckett, Paul Anka covering 3-time Five Satins 1956 hit, and future BoyzIIMen acapella cover hit in the States, In The Still Of The Night, & Monkees songwriters Boyce & Hart release the theme song to the successful campaign to reduce the voting age to 18.

Meanwhile, wot I liked in 1969 at 11 years old is quite a bit different from how I feel about them 50 years later in quite a few cases…..

1 ( 1 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees ( peak 1 )
2 ( 2 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers ( peak 1 )
3 ( 3 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell ( peak 3 )
4 ( 5 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The Fifth Dimension ( peak 4 )
5 ( 4 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner ( peak 4 )
6 ( 6 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt ( peak 1 )
7 ( 7 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner ( peak 1 )
8 ( 8 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe ( peak 1 )
9 ( 32 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys ( peak 9 )
10 ( 12 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone ( peak 10 )

11 ( 16 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison ( peak 11 )
12 ( 9 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin ( peak 9 )
13 ( 11 ) I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Nina Simone ( peak 8 )
14 ( 10 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips ( peak 10 )
15 ( 13 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees ( peak 1 )
16 ( NEW ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich ( peak 16 )
17 ( 24 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield ( peak 17 )
18 ( 23 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan ( peak 18 )
19 ( 17 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye ( peak 1 )
20 ( 15 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha & The Vandellas ( peak 7 )

21 ( 14 ) BABY, BABY DON’T CRY Smokey Robinson & The Miracles ( peak 5 )
22 ( 19 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac ( peak 2 )
23 ( 20 ) TIME OF THE SEASON The Zombies ( peak 4 )
24 ( 22 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan ( peak 1 )
25 ( 21 ) HELLO IT’S ME Nazz featuring Todd Rundgren ( peak 9 )
26 ( 29 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black ( peak 26 )
27 ( 18 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Harmony Grass ( peak 18 )
28 ( NEW ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s ( peak 28 )
29 ( 25 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell ( peak 1 )
30 ( 37 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair ( peak 30 )

31 ( NEW ) GET READY The Temptations ( peak 31 )
32 ( 26 ) LOVE LIGHT The Archies ( peak 4 )
33 ( 35 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw ( peak 33 )
34 ( 31 ) THIS GIRL’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Dionne Warwick ( peak 18 )
35 ( 39 ) HEY BULLDOG The Beatles ( peak 35 )
36 ( 36 ) TEARDROP CITY The Monkees ( peak 36 )
37 ( NEW ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass ( peak 37 )
38 ( 30 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move ( peak 2 )
39 ( 34 ) THERE’LL COME A TIME Betty Everett ( peak 16 )
40 ( 54 ) YOU’VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY Blood, Sweat & Tears ( peak 40 )

41 ( 27 ) BABY MAKE ME FEEL SO GOOD The Five Stairsteps ( peak 27 )
42 ( 52 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard ( peak 42 )
43 ( 40 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes ( peak 1 )
44 ( 56 ) ALL TOGETHER NOW The Beatles ( peak 44 )
45 ( 28 ) I’LL PICK A ROSE FOR MY ROSE Marv Johnson ( peak 28 )
46 ( NEW ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies ( peak 46 )
47 ( 55 ) GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVIN’ Crazy Elephant ( peak 47 )
48 ( 38 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits ( peak 6 )
49 ( 60 ) HAIR The Cowsills ( peak 49 )
50 ( 46 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South ( peak 7 )

51 ( 45 ) SABRE DANCE Love Sculpture ( peak 2 )
52 ( 48 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers ( peak 3 )
53 ( 64 ) IT’S YOUR THING The Isley Brothers ( peak 53 )
54 ( 43 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann ( peak 5 )
55 ( 33 ) I’M LIVIN’ IN SHAME Diana Ross & The Supremes ( peak 29 )
56 ( 57 ) PLACE IN THE SUN David Isaacs ( peak 56 )
57 ( 41 ) THE TRA LA LA SONG (ONE BANANA TWO BANANA) The Banana Splits ( peak 26 )
58 ( 68 ) SING A SIMPLE SONG Sly & The Family Stone ( peak 58 )
59 ( NEW ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney ( peak 59 )
60 ( 71 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge ( peak 60 )
61 ( 51 ) READY OR NOT HERE I COME (CAN’T HIDE FROM LOVE) The Delfonics ( peak 5 )

62 ( 69 ) APRICOT BRANDY Rhinoceros ( peak 62 )
63 ( NEW ) YOU’D BETTER GO Nancy Wilson ( peak 63 )
64 ( 73 ) I SPY (FOR THE FBI) Jamo Thomas ( peak 64 )
65 ( NEW ) ARE YOU READY The Chambers Brothers ( peak 65 )
66 ( 61 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles ( peak 1 )
67 ( 72 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME Dusty Springfield ( peak 67 )
68 ( 74 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations ( peak 68 )
69 ( 44 ) GIVE IT AWAY The Chi-Lites ( peak 44 )
70 ( 50 ) I DON’T KNOW WHY Stevie Wonder ( peak 50 )

71 ( 42 ) ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD Consortium ( peak 42 )
72 ( NEW ) DON’T GIVE IN TO HIM Gary Puckett & The Union Gap ( peak 72 )
73 ( NEW ) IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT Paul Anka ( peak 73 )
74 ( NEW ) MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY The Spiral Staircase ( peak 74 )
75 ( NEW ) L.U.V. (LET US VOTE) Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart ( peak 75 )

1st Mar Retro-Then

1 ( 1 ) IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
2 ( 8 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 2 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
4 ( 3 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
5 ( 6 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
6 ( 4 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
7 ( 11 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
8 ( 5 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
9 ( 7 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
10 ( NEW ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

11 ( 15 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 17 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
13 ( NEW ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
14 ( 10 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck
15 ( 12 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
16 ( 13 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
17 ( 16 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
18 ( NEW ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
19 ( 19 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
20 ( NEW ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

 

8th March 1969

It’s a first week on top for Glen Campbell’s classic Jimmy Webb song, the third in the trilogy of sweeping Americana, and all 3 chart-toppers. In 2 and a half years of retro charting, Glen has had 13 chart entries – with loads still to come virtually till the day he died. The 5th Dimension beat their previous chart peak of 4 (Stoned Soul Picnic), Dave Dee & co get a 5th top 10, 3 of them chart-toppers, and Bob & Earl enter at 10 with the classic Harlem Shuffle. Younger folk expect to hear Jump Around from that intro, a good record but not AS good as Bob & Earl – for an example of how good it is you only need refer to the Rolling Stones pedestrian cover version by way of comparison.

Mama Cass equals Harmony Grass in getting Move In A Little Closer top 20, her 5th of 13 “hits” including Mamas & Papas, while Ray Stevens is back – his 4th entry, but his first reversion back to his earlier (pre-charting) comedy record era – Gitarzan is just great good-natured fun, maybe not endlessly playable, but then novelty records pall quickly on repetition. I’ve never got bored with this one, though, since I bought his Greatest Hits in 1975. At 57, the classy Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine bring their early 60’s ballad back into the charts (so many oldies!), while Gary Lewis returns from his time away in Vietnam after being drafted, with a very good cover of Rhythm Of The Rain – probably with a vocal assist, given the rubbish result when he insisted doing lead vocal without overdubbing. Obviously being the son of Jerry Lewis meant nothing to the Draft Board unless you could pay for a doctor to sign you unfit with Bone-spurs….

In at 52, it’s Eurovision time, Lulu gets the chalice, and I recall watching the 6 songs that were voted for. I think I liked Boom Bang-A-Bang best, though it’s all a little hazy – Poor young Elton John/Bernie Taupin failed to win the vote with I Can’t Go On Living Without You (a better song, probably). Still they did better than Lloyd-Webber/Rice’s King Herod’s Song (with different lyrics) which didn’t make the final 6. Back in those days quality songwriters lined-up to write our entries. These days a dustman can throw one together cos hit production-line songwriters haven’t got time to take away from lucrative collabs with Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Adele & the rest.

My Way enters for ol’ Blue Eyes. As my preference has always been for Nancy, you don’t have to worry about this rattling around my charts for the next 3 years, like the UK charts. Phew! It might be his signature tune, and I liked it a lot at the time, but it’s nowhere near his best record. It is great for fab singers to show off their pipes in karaoke bars though. Grazing In The Grass, a vocal version this time, outdoes Hugh Masekela’s peak of 70, from The Friends Of Distinction, It’s Only Love (yet another future Elvis hit cover) debuts for B.J. Thomas – his 3rd – and King Curtis impressively involves an Allman Brother for his instrumental cover of the still-charting Joe South song.

It’s a 9th entry for Tommy James & co, Sweet Cherry Wine not one I’m that familiar with actually, Jackie Wilson gets another Eugene Record Chi-Lites gift, and Vikki Carr covers Billy Vera’s With Pen In Hand which peaked at 45 in 1968 here. The Foundations get another entry, good but no Buttercup or Baby Now That…and that concludes the spiel!

1 ( 3 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
2 ( 1 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
3 ( 4 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 3
4 ( 2 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
5 ( 5 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
6 ( 16 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 6
7 ( 9 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
8 ( 11 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 8
9 ( 6 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
10 ( NEW ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 10

11 ( 8 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
12 ( 7 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
13 ( 18 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
14 ( 10 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10
15 ( 17 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield # 15
16 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin # 9
17 ( 13 ) I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Nina Simone # 8
18 ( 31 ) GET READY The Temptations # 18
19 ( 15 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
20 ( 37 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 20

21 ( 28 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 21
22 ( 14 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips # 10
23 ( 30 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 23
24 ( 19 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
25 ( 35 ) HEY BULLDOG The Beatles # 25
26 ( 20 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha & The Vandellas # 7
27 ( 24 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
28 ( 22 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac # 2
29 ( 23 ) TIME OF THE SEASON The Zombies # 4
30 ( 36 ) TEARDROP CITY The Monkees # 30

31 ( 21 ) BABY, BABY DON’T CRY Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 5
32 ( 26 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black # 26
33 ( 25 ) HELLO IT’S ME Nazz featuring Todd Rundgren # 9
34 ( 29 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
35 ( 40 ) YOU’VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY Blood, Sweat & Tears # 35
36 ( 42 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard # 36
37 ( 44 ) ALL TOGETHER NOW The Beatles # 37
38 ( 27 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Harmony Grass # 18
39 ( 46 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 39
40 ( 32 ) LOVE LIGHT The Archies # 4

41 ( 34 ) THIS GIRL’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Dionne Warwick # 18
42 ( 33 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw # 33
43 ( NEW ) GITARZAN Ray Stevens # 43
44 ( 53 ) IT’S YOUR THING The Isley Brothers # 44
45 ( 38 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move # 2
46 ( NEW ) RHYTHM OF THE RAIN Gary Lewis & The Playboys # 46
47 ( 49 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 47
48 ( 43 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes # 1
49 ( 59 ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney # 49
50 ( 47 ) GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVIN’ Crazy Elephant # 47

51 ( 39 ) THERE’LL COME A TIME Betty Everett # 16
52 ( NEW ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 52
53 ( 65 ) ARE YOU READY The Chambers Brothers # 53
54 ( 58 ) SING A SIMPLE SONG Sly & The Family Stone # 54
55 ( 60 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge # 55
56 ( 52 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers # 3
57 ( NEW ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 57
58 ( 41 ) BABY MAKE ME FEEL SO GOOD The Five Stairsteps # 27
59 ( 64 ) I SPY (FOR THE FBI) Jamo Thomas # 59
60 ( NEW ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra # 60

61 ( 63 ) YOU’D BETTER GO Nancy Wilson # 61
62 ( 50 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South # 7
63 ( 51 ) SABRE DANCE Love Sculpture # 2
64 ( 67 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME Dusty Springfield # 64
65 ( NEW ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 65
66 ( NEW ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 66
67 ( 68 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 67
68 ( 72 ) DON’T GIVE IN TO HIM Gary Puckett & The Union Gap # 68
69 ( 73 ) IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT Paul Anka # 69
70 ( 75 ) L.U.V. (LET US VOTE) Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart # 70

71 ( NEW ) IT’S ONLY LOVE B.J. Thomas # 71
72 ( NEW ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY King Curtis & The Kingpins featuring Duane Allman # 72
73 ( NEW ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 73
74 ( NEW ) I STILL LOVE YOU Jackie Wilson # 74
75 ( NEW ) WITH PEN IN HAND Vikki Carr # 75

(# = peak position)

RETRO THEN

1 ( 3 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
2 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 1 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
4 ( 7 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
5 ( 12 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
6 ( 4 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
7 ( 10 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
8 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
9 ( 6 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
10 ( 13 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley

11 ( 5 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
12 ( NEW ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
13 ( NEW ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
14 ( 9 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
15 ( NEW ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
16 ( 8 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
17 ( 20 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
18 ( 18 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
19 ( 15 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
20 ( 14 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck

 

16th March 1969

It’s a first week on top for The 5th Dimension, their first chart-topper, with the Hair Medley, as the title song becomes the 3rd song from the musical to go top 30 for The Cowsills. Highest new entry is in at 10 for Desmond Dekker, outdoing 007 in fell swoop as his famous ska classic out-performs new entries from Stevie Wonder (My Cherie Amour, a fave of mine at the time, as was Desmond’s) and The Who’s Tommy single Pinball Wizard, at 25 and 34 respectively. It’s The Who’s 3rd top 40, and Stevie’s 4th. Pinball Wizard would be back in 1973 for the New Seekers, and top my charts in 1976 for Elton John’s single from the film of Tommy, platform shoes galore.

Both Ray Stevens gets a 3rd top 40 with Gitarzan and The Isley Brothers a 4th with It’s Your Thing. The Trems return with Hello World, their 9th chart entry, as The Flying Burrito Brothers debut with a future Elvis Costello cover. Lulu enters with her Elton John song that failed to get voted in to be the UK entry for Eurovision, and Les Troubadours (etc) sneak in with a song that couldnt in a million years ever chart in these 2-dimensional chart days, yet sold enough after appearing in the film If…., the counter-culture X-Rated Palm D’Ors winner at Cannes. Set in a public school, I remember seeing it for the first time late one evening in the mid-70’s when this track came on. I knew the tune, but didn’t know I knew the tune – if you know what I mean. I got hold of it on a budget “Hits of 1968” vinyl album soon after and it clicked. So what is it? It’s a 1958 Katanga province vocal version and African-styled musical version of a Latin mass originating from the Missa Luba, a Democratic Republic Of Congo religious piece written by Father Guido Haazen, a Belgian Franciscan friar. So now you know….!

 

1 ( 3 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
2 ( 1 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
3 ( 2 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
4 ( 6 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
5 ( 4 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
6 ( 8 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
7 ( 10 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 7
8 ( 5 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
9 ( 7 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
10 ( NEW ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 10

11 ( 9 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
12 ( 11 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
13 ( 13 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
14 ( 12 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
15 ( 18 ) GET READY The Temptations # 15
16 ( 20 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 16
17 ( 15 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield # 15
18 ( 14 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10
19 ( 25 ) HEY BULLDOG The Beatles # 19
20 ( 21 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 20

21 ( 19 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
22 ( 16 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin # 9
23 ( 23 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 23
24 ( 17 ) I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Nina Simone # 8
25 ( NEW ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 25
26 ( 22 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips # 10
27 ( 24 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
28 ( 47 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 28
29 ( 37 ) ALL TOGETHER NOW The Beatles # 29
30 ( 27 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1

31 ( 43 ) GITARZAN Ray Stevens # 31
32 ( 39 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 32
33 ( 36 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard # 33
34 ( NEW ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 34
35 ( 34 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
36 ( 29 ) TIME OF THE SEASON The Zombies # 4
37 ( 57 ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 37
38 ( 26 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha & The Vandellas # 7
39 ( 44 ) IT’S YOUR THING The Isley Brothers # 39
40 ( 28 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac # 2

41 ( 46 ) RHYTHM OF THE RAIN Gary Lewis & The Playboys # 41
42 ( 35 ) YOU’VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY Blood, Sweat & Tears # 35
43 ( 49 ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney # 43
44 ( 52 ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 44
45 ( 30 ) TEARDROP CITY The Monkees # 30
46 ( 31 ) BABY, BABY DON’T CRY Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 5
47 ( 55 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge # 47
48 ( 32 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black # 26
49 ( NEW ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 49
50 ( 40 ) LOVE LIGHT The Archies # 4

51 ( 33 ) HELLO IT’S ME Nazz featuring Todd Rundgren # 9
52 ( 53 ) ARE YOU READY The Chambers Brothers # 52
53 ( 48 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes # 1
54 ( 54 ) SING A SIMPLE SONG Sly & The Family Stone # 54
55 ( 41 ) THIS GIRL’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Dionne Warwick # 18
56 ( 45 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move # 2
57 ( 67 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 57
58 ( 60 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra # 58
59 ( 61 ) YOU’D BETTER GO Nancy Wilson # 59
60 ( 64 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME Dusty Springfield # 60

61 ( 38 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Harmony Grass # 18
62 ( 66 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 62
63 ( 65 ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 63
64 ( 56 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers # 3
65 ( 59 ) I SPY (FOR THE FBI) Jamo Thomas # 59
66 ( NEW ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 66
67 ( 68 ) DON’T GIVE IN TO HIM Gary Puckett & The Union Gap # 67
68 ( 70 ) L.U.V. (LET US VOTE) Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart # 68
69 ( 73 ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 69
70 ( 71 ) IT’S ONLY LOVE B.J. Thomas # 70

71 ( 72 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY King Curtis & The Kingpins featuring Duane Allman # 71
72 ( NEW ) SANCTUS (FROM MISSA LUBA) Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin # 72
73 ( 42 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw # 33
74 ( 74 ) I STILL LOVE YOU Jackie Wilson # 74
75 ( NEW ) I CAN’T GO ON LIVING WITHOUT YOU Lulu # 75

wot I liked that week then


1 ( 1 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
2 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 7 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
4 ( 13 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
5 ( 5 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
6 ( 12 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
7 ( 3 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
8 ( 10 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
9 ( 4 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
10 ( 15 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies

11 ( 8 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 6 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
13 ( 9 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
14 ( 17 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
15 ( 11 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
16 ( 14 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
17 ( 18 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
18 ( NEW ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
19 ( NEW ) GET READY The Temptations
20 ( 19 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers

 

22nd March 1969

It’s a brand new entry in at 1 for Simon & Garfunkel getting their first, but not last, chart-topper with the epic, moody story-song brilliance that is The Boxer. I learnt the words by heart, and it sets up one of the greatest albums of all-time (Bridge Over Troubled Water) quite nicely bearing in mind the B side is also new in at 27, the jolly Baby Driver. Our neighbours in Singapore a year or so later, The Overtons, loaned us the album so I could record my fave tracks onto reel-to-reel, and I eventually bought it in 1976 and played it to death.

The Who get a might Tommy climb into the top 10, Stevie Wonder & The Cowsills add to their top 20 list, and The Trems get a high climb to 30, leaving the highest new entry that isn’t a Paul Simon song to Clodagh Rodgers debut hit Come Back & Shake Me at 40, one of two female vocal pop songs I was mad on in April of that year: t’other one is yet to enter. Kenny Young wrote the song, he of Captain Of Your Ship, Under The Boardwalk, and future hits for Fox and Yellow Dog, among many. The Ronettes enter with a future 1972 chart hit for The Pearls – You Came You Saw You Conquered, was one Fluff Freeman plugged on his chart show quite a bit (I recorded the shows in those days, at least in part), and I never knew it was a Ronettes Phil Spector song. Well, he’s on the credits at any rate, more likely it was written by the others: Toni Wine & Irwin Levine. Toni had co-written Groovy Kind Of Love, was about to join The Archies (that’s her singing on Sugar Sugar). She & Irwin went on to write Black Pearl, Candida & What Are You Doing Sunday for Dawn. Toni sang on Knock Three Times too, before they grabbed some backing singers for the rest of their chart career.

Andy Williams beats out the slower Petula Clark version of Happy Heart. Always a bit of a catchy tune that one. James Last wrote it. I’m not kidding! At 63 Johnny Thunder enters with a song I have never heard before, I’m Alive is fuzzy aggressive funkrock, and rather good, Shirley MacLaine & Sammy Davis Jr both enter with tracks from the Sweet Charity film soundtrack, I regularly have seen the movie clips in a Gran Canaria bar called Centre Stage over the last 15 years. Debbie Taylor debuts with another newie to me, a decent soul ballad, The Marbles get a soundalike follow-up, another Brothers Gibb song, and again Graham Bonnet on vocal. Finally lowest newie is Canadian band The Guess Who. Who? Better known as half of Bachman-Turner Overdrive these days (Randy Bachman).


1 ( NEW ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
2 ( 2 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
3 ( 3 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
4 ( 1 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
5 ( 7 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 5
6 ( 4 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
7 ( 5 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
8 ( 10 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 8
9 ( 34 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 9
10 ( 6 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6

11 ( 8 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
12 ( 9 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
13 ( 11 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
14 ( 15 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
15 ( 12 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
16 ( 25 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 16
17 ( 13 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
18 ( 20 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
19 ( 28 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
20 ( 23 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 20

21 ( 14 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
22 ( 16 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 16
23 ( 17 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield # 15
24 ( 21 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
25 ( 18 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10
26 ( 19 ) HEY BULLDOG The Beatles # 19
27 ( NEW ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 27
28 ( 32 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 28
29 ( 22 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin # 9
30 ( 49 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 30

31 ( 27 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
32 ( 24 ) I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Nina Simone # 8
33 ( 26 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips # 10
34 ( 30 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
35 ( 29 ) ALL TOGETHER NOW The Beatles # 29
36 ( 37 ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 36
37 ( 39 ) IT’S YOUR THING The Isley Brothers # 37
38 ( 44 ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 38
39 ( 41 ) RHYTHM OF THE RAIN Gary Lewis & The Playboys # 39
40 ( NEW ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 40

41 ( 35 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
42 ( 31 ) GITARZAN Ray Stevens # 31
43 ( 43 ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney # 43
44 ( 33 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard # 33
45 ( 47 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge # 45
46 ( 62 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 46
47 ( 57 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 47
48 ( NEW ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 48
49 ( 36 ) TIME OF THE SEASON The Zombies # 4
50 ( 54 ) SING A SIMPLE SONG Sly & The Family Stone # 50

51 ( 52 ) ARE YOU READY The Chambers Brothers # 51
52 ( 40 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac # 2
53 ( 38 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha & The Vandellas # 7
54 ( 42 ) YOU’VE MADE ME SO VERY HAPPY Blood, Sweat & Tears # 35
55 ( 63 ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 55
56 ( 66 ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 56
57 ( 58 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra # 57
58 ( NEW ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 58
59 ( 59 ) YOU’D BETTER GO Nancy Wilson # 59
60 ( 60 ) DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME Dusty Springfield # 60

61 ( 53 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes # 1
62 ( 45 ) TEARDROP CITY The Monkees # 30
63 ( NEW ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 63
64 ( NEW ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 64
65 ( 48 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black # 26
66 ( 69 ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 66
67 ( 67 ) DON’T GIVE IN TO HIM Gary Puckett & The Union Gap # 67
68 ( NEW ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 68
69 ( NEW ) RHYTHM OF LIFE Sammy Davis Jr # 69
70 ( 50 ) LOVE LIGHT The Archies # 4

71 ( 46 ) BABY, BABY DON’T CRY Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 5
72 ( 72 ) SANCTUS (FROM MISSA LUBA) Les Troubadours Du Roi Baudouin # 72
73 ( NEW ) THE WALLS FELL DOWN The Marbles # 73
74 ( NEW ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 74
75 ( 56 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move # 2

Then charts wot I liked
1 ( 6 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
2 ( 4 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
3 ( 10 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
4 ( 1 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
5 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
6 ( 8 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
7 ( 3 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
8 ( 5 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
9 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
10 ( 14 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

11 ( 7 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
12 ( 9 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 13 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
14 ( 12 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
15 ( 18 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
16 ( 15 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
17 ( NEW ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
18 ( 19 ) GET READY The Temptations
19 ( 16 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
20 ( 17 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys

 

29th March 1969

It’s 2 weeks on top for The Boxer as the B side drives up 12 for Simon & Garfunkel, and Harlem Shuffle moves into runners-up. Highest new entry is the track I was mad on for at least the whole of April 1969, more than any other record about, Mary Hopkin’s 2nd hit, and a gift of a song from Paul McCartney – Goodbye is a record I managed to buy 8 years later, on Apple Records – and in at 9. Desmond Dekker is top 5, and Stevie Wonder top 10, Clodagh Rodgers being a sizeable leap up to 20.

Johnny Nash’s reggae cover of Sam Cooke brings Cupid straight into the 40, while The Ronettes, The Foundations, Diana Ross & The Supremes with The Temptations, Don Partridge & Gene Pitney all find a gap at last to enter the 40. Only The Ronettes are debuts as acts (though they would have topped with Be My Baby, had my charts started earlier). In at 43, it’s another great pop soul song better-known in a later cover – by The Carpenters – the fab Hurting Each Other for Ruby & The Romantics, one-time Our Day Will Come hitsters.

The late great Scott Walker is back with his great version of If You Go Away, 5 years ahead of Terry Jack’s very breathless cover hit, while Percy Sledge returns with Ronnie Milsapp’s Any Day Now, a great song which was tucked away on the B Side of the 2nd single I ever bought (In The Ghetto by Elvis Presley) and one I played to death from September 1969 onwards in Singapore. Elvis’ version is way better, though this one is nice.

Sly & The family Stone & Martha & The Vandellas both knock their current hits out my chart in favour of new ones, The Equals return with Eddy Grant’s slipper-tree. I’ve no idea what that is. Junior Walker is also running back, while there are debuts for some 70’s stalwarts – James Taylor, he of the low-key singer-songwriter folkie with the eyes girls went for, enters with Carolina In My Mind; Tony Orlando, one-time Bless You 60’s popster, and future Dawn headliner, is in with I Was A Boy under a fake name (shades of Colin Blunstone!) and lastly John Stewart, songwriter of Daydream Believer, enters with July You’re A Woman, the original of the less-good Pat Boone version charting in April in the USA. A decade later John’d strike chart Gold.

1 ( 1 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
2 ( 5 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
3 ( 2 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
4 ( 3 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
5 ( 8 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 5
6 ( 4 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
7 ( 9 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
8 ( 6 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
9 ( NEW ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 9
10 ( 16 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 10

11 ( 7 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
12 ( 27 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 12
13 ( 10 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
14 ( 14 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
15 ( 12 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
16 ( 11 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
17 ( 13 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
18 ( 15 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
19 ( 19 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
20 ( 40 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 20

21 ( 18 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
22 ( 30 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 22
23 ( 17 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
24 ( 48 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 24
25 ( 21 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
26 ( 24 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
27 ( 22 ) MOVE IN A LITTLE CLOSER BABY Mama Cass # 16
28 ( 28 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 28
29 ( 38 ) BOOM BANG-A-BANG Lulu # 29
30 ( 20 ) ONE ROAD The Love Affair # 20

31 ( 23 ) BREAKFAST IN BED Dusty Springfield # 15
32 ( 25 ) SHE’S NOT THERE Neil McArthur aka Colin Blunstone # 10
33 ( 36 ) PASSING STRANGERS Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine # 33
34 ( 31 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
35 ( 43 ) MARIA ELENA (I’M GOING TO WAR) Gene Pitney # 35
36 ( 34 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
37 ( 45 ) BREAKFAST ON PLUTO Don Partridge # 37
38 ( 47 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 38
39 ( NEW ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 39
40 ( 46 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations # 40

41 ( 26 ) HEY BULLDOG The Beatles # 19
42 ( 29 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin # 9
43 ( NEW ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 43
44 ( 33 ) TOO LATE TO WORRY, TOO BLUE TO CRY Esther Phillips # 10
45 ( 41 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
46 ( 56 ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 46
47 ( 55 ) GRAZING IN THE GRASS The Friends Of Distinction # 47
48 ( 39 ) RHYTHM OF THE RAIN Gary Lewis & The Playboys # 39
49 ( 37 ) IT’S YOUR THING The Isley Brothers # 37
50 ( 58 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 50

51 ( 32 ) I PUT A SPELL ON YOU Nina Simone # 8
52 ( 63 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 52
53 ( 74 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 53
54 ( 57 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra # 54
55 ( 35 ) ALL TOGETHER NOW The Beatles # 29
56 ( 64 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 56
57 ( 49 ) TIME OF THE SEASON The Zombies # 4
58 ( 68 ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 58
59 ( 69 ) RHYTHM OF LIFE Sammy Davis Jr # 59
60 ( NEW ) IF YOU GO AWAY Scott Walker # 60

61 ( 52 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac # 2
62 ( 66 ) SWEET CHERRY WINE Tommy James & The Shondells # 62
63 ( 44 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard # 33
64 ( 61 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes # 1
65 ( 51 ) ARE YOU READY The Chambers Brothers # 51
66 ( 73 ) THE WALLS FELL DOWN The Marbles # 66
67 ( NEW ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 67
68 ( NEW ) ANY DAY NOW Percy Sledge # 68
69 ( 42 ) GITARZAN Ray Stevens # 31
70 ( NEW ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals # 70

71 ( NEW ) I WAS A BOY (WHEN YOU NEEDED A MAN) Billy Shields aka Tony Orlando # 71
72 ( NEW ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 72
73 ( NEW ) (WE’VE GOT) HONEY LOVE Martha & The Vandellas # 73
74 ( NEW ) (I’M A) ROAD RUNNER Junior Walker & The All Stars # 74
75 ( NEW ) JULY YOU’RE A WOMAN John Stewart # 75

Retro Then
1 ( 1 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
2 ( 17 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 3 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
4 ( 2 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
5 ( 15 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
6 ( 5 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
7 ( 10 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
8 ( 4 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
9 ( 8 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
10 ( 7 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

11 ( 9 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 6 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
14 ( 13 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
15 ( NEW ) CUPID Johnny Nash
16 ( 18 ) GET READY The Temptations
17 ( 16 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
18 ( NEW ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
19 ( NEW ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
20 ( NEW ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl

My February 1987 Charts

4th February 1987

It’s a first week on top for Aretha’s first-ever chart-topper (after trying for 19 years) and George Michael gets a 5th, including Wham!. Carly Simon gets her 5th top 10, and The Christians debut at 15 from nowhere with the brilliant Forgotten Town, the Christian brothers from Liverpool followed in the tradition of The Real Thing’s early stuff for me, great soul records. China Crisis, The Mission and Lou Reed all go top 40 again – Lou hadn’t done that since 1973! Talking about oldies, a remix of Rock Your Baby brings George McCrae back after a gap of 12 years, while remixes is the theme of the week as recent flops from Stacey Q, This Island Earth, join Freeez and Hot Choc in the charts.

Geldof, Europe, Paul Young all follow-up with minor entries, Springsteen does his own Pointer Sisters gift 8 years late, Slade join their annual Xmas oldie with a newie, which gives them 16 years of entries, and Tina Turner makes it 14 years of chart hits as album title track Break Every Rule enters before I realised it wasn’t a single and excluded it. As I now include album tracks at least I know it’s position is fair and so I am keeping it!

1 ( 2 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
2 ( 1 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
3 ( 4 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
4 ( 8 ) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES The Doobie Brothers
5 ( 5 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
6 ( 6 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
7 ( 3 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
8 ( 10 ) WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees
9 ( 14 ) JACK YOUR BODY Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley
10 ( 16 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon

11 ( 12 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
12 ( 13 ) HYMN TO HER The Pretenders
13 ( 19 ) RAT IN MI KITCHON UB40
14 ( 9 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop
15 ( NEW ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
16 ( 24 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
17 ( 11 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
18 ( 23 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
19 ( 25 ) BEHIND THE MASK Eric Clapton
20 ( 36 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy

21 ( 15 ) REET PETITE Jackie Wilson
22 ( 35 ) HEARTACHE Pepsi & Shirlie
23 ( 7 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
24 ( 18 ) BIG FUN The Gap Band
25 ( 32 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
26 ( 17 ) IS THIS LOVE Alison Moyet
27 ( 44 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
28 ( 28 ) CROSS THAT BRIDGE The Ward Brothers
29 ( 31 ) IT DIDN’T MATTER The Style Council
30 ( 40 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela

31 ( 20 ) SURRENDER Swing Out Sister
32 ( 21 ) THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE Paul Simon
33 ( 47 ) WASTELAND The Mission
34 ( 34 ) IOU (REMIX) Freeez
35 ( 60 ) IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY The Blow Monkeys
36 ( 22 ) CANDY Cameo
37 ( 72 ) JACK THE GROOVE Raze
38 ( 38 ) TRAMPOLINE Julian Cope
39 ( 50 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
40 ( 26 ) CRY WOLF a-ha

41 ( 27 ) SOMETIMES Erasure
42 ( 29 ) THE RAIN Oran ‘Juice’ Jones
43 ( 33 ) KING’S CALL Philip Lynott
44 ( 45 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
45 ( NEW ) ROCK YOUR BABY (REMIX) George McCrae
46 ( 42 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin
47 ( 43 ) HUMAN Human League
48 ( 30 ) CARAVAN OF LOVE The Housemartins
49 ( 68 ) BEAUTIFUL IMBALANCE Thrashing Doves
50 ( 61 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets

51 ( 37 ) LAND OF CONFUSION Genesis
52 ( NEW ) TWO OF HEARTS (Q MIX) Stacey Q
53 ( 41 ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade
54 ( 62 ) TROUBLE Heaven 17
55 ( 46 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
56 ( 57 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
57 ( 55 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
58 ( 39 ) SO COLD THE NIGHT The Communards
59 ( 59 ) KEEP YOUR HANDS TO YOURSELF Georgia Satellites
60 ( 52 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna

61 ( 74 ) HEART OF THE SUN Red Box
62 ( 63 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
63 ( 64 ) STRANGER ON THE SHORE OF LOVE Stevie Wonder
64 ( NEW ) SEE THAT GLOW (REMIX) This Island Earth
65 ( NEW ) LOVE LIKE A ROCKET Bob Geldof
66 ( NEW ) ROCK THE TOWN Europe
67 ( 67 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
68 ( 69 ) VICTORY Kool & The Gang
69 ( NEW ) BREAK EVERY RULE Tina Turner
70 ( NEW ) DON’T COME TO STAY Hothouse

71 ( 51 ) THE MIRACLE OF LOVE Eurythmics
72 ( NEW ) WHY DOES A MAN HAVE TO BE STRONG Paul Young
73 ( 48 ) FALLIN’ IN LOVE (UH-UH) Miami Sound Machine
74 ( NEW ) FIRE Bruce Springsteen
75 ( NEW ) STILL THE SAME Slade

4th Feb
PLAYIST OLDIES

1 HOLD YOUR HEAD UP Argent
2 NO FEAR NO HATE NO PAIN Eurythmics
3 ADORATIONS Killing Joke

11th February 1987

It’s 2 weeks on top for George & Aretha as they preside over a busy top 10, a middling middle, and a busy bottom end with lots of new entries. Carly Simon gets her highest-charting record to date, The Christians a first top 5, Berlin a second top 10, The Blow Monkeys a 2nd top 10 and a big climb, Randy Crawford a second top 10, and China Crisis a 3rd top 10. Highest new entry is Eurythmics dropping the synths and opting for gospel rock, at 30. It’s chart returns for Duran, the Nana’s, The Damned making it 8 years of chart entries, The Smiths petering out ahead of the big bust-up never to return, Spandau 7 years and still going, Five Star, Big Audio Dynamite, Anita baker & George Benson making it, ooh 12 years since Supership.

1 ( 1 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
2 ( 2 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
3 ( 10 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
4 ( 3 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
5 ( 15 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
6 ( 11 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
7 ( 35 ) IT SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE THAT WAY The Blow Monkeys
8 ( 16 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
9 ( 5 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
10 ( 27 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis

11 ( 6 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
12 ( 7 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
13 ( 19 ) BEHIND THE MASK Eric Clapton
14 ( 18 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
15 ( 4 ) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES The Doobie Brothers
16 ( 20 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy
17 ( 8 ) WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees
18 ( 22 ) HEARTACHE Pepsi & Shirlie
19 ( 25 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
20 ( 14 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop

21 ( 13 ) RAT IN MI KITCHON UB40
22 ( 12 ) HYMN TO HER The Pretenders
23 ( 33 ) WASTELAND The Mission
24 ( 17 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
25 ( 30 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela
26 ( 39 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
27 ( 37 ) JACK THE GROOVE Raze
28 ( 9 ) JACK YOUR BODY Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley
29 ( 43 ) KING’S CALL Philip Lynott
30 ( NEW ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics

31 ( 21 ) REET PETITE Jackie Wilson
32 ( 34 ) IOU (REMIX) Freeez
33 ( 44 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
34 ( 23 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
35 ( 62 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
36 ( 38 ) TRAMPOLINE Julian Cope
37 ( 28 ) CROSS THAT BRIDGE The Ward Brothers
38 ( 26 ) IS THIS LOVE Alison Moyet
39 ( 50 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
40 ( 32 ) THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE Paul Simon

41 ( 49 ) BEAUTIFUL IMBALANCE Thrashing Doves
42 ( 36 ) CANDY Cameo
43 ( 45 ) ROCK YOUR BABY (REMIX) George McCrae
44 ( 40 ) CRY WOLF a-ha
45 ( 52 ) TWO OF HEARTS (Q MIX) Stacey Q
46 ( 41 ) SOMETIMES Erasure
47 ( 47 ) HUMAN Human League
48 ( 65 ) LOVE LIKE A ROCKET Bob Geldof
49 ( 31 ) SURRENDER Swing Out Sister
50 ( 46 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin

51 ( 66 ) ROCK THE TOWN Europe
52 ( 61 ) HEART OF THE SUN Red Box
53 ( 24 ) BIG FUN The Gap Band
54 ( NEW ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
55 ( 42 ) THE RAIN Oran ‘Juice’ Jones
56 ( 56 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
57 ( NEW ) GIGOLO The Damned
58 ( 57 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
59 ( NEW ) SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE The Smiths
60 ( 60 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna

61 ( NEW ) STAY OUT OF MY LIFE Five Star
62 ( 29 ) IT DIDN’T MATTER The Style Council
63 ( NEW ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
64 ( 55 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
65 ( 51 ) LAND OF CONFUSION Genesis
66 ( 72 ) WHY DOES A MAN HAVE TO BE STRONG Paul Young
67 ( NEW ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama
68 ( 67 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( 69 ) BREAK EVERY RULE Tina Turner
70 ( NEW ) HOW MANY LIES Spandau Ballet

71 ( 53 ) MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY Slade
72 ( NEW ) V13 Big Audio Dynamite
73 ( 58 ) SO COLD THE NIGHT The Communards
74 ( NEW ) TEASER George Benson
75 ( NEW ) CAUGHT UP IN THE RAPTURE Anita Baker

Playlist oldies of that week
1 I’M GONNA BE STRONG Gene Pitney
2 NO PROMISES Icehouse
3 THESE DREAMS Heart

17th February 1987

It’s 3 weeks on top for Aretha & George as The Blow Monkeys reach number 2 again, copying Digging Your Scene – always the Bridesmaids! – and then there are 2 classic 60’s soul oldies from an advert (Percy Sledge) & a film of the same name (Ben E. King). When A man Loves A Woman had long been popular on Radio One Top 100 Singles lists, and Stand By Me had already topped my charts in 1975 for the cover by John Lennon which was almost as great as Ben’s version.

Mental As Anything finally make the top 20 months after first charting, Duran Duran get a big climb for their relatively floppy single, and the camp Male Stripper exposes itself at 36, a good 20 years ahead of me getting grabbed by the first of three strippers on different occasions. I think it’s my grinning not leering that makes me a target, oops! Simply Red are back and well into a long run of future success, clearly onto the Right Thing, Level 42 also return, and World Party pop back with possibly their best record, Ship Of Fools, in at 68.

It’s a rap! The Beastie Boys fighting debut was bad news for Volkswagen owners across the country, including my mate who got fed up with his car badge getting nicked, and white rappers became the new thing – if one discounts Debbie Harry, Adam Ant, Billie Davies in the 60’s, and any number of other music acts who’d already dabbled as opposed to making a career out of 80’s urban rap. Talking of Debbie harry – she’s back at 75, Iggy Pop has a second current chart entry at 73, and View From A Hill get a follow-up entry.

1 ( 1 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
2 ( 7 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
3 ( NEW ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
4 ( NEW ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
5 ( 5 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
6 ( 3 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
7 ( 2 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
8 ( 6 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
9 ( 10 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
10 ( 8 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford

11 ( 14 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
12 ( 4 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
13 ( 11 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil
14 ( 9 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
15 ( 19 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat
16 ( 13 ) BEHIND THE MASK Eric Clapton
17 ( 18 ) HEARTACHE Pepsi & Shirlie
18 ( 33 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
19 ( 12 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
20 ( 25 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela

21 ( 16 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy
22 ( 29 ) THE KING’S CALL Philip Lynott
23 ( 54 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
24 ( 26 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
25 ( 35 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
26 ( 30 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
27 ( 27 ) JACK THE GROOVE Raze
28 ( 39 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
29 ( 20 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop
30 ( 17 ) WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees

31 ( 15 ) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES The Doobie Brothers
32 ( 24 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
33 ( 21 ) RAT IN MI KITCHON UB40
34 ( 22 ) HYMN TO HER The Pretenders
35 ( 51 ) ROCK THE NIGHT Europe
36 ( NEW ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
37 ( 57 ) GIGOLO The Damned
38 ( 23 ) WASTELAND The Mission
39 ( 61 ) STAY OUT OF MY LIFE Five Star
40 ( 28 ) JACK YOUR BODY Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley

41 ( 31 ) REET PETITE Jackie Wilson
42 ( 34 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
43 ( 48 ) LOVE LIKE A ROCKET Bob Geldof
44 ( 38 ) IS THIS LOVE Alison Moyet
45 ( 59 ) SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE The Smiths
46 ( 42 ) CANDY Cameo
47 ( 63 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
48 ( 40 ) THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE Paul Simon
49 ( 47 ) HUMAN Human League
50 ( NEW ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red

51 ( 37 ) CROSS THAT BRIDGE The Ward Brothers
52 ( 46 ) SOMETIMES Erasure
53 ( 50 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin
54 ( 32 ) IOU (REMIX) Freeez
55 ( 56 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( NEW ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
57 ( 44 ) CRY WOLF a-ha
58 ( 58 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
59 ( 70 ) HOW MANY LIES Spandau Ballet
60 ( 60 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna

61 ( 36 ) TRAMPOLINE Julian Cope
62 ( 41 ) BEAUTIFUL IMBALANCE Thrashing Doves
63 ( 43 ) ROCK YOUR BABY (REMIX) George McCrae
64 ( 64 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
65 ( 74 ) TEASER George Benson
66 ( 67 ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama
67 ( 68 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
68 ( NEW ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
69 ( 65 ) LAND OF CONFUSION Genesis
70 ( 53 ) BIG FUN The Gap Band

71 ( NEW ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys
72 ( NEW ) I’M NO REBEL View From A Hill
73 ( NEW ) SHADES Iggy Pop
74 ( 49 ) SURRENDER Swing Out Sister
75 ( NEW ) FREE TO FALL Debbie Harry

Playlist oldies of the week
1 HOUND DOG Elvis Presley
2 SOMEBODY Brilliant
3 ODE TO BILLIE JOE Bobbie Gentry

25th February 1987

It’s a first week on top for Ben E. King 12 years since John Lennon took his version of Stand By Me to the top of my charts, and 26 years since it came out, making it the longest wait from release to topping my chart to date, and the second-oldest track to top my charts since 1959’s Oh Carol reissue for Neil Sedaka topped in 1972, a mere 13 years old. Live It Up finally breaks into the top 10, The Jets Crush their way in too, Eurythmics tell us not to mess with the Missionary Man as they add another top 10 to their growing total, and Curiosity catwalk their way to 10, not for the last time.

Highest new entry is the fab You Are My World, one of The Communards best records that wasn’t the big hit I hoped, at 11, with a-ha continuing their streak with the glorious Manhattan Skyline at 27, pure class, though I under-appreciated it a little for a time. Two great climbs for Westworld and World Party (THEME!) and The Smiths, Geldof, the Nana’s and Simply Red all go top 40.

New entries lower down include Bruce Willis, fresh off the fabulous Moonlighting TV comedy-drama (still one of the greatest TV shows of all-time) taking a soul cover-version diversion of The Staple Singers’ Respect Yourself, closely followed by 2 future UK chart-toppers, Mel & Kim’s fab Respectable (THEME!), and Boy George’s reggae cover of Ken Boothe’s UK chart-topping reggae cover of Bread’s original Everything I Own. It’s not as good as either version, but pleasant enough. The Big Supreme get a second entry, Please Yourself said Frankie Howard, Gwen Guthrie makes it 3, Paul Simon makes it 3 off Graceland, and The Icicle Works are back after a short time out in the freezing cold.

1 ( 3 ) STAND BY ME Ben E. King
2 ( 1 ) I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME) Aretha Franklin & George Michael
3 ( 4 ) WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN Percy Sledge
4 ( 5 ) FORGOTTEN TOWN The Christians
5 ( 2 ) IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY The Blow Monkeys
6 ( 18 ) LIVE IT UP Mental As Anything
7 ( 6 ) COMING AROUND AGAIN Carly Simon
8 ( 28 ) CRUSH ON YOU The Jets
9 ( 26 ) MISSIONARY MAN Eurythmics
10 ( 15 ) DOWN TO EARTH Curiosity Killed The Cat

11 ( NEW ) YOU ARE MY WORLD The Communards
12 ( 7 ) YOU SEXY THING (BEN LIEBRAND REMIX) Hot Chocolate
13 ( 9 ) BEST KEPT SECRET China Crisis
14 ( 10 ) ALMAZ Randy Crawford
15 ( 23 ) SKIN TRADE Duran Duran
16 ( 25 ) FUTURE’S SO BRIGHT (GOTTA WEAR SHADES) Timbuk 3
17 ( 8 ) YOU DON’T KNOW Berlin
18 ( 24 ) SOUL MAN Lou Reed and Sam Moore
19 ( 11 ) ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY Vesta Williams
20 ( 13 ) C’EST LA VIE Robbie Nevil

21 ( 20 ) MAGIC SMILE Rosie Vela
22 ( 14 ) NO MORE THE FOOL Elkie Brooks
23 ( 47 ) SONIC BOOM BOY Westworld
24 ( 12 ) SOMETHING IN MY HOUSE Dead Or Alive
25 ( 16 ) BEHIND THE MASK Eric Clapton
26 ( 36 ) MALE STRIPPER Man 2 Man Meet Parrish
27 ( NEW ) MANHATTAN SKYLINE a-ha
28 ( 19 ) THE EP (HOW CAN I BE SURE/ I’M A CLOWN/ COULD IT BE FOREVER) David Cassidy
29 ( 68 ) SHIP OF FOOLS World Party
30 ( 17 ) HEARTACHE Pepsi & Shirlie

31 ( 21 ) I LOVE MY RADIO Taffy
32 ( 50 ) THE RIGHT THING Simply Red
33 ( 29 ) REAL WILD CHILD (WILD ONE) Iggy Pop
34 ( 30 ) WHEELS ON FIRE Siouxsie & The Banshees
35 ( 35 ) ROCK THE NIGHT Europe
36 ( 66 ) A TRICK OF THE NIGHT Bananarama
37 ( 32 ) OPEN YOUR HEART Madonna
38 ( 43 ) LOVE LIKE A ROCKET Bob Geldof
39 ( 39 ) STAY OUT OF MY LIFE Five Star
40 ( 45 ) SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE The Smiths

41 ( 31 ) WHAT A FOOL BELIEVES The Doobie Brothers
42 ( 22 ) THE KING’S CALL Philip Lynott
43 ( 37 ) GIGOLO The Damned
44 ( 33 ) RAT IN MI KITCHON UB40
45 ( 27 ) JACK THE GROOVE Raze
46 ( 56 ) RUNNING IN THE FAMILY Level 42
47 ( 40 ) JACK YOUR BODY Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley
48 ( 46 ) CANDY Cameo
49 ( 49 ) HUMAN Human League
50 ( 75 ) FREE TO FALL Debbie Harry

51 ( 41 ) REET PETITE Jackie Wilson
52 ( 42 ) SOMEBODY’S COMING Little Richard
53 ( 59 ) HOW MANY LIES Spandau Ballet
54 ( NEW ) PLEASE YOURSELF The Big Supreme
55 ( 55 ) A DIFFERENT CORNER George Michael
56 ( 53 ) TAKE MY BREATH AWAY Berlin
57 ( RE ) STILL THE SAME Slade
58 ( 58 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
59 ( 71 ) (YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY The Beastie Boys
60 ( 34 ) HYMN TO HER The Pretenders

61 ( 44 ) IS THIS LOVE Alison Moyet
62 ( 72 ) I’M NO REBEL View From A Hill
63 ( 60 ) TRUE BLUE Madonna
64 ( NEW ) GOOD TO GO LOVER Gwen Guthrie
65 ( 73 ) SHADES Iggy Pop
66 ( 64 ) LAST CHRISTMAS Wham!
67 ( 48 ) THE BOY IN THE BUBBLE Paul Simon
68 ( 67 ) E=MC2 Big Audio Dynamite
69 ( NEW ) RESPECT YOURSELF Bruce Willis
70 ( NEW ) DIAMONDS ON THE SOLES OF HER SHOES Paul Simon

71 ( NEW ) HAVE YOU EVER LOVED SOMEBODY Freddie Jackson
72 ( NEW ) WHEN LOVE COMES CALLING Paul Johnson
73 ( NEW ) RESPECTABLE Mel & Kim
74 ( NEW ) EVANGELINE The Icicle Works
75 ( NEW ) EVERYTHING I OWN Boy George

Oldies Playlist
1 EVE OF THE WAR Jeff Wayne
2 ADORATIONS Killing Joke
3 I’M GONNA BE STRONG Gene Pitney

 

 

My Top 20 Fave Sitcoms

20. FRASIER (1993-2004)

Spin-off of the long-running Cheers, Frasier also ran for 11 years and was record-award-winning, giving Kelsey Grammer the unique record of playing the same character for a record-breaking 20 years for a sitcom character. A huge fave of critics, the scriptwriting was sharp, smart and full of great one-liners. The cast was superb, now moved from Boston to Seattle, divorced from Lilith, a radio Shrink, and newly-reacquainted with his family, Frasier had a great supporting cast of characters in his pernickity pyschiatrist brother Niles, his ex-cop disabled no-nonsense dad Martin, and his dog, his radio producer Man-eating Roz, and Martin’s live-in carer from Manchester the blunt Daphne. All beautifully acted, and invariably the cast either were nominated or won Emmys each year of it’s run. Millicent Martin played Daphne’s mum, which was a nice bit of 60’s UK TV nostalgia for older viewers, and one of my fave characters was Frasier’s ruthless Manager, Bebe.

One of the fun bits were the celebrity cameo voice-overs popping in as radio phone-in’s with issues for Frasier to advise on: Christopher Reeve, Daryl Hannah, John Lithgow, Ben Stiller, and oodles of others. The relationships between the main characters provided the backbone to the show, but the most-popular was probably married-man Niles falling secretly in love with Daphne, and the show ran with it for years – peaking with Daphne finding out, Niles being divorced from his never-seen-much-talked-about-wife Maris by then, and them eloping to get married on impulse. Thereafter the show lost it’s sparkle, which is generally a huge no-no in TV’s: once you lose the flirting and longing, you get cosy and boring as the replacement, or else tedious melodrama. One of my fave spin-offs were Frasier and Niles essentially morphing into Sideshow Bob and his brother Cecil in the Simpsons. Both poised and dignified, the loss of dignity and murderous intent for Bart Simpson in the show is hilarious.

 

19. RED DWARF (1988-2018)

The show that never dies, and an unlikely long-runner (sporadically) being as it’s a cast of 4 or 5 set in the distant future on a mining space ship Red Dwarf after the end of the rest of the human race bar one – Dave Lister, beer-swilling laddy Scouser inspiring a whole TV channel in his name, and latterly paying for 2 great revival series (with one more to go). Rob Grant & Doug Naylor started, executive-produced and scripted the early episodes and series, and following the partnership split, Doug Naylor carried on alone from series 7.

As I’m a sci-fi nerd you’d expect I’d get into the show right off the bat – not so. Sci-fi comedy had always been crap, so I expected this to be the same, especially with the premise: former street-poet Craig Charles as Dave, a descendant of a cat (Cat – Danny John-Jules), and an obnoxious dead now-hologram Arnold Rimmer (impressionist comic actor Chris Barrie) together with sarcastic seemingly-simple Norman Lovett as a computer. My mum enjoyed it though, and I gradually started watching it series 2 and 3 and it just got better as it went on with the addition of android Kryten (Robert Llewellyn) and computer Holly replaced by Hilly (stand-up Hattie Hayridge). Peaking around series 5 or 6, the next two series went onto film and the whole mood changed, it needed the studio audience. Plus the whole banter and interplay changed for the worse with the addition of Kochanski (Lister’s long-crush, originally an occasional welcome guest played by pop star Claire Grogan) – played by Chloe Annett, which waters down the basic concept of the last human and his frustrations, kept sane by his non-human mates and escapades. A total lads show.

The BBC run ended in 1999 and it took channel Dave to commission a 2008 filmed 3-episode special to boost it back to life, as the cast became available in between other work, like Coronation Street (Craig Charles). It didn’t quite work, but did let Dave bring the show back proper, studio audience and cast of 4, in 2012 for series 10, then series 11 and 12 2016 and 2017, all of which caught the classic mood of the early 90’s. Great one-liners, great sci-fi homages, great characters, fun plotting and a very warm unsentimental ensemble make for a show that is still good fun. I hope they do more!

18. THE BIG BANG THEORY (2007-2019?)

Still running, though not quite as sharp and geeky as it’s earlier seasons, The Big bang Theory is a sci-fi nerd’s wet dream: so many pop culture, science and sci-fi/fantasy references run through the show that you would imagine it would be a minority interest sitcom. Not so. It’s huge worldwide. The premise, 4 geeky scientists/engineers in their 20’s, is a sort of nerdy version of Friends, minus the women – the only regular female cast mate is neighbour Penny to flat-sharing Sheldon & Leonard (named after sitcom legend Sheldon Leonard), a not at-all nerd, hot and popular and self-assured. Over the seasons Leonard and Penny get together and marry, and she gets 2 scientist girlfriends to hang out with (Bernadette, Howard’s future wife, and Amy, Sheldon’s future wife) leaving poor old Raj unhitched to date). With more female cast members the balance of the show got less nerdy and more soap, but still maintained it’s sci-fi credentials, notably the number of Star Trek actors passing through, not least semi-regular former child actor and Next Gen star Will Wheaton playing himself.

Overall I prefer it to it’s obvious ancestor Friends, not just for the sci-fi/pop culture elements that I can relate to, but because the characters aren’t as annoying – more lovable than irritating, as Ross, Chandler, Monica and co could be at times. There’s also a sort of spiritual Roseanne going on (only not as tedious, and thank goodness no Roseanne Barr) with 3 cast members featuring, 2 as semi-regulars, and Johnny Galecki as star. The break-out star though is Jim Parsons as award-winning super-ego-super-nerd-super-IQ scientist Sheldon, complete with all his many many hang-ups, quirks and foibles. My introduction to the show came through my niece who said I should watch it (3 seasons in I’d not heard much of it really) as it was so Me. Apparently I’m a bit like Sheldon. Well, not in my universe am I anything remotely like Sheldon! (Except in the less annoying ways). I did love it though, right from the Barenaked Ladies theme song down to the endless guest stars from the sci-fi genre that I admire, and the long-running worship of Stephen Hawking, and the lads-together comics-fans camaraderie. The Comic Shop is a world I know every well.

Currently I’m one and a half seasons behind so can’t comment on recent quality, but it remains enjoyable if no longer my fave live-acted sitcom – that baton has been passed on to another still to come. There is at least one more season (the 12th) to go, after that probably renogotiating all the contracts will become too expensive and onerous I’m guessing…

17. BOTTOM (1991-1995)

Who doesn’t love a great Bottom? No, not Shakespeare, not naughtiness, but Bottom Of The Heap. The late great Rik Mayall & the equally great Ade Edmondson are basically playing older, less niche, less animated, versions of their Young Ones characters, but this time it’s Richie and Eddie, a couple of unemployed flatmate losers obsessed with trying to have sex with a woman. Any woman (Richie is till a 40-year-old Virgin). Slapstick, sentiment-free, aggressive, joyful, loveable, annoying, conscienceless, manic, pitiable, and very very funny. It spawned a stageshow version during the TV run, and a movie Guest House Paradiso in 1999, and was created by the duo as a sort of logical extension of their Comedy Club routines in the early 80’s The Dangerous Brothers.

Fellow “Young Ones” actor Christopher Ryan joined the cast, a mere 18 episodes were filmed over 3 series, and the stupid BBC brass turned down the fourth series someone on high just not getting the jokes. Not a man. Of the sexes, men more likely find the show very funny, because it’s men as losers, it’s easy to see bits of oneself in it, in a cartoon Tom & Jerry violent fashion, and it’s Ade & Rik at the top of their game. It’s not as innovative and game-changing as The Young Ones but it works way better as a sitcom. The Young Ones, apart from less than a handful of episodes tends to feel a bit disjointed and hit ‘n’ miss it’s approach, not unlike Python where bits of it remain brilliant, but chunks of it are less so.

Best episode: I think the gas man taped to the ceiling…here’s the lead-up

and for good measure here’s a bunch of stage ad-libbing equally funny…

16. SOAP (1977-81)

A complete parody of US daytime soap operas, Soap was madcap, chock-full of great outrageous characters, smart and takes soap plotting to fantastical extremes, such as sex-change, gangsters, cheating politicians, gay relationships, murder and onwards through devil-child possession, alien abduction and south-american dictators. The casting was genius, not least Katherine Helmond as well-off matriarch of the richer of two main squabbling-related families The Tates & The Campbells, Jessica Tate. She was flirty, naive, genuinely funny (she later turned up in the UK Girls On Top series). Then there was Robert Guillarme as butler Benson, black, sarcastic, caustic and pretty disliked and commented on most people in the show and all their bad traits. So popular the character got his own spin-off show set in the world politics.

Billy Crystal was innovative as gay son Jody Campbell, at first stereotypically camp but settling in to become not-remotely-camp and a proper role model in a UK TV world that didn’t have any non-camp recurring characters of gay men. It also made him a huge movie star. Then there was the ventriloquist half brother who though his doll was real and had ongoing arguments with him, the doll offending everyone at ever opportunity – Chuck & Bob. Dinah Manoff & Richard Mulligan also starred in another TV sitcom sort-of-spinoff Empty Nest (also by Soap creator Susan “Golden Girls” Harris), while Dinah was one of the pink ladies in Grease to boot. The large supporting cast was equally manic and inventive throughout the 4 series, and is regularly and rightly played as one of, if not the greatest ever, ensembles ever put together.

Very daring for it’s time, and subject to outrage and criticism from some more conservative quarters, I loved the first 3 series especially, recording them on reel-to-reel tape and playing them over and over until the advent of video-recorders came along, and then DVD’s. It only played late night on various ITV regions in the UK, so it was a bit sporadic to catch and meant dedication to staying up late. Totally worth it. These days it rarely ever gets shown (BOOOOOOO!) but as the template for later styled shows like Third Rock From The Sun, The Golden Girls (the former equally manic, the latter equally wise-cracking and pop-culture-smart), not to mention animated shows like The Simpsons, Family Guy and others, it deserves the kudos it has had from Time Magazine (one of the 100 Best TV shows of all-time), The Huffington Post (“timeless”) and The Museum of Broadcast Communications “arguably one of the most creative efforts by network television before or after”. It’s also bloody hilarious.

15. MARRIED WITH CHILDREN (1987-97)

The new Fox TV’s low-brow sitcom success (for Fox, very much an infant network) was anti-PC, broad innuendo and toilet humour writ large on American TV for the very first time. The British know all about that genre, though, it’s basically the format of the Carry-On movie series. When I’ve said how much I love the show, I’m more likely to get sighs of despair than I am anyone agreeing with me that it’s beautifully written, at least the early series are, and the characters are just terrific with spot-on performances from Ed O’Neill (later of Modern Family), Katey Sagal (who will appear again on this list), Christina Applegate (later of various comedy movies), and David Faustino as the Bundy family, selfish all – from shoe-salesman failure father Al, his lazy sex-staved wife Peggy, sneaky, conniving son Bud, and dumb babe daughter Kelly. Throw in the nagging Marcie (Amanda Bearse), Peg’s neighbour and friend & her 2 hubbies, and you have a show littered with unsentimental ridicule, one-liners, insults, social commentary, and any number of -ism-based comments, notably sexism.

It might sound like a no-hoper in these PC-days, and it was attcked at the time by many groups taking offense at it’s crudity and non-pc lines, but it does actually break the mould in the US where nobody had ever gone to the bathroom in over 30 years (except to have a bath), or talked about males with low sex-drives, or slagged off the neighbour for her chicken legs. The actors make it endearing, no question, it’s very much influential in attitude, at which point I refer to any Seth MacFarlane show, unafraid to make statements that might challenge, but at the same time make it plain that the Bundy’s are not NICE people, and they only reluctantly stand-up for each other when they are under attack from non-Bundy’s. The format was nicked by many networks in other countries, including the UK (ITV did a 7-episode attempt which showed how much you need a great cast, cos it was utter rubbish headed by Russ Abbot). As for me, I’m not generally offended by comedy, especially when words come out the mouths of characters not meant to be role models – that is, after all, real life, and ignoring it and pretending it doesn’t exist is just sticking your head in the sand. And the baser universal side of human existence can be smart and beautifully-written too, and worthy of taking the piss out of, or allowing it to take the piss out of pretentiousness and insincerity. It IS cruel at times though, so you have been warned!

14. THE IT CROWD (2006-2013) 25 episodes

The first of 2 Graham Linehan-written shows in the top 20, and a wacky joy for me – great scripts, off-the-wall eccentricity, characters, a great cast (most of whom have popped up in films since), and anyone who has an IT department at work can see little nuggets of absurd recognition in some of this. Granted it’s taken to extremes, but beautifully done. I particularly loved Noel Fielding as goth Richmond, banished to a mystery room and with the ability to seemingly hang from the ceiling at will, IT nerd Moss (Richard Ayoade), and the IT-illiterate Jen (nominally in charge but thinks she has the whole of the internet in a box). Throw in later seasons manic ego Matt Berry as Douglas Reynholm, and this Channel 4 gem is a wonder to watch and enjoy.

13. BROOKLYN NINE-NINE (2013-2019)

One of the great ensemble US comedies of the last decade, packed with great actors and characters, minority-supporting, loveable, smart, sharp, witty, fast-paced, character-driven scripts, leading to one of the great mysteries in modern TV – why on Earth Fox cancelled it in 2018! Fox, to be fair, have consistency in cancelling the greatest sitcoms on their books, clearly not having a clue what quality is. Happily NBC picked it up, and I’m still waiting to see the result of that. The break-out character was stand-up Chelsea Peretti as Gina, though the star and backbone is comedian-actor Andy Samberg, and the creative force was Parks & Recreation creators Dan Goor & Michael Schur. The whole cast is great though!

12. MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE (2000-2006)

Stylistically borrowing heavily from the earlier Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, this filmed sitcom had no studio audience and no laugh track, leaving the viewer to work out what was funny and clever and exaggerated. One of many Fox shows at the top end of my listings (much as it pains to me to admit it, Fox have made quality comedy shows, pushing the boundary away from traditional sitcoms), this was a fabulous ensemble cast, full of charm, wackiness, character, and based around a dysfunctional household of boys and an over-bearing mother and laddish father, played brilliantly by Jane Kaczmarek and the now-big-movie-star Bryan Cranston. Any show with a lot of child actors usually is a sign to turn off right away, but the boys are all played sentiment-free, much more rounded and flawed, like real kids, and wholesomeness and goody-goodness is an actual target of the family, but not in a broad Married With Children way. I especially love the supporting cast, the large, geeky Craig, co-worker of the family’s mom Lois, who is infatuated with her, the grandma (Cloris Leachman as always providing OTT greats, this time a bitter, vindictive humorless ogre) and the German immigrant rancher Otto (Kenneth Mars honing the same character he played to brilliance in What’s Up Doc and Young Frankenstein screwball comedy movies). Cloris Leachman was Phyllis in Mary Tyler Moore, and Phyllis her spin-off, and also was in Young Frankenstein, Mel Brook’s genius pastiche of horror movies, among many films and TV shows. It’s a great show.

11. THE CLEVELAND SHOW (2009-2013)

One of 3 Seth McFarlane animated sitcoms in the top 11, This Family Guy spin-off lasted 4 years before the cast was assimilated back into Family Guy (in the case of Cleveland Brown, notoriously dull friend and neighbour of Peter Griffin) and newly-added in the case of the rest of the family, Donna, Rallo, Cleveland Jr & Roberta who were all newly-created or revamped for the new location of Stoolbend. Cleveland was much wackier in his new role, and dull was dropped, and his sidekicks included Tim The Bear (voiced by Seth McFarlane) & his wife (voiced by news magnate Ariana Huffington), redneck Lester & His wife, mobile scooter-bound and overweight, Gus the barman (film director David Lynch), short-arse Holt (Jason Sudeikis) & a host of other great characters.

I was sad the show never really caught on & got prematurely cancelled (not least because they only released the first 2 seasons on DVD boo!), to me it was almost on a par with other McFarlane shows – who has since moved into movies like A Million Ways To Die In The West & Ted, and the fab new Star Trek parody comedy-drama The Orville on Fox. Yes, it’s another Fox show, yes, it’s often broad and crude and cruel, but it’s also culturally observant, politically-commenting & socially-smart with great and silly dialogue and situations. It’s also free from gooey sentiment & has a host of famous guest stars like Kanye West & Bruno Mars. Top notch.