My Retro November 1968 Charts

3rd November 1968

It’s 3 weeks on top for the epic Eloise, holding off the equally epic Wichita Lineman and highest new entry I Heard It Through The Grapevine, the timeless original version from Marvin Gaye, finally put out by Motown as a single, for a 60% Motown top 5. Eloise makes it a double as Barry Ryan also tops my “wot I liked at the time” chart which was totally based on the UK top 30 on Fluff Freeman’s Pick Of The Pops show. Judy Collins gets a first top 10 with Joni Mitchell’s great song: the song would be back in my top 10 2 years later for Glen Campbell but Judy never had another chart that high.

Bonzo Dog enter at 16 with one I was mad on at the time, it was fun, catchy, and mentioned Spacemen in the lyrics, so that was all I needed from the witty Neil Innes, later of The Rutles and more. Barbra Streisand has a new album out as I type, her first proper album in 15 years, so it’s only fair one of her great moments should shoot up to 20, more recently as showcased nicely on Glee. Edwin Starr and Gene Chandler bring some funk into the 40, and Demis Roussos and Vangelis both debut at 46 with Rain And Tears. My fave track of the band is still 4 years away (Break, not actually a song by either of them, rather their bandmate the forgotten Loukas Sideras, produced by Vangelis) but this will do nicely till then.

Two total faves in my 10-year-old days enter lower down, Lily The Pink and I’m A Tiger appealed very much to my age demographic, The Scaffold were beloved by kids, as was Lulu – who frankly wasn’t that much older than us anyway! These days, they have a certain nostalgic charm, but I wouldn’t put them on repeat listen more often than a couple of times a year. Unlike the dramatic funk of Cloud Nine, signalling the new era of The Temptations, edgier funk moving towards social commentary, which bears repeat plays, in at 57, the touching cover of Bob Dylan’s I Shall Be Released by The Band, and two new-to-me old soul/blues tracks from Bobby Bland and Barbara Acklin.

1 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 2 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
3 ( 3 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
4 ( 4 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
5 ( NEW ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
6 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
8 ( 11 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
9 ( 5 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
10 ( 8 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration

11 ( 9 ) ELENORE The Turtles
12 ( 10 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
13 ( 15 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
14 ( 13 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
15 ( 14 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
16 ( NEW ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
17 ( 16 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
18 ( 17 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
19 ( 12 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
20 ( 49 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand

21 ( 20 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
22 ( 22 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
23 ( 19 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
24 ( 18 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
25 ( 25 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
26 ( 24 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
27 ( 21 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
28 ( 23 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
29 ( 30 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
30 ( 26 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson

31 ( 32 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
32 ( 27 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
33 ( 33 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
34 ( 28 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
35 ( 29 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
36 ( 38 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
37 ( 53 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
38 ( 40 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
39 ( 52 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
40 ( 31 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard

41 ( 36 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
42 ( 37 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
43 ( 35 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
44 ( 34 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
45 ( 55 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
46 ( NEW ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
47 ( 44 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
48 ( 41 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
49 ( NEW ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
50 ( 48 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor

51 ( 47 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
52 ( 43 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
53 ( 39 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
54 ( 69 ) AQUARIUS (FROM “HAIR” ORIGINAL BROADWAY ALBUM) Ronnie Dyson
55 ( 46 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers
56 ( NEW ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
57 ( NEW ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations
58 ( 59 ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns
59 ( 45 ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
60 ( 63 ) THE PORPOISE SONG The Monkees

61 ( 58 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
62 ( 57 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
63 ( 42 ) LALENA Donovan
64 ( 61 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
65 ( 71 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
66 ( 62 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
67 ( 68 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS (THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG) Betty Everett
68 ( 65 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
69 ( 54 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
70 ( 51 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro

71 ( NEW ) I SHALL BE RELEASED The Band
72 ( 72 ) TOO WEAK TO FIGHT Clarence Carter
73 ( NEW ) JUST AIN’T NO LOVE Barbara Acklin
74 ( NEW ) ROCKIN’ IN THE SAME OLD BOAT Bobby Bland
75 ( 50 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker


3rd Nov Retro-Then

1 ( 9 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 1 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
3 ( 4 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
4 ( 2 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
5 ( 3 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
6 ( 12 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
7 ( 17 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
9 ( 6 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
10 ( 11 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
11 ( 5 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
12 ( 15 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
13 ( NEW ) ELENORE The Turtles
14 ( 10 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
15 ( 8 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
16 ( NEW ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
17 ( 16 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
18 ( NEW ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
19 ( 14 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark 5
20 ( NEW ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience

 

 

10th November 1968

It’s Glen Campbell getting a second chart-topper with another Jimmy Webb song, the eternal Wichita Lineman holding off a Beatles invasion in the week that The Beatles double album was released, and 50 years later a mega-version of alternate takes comes out for the first time, including tracks that turned up on later albums but were recorded then. Restricting myself to the original sprawling, patchy album, there is nevertheless 7 new entries from it, none of them singles at the time, though covers (Ob-La-Di, Dear Prudence), later singles (Back In The USSR), lush stage alternate orchestral versions (While My Guitar Gently Weeps) and ongoing popularity in the 20th century (Blackbird) have made them feel like hits anyway in retrospect. The remainder, the full-on hippie murderer anthem Helter Skelter had its reputation tarnished but y’know, give or take The Kinks You Really Got Me, this is where Heavy Metal and Thrash started as far as I’m concerned. All of the above are musically varied, nothing in common, which is why of course the Fabs are the greatest pop act of all-time still, inventing new genres and working on what had gone before, regardless of where it had come from. The highest new entry, though, is the obscure Ringo-sung Good Night: This a beautiful, gentle, melodic throwback to the early 20th century ballads, and is just gorgeous.

The Bonzos break into the 10, and Dusty enters into the 20, knocking herself out of it, with her Memphis-recorded soul classic, Son Of A Preacher Man. Aphrodite’s Child and Rain & Tears get big climbs into the 40, which is pretty good going as most shouldabeen-climbers get stalled or drop due to the Beatles invasion. Elvis’ showstopping anthem If I Can Dream enters at 50, while The Mamas & The Papas do a very different version of Bobby Freeman’s 1958 song Do You Wanna Dance, better known in versions by Cliff or The Beach Boys, but I prefer this one, or the entirely different song with that title by Barry Blue. Sly & The family Stone enter with the future Arrested Development hit, Everyday People, with its still-relevant ode to tolerance, and Nancy Sinatra gets her monthly new entry with Good Time Girl. Meanwhile, back in the day, 15 of the songs I liked then are also in my new top 20, or already have been there, but chart peaks for 5 of the rest continue to be way lower.

1 ( 2 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
2 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
3 ( 4 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
4 ( 5 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
5 ( 3 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
6 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 8 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
8 ( 7 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
9 ( NEW ) GOOD NIGHT The Beatles
10 ( 16 ) I’M THE URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

11 ( 9 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
12 ( 11 ) ELENORE The Turtles
13 ( 10 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
14 ( NEW ) BACK IN THE USSR The Beatles
15 ( 12 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
16 ( 14 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
17 ( 20 ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand
18 ( NEW ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
19 ( 15 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
20 ( 22 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon

21 ( 17 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
22 ( 18 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
23 ( 21 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
24 ( NEW ) HELTER SKELTER The Beatles
25 ( 46 ) RAIN AND TEARS Aphrodite’s Child
26 ( 13 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
27 ( 29 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
28 ( 23 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
29 ( NEW ) OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA The Beatles
30 ( 26 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin

31 ( 36 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
32 ( 19 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
33 ( 24 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
34 ( 30 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
35 ( 31 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
36 ( 37 ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
37 ( 27 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
38 ( 28 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
39 ( 39 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
40 ( 57 ) CLOUD NINE The Temptations

41 ( 25 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
42 ( 32 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
43 ( 35 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
44 ( 34 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
45 ( 45 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
46 ( 41 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
47 ( 42 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
48 ( 49 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
49 ( 33 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
50 ( NEW ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley

51 ( 38 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
52 ( 47 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
53 ( 54 ) AQUARIUS (FROM “HAIR” ORIGINAL BROADWAY ALBUM) Ronnie Dyson
54 ( NEW ) BLACKBIRD The Beatles
55 ( 50 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
56 ( 56 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
57 ( 51 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
58 ( NEW ) WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS The Beatles
59 ( NEW ) DEAR PRUDENCE The Beatles
60 ( 40 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard

61 ( 71 ) I SHALL BE RELEASED The Band
62 ( 65 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
63 ( NEW ) DO YOU WANNA DANCE The Mamas & The Papas
64 ( 43 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
65 ( 61 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
66 ( 62 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
67 ( 67 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS (THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG) Betty Everett
68 ( 64 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
69 ( 74 ) ROCKIN’ IN THE SAME OLD BOAT Bobby Bland
70 ( 48 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight

71 ( 44 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
72 ( NEW ) EVERYDAY PEOPLE Sly & The Family Stone
73 ( 73 ) JUST AIN’T NO LOVE Barbara Acklin
74 ( 66 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
75 ( NEW ) GOOD TIME GIRL Nancy Sinatra


RETRO THEN

1 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 3 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
3 ( 2 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
4 ( 13 ) ELENORE The Turtles
5 ( 4 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
6 ( 7 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
7 ( NEW ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
8 ( 12 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
9 ( 5 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
10 ( NEW ) I’M A TIGER Lulu

11 ( 8 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
12 ( 6 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
13 ( 16 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
14 ( 9 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
15 ( 11 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
16 ( 18 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A. Jeannie C. Riley
17 ( 10 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
18 ( 20 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
19 ( 14 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
20 ( NEW ) MAY I HAVE THE NEXT DREAM WITH YOU Malcolm Roberts

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My 1995 Charts – August

6th August 1995

So what was happening in my charts in the summer of 95? 2 weeks on top, the Deuce you say! On The Bible I will swear! That leaves a nice top 10 climb for the AIDS lament classic, Waterfalls, almost as sad and beautiful as the Boy George Il Adore. Marc Almond gets a second top 10 solo in a row as he was a bit of an Idol, Soul II Soul have Love Enuff to go top 10 as well, a nice groove, but not one I actually recalled until I Youtubed it. Oops!

Julian Cope Try tries again and is rewarded with a huge leap to 13, 14 years after the mighty Teardrop Explodes Reward debuted, Michael Jackson’s R. Kelly song also rockets to 15, though these days I’m not fussed about You Are Not Alone. Highest new entry? You Oughta Know! Yes, that bitterly angry woman-scorned classic from that classic album Jagged Little Pill, and Alanis Morissette arrives with a bang at 20.

Not far behind, the tender bluegrass cover of Baby Now That I’ve Found, The Foundations 1967 classic, enters at 22 and a debut for Alison Krauss who made me love Country Music again after falling out with it during the country-rock years dominated by Garth Brooks. She’s back in my current charts with 2 covers of a similar style as I type in April 2017, 22 years on.

Michelle Gayle has a big leap, obviously Happy Just To Be With You, at 23, while Suggs’ Beatles cover and Black Grape both go top 40. Blue Monday proves you can never chart enough times as New Order return remixed yet again, The Connells fab 74-75 returns after a week away, and Matt Goss gets a solo new entry, Bros no more.

1 ( 1 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
2 ( 4 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
3 ( 3 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
4 ( 2 ) IL ADORE Boy George
5 ( 5 ) PANINARO ’95/INTO THE NIGHT ’95 Pet Shop Boys
6 ( 7 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
7 ( 12 ) WATERFALLS TLC
8 ( 15 ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
9 ( 10 ) NEVER FORGET Take That
10 ( 16 ) LOVE ENUFF Soul II Soul

11 ( 6 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
12 ( 8 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
13 ( 46 ) TRY TRY TRY Julian Cope
14 ( 14 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM The Beautiful South
15 ( 57 ) YOU ARE NOT ALONE Michael Jackson
16 ( 11 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
17 ( 9 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
18 ( 17 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
19 ( 20 ) SHY GUY Diana King
20 ( NEW ) YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette

21 ( 13 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
22 ( NEW ) BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Alison Krauss
23 ( 72 ) HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
24 ( 27 ) TONGUE REM
25 ( 21 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
26 ( 26 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
27 ( 22 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
28 ( 18 ) FINE TIME Cast
29 ( 31 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
30 ( 30 ) COME ON HOME Cyndi Lauper

31 ( 19 ) WHEREVER WOULD I BE (REMIX)/ DAYDREAMING (REMIX) Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall
32 ( 38 ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY/ I’LL BE THERE Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige
33 ( 24 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest
34 ( 23 ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
35 ( 41 ) TRY ME OUT Corona
36 ( 29 ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown
37 ( NEW ) KEEP WARM Jinny
38 ( 25 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
39 ( 74 ) IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Black Grape
40 ( 59 ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs

41 ( 28 ) STARS Dubstar
42 ( NEW ) BLUE MONDAY ’95 New Order
43 ( 34 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
44 ( 40 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF
45 ( 49 ) ROLL WITH IT Oasis
46 ( 48 ) COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
47 ( 32 ) DAYS Kirsty MacColl
48 ( 44 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
49 ( 36 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
50 ( 35 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka

51 ( 47 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
52 ( RE ) 74 – ’75 The Connells
53 ( 33 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
54 ( 51 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
55 ( 55 ) SKY HIGH Newton
56 ( 68 ) I’M YOUR MAN Lisa Moorish
57 ( 39 ) GRAPEVINE Brownstone
58 ( 42 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash
59 ( 43 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
60 ( 69 ) HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

61 ( 37 ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller
62 ( 62 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
63 ( 56 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
64 ( 45 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
65 ( NEW ) EVIDENCE Faith No More
66 ( 66 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
67 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( NEW ) HOPE STREET The Levellers
69 ( 64 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
70 ( NEW ) THE HELL EP Tricky vs The Gravediggaz

71 ( 71 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
72 ( 60 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
73 ( 73 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
74 ( NEW ) HEAVEN HELP MY HEART Tina Arena
75 ( NEW ) THE KEY Matt Goss

13th August 1995

What the Deuce! 3 weeks on top, holding off a host of mid-90’s classics from the top spot. Hey ho, it’s a great pop record, honest! Madonna just misses adding to her growing batch of chart-toppers and has to be content with equalling Into The Groove at 2. TLC are up to 3 with their brilliant track, Take That grab a 4th top 5, and Alanis Morissette does what she failed to do in the UK & US charts (I think) and go top 5 almost immediately with that vitriolic masterpiece. Julian Cope has another top 10 14 years after his Teardrop Explodes first, and one-hit wonders The Connells shoot up 42 places to 10 with the nostalgic and lovely 74-75. I was juuuust the right age for the nostalgia-fest at the time, a bit like (for example) someone getting all misty-eyed for the music scene of 96-97 back when they were 16 or 17 years old.

In at 19, highest new entry is a fun track, as Blair explains – NOT Tony I must say with relief. Black Grape shoot up to the top 20, The Levellers rocket into the 30, and there’s something moist at 25. Just Youtubing it, as it’s all a little hazy having not heard it for 22 years. Ahhh, likeable grunge. No, not an oxymoron! Morten harket goes solo from a-ha and gets a very good ballad new into the 40, a decade on from Take On Me, while also new The Shamen, and Ali Campbell sounding uncannily like a UB40 reggae cover hit 15 years after they debuted – it’s not as good as The Pioneers original though.

Danielle Brisboix never made it, sadly, as she was good, in at 43, Utah Saints sneak in with one I’ve forgotten, Ohio, and Ash debut with that Girl From Mars.

1 ( 1 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
2 ( 6 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
3 ( 7 ) WATERFALLS TLC
4 ( 9 ) NEVER FORGET Take That
5 ( 20 ) YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette
6 ( 2 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
7 ( 5 ) PANINARO ’95/INTO THE NIGHT ’95 Pet Shop Boys
8 ( 3 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
9 ( 13 ) TRY TRY TRY Julian Cope
10 ( 52 ) 74 – ’75 The Connells

11 ( 4 ) IL ADORE Boy George
12 ( 12 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
13 ( 11 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
14 ( 23 ) HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
15 ( 15 ) YOU ARE NOT ALONE Michael Jackson
16 ( 22 ) BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Alison Krauss
17 ( 10 ) LOVE ENUFF Soul II Soul
18 ( 8 ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
19 ( NEW ) HAVE FUN GO MAD Blair
20 ( 39 ) IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Black Grape

21 ( 16 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
22 ( 68 ) HOPE STREET The Levellers
23 ( 19 ) SHY GUY Diana King
24 ( 14 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM The Beautiful South
25 ( NEW ) PUSH Moist
26 ( 21 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
27 ( 17 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
28 ( 18 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
29 ( 40 ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs
30 ( 30 ) COME ON HOME Cyndi Lauper

31 ( 26 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
32 ( 37 ) KEEP WARM Jinny
33 ( NEW ) A KIND OF CHRISTMAS CARD Morten Harket
34 ( 27 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
35 ( 35 ) TRY ME OUT Corona
36 ( NEW ) DESTINATION ESCHATON The Shamen
37 ( 28 ) FINE TIME Cast
38 ( 25 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
39 ( 45 ) ROLL WITH IT Oasis
40 ( NEW ) LET YOUR YEAH BE YEAH Ali Campbell

41 ( 24 ) TONGUE REM
42 ( 42 ) BLUE MONDAY ’95 New Order
43 ( NEW ) GIMME SOME SIGN Danielle Brisboix
44 ( NEW ) WRONG OR RIGHT Sabre featuring President Brown
45 ( 29 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
46 ( 46 ) COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
47 ( 70 ) THE HELL EP Tricky vs The Gravediggaz
48 ( 56 ) I’M YOUR MAN Lisa Moorish
49 ( 74 ) HEAVEN HELP MY HEART Tina Arena
50 ( 33 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest

51 ( 31 ) WHEREVER WOULD I BE (REMIX)/ DAYDREAMING (REMIX) Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall
52 ( NEW ) LOVE HANGOVER Scarlet
53 ( 48 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
54 ( 75 ) THE KEY Matt Goss
55 ( 51 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
56 ( 38 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
57 ( 54 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
58 ( 50 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
59 ( 55 ) SKY HIGH Newton
60 ( 49 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp

61 ( 44 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF
62 ( 36 ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown
63 ( 32 ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY/ I’LL BE THERE Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige
64 ( 62 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
65 ( 34 ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
66 ( NEW ) GIRL FROM MARS Ash
67 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( 66 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
69 ( 41 ) STARS Dubstar
70 ( 58 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash

71 ( 71 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
72 ( 63 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
73 ( 72 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
74 ( 73 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
75 ( NEW ) OHIO Utah Saints

20th August 1995

A genuine 90’s social-commentary r’n’b classic gives TLC a number one, deservedly, as Michelle Gayle takes a touch of Eastenders into the top 5. Donna Summer is remixed (again) and is back in at 7, keeping up I Feel Love’s regular appearances in the top 10 each decade – but the 1977 original remains the breath-taking groundbreaking and influential classic. Moist push their way into the 10, and Blur at last take a Country House leap into the 20, leap-frogging Oasis, much as they did in the UK singles chart.

Smokie’s 70’s goodie (Living Next Door To Alice) a Chinn-Chapman song and production (originally for New World in 1972, but also for Smokie in 1976), is massacred by a crude comic, but has enough of the original in it to merit (that may not be the right word) an entry at 30. It’s awful. Stick to the charming original. Prince’s band in at 33, Matt Goss into the 40, The Original enters surprisingly low for a good record, Chaka Khan extends her chart run to 21 years, and Rod Stewart to 24 years, but neither of these tracks rings a bell to me, being as I havent heard them for 20 years.

Squeeze are back in the chart with This Summer, one of their very best singles 17 years into their career (and that also applies to 2016, when they topped my chart finally after 37 years of just missing out). Lloyd Cole is still sneaking in some 11 years on, and CJ Lewis’ surprisingly long run of reggae chart entries for a short period of time (on here at least) is running out of steam with diminishing returns.

1 ( 3 ) WATERFALLS TLC
2 ( 1 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
3 ( 2 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
4 ( 4 ) NEVER FORGET Take That
5 ( 14 ) HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
6 ( 7 ) PANINARO ’95/INTO THE NIGHT ’95 Pet Shop Boys
7 ( NEW ) I FEEL LOVE ’95 Donna Summer
8 ( 10 ) 74 – ’75 The Connells
9 ( 25 ) PUSH Moist
10 ( 5 ) YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette

11 ( 9 ) TRY TRY TRY Julian Cope
12 ( 12 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
13 ( 19 ) HAVE FUN GO MAD Blair
14 ( 46 ) COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
15 ( 6 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
16 ( 16 ) BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Alison Krauss
17 ( 22 ) HOPE STREET The Levellers
18 ( 39 ) ROLL WITH IT Oasis
19 ( 21 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
20 ( 13 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal

21 ( 8 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
22 ( 11 ) IL ADORE Boy George
23 ( 17 ) LOVE ENUFF Soul II Soul
24 ( 36 ) DESTINATION ESCHATON The Shamen
25 ( 29 ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs
26 ( 40 ) LET YOUR YEAH BE YEAH Ali Campbell
27 ( 18 ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
28 ( 15 ) YOU ARE NOT ALONE Michael Jackson
29 ( 20 ) IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Black Grape
30 ( NEW ) ALICE WHO THE F*** IS ALICE Smokie featuring some git

31 ( 23 ) SHY GUY Diana King
32 ( 32 ) KEEP WARM Jinny
33 ( NEW ) THE GOOD LIFE The New Power Generation
34 ( 43 ) GIMME SOME SIGN Danielle Brisboix
35 ( 30 ) COME ON HOME Cyndi Lauper
36 ( NEW ) SUMMERTIME HEALING Eusebe
37 ( 27 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
38 ( 26 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
39 ( 48 ) I’M YOUR MAN Lisa Moorish featuring George Michael
40 ( 54 ) THE KEY Matt Goss

41 ( 28 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
42 ( 34 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
43 ( 31 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
44 ( 37 ) FINE TIME Cast
45 ( 45 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
46 ( 38 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
47 ( NEW ) I LUV U BABY The Original
48 ( NEW ) WATCH WHAT YOU SAY Guru featuring Chaka Khan
49 ( 33 ) A KIND OF CHRISTMAS CARD Morten Harket
50 ( NEW ) LADY LUCK Rod Stewart

51 ( 35 ) TRY ME OUT Corona
52 ( 24 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM The Beautiful South
53 ( NEW ) WHEN I THINK OF YOU Kenny Thomas
54 ( 66 ) GIRL FROM MARS Ash
55 ( 60 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
56 ( 53 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
57 ( 44 ) WRONG OR RIGHT Sabre featuring President Brown
58 ( NEW ) THIS SUMMER Squeeze
59 ( 55 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
60 ( NEW ) FREEDOM Shiva

61 ( 57 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
62 ( NEW ) LIKE LOVERS DO Lloyd Cole
63 ( 59 ) SKY HIGH Newton
64 ( 64 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
65 ( 58 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
66 ( NEW ) R TO A C.J. Lewis
67 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( 68 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
69 ( 49 ) HEAVEN HELP MY HEART Tina Arena
70 ( 70 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash

71 ( NEW ) SON OF A GUN JX
72 ( 74 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
73 ( 71 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
74 ( 42 ) BLUE MONDAY ’95 New Order
75 ( NEW ) COME AND GET YOUR LOVE The Real McCoy

27th August 1995

One of those chart-toppers I haven’t heard in years from Michelle Gayle, it was a decent popfunk single but in retrospect most of the rest of the top 10 would have been a better choice, hey ho, that’s what I liked best that week, prob the 70’s vibes had me going all nostalgic. Highest new entry is Simply Red’s best single, by far, the superb Fairground, not least thanks to the backbone sample from Goodmen’s Give It Up, while Blur at last make the top 10 with a Blur song that took a while to grow on me – and not one they rate themselves.

In at 18, and Mariah Carey at her peak at this time, courtesy of a Tom Tom Club-sampling Fantasy, it was pretty much all downhill after this, bar the odd return to a bit of quality. Squeeze have a massive climb into the 20 with the gorgeous This Summer 17 years since they first went top 20 with Take Me I’m Yours, probably still their best record, though this one came close. In at 27, and Diana Ross is back with Take Me Higher, one I’d forgotten, but nice to see Ms Ross still charting some 27 years since she first appeared in my charts (the epic Love Child) and 31 years since I first would have charted her (Baby Love was a childhood fave in ’64).

2 When I Think Of You’s side by side at 31 and 32, Janet J’s remix of her fab 1986 track entering, as The Charlatans pop in, and Hootie & The Blowfish are back with their best track at 50. Yes the whole world went Hootie mad (except the UK) in 1995, and they were paid the ultimate belated “compliment” by featuring around a Friends episode (a concert ticket). Co-incidentally the Friends theme tune is also in at 70. These days Hootie is not a band to throw around if you want 90’s street-cred. Happily I’ve never felt the need to have street-cred, and they were OK – if vastly over-rated in the States.

1 ( 5 ) HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
2 ( 7 ) I FEEL LOVE ’95 Donna Summer
3 ( 1 ) WATERFALLS TLC
4 ( 2 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
5 ( 3 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
6 ( 8 ) 74 – ’75 The Connells
7 ( NEW ) FAIRGROUND Simply Red
8 ( 14 ) COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
9 ( 10 ) YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette
10 ( 13 ) HAVE FUN GO MAD Blair

11 ( 4 ) NEVER FORGET Take That
12 ( 6 ) PANINARO ’95/INTO THE NIGHT ’95 Pet Shop Boys
13 ( 19 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
14 ( 12 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
15 ( 18 ) ROLL WITH IT Oasis
16 ( 9 ) PUSH Moist
17 ( 30 ) ALICE WHO THE F*** IS ALICE Smokie featuring some git
18 ( NEW ) FANTASY Mariah Carey
19 ( 58 ) THIS SUMMER Squeeze
20 ( 25 ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs

21 ( 16 ) BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Alison Krauss
22 ( 20 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
23 ( 15 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
24 ( 11 ) TRY TRY TRY Julian Cope
25 ( 34 ) GIMME SOME SIGN Danielle Brisboix
26 ( 26 ) LET YOUR YEAH BE YEAH Ali Campbell
27 ( NEW ) TAKE ME HIGHER Diana Ross
28 ( 28 ) YOU ARE NOT ALONE Michael Jackson
29 ( 17 ) HOPE STREET The Levellers
30 ( 36 ) SUMMERTIME HEALING Eusebe

31 ( 53 ) WHEN I THINK OF YOU Kenny Thomas
32 ( NEW ) WHEN I THINK OF YOU (REMIX) Janet Jackson
33 ( 21 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
34 ( 22 ) IL ADORE Boy George
35 ( 23 ) LOVE ENUFF Soul II Soul
36 ( 24 ) DESTINATION ESCHATON The Shamen
37 ( 31 ) SHY GUY Diana King
38 ( RE ) OHIO Utah Saints
39 ( 48 ) WATCH WHAT YOU SAY Guru featuring Chaka Khan
40 ( 75 ) COME AND GET YOUR LOVE The Real McCoy

41 ( 40 ) THE KEY Matt Goss
42 ( 37 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
43 ( 38 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
44 ( NEW ) JUST WHEN YOU’RE THINKING THINGS OVER The Charlatans
45 ( 43 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
46 ( 42 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
47 ( 47 ) I LUV U BABY The Original
48 ( 27 ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
49 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY Clock
50 ( NEW ) I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH YOU Hootie & The Blowfish

51 ( 29 ) IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Black Grape
52 ( 33 ) THE GOOD LIFE The New Power Generation
53 ( 32 ) KEEP WARM Jinny
54 ( 35 ) COME ON HOME Cyndi Lauper
55 ( 44 ) FINE TIME Cast
56 ( 66 ) R TO A C.J. Lewis
57 ( 41 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
58 ( 39 ) I’M YOUR MAN Lisa Moorish featuring George Michael
59 ( 56 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
60 ( 62 ) LIKE LOVERS DO Lloyd Cole

61 ( 45 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
62 ( 61 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
63 ( 59 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
64 ( 64 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
65 ( 46 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
66 ( 55 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
67 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( NEW ) ROUGH WITH THE SMOOTH Shara Nelson
69 ( 68 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
70 ( NEW ) I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU The Rembrandts

71 ( 50 ) LADY LUCK Rod Stewart
72 ( 72 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
73 ( 73 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
74 ( 63 ) SKY HIGH Newton
75 ( 70 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash

Because I can, here’s a new feature: the tracks that dropped out of my charts in August 1995 with highest position, weeks on chart and my “sales” attached.

A KIND OF CHRISTMAS CARD Morten Harket 33 2 29800
TRY ME OUT Corona 35 5 70750
DREAM A LITTLE DREAM The Beautiful South 14 4 88500
GIRL FROM MARS Ash 54 2 17800
WRONG OR RIGHT Sabre featuring President Brown 44 2 23650
FREEDOM Shiva 60 1 10000
RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka 7 12 314200
HEAVEN HELP MY HEART Tina Arena 49 3 23500
SON OF A GUN JX 71 1 5800
BLUE MONDAY ’95 New Order 42 2 32700
TONGUE REM 24 3 51400
THE HELL EP Tricky vs The Gravediggaz 47 2 18500
MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest 10 9 205600
WHEREVER WOULD I BE (REMIX)/ DAYDREAMING (REMIX) Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall 19 10 139750
LOVE HANGOVER Scarlet 52 1 11500
SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream 25 8 112350
I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF 10 9 201250
HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown 20 6 100750
YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY/ I’LL BE THERE Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige 32 4 49400
WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue 18 6 91450
STARS Dubstar 15 6 97550
DREAMER Livin’ Joy 3 14 352900
MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza 5 12 347250
BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant 14 12 236350
DAYS Kirsty MacColl 32 2 30300
SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People 27 9 131700
GRAPEVINE Brownstone 17 4 69000
BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics 8 12 210450
HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band 60 2 16200
YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller 37 6 82450
WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock 9 8 178450
EVIDENCE Faith No More 65 1 7000
TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown 4 18 594400
I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners 10 9 223300
I GO WILD The Rolling Stones 30 4 52500
IT’S LULU Boo Radleys 53 2 18350
RUN BABY RUN Sheryl Crow 36 4 57400
LIVE FOREVER Oasis 20 6 88850
IF I WAS Aswad 54 2 18500
(EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D 17 12 199250
HAPPY MN8 37 4 43250
JOY IN LUST The Wildhearts 70 1 6000
TAKE A BOW Madonna 1 37 1474550

My 1995 Charts – July

2nd July 1995

It’s a surprise chart topper from UB40’s Ali Campbell, in duet with Pamela Starks, doing what UB40 never did – go higher than 2 in my chart, despite many tracks better than this one. That said this is a sweet enough duet and song, mellow reggae lovers rock, well almost – it’s more mellow dance than mellow reggae. Up to 4, The Jayhawks version of Grand Funk’s Bad Time way outdoes the original, and ditto Clock’s version of Tag Team’s Whoomp, up to 9. One I’d forgotten I liked so much! At 10, Deep Forest get another top 10, but not rainforest this time, more Eastern European traditional music with a new age dance shuffle.

A huge leap into the 20 for A.D.A.M. and Amy – no I don’t know they are either, I’ll just google. Ah, still no idea, but it’s a dance cover of the Cranberries Zombie, a song I wasn’t that fond of in it’s original version. Hey ho. A better record is at 18 for Menswear, Daydreamer leaping, as the highest new entry at 23 is a wonderful emotional ballad from Boy George, Il Adore, 13 years since his debut in Culture Club. For anyone thinking there aren’t enough cover versions in my chart already, well you’re in luck, Tippa Irie has done The Bee Gees Stayin’ Alive and pops in at 29. It’s not in the same league. Supergrass’ Alright, however is fab, still sounds great and hits the 40, along with Bon Jovi (meh), Haddaway (meh), Wet Wet Wet (meh) and Shaggy doing Mungo Jerry (s’OK), and new entries for Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl carrying on the Nirvana torch with a Call, Blondie get remixed as Heart Of Glass returns 16 years after topping my chart, and Ultimate Kaos also enter, Right Here.

Outside the 40, Gary Moore does a blues cover of a song Fleetwood Mac covered, a 50’s Little Willie John blues classic, I Need Your Love So Bad, while at 57 Bjork covers an obscure B side from 1951 by American movie musical star Betty Hutton, and she does it musical stylee, in total contrast to her body of work before and since – and gets a bonafide crossover pop hit still good for a singalong. It’s Oh So Quiet is fun, and the video is great. Which leaves an actual (gasp!) new song from Paul Weller, You Do Something To Me, at 60, a nice love song, and a fair ways away from The Jam circa 1977!

1 ( 3 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
2 ( 1 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
3 ( 2 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
4 ( 20 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
5 ( 5 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash
6 ( 4 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
7 ( 12 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
8 ( 6 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
9 ( 37 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
10 ( 18 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest

11 ( 10 ) I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners
12 ( 16 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF
13 ( 8 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
14 ( 7 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
15 ( 19 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
16 ( 15 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Annie Lennox
17 ( 72 ) ZOMBIE A.D.A.M. Featuring Amy
18 ( 38 ) DAYDREAMER Menswear
19 ( 21 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
20 ( 17 ) SCATMAN (SKI-BA-BOP-BA-DOP-BOP) Scatman John

21 ( 9 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
22 ( 11 ) FILLING UP WITH HEAVEN Human League
23 ( NEW ) IL ADORE Boy George
24 ( 14 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Ladysmith Black Mombazo featuring China Black
25 ( 56 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
26 ( 40 ) BOOM BOOM BOOM The Outhere Brothers
27 ( 13 ) REVEREND BLACK GRAPE Black Grape
28 ( 22 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
29 ( NEW ) STAYIN’ ALIVE Tippa Irie
30 ( 44 ) THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG Bon Jovi

31 ( 24 ) (EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D
32 ( 27 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
33 ( NEW ) THIS IS A CALL Foo Fighters
34 ( 36 ) HOLD MY BODY TIGHT East 17
35 ( 32 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
36 ( NEW ) RIGHT HERE Ultimate Kaos
37 ( NEW ) HEART OF GLASS (REMIX) Blondie
38 ( 50 ) FLY AWAY Haddaway
39 ( 51 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy
40 ( 45 ) DON’T WANNA FORGIVE ME NOW Wet Wet Wet

41 ( 31 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
42 ( 41 ) THINK OF YOU Whigfield
43 ( 23 ) HURT SO GOOD Jimmy Somerville
44 ( 26 ) STAYING OUT FOR THE SUMMER ’95 Dodgy
45 ( 30 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
46 ( 29 ) SKY HIGH Newton
47 ( 70 ) STILLNESS IN TIME Jamiroquai
48 ( 33 ) IT’S TOO LATE Gloria Estefan
49 ( 25 ) LOVE WILL TEAR US APART Joy Division
50 ( 39 ) CHAINS Tina Arena

51 ( 28 ) WHEREVER WOULD I BE Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall
52 ( 42 ) LOVE CITY GROOVE Love City Groove
53 ( 34 ) WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN Bitty McLean
54 ( 35 ) LIVE FOREVER Oasis
55 ( NEW ) I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD Gary Moore
56 ( 43 ) LOVE AND DEVOTION Mc Sar and The Real McCoy
57 ( NEW ) IT’S OH SO QUIET Bjork
58 ( 46 ) IF YOU LOVE ME Brownstone
59 ( 71 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
60 ( NEW ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller

61 ( 61 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
62 ( 58 ) HYPNOTISED Simple Minds
63 ( 63 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
64 ( 52 ) BUDDY HOLLY Weezer
65 ( 54 ) WHATEVER Oasis
66 ( 66 ) WATER RUNS DRY BoyIIMen
67 ( 68 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( 67 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
69 ( 74 ) NOW I’VE FOUND YOU Sean Maguire
70 ( 64 ) TAKE A BOW Madonna

71 ( 48 ) I BELIEVE Blessid Union Of Souls
72 ( 57 ) WHEN DO I GET TO SING ‘MY WAY’ Sparks
73 ( 55 ) EVERYDAY Incognito
74 ( 49 ) SELF ESTEEM The Offspring
75 ( 75 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins

Yes, this week I saw Jim Kerr and mates in concert, it was a good gig, though obviously he must have missed out some of my early faves as they don’t feature in this top 6. Normally I’d be listing Up On The Catwalk, Speed Your Love To Me, Promised You A Miracle as well…!

SIMPLE MINDS LIVE AT BOURNEMOUTH INTERNATIONAL CENTRE
1. Alive And Kicking
2. Don’t You (Forget About Me)
3. She’s A River
4. Belfast Child
5. Hypnotised
6. Sanctify Yourself

9th July 1995

The Jackson siblings are back on top for a second week, Scream about it! The Jayhawks are having a Bad Time cos they’re so close at 2 when they should have gone to 1. In at 3, Seal’s back with his rose, having hit the top 5 with it in 1994, and now is Batman powered, and Vic & Bob make the top 10 with The Monkees cover.

Supergrass and Shaggy climb into the 20, and Oasis rocket to 20 with the fabulous Live Forever. In at 22, Diana King has her shy guy in mind for a spot of classy reggae and in at 25 Bobby Brown is back humpin’ around, as you do. New at 28 is the lovely Stars from the lovely Dubstar, while Sheryl Crow is back with Run Baby Run – sadly, not the fab Newbeats 60’s single, but happily a decent ballad.

While at 58, Rednex lend a hand to some puppets – not sure who came out of it with credibility damaged, but the kids loved it! Kylie’s posing a question, where is the feeling, to which the answer is err in the previous single. I need to refresh my memory for this one (it’s a heavily remixed dancefloor buzzer )! The Rolling Stones go wild at 70, or at least as wild as they could for someone that had living the high life for 30-odd years, while Del Amitri and MN8 are back with new singles, rollin’ and happy.

1 ( 2 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
2 ( 4 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
3 ( NEW ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
4 ( 1 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
5 ( 3 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
6 ( 5 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash
7 ( 6 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
8 ( 7 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
9 ( 9 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
10 ( 12 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF

11 ( 11 ) I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners
12 ( 8 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
13 ( 10 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest
14 ( 17 ) ZOMBIE A.D.A.M. Featuring Amy
15 ( 15 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
16 ( 25 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
17 ( 18 ) DAYDREAMER Menswear
18 ( 13 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
19 ( 39 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
20 ( 54 ) LIVE FOREVER Oasis

21 ( 14 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
22 ( NEW ) SHY GUY Diana King
23 ( 20 ) SCATMAN (SKI-BA-BOP-BA-DOP-BOP) Scatman John
24 ( 19 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
25 ( NEW ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown
26 ( 30 ) THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG Bon Jovi
27 ( 27 ) REVEREND BLACK GRAPE Black Grape
28 ( NEW ) STARS Dubstar
29 ( 29 ) STAYIN’ ALIVE Tippa Irie
30 ( 37 ) HEART OF GLASS (REMIX) Blondie

31 ( 24 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Ladysmith Black Mombazo featuring China Black
32 ( 16 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Annie Lennox
33 ( 21 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
34 ( 23 ) IL ADORE Boy George
35 ( 40 ) DON’T WANNA FORGIVE ME NOW Wet Wet Wet
36 ( 28 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
37 ( 26 ) BOOM BOOM BOOM The Outhere Brothers
38 ( 31 ) (EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D
39 ( 47 ) STILLNESS IN TIME Jamiroquai
40 ( 33 ) THIS IS A CALL Foo Fighters

41 ( 22 ) FILLING UP WITH HEAVEN Human League
42 ( 35 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
43 ( 59 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
44 ( 60 ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller
45 ( 32 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
46 ( 46 ) SKY HIGH Newton
47 ( 41 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
48 ( 48 ) IT’S TOO LATE Gloria Estefan
49 ( 42 ) THINK OF YOU Whigfield
50 ( NEW ) RUN BABY RUN Sheryl Crow

51 ( 45 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
52 ( 44 ) STAYING OUT FOR THE SUMMER ’95 Dodgy
53 ( 34 ) HOLD MY BODY TIGHT East 17
54 ( 36 ) RIGHT HERE Ultimate Kaos
55 ( 66 ) WATER RUNS DRY BoyIIMen
56 ( 38 ) FLY AWAY Haddaway
57 ( 57 ) IT’S OH SO QUIET Bjork
58 ( NEW ) HANDS UP Zig & Zag featuring Rednex
59 ( 43 ) HURT SO GOOD Jimmy Somerville
60 ( RE ) BABY IT’S YOU/ I’LL FOLLOW THE SUN The Beatles

61 ( 61 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
62 ( 52 ) LOVE CITY GROOVE Love City Groove
63 ( 63 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
64 ( 62 ) HYPNOTISED Simple Minds
65 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
66 ( 50 ) CHAINS Tina Arena
67 ( NEW ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
68 ( 56 ) LOVE AND DEVOTION Mc Sar and The Real McCoy
69 ( 68 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
70 ( NEW ) I GO WILD The Rolling Stones

71 ( 70 ) TAKE A BOW Madonna
72 ( 58 ) IF YOU LOVE ME Brownstone
73 ( NEW ) ROLL TO ME Del Amitri
74 ( NEW ) HAPPY MN8
75 ( 75 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins

OLDIES PLAYLIST
1. HisTory – Michael Jackson
2. There’s A Ghost In My House – R. Dean Taylor
3. The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore – The Walker Brothers

16th July 1995

3 weeks for the Jackson siblings on top, as the charts finally come alive, the oodles of covers dropping and bonafide great tracks entering, headed by Madonna and her fab new naughty video for Human Nature. Inventive, and somewhat flatters the track, it’s good, sultry, cool but isn’t Madonna at her very best, but good enough to enter at 7. Supergrass go top 5 with the fab Alright, Diana King takes her shy guy into the 10, and Deuce enter at 10, with their best record. That might not sound like much of a rating, given the manufactured and short-lived background of the group, but it is, in fact, a fantastic pop record.

In at 12 is one of Britpop’s forgotten successes, scousers Cast drop by again with latest single Fine Time, jangly indie melodic guitar pop – I really don’t get why they have been all-but-deleted from pop history, this is pretty good. In at 17 Brownstone also return, with something they heard through the Grapevine – not Marvin Gaye, though, it’s smooth 90‘s r’n’b. At 21, debuting, is Dana Dawson with 3 Is Family, a decent bit of souldancepop. Dana sadly died at 36 from cancer, I have just read on Wikipedia.

Kylie shoots up into the top 30, and The Lightning Seeds return with another in the string of goodies, in fact it’s Perfect at 27, a strings-tastic sweet upbeat song. D:Ream also grab another top 40 notch on their chart belt, MN8 are Happy to go top 40, ditto Paul Weller and Sheryl Crow, and in at 34 it’s the total classic TLC 90’s biggie, Waterfalls. Just an awesome, affecting, sad lament for lost loved ones, made all the more sad these days with Lisa Lopes’ death at 30 in a car accident 7 years later.

Finally, PJ Harvey is in at 55 with one of my fave tracks of hers, C’mon Billy, a spacious production (even with subtle strings) with bite and authenticity. PJ is also guesting with Duncan Stuck On You – OK I lie, it’s not Polly it’s Ant n Dec, future TV darlings – in at 59, as in at 60 it’s Sister Bliss with Oh What A World! – a Wicked Witch Of The West referencing club track from the female part of Faithless, with sassy Colette on vocals, a lady with attitude. Still sounds great, is genuinely amusing, and even I under-rated it chart-wise.

1 ( 1 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
2 ( 2 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
3 ( 3 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
4 ( 4 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
5 ( 16 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
6 ( 5 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
7 ( NEW ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
8 ( 7 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
9 ( 22 ) SHY GUY Diana King
10 ( NEW ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce

11 ( 6 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash
12 ( NEW ) FINE TIME Cast
13 ( 8 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
14 ( 15 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
15 ( 19 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
16 ( 10 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF
17 ( NEW ) GRAPEVINE Brownstone
18 ( 9 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
19 ( 11 ) I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners
20 ( 25 ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown

21 ( NEW ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
22 ( 14 ) ZOMBIE A.D.A.M. Featuring Amy
23 ( 12 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
24 ( 67 ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
25 ( 21 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
26 ( 13 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest
27 ( NEW ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
28 ( 17 ) DAYDREAMER Menswear
29 ( 43 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
30 ( 70 ) I GO WILD The Rolling Stones

31 ( 18 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
32 ( 24 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
33 ( 23 ) SCATMAN (SKI-BA-BOP-BA-DOP-BOP) Scatman John
34 ( NEW ) WATERFALLS TLC
35 ( 40 ) THIS IS A CALL Foo Fighters
36 ( 20 ) LIVE FOREVER Oasis
37 ( 74 ) HAPPY MN8
38 ( 33 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
39 ( 44 ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller
40 ( 50 ) RUN BABY RUN Sheryl Crow

41 ( 36 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
42 ( 28 ) STARS Dubstar
43 ( 27 ) REVEREND BLACK GRAPE Black Grape
44 ( 31 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Ladysmith Black Mombazo featuring China Black
45 ( 30 ) HEART OF GLASS (REMIX) Blondie
46 ( 26 ) THIS AIN’T A LOVE SONG Bon Jovi
47 ( 29 ) STAYIN’ ALIVE Tippa Irie
48 ( 32 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Annie Lennox
49 ( 46 ) SKY HIGH Newton
50 ( 57 ) IT’S OH SO QUIET Bjork

51 ( 35 ) DON’T WANNA FORGIVE ME NOW Wet Wet Wet
52 ( 42 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
53 ( 34 ) IL ADORE Boy George
54 ( 38 ) (EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D
55 ( NEW ) C’MON BILLY PJ Harvey
56 ( 37 ) BOOM BOOM BOOM The Outhere Brothers
57 ( 60 ) BABY IT’S YOU/ I’LL FOLLOW THE SUN The Beatles
58 ( 47 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
59 ( NEW ) STUCK ON YOU PJ & Duncan
60 ( NEW ) OH! WHAT A WORLD Sister Bliss featuring Colette

61 ( 61 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
62 ( 41 ) FILLING UP WITH HEAVEN Human League
63 ( 51 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
64 ( 73 ) ROLL TO ME Del Amitri
65 ( 63 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
66 ( 65 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
67 ( 58 ) HANDS UP Zig & Zag featuring Rednex
68 ( 39 ) STILLNESS IN TIME Jamiroquai
69 ( 69 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
70 ( 64 ) HYPNOTISED Simple Minds

71 ( 49 ) THINK OF YOU Whigfield
72 ( 71 ) TAKE A BOW Madonna
73 ( 62 ) LOVE CITY GROOVE Love City Groove
74 ( 45 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
75 ( 75 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins

Which just leaves The Rolling Stones big climb to 30, fresh from seeing them in concert at Wembley Stadium. Another one those all-day jobs to get their early to see the already-ageing 60’s legends 30 years into their 50-year touring career. Mick, of course, the great frontman, and a timeless back-catalogue to plunder for my enjoyment, notably these:

THE ROLLING STONES AT WEMBLEY

1. Honky Tonk Women
2. Satisfaction
3. Jumping Jack Flash
4. Start Me Up
5. It’s All Over Now
6. Sympathy For The Devil
7. Tumbling Dice
8. Miss You

23rd July 1995

Boy George rockets up 52 places to top spot with floptastic Il Adore, a strings-laden gorgeous and touching ballad about loss and death, specifically AIDS-related friends, which just didn’t suit the dance and Britpop times much, sadly. Anyway, it’s still lovely, one of george’s best and his 5th chart-topper (4 with Culture Club) and his first in 11 years. Deuce meanwhile are still swearing On The Bible, up to 2, and The Lightning Seeds keep those top 10 pop gem singles coming, it’s just Perfect at 6. Here’s a random massive climb: a couple of lads named PJ & Duncan are Stuck On U, as they ditch the chantalong pop for a more soulful sound, which sounds like an improvement to me, though I might suggest taking up TV hosting lads!

Cast are back in the 10, a right ol’ Fine Time, as Dana Dawson tweaks my popstress ditty tastebuds at 10, S’OK but a bit inexplicably high. Dubstar hit the 20, and highest new entry at 17 is Paninaro ’95, a Pet Shop Boys rave-era remix single of a classic 80’s B side of theirs. On the one hand I’m glad it became a single, on the other hand it’s not a patch on the brilliance of the original version, which SO should have been a single in it’s own right back in 1986/7, and which would have been a chart-topper for ages in my charts (had I allowed B sides and album tracks then). I may post the better version next time!

Kylie goes top 20 (hooray!) and TLC just miss out (Boo!), while a couple of remixes of Dusty tracks gets her a re-entry at 23, one of them a Pet Shop Boys song and Pet Shop Boys remix (Daydreaming), and again, not a patch on the original album track version which I allowed Dusty to chart at 2. In at 31 with their final version 1 Gary Barlow-written single, it’s Take That, and Never Forget that you can’t write them off (It certainly seemed like the writing was on the wall in the Robbie-less line-up: the golden rule of boybands is, first out gets the solo career, the band then split.

Marc Almond is back at 34 with a good Gary Glitter/T.Rex-styled stomping pop single, The Idol, for a sweet 14 years of top 40 entries, while lower down it’s Aswad back with a song that isn’t a Midge Ure cover, If I Was sure I’d say so, Corona pop (ha!) in, Method Man and Mary J do a job on Marvin & Tammi’s classic song, Boo Radleys shout It’s Lulu, but it isn’t, it is however, a Beatles cover for Suggs (I’m Only Sleeping) giving him a hit with a Beatles song that had never charted before, and also 16 years of hits. Which leaves a short minor mention (for now) of a gentle understated ballad about ’74 – ’75 from The Connells. It’s good, it’s catchy, and it will be back in the future as a Pan-European smash for an American band who oddly missed out in the USA.

1 ( 53 ) IL ADORE Boy George
2 ( 10 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
3 ( 5 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
4 ( 4 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
5 ( 1 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
6 ( 27 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
7 ( 3 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
8 ( 59 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
9 ( 12 ) FINE TIME Cast
10 ( 21 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson

11 ( 25 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
12 ( 2 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
13 ( 26 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest
14 ( 7 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
15 ( 42 ) STARS Dubstar
16 ( 6 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
17 ( NEW ) PANINARO ’95 Pet Shop Boys
18 ( 24 ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
19 ( 9 ) SHY GUY Diana King
20 ( 8 ) YES McAlmont & Butler

21 ( 34 ) WATERFALLS TLC
22 ( 14 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
23 ( RE ) WHEREVER WOULD I BE (REMIX)/ DAYDREAMING (REMIX) Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall
24 ( 20 ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown
25 ( 15 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
26 ( 17 ) GRAPEVINE Brownstone
27 ( 13 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
28 ( 16 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF
29 ( 29 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
30 ( 11 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash

31 ( NEW ) NEVER FORGET Take That
32 ( 18 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
33 ( 74 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
34 ( NEW ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
35 ( 31 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
36 ( 40 ) RUN BABY RUN Sheryl Crow
37 ( 39 ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller
38 ( 32 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
39 ( 19 ) I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners
40 ( 30 ) I GO WILD The Rolling Stones

41 ( 38 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
42 ( 37 ) HAPPY MN8
43 ( 23 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza
44 ( 41 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
45 ( 22 ) ZOMBIE A.D.A.M. Featuring Amy
46 ( 36 ) LIVE FOREVER Oasis
47 ( 28 ) DAYDREAMER Menswear
48 ( 33 ) SCATMAN (SKI-BA-BOP-BA-DOP-BOP) Scatman John
49 ( 63 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
50 ( 55 ) C’MON BILLY PJ Harvey

51 ( 54 ) (EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D
52 ( 49 ) SKY HIGH Newton
53 ( 52 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
54 ( NEW ) IF I WAS Aswad
55 ( 35 ) THIS IS A CALL Foo Fighters
56 ( 43 ) REVEREND BLACK GRAPE Black Grape
57 ( 44 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Ladysmith Black Mombazo featuring China Black
58 ( 58 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
59 ( 45 ) HEART OF GLASS (REMIX) Blondie
60 ( NEW ) TRY ME OUT Corona

61 ( 61 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
62 ( 48 ) A WHITER SHADE OF PALE Annie Lennox
63 ( NEW ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige
64 ( NEW ) IT’S LULU Boo Radleys
65 ( 65 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
66 ( 66 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
67 ( 57 ) BABY IT’S YOU/ I’LL FOLLOW THE SUN The Beatles
68 ( NEW ) 74 – ’75 The Connells
69 ( 69 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
70 ( NEW ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs

71 ( 56 ) BOOM BOOM BOOM The Outhere Brothers
72 ( 75 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
73 ( 72 ) TAKE A BOW Madonna
74 ( 70 ) HYPNOTISED Simple Minds
75 ( 73 ) LOVE CITY GROOVE Love City Groove

30th July 1995

I like a nice bit of cheese now and again, so I proudly announce Deuce top my chart this week in 1995 with a fab OTT slab, all melodramatic and passionately tuneful. By some distance this is their best pop record, and a minor forgotten gem. On The Bible I swear it! Still in cheese mode, soon-to-be Ant & Dec hit a new chart peak of 4 – they are still stuck on u, lucky us! The Lightning Seeds grab another big hit at 3, it’s a bit Perfect. Pet Shop Boys manage 5 with their lesser remix of Paninaro (I just can’t get over it not being the brilliant original, which would easily have topped my chart this week had it been a double A), as Take That’s final (for now) self-penned single Never Forget gives them a 5th or so top 10.

Highest new entry is the annoyingly-non-single fab movie-song cover of Dream A Little Dream Of Me, as hit by big fave Mama Cass in 1968, and as originally done in 1931 (! – that sounds positively historic these days) by Ozzie Nelson, who gave birth to 50’s sitcom Ozzie & Harriet with his real-life family, and future teen idol Ricky Nelson. Ricky’s own sons had a short career as Nelson. Keeping it in the family, just like Cass’ daughter. The Beautiful South by now were 6 years into their career, with new singer Jacqui Abbott joining co-singer Paul Heaton, and who now have-co-starring album success as a duo 21 years on, so not a bad run then!

Marc Almond and TLC go top 20, ditto Dusty n Daryl, and REM stick their Tongue out beautifully and un-typically falsetto-stylee at 27, Cyndi Lauper comes on home at 30, and Kirsty MacColl returns with her Kinks-cover Days at 32 just a few years after charting it first-time round. If at first you don’t succeed, Julian Cope advises Try Try Try Try – works for him, in at 46 a sweet 14 years on from Teardrop Explodes debuting. OK, then, in the media world it was all about who would win the chart battle for UK number one, Blur or Oasis, rivals releasing the same week. Blur won that battle, and they also do here (sort of)…by entering one place than Oasis at 48, and to boot also higher than another UK chart-topper, You Are Not Alone, Michael Jackson’s R.Kelly dirge, which featured Elvis Presley’s daughter (keeping the musical family theme going) in the video. She also happened to be his wife for a short time. Yes, most unlikely wedding that could ever have been predicted – at least until Jerry Hall & Rupert Murdoch.

Others: a cover of Wham!’s I’m Your Man, Bob Seger oldie Hollywood Nights, The Wildhearts are back, so are Black Grape, and best of the bunch Michelle Gayle gets another good pop single with Happy Just To Be With You.

1 ( 2 ) ON THE BIBLE Deuce
2 ( 1 ) IL ADORE Boy George
3 ( 6 ) PERFECT The Lightning Seeds
4 ( 8 ) STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
5 ( 17 ) PANINARO ’95 Pet Shop Boys
6 ( 7 ) KISS FROM A ROSE Seal
7 ( 14 ) HUMAN NATURE Madonna
8 ( 3 ) ALRIGHT Supergrass
9 ( 4 ) THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell featuring Pamela Starks
10 ( 31 ) NEVER FORGET Take That

11 ( 11 ) HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
12 ( 21 ) WATERFALLS TLC
13 ( 5 ) SCREAM Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson
14 ( NEW ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM The Beautiful South
15 ( 34 ) THE IDOL Marc Almond
16 ( NEW ) LOVE ENUFF Soul II Soul
17 ( 10 ) 3 IS FAMILY Dana Dawson
18 ( 9 ) FINE TIME Cast
19 ( 23 ) WHEREVER WOULD I BE (REMIX)/ DAYDREAMING (REMIX) Dusty Springfield and Daryl Hall
20 ( 19 ) SHY GUY Diana King

21 ( 12 ) BAD TIME The Jayhawks
22 ( 20 ) YES McAlmont & Butler
23 ( 18 ) WHERE IS THE FEELING Kylie Minogue
24 ( 13 ) MARTA’S SONG Deep Forest
25 ( 29 ) SHOOT ME WITH YOUR LOVE D:Ream
26 ( 16 ) A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
27 ( NEW ) TONGUE REM
28 ( 15 ) STARS Dubstar
29 ( 24 ) HUMPIN’ AROUND Bobby Brown
30 ( NEW ) COME ON HOME Cyndi Lauper

31 ( 25 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Shaggy featuring Rayvon
32 ( NEW ) DAYS Kirsty MacColl
33 ( 33 ) SEARCH FOR THE HERO M People
34 ( 22 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Amy Grant
35 ( 27 ) RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam And Spoon featuring Plavka
36 ( 41 ) COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
37 ( 37 ) YOU DO SOMETHING TO ME Paul Weller
38 ( 63 ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY Method Man Featuring Mary J. Blige
39 ( 26 ) GRAPEVINE Brownstone
40 ( 28 ) I’M A BELIEVER Vic Reeves & Bob Mortimer with EMF

41 ( 60 ) TRY ME OUT Corona
42 ( 30 ) WHITE LINES (DON’T DON’T DO IT) Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash
43 ( 35 ) BEGGAR ON A BEACH OF GOLD Mike + The Mechanics
44 ( 38 ) GUAGLIONE Perez ‘Prez’ Prado and His Orchestra
45 ( 32 ) WHOOMP! THERE IT IS Clock
46 ( NEW ) TRY TRY TRY Julian Cope
47 ( 49 ) BEST IN ME Let Loose
48 ( NEW ) COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
49 ( NEW ) ROLL WITH IT Oasis
50 ( 39 ) I’LL BE AROUND Rappin 4 Tay Featuring The Detroit Spinners

51 ( 44 ) BACK FOR GOOD Take That
52 ( 40 ) I GO WILD The Rolling Stones
53 ( 64 ) IT’S LULU Boo Radleys
54 ( 36 ) RUN BABY RUN Sheryl Crow
55 ( 52 ) SKY HIGH Newton
56 ( 53 ) DREAMER Livin’ Joy
57 ( NEW ) YOU ARE NOT ALONE Michael Jackson
58 ( 46 ) LIVE FOREVER Oasis
59 ( 70 ) I’M ONLY SLEEPING Suggs
60 ( 43 ) MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul featuring Ofra Haza

61 ( 54 ) IF I WAS Aswad
62 ( 61 ) DANCING QUEEN/EAGLE Abba
63 ( 51 ) (EVERYBODY’S GOT TO LEARN SOMETIME) I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Baby D
64 ( 58 ) TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
65 ( 42 ) HAPPY MN8
66 ( 65 ) NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
67 ( 66 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING The Righteous Brothers
68 ( NEW ) I’M YOUR MAN Lisa Moorish
69 ( NEW ) HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
70 ( NEW ) JOY IN LUST The Wildhearts

71 ( 69 ) MISS YOU NIGHTS/ ALL I HAVE TO DO IS DREAM Cliff Richard and Phil Everley
72 ( NEW ) HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
73 ( 72 ) RIGHT BESIDE YOU Sophie B. Hawkins
74 ( NEW ) IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER Black Grape
75 ( 73 ) TAKE A BOW Madonna

 

My Top 30 Sitcoms (Part 2)

30. CHELMSFORD 123 (1988-90)

Running for only 13 episodes over 2 series, this Channel 4/Hat Trick Productions Roman Empire Chelmsford-set historical sitcom is largely forgotten these days which is a huge shame. 123 AD is the year, and it was created by, and starred in, and written by Jimmy Mulville and Rory McGrath, a sort of piss-take on damp, miserable Britain populated by conniving and stupid Brits and Lording-it-over resentful Romans posted overseas to keep the peasants in check. Character-based, but with a delightful sense of knowing anachronism (especially Howard Lew Lewis as Blag, a simple hulk with a penchant to making references to 20th century stuff when he comes over all giddy), and a cast of many familiar writers, actors and comics of the 80’s and 90’s (and beyond) such as Andy Hamilton (Drop The Dead Donkey), Neil Pearson (ditto), Philip Pope (Blackadder), and others. The two creators played a Roman Governor Aulus Polinus (Mulville) and a sarcastic tribe-leader Badvoc (McGrath).

In some ways it was the precursor to current good sitcom Plebs (also set in Roman times), also very contemporary in approach, despite the setting. Mostly though, like all short-run sitcoms it was the scripts (daft and snappy in this case) that carried it, only unlike some lower-down the list I haven’t become tired-through-repetition of them. Never likely to be, either, as it’s never repeated anywhere. Boo hiss!

 

29. FRIENDS (1994-2004)

OK here’s a shock – one of the most-successful sitcoms ever is only at 29! This smart, sassy, wise-cracking group of mates was a twist on the concept of what constitutes “family” – at the root of almost all sitcoms in traditional settings based on character and plot. The cast became internationally famous, and gave Jennifer Aniston a decent comedy movie actor career, Matt Le Blanc a Top Gear stint and various sitcoms, and the others popped up in movies and TV shows, or the stage: Courtney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer. Relationships tended to be external to the group in the early days, other than the “burning” Ross/Rachel future romance, and the guest cast (many of whom were very good and went on to big things – see Antman Paul Rudd) could be either one-off or recurring for a while, before the storyline wore out.

The characters were very well-defined, though I never found them that endearing myself, whiny professor Ross grated, and his sis Monica was a bit loud, Rachel a bit annoyingly scatty, and Chandler – despite his long-running sarcastic quips – also left me a tad on the sighing side. Joey’s loveable lech was fun at the start of the series, but got tiresome as the series dragged on for two series too many. That left the main attraction, kookie Phoebe, in a world of her own, and the main reason to watch the show, other than the sharp scripts. That, and the theme tune.

It all got very incestuous (with all but the actual brother/sister, and Phoebe) in the internal relationships in the later silly seasons, but those early ones had some gems, such as The One With The Prom Video. Genuinely amusing running gags helped, as did wacky parents (Teri Garr, for one, after I’d already seen her in real life in the audience on a US movie quiz TV show pilot), but I wish they’d ended it after series 7, or 8 at a pinch. I still struggle to sit through those final series. Still enormously popular though, the show remains rated as one of the greats, and it’s influence can be seen in the biggest current sitcom in America – of which more later.

 

28. NEWHART (1982-1990)

Bob Newhart is one of my all-time comics, either as stand-up (his records sold well in the 60’s, such as his classic The Driving Instructor sketch) or comic actor on TV or movies. His finest moments, for me, though are in this second hit TV series set in in New England, as an Inn owner, and peopled by a great eccentric supporting cast of characters, and with a gorgeous Henry Mancini theme tune. Initially it started off more or less in the same decent classy mode as his 70’s hit series The Bob Newhart Show (which co-starred I Dream Of Jeannie’s Bill Daley and Marcia Wallace aka Mrs Krabappel in The Simpsons – I saw them both in the audience of the USA version of Blankety Blank and even got Bill’s autograph – and one of my fave actresses as a teen, Suzanne Pleshette, star of many a Disney movie) but as the series progressed it got increasingly bizarre and fantastical.

The more off-the-wall it got the more I liked it, Bob was just perfect as the sane, exasperated anchor at the centre of madness (much like the 60’s classic Green Acres sitcom), and went on to feature in similar kindly elderly roles in comedy movies of hot comics who were inspired by him. My fave characters though were selfish, lazy, spoilt-rich-girl maid Stephanie, and the 3 backwoods brothers, “Hi I’m Larry. This is my brother Daryl, and this is my other brother Daryl”. The two Daryl’s never uttered a word until the very last episode, and the famous (in America) last episode was a major treat as Dick (Bob) gets hit by a golf ball and wakes up in bed next to Suzanne Pleshette realising the whole 8 series have been a dream (a la Dallas, and as more recently borrowed in Breaking Bad). Perfect way to go, really! Sadly, not much in the way of classic clips for Newhart, just whole episodes, as it doesn’t lend itself to isolated one-liners so much…

 

 

27. THE YOUNG ONES (1982-84)

One of my all-time fave shows in the 80’s and 90’s, this one is another 12-episode classic run that has worn off over the decades a bit, partly due to the pacing, partly due to repeat watching over and over. By this time I had a betamax videorecorder and I could watch fave shows often – which if anything makes the flaws stand out more. Some of the episodes though, especially second season ones like Bambi (a University Challenge piss-take that is still funny) never tire. Written by Ben Elton, Rik Mayall & Lise Mayer, setting up for Blackadder, the anarchic show about repulsively selfish, violent, hippie, and conniving students living in digs together was a riotous mickey-take of Uni life, but while it had extreme elements of recognition in it, it was more comic-strip violence and playfully playing with the sitcom format. Most episodes had bands as guests, like Madness and Motorhead, and characters could at any time address the audience directly – not exactly a TV first, but something I’ve always enjoyed – while in their flights of fancy.

Starring the fab much-missed Rik Mayall as Rik (a pretentious slimy poet anarchist with a penchant for Cliff Richard – hence the series name and a later charity collaboration – who everyone hates instantly), and Ade Edmondson as Vivyan (a punk with destructive tendencies, self-or-otherwise), Neil (Nigel Planer as the grimiest, most-depressed hippie ever – so popular he had a solo hit record covering Traffic’s Hole In My Shoe in character) and Mike, the character that was supposed to be Comic Strip mainman Peter Richardson, but wasn’t (it was taken on by Christopher Ryan) – Richardson was a driving force behind co-contemporary new wave of comedy series The Comic Strip Presents, which also starred Ade Edmondson, his future wife Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French and many other live venue Comedy Store regulars who also crossed-over to guest on The Young Ones. The full list of guests is a veritable who’s who of Alternative Comedy of the early 80’s, and a veritable Giants Of British TV & Film Comedy of the next 30 years. Influential much!

Ben Elton, like the other main character-writer-stand-up Alexei Sayle (as various Balowski family members), specialised in politically-charged anti-Tory left-wing venomous stand-up. Not necessarily funny out-of-time, but ohmyword could we do with some of that right now. Thatcher then, May now. The other feature of the show were the cutaways (now a staple of Family Guy and the like), albeit to puppet-replicas of rats, bits of food, and anything really where the fancy took the writers. Best of all was the use of Rik & Ade as antagonists, based on their slapstick, insult-based, stand-up live routines, and which they took to perfection in their later TV sitcom Bottom. So anyway, “Daddy’s got a Jaguar”, get out the lentils, and put on Cliff singing Devil Woman cos here’s some clips…

 

 

26. Police Squad! (1982!)

Developed by the makers of Airplane, that classic zany movie pisstake of the Airport movies, David & Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and starring one of the main cast from that movie, Leslie Nielsen gaining a new lease of life as a comic actor having played the leading man for most of his career, this mickeytake of the 70’s cop show was hilarious. Just like the movies they specialised in it was a hit and miss collection of visual gags in the background, literal sentence word-play, childish gags, and comic-strip style violence and playing with and aping the television format, especially then-big Quinn Martin cop shows. The pacing was fast, very fast for the time, but ultra-modern if compared to current sitcoms in the post-Simpsons era, and it still works. Guest stars, such as Lorne Green, could be killed off in the opening scene without uttering a word. The voice-over episode title was always wrong compared to the text version. Just tickled me every time!

 

Leslie Neilsen was poker-faced brilliant, the supporting cast good (including Mission: Impossible’s Peter Lupus) and the show lasted a mere 6 episodes, one those bizarre instances of being ahead of it’s time. It did well in re-run’s though, despite being only half the episodes of even UK TV series like Fawlty Towers and The Young Ones. The producers had the last laugh though – they did the 3 Naked Gun movies on the back of the success in reruns, which were even better than the TV series. The show would rate higher – had they made more episodes – as I’m not including the Naked Gun movies in the rating: the first movie is firmly inside my all-time fave top 100 movies, as listed a few years back. Probably time for a review of that list what with some fab movies over the last 3 or 4 years that need adding…

 

25. THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES (1962-71)

This show should never have worked, and the critics were out in force from day one at the concept: a family of hick hillbillies discover oil on their backwoods land become instant millionaires and move to the ultimate rich playground of Beverly Hills in a mansion next door to their conniving and greedy banker, so he can control their naivety. Coming over as if they had dropped complete out of 1865 with no awareness of the modern world (you have to accept the premise to get the love, and also forgive Granny’s otherwise loveably cantankerous gun-toting moonshine-making non-PC viewpoints) the show was actually a brilliant inverted way of looking at 1960‘s America which remains pretty relevant today in it’s targets (the pursuit of money, unscrupulous bankers, the condescending moneyed rich). The Clampetts, Jed (the widower family-leader), his nephew Jethro (dumb as good-natured dishwater, but hot and athletic), and daughter Ellie-May and her tomboy-yet-gorgeous animal lover innocent, along with wiry Granny, Jed’s mother-in-law, are loveable. Jed is not dumb, just unworldly, and there is a real moral backbone to the show, I’d go so far as to call it satire, albeit hidden amongst low-brow gags and lines. The cast is balanced by the slimy banker Milburn Drysdale, trying to keep the Clampett’s cash in his bank, usually by getting his Jethro-obsessed spinster secretary Miss Jane to do his bidding to keep the Clampett’s happy.

The cast is fabulous, including many guest stars and recurring characters, from Buddy Ebsen as Jed (who was the original Tin Man in the Wizard Of Oz till the body paint caused him to become ill and be replaced), Max Baer Jr (Jethro), Donna Douglas (Ellie-May) and Granny (Irene Ryan), Miss Jane Hathaway (Nancy Kulp, gay in real life and with a tendancy for plain dress suits in the show, quite unusual at the time), and tragically, Sharon Tate, who became world-famous as the pregnant murder victim of evil Charles Manson and his cult followers during the show’s run. The creator behind the show was Paul Henning, who proved he had the magic touch with 2 spin-offs, with related cast-members, Petticoat Junction, starring Bea Benaderet (who played Jethro’s ma in the Hillbilllies), and Green Acres – of which more later), but the shows various audiences proved to be the undoing of them – the “rural” comedies were seen to appeal to low-brow non-advertising-target-audiences, so despite high ratings and Emmies throughout the runs, they were cancelled in an attempt to replace them with more young, urban, advert-friendly shows in 1970/71.

The show’s TV theme pretty sets up the premise with a great country banjo track, and my own love is seeing how great character-actors use the “aliens-seeing-us-for-first-time” take on modern life, I don’t think there were any shows prior to Hillbillies that did that, and it fit right in to the fantasy sitcom explosion of the 60’s. Plus, I loved the characters, the warmth, and my Beverly Hillbillies comic annual 1965 or so, which I still have. As an adult, I kinda went cold then hot on the show during various re-runs over the decades, but have come back to it in recent years following the world banking crisis, cos this show kind of said all you needed to know about greedy bankers 50 years earlier. Some cliches remain evergreen because of the nuggets of truth in them. Oh, and Max Baer, hunky to the max, dressed in 19th century drag as Jethro’s sister Jethrine has to be seen. Fab!

24. RISING DAMP (1974-78)

Maybe a little flattered here in rankings, and somewhat dated these days, but this was the very rare beast back in the day: a great British ITV sitcom. They were as rare as unicorns in a hurricane. Eric Chappell was the creator and writer and takes the most credit: by 2004 it was still the highest-rated ITV sitcom of all time in the BBC’s Top 100 all-time list. What makes it work is the setting, a crummy series of bedsits and flats in a house run by a tight-fisted, bored, interfering, letching, right-wing landlord – as played to perfection by Leonard Rossiter – Rigsby could have become unlikeable, as the main antagonist in each episode as he forces himself on his lodgers Alan (played by the already-loveable Richard Beckinsale ex of decent sitcom The Lovers with Paula Wilcox, and father of actress Kate) and Philip (played by Don Warrington to smooth perfection). Both shared a bedsit, Alan as a poor medical student, a bit naive, and Philip more worldly and second generation black – chased by Miss Jones (the wonderful Frances De La Tour, more recently of Hogwarts) the single, sophisticated lady on hard times in the flat below. Philip has some fun pretending to be the son of an African Chief getting a British education, and Rigsby has the hots for Miss Jones (and every other woman).

The chemistry between the actors and the characters is a delight, and the scripts sharp. Maybe students don’t have such crummy digs anymore, but it was pretty common back in the day (see The Young Ones for a comic-strip version), and the setting allows more than a touch of farce, and some social commentary – Rigsby is politically-incorrect and outspoken and rude (when he’s not creeping to Miss Jones) but he’s not a bigot, which is a bit of a saving grace compared to other sitcoms at the time featuring mixed casts – the godawful Love Thy Neighbour springs to mind as a cast trying to rise above a terrible premise.

The guest actors were also fabulous and the plots whimsical – the episode where Rigsby thinks he’s run over his beloved cat Vienna is a goodie (It’s a fur-stole related to his social-climbing aspirations), as is the one where he tries to woo Miss Jones with waving in front of her nose some burning wood from an African Love-Tree (Philip’s wardrobe bottom, actually), guaranteed to make her fall for him (it doesn’t). Richard Beckinsale alternated between Porridge and Rising Damp, 2 giants of 70’s sitcom, until his very early death in 1979 the year after both series had finished. Leonard Rossiter had further success with The Rise & Fall Of Reggie Perrin in the 70’s, also working on 2 sitcoms, and he too died far too soon in 1984. Influence: Rossiter/Rigsby’s vocal style, I would suggest, not unlike Eddie Izzard…

23. THE PHIL SILVERS SHOW (AKA YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH AKA BILKO) (1955-59)

The greatest sitcom of the late 50’s no contest, nothing else comes close, and a perennial re-run right through to the 90’s, this black & white show has been absent for too long, probably thanks to being in b&w which does the heads of younger TV viewers in – so they say. Poor things, so sensitive. Filmed live in front of an audience, mistakes and all, it was more of a stage show set in a backwards quiet Fort Baxter army motor pool in Kansas. In some ways the show is very 1950’s and of-its-time, a bit quaint, optimistic, nothing too demanding or dark but it works for 2 reasons: Creator & main writer Nat Hiken (who went on to write other hits like Car 54 Where Are You?) had snappy dialogue, and great characters, with an eye for comic actors (not necessarily skilled, just “right” for the role) and included early spots for future greats like Alan Alda and Dick Van Dyke; the other reason is Phil Silvers. The man was a force of nature with his break-neck delivery of dialogue, and his scheming, money-obsessed, gambling, lazy, but big-hearted and loyal Sgt Bilko was one of the great TV characters. Bilko was smart, inventive, and could pull the wool over the Jet Set socialites, and the army brass led by his adorably gullible Colonel Hall, and it made Phil Silvers a star – albeit typecast (even in Mad Mad Mad Mad World and Carry On…Follow That Camel he’s still brilliantly Bilko).

The back-up cast were equally endearing, and for the 50’s relatively ethnically mixed – as is only right for conscription representing the whole of the USA as it was comprised at the time. In one episode they even aped Elvis’ induction into the army, keeping it sitcom-“real”. Favourite characters for me are Colonel Hall as played scattily by Paul Ford, the sluggish Pvt Doberman (Maurice Gosfield, later Benny The Ball in the Bilko-based animated 60’s gem Top Cat), and Joe E. Ross as hopeless gambling Army Camp cook Sgt Ritzik and his nagging wife played by Beatrice Pons. So good they ended up starring in Nat Hiken’s next show Car 54 Where Are You in essentially the same roles, albeit police-based not army. The show won loads of awards, inspired later greats, and was beloved of many for decades. Quite right too.

22. PARKER LEWIS CAN’T LOSE (1990-93)

Probably the sitcom I most want on DVD, it’s hard to get hold of being as it was a Fox show only shown on SKY in the UK, which meant hardly anyone saw it. A real tragedy as it was very much a precursor to later fast-paced format-breaking, pop-culture-referencing, cool shows like Malcolm In The Middle. Parker Lewis went further though, breaking the barriers between audience and show in a way first seen in the 60’s on Green Acres, and it took use of camera-techniques into the realm of art. Smart, sassy and likeable, the show was basically a good vs evil fun look at High School, starring the cool Parker Lewis (Corin Nemec, later of Stargate) and his cool wannaberockstar mate Mikey, as they deal with plotlines involving the bratty short little sister, girlfriends, schoolwork, loud shirts, a prefect/vampire-like snitch of the Principal, and a huge bully/dim gentle giant obsessed with “eat now”. And what a Principal Grace Musso is. Far and away the highlight of the series is her loud, plotting, sneering character as played brilliantly by Melanie Chartoff – she shouts and the glass on her door smashes into pieces in every episode.

If you like surreal, want to get the vibes of the early 90’s US in a wholesome non-school-shooting world, a bit tongue-in-cheek, and engaging inventiveness, then you may wish to check out the show. it grows on you and deserves to be better known…

21. THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964-66)

Written in part and originated by Marx Brothers scriptwriter Nat Perrin, the fantasy b&w show was based on a series of cartoons by Charles Addams, and ran opposite rival The Munsters. The Munsters won the ratings war, but The Addams Family was COOL. Siouxsie modelled her look on Morticia, the wife and mother of the Gothic household containing a bizarre extended well-off family of misfits and creatures that viewed themselves as normal and the rest of the world as distasteful and bizarre, but had hearts of gold in amongst the death-macabre-obsessions and lack of concern with shuffling off the mortal coil.

The characters and the cast are sheer brilliance, no less, and the scripts mildly amusing mickey-takes and distorted views of 1960’s America’s pop culture and values, and the black and white actually helps the monster mood of the show – colour would have been awful! It still comes over as charmingly classy, a bit dated, but the performances of Carolyn Jones as Morticia and John Astin as Gomez, deeply-in-love parents to Wednesday and Pugsley, are still just fabulously skilfull while the key mad-cap former child actor Jackie Coogan as Uncle Fester, together with lesser faves like Lurch the Butler, Thing (a hand in a box), Grandmama, and Cousin It (a short mass of hair and nothing else much) give great support. They even had Morticia’s mother played by the terrific Margaret Hamilton, the immortal Wicked Witch Of The West in Wizard Of Oz.

Spawning remake TV series, TV movies, 2 fab feature films with an equally great cast, which made the fab Vic Mizzy finger-snapping theme tune a 90’s hit (albeit in remake), and cartoon TV series have all helped keep The Addams Family alive in pop culture as The Munsters have dropped out of favour. The episodes are those which give the stars a chance to shine, like Gomez driven by passion when Morticia speaks French. “Cara Mia!” “You Rang”, blowing up toy trains, chalking an x on Morticia’s sleeve to note where Gomez had got to kissing her hand and arm, and general anarchy fits totally in with the groundbreaking style of The Marx Brothers and is the 2nd-rated sitcom of the 60’s by me.

So, at last, only 20 to go…

1 from the 60’s
2 from the 70s
5 from the 80s
6 from the 90’s
5 from the 00’s
1 from the 10’s

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.

My Top 50 Favourite Sitcoms Part 1

50. I LOVE LUCY (1951 – 1960)

Actually this sit-com should be a few places higher, but I wanted to start the run-down with the most important sit-com in history. That isn’t hyperbole, it’s a cast-iron fact, if only for the various innovations that Lucille Ball and husband Desi Arnaz made to television: Lucy was a B-list cinema star, the only real female actor who could do physical comedy both in facial expressions, delivery of lines and body slapstick, this made her a natural to develop a TV show; She insisted her Cuban singer/bandleader husband be the co-star against Network Exec wishes; they refused to move to New York to film the usual low-quality TV recordings which were broadcast – instead they based in LA and took a large paycut to pay for the shows to be recorded on film (in b&w); this decision had massive effect – I Love Lucy was filmed with 3 cameras, in high quality, in front of an actual enthusiastic live studio audience (no canned laughter, other TV shows “borrowed” Lucy’s laugh-track!), with film professionals (TV union rules disallowed TV employees) and giving Lucille Ball the ability to play to the audience, making the show lively and vital; in exchange for the paycut Lucille & Desi set up their own studio and business Desilu (who later became famous for the first Star Trek episodes), and were able to broadcast I Love Lucy throughout the world, and in re-run for the next 65 years and counting. Lucille Ball became the most-famous female face in the world for the next 10 or 20 years.

The show itself? It’s all about Lucy, the ambitious, talentless, optimistic, trouble-prone but loveable housewife, and her sidekick best-friend Ethel (Vivan Vance), getting into scrapes. It’s very 1950’s idealised pre-feminist Americana, but that was what sold it to the rest of the world – here was a normal way of life that was positively affluent compared to life in other societies, things like refrigerators were mod-cons out of reach of ordinary people. It became so successful, some of the routines became comic immortal, and at the time Lucy’s pregancy led to massive TV ratings, the show topped the ratings for years, as Lucy attracted bigger and bigger guest stars (all as themselves) – Hollywood royalty joined in on the fun wholeheartedly, but Lucy never became one of them, she ridiculed her star-struck self, and spoke to the man or woman in the street. Ironically, as Lucille Ball was totally in control, a powerful woman in the male-dominated media industry of the 50‘s. Obviously, it is now utterly period, but it’s still charming, amusing, and as the template for all that followed it is guaranteed to remain referred back to by TV sitcom creators for as long as the form remains popular – I’d guess, as long as western society endures then…

My take? I only caught the much inferior 3rd Lucy series Here’s Lucy from the late 60’s, by which time she was getting on a bit and there were better shows on TV, but Lucy was still a TV legend. When I finally got to see the 50‘s shows in the 80’s, it was easy to see they were the real deal, I got to visit the Lucy shop-cum-tribute many times at Universal Studios Florida, and I bought the DVD’s. Still holds up well.

Best clips:

her classic scene:

her slapstick brilliance:

…and finally the comedy dialogue

49. ARE YOU BEING SERVED (1972-85)

British innuendo saucy seaside humour at it’s best, this Jeremy “Laugh-In” Lloyd and David Croft creation became a hit in the USA and topped Australian ratings, against all the odds – it’s VERY English, a bit low-brow, mocks the posh establishment and manners, and also the working class. It gently takes the mickey out of people putting on airs and graces, lauding it with superiority, and is a microcosm of British society social strata. If that sounds too pompous, then it’s a big laugh with fabulous caricatures, great comic actors, pushing the boat to see what you can get away with in prime time (who could forget Mrs Slocombe’s bedraggled pussy, or Mr. Humphrey’s camp “I’m free!”), terrific slapstick, OTT delivery, and it was always always good-natured. Mollie Sugden is immortal as Mrs Slocombe, already well-loved from Carla Lane’s decent The Liver Birds, and it made a star of John Inman as Mr. Humphreys, and Wendy Richard as dolly-bird Miss Brahms, years after she was the cockney lass on Mike Sarne’s fab novelty UK chart-topper Come Outside – Eastenders fame beckoned once the show was cancelled in the 80’s. It ran for too long, to be honest, and never really got over the loss of 2 of the original cast members, Trevor Bannister leaving and Arthur Brough dying, by which time it had become more of a self-caricature in the 80’s, though not so much that the cast and characters couldn’t reunite for Grace & Favour in 1992.

For me, it was camp fun, I loved Molly Sugden, the very Carry On.. British humour was right up my street, ooerr missus, and appropriately this just scrapes into my chart ahead of the equally saucy Frankie Howard one-man TV sitcom vehicle Up Pompeii. That had better scripts, but lacked an ensemble affectionate group to support it. This was just lovable, albeit of it’s time. Precious few clips on youtube though…

48. SEINFELD (1989-1998)

Stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld is the star of, and co-creator with Larry David of, this very New York urban comedy. The show famously “about nothing” is really about 4 friends and their families and lives, and where none of them are really that likeable – the golden rule of sitcoms is to be loveable, but Jerry, George (Jason Alexander), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) and Kramer (Michael Richards)are essentially self-absorbed, selfish, and picky – and in the case of Kramer crazy to boot. Emotional depth is absent, no lovey-dovey stuff at any time, the characters never learn from their mistakes and they aren’t sympathetic towards each other: instead you have a wealth of guest actors, some on the way to big things, a tight script, great one-liners in the New York Jewish tradition, and inventiveness – the notion of re-gifting took up one episode to great effect, another was waiting to get served in a restaurant. Critically lauded and a 90’s US ratings topper, they killed the show off at the height of it’s popularity and have stuck to that decision.

Shockingly low in my ratings, that’s 2 giants of sitcoms disposed of already in my list! Both Seinfeld and I Love Lucy are clearly greats of sitcoms, and “better” than many higher up the list, but in my case I came to Seinfeld a bit late in the day. For a start, the selfishness of the characters annoyed me, the arguing grated, the shouting put my teeth on edge, that boo-doop, boo-doo, boop doop soundtrack every 5 minutes just got on my nerves early on and got worse with time. I was, however, won over by the cast and scripts, and the more bizarre the plot the more I liked it. I also can’t resist a golden one-liner, and there loads of them throughout the show’s run.

 

47. TAXI (1978-83)

A good-natured sit-com set around a taxi cab company in New York, run by the short-of-stature tyrannical Louis (Danny De Vito), starring Judd Hirsch as Alex, Marilu Henner as Elaine, Tony Danza as Tony, Jeff Conaway as Bobby, Andy Kaufman as the annoying and sweet Latka, Carol Kane as his girlfriend, and in the 2nd series the real star of the show Christopher Lloyd as the Rev Jim Ignatowski, a burnt-out hippie from years of substance abuse. Guest stars included Danny De Vito’s real-life wife Rhea Perlman and many others. Needless to say it made stars of all of the above, most migrating to movie success, or else TV sitcom success post-Taxi.

This James L. Brooks & co show was a precurser to even-better sitcoms which will feature later, won Emmy’s, was well-written, warm without being too sentimental or cloying, and had very good well-defined characters and covered any number of dark or unusual topics for plots. Unusually for a US TV show, it was also shown in UK prime-time and repeated over the next decade or so before being banished as if it never existed, despite the big-name cast. Andy Kaufman died young, a stand-up comic who inspired REM’s Man In The Moon song and the movie of the same name – in which the cast played themselves in the biopic!

I always enjoyed the show, but my real enthusiasm was for Christopher Lloyd, just before he did Back To The Future, and his character had me laughing-out loud at some points (I tend to be a smiler, punctuated with very occasional bouts of helpless, crying laughter) especially the taxi-driving exam he had to take to become a permanent cast member. Crying I was!

46. THE FLINTSTONES (1960-66)

No, this wasn’t a kids show, it was Prime Time animated fantasy soap in the States, the first to do that and the most successful for 30 years. Hanna-Barbera churned out kids TV shows for decades, but they hit gold with this innovative show: essentially they took the 2nd-biggest US sitcom of the 50’s (The Honeymooners) and transplanted the characters into the Stone Age, but a fantasy world with dinosaurs as modern-convenience equipment or pets, homes made of rock, and sabre-tooth tigers as kitty-cats. I can’t stress just how unlikely it was that this got past TV Execs!

What made it work was the cast of working-class American characters, Fred and Wilma, and their best friends Barney & Betty Rubble. Later on the kids came along, Pebbles and Bam Bam, and added to cast – along with numerous guest stars of the screen and sports portraying Stone Age versions of themselves (Ann-Margrock for example voiced by then-big Ann-Margaret). The renamed stone-age wordplay alone was genius (Gina Loadabricks, Mick Jadestone & The Rolling Boulders, Rock Pile – for Rock Hudson), the pastiche perverted look at mid-20th century suburban culture and pop culture was brilliant, and the voicing, especially Mel Blanc and Alan Reed as Barney and Fred, just great. Barney & Fred had more than a touch of the Laurel & Hardy, 2 lovable idiots, the loud one thinking he’s smarter than the quieter one – but not really in fact. The invention was terrific – the poor downtrodden dinosaurs address the audience direct lamenting their lot and the humans, the cars run on people legs, showers are woolly mammoths blowing water out their trunk.

2 live action movies eventually turned up in the 90’s, both perfectly good fun and full of stars, the B52’s immortalised the wonderful theme tune (one of the first TV greats) as themselves (the BC52’s) and in the charts, but they never really quite clicked totally, being an affectionate parody of a parody and all. As with I Love Lucy, the show still stands up well, much better than the one it was based on, the somewhat unlovable aggressive loudmouth of The Honeymooners, his “Bang zoom, to the the moon” threats to his wife are most definitely not-PC these days. Fred is a pussycat underneath the bluster, thankfully. So great it has turned up in shows owing a lot to it, such as The Simpsons and Family Guy, and for me, I have a 1965 Flintstones annual from xmas prezzie time, kept it all these years and still fun – love the Gruesomes (take on The Munsters/Addams Family, who were directly made in the fantasy 60’s sitcom explosion that owed it all to The Flinstones: don’t what TV execs were on in those days, but they need to get on it again!). Fab!

45. THE MUPPET SHOW (1976-81)

Jim Henson’s Sesame Street sorta-spinoff that had to move to the UK to get produced and broadcast (shame on Exec Suits!), helped by Lew Grade, UK TV giant. I’d loved Sesame Street’s fresh style when it turned up on Singapore sometime in late 1970 or early 1971, so I was already a fan for some more-adult-oriented gags, puns, Vaudeville songs, silliness, and a host of UK or US guest stars, and as time went by, and The Muppets became huge, the guest names got bigger as everyone joined in the fun. Now, some may be exclaiming that the Muppets wasn’t a sitcom, it was a variety show – sorry, no I’m not having that – each episode was plotted, usually around the guest stars interacting with the amazing cast of characters, be it Miss Piggy gunning for Kermit, the guest wanting to perform some high art (and ending up over-run with muppets) or Kermit just exasperated at the anarchy. The sketches, and the musical numbers were integrated into the plot as interruptions, while the real story went on backstage.

The cast, voiced by Jim Henson, Frank Oz and others, was a list of incredible still-famous Muppet characters, Gonzo, Sam The Eagle, Fozzie Bear, Statler & Waldorf (my faves, loved the put-downs), The Swedish Chef, Beaker, Animal and many others. All were just brilliant creations, and the recurring in-jokes a joy (Doctor Bob, Pigs In Space for a start), they were a hit with kids and with A Level students (take my word, I was one) and with older folk too, with the Music Hall backdrop and old-time tunes. So good, in fact, that numerous movies, spin-offs, parodies, merchandise and sequel series all trotted along before and after Disney acquired the rights and made a fun 3D Theme Park attraction out of the setting too. Of course, the jokes were very hit and miss, the songs could be rubbish or brilliant (Mah Na Mah Na was a hit as a result, ditto the Muppets own singles Halfway Down The Stairs and Don’t Dilly-Dally On The Way and Wipeout) and some guests were better than others, but the just good-natured feel-good vibes outweigh the naff bits. Legends!

44. GIRLS ON TOP (1985-6)

One of those rare things: an ITV sitcom that I liked, this was like a female answer to The Young Ones in the 80’s new wave of young comics, written-by and starring Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Ruby Wax and Tracey Ullman. The show was about 4 wacky flatmates, leftie-activist bullying Dawn/Amanda, simple and docile Jennifer, loud, brash, self-centered Ruby/Shelley and manipulative flirt Tracey/Candice. The landlady (Joan Greenwood was so cool, too) – totally off-the-wall romance writer. I don’t get why this has been forgotten in the mists of time, I prefer it to all the huge successes the cast went on to do (so that means no Abfab, Vicar Of Dibley, Tracey Ullman Show among others, sorry, and Comic Strip presents – which predated and featured the future superstar female comedy double act French & Saunders – is ineligible). At least one-spin-off in the list though, no prizes for guessing which!

Guest stars include Helen Lederer, Stephen Frost, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie, Harry Enfield, and Katherine Helmond, star of a US show of which more later. Perhaps because it was only 13 episodes (with Tracey missing the last 6 due to being pregnant, so that’s an reasonable excuse!), and despite having a theme song written by the fab Squeeze, it never really got repeated much – personally I think it was much more cult Channel 4 or BBC2-ish product and would have been better remembered if it had been shown on them. It never really fit into ITV target audiences. The other main point is that the characters were not-sympathetic, being caricatures, but that never hurt The Young Ones in a younger target-audience, but not so helpful in a cosy ITV environment. Still a forgotten goodie, anyway.

43. MORK AND MINDY (1978-82)

Happy Days was a cult sitcom among teens, set in the 50’s, and sending Ron Howard on the way to movies, and The Fonz made Henry Winkler a star. Amiable enough, it had 2 spin-offs while on the air, the wacky Laverne & Shirley which was more fun, starring Penny Marshall, sister of producer the late Garry Marshall, who then spotted talent when he saw it in the shape of the not-just-wacky-but-out-of-this-world hyperactive million-words-a-second late Robin Williams guesting (oddly!) as an alien from outer space (Mork from Ork). Cue this family-friendly spin-off set in Boulder, Colorado. I think we can all agree that without Robin Williams hitting the screens like a whirlwind of energy, and adlibbing much of his dialogue (as he did subsequently in movies), this show would have been at best mildly pleasant and forgettable. As it is, especially in the first season, Williams’ Mork is unforgettable, a lost innocent puzzled by an uncaring world, and his loudmouth obese off-screen alien boss.

It’s main downfall is also Robin Williams main downfall in the movies: as we now know prone to real-life depression, Williams (and Mork) is also prone to cloying oversentimentality at times, largely around his love for Mindy (Pam Dawber), and it can get a tad preachy in later seasons, even with the also-wacky comic hero of Williams’ Jonathan Winters, as a baby “adult” alien. The scripts aren’t great, overall (certainly the worst scripts of any series in this list), and the supporting characters not great (bar the fab mentally spaced-out “Prophet” Exidor) but it has to be here for Mork and Robin Williams contributions. The first season is the best season, too many cast changes and mucking around and blanding out ruined the later seasons, but for 12 months it was fresh and exciting, and made a major movie star of Robin Williams. No clips from the actual show, as the Out-takes (not broadcast-able on 1970’s US TV) give much more of a flavour of the frenetic pace and ad-libbing of Robin Williams, and I SO wish I could have been in those audiences for taping!

Na-nu Na-nu!

42. BEST OF THE WEST (1981/82)

Eh? Wassat? I hear everyone exclaim. This is an Earl Pomerantz creation, scriptwriter on Taxi and 3 other higher-rated shows which featured many of the guest stars in this great Western mickey-take, such as Christopher Lloyd and Betty White, two giants of TV comedy for me, and other TV & film faves like Slim Pickens, or Richard Moll, bald-headed Night Court star and regular lovable big, tall villain of screen. Night Court very nearly made my list too. The main cast was also fab, the idealistic marshall Sam Best (Joel Higgins), his wisecracking cooky wife (Carlene Watkins), the slimy saloon owner (Leonard Frey), veteran Tom Ewell as the town doctor, Valri Bromfield as a rather tomboy gal, and Tracey Walter as the fab henchman Frog.

So, I loved the cast, the scripts were great, famous guest stars, and the creative team side all went on to even greater things, so what could possibly go wrong? Err, ABC dilly-dallied over renewing it, so the star buggered off to another show and they cancelled it after one season – having decided late to renew when it was too late. Idiots. This could have been one of the greats, I’m sure it would have built up an audience over time like so many classy sitcoms have. The comedy western was already a nostalgic film genre, from the 50’s right through to the last great Mel Brooks movie, and it just seemed so right to have a sitcom dedicated to it a decade on. On the plus side, the writers found gainful employment in 1983 in a giant of the sitcom so they weren’t sitting around twiddling their thumbs and that show’s gain was at this show’s loss, so I can’t be too crabby. I just wish it would be repeated or made available on DVD!

No clips available sadly…

41. THE MUNSTERS (1964-6)

Hot on the heels of My Favorite Martian’s TV sitcom success, The Munsters was one of two “freak-family” sitcoms to air the same month (Sept 1964), both black and white (which really suited the mood and look and design of both), The Munsters was the more popular – the rival will appear later in the list – but the less oddball. A lot of the laughs was the juxtaposition of The Munsters traditional American sitcom family set-up, the hapless working dad, the homebody mum, the kid in school, the teen girl, and grumpy grandpa who lived with them, complete with their suburban lifestyle ambitions versus their actual Horror Movie roots: Herman Munster (the brilliant Fred Gwynne) was a Frankenstein monster created by Grandpa (the equally brilliant Al lewis – both he and Gwynne had starred for years together in Car 54 Where Are You? and worked great together in their various scrapes). Grandpa was a vampire mad scientist, Herman had married nagging, pushy, Vampira-ish Lily (Hollywood star Yvonne De Carlo) and their son Eddie (Butch Patrick) was a young Werewolf. Marilyn (Pat Priest and Beverley Owen) was the plain teen daughter who couldn’t keep a boyfriend (to the family – to everyone else she was a gorgeous Monroe-esque blonde who’s dates were scared off by the rest of the family).

The show worked because of the cast chemistry, especially the three adult leads, who were just SO lovable. The novelty wore off after a while, admittedly, script-wise, as there are only so many spooked visiting officials in a state of shock and surprise you can base a wacky plot around, but the performances were never less than worthwhile, and including child actor Butch Patrick who unusually seemed confident and capable without being either sickly sweet or annoyingly arrogant, like most child-stars. The theme tune was also a masterpiece of surfer-instrumental-done-Halloween-stylee, though the more traditional season 1 version was the better than the season 2:

Other fave things: Paul Lynde (Uncle Arthur in Bewitched which also debuted this month, The Hooded Claw in Perils Of Penelope Pitstop) as a near-sighted doctor, John Carradine and Dom DeLuise as guests; The Munstermobile (a souped-up Hearse); Lily’s floating light silky dresses; Herman referring to his job at the Parlor all the time (Funeral Parlor); Eddie’s hero-worship of his buffoonish well-meaning dad. To get an idea of how good the cast was you only have to sit through 10 minutes of the remake from 1988, in colour, and despite good old fave actors like John Schuck and Lee Meriweather in it. It just wasn’t worthy! The problem was, of course, for the cast they became huge in re-runs and eternally typecast as the characters they played. Poor Old Fred Gwynne grew to hate Herman Munster, understandably, as he was a good actor. Has it worn well? Yes, provided you don’t try and watch them back to back and just enjoy the classy silliness, and can ignore that 60’s insistence on laugh-tracks for filmed sitcoms.

40. FAWLTY TOWERS (1975-9)

Or Farty Towels as one intro sign read. Only 12 episodes of this classic sitcom from writers and stars John Cleese and Connie Booth (real-life UK/US ex-husband-wife) were made, 2 seasons of 6, but what an impact it had for the Monty Python star, and on British pop culture! Basil Fawlty was a conceited, angry, social-climbing intolerant hotel owner better at annoying and insulting his guests than catering for them, and his bossy, nagging wife Sybil (Prunella Scales) was the real force behind the business. Throw in maid Polly (Booth) the voice of tolerance and reason, and stereotypical simple and underpaid Spanish waiter Manuel (Andrew Sachs) – “Que?” “No, he haaamster” (a pet rat) – and you have a great 4-some to hang on wacky regulars and guest stars around.

Sometimes John Cleese’s OTT Basil made me squirm, sometimes his casual bullying and hitting his imported cheap labour just annoyed me, but it was forgiven for the classic one-liners and insults, and flowery descriptive sarcasm. Basil invariably got himself into trouble in his snobbish attempts to impress people he regarded as socially superior, or by mistakingly being dismissive to people he regarded as plebs (but who weren’t), and much of the humour was based around British obsessions with niceties and social faux pas, never more so than the visiting Germans episode (“Don’t mention the war!”) when he was suffering from concussion and mentioned the war at every opportunity, or bluntly stares at his nurse:

John Cleese pretty much grabbed his movie career more from Basil Fawlty than Python, and guested in other classic (American) sitcoms which it inspired and which will pop up later in the rundown, and in turn guest actors like Bernard Cribbins, Geoffrey Palmer and David Kelly popped up in FT. Becoming a critically-acclaimed and popular masterpiece of conciseness (12 episodes only) inspired other creative sitcom talents to do the same in the decades that followed, because it left no bad taste in the mouth that shows that run on too long tend to leave behind, and there is a cohesiveness that having the same writers gives while leaving you begging for more and keeping the quality high. The only reason it’s not higher is I’ve seen them so many times that minor flaws start to annoy, and familiarity breeds contempt. Give me a decade away and I’ll rate it much higher again…

Top 10 clips here:

39. THE GOLDEN GIRLS (1985-92)

Smart, sharp, witty, caustic and lovable Emmy-award-winning and popular, The Golden Girls went against perceived wisdom and had 4 elderly main characters, and all women, as the stars. Susan Harris, creator of Soap, set the show in Miami, Florida as 3 women and an elderly Italian-American mother shared a house – I toured past the house exterior in Disney MGM/Hollwood Studios many times before they bulldozed it – and it reached a whole new audience. Why was it so great? The scripts were good, the cast were fab (Bea Arthur & Rue McClanahan had worked together on Maude, the timeless Betty White had been in sitcoms back to the 50’s, and most famously in The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1970 onwards, and Estelle Getty made-up to look much older), the topics covered romance (Obviously) but also more ground-breaking serious issues.

Rue and Betty switched their lined-up roles to avoid being typecast – McClanahan had already done scatter-brained, and White the Man-Eater – which was good for them, but spoiled it for me cos Betty White is at her best when dealing out assertive flirty dialogue. Bea Arthur’s character Dorothy annoyed me more than the others, though she had most of the clever put-down lines, this tended to grate after a while. A flaw was the lack of sympathy for simple-minded Rose from the other 3, though they are shown to love each other as good friends as the series grows, cue the theme song Thank You For Being A Friend. Enormously popular with many confirmed bachelors, the OAP setting appealed beyond that thanks to the cool, knowing dialogue and content, and it helped to show that retiring didn’t mean at-death’s-door and knitting for older women. The amazing Betty White is now in her 90’s and still a hero for me, Uber-cool, she’ll do a celebrity roast, an awards, or a comedy movie cameo and steal the show from everyone else, sharp and fun-filled, cutting but good-natured.

38. PORRIDGE (1974-7)

Writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’ best TV sitcom, everything just worked beautifully in this prison-set show, great sharp dialogue, cynicism with a warm heart, great characters and a fabulous cast led by the wonderful multitalented “Two Ronnies” Ronny Barker as repeat-prison-offender thief Norman Stanley Fletcher. Support from Richard Beckinsale as Godber was a step-up from his previous TV series The Lovers and as good as another top TV show from 1974 he starred in which is yet to feature. The supporting cast included prison warders Fulton Mackay and Brian Wilde with recurring co-stars and guests like Christopher Biggins, David Jason and many others.

A mere 21 episodes over 3 series, it spawned the little-seen TV series Going Straight, which featured Fletch out of prison and with his family (his daughter Ingrid was now girlfriend to Godber), and a feature film spin-off. In 2016 a remake one-off (so far) had a completely new cast, but lacked the sparkle of the originals. The show managed to avoid getting too sentimental but was somehow probably too clever and too cosy to be realistic, but who cares, the scripts were terrific! Great set-ups to one-liners like “Beautiful Babs”, “Fill that jar” and “are you a practicing homosexual?” stick in my mind with the punchlines “don’t know what her name is”, “what – from here?” and “what, with these feet?” Trust me, hilarious in context…!

37. PHYLLIS (1975-77)

A forgotten gem starring the timelessly wonderful Cloris Leachman, star of Young Frankenstein and other comedy movies, and numerous sitcoms from Mary Tyler Moore Show to Malcolm In The Middle. Phyllis was actually a spin-off from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, where she starred as Mary’s conceited, self-obsessed, critical landlady. The first spin-off, Rhoda, was doing fine in the ratings in 1975, so they stuck Phyllis between it and huge show All In The Family, with a great supporting cast, some great scripts (later borrowed and essentially rewritten in other creatively-related sitcoms like The Golden Girls and Cheers – Glen & Les Charles were writers and producers of Taxi, Cheers, MTM and David Lloyd writer of those shows and also Soap, Frasier & The Bob Newhart Show. In other words, a first-class pedigree. The first season of the show was instantly struck by real-life tragedy as one of the cast was murdered 3 episodes in, but the ratings were actually even higher than for Rhoda – a show I also loved and which just missed the list – and Mary Tyler Moore Show. Sadly, the Network forgot the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” scenario and mucked around with the cast and setting for the second season of both Phyllis and Rhoda, which led to both plummeting ratings and cancellation for both, Phyllis only lasting 2 seasons, unable to cope with the deaths of two more elderly (and popular) cast members, and the illness of another on top of all the changes.

the fab cheesy showtune theme tune

I loved Cloris and Phyllis, it was what you would call Politically Incorrect, and genuinely side-splitting at times, most memorably an episode i recorded on reel-to-reel featuring Phyllis’ daughter Beth going out with a boy who’s parents were little people, and Phyllis’ inability to avoid referring to height accidentally in every way possible was so good it cropped up in The Golden Girls in much the same scenario and gags. Cloris Leachman is an 8-time Emmy-winner, and 1946 (!!) Miss America finalist, always funny and inventive, and at the age of 82 became the oldest perfomer on Dancing With The Stars, and the 90-year-old keeps on working, from Family Guy to Hawaii 5-0 guest spots and more. Just to show she can do drama as easily as comedy, she turned in an Oscar-winning dramatic performance in The Last Picture Show in 1971, among many others. Legend! Love her.

36. THE MONKEES (1966-68)

Half pop-video of a pop group created for TV, and inspired by the Beatles madcap movies, and stylistically The Marx Brothers movies crossed with playing with the relatively new artform of television in creative ways, The Monkees sitcom seemed to enrage the British press for daring to (gasp) feature some actors singing other people’s songs to backing musicians. The Beatles had no such problems with the instantly huge band who dominated the charts in 1967 in both the USA and UK: they saw them for what they were (two musician singer-songwriters who took a chance on a break – Mike Nesmith wrote many of the best Monkees songs, not to mention having a hand in MTV’s start-up, and Peter Tork was a hippie folkie) along with two actors who happened to be great singers (child actors Micky Dolenz, and the Brit Davy Jones) and occasional good songwriters. The promo videos were amusing, and from my point of view, powerful, 2 or 3 a week tucked inside loose fantastical plotlines.

The Monkees played themselves, as struggling Californian musicians, and the plots ranged from saving European princesses, mad scientists with groovy monsters, Davy’s string of romances, and many more toying with Hollywood movie settings in a playful way (see Some Like It Lukewarm cross-dressing clip).

That’s not to say they didn’t take the piss out of the charlatans in the movie and music business (they did), but it was always madcap, not vicious. The irony was, The Monkees fought a battle with Don Kirshner, music maestro, over having control over their own recordings (which they won, and creatively successfully). Don was so angered he started his next TV show band as a cartoon band so they couldn’t argue back (The Archies) who I also loved (musically), the TV show was kindergarten tosh I’m afraid. The TV show creators, Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider, had greater ambitions though – they went on to do The Monkees hippie psychedelia-tripping movie Head and then Hippie-cult Easy Rider. They were proper cool! Me, I still love the TV show in small doses – it’s endlessly endearing and whimsical, albeit not “belly-laughs” in any way: the characters are too broad, and the scripts aren’t built along smart-dialogue lines, it was more in the self-mocking pop-culture vein of the 1966 Batman series (which is actually funnier, but doesn’t qualify as it’s not really a “sitcom” as such, it’s a superhero show which is intentionally hammy). Best episode: I Was A Teenage Monster, starring future Bond villain Richard Kiel and a fabulous German mad scientist and hunchback henchman. All together now: “Goorahhhh!”

35. THE HIGH LIFE (1994/5)

A short-lived sitcom of only 7 episodes, this Scottish-based piss-take of budget airlines remains an unknown BBC treat, starring and created by future movie-star Alan Cummings and Forbes Masson. A sort of advance-scout for Come Fly With Me, this series was much-more satisfyingly whole, with it’s madcap surreal moments of Eurovision mickey-taking, Batman spoofing and a host of camp, bitchy quips and characters like Hitler-In-Tights Shona Spurtle, or the drunk, clueless posh pilot Captain Duff. The showtune theme song sets the mood….

The stars though were Cummings & Masson as Sebastian & Steve, based on their stage characters that developed on the live circuit, and the scripts were also written by them. I loved the one-liners, putdowns and flights (arf!) of fantasy, and felt it had much more life in it than one series. They actually wrote another series, but Alan Cummings decided he’d rather be an international movie star in America than a minor cult comic actor in Scotland and England (selfish git!), so sadly it never happened. Doh! Still, sitcom’s loss was The X-Men’s gain. Memorable moment: Their Eurovision entry song. Such a pisstake!

34. THE NEW STATESMAN (1987-94)

This rarity (an ITV British series that I actually rate) rested on two main attractions: The brilliant Rik Mayall as a slimy, unscrupulous, lascivious Tory MP in Thatcher’s Britain, and fabulous biting satire on the British Government (from Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran), and to a lesser extent all of those on the edges and manipulations of British politics. That Rik Mayall, as Alan B’Stard, was at his best, was a bonus – a sort of less manic version of his Rik from the The Young Ones, but one who had ambitions of power and money, perfect for 80’s UK and it’s Yuppy privatisation middle-class obsessions. The scripts were sharp, the plots increasingly ludicrous; starting from B’Stard’s arms sales, his large majority after having his car brake lines cut, using pornography for blackmail, getting shot, nuclear waste dumping for profit, offshore banking, BDSM in brothels, getting poor voters to agree to lose the right to vote for tax exemption, underage girls for sex, slavery, nazis, cocaine and US politics, attempted murder, capital punishment returning, the end of North Sea Oil, animal testing activists, KGB collaborations to restore Cold War budgets, Siberian Prison, EU blackmailing using his wife as prostitute, adolph Hitler’s penis, charity scams, Robert Maxwell spending time dead for tax purposes, and ending on B’Stard manipulating events to cause a vote to leave the EU, ending Trade Unions, and heading a new right-wing party which sweeps to power using the French to drum up anti-foreigner fever, only to find that he can’t be Prime Minister and in power after all.

In short, it’s predicted every sordid headline in British politics for the next 30 years, exposed the ruling classes for what they are, and got many a laugh along the way, including at the expense of the inbred stupid titled rich, played beautifully by Michael Troughton (son of Doctor Who Patrick Troughton). The show ended in 1994, but remains just as relevant and needs repeating. Never as cosy and gentle as Yes Minister, it’s setting was too broad and biting for that, it was also more farcical than political shows that followed, such as The Thick Of It, and remains my fave political-based show. Rik Mayall brought the cast back together in 2006 and 2007 for a stage show touring version that had New Labour as the backdrop. I saw it and it was fab, and Rik was a legend. Much missed.

Comic Relief No. 10 Special..

33. GET SMART (1965-70)

Smack in the middle of the James-Bond-inspired superspy surge came this fabulous parody of the genre. Starring stand-up Don Adams as Agent 86 (Max Smart) and Barbara Feldon as Agent 99, the show had catch-phrases galore and was hugely successful, including spin-off movies and a good remake movie in 2008. The secret of it’s success? Mel Brooks (along with Buck Henry) and the scripts, which were witty, childish, popculture parodying, a bit of romance, a marvellous human-looking robot (Hymie), who took every instruction literally, and an oh-so-cool modern groove that adults and kids loved. They did a series of novel adaptations of many episodes, and I bought them all in the early 70’s, nostalgic for the cult TV show that was now off the air, but a real fave. The books, if anything, were better than the TV episodes, very funny and a little more depth (in a shallow way).

Quotable, award-winning, and in Don Adams an OTT bumbling, inept, yet successful Spy, here’s a few lines and guest stars:

“I ASKED you not to tell me that!” (after someone had just told him that)

“Would you believe…?” (after Max invariably was trying to make outlandish excuses on being captured by KAOS agents)

The Cone Of Silence (a plastic bowl lowered over the Chief’s desk for confidential conversations. Sadly Max and the Chief never hear each other properly)’

Harry Hoo, guest Hawaiian Private Eye. “This is Hoo”. “Who?” “That’s what I said, Hoo” Cue Abbott & Costello routines.

Don Rickles, legendary comic guest star (still going and on twitter in his 90’s)

Milton Berle, huge TV legend of the 50’s and 60’s

Ernest Borgnine, Carol Burnett, James Caan, Bob Hope (!!!), Leonard Nimoy, Vincent Price, and many many more

Mel Brooks went off to movie success mid-series, leaving Buck Henry to keep the fight up against the network execs trying to bland out the premise and show, as they will always tend to try to do, not having a clue why comedy works and all. Max and 99 (we never did get her name) eventually marry and have kids, but she made history being the first American working sitcom mom, still a spy. Worst thing about the show? That annoying 60’s sitcom staple, canned laughter. It would work much better without….

32. SLEDGE HAMMER! (1986-88)

From spies to a show inspired by Get Smart featuring detectives – in this case a piss-take of the numerous US cop shows that dominated 70’s and 80’s TV, with the ultimate 80’s anti-hero, right-wing, gun-loving (he sleeps with his gun and talks to it), sadistic, over-the-top misogynist – given his partner is a very capable woman, cue lots of friction and snappy dialogue. There is no depth to the character, of course, he’s a total caricature, but he is just played so brilliantly by David Rasche as a wild-eyed one-liner he becomes quite lovable in his anti-pc-ness. No doubt Alt-Right fans took him to be a hero, but the intent is to mock (some people would be too stupid to realise that, or just revel in it anyway). The show had a laugh-track forced on it for US broadcast, against the creator’s wishes, but the DVD’s are mercifully laugh-track free, and it works beautifully well.

The scripts ranged from mocking the cliched plots and devices of many a cop show, but extreme (the Elvis Impersonator Killer is very funny) to getting on the verge of fantasy (at the end of season 1 a nuclear bomb goes off killing everyone in the show as a teaser for the network to renew a show they were about to kill off – it worked but they made the production drop the beautiful actual film quality recordings for a cheap, fuzzy, low-fi video substitute in season 2). The dialogue was witty and banter-full, and the guest actors to the small cast were many and varied: Adam Ant, Ray Walston (he of My Favorite Martian, another fave show of mine, and Paint Your Wagon/ South Pacific, among many), Armin Shimerman (DS9’s Quark), Brent Spiner (Data from Star Trek: TNG), Bernie Kopell (Get Smart), Clint Howard (brother of Ron, minor star of many a cult fave TV show and movie), Bill Bixby (the other My favorite Martian star, and the Incredible Hulk’s alter-ego on TV), and Davy Jones (The Monkees) – if there’s one thing I love it’s a great guest cast, and this show had great taste in picking them! Great fun!

an appreciation of the show

 

31. THE MARY TYLER MOORE SHOW (1970-77)

Mary Tyler Moore is pretty unknown these days, but once upon a time the star of the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie was a huge TV sitcom star, and along with her co-owning MTM production company husband, a veritable TV byword for quality, Emmy-award-winning, television. Mary first became famous as the dutiful housewife Laurie Petrie in the classy and highly-regarded early 60’s The Dick Van Dyke Show, which ran until 1966. Her own show, though, which was as well-written (still rated one of the greatest of all-time) was also groundbreaking – Mary was a single working-woman in her 30’s, the show based both on her home life and her working office life, and was the first to allow women the freedom not to be just housewives. Engaging and insecure, but kind and intelligent, the show worked as an ensemble show – James L. Brooks, Executive Producer and co-creator, crops up time and again in my list, proving it a great format – and the wackier-supporting cast were just brilliant.

For a start, Valerie Harper’s pushy, blunt, Jewish Rhoda Morgenstern was instantly popular (Mary’s best friend) and eventually spun-off into a successful sitcom of her own – you may know her screen sister better as Julie Kavner aka Marge Simpson. Mary’s landlord was the egotistical, superficial Phyllis Lindstrom, played by huge fave of mine Cloris Leachman, of many a great TV series and movie (see spin-off Phyllis lower-down the list). Mary’s boss was the loud, brash, but goodhearted Lou Grant, head of the TV newsroom on the local TV station who hired Mary as Producer cos she was cheap to hire and easy to push around (initially). Ed Asner is also a great an accomplished actor of TV and film, (see “Up”, “Roots” and his own drama-TV spin-off Lou Grant that took over the reigns as the sitcom ended. The same character in a serious setting (investigative journalism) that MTM show, like all the others, was quality.

Later characters replaced those in the spin-offs, but the greatest one was the fabulous Betty White as rival show host Sue Ann Nivens, a scheming, smiling, flirtatious, ruthless gem of a character (the template for Blanche in The Golden Girls, who White was initially set up to play before swapping with Rue McLanahan for empty-headed Rose). Sue Ann grabbed many of the one-liner insults, and Betty delivered them with just as much skill as she still does. Invite her to a celebrity roast at your risk! I first saw the show in Singapore as a 12-year-old and loved it throughout it’s run, I loved the melodic, wistful theme tune and credits, the cast, the characters, the scripts – at it’s best it was side-splitting, not least the award-winning episode featuring the death of station TV host Chuckles The Clown, where he is reported to have died while in a town parade dressed in a peanut costume. A rampaging elephant attempted to shell him… Just. Brilliant.

Tragically, the show remains largely unknown in the UK, where the BBC only showed series 1, bailing out just as it started to find it’s feet, and it was left for late-night ITV regional showings sporadically from 1975 to give it some airtime (spin-off Rhoda, for example, was much more successful on BBC2 from 1974 onwards). The final episode and the show itself, though, are much more revered in the USA. Quite rightly.

My September 1970 Charts

tanah merah exterior

122F Tanah Merah Besar – now under the new Changi Prison I think, tragically. Note no tree at the front of the house. By the time we left it was 2 or 3m tall. 

 

1st September 1970

1 year to the day since leaving for Singapore and Desmond Dekker tops my chart for a second week – when I left it was It Mek that I was just getting in to before cruelly not being able to hear it for another few years! This one though got some radio airplay. 2 new entries, Canadians The Poppy Family became better known as Terry Jacks – well, one of them did anyway. Bobby Bloom pops in with another Caribbean-flavoured song for 1970, following Mary Hopkin’s Temma Harbour.

1 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
2 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
3 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 5 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
6 ( 9 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
7 ( 8 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( 7 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
9 ( 6 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 11 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board

11 ( 10 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
12 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
14 ( 17 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
15 ( NEW ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
16 ( 14 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
17 ( NEW ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
18 ( 15 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
19 ( 16 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
20 ( 19 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin

 

8th September 1970

3 weeks on top for Desmond, 3 weeks at 2 for Hot Chocolate, 4 weeks at 3 for Bread… not much happening!

The Poppy Family leap into the top 5, and Bobby Bloom to 7, but the big news is THREE new entries, whooo! At 12, Jimmy Cliff’s lovely Cat Stevens cover is in, It’s A, It’s A, It’s A Wild World as Jonathan King covered it post-Pet Shop Boys not-guilty but not entirely dissimilar It’s A Sin. Holland-Dozier-Holland, ex-Motown Masterminds of brilliance (or Tamla Motown as we called the label in the UK in those days, let’s be accurate about it) set up their new label/production company Invictus – Chairmen Of The Board and Freda Payne were on it – cue the sheer brilliant Band Of Gold, a heart-rending tale of a newly-wed who’s husband isn’t up to the job on the wedding night, or thereafter. Gotta feel for her, what a rat! That leaves Three Dog Night, back with a Randy Newman cover. Like all their covers it’s not as good as the original. Or any other cover, though it’s a close call in this case with the Tom Jones and Stereophonics 90’s hit cover.

1 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
2 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
3 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 15 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
6 ( 8 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
7 ( 17 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
8 ( 7 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 10 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
10 ( 9 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies

11 ( 11 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
12 ( NEW ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
13 ( 14 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
14 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
15 ( NEW ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
16 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
17 ( 16 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
18 ( 20 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
19 ( 18 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
20 ( NEW ) MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME Three Dog Night

 

15th September 1970

There’s some actual chart movement as the Tremeloes enter at 1 with the fab stomping guitar-riffed Me And My Life, their only chart-topper, though I’d known the band for years – ironically this was pretty much their last fling as far as big hits were concerned, though they had further chart hits with me for another 4 years. Jimmy Cliff climbs to 6, his biggest hit here, and Diana Ross not only covers Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell’s song, she turns it into a monster dramatic ballad and gets her second solo hit. It’s an epic version that sets the template for the next 2 years of fab singles, and another 4 years of lesser singles before an abrupt change was called for.

2 metal classics enter at 15 and 20, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, both of them to chart again in 1980. Paranoid is the best of the two, and Deep Purple aren’t technically debuting as in my “retro” charts of 1967 and 1968 (ie ones I’m doing now to comprehensively survey the weekly music scenes of that era) they more or less charted as Episode Six (with Morning Dew) and also with a cover of Joe South’s Hush, a bigger hit for Kula Shaker into the future.

1 ( NEW ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
3 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 5 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
6 ( 12 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
7 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
8 ( NEW ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
9 ( 10 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 8 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel

11 ( 6 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
12 ( 15 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
13 ( 11 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
14 ( 9 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
15 ( NEW ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
16 ( 7 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
17 ( 14 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
18 ( 16 ) LOLA The Kinks
19 ( 13 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
20 ( NEW ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple

Life then…
A week or so into yet again playing the “new boy” at yet another school, this time RAF Changi Grammar, with my new brown leather school bag for all the extra books and work I had to do (much more homework at this school, so I had to up my game to do well, rather than just comfortably coast). I was in the second year, and fellow RAF Seletar transferee Stephen Mears joined at the same time, the two new boys in Mr Chapman’s form. My best friend at Seletar (Stephen Game) was sporty, so that the was the gang I hung in, new friend Stephen was more into chess – so that was the gang I hung in here. Suited me, as apart from running, rounders, volleyball, swimming, team games really didn’t agree with me, rugby and cricket in particular. Another new mate called Stephen (bit of a trend here!) who I knew from 2 terms at Seletar was also here, he was taller and a bit clumsy, not at all sporty, and also into chess and Snagglepuss impressions – so that was it really, I was in with what they called “the swots” in those days, rather than “one of the boys”. To be fair, though, there was very little bullying going on in either RAF school, which completely left me blissfully unaware of the reality of the average British non-forces Secondary Schools. Frankly one of the teachers was more scary…but that’s another tale.

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RAF Changi Grammar School, the building is still there. The art block is at the front near the road, the school hall just behind it. It had aircon! This was a step up from RAF Seletar Secondary Modern which still had outlying classrooms with no aircon and just room fans, some along the sports pitch, some on some land to the rear of the bus gathering area. My concentration wandered when I was sweating profusely. My form room was to the right of the entrance on the first floor I think, above the library which was adjacent the school hall. 

 

22nd September 1970

2 weeks on top for The Trems, as The Carpenters debut at with the Bacharach/David gem Close To You. Just. Gorgeous. Karen’s angelic voice just fit into Singapore culture and radio beautifully, being as it was regarded as “Easy Listening” as they called it in those days. Class, I call it. Ditto Simon & Garfunkel having the fourth top 10 off possibly the greatest album of all-time, which my neighbours had, and had loaned to dad to record the top tracks, including this definitive version – note not the UK hit version by Julie Felix. Freda Payne goes top 10, as I hadn’t actually rated it as highly as I do now.

1 ( 1 ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 2 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
3 ( NEW ) (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU The Carpenters
4 ( 8 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
5 ( NEW ) EL CONDOR PASA Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
7 ( 3 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
8 ( 6 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
9 ( 9 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 12 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne

11 ( 15 ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
12 ( 7 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
13 ( 5 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
14 ( 11 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
15 ( 13 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
16 ( 20 ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple
17 ( 17 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
18 ( 14 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
19 ( 16 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
20 ( 19 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams

Back at RAF Changi, it was getting to know the teachers and schoolmates, like outgoing and assertive Lee Kleinhans, a kid from South Africa, my best friend next-door was also there, in the first year, along with his older sister a couple of years up from me. Short Gary was likeable – the same couldn’t be said for the fearsome Mr Mynett, the Physics teacher, who put the fear of God into kids with his OTT Sgt-Major-styled methods – short and sharp in appearance and nature. Mr. Magnet we called him. Put me off Physics pretty much. I preferred the nice Biology teacher lady, though I am still waiting for an answer to a question I asked (I never asked questions in class) when she said all fruits had seeds and I asked about bananas. “I’ll tell you later” she said, and never did.

Kids remember these things!

 

29th September 1970

3 weeks on top for The Trems, rather amazingly their only chart-topper in my charts, even in my retrospective charts (I’ve started from January 1967 charting songs new to me and old to me, comprehensively top 50’s – and they don’t come close even though I loved them as a kid). The Carpenters are up to 2, and Simon & Garfunkel at 3 with the track covered by Julie Felix, and highest new entry is at 6 – The Archies are back with a minor US hit, and a track I adored at the time (taping it off their TV show) the joyous bubblegum of Sunshine, which deserves to be better known – or rather known at all. Written by Jeff Barry and Bobby Bloom, that’ll be Sugar Sugar and the chap at number 16 with the also-tropical-sounding Montego Bay.

Black Sabbath are a bit Paranoid at being leap-frogged by a cartoon band, but then they DID have their own cartoon character in Ozzy…. In at 17, the soul-funk powerful social commentary of The Temptations’ Ball Of Confusion, Chicago pop back in at 19, and in at 20 one of my recent raves Our World. Blue Mink were fab, but tend to be under-appreciated, quite unfairly as they had a variety of singles, all great quality – this track was written by Herbie Flowers, later of “Grandad” success and Walk On The Wild Side bassline fame, and Kenny Pickett. Madeline Bell did the original version of I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, pre-Diana Ross & Co, which has made my retro 1968 charts – see my wordpress popchartfreak account for those shortly.

1 ( 1 ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 3 ) (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU The Carpenters
3 ( 5 ) EL CONDOR PASA Simon And Garfunkel
4 ( 2 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
5 ( 4 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
6 ( NEW ) SUNSHINE The Archies
7 ( 11 ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
8 ( 10 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
9 ( 6 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
10 ( 7 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate

11 ( 8 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
12 ( 13 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
13 ( 12 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
14 ( 16 ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple
15 ( 15 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
16 ( 19 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
17 ( NEW ) BALL OF CONFUSION The Temptations
18 ( 18 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
19 ( RE ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
20 ( NEW ) OUR WORLD Blue Mink

My Retro October 1968 Charts

6th October 1968

It’s a brand new entry at 1, a second chart-topper for Diana Ross & The Supremes, last time it was the psychedelic drama of Reflections, this time it’s the social drama of Love Child, co-written by R. Dean Taylor, so his 3rd chart-topper as a songwriter. I adored this record over Xmas/New Year of 68/69 but it never topped my charts, peaking at 2. As the song that dethroned Hey Jude from the top of the USA charts I think keeping everything from the top in my chart is only appropriate, cos it’s still sheer brilliance.

The top end of my chart is so chocka-filled with classic faves most records are struggling to get a look-in to the upper echelons, but Billie Davis has given it a go with her Ellie Greenwich cover (it charted in 1967 in my last-year retro charts), it’s a terrific fresh-sounding song-with-a-rap from Billie herself – the video of her performing it is well-worth checking out (the one with DLT introducing), and it’s in at 17 the day after a Chinese Language cover of it featured in the film I saw yesterday: Crazy Rich Asians, largely set in wealthy Singapore. In the less-wealthy rented houses in Singapore where I lived a year later a radio fave was Glen Campbell’s version of Bobby Goldsboro’s The Straight Life, a great jaunty song, and the original enters at 45 while Glen’s album track cover of Mary In The Morning pops in lower.

New at 20, one of the all-time greatest TV themes, The Ventures’ hugely-exciting instrumental Hawaii Five-0, helped no end by the title sequence mix of exotic tropical locales, sharp, short edits, and clips of the cast – it was years ahead of it’s time, and the show ran for 12 years. By 1975 I’d been watching it for years and the single was back out in the UK where it duly made my charts then, not least because some of the title sequences reminded me of Singapore, which was undergoing full-blown nostalgia for me, then at the ripe old age of 17 harking back to the good old days.

Dion’s original version of the lament to the murders of some important political figures enters at 22, later covered by Marvin Gaye to UK success, and giving him a very different career resurgence years after the teen pop of The Wanderer and Runaraound Sue. Garage Rock from The Shadows Of Knight bounds into the 30, it’s new to me and great rocking, while The Royal Guardsmen drop Snoopy and take up covering The Rascals rather well, in at 41. The Easybeats enter at 74, years later a great hit cover for INXS and Jimmy Barnes, and at 75, it’s a 3rd Albert Hammond song in the chart (Leapy Lee, Quo and this one from British Band The Magic Lanterns who had American chart success).

1 ( NEW ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
2 ( 1 ) ELENORE The Turtles
3 ( 2 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
4 ( 3 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
5 ( 4 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
6 ( 8 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
7 ( 5 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
8 ( 10 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
9 ( 6 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
10 ( 7 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield

11 ( 9 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
12 ( 12 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
13 ( 16 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
14 ( 11 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
15 ( 13 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
16 ( 20 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
17 ( NEW ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
18 ( 15 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
19 ( 24 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
20 ( NEW ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures

21 ( 14 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
22 ( NEW ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
23 ( 19 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
24 ( 18 ) STREET FIGHTING MAN The Rolling Stones
25 ( 21 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
26 ( 22 ) CHAINED Marvin Gaye
27 ( 27 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
28 ( 17 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
29 ( 56 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
30 ( 34 ) QUICK JOEY SMALL (RUN JOEY RUN) The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus

31 ( 25 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
32 ( 26 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
33 ( 23 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
34 ( 36 ) ALFIE Stevie Wonder aka Eivets Rednow
35 ( 31 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
36 ( 28 ) NATURALLY STONED The Avant-Garde
37 ( 32 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
38 ( 38 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
39 ( 49 ) LALENA Donovan
40 ( 41 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark Five

41 ( NEW ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Rpyal Guardsmen
42 ( 29 ) ICE IN THE SUN Status Quo
43 ( 37 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
44 ( 33 ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Bobby Paris
45 ( NEW ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro
46 ( 55 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
47 ( 30 ) SWEET BLINDNESS The 5th Dimension
48 ( 57 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
49 ( 35 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Billie Davis
50 ( 46 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana

51 ( 45 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
52 ( 39 ) BANG-SHANG-A-LANG The Archies
53 ( 40 ) ONE INCH ROCK Tyrannosaurus Rex
54 ( NEW ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
55 ( 58 ) OPEN MY EYES Nazz featuring Todd Rundgren
56 ( 54 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
57 ( 53 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
58 ( 43 ) LITTLE ARROWS Leapy Lee
59 ( NEW ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
60 ( 70 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard

61 ( 51 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
62 ( 63 ) THE CHOICE The O’Jays
63 ( 42 ) BREAK YOUR PROMISE The Delfonics
64 ( 61 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
65 ( 66 ) GREENBURG, GLICKSTEIN, CHARLES, DAVID SMITH & JONES The Cryan’ Shames
66 ( 52 ) HIGH IN THE SKY Amen Corner
67 ( 60 ) MY NAME IS JACK Manfred Mann
68 ( 47 ) GIRL WATCHER The O’Kaysions
69 ( 71 ) HEARTACHE Roy Orbison
70 ( 72 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers

71 ( 44 ) WHO IS GOING TO LOVE ME Dionne Warwick
72 ( 73 ) CHEWY CHEWY Ohio Express
73 ( 64 ) A LITTLE LESS CONVERSATION Elvis Presley
74 ( NEW ) GOOD TIMES The Easybeats
75 ( NEW ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns

6th Oct Retro-Then
1 ( 1 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
3 ( 14 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4 ( 5 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
5 ( 3 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark 5
6 ( 6 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
7 ( 9 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
8 ( 4 ) LITTLE ARROWS Leapy Lee
9 ( 12 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
10 ( 19 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles

11 ( 7 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
12 ( 17 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
13 ( 10 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
14 ( 11 ) GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
15 ( 8 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
16 ( 15 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
17 ( 13 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
18 ( 16 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
19 ( NEW ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
20 ( 20 ) HIGH IN THE SKY Amen Corner

 

13th October 1968

It’s 2 weeks on top for Love Child, just an epic soul melodrama. If there’s one consistent thing I love about 1968 pop, it’s the high drama, and there’s another on the way next week. Cupid’s Inspiration make it 2 consecutive top 5’s, as the Moody Blues get a 3rd of the year, and Dave Dee & Co make it 3 top 10’s. Graham Bonnet gets his first ever top 10, and The Bee Gees add to their top 10 songs, via The Marbles’ Only One Woman. Oddly enough playing marbles was a huge fave activity at that time, with other RAF kids. My faves were those with 3 colours, smaller than the usual ones. Nothing better than going home with multi-coloured new marbles you’d won. Horrible going home having lost your faves.

Highest new entry is the Nina Simone classic “Hair” cover, Ain’t Got No…I Got Life, which topped my original charts in late ’68, then lay forgotten for decades by the whole world till a 21st century remix of a different recording by Nina with different lyrics took off. That version was upbeat and annoying after a while. Give me the emotive original any day. Dion goes top 20 – he’d be back in 1976 with The Wanderer reissue, though. Ennio Morricone’s original score for The Good The Bad & The Ugly enters at 24, Hugo Montenegro’s catchier pop version already having gone top 10 earlier in the year, as The Four Tops keep up the top 30’s, and Johnny Johnson brings his Bandwagon to a Northern Soul debut at 31.

Talking of Northern Soul, Gene Chandler covers James Brown well, lower down the chart, The Locomotive’s fab reggae gem pops in at 47, Mama Cass’ dramatic California Earthquake shakes in at 52, Dionne Warwick and Elvis both replace themselves in the top 75, one with a Bacharach tune one with a standard gospel cover – no prizes for guessing which is which. That leaves funky Johnny Taylor and spaced-out Monkees and porpoises to round things off.

1 ( 1 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
2 ( 2 ) ELENORE The Turtles
3 ( 3 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
4 ( 6 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
5 ( 8 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
6 ( 4 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
7 ( 5 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
8 ( 7 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
9 ( 16 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
10 ( 19 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet

11 ( 9 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
12 ( 10 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
13 ( 17 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
14 ( 11 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
15 ( 12 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
16 ( NEW ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
17 ( 22 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
18 ( 13 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
19 ( 15 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
20 ( 20 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures

21 ( 14 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
22 ( 29 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
23 ( 18 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
24 ( NEW ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
25 ( 27 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
26 ( 26 ) CHAINED Marvin Gaye
27 ( 23 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
28 ( 25 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
29 ( 21 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
30 ( 46 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops

31 ( NEW ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
32 ( 39 ) LALENA Donovan
33 ( 24 ) STREET FIGHTING MAN The Rolling Stones
34 ( 45 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro
35 ( 31 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
36 ( 32 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
37 ( 41 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Rpyal Guardsmen
38 ( 33 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
39 ( 54 ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
40 ( 35 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor

41 ( 28 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
42 ( 48 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
43 ( 34 ) ALFIE Stevie Wonder aka Eivets Rednow
44 ( 37 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
45 ( 60 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard
46 ( 30 ) QUICK JOEY SMALL (RUN JOEY RUN) The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus
47 ( NEW ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
48 ( 43 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
49 ( 59 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
50 ( 38 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck

51 ( 36 ) NATURALLY STONED The Avant-Garde
52 ( NEW ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
53 ( 42 ) ICE IN THE SUN Status Quo
54 ( 70 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers
55 ( 50 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
56 ( 51 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
57 ( 69 ) HEARTACHE Roy Orbison
58 ( 44 ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Bobby Paris
59 ( 40 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark Five
60 ( 56 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert

61 ( 49 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Billie Davis
62 ( 62 ) THE CHOICE The O’Jays
63 ( 57 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
64 ( 75 ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns
65 ( 65 ) GREENBURG, GLICKSTEIN, CHARLES, DAVID SMITH & JONES The Cryan’ Shames
66 ( 47 ) SWEET BLINDNESS The 5th Dimension
67 ( NEW ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
68 ( 64 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
69 ( 61 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
70 ( 72 ) CHEWY CHEWY Ohio Express

71 ( NEW ) THE PORPOISE SONG The Monkees
72 ( 74 ) GOOD TIMES The Easybeats
73 ( NEW ) PROMISES PROMISES Dionne Warwick
74 ( NEW ) YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE Elvis Presley
75 ( NEW ) WHO’S MAKING LOVE Johnny Taylor

 

20th October 1968

It’s straight in on top for Barry Ryan and his brother Paul’s epic Eloise. It was a great arrangement in more ways than one: Paul gave up the pop life, Barry got centre stage, and Paul wrote some great songs. Eloise is Epic with a capital E, histrionic, lush, dramatic and full-bodied. Much as I loved The Damned version, this one is the bees-knees and should be regarded as a classic. Talking of classics, Glen Campbell’s timeless Jim Webb song Wichita Lineman enters at 3, an atmospheric evocative laid-back and emotional lush brilliance, a perfect record. Such is the quality of records that another epic, albeit a two-year-old Motown minor hit come back to the dancefloors, has to settle for 5: The Isley Brothers brilliant This Old Heart Of Mine (Is Weak For You) is still one of the most exciting 60’s tracks to dance to, frantic, urgent, beats-galore with a passionate vocal from Ronald Isley and a Holland-Dozier-Holland song on the top of their game. Covered by many, not least 2 dull efforts from Rod Stewart (one of them drafting in Ronald Isley himself), nothing can touch the genius of the original.

Eloise topped my chart originally in November 1968, Nina Simone did it a few weeks later but has to settle now for 9, as Ennio’s original Spaghetti Western theme version hits the top 10, a la Hugo Montenegro, cos I love both versions. A classic I associate with Singapore 1970 (it was a UK hit that year and got radio play over there) enters early for Judy Collins at 22, and her fab version of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. Pretty, and touching, still. Glen did a great cover in 1970 too. Stevie drops his pseudonym for For Once In My Life, a jazzed-up version with a bit of life to it (in contrast to Jackie Wilson’s version also in the US charts), at 34.

Others new to the chart: Marmalade back with another tuneful ballad; Tammy Wynette’s monster 1975 country ballad turns up 7 years early in the US charts for her 2nd 1975 hit of the year, and she’s still standing by her anthem. It’s a good’un but I’ll take her standing by the JAMM’s anyday. That Olympic-themed ballad enters, one I loved at the time, but not quite so much these days, Long John Baldry and Mexico. That was the first Olympics I remember watching (I was aware of the theme tune to the Tokyo Olympics, and loved it, but the games themselves didn’t stick in my memory like the Mexico games). A good Clarence Carter track enters, new to me, ditto yet another Gamble & Huff Peaches & Herb collaboration, and for old times sake as I loved Val Doonican back in the day, one of his more lacklustre country ballads taking up the weight of those above in the top 75.

1 ( NEW ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 1 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
3 ( NEW ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
4 ( 3 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
5 ( NEW ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
6 ( 2 ) ELENORE The Turtles
7 ( 4 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
8 ( 5 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues
9 ( 16 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
10 ( 24 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone

11 ( 7 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
12 ( 6 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
13 ( 8 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
14 ( 11 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
15 ( 12 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
16 ( 9 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
17 ( 17 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
18 ( 10 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
19 ( 15 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
20 ( 14 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon

21 ( 13 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
22 ( NEW ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
23 ( 19 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
24 ( 21 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
25 ( 23 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
26 ( 18 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
27 ( 20 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
28 ( 30 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
29 ( 31 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
30 ( 32 ) LALENA Donovan

31 ( 22 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
32 ( 28 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
33 ( 27 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
34 ( NEW ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
35 ( 45 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard
36 ( 29 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
37 ( 37 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
38 ( 25 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
39 ( 39 ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
40 ( 49 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas

41 ( 35 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
42 ( 42 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
43 ( 36 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
44 ( 47 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
45 ( 34 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro
46 ( 40 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
47 ( 52 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
48 ( 33 ) STREET FIGHTING MAN The Rolling Stones
49 ( 38 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
50 ( 26 ) CHAINED Marvin Gaye

51 ( 44 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
52 ( 54 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers
53 ( 48 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
54 ( NEW ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
55 ( 41 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
56 ( NEW ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
57 ( 57 ) HEARTACHE Roy Orbison
58 ( 55 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
59 ( 56 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
60 ( 67 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler

61 ( 51 ) NATURALLY STONED The Avant-Garde
62 ( 43 ) ALFIE Stevie Wonder aka Eivets Rednow
63 ( 60 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
64 ( 64 ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns
65 ( NEW ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
66 ( 53 ) ICE IN THE SUN Status Quo
67 ( 46 ) QUICK JOEY SMALL (RUN JOEY RUN) The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus
68 ( 71 ) THE PORPOISE SONG The Monkees
69 ( 63 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
70 ( 50 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck

71 ( 73 ) PROMISES PROMISES Dionne Warwick
72 ( 75 ) WHO’S MAKING LOVE Johnny Taylor
73 ( NEW ) TOO WEAK TO FIGHT Clarence Carter
74 ( NEW ) LET’S MAKE A PROMISE Peaches And Herb
75 ( NEW ) IF I KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW Val Doonican

retro 70’s
1 ( 1 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
3 ( 3 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4 ( 10 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
5 ( 6 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
6 ( 7 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
7 ( 9 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
8 ( 4 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
9 ( 12 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
10 ( 5 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark 5

11 ( 8 ) LITTLE ARROWS Leapy Lee
12 ( 14 ) GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
13 ( 13 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
14 ( 11 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
15 ( 15 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
16 ( 19 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
17 ( 16 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
18 ( 17 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
19 ( NEW ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
20 ( NEW ) ELOISE Barry Ryan

 

27th October 1968

It’s a second week on top for the epic Barry Ryan, holding off a 5-way challenge from 5 other very deserving shoulda-been chart-toppers. Ennio meanwhile does as well as Hugo’s cover did a few months back, with Judy Collins and The Ventures being held out of the top 10 by virtue of sheer brilliance above them. Mama Cass gets a second solo top 40, and Tammy Wynette grabs a first 7 years earlier than she did in my actual 1975 charts.

In a quiet week for new releases worth charting, it became time to scour the album charts, hence a sudden mini-invasion of musicals extracts that deserve attention, notably Barbra Streisand’s showtune stormer Don’t Rain On My Parade from Funny Girl. saw it at the pictures in 1969/70 at one or other RAF cinema, and dad bought the 4-track EP containing this track in Singapore in 1970. I wasn’t so fussed about the ballads, like People, but this one was a fabbie, and so in at 49.

Close behind at 53, Edwin Starr is back with his stonking 25 Miles – a future big part of the Cookie Crew’s 1989 smash Got To Keep On. Betty Everett’s oldie charts in the UK for some reason, a good 23 years or so before Cher blasted it into pieces, and 7 years before Linda Lewis did the definitive disco version of It’s In His Kiss (note no Shoop Shoop’s in that fab version). Ronnie Dyson debuts as one of the teenage leads in Hair, off Broadway, 3 years ahead of his own UK chart hit, and 1 year ahead of the US chart-topping superior version of Aquarius by The Fifth Dimension. Booker T & The MG’s fancy up Hang ‘Em High, much as Hugo Montenegro already did earlier in the year, giving Ennio Morricone a second chart song this week. Finally, it’s Malcolm Roberts at 75, fort some reason I was a big fan of May I Have The Next Dream’s 1930’s stylee crooning at the time – as will be shown by the actual 1930’s Donald Peers in 1969 which I also loved. Neither of them are tracks I would choose to play these days, but for old time’s sake….in at 75.

1 ( 1 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
2 ( 3 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
3 ( 2 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
4 ( 5 ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE (IS WEAK FOR YOU) The Isley Brothers
5 ( 10 ) THEME FROM THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Ennio Morricone
6 ( 9 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 4 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
8 ( 7 ) MY WORLD Cupid’s Inspiration
9 ( 6 ) ELENORE The Turtles
10 ( 8 ) RIDE MY SEE-SAW The Moody Blues

11 ( 22 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
12 ( 27 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
13 ( 11 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
14 ( 13 ) REVOLUTION The Beatles
15 ( 17 ) ABRAHAM, MARTIN AND JOHN Dion
16 ( 14 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
17 ( 15 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
18 ( 21 ) I WANT YOU TO BE MY BABY Billie Davis
19 ( 12 ) ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER The Jimi Hendrix Experience
20 ( 19 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark

21 ( 18 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles featuring Graham Bonnet
22 ( 29 ) BREAKIN’ DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
23 ( 16 ) WRECK OF THE “ANTOINETTE” Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
24 ( 23 ) I SAY A LITTLE PRAYER Aretha Franklin
25 ( 28 ) I’M IN A DIFFERENT WORLD The Four Tops
26 ( 25 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
27 ( 24 ) WITHOUT HER Jack Jones
28 ( 20 ) (THE LAMENT OF THE CHEROKEE) INDIAN RESERVATION Don Fardon
29 ( 26 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes
30 ( 34 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder

31 ( 35 ) MARIANNE Cliff Richard
32 ( 54 ) WAIT FOR ME MARIANNE Marmalade
33 ( 47 ) CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE Mama Cass
34 ( 37 ) BABY LET’S WAIT The Royal Guardsmen
35 ( 40 ) HOOKED ON A FEELING B. J. Thomas
36 ( 32 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
37 ( 33 ) JESAMINE The Casuals
38 ( 44 ) RUDI’S IN LOVE The Locomotive
39 ( 42 ) LISTEN TO ME The Hollies
40 ( 56 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette

41 ( 31 ) SHAKE The Shadows Of Knight
42 ( 30 ) LALENA Donovan
43 ( 36 ) OVER YOU Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
44 ( 41 ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
45 ( 39 ) MARY IN THE MORNING Glen Campbell
46 ( 52 ) SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME Max Frost & The Troopers
47 ( 43 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
48 ( 46 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
49 ( NEW ) DON’T RAIN ON MY PARADE Barbra Streisand
50 ( 38 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker

51 ( 45 ) THE STRAIGHT LIFE Bobby Goldsboro
52 ( 60 ) THERE WAS A TIME Gene Chandler
53 ( NEW ) TWENTY FIVE MILES Edwin Starr
54 ( 49 ) HARPER VALLEY P.T.A Jeannie C. Riley
55 ( 65 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
56 ( 57 ) HEARTACHE Roy Orbison
57 ( 53 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
58 ( 51 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
59 ( 64 ) SHAME SHAME The Magic Lanterns
60 ( 48 ) STREET FIGHTING MAN The Rolling Stones

61 ( 58 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
62 ( 59 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
63 ( 68 ) THE PORPOISE SONG The Monkees
64 ( 50 ) CHAINED Marvin Gaye
65 ( 63 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
66 ( 71 ) PROMISES PROMISES Dionne Warwick
67 ( 55 ) A DAY WITHOUT LOVE The Love Affair
68 ( NEW ) IT’S IN HIS KISS (THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG) Betty Everett
69 ( NEW ) AQUARIUS (FROM “HAIR” ORIGINAL BROADWAY ALBUM) Ronnie Dyson
70 ( 72 ) WHO’S MAKING LOVE Johnny Taylor

71 ( NEW ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Booker T & The MG’s
72 ( 73 ) TOO WEAK TO FIGHT Clarence Carter
73 ( 61 ) NATURALLY STONED The Avant-Garde
74 ( 74 ) LET’S MAKE A PROMISE Peaches And Herb
75 ( NEW ) MAY I HAVE THE NEXT DREAM WITH YOU Malcolm Roberts

what I liked then via a retro chart compiled mid-70’s
1 ( 1 ) THOSE WERE THE DAYS Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) JEZAMINE The Casuals
3 ( 4 ) ONLY ONE WOMAN The Marbles
4 ( 9 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
5 ( 3 ) THE WRECK OF THE ANTOINETTE Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
6 ( 6 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
7 ( 5 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
8 ( 7 ) LES BICYCLETTES DE BELSIZE Engelbert Humperdinck
9 ( 20 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan
10 ( 8 ) MY LITTLE LADY The Tremeloes

11 ( 16 ) WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS Joe Cocker
12 ( 19 ) MEXICO Long John Baldry
13 ( 12 ) GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
14 ( 10 ) THE RED BALLOON The Dave Clark 5
15 ( NEW ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
16 ( 14 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
17 ( NEW ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
18 ( 13 ) HOLD ME TIGHT Johnny Nash
19 ( 11 ) LITTLE ARROWS Leapy Lee
20 ( 15 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams