Pirates Of The Carabina – Poole Lighthouse May 31st 2014

 

Just a short review this time, just caught this show and was pleasantly impressed. I had no idea what the show was about but the blurbs call it a circus show, which I think trivialises it a bit (though it’s the sort of act that circuses have had in the past). It’s more athletic performance art, a bit of comedy, a bit of presentation and a lot of varied and pretty good singing and assorted musicians. To be more accurate, it’s a number of performers dabbling professionally in a variety of the arts, and doing it very well.

 

They acrobatic performers, it has to be said, are very fit, male and female both, some of the positions they get into make my body ache just thinking about it… Excellent stuff, go see it.

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My 1999 Charts – May

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May 1999

Lotsa chart-toppers, Texas get yet another week and hit number one with In Our Lifetime, then Fatboy Slim get their only number one…and it’s not Praise You, it’s Right Here Right Now, a fabulous insistent dance track. Still sounds great, and it’s Norman Cook’s only number one as an artist. Aaaahhh. Director Baz Luhrmann though manages to give good advice (Wear Sunscreen) and tops both the Uk and my charts. It’s not music, of course, except incidentally, but it’s got that certain appealing something. Makes a change from films. Finally, Shania Twain takes a great country song and turns it all dancepop, and turns out a winner. Her best record by far, and 2 weeks on top this month. I suspect there might be more in June though….!

Other big toons? Bryan Adams, The Pretenders back with a greta single (Human) which peaks at 4. if it seems like The Pretenders feature in a lot of May chart Top 10’s, well, they do! Go figure, Chrissie Hynde was in May 2014 Top 10 as well. She’s very obviously regular as clockwork. Jamiroquai are back with a great disco hit (Canned Heat). Not sure what they were labelling them as at the time dancemusic wise, but it’s disco, trust me. Shania does poor Sixpence None The Richer a disservice – holding them at 2, a shame as Kiss Me is a great pop record, but it never managed to overhaul Ms Twain. Never the Twain shall meet, obviously. Sorry!

Backstreet Boys, meanwhile, want it That Way. I always suspected that to be the case, and it’s a great pop song hitting 5. PJ Harvey pops up with an instant Top 10 (The Wind), Sugar Ray’s catchy US hit crosses over to the UK and my number 4, and ditto Everlast, with the fab What It’s Like at 2. I was more into American rock than Britrock, possibly due to the number of florida holidays I was enjoying at the time (it was my escape from problems) and the TV and radio overdosing while there. One UK band I DID like though was Travis, Driftwood at 10, a melody to kill for. I was in Florida this month, I can confirm, cos Jennifer Lopez debuts inside my Top 20 – I bought the CD single of If You Had My Love in Florida – and begin an on-off chart relationship between us for the next 15 years. She’s on again at the moment, with Wisin and Ricky Martin.

NOTE: numbers after artist are the chart positions for month of May from the date listed

2nd May 1999 Chart

IN OUR LIFETIME Texas 1 2 5 5 8
SOS Abba 2 3 7 11 15
RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW Fatboy Slim 3 1 3 3 3
THAT’S ME/ DANCING QUEEN Abba 4 11 19 25 36
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE New Radicals 5 9 16 16 21
WHY DON’T YOU GET A JOB Offspring 6 10 15 15 22
PERFECT MOMENT Martine McCutcheon 7 13 22 28 55
CLOUD #9 Bryan Adams 8 4 11 12 12
I’M A MARIONETTE Abba 9 19 34 57
SHOULD I LAUGH OR CRY Abba 10 17 25 32 41

THAT DON’T IMPRESS ME MUCH Shania Twain 11 5 2 1 1
DEAD FROM THE WAIST DOWN Catatonia 12 18 23 31 39
BABY ONE MORE TIME Britney Spears 13 16 24 29 26
EVERYBODY’S FREE (TO WEAR SUNSCREEN) Baz Luhrmann 14 7 1 6 16
THE TRAIN IS COMING UB40 15 25 52
YOU DON’T KNOW ME Armand Van Helden 16 21 31 36 44
THE VISITORS Abba 17 30 46 58
HUMAN Pretenders 18 6 4 9 7
FLOWERZ Armand Van Helden/ Roland Clark 19 28 53
CANNED HEAT Jamiroquai 20 15 13 13 9

THE PIPER Abba 21 44
NO SCRUBS TLC 22 35 41 41 31
HONEY HONEY/ RING RING (original) Abba 23 39 54 68
STRONG Robbie Williams 24 27 39 60
IT’S NOT RIGHT BUT IT’S OK Whitney Houston 25 26 36 55
BEAT MAMA Cast 26 14 21 27 50
ERASE/REWIND Cardigans 27 31 42 46 46
MY NAME IS.. Eminem 28 41 73
THE ANIMAL SONG Savage Garden 29 20 18 18 32
BLAME IT ON THE WEATHERMAN B*Witched 30 52

SATELLITE OF LOVE Lou Reed 31 38 47 52 56
SHOWER YOUR LOVE Kula Shaker 32 32 12 17 23
WISH I COULD FLY Roxette 33 47
I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU Abba 34 48
EL PARAISO RICO Deetah 35 51
CAN’T TAKE MY EYES../MUSIC TO WATCH../IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams 36 45 49 53 53
LOVE OF A LIFETIME Honeyz 37 64
KISS ME Sixpence None The Richer 38 22 8 4 2
LULLABY Shawn Mullins 39 49 51 51 51
ALL NIGHT LONG Faith Evans/ Puff Daddy 40 58

MADE IT BACK ’99 Beverley Knight 41 53
CALIFORNIA DREAMING/MONDAY MONDAY The Mamas & The Papas 42 42 43 43 40
BORN TO BE WILD Steppenwolf 43 43 44 44 27
111 WISHES Terrorvision 44 23 45 18
WONDROUS PLACE Billy Fury 45 33 33 49
RED ALERT Basement Jaxx 46 34 56
LA MUSICA Ruff Driverz Present Arrola 47
HURT ME SO BAD Lulu 48 65
SWEAR IT AGAIN Westlife 49 57
BE ALONE NO MORE Another Level 50

GIRLFRIEND/BOYFRIEND Blackstreet/ Janet jackson 51
BOYS OF SUMMER Don Henley 52 54 55 56 58
FLY AWAY Lenny Kravitz 53 50 63 63
TURN AROUND Phats & Small 54
BLOSSOMS FALLING Ooberman 55
AS George Michael/ Mary J. Blige 56 62
I WANT IT THAT WAY Backstreet Boys 57 12 10 8 5
LOVE ON LOVE Candi Staton 58
GEORGIE PORGIE Eric Benet/ Faith Evans 59
WILD WOOD Paul Weller 60 60 64 66 68

BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Foundations 61 63 67 69 72
BRING MY FAMILY BACK Faithless 62 61
EX-FACTOR Lauryn Hill 63 68 66 74
TABOO Glamma Kid/ Shola Ama 64
STRONG ENOUGH Cher 65 50 62
BADDER BADDER SCHWING Freddie Fresh/ Fatboy Slim 66
BELIEVE Cher 67 75 75 71 64
WHAT’S IT GONNA BE? Busta Rhymes/ Janet Jackson 68 36 58
YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVING FEELING Righteous Brothers 69 69 69 42 37
ANGELS Robbie Williams 70 72

HONEY TO THE BEE Billie 71
WITCH DOCTOR Cartoons 72
WATERLOO (Swedish version) Abba 73
KOREAN BODEGA Fun Lovin’ Criminals 74 37 60
TEQUILA Terrorvision 75

9th May New Entries

THE WIND P.J.Harvey 8 14 24 38
MA BAKER – SOMEBODY SCREAMED Boney M vs Horny United 24 26 38 54
GET IT ON Phoebe One 29 27 47
WILD WILD WEST Will Smith 40 29 20 20
EVERY MORNING Sugar Ray 46 9 7 4
SWEET LIKE CHOCOLATE Shanks & Bigfoot 50 40 40 28
PUMPING ON YOUR STEREO Supergrass 55 35 35 24
RUN ON Moby 56
YOU LOOK SO FINE Garbage 59
PRIVATE NUMBER 911″ 66 48 67 67
LOOK AT ME Geri Halliwell 67 37 64 57
YOU NEEDED ME Boyzone 70 70 70
WHAT YOU NEED Powerhouse/ Duane Harden 71 71
DISCO DOWN Shed Seven 73 20 21 25
PICK A PART THAT’S NEW Stereophonics 74

16th May New Entries

WHAT IT’S LIKE Everlast 6 2 6
IT’S ALL BEEN DONE Barenaked Ladies 17 26 35
LUV ME LUV ME Shaggy/ Janet Jackson 28 14 19
MILLENIUM Robbie Williams 30 22 43
OUT OF MY HEAD Fastball 32 10 13
PRAISE YOU Fatboy Slim 38 23 42
ALL I HAVE TO GIVE (Remix) Backstreet Boys 57
ALL BOUT THE MONEY Meja 59 59 70
SHE WANTS YOU Billie 61 48 61
BLUE MONDAY Orgy 62 65 69
HARMLESS Mulberry Lane 63 37 45
BETTER DAYS (AND THE BOTTOM DROPS OUT) Citizen King 65
DRIFTWOOD Travis 68 10
BYE BYE BABY TQ 72
WAIT TILL I GET HOME C-Note 74 54 49

23rd May New Entries

IF YOU HAD MY LOVE Jennifer Lopez 19 17
BEAUTIFUL STRANGER Madonna 30 11
NO MATTER WHAT Boyzone 33 52
I DRIVE MYSELF CRAZY N-Sync 34 34
LIVIN LA VIDA LOCA Ricky Martin 39 14
HEARTBREAK HOTEL Whitney Houston, Faith Evans, Kelly Price 45 29
1999 Prince 61 47
SPECIAL Pretenders 62
ANYTHING BUT DOWN Sheryl Crow 72
WE LIKE TO PARTY (THE VENGABUS) Venga Boys 73 66
SOMETIMES Britney Spears 75 74

30th May New Entries

GIVE IT TO ME Jordan Knight 30
TEARING UP MY HEART N-Sync 33
LOUIE LOUIE Three Amigos 48
BYE BYE BABY TQ 59
SAY IT AGAIN Precious 60
SAD EYES Bruce Springsteen 65
BUSES AND TRAINS Bacholer Girl 71
ALL STARS Smashmouth 73
THE HARDEST PART 98degrees 75

My 1994 Charts – May

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colegraves visit..

1st May 1994

After 3 weeks at 2, Pet Shop Boys finally overhaul the Bee Gees with the gorgeous Liberation, 4th Number One in a row from Very. I saw a 3D version of the video at the much-hated IMAX building in Bournemouth (years later), which was pretty amazing – if you’ve never seen it check it out, awesome. Up to 4, The Pretenders most-touching ballad, a truly great record and sentiment. Prince getting to 6, and then it’s all about a deluge of new entries headed by 2 world music follow-ups, Deep Forest at 12 and Enigma at 13, sounding much like the previous ones, but still good.

Other genres? Dance at 17 from Gloworm, slacker-rock from Red Hot Chili Peppers at 25 (the revered Under The Bridge), jazz funk from Level 42 at 24, big ballad from the always-there Wet Wet Wet cover of the Troggs great original at 35. As opposed to grate. MOR from la Streisand at 59 (Lloyd-webber, I think), Blur kick-starting Britpop proper with album track Parklife popping in at 61, and what a classic it is, still fresh. Eternal, as opposed to the group who somehow slide in at 65.

1 ( 2 ) LIBERATION Pet Shop Boys
2 ( 1 ) HOW TO FALL IN LOVE The Bee Gees
3 ( 3 ) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY The Proclaimers
4 ( 11 ) I’LL STAND BY YOU The Pretenders
5 ( 4 ) SWEETS FOR MY SWEET C.J. Lewis
6 ( 10 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Prince
7 ( 5 ) MMM MMM MMM MMM Crash Test Dummies
8 ( 6 ) ALWAYS Erasure
9 ( 12 ) THE REAL THING Tony Di Bart
10 ( 8 ) THE SIGN Ace Of Base

11 ( 7 ) UR THE BEST THING (REMIX) D:Ream
12 ( NEW ) DEEP FOREST Deep Forset
13 ( NEW ) THE EYES OF TRUTH Enigma
14 ( 9 ) STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA Bruce Springsteen
15 ( 47 ) WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW Nick Green
16 ( 36 ) SILENT SCREAM Richard Marx
17 ( NEW ) CARRY ME HOME Gloworm
18 ( 13 ) WHISPERING YOUR NAME Alison Moyet
19 ( 19 ) LUCKY LUCKY ME Marvin Gaye
20 ( 25 ) THE RED SHOES Kate Bush

21 ( 27 ) ROCK MY HEART Haddaway
22 ( 14 ) WITHOUT YOU Nilsson
23 ( 17 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE Bitty McLean
24 ( NEW ) ALL OVER YOU Level 42
25 ( NEW ) UNDER THE BRIDGE Red Hot Chili Peppers
26 ( 18 ) I’LL REMEMBER Madonna
27 ( 15 ) OBLIVION Terrorvision
28 ( NEW ) DREAMS The Cranberries
29 ( 20 ) YOU GOTTA BE Des’ree
30 ( 16 ) SORRY BUT I’M GONNA HAVE TO PASS The Coasters

31 ( 33 ) 100% PURE LOVE Crystal Waters
32 ( 22 ) RETURN TO INNOCENCE Enigma
33 ( NEW ) BECOMING MORE LIKE GOD Jah Wobbles Invaders Of The Heart
34 ( 23 ) ROCKS Primal Scream
35 ( NEW ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND Wet Wet Wet
36 ( NEW ) MR JONES Counting Crows
37 ( 43 ) WE WAIT AND WE WONDER Phil Collins
38 ( 38 ) CRAZY Bob Geldof
39 ( 32 ) SHAPES THAT GO TOGETHER a-ha
40 ( 60 ) LONELY SYMPHONY (WE WILL BE FREE) Frances Ruffelle

41 ( 65 ) MISLED Celine Dion
42 ( 31 ) PRETTY GOOD YEAR Tori Amos
43 ( 24 ) WORLD IN YOUR HANDS Culture Beat
44 ( 26 ) GIRLS AND BOYS Blur
45 ( 21 ) ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG (REMIX) Toni Braxton
46 ( 35 ) WONDERFUL LIFE Black
47 ( NEW ) UNIFORM The Inspiral Carpets
48 ( 39 ) BACK IN MY ARMS Joe Roberts
49 ( NEW ) BIG GAY HEART The Lemonheads
50 ( 45 ) STOP LOVING ME STOP LOVING YOU Daryl Hall

51 ( 40 ) HOW GEE Black Machine
52 ( 29 ) BROTHER SISTER Urban Species
53 ( 28 ) KEEP GIVIN’ ME LOVE Ce Ce Peniston
54 ( 51 ) WE WILL ROCK YOU Queen
55 ( 49 ) FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The Bee Gees
56 ( 46 ) DOOP Doop
57 ( 30 ) I LIKE 2 MOVE IT Reel 2 Real
58 ( 58 ) DANCING QUEEN/ EAGLE Abba
59 ( NEW ) AS IF WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE Barbra Streisand
60 ( 64 ) EVERYTHING CHANGES Take That

61 ( NEW ) PARKLIFE Blur
62 ( 61 ) 20th CENTURY BOY T.Rex
63 ( 48 ) I’LL WAIT Taylor Dayne
64 ( 66 ) AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING Elton John and Mareclla Detroit
65 ( NEW ) JUST A STEP FROM HEAVEN Eternal
66 ( 63 ) GO WEST Pet Shop Boys
67 ( 55 ) LOVER Joe Roberts
68 ( 67 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’/ EBB TIDE The Righteous Brothers
69 ( 68 ) HEY JUDE/ REVOLUTION The Beatles
70 ( NEW ) COME ON YOU REDS Manchester United Football Club and Status Quo

71 ( NEW ) AROUND THE WORLD East 17
72 ( 34 ) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR Honky
73 ( NEW ) LIGHT MY FIRE Clubhouse
74 ( NEW ) IT WILL BE YOU Paul Young
75 ( NEW ) 13 STEPS LEAD ON Elvis Costello

 

8th May 1994

Back up at 1 for a 4th and final week, the Bee Gees, with Enigma getting to 2 trying for a 3rd Number One. Straight in is classic 80‘s oldie, Grace Jones Slave To The Rhythm going Top 10 for the second time (1985 being the first). New act Nick Green never got any further in any chart other than Top 10 in my chart, which is basically James Blunt/Nick Drake vocally and it’s sweeping strings-tastic. Writes music for TV shows now I think. Highest new entry proper is Judy Cheeks at 12, a bit of gospel diva dance. Great singer.

Phil Collins suddenly jumps to 13 with a pleasant ballad, Crystal Waters gets a second Top 20 hit, and TV advert theme tune Inside from grunge-rock act Stiltskin shoot in at 23. Those riffs were fantastic. Eurovision time? That’ll be Frances Ruffelle at 28 then, one of the UK’s best 90’s entries. Classic oldie Listen To The Music is back 20 years on, remixed of course at 29 as per recent Doobies hits. Baby I Love Your way is back for the third time – reggae this time, and probably the best cover of it since Peter Frampton’s original 1976 hit.

Jah Wobble, of Public Image Limited fame, is at 22 with indie-reaggae and featuring vocalist Anneli Drecker, who charted last year with a great oldie in my charts from a few years back. Jon Secada’s back, The Lemonheads are back with a big gay (country) heart at 39 and some lyrics not radio-friendly, and Elvis Costello is never far away from my charts, here at 49 steppin up.
1 ( 2 ) HOW TO FALL IN LOVE The Bee Gees
2 ( 13 ) THE EYES OF TRUTH Enigma
3 ( 1 ) LIBERATION Pet Shop Boys
4 ( 4 ) I’LL STAND BY YOU The Pretenders
5 ( 3 ) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY The Proclaimers
6 ( 5 ) SWEETS FOR MY SWEET C.J. Lewis
7 ( NEW ) SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM Grace Jones
8 ( 15 ) WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW Nick Green
9 ( 12 ) DEEP FOREST Deep Forset
10 ( 10 ) THE SIGN Ace Of Base

11 ( 7 ) MMM MMM MMM MMM Crash Test Dummies
12 ( NEW ) REACH Judy Cheeks
13 ( 37 ) WE WAIT AND WE WONDER Phil Collins
14 ( 16 ) SILENT SCREAM Richard Marx
15 ( 17 ) CARRY ME HOME Gloworm
16 ( 6 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Prince
17 ( 9 ) THE REAL THING Tony Di Bart
18 ( 8 ) ALWAYS Erasure
19 ( 31 ) 100% PURE LOVE Crystal Waters
20 ( 28 ) DREAMS The Cranberries

21 ( 11 ) UR THE BEST THING (REMIX) D:Ream
22 ( 33 ) BECOMING MORE LIKE GOD Jah Wobbles Invaders Of The Heart
23 ( NEW ) INSIDE Stiltskin
24 ( 14 ) STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA Bruce Springsteen
25 ( 25 ) UNDER THE BRIDGE Red Hot Chili Peppers
26 ( 19 ) LUCKY LUCKY ME Marvin Gaye
27 ( 22 ) WITHOUT YOU Nilsson
28 ( 40 ) LONELY SYMPHONY (WE WILL BE FREE) Frances Ruffelle
29 ( NEW ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC (REMIX) The Doobie Brothers
30 ( 18 ) WHISPERING YOUR NAME Alison Moyet

31 ( 41 ) MISLED Celine Dion
32 ( 20 ) THE RED SHOES/ SHOEDANCE Kate Bush
33 ( 59 ) AS IF WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE Barbra Streisand
34 ( 24 ) ALL OVER YOU Level 42
35 ( 35 ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND Wet Wet Wet
36 ( NEW ) BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY Big Mountain
37 ( 26 ) I’LL REMEMBER Madonna
38 ( 48 ) BACK IN MY ARMS Joe Roberts
39 ( 49 ) BIG GAY HEART The Lemonheads
40 ( NEW ) IF YOU GO Jon Secada

41 ( 23 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE Bitty McLean
42 ( 70 ) COME ON YOU REDS Manchester United Football Club and Status Quo
43 ( 30 ) SORRY BUT I’M GONNA HAVE TO PASS The Coasters
44 ( 32 ) RETURN TO INNOCENCE Enigma
45 ( 29 ) YOU GOTTA BE Des’ree
46 ( RE ) TAKE IT BACK Pink Floyd
47 ( 21 ) ROCK MY HEART Haddaway
48 ( 72 ) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR Honky
49 ( 75 ) 13 STEPS LEAD ON Elvis Costello
50 ( 34 ) ROCKS Primal Scream

51 ( 27 ) OBLIVION Terrorvision
52 ( 39 ) SHAPES THAT GO TOGETHER a-ha
53 ( 71 ) AROUND THE WORLD East 17
54 ( 65 ) JUST A STEP FROM HEAVEN Eternal
55 ( 54 ) WE WILL ROCK YOU Queen
56 ( 50 ) STOP LOVING ME STOP LOVING YOU Daryl Hall
57 ( 58 ) DANCING QUEEN/ EAGLE Abba
58 ( 55 ) FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The Bee Gees
59 ( 36 ) MR JONES Counting Crows
60 ( 46 ) WONDERFUL LIFE Black

61 ( 42 ) PRETTY GOOD YEAR Tori Amos
62 ( 45 ) ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG (REMIX) Toni Braxton
63 ( 62 ) 20th CENTURY BOY T.Rex
64 ( 64 ) AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING Elton John and Mareclla Detroit
65 ( 44 ) GIRLS AND BOYS Blur
66 ( 73 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Clubhouse
67 ( 69 ) HEY JUDE/ REVOLUTION The Beatles
68 ( 68 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’/ EBB TIDE The Righteous Brothers
69 ( 66 ) GO WEST Pet Shop Boys
70 ( NEW ) MUST BE THE MUSIC Hysterix

71 ( NEW ) MILLENIUM Killing Joke
72 ( NEW ) HOLD THAT SUCKER DOWN O.T. Quartet
73 ( 47 ) UNIFORM The Inspiral Carpets
74 ( 38 ) CRAZY Bob Geldof
75 ( NEW ) PLEASE MR. POSTMAN The Backbeat Band

oldies
1. The 2 Of Us – The Beatles
2. Move On – Abba
3. Don’t Give Up – Petula Clark

15th May 1994

Third number one for Enigma, and second in a row from the same album, keeping off The Pretenders from the top spot – in retrospect they are the wrong way round, I much prefer I’ll Stand By You these days! The Doobie Brothers finally go top 10 with Listen To The Music after almost doing it in 1974 (but the original version is the best, regardless). Grunge and passionate gospeldance meanwhile go top 10, courtesy of Stiltskin and Gloworm, both terrific tracks.

Jon Secada gets another Top 20 2 years after his debut number 2 hit, and Phyllis Nelson’s 1985 smooth soul oldie comes back at 21. More surprisingly Red Hot Chili Peppers go top 20 and Wet Wet Wet don’t. I’ll take that as right… Sudden spurts after ottering about a bit for veterans Pink Floyd and Elton John (with Marcella Detroit), both into the 40, and Parklife re-enters at 36 now out as a single. Nilsson’s classic Without You is joined by his classic Everybody’s Talking, albeit courtesy The Beautiful South who do a lovely version. Let’s be clear though, the Nilsson versions of songs are always the definitive versions, the man was a great.

Outside the 40, and a great reggae big hit for Dawn Penn pops in at 49, a cover of Summer n Streisand hits 52 by 2 current dance divas, and Neneh Cherry is back 5 years on with Youssou N’Dour, also 5 years since his debut, and the absolutely classic and haunting Seven Seconds. Just brilliant.

1 ( 2 ) THE EYES OF TRUTH Enigma
2 ( 4 ) I’LL STAND BY YOU The Pretenders
3 ( 1 ) HOW TO FALL IN LOVE The Bee Gees
4 ( 29 ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC (REMIX) The Doobie Brothers
5 ( 9 ) DEEP FOREST Deep Forset
6 ( 3 ) LIBERATION Pet Shop Boys
7 ( 23 ) INSIDE Stiltskin
8 ( 15 ) CARRY ME HOME Gloworm
9 ( 5 ) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY The Proclaimers
10 ( 7 ) SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM Grace Jones

11 ( 6 ) SWEETS FOR MY SWEET C.J. Lewis
12 ( 8 ) WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW Nick Green
13 ( 10 ) THE SIGN Ace Of Base
14 ( 12 ) REACH Judy Cheeks
15 ( 13 ) WE WAIT AND WE WONDER Phil Collins
16 ( 20 ) DREAMS The Cranberries
17 ( 40 ) IF YOU GO Jon Secada
18 ( 25 ) UNDER THE BRIDGE Red Hot Chili Peppers
19 ( 11 ) MMM MMM MMM MMM Crash Test Dummies
20 ( 16 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Prince

21 ( NEW ) MOVE CLOSER Phyllis Nelson
22 ( 14 ) SILENT SCREAM Richard Marx
23 ( 21 ) UR THE BEST THING (REMIX) D:Ream
24 ( 17 ) THE REAL THING Tony Di Bart
25 ( 18 ) ALWAYS Erasure
26 ( 35 ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND Wet Wet Wet
27 ( 19 ) 100% PURE LOVE Crystal Waters
28 ( 53 ) AROUND THE WORLD East 17
29 ( 36 ) BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY Big Mountain
30 ( 46 ) TAKE IT BACK Pink Floyd

31 ( 64 ) AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING Elton John and Mareclla Detroit
32 ( 27 ) WITHOUT YOU Nilsson
33 ( 24 ) STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA Bruce Springsteen
34 ( 38 ) BACK IN MY ARMS Joe Roberts
35 ( 30 ) WHISPERING YOUR NAME Alison Moyet
36 ( RE ) PARKLIFE Blur
37 ( 54 ) JUST A STEP FROM HEAVEN Eternal
38 ( 39 ) BIG GAY HEART The Lemonheads
39 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING The Beautiful South
40 ( 34 ) ALL OVER YOU Level 42

41 ( 42 ) COME ON YOU REDS Manchester United Football Club and Status Quo
42 ( 22 ) BECOMING MORE LIKE GOD Jah Wobbles Invaders Of The Heart featuring Annili Drecker
43 ( 26 ) LUCKY LUCKY ME Marvin Gaye
44 ( 37 ) I’LL REMEMBER Madonna
45 ( 41 ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE Bitty McLean
46 ( 49 ) 13 STEPS LEAD DOWN Elvis Costello
47 ( 66 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Clubhouse
48 ( 32 ) THE RED SHOES/ SHOEDANCE Kate Bush
49 ( NEW ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME (NO NO NO) Dawn Penn
50 ( 31 ) MISLED Celine Dion

51 ( 44 ) RETURN TO INNOCENCE Enigma
52 ( NEW ) NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH) Kym Mazelle and Jocelyn Brown
53 ( 28 ) LONELY SYMPHONY (WE WILL BE FREE) Frances Ruffelle
54 ( 33 ) AS IF WE NEVER SAID GOODBYE Barbra Streisand
55 ( NEW ) SEVEN SECONDS Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry
56 ( 57 ) DANCING QUEEN/ EAGLE Abba
57 ( NEW ) NUMBER ONE EYC
58 ( 55 ) WE WILL ROCK YOU Queen
59 ( 59 ) MR JONES Counting Crows
60 ( 52 ) SHAPES THAT GO TOGETHER a-ha

61 ( 58 ) FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The Bee Gees
62 ( 48 ) LOVE THY NEIGHBOUR Honky
63 ( 56 ) STOP LOVING ME STOP LOVING YOU Daryl Hall
64 ( 63 ) 20th CENTURY BOY T.Rex
65 ( 61 ) PRETTY GOOD YEAR Tori Amos
66 ( NEW ) NAZIS 1994 Roger Taylor
67 ( NEW ) SET YOU FREE N Trance
68 ( 67 ) HEY JUDE/ REVOLUTION The Beatles
69 ( 68 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’/ EBB TIDE The Righteous Brothers
70 ( NEW ) SATURDAY NIGHT SUNDAY MORNING T Empo

71 ( NEW ) OBJECTS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR Meatloaf
72 ( NEW ) LEAN ON ME Michael Bolton
73 ( NEW ) YOUR BODY’S CALLIN’ R Kelly
74 ( 69 ) GO WEST Pet Shop Boys
75 ( NEW ) ROCKIN’ FOR MYSELF Motiv 8

22nd May 1994

2 weeks on top for Enigma, holding off Deep Forest and confirming that this month, at least, I was being a new age hippie. Re-entering, and high, at 6, is Guns ‘n’ Roses version of 50’s oldie Since I Don’t Have You. I love the song, I’ll be honest it’s not the definitive version (see Don McLean or the original 1958 The Skyliners doo-wop version), but it’s only their second Top 10 hit 5 years on from the first (Sweet Child ‘o Mine).

Lots of new entries, including some album tracks, as I was allowing one track per new album now – good news for Blur as the epic To The End enters, but also bad news for Blur as Parklife is pushed out under the rules. Highest new entry is Maxx at 10 with their European dance smash. East 17 and Elton John go top 20 (Elton’s a cover of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s 60’s classic, an Ashford & Simpson song), while Neneh & Youssou climb to 27 in a bit longer than 7 seconds.

Returning: Shara Nelson, Joe Roberts, Pet Shop Boys (with novelty Ab Fab track), Ace Of Base (a cover of Aswad’s UK 1988 number one, itself a cover of a Tina Turner B side written by Diane Warren and Albert “dad of The Strokes Albert hammond Jnr” Hammond), Daryl Hall (for 18 years of hits), Seal, Eddi Reader (another 1988 UK number one act) of Fairground Attraction, Alison Moyet (12 years of hits), 2 Unlimited, Tori Amos, The Levellers and Aretha Franklin (26 years of hits to date). Phew! New act Galliano was a goodie too.
1 ( 1 ) THE EYES OF TRUTH Enigma
2 ( 5 ) DEEP FOREST Deep Forest
3 ( 2 ) I’LL STAND BY YOU The Pretenders
4 ( 3 ) HOW TO FALL IN LOVE The Bee Gees
5 ( 4 ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC (REMIX) The Doobie Brothers
6 ( RE ) SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU Guns ‘n’ Roses
7 ( 7 ) INSIDE Stiltskin
8 ( 8 ) CARRY ME HOME Gloworm
9 ( 21 ) MOVE CLOSER Phyllis Nelson
10 ( NEW ) GET-A-WAY Maxx

11 ( 6 ) LIBERATION Pet Shop Boys
12 ( 11 ) SWEETS FOR MY SWEET C.J. Lewis
13 ( 14 ) REACH Judy Cheeks
14 ( 17 ) IF YOU GO Jon Secada
15 ( 9 ) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY The Proclaimers
16 ( 39 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING The Beautiful South
17 ( 28 ) AROUND THE WORLD East 17
18 ( 18 ) UNDER THE BRIDGE Red Hot Chili Peppers
19 ( 13 ) THE SIGN Ace Of Base
20 ( 31 ) AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING Elton John and Marcella Detroit

21 ( 10 ) SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM Grace Jones
22 ( 12 ) WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW Nick Green
23 ( 26 ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND Wet Wet Wet
24 ( 19 ) MMM MMM MMM MMM Crash Test Dummies
25 ( 20 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Prince
26 ( 24 ) THE REAL THING Tony Di Bart
27 ( 55 ) SEVEN SECONDS Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry
28 ( 16 ) DREAMS The Cranberries
29 ( 29 ) BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY Big Mountain
30 ( 30 ) TAKE IT BACK Pink Floyd

31 ( 37 ) JUST A STEP FROM HEAVEN Eternal
32 ( 15 ) WE WAIT AND WE WONDER Phil Collins
33 ( 23 ) UR THE BEST THING (REMIX) D:Ream
34 ( 34 ) BACK IN MY ARMS Joe Roberts
35 ( 27 ) 100% PURE LOVE Crystal Waters
36 ( NEW ) TO THE END Blur
37 ( 22 ) SILENT SCREAM Richard Marx
38 ( NEW ) NOBODY Shara Nelson
39 ( 57 ) NUMBER ONE EYC
40 ( 25 ) ALWAYS Erasure

41 ( 32 ) WITHOUT YOU Nilsson
42 ( 43 ) LUCKY LUCKY ME Marvin Gaye
43 ( NEW ) THE ‘ADORE Joe Roberts
44 ( 73 ) YOUR BODY’S CALLIN’ R Kelly
45 ( NEW ) ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS Absolutely Fabulous (Pet Shop Boys)
46 ( 35 ) WHISPERING YOUR NAME Alison Moyet
47 ( 33 ) STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA Bruce Springsteen
48 ( NEW ) DON’T TURN AROUND Ace Of Base
49 ( NEW ) HELP ME FIND A WAY TO YOUR HEART Daryl Hall
50 ( NEW ) PRAYER FOR THE DYING Seal

51 ( 38 ) BIG GAY HEART The Lemonheads
52 ( 52 ) NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH) Kym Mazelle and Jocelyn Brown
53 ( 36 ) PARKLIFE Blur
54 ( 49 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME (NO NO NO) Dawn Penn
55 ( 44 ) I’LL REMEMBER Madonna
56 ( 56 ) DANCING QUEEN/ EAGLE Abba
57 ( 51 ) RETURN TO INNOCENCE Enigma
58 ( NEW ) PATIENCE OF ANGELS Eddi Reader
59 ( 58 ) WE WILL ROCK YOU Queen
60 ( 71 ) OBJECTS IN THE REAR VIEW MIRROR Meatloaf

61 ( 41 ) COME ON YOU REDS Manchester United Football Club and Status Quo
62 ( NEW ) GETTING INTO YOU Alison Moyet
63 ( 40 ) ALL OVER YOU Level 42
64 ( 61 ) FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The Bee Gees
65 ( 64 ) 20th CENTURY BOY T.Rex
66 ( NEW ) THE REAL THING 2 Unlimited
67 ( NEW ) WILLING TO FORGIVE Aretha Franklin
68 ( 68 ) HEY JUDE/ REVOLUTION The Beatles
69 ( 69 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’/ EBB TIDE The Righteous Brothers
70 ( 72 ) LEAN ON ME Michael Bolton

71 ( NEW ) PAST THE MISSION Tori Amos
72 ( 63 ) STOP LOVING ME STOP LOVING YOU Daryl Hall
73 ( NEW ) JULIA The Levellers
74 ( NEW ) LONG TIME GONE Galliano
75 ( 74 ) GO WEST Pet Shop Boys

 

29th May 1994

3 weeks Enigma, they do seem to get long runs on top when they happen! New Age starting to make way for new rock though, with Guns n Roses and Stiltskin in the top 3. Never say I’m predictable, even Bruce Dickinson manages a new entry (I like him, though not keen on Iron Maiden generally)!

Lookit Galliano rocket, though, from 74 to 4! Who?! It’s a fab jazzfunk 60’s vibe version of Crosby Stills and Nash’s Long Time Gone. Love it. Joined by another cover at 5 (Everybody’s Talking, Beautiful South’s return to the top 5), for 3 out 5 old songs. East 17 sneak quietly into the Top 10 and highest new entry? Crash! Boom! Bang! Roxette are back! Three number ones and lots of hits later, 5 years on they are still on a roll.

Deacon Blue have their Dignity. Back at 20, that is, much higher than first time round, while Wet Wet Wet still struggle to get into the Top 20. I think it’s fair to assume it’s not heading for a 15 week run on top of MY charts! Hooray! Alice Cooper’s also back, as he was wont do for, lo, these 22 years so far. Much much older though, and guess what? Another cover! Thankfully it’s a quirky one as the movie The Flintstones gives the B52’s an excuse to have some fun (and a hit) with the TV show theme tune, which I loved as a very very young boy, and continue to love as a not so young boy. Boys remain boys at heart. The ones that don’t have no heart at all!

Others: Carleen “Brand New Heavies” Anderson, Saint “fab” Etienne, All 4 “yawn” One, Salt ‘n’ Pepa (Shoop)….
1 ( 1 ) THE EYES OF TRUTH Enigma
2 ( 7 ) INSIDE Stiltskin
3 ( 6 ) SINCE I DON’T HAVE YOU Guns ‘n’ Roses
4 ( 74 ) LONG TIME GONE Galliano
5 ( 16 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING The Beautiful South
6 ( 2 ) DEEP FOREST Deep Forest
7 ( 8 ) CARRY ME HOME Gloworm
8 ( 3 ) I’LL STAND BY YOU The Pretenders
9 ( 17 ) AROUND THE WORLD East 17
10 ( 5 ) LISTEN TO THE MUSIC (REMIX) The Doobie Brothers

11 ( 4 ) HOW TO FALL IN LOVE The Bee Gees
12 ( 10 ) GET-A-WAY Maxx
13 ( 11 ) LIBERATION Pet Shop Boys
14 ( 12 ) SWEETS FOR MY SWEET C.J. Lewis
15 ( NEW ) CRASH! BOOM! BANG! Roxette
16 ( 14 ) IF YOU GO Jon Secada
17 ( 13 ) REACH Judy Cheeks
18 ( 9 ) MOVE CLOSER Phyllis Nelson
19 ( 29 ) BABY I LOVE YOUR WAY Big Mountain
20 ( NEW ) DIGNITY Deacon Blue

21 ( 20 ) AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING Elton John and Marcella Detroit
22 ( 36 ) TO THE END Blur
23 ( 23 ) LOVE IS ALL AROUND Wet Wet Wet
24 ( 24 ) MMM MMM MMM MMM Crash Test Dummies
25 ( 15 ) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY The Proclaimers
26 ( 58 ) PATIENCE OF ANGELS Eddi Reader
27 ( 25 ) MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD Prince
28 ( 19 ) THE SIGN Ace Of Base
29 ( 18 ) UNDER THE BRIDGE Red Hot Chili Peppers
30 ( 30 ) TAKE IT BACK Pink Floyd

31 ( NEW ) IN THE NAVY (REMIX) The Village People
32 ( 27 ) SEVEN SECONDS Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry
33 ( 45 ) ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS Absolutely Fabulous (Pet Shop Boys)
34 ( 26 ) THE REAL THING Tony Di Bart
35 ( NEW ) LOST IN AMERICA Alice Cooper
36 ( NEW ) MEET THE FLINTSTONES The BC52’s (B52’s)
37 ( 50 ) PRAYER FOR THE DYING Seal
38 ( 38 ) NOBODY Shara Nelson
39 ( 21 ) SLAVE TO THE RHYTHM Grace Jones
40 ( 71 ) PAST THE MISSION Tori Amos

41 ( 33 ) UR THE BEST THING (REMIX) D:Ream
42 ( 31 ) JUST A STEP FROM HEAVEN Eternal
43 ( 41 ) WITHOUT YOU Nilsson
44 ( 40 ) ALWAYS Erasure
45 ( 22 ) WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW Nick Green
46 ( 39 ) NUMBER ONE EYC
47 ( 32 ) WE WAIT AND WE WONDER Phil Collins
48 ( 48 ) DON’T TURN AROUND Ace Of Base
49 ( 35 ) 100% PURE LOVE Crystal Waters
50 ( 37 ) SILENT SCREAM Richard Marx

51 ( NEW ) MAMA SAID Carleen Anderson
52 ( 28 ) DREAMS The Cranberries
53 ( 70 ) LEAN ON ME Michael Bolton
54 ( 54 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME (NO NO NO) Dawn Penn
55 ( 42 ) LUCKY LUCKY ME Marvin Gaye
56 ( NEW ) LIKE A MOTORWAY Saint Etienne
57 ( 56 ) DANCING QUEEN/ EAGLE Abba
58 ( 46 ) WHISPERING YOUR NAME Alison Moyet
59 ( 34 ) BACK IN MY ARMS Joe Roberts
60 ( 47 ) STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA Bruce Springsteen

61 ( 67 ) WILLING TO FORGIVE Aretha Franklin
62 ( 59 ) WE WILL ROCK YOU Queen
63 ( 66 ) THE REAL THING 2 Unlimited
64 ( NEW ) I SWEAR All 4 One
65 ( 69 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’/ EBB TIDE The Righteous Brothers
66 ( 65 ) 20th CENTURY BOY T.Rex
67 ( 44 ) YOUR BODY’S CALLIN’ R Kelly
68 ( 57 ) RETURN TO INNOCENCE Enigma
69 ( 68 ) HEY JUDE/ REVOLUTION The Beatles
70 ( NEW ) SHOOP Salt ‘n’ Pepa

71 ( NEW ) TEARS OF THE DRAGON Bruce Dickinson
72 ( 49 ) HELP ME FIND A WAY TO YOUR HEART Daryl Hall
73 ( 64 ) FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS The Bee Gees
74 ( 43 ) THE ‘ADORE Joe Roberts
75 ( 75 ) GO WEST Pet Shop Boys

My 1989 Charts – May

Image

Liverpool

 

7th May 1989

A second and final week on top for the Bee Gees while Stevie Nicks biggest solo hit fires up at 2, closely followed by Transvision Vamp’s 2nd Top 10, and Edelweiss’ novelty Abba tune at 7, and The Cure’s return to the 10 after a few relative failures, gives them 7 Top 10’s and 14 hits in 9 years.

Sam Brown gets her witness to confirm she’s gone from 70 to 14, while Bobby Brown gets a high entry at 20 with the great dance track Every Little Step, only 6 years since he was in New Edition with a voice that hadn’t broken. Macca’s up to 22 putting on a brave face at not being in the 20 yet, while Debbie Gibson is electrifying at 29 (not really!) and Rod just can’t say no at 33 (I think we all knew that already). Cyndi meanwhile drove all night to get to 37 and De La Soul annoyingly just miss the 40 at 41 with me, myself and I. I lie, it was them, not me. Two legends struggle with new singles, Stevie Wonder and Queen, not to mention Morrissey’s not-so interesting drug, leaving PIL disappointed at 61 11 years on from their debut hit. Meanwhile comebacks from ABC and Diana Ross, Animotion’s follow-up to Number One Obsession 3 years late, Bon Jovi, Natalie Cole and Carly Simon all slip in amongst the much superior Manchild from Neneh Cherry, a lovely record.

1 ( 1 ) ORDINARY PEOPLE The Bee Gees
2 ( 24 ) ROOMS ON FIRE Stevie Nicks
3 ( 2 ) ETERNAL FLAME The Bangles
4 ( 8 ) THE LOOK Roxette
5 ( 13 ) BABY I DON’T CARE Transvision Vamp
6 ( 10 ) BEDS ARE BURNING Midnight Oil
7 ( 30 ) BRING ME EDELWEISS Edelweiss
8 ( 3 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER/ A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU/ MONKEES THEME The Monkees
9 ( 5 ) GOOD THING Fine Young Cannibals
10 ( 16 ) LULLABY The Cure

11 ( 4 ) AMERICANOS Holly Johnson
12 ( 25 ) I’M EVERY WOMAN ’89 Chaka Khan
13 ( 19 ) YOU ON MY MIND Swing Out Sister
14 ( 70 ) CAN I GET A WITNESS Sam Brown
15 ( 11 ) WHO’S IN THE HOUSE Beatmasters featuring Merlin
16 ( 9 ) I BEG YOUR PARDON Kon Kan
17 ( 17 ) REQUIEM The London Boys
18 ( 7 ) GOT TO KEEP ON The Cookie Crew featuring Edwin Starr
19 ( 6 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston
20 ( NEW ) EVERY LITTLE STEP Bobby Brown

21 ( 12 ) OF COURSE I’M LYING Yello
22 ( 31 ) MY BRAVE FACE Paul McCartney
23 ( 14 ) PEOPLE HOLD ON Coldcut featuring Lisa Stansfield
24 ( 71 ) HAND ON YOUR HEART Kylie Minogue
25 ( 33 ) I WON’T BACK DOWN Tom Petty
26 ( 21 ) THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL Donna Summer
27 ( 39 ) WHERE HAS ALL THE LOVE GONE Yazz
28 ( 15 ) AIN’T NOBODY BETTER Inner City
29 ( 46 ) ELECTRIC YOUTH Debbie Gibson
30 ( 26 ) STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE Diana Ross & The Supremes

31 ( 29 ) NOTHING HAS BEEN PROVED Dusty Springfield
32 ( 22 ) LIKE A PRAYER Madonna
33 ( 50 ) MY HEART CAN’T TELL YOU NO Rod Stewart
34 ( 23 ) THIS TIME Kiara with Shanice Wilson
35 ( 35 ) DON’T WORRY BABY The Everley Brothers and The Beach Boys
36 ( 27 ) KEEP ON MOVIN’ Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler
37 ( 59 ) I DROVE ALL NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
38 ( 20 ) THROUGH THE STORM Aretha Franklin and Elton John
39 ( 18 ) ONLY THE LONELY T’Pau
40 ( 34 ) SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME Roy Orbison

41 ( 57 ) ME MYSELF AND I De La Soul
42 ( 37 ) ELISABETH’S EYES Nik Kershaw
43 ( 48 ) THE THRILL HAS GONE Texas
44 ( 43 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
45 ( 38 ) END OF THE LINE Traveling Wilbury’s
46 ( NEW ) WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE Eddy Grant
47 ( 45 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
48 ( 40 ) CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM YOU Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
49 ( NEW ) THAT’S WHEN I THINK OF YOU 1927″
50 ( 36 ) I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW ’89 Johnny Nash

51 ( 68 ) LOLLY LOLLY Wendy And Lisa
52 ( 28 ) MYSTIFIED INXS
53 ( 73 ) FREE Stevie Wonder
54 ( 53 ) LITTLE LIES Fleetwood Mac
55 ( 51 ) YOU GOT IT Roy Orbison
56 ( 49 ) STOP Sam Brown
57 ( 42 ) HEY MUSIC LOVER S’Express
58 ( 74 ) I WANT IT ALL Queen
59 ( 75 ) INTERESTING DRUG Morrissey
60 ( 58 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles

61 ( NEW ) DISAPPOINTED Public Image Limited
62 ( 62 ) MOVE CLOSER Tom Jones
63 ( 61 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
64 ( 54 ) LOVE IN THE NATURAL WAY Kim Wilde
65 ( NEW ) ONE BETTER WORLD ABC
66 ( NEW ) WORKIN’ OVERTIME Diana Ross
67 ( 66 ) YOU CAME Kim Wilde
68 ( 67 ) HEART Pet Shop Boys
69 ( 32 ) MUSICAL FREEDOM (MOVIN’ ON UP) Paul Simpson featuring Adeva
70 ( NEW ) ROOM TO MOVE Animotion

71 ( NEW ) I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU Bon Jovi
72 ( NEW ) MANCHILD Neneh Cherry
73 ( 72 ) WHAT HAVE I DONE (TO DESERVE THIS) Pet Shop Boys/ Dusty Springfield
74 ( NEW ) MISS YOU LIKE CRAZY Natalie Cole
75 ( RE ) LET THE RIVER RUN Carly Simon

 

14th May 1989

Stevie Nicks gets her only solo Number One, to add to her 2 Fleetwood Mac chart-toppers in 1979 and 1987, though she’d written many that came close for Mac, and deserves more. Bobby Brown steps up to 3, and Chaka Khan takes her 1978 Top 20 hit further second-time round and goes to 4 albeit in plinkety-plonk 1989 stylee, as remixing oldies (and not improving them in retrospect) continues as the rage: witness Style Council’s classic 1983 Long Hot summer at 14, and Gibson Brothers 1979 Que Sera Mi Vida at 18.

Macca goes top 10, Neneh Top 40, and highest proper new entry at 38 is the fab Pink Sunshine giving Fuzzbox two pop gems in a row. Eddy Grant takes his own cover of his song covered and a hit for Rockers Revenge in 1982 in to the Top 40 – Walkin’ On Sunshine, for 20 years of hits.

Flicking through the other new entries though I’m not inspired to wax lyrical on the quality music being produced, or nostalgia tinting my appreciation – frankly, it was a music scene desperately in need of a new youth movement. The old-timers were dominating my chart, give or take the odd OK dance track. Topping the real chart were charity records like Ferry Cross The Mersey, a great 60’s song and fave from my days living in Liverpool. One of my friends has a relative who died at Hillsborough, so I know what it means in Merseyside, and approve of the sentiment.

1 ( 2 ) ROOMS ON FIRE Stevie Nicks
2 ( 1 ) ORDINARY PEOPLE The Bee Gees
3 ( 20 ) EVERY LITTLE STEP Bobby Brown
4 ( 12 ) I’M EVERY WOMAN ’89 Chaka Khan
5 ( 7 ) BRING ME EDELWEISS Edelweiss
6 ( 3 ) ETERNAL FLAME The Bangles
7 ( 4 ) THE LOOK Roxette
8 ( 22 ) MY BRAVE FACE Paul McCartney
9 ( 5 ) BABY I DON’T CARE Transvision Vamp
10 ( 13 ) YOU ON MY MIND Swing Out Sister

11 ( 14 ) CAN I GET A WITNESS Sam Brown
12 ( 6 ) BEDS ARE BURNING Midnight Oil
13 ( 8 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER/ A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU/ MONKEES THEME The Monkees
14 ( NEW ) THE LONG HOT SUMMER 89 The Style Council
15 ( 9 ) GOOD THING Fine Young Cannibals
16 ( 24 ) HAND ON YOUR HEART Kylie Minogue
17 ( 11 ) AMERICANOS Holly Johnson
18 ( NEW ) QUE SERA MI VIDA 89 The Gibson Brothers
19 ( 17 ) REQUIEM The London Boys
20 ( 27 ) WHERE HAS ALL THE LOVE GONE Yazz

21 ( 16 ) I BEG YOUR PARDON Kon Kan
22 ( 10 ) LULLABY The Cure
23 ( 29 ) ELECTRIC YOUTH Debbie Gibson
24 ( 25 ) I WON’T BACK DOWN Tom Petty
25 ( 18 ) GOT TO KEEP ON The Cookie Crew featuring Edwin Starr
26 ( 15 ) WHO’S IN THE HOUSE Beatmasters featuring Merlin
27 ( 21 ) OF COURSE I’M LYING Yello
28 ( 42 ) ELISABETH’S EYES Nik Kershaw
29 ( 33 ) MY HEART CAN’T TELL YOU NO Rod Stewart
30 ( 19 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston

31 ( 26 ) THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL Donna Summer
32 ( 71 ) I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU Bon Jovi
33 ( 23 ) PEOPLE HOLD ON Coldcut featuring Lisa Stansfield
34 ( 72 ) MANCHILD Neneh Cherry
35 ( 31 ) NOTHING HAS BEEN PROVED Dusty Springfield
36 ( 30 ) STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE Diana Ross & The Supremes
37 ( 37 ) I DROVE ALL NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
38 ( NEW ) PINK SUNSHINE Fuzzbox
39 ( 46 ) WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE Eddy Grant
40 ( 65 ) ONE BETTER WORLD ABC

41 ( 28 ) AIN’T NOBODY BETTER Inner City
42 ( NEW ) MY TELEPHONE Coldcut
43 ( 34 ) THIS TIME Kiara with Shanice Wilson
44 ( 32 ) LIKE A PRAYER Madonna
45 ( 44 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
46 ( 49 ) THAT’S WHEN I THINK OF YOU 1927″
47 ( 53 ) FREE Stevie Wonder
48 ( 47 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
49 ( 61 ) DISAPPOINTED Public Image Limited
50 ( 40 ) SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME Roy Orbison

51 ( 58 ) I WANT IT ALL Queen
52 ( NEW ) FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden & Stock, Aitken & Waterman
53 ( NEW ) VIOLENTLY Hue And Cry
54 ( 54 ) LITTLE LIES Fleetwood Mac
55 ( NEW ) CIRCLE Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
56 ( 66 ) WORKIN’ OVERTIME Diana Ross
57 ( 41 ) ME MYSELF AND I De La Soul
58 ( 45 ) END OF THE LINE Traveling Wilbury’s
59 ( 36 ) KEEP ON MOVIN’ Soul II Soul featuring Caron Wheeler
60 ( 55 ) YOU GOT IT Roy Orbison

61 ( 60 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
62 ( 38 ) THROUGH THE STORM Aretha Franklin and Elton John
63 ( 56 ) STOP Sam Brown
64 ( 63 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
65 ( NEW ) GOOD GOOD FEELING Good Good Feeling
66 ( 35 ) DON’T WORRY BABY The Everley Brothers and The Beach Boys
67 ( NEW ) VOICES OF BABYLON The Outfield
68 ( 67 ) YOU CAME Kim Wilde
69 ( 68 ) HEART Pet Shop Boys
70 ( 48 ) CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM YOU Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine

71 ( 43 ) THE THRILL HAS GONE Texas
72 ( NEW ) CALLING OUT TO CAROL Stan Ridgeway
73 ( 73 ) WHAT HAVE I DONE (TO DESERVE THIS) Pet Shop Boys/ Dusty Springfield
74 ( NEW ) FUNKY COLD MEDINA Tone Loc
75 ( NEW ) LOVE ATTACK Shakin’ Stevens

21st May 1989

Another new number one, Bobby Brown for the first time, while Paul McCartney goes Top 3 not for the first time – but for 21 years to date. The Style Council go Top 5 for the second time with Long Hot Summer, while Gibson Brothers go higher than they did first time round for a third Top 10 hit.

Sealed With A Kiss is back – not the top 5 1975 reissue of the Brian Hyland original, though, it’s an inferior identical Jason Donovan cover nestling cosily next to Kylie at 13. Neneh goes to 15, Fuzzbox 20, and Cappella debut at 27 to kickstart a 90’s dance run of hits. Madonna’s back, and with a great single, expressing herself at 37, showcasing what a great album Like A Prayer is, chock full of great tracks.

Robert Palmer’s in at 39, Malcolm McLaren is waltzing at 47 – he did like mixing his musical styles – and Sinitta butchers another 1975 classic at 51. SAW obviously flicking through Hits of 1975 looking for ideas. Enya waethers some storms in Africa at 70, a pleasant new entry, and The Jacksons are back – minus Michael – sounding more like Janet than Michael. The Bible take a visit to Graceland, in the footsteps of Paul Simon presumably, but their track is pretty good.

1 ( 3 ) EVERY LITTLE STEP Bobby Brown
2 ( 1 ) ROOMS ON FIRE Stevie Nicks
3 ( 8 ) MY BRAVE FACE Paul McCartney
4 ( 11 ) CAN I GET A WITNESS Sam Brown
5 ( 14 ) THE LONG HOT SUMMER 89 The Style Council
6 ( 2 ) ORDINARY PEOPLE The Bee Gees
7 ( 4 ) I’M EVERY WOMAN ’89 Chaka Khan
8 ( 5 ) BRING ME EDELWEISS Edelweiss
9 ( 18 ) QUE SERA MI VIDA 89 The Gibson Brothers

10 ( 7 ) THE LOOK Roxette
11 ( 6 ) ETERNAL FLAME The Bangles
12 ( NEW ) SEALED WITH A KISS Jason Donovan
13 ( 16 ) HAND ON YOUR HEART Kylie Minogue
14 ( 12 ) BEDS ARE BURNING Midnight Oil
15 ( 34 ) MANCHILD Neneh Cherry
16 ( 10 ) YOU ON MY MIND Swing Out Sister
17 ( 24 ) I WON’T BACK DOWN Tom Petty
18 ( 15 ) GOOD THING Fine Young Cannibals
19 ( 9 ) BABY I DON’T CARE Transvision Vamp
20 ( 38 ) PINK SUNSHINE Fuzzbox

21 ( 13 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER/ A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU/ MONKEES THEME The Monkees
22 ( 17 ) AMERICANOS Holly Johnson
23 ( 23 ) ELECTRIC YOUTH Debbie Gibson
24 ( 52 ) FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden & Stock, Aitken & Waterman
25 ( 37 ) I DROVE ALL NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
26 ( 21 ) I BEG YOUR PARDON Kon Kan
27 ( NEW ) HELLYOM HABIB Cappella
28 ( 19 ) REQUIEM The London Boys
29 ( 67 ) VOICES OF BABYLON The Outfield
30 ( 39 ) WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE Eddy Grant

31 ( 25 ) GOT TO KEEP ON The Cookie Crew featuring Edwin Starr
32 ( 20 ) WHERE HAS ALL THE LOVE GONE Yazz
33 ( 40 ) ONE BETTER WORLD ABC
34 ( 26 ) WHO’S IN THE HOUSE Beatmasters featuring Merlin
35 ( 42 ) MY TELEPHONE Coldcut
36 ( 49 ) DISAPPOINTED Public Image Limited
37 ( NEW ) EXPRESS YOURSELF Madonna
38 ( 27 ) OF COURSE I’M LYING Yello
39 ( NEW ) CHANGE HIS WAYS Robert Palmer
40 ( 47 ) FREE Stevie Wonder

41 ( 36 ) STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE Diana Ross & The Supremes
42 ( 35 ) NOTHING HAS BEEN PROVED Dusty Springfield
43 ( 31 ) THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL Donna Summer
44 ( 30 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston
45 ( 28 ) ELISABETH’S EYES Nik Kershaw
46 ( 53 ) VIOLENTLY Hue And Cry
47 ( NEW ) WALTZ DARLING Malcolm McLaren
48 ( 45 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
49 ( 51 ) I WANT IT ALL Queen
50 ( 22 ) LULLABY The Cure

51 ( NEW ) RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM Sinitta
52 ( 48 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
53 ( 33 ) PEOPLE HOLD ON Coldcut featuring Lisa Stansfield
54 ( RE ) ROOM TO MOVE Animotion
55 ( 55 ) CIRCLE Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
56 ( 54 ) LITTLE LIES Fleetwood Mac
57 ( 32 ) I’LL BE THERE FOR YOU Bon Jovi
58 ( 44 ) LIKE A PRAYER Madonna
59 ( 50 ) SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME Roy Orbison
60 ( 74 ) FUNKY COLD MEDINA Tone Loc

61 ( NEW ) GOOD TIMES Reid
62 ( NEW ) STORMY LOVE Boy Meets Girl
63 ( NEW ) FERGUS SINGS THE BLUES Deacon Blue
64 ( 64 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
65 ( 61 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
66 ( 29 ) MY HEART CAN’T TELL YOU NO Rod Stewart
67 ( NEW ) GRACELAND The Bible
68 ( NEW ) NOTHIN’ (THAT COMPARES 2 U) The Jacksons
69 ( 60 ) YOU GOT IT Roy Orbison
70 ( NEW ) STORMS IN AFRICA PART II Enya

71 ( 68 ) YOU CAME Kim Wilde
72 ( 75 ) LOVE ATTACK Shakin’ Stevens
73 ( 73 ) WHAT HAVE I DONE (TO DESERVE THIS) Pet Shop Boys/ Dusty Springfield
74 ( NEW ) AGENT ’00’ SOUL The Untouchables
75 ( NEW ) STILL TOO YOUNG TO REMEMBER It Bites

28th May 1989

Another week another new number one, and Paul McCartney’s first to go beyond runners-up spot since Mull Of Kintyre – he’d had at least 5 peak at 2 in between – which makes it an 11-year gap, though it was also his 5th chart-topper since the Beatles split and a minor pop gem. Madonna meanwhile gets another top 5 with a bullet, and Guns ‘n’ Roses classic 1988 single is reissued and comes back with a bang at 6, beating it’s original peak of 12. Yet another remix, yet another oldie hit, this time M and Pop Musik at 15. Happily, it was already synthtastic and the remix didn’t mess it up too much, so 10 years on a hit all over again.

Neneh Cherry and Fuzzbox get 2 top 10’s in a row, Tone Loc gets all funky rocketing up to 19, and Donna Summer meets SAW and follows-up her great topper with I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt at 22. James Bond time = hit single, invariably, and this time Licence To Kill gives Gladys Knight a welcome chart return at 39 for a 17-year run and a great Bond theme tune.

The Beautiful South debut lowly – although it’s really The Housemartins Plus and Minus members (notably minus Norman Cook) – and Youssou N’Dour debuts with Peter Gabriel. One of those three acts would get a 90’s chart-topper. Hint: Senegal. UB40 keep their run of hits up to 9 years non-stop and Led Zep enter. Actually, unlike the fabulous CCS hit version, this version of Whole Lotta Love is a plodding 80’s dance version. 75 is about right…

On the social front I had two concerts this week in 1989: Bananarama live in Southampton, though not the full Siobhan-inclusive line-up, this is the post-SAW version, which meant they had a good 8 years of hits to do, and they did them very well, surpassing my expectations actually. The concert details have faded a bit from memory (and I’m not digging out the notes of the time, will do that someday), but I recall it being camp, dancing-heavy and great fun. Top songs on the night? 1. Venus 2. Cruel Summer 3. Love Truth And Honesty

The other concert was at Wembley Arena, Elton John in concert. It was my sister-in-law’s birthday and she’d never been to a concert so it was a treat for her and for my mum (who’d also never been to one). Elton was having a low period of success (“my last album went cardboard” he quipped) quite undeservedly (he hit the big time again a year later), but he gave a great concert. Nik Kershaw was support, I’d seen him in 1984 when he was a current pop star, now his career was struggling a bit, but it boosted his current single in my charts. The stars were out in force for Elton though (we sat a few rows away from Phil Collin) and he ran through a selection of classic hits, was amusing, and was fabulous. Top 3 tracks? 1. Philadelphia Freedom 2. I’m Still Standing 3. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word. The last one was a surprise as it’d never been a particular fave of mine…

1 ( 3 ) MY BRAVE FACE Paul McCartney
2 ( 2 ) ROOMS ON FIRE Stevie Nicks
3 ( 1 ) EVERY LITTLE STEP Bobby Brown
4 ( 37 ) EXPRESS YOURSELF Madonna
5 ( 4 ) CAN I GET A WITNESS Sam Brown
6 ( NEW ) SWEET CHILD O’ MINE Guns ‘n’ Roses
7 ( 15 ) MANCHILD Neneh Cherry
8 ( 6 ) ORDINARY PEOPLE The Bee Gees
9 ( 5 ) THE LONG HOT SUMMER 89 The Style Council
10 ( 20 ) PINK SUNSHINE Fuzzbox

11 ( 12 ) SEALED WITH A KISS Jason Donovan
12 ( 10 ) THE LOOK Roxette
13 ( 7 ) I’M EVERY WOMAN ’89 Chaka Khan
14 ( 8 ) BRING ME EDELWEISS Edelweiss
15 ( NEW ) POP MUSIK ’89 M
16 ( 13 ) HAND ON YOUR HEART Kylie Minogue
17 ( 25 ) I DROVE ALL NIGHT Cyndi Lauper
18 ( 9 ) QUE SERA MI VIDA 89 The Gibson Brothers
19 ( 60 ) FUNKY COLD MEDINA Tone Loc
20 ( 14 ) BEDS ARE BURNING Midnight Oil

21 ( 11 ) ETERNAL FLAME The Bangles
22 ( NEW ) I DON’T WANNA GET HURT Donna Summer
23 ( 17 ) I WON’T BACK DOWN Tom Petty
24 ( 35 ) MY TELEPHONE Coldcut
25 ( 27 ) HELLYOM HABIB Cappella
26 ( 45 ) ELISABETH’S EYES Nik Kershaw
27 ( 47 ) WALTZ DARLING Malcolm McLaren
28 ( 24 ) FERRY CROSS THE MERSEY The Christians, Holly Johnson, Paul McCartney, Gerry Marsden & Stock, Aitken & Waterman
29 ( 68 ) NOTHIN’ (THAT COMPARES 2 U) The Jacksons
30 ( 33 ) ONE BETTER WORLD ABC

31 ( 21 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER/ A LITTLE BIT ME A LITTLE BIT YOU/ MONKEES THEME The Monkees
32 ( 18 ) GOOD THING Fine Young Cannibals
33 ( 51 ) RIGHT BACK WHERE WE STARTED FROM Sinitta
34 ( 16 ) YOU ON MY MIND Swing Out Sister
35 ( 30 ) WALKIN’ ON SUNSHINE Eddy Grant
36 ( 39 ) CHANGE HIS WAYS Robert Palmer
37 ( 22 ) AMERICANOS Holly Johnson
38 ( 29 ) VOICES OF BABYLON The Outfield
39 ( NEW ) LICENCE TO KILL Gladys Knight
40 ( 49 ) I WANT IT ALL Queen

41 ( NEW ) FOREVER YOUR GIRL Paula Abdul
42 ( 26 ) I BEG YOUR PARDON Kon Kan
43 ( NEW ) SAY IT’S NOT TOO LATE Matt Bianco
44 ( 19 ) BABY I DON’T CARE Transvision Vamp
45 ( 42 ) NOTHING HAS BEEN PROVED Dusty Springfield
46 ( 41 ) STOP! IN THE NAME OF LOVE Diana Ross & The Supremes
47 ( 62 ) STORMY LOVE Boy Meets Girl
48 ( 63 ) FERGUS SINGS THE BLUES Deacon Blue
49 ( 54 ) ROOM TO MOVE Animotion
50 ( 38 ) OF COURSE I’M LYING Yello

51 ( 48 ) HEY JUDE The Beatles
52 ( 43 ) THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL Donna Summer
53 ( 28 ) REQUIEM The London Boys
54 ( 52 ) THE AIR THAT I BREATHE The Hollies
55 ( 31 ) GOT TO KEEP ON The Cookie Crew featuring Edwin Starr
56 ( 70 ) STORMS IN AFRICA PART II Enya
57 ( 56 ) LITTLE LIES Fleetwood Mac
58 ( NEW ) SONG FOR WHOEVER The Beautiful South
59 ( 36 ) DISAPPOINTED Public Image Limited
60 ( NEW ) JUST KEEP ROCKIN’ Double Trouble

61 ( 44 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston
62 ( 40 ) FREE Stevie Wonder
63 ( 23 ) ELECTRIC YOUTH Debbie Gibson
64 ( NEW ) SPANISH HUSTLE/BUS STOP Paul Hardcastle
65 ( 64 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
66 ( NEW ) THE REAL ME Wasp
67 ( 67 ) GRACELAND The Bible
68 ( 65 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
69 ( 58 ) LIKE A PRAYER Madonna
70 ( NEW ) SHAKIN’ THE TREE Peter Gabriel and Youssou N’Dour

71 ( NEW ) I WILL DO FOR YOU UB40
72 ( NEW ) IT IS TIME TO GET FUNKY D Mob
73 ( 71 ) YOU CAME Kim Wilde
74 ( 73 ) WHAT HAVE I DONE (TO DESERVE THIS) Pet Shop Boys/ Dusty Springfield
75 ( NEW ) WHOLE LOTTA LOVE Love Child Orchestra

The Seekers Live at Bournemouth International Centre May 23rd 2014

The Seekers Live at Bournemouth International Centre May 23rd 2014 A 50th anniversary tour.

 

I think it’s worth stressing that this is the original complete line-up 50 years on from topping the UK charts and hobnobbing with the Beatles and The Stones at awards ceremonies, concerts and TV. The Seekers were big pop stars for 3 or 4 years, hopping over from Australia with their folkpop harmonies on a boat and becoming instantly successfully. Judith Durham had a brain haemorrhage last year, when they were due to tour in the UK, so it’s fabulous to see her and the group looking well and sounding great, Judith’s voice is still pure.

 

With videoed hello’s from Olivia (saw her on the same stage a couple of years back), Cliff and The Wiggles (honestly! they have covered some of their hits), it was a runthrough the big hits, pretty much, with 60‘s nostalgic film as a backdrop. I’ll be honest, I was probably among the youngest there, the audience very much not of working age, and as an enthusiastic fan commented, the queues for the toilet were quite long but what can you do when you gotta go you gotta go! It’s a shame that the sweet, good-living sounds of the Seekers, and the friendly and thoughtful fans, aren’t remotely in vogue or referred to, given there’s a bit of a folk revival going on and the musical influences on the Seekers wouldn’t be out of place being mentioned by young acts.

 

I enjoyed the run down memory lane, for me, as their songs were very famous in the 60’s and 70’s, and several had kiddie-appeal (and still do via the Wiggles), it was all very engaging, and it was good to hear some I’d not heard for 40-odd years and hadn’t realised I knew. I was too young to be fan as such at the time (I was a New Seekers fan), but there were also some good new ones (to me) that came across well, so a nice mix. Judith, especially, sounds great and a nice way to say thank you and goodbye to their fans.

 

My top 10 tracks:

1. The Carnival Is Over

2. Georgy Girl

3. I’ll Never Find Another You

4. A World Of Our Own

5. Morningtown Ride

6. Someday, One Day

7. Myra

8. The Olive Tree

9. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

10. Red Rubber Ball

 

PS I bought the 50th anniversary CD:)

My 1984 Charts – May

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Bournemouth

 

1st May 1984

My unemployed and increasingly depressed lifestyle started to have an effect on my music tastes around now as nearly all cheerful records drop and moody ones do all the moving, notably Human League’s comeback record The Lebanon, straight in at 1. My fave band since Abba disappeared, they had released 2 singles, both gems, since Dare in 1981 but no sign of an album. In those days 3 years away was a big deal for a pop band. No-one saw the sudden move away from synths and into electric guitars, and few liked the anti-war political message stance of the album’s lead single, but I loved it instantly, a rare case of in at 1, their 5th chart-topper in a row.

Moody Propaganda meantime go up to 2, sell him your soul lyric not very cheerful at all, but brilliant. SOS band’s also beautifully sombre but danceable hit rises to 6 and Sandie Shaw & The Smiths’ Hand In Glove gives them both their 2nd Top 10 hit, 15 years on since the last one for Sandie. Rufus and Chaka at 9, and 2 cheerful pop tunes at 4 (Queen) and 10 (OMD’s 7th top 10) all keeping out Bob Marley at 11.

Lower down, New Order steal up to 20 from 73, Duran go Top 40 with The Reflex, and new hits for Jeffrey Osbourne, the fabulous Womack & Womack’s Love Wars and the lovely Cocteau Twins Dewdrops – and nothing else! TV, though was taking refuge in romcom fantasy horror spoof Love At First Bite, a forgotten goodie starring fave actress Susan Saint James. The Rock n Roll Years series hit 1966 and started to get seriously good. Long in need of repeating and extending to the 90’s and 21st century, the series took the major news events of a year, mixed them with affecting important hits of the year, and showed a few key pop star performances, usually debuts. Quite a powerful mix.

 

1 ( NEW ) THE LEBANON Human League
2 ( 6 ) DOCTOR MABUSE Propaganda
3 ( 4 ) AUTOMATIC The Pointer Sisters
4 ( 9 ) I WANT TO BREAK FREE Queen
5 ( 1 ) WOOD BEEZ (PRAY LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN) Scritti Politti
6 ( 11 ) JUST BE GOOD TO ME SOS Band
7 ( 2 ) THE CATERPILLAR The Cure
8 ( 20 ) HAND IN GLOVE Sandie Shaw
9 ( 14 ) AIN’T NOBODY Rufus and Chaka Khan
10 ( 16 ) LOCOMOTION OMD

11 ( 17 ) ONE LOVE Bob Marley & The Wailers
12 ( 19 ) SILVER Echo And The Bunnymen
13 ( 8 ) GLAD IT’S ALLOVER Captain Sensible
14 ( 3 ) YOU TAKE ME UP Thompson Twins
15 ( 7 ) MAJOR TOM (COMING HOME) Peter Schilling
16 ( 12 ) DON’T TELL ME Blancmange
17 ( 25 ) I’M FALLING The Bluebells
18 ( 28 ) WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG AND IN LOVE The Flying Picketts
19 ( 5 ) NELSON MANDELA The Special A.K.A.
20 ( 73 ) THIEVES LIKE US New Order

21 ( 34 ) I FEEL LIKE BUDDY HOLLY Alvin Stardust
22 ( 30 ) IN THE HEART Kool And The Gang
23 ( 10 ) SHE’S STRANGE Cameo
24 ( 15 ) LUCKY STAR Madonna
25 ( 18 ) PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE Depeche Mode
26 ( 24 ) HELLO Lionel Richie
27 ( 35 ) AGAINST ALL ODDS Phil Collins
28 ( 13 ) UP ON THE CATWALK Simple Minds
29 ( 22 ) LEAVE IT Yes
30 ( 31 ) THE LONGEST TIME Billy Joel

31 ( 21 ) ROBERT DE NIRO’S WAITING Bananarama
32 ( 26 ) SNEAKIN’ OUT THE BACK DOOR Matt Bianco
33 ( 23 ) IT’S A MIRACLE Culture Club
34 ( 50 ) THE REFLEX Duran Duran
35 ( 47 ) GIVE ME TONIGHT Shannon
36 ( 27 ) PYT (PRETTY YOUNG THING) Michael Jackson
37 ( 74 ) PEACE IN OUR TIME The Imposter (aka Elvis Costello)
38 ( 33 ) SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Rockwell
39 ( 29 ) CAN’T BUY ME LOVE The Beatles
40 ( 44 ) SUCH A SHAME Talk Talk

41 ( 39 ) RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
42 ( 75 ) SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY Jocelyn Brown
43 ( 41 ) RADIO GA GA Queen
44 ( NEW ) STAY WITH ME TONIGHT Jeffrey Osbourne
45 ( 40 ) DANCING GIRLS Nik Kershaw
46 ( 51 ) SPACE ODDITY/ MAJOR TOM Jonathan King
47 ( 32 ) BORROWED TIME John Lennon
48 ( 37 ) IS THAT SO Lulu and B.A. Robertson
49 ( 55 ) LOVE GAMES Belle And The Devotions
50 ( 36 ) BABY YOU’RE DYNAMITE Cliff Richard

51 ( 38 ) SOMEDAY The Gap Band
52 ( 63 ) HAPPY ENDING Joe Jackson
53 ( 53 ) BILLIE JEAN Michael Jackson
54 ( 43 ) STREET DANCE Break Machine
55 ( 46 ) OUT COME THE FREAKS Was (Not Was)
56 ( 48 ) MICHAEL CAINE Madness
57 ( NEW ) LOVE WARS Womack & Womack
58 ( 68 ) LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY Deniece Williams
59 ( 45 ) A LOVE WORTH WAITING FOR Shakin’ Stevens
60 ( 60 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba

61 ( 56 ) THRILLER Michael Jackson
62 ( 62 ) LET’S DANCE David Bowie
63 ( 42 ) WHAT DO I DO Phil Fearon & Galaxy
64 ( 66 ) FOOTLOOSE Kenny Loggins
65 ( NEW ) PEARLY DEWDROPS’ DROPS The Cocteau Twins
66 ( 57 ) SOUL TRAIN Swans Way
67 ( 64 ) HOLIDAY Madonna
68 ( 71 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME Marilyn
69 ( 49 ) THE LION’S MOUTH Kajagoogoo
70 ( 70 ) THE FLAME Annabel Lamb

71 ( 54 ) SWIMMING HORSES Siouxsie & The Banshees
72 ( 52 ) HEAVEN The Psychedelic Furs
73 ( 69 ) THE KILLING MOON Echo And The Bunnymen
74 ( 59 ) THE GREATNESS AND PERFECTION OF LOVE Julian Cope
75 ( 58 ) JUMP Van Halen

TV
1 Love At First Bite (film)
2 Cheers
3 Reamington Steele
4 Soap
5 Rock n Roll Years: 1966
6 Porridge
7 Top Of The Pops
8 Avengers
9 Dallas
10 It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

 

8th May 1984

Eurovision week, and Belle & The Devotions UK entry reaches the lofty heights of 40. No other entries in the chart though, as was the usual case in those days until they had official singles release (usually never). Human League 2 weeks on top, the top 10 shuffles a bit, barring Bob Marley getting his 4th posthumous Top 10, and 7th in total (though 2 of them did it twice, so 9th time). New Order up to 7, Duran at 12, Womacks at 19 up from 57, and Cocteua’s up to 31 from 65. Not one single big hit enters this week though, leaving room for obscure tracks: Edwin Starr’s tribute to late friend Marvin gaye highest new track at 57.

DJ Mike Read tried many times to get a hit, well he sort of got one in my chart at 65, Pink Floyder Roger Waters does a solo weighing up of the pro’s and con’s of thumbing a lift at 66, and the Shillelagh Sisters get their only hit at 67. Jacquie O’Sullivan of the band (sort of folkrockabilly) became better known when she joined Bananarama.

1 ( 1 ) THE LEBANON Human League
2 ( 3 ) AUTOMATIC The Pointer Sisters
3 ( 4 ) I WANT TO BREAK FREE Queen
4 ( 6 ) JUST BE GOOD TO ME SOS Band
5 ( 8 ) HAND IN GLOVE Sandie Shaw
6 ( 11 ) ONE LOVE Bob Marley & The Wailers
7 ( 20 ) THIEVES LIKE US New Order
8 ( 10 ) LOCOMOTION OMD
9 ( 2 ) DOCTOR MABUSE Propaganda
10 ( 5 ) WOOD BEEZ (PRAY LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN) Scritti Politti

11 ( 12 ) SILVER Echo And The Bunnymen
12 ( 34 ) THE REFLEX Duran Duran
13 ( 23 ) SHE’S STRANGE Cameo
14 ( 17 ) I’M FALLING The Bluebells
15 ( 9 ) AIN’T NOBODY Rufus and Chaka Khan
16 ( 16 ) DON’T TELL ME Blancmange
17 ( 7 ) THE CATERPILLAR The Cure
18 ( 21 ) I FEEL LIKE BUDDY HOLLY Alvin Stardust
19 ( 57 ) LOVE WARS Womack & Womack
20 ( 15 ) MAJOR TOM (COMING HOME) Peter Schilling

21 ( 13 ) GLAD IT’S ALLOVER Captain Sensible
22 ( 14 ) YOU TAKE ME UP Thompson Twins
23 ( 26 ) HELLO Lionel Richie
24 ( 44 ) STAY WITH ME TONIGHT Jeffrey Osbourne
25 ( 19 ) NELSON MANDELA The Special A.K.A.
26 ( 35 ) GIVE ME TONIGHT Shannon
27 ( 27 ) AGAINST ALL ODDS Phil Collins
28 ( 30 ) THE LONGEST TIME Billy Joel
29 ( 18 ) WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG AND IN LOVE The Flying Picketts
30 ( 42 ) SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY Jocelyn Brown

31 ( 65 ) PEARLY DEWDROPS’ DROPS The Cocteau Twins
32 ( 32 ) SNEAKIN’ OUT THE BACK DOOR Matt Bianco
33 ( 64 ) FOOTLOOSE Kenny Loggins
34 ( 40 ) SUCH A SHAME Talk Talk
35 ( 28 ) UP ON THE CATWALK Simple Minds
36 ( 22 ) IN THE HEART Kool And The Gang
37 ( 37 ) PEACE IN OUR TIME The Imposter (aka Elvis Costell)
38 ( 29 ) LEAVE IT Yes
39 ( 58 ) LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY Deniece Williams
40 ( 49 ) LOVE GAMES Belle And The Devotions

41 ( 41 ) RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
42 ( 25 ) PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE Depeche Mode
43 ( 68 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME Marilyn
44 ( 46 ) SPACE ODDITY/ MAJOR TOM Jonathan King
45 ( 33 ) IT’S A MIRACLE Culture Club
46 ( 38 ) SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Rockwell
47 ( 36 ) PYT (PRETTY YOUNG THING) Michael Jackson
48 ( 24 ) LUCKY STAR Madonna
49 ( 31 ) ROBERT DE NIRO’S WAITING Bananarama
50 ( 43 ) RADIO GA GA Queen

51 ( 45 ) DANCING GIRLS Nik Kershaw
52 ( 39 ) CAN’T BUY ME LOVE The Beatles
53 ( 53 ) BILLIE JEAN Michael Jackson
54 ( 52 ) HAPPY ENDING Joe Jackson
55 ( 55 ) OUT COME THE FREAKS Was (Not Was)
56 ( 47 ) BORROWED TIME John Lennon
57 ( NEW ) MARVIN Edwin Starr
58 ( 60 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
59 ( 54 ) STREET DANCE Break Machine
60 ( 56 ) MICHAEL CAINE Madness

61 ( 61 ) THRILLER Michael Jackson
62 ( 62 ) LET’S DANCE David Bowie
63 ( 48 ) IS THAT SO Lulu and B.A. Robertson
64 ( 59 ) A LOVE WORTH WAITING FOR Shakin’ Stevens
65 ( NEW ) TELL ME I’M WRONG Mike Read
66 ( NEW ) THE PRO’S AND CON’S OF HITCH-HIKING Roger Waters
67 ( NEW ) GIVE ME MY FREEDOM The Shillelagh Sisters
68 ( 50 ) BABY YOU’RE DYNAMITE Cliff Richard
69 ( 67 ) HOLIDAY Madonna
70 ( NEW ) AIN’T THAT PECULIAR Mari Wilson

71 ( 75 ) JUMP Van Halen
72 ( NEW ) STANDING IN THE SHADOW Whitesnake
73 ( 66 ) SOUL TRAIN Swans Way
74 ( NEW ) UPROCK The Rocksteady Crew
75 ( 63 ) WHAT DO I DO Phil Fearon & Galaxy

 

TV
1 The Young Ones: Bambi
2 Cheers
3 The Sugarland Express (film)
4 Soap
5 Carrott’s Lib
6 Dallas
7 Top Of The Pops
8 Porridge
9 Hill Street Blues
10 Empire
11 Laurel & Hardy
12 Entertainment USA
13 Addams Family
14 Eurovision Song Contest
15 It Ain’t Half Hot Mum

15th May 1984

3 weeks on top for The Lebanon, and 2 at 2 for Automatic, while Duran get the their biggest hit to date at 3 (The Reflex). Womacks go top 10 for the first time (and not the last) while Alvin gets his, ooh, 5th Top 10 in 11 years, and his first for 3 years. It’s a Womble record, essentially. He’s a Mansfield lad though, and our only pop star ever, so have to support him. Elsewhere, 2 Footloose tracks side by side (16, 17) which meant nothing to me as I never went to see it. Billy Joel gets another top 20 hit, the pleasant Longest Time, and highest new entry is a dance cover of a great Detroit Spinners non-hit from 1972, I’ll Be Around.

Hazell Dean debuts with a gay club anthem of the time, Stock Aitken Waterman starting to make themselves chart regulars. That’s about it, actually, below that it’s just shuffling of positions and some bizarre new entries underline nothing much was happening on the music scene for the second week in a row. I mean, Roland Rat? Marillion? Kajagoogoo!? At least Boomtown Rats, Kane Gang, and Melody Makers (Bob Marley’s kids joining him in the chart) add a tad more credibility…

1 ( 1 ) THE LEBANON Human League
2 ( 2 ) AUTOMATIC The Pointer Sisters
3 ( 12 ) THE REFLEX Duran Duran
4 ( 3 ) I WANT TO BREAK FREE Queen
5 ( 6 ) ONE LOVE Bob Marley & The Wailers
6 ( 4 ) JUST BE GOOD TO ME SOS Band
7 ( 19 ) LOVE WARS Womack & Womack
8 ( 18 ) I FEEL LIKE BUDDY HOLLY Alvin Stardust
9 ( 5 ) HAND IN GLOVE Sandie Shaw
10 ( 16 ) DON’T TELL ME Blancmange

11 ( 24 ) STAY WITH ME TONIGHT Jeffrey Osbourne
12 ( 7 ) THIEVES LIKE US New Order
13 ( 10 ) WOOD BEEZ (PRAY LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN) Scritti Politti
14 ( 9 ) DOCTOR MABUSE Propaganda
15 ( 8 ) LOCOMOTION OMD
16 ( 39 ) LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY Deniece Williams
17 ( 33 ) FOOTLOOSE Kenny Loggins
18 ( 15 ) AIN’T NOBODY Rufus and Chaka Khan
19 ( 28 ) THE LONGEST TIME Billy Joel
20 ( 30 ) SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY Jocelyn Brown

21 ( 14 ) I’M FALLING The Bluebells
22 ( 13 ) SHE’S STRANGE Cameo
23 ( 20 ) MAJOR TOM (COMING HOME) Peter Schilling
24 ( 27 ) AGAINST ALL ODDS Phil Collins
25 ( 21 ) GLAD IT’S ALLOVER Captain Sensible
26 ( 17 ) THE CATERPILLAR The Cure
27 ( NEW ) I’LL BE AROUND Terri Wells
28 ( 23 ) HELLO Lionel Richie
29 ( NEW ) SEARCHING Hazell Dean
30 ( 11 ) SILVER Echo And The Bunnymen

31 ( 31 ) PEARLY DEWDROPS’ DROPS The Cocteau Twins
32 ( 29 ) WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG AND IN LOVE The Flying Picketts
33 ( 22 ) YOU TAKE ME UP Thompson Twins
34 ( 25 ) NELSON MANDELA The Special A.K.A.
35 ( 41 ) RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
36 ( 43 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME Marilyn
37 ( 26 ) GIVE ME TONIGHT Shannon
38 ( 40 ) LOVE GAMES Belle And The Devotions
39 ( 32 ) SNEAKIN’ OUT THE BACK DOOR Matt Bianco
40 ( 44 ) SPACE ODDITY/ MAJOR TOM Jonathan King

41 ( 37 ) PEACE IN OUR TIME The Imposter (aka Elvis Costell)
42 ( 35 ) UP ON THE CATWALK Simple Minds
43 ( 36 ) IN THE HEART Kool And The Gang
44 ( 38 ) LEAVE IT Yes
45 ( 34 ) SUCH A SHAME Talk Talk
46 ( 46 ) SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Rockwell
47 ( 45 ) IT’S A MIRACLE Culture Club
48 ( 48 ) LUCKY STAR Madonna
49 ( 50 ) RADIO GA GA Queen
50 ( 57 ) MARVIN Edwin Starr

51 ( 42 ) PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE Depeche Mode
52 ( 47 ) PYT (PRETTY YOUNG THING) Michael Jackson
53 ( 53 ) BILLIE JEAN Michael Jackson
54 ( 72 ) STANDING IN THE SHADOW Whitesnake
55 ( 49 ) ROBERT DE NIRO’S WAITING Bananarama
56 ( 65 ) TELL ME I’M WRONG Mike Read
57 ( 70 ) AIN’T THAT PECULIAR Mari Wilson
58 ( 58 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
59 ( NEW ) DON’T LET GO Wang Chung
60 ( 51 ) DANCING GIRLS Nik Kershaw

61 ( 62 ) LET’S DANCE David Bowie
62 ( 61 ) THRILLER Michael Jackson
63 ( 63 ) IS THAT SO Lulu and B.A. Robertson
64 ( NEW ) TURN YOUR BACK ON ME Kajagoogoo
65 ( 52 ) CAN’T BUY ME LOVE The Beatles
66 ( NEW ) SHE’S TROUBLE Musical Youth
67 ( 60 ) MICHAEL CAINE Madness
68 ( NEW ) DRAG ME DOWN The Boomtown Rats
69 ( NEW ) LOVE ME TENDER Roland Rat
70 ( NEW ) SWEETEST SWEETEST Jermaine Jackson

71 ( NEW ) ASSASSING Marillion
72 ( 55 ) OUT COME THE FREAKS Was (Not Was)
73 ( NEW ) MET HER ON A RAINT DAY The Melody Makers
74 ( NEW ) BREAK DANCE PARTY Break Machine
75 ( NEW ) SMALL TOWN CREED The Kane Gang

TV
1 Cheers
2 The Young Ones: Bambi
3 The Young Ones
4 Dallas
5 Hill Street Blues
6 Addams Family
7 Soap
8 Porridge
9 Man About The House
10 Top Of The Pops
11. Avengers
12. Professionals
13. Empire
14. Batman
15. Automan
16. Rockford Files
17. It Ain’t Half Hot Mum
18. Sullivans
19. Entertainment USA
20. 8 Days A week

22nd May 1984

4th and final week on top for The Lebanon, 3rd week at 2 for Automatic, 2nd week at 3 for Reflex. Elsewhere, though, the lethargy is blown apart with 15 substantial new entries headed by Elton John at 10 with Sad Songs, his first single after his Too Low For Zero album success and a run of great singles off it. Pleasant enough, though the video helped it’s high chart placing a bit.

in at 17, an instant success for new jazzy-folk duo Everything But The Girl and their fab ballad Each And Every One, while Wham! shift up a pop gear and start sticking shuttlecocks in pants and gogoing, in at 20 for their 5th hit. Howard Jones gets his 4th, Ultravox their 4th year of chart hits, non-stop, and Chris De Burgh is actually back after his flirtation with a ferryman in 1977, telling us he’s high on emotion. His best record. By far. Not saying a great deal, I grant, but it’s true.

Style Council enter at 35 with the gorgeous, summery You’re The Best Thing, giving Paul Weller 7 years of hits non-stop, while Bruce Springsteen comes back again at 38 and Dancing In The Dark, his best record since Born To Run debuted in my chart in 1975, and certainly his most commercial and he finally gives in and does a great video with both Courtney Cox and some tight jeans. Others new in: Quo (over 10 years of hits), Bananarama, Nick Heyward, Imagination, Eddy Grant (15 years of hits, with the Equals) and a fun movie soundtrack theme song in Romancing The Stone, Helen Terry ex of Culture Club backing singering, Evelyn “No Champaign” King back after 5 years with a new club sound that was hitting big – HiNRG. The BPM’s were set to max and a new genre stretching through to 2014 influences was chartborn.

Finally, Rod’s back, 11 years on from Maggie May and hitting the right dancerock buttons with Infatuation, and Sade’s follow-up to their (or her) debut is even better, sultry jazz was back in fashion. Or cocktail music, if you’re less enamoured of it. On TV, with Dallas only beaten by Cheers, I’m assuming this was the season end JR-shot episode where the scheming bitchy quips and ensuing camp hilarity were flying. I bet it was Kristin….
1 ( 1 ) THE LEBANON Human League
2 ( 2 ) AUTOMATIC The Pointer Sisters
3 ( 3 ) THE REFLEX Duran Duran
4 ( 7 ) LOVE WARS Womack & Womack
5 ( 8 ) I FEEL LIKE BUDDY HOLLY Alvin Stardust
6 ( 6 ) JUST BE GOOD TO ME SOS Band
7 ( 4 ) I WANT TO BREAK FREE Queen
8 ( 16 ) LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY Deniece Williams
9 ( 11 ) STAY WITH ME TONIGHT Jeffrey Osbourne
10 ( NEW ) SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH) Elton John

11 ( 5 ) ONE LOVE Bob Marley & The Wailers
12 ( 10 ) DON’T TELL ME Blancmange
13 ( 29 ) SEARCHING Hazell Dean
14 ( 9 ) HAND IN GLOVE Sandie Shaw
15 ( 17 ) FOOTLOOSE Kenny Loggins
16 ( 20 ) SOMEBODY ELSE’S GUY Jocelyn Brown
17 ( NEW ) EACH AND EVERY ONE Everything But The Girl
18 ( 18 ) AIN’T NOBODY Rufus and Chaka Khan
19 ( 19 ) THE LONGEST TIME Billy Joel
20 ( NEW ) WAKE ME UP BEFORE YOU GOGO Wham!

21 ( 13 ) WOOD BEEZ (PRAY LIKE ARETHA FRANKLIN) Scritti Politti
22 ( 12 ) THIEVES LIKE US New Order
23 ( 27 ) I’LL BE AROUND Terri Wells
24 ( 15 ) LOCOMOTION OMD
25 ( 14 ) DOCTOR MABUSE Propaganda
26 ( 24 ) AGAINST ALL ODDS Phil Collins
27 ( 74 ) BREAK DANCE PARTY Break Machine
28 ( NEW ) PEARL IN THE SHELL Howard Jones
29 ( NEW ) DANCING WITH TEARS IN MY EYES Ultravox
30 ( 23 ) MAJOR TOM (COMING HOME) Peter Schilling

31 ( NEW ) HIGH ON EMOTION Chris De Burgh
32 ( 22 ) SHE’S STRANGE Cameo
33 ( 36 ) YOU DON’T LOVE ME Marilyn
34 ( 25 ) GLAD IT’S ALLOVER Captain Sensible
35 ( NEW ) YOU’RE THE BEST THING The Style Council
36 ( 71 ) ASSASSING Marillion
37 ( 28 ) HELLO Lionel Richie
38 ( NEW ) DANCING IN THE DARK Bruce Springsteen
39 ( 26 ) THE CATERPILLAR The Cure
40 ( NEW ) ROUGH JUSTICE Bananarama

41 ( 35 ) RELAX Frankie Goes To Hollywood
42 ( NEW ) GOING DOWNTOWN TONIGHT Status Quo
43 ( 21 ) I’M FALLING The Bluebells
44 ( 57 ) AIN’T THAT PECULIAR Mari Wilson
45 ( 69 ) LOVE ME TENDER Roland Rat
46 ( 42 ) UP ON THE CATWALK Simple Minds
47 ( 32 ) WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG AND IN LOVE The Flying Picketts
48 ( 50 ) MARVIN Edwin Starr
49 ( 46 ) SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Rockwell
50 ( 33 ) YOU TAKE ME UP Thompson Twins

51 ( 49 ) RADIO GA GA Queen
52 ( 59 ) DON’T LET GO Wang Chung
53 ( 53 ) BILLIE JEAN Michael Jackson
54 ( 64 ) TURN YOUR BACK ON ME Kajagoogoo
55 ( 47 ) IT’S A MIRACLE Culture Club
56 ( 68 ) DRAG ME DOWN The Boomtown Rats
57 ( NEW ) LOVE ALL DAY Nick Heyward
58 ( 34 ) NELSON MANDELA The Special A.K.A.
59 ( 66 ) SHE’S TROUBLE Musical Youth
60 ( NEW ) STATE OF LOVE Imagination

61 ( 58 ) THE DAY BEFORE YOU CAME Abba
62 ( 39 ) SNEAKIN’ OUT THE BACK DOOR Matt Bianco
63 ( 61 ) LET’S DANCE David Bowie
64 ( 62 ) THRILLER Michael Jackson
65 ( NEW ) INFATUATION Rod Stewart
66 ( 44 ) LEAVE IT Yes
67 ( 31 ) PEARLY DEWDROPS’ DROPS The Cocteau Twins
68 ( NEW ) WHEN AM I GOING TO MAKE A LIVING Sade
69 ( 70 ) SWEETEST SWEETEST Jermaine Jackson
70 ( 51 ) PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE Depeche Mode

71 ( 48 ) LUCKY STAR Madonna
72 ( 52 ) PYT (PRETTY YOUNG THING) Michael Jackson
73 ( NEW ) ROMANCING THE STONE Eddy Grant
74 ( NEW ) LOVE LIES LOST Helen Terry
75 ( NEW ) HIGH ENERGY Evelyn King

TV
1 Cheers
2 Dallas
3 Hill Street Blues
4 Scully
5 Soap
6 Addams Family
7 Professionals
8 Twilight Zone
9 Avengers
10 Top Of The Pops
11 Porridge
12 Entertainment USA
13 Empire
14 Spitting Image
15 Batman (film)
16 Rockford Files
17 Upstairs Downstairs
18 8 Days A Week
19 Automan
20 Sullivans

Top 100 fave Movies Of All-Time: Part 2: Top 50

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Popcorn transfers 1970 Singapore…

 

50. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

I had to have a classic Trek movie in the Top 50, and this is the most entertaining of the series. Leonard “Spock” Nimoy directs and it’s a wonderful fan friendly, wide-appealing fun movie. It has a socially-motivated film (Save The Whales cos it’ll save the planet) and no real baddie, just a threat. This allowed the cast to have fun, and they gave it a good ol’ go, amusing dialogue and scenes, and room for lots of laughs at the expense of the 1980’s (where they had been sent to gather up now-extinct humpbacks). The screen play was a Nimoy-insisted rewrite, by Star Trek II screenwriter (Wrath Of Khan being the best of the Trek’s to that date) Nick Meyer, and it all worked beautifully, by far the biggest box-office of the Trek movies after the relative yawnfest of the first one. Lots of Trek cameos from the original cast, and all the regulars on board and each getting their moment. I love ’em all, and I’ve sadly only ever caught Nichelle Nichols and George Takei at Trek conventions, but I have to state: up to 1986 Star Trek the TV series was my number one show of all time. These days it’s Star Trek: Deep Space 9, and Brock Peters from that show is in this film so it’s beautifully circular. A fun movie.

49. Toy Story 2 (1999)

Destined (like many part 2’s of trilogies) to be the filling in between the structures, but I actually love this one too. Pixar is always good, this is a great film, full of charm, action and like many older blockbuster movie comedies, chock-a-block with great character actors (albeit voice-only). The plot: Woody gets stolen by perennial tubby villain the fab Wayne Knight (of Third Rock and Seinfeld fame) to complete a collector’s set, and Buzz and the gang save him. New characters pop in, including the fabulously ruthless Kelsey Grammar (Frasier, Cheers, not to mention Sideshow Bob and a Star Trek captain) and Jonathan Harris (Dr Smith of Lost In Space “oh the pain the pain” fame). Pixar make movies for all ages, the old-fashioned way, but cool and modern with it. Fabulous.

48. The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad (1988)

Daft, slapstick, corny, filled with visual gags and one-liners and a fabulous follow-up to the wonderful (and tragically short-lived) TV series Police Squad, this was a welcome bit of cinema fun, and the spiritual sequel to the Airplane movies. That’ll be the Zuckers & Jim Abrahams then! The TV show played with the format a lot, and lead Leslie Nielsen was a treasure as the straight-faced bungling cop. He’s shown what he could do with comedy in Airplane and this movie gave him a whole new career late in life as a comic actor, better reflecting his light-hearted real-life character than po-faced straight men. The supporting cast is great too, Priscilla Presley post-Dallas happy to debunk her image, the reliable George Kennedy, the brilliant Ricardo “Khan!” Montalban, and Nancy Marchand. They even bung the Queen in there. The 2 sequels were much the same, but just a bit less good, but it’s the one-liners that are the genius. I can’t resist a good one-liner:

“I promise you – whatever scum did this, not one man on this force will rest one minute until he’s behind bars. Now, let’s grab a bite to eat.”

47. Red (2010)

As a comic book fan, I’d somehow missed this comic book, but no matter, I LOVED the 2 films, the second one, frankly, is just as good but not quite as fresh as the first gemtastic senior-actor ensemble comic-action spy thriller. Violent (in a comic fashion), ruthless, funny, amusing, endearing, both the script and cast carry it off beautifully. Bruce Willis could feature in so many movies (but almost all of them have just missed the Top 100) he’s been so consistently good since leaving the brilliant and banter-ful Moonlighting TV series, so it’s great that he joined the quirky and fab John Malkovich, the unexpectedly wonderful Helen Mirren as a hitman spy, and Morgan Freeman who’s in everything over the last 10 years, uniformly playing himself and uniformly marvellous everytime, goodie, baddie, President or God. Karl Urban is a great goodie-baddie, following on from Dr McCoy in the JJ Abrams Star Trek’s, and the plotting is great fun, the film is great fun, and seeing a veteran cast having a ball is infectious great fun. Fab!

46. The Iron Giant (1999)

A Brad Bird animated movie version of Ted Hughes story, and a box office flop. Sometimes the world is mad. This movie is brilliant, one of the greatest animated features ever made, and has since won critical acclaim, I loved it from day one. I loved the style, classy and very fifties, the widescreen beauty. I loved the characters and cast: Vin Diesel, Jennifer Aniston and Harry Connick Jnr were never better in a movie (well, in Aniston’s case not until We’re The Millers, which is a comedy destined to feature in my top 100 revisited in a few years, cos it’s fab). I loved the 50’s Cold War theme, the sci-fi elements, the heartwarming story of love between a boy and giant robot, and a beatnik and the boy’s mom. The military are pigheaded, and love conquers all, not war. Probably the last classic family film of the 20th century, but Brad Bird went on the almost-as-good Pixar The Incredibles, having served on The Simpsons during it’s classic period. Pretty damn good credentials.

45. Carry On Up The Khyber (1968)

How can I rate a piece of British innuendo-laden, pun-tastic, bad-gag-fest 60’s period-piece ahead of a classic animated feature…err because! This is the greatest of the Carry-On’s, a self-mickeying irreverent take on the days of the British Empire and their self-important-England-rules-the-world attitude. That’s not the primary aim, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to see us portray ourselves (or rather the British upper classes) as mad as a hatter, having afternoon tiffin while being bombed by the “natives”. The cast is perfect, the caricatures (as opposed to characters) brilliant, the one-liners hilarious. Utterly non-PC these days, but to be fair, the citizens of the Empire aren’t shown in a bad light, though they are played by the regulars, very much a no-no these days. Who’s brilliant? Kenneth Williams and Sid James sparring, Joan Sims letching, Peter Butterworth’s Brother Belcher nervy and seeing everyone as mad as they are. With character names like Private Ginger Hale, lines like “Fakir Off!” (after a Fakir has performed badly), and just general good-natured having-a-laughness, it’s a film I never tire of re-watching. Low-brow, yes, fun, definitely.

44. Kung Fu Panda (2008)

Dreamworks’ Jack Black-starring vehicle, and Far-Eastern-appealing, animated comedy-adventure of a heroic Panda, is funny and charming. The China setting appeals to me, reminding me of my boyhood in Singapore when Chinese fables and adventures were often on TV, animated or live-action. The cast is great: Jack Black never better, Dustin Hoffman never more likeable, Jackie Chan, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, Seth Rogen, Ian McShane all animals of different types, heroes vs villain (McShane of course). Master Ping is my fave, though, Po’s dad (a duck, played by the fab James Hong, a staple of movies like Blade Runner and many a TV show of the 70’s onwards), the scenes between Po and his dad are the funniest and also the most touching. The sequel was also a great movie, and in both I love the martial arts setting, the journey to becoming a hero against the odds plots, and the fabulously beautiful animation, the style is deliberately inspired by Chinese artworks and looks just gorgeous throughout. A modern classic.

43. Calamity Jane (1953)

Doris Day: Secret Love. Just Blew In From The Windy City. The Black Hills Of Dakota. The Deadwood Stage (Whip Crack A Way). Fabulous songs, performed marvellously reason enough to love this film? No? How about Doris Day never better, all Tomboy-ish, but still charming. She has the mannerisms, the attitude and secretly is still a little girlie waiting for a man. Well, that bit’s less believable, but hey ho. A great cast, heartwarming, Howard Keel is a perfect antagonist-cum-lover, and certainly much livelier than Clayton Farlow in Dallas! Secret Love was a huge number one, spine-tingling still in the movie, but The Black Hills Of Dakota is just as affecting. Calamity jane was a real-life figure, though I doubt much of this has anything to do with historical accuracy, but it doesn’t matter, it’s all about the comedy, really, and especially Doris Day the movie personality. Her best film by far, and 60 years on it was great to have another album from her.

42. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Stephen Spielberg, George Lucas, Harrison Ford. A triumvirate that could no wrong for me, Spielberg is still my fave Director, and George Lucas is best as an ideas man. This nazi-chasing, Ark Of The Covenant-chasing, fantasy set in 1936 has the bonus of being filmed in the UK, and making use of some familiar UK TV character actors, the advantage of Spielberg’s stylish approach to resurrecting old-time serial adventures, and the supreme advantage of Harrison Ford as the lead. Star Wars made him big, but this made him a Star, the leading action man hero of the 80’s and beyond. Always cool, manly, cynical, wise-cracking, and yet loveable, I’m a bit of a fan of his films and the attitude-free man who sort of became embarrassed to be a superstar. It’s a great action romp (my fave word) and did for the family action movie what Star Wars did for sci-fi: made it fun again! Karen Allen is also great in this, and it was good to have her back in the most recent of the sequels, but all of them are at least great fun, and sometimes very great fun. The original is the best though….

41. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Another sequel not a million miles away from the oriiginal, but Mike Myers was getting into his stride and there some obvious new bonuses and plot threads to make up for the familiarity of some characters. Plot? Austin is sent back in time to the 60’s, a major plus for me as it’s all childhood nostalgia through rose-tinted whimsical spectacles (and false British teeth). Rob Lowe does a great Robert Wagner impression, as the younger version of Number Two, and Verne Troyer as Mini-me is naughty and funny. Heather Graham is a good new romantic lead, and the guest spots fabulous, what’s not to like about Burt Bacharach and Elvis Costello, Woody Harrelson, and of course Clint Howard in yet another cameo. It’s all very silly, the Madonna theme tune (Beautiful Stranger) is one of her best singles and heads a pot pourri of great music (such as REM’s version of Tommy james Draggin’ The LIne), and Will Ferrell as Mustafa is still funny, Frau Barbissina, Scott Evil, Dr Evil are all still fabulous. Groovy Baby, Bondtastic.

40. Airplane! (1980)

From one daft comedy to another. This time it’s the disaster movie cliches that are the main target, but it’s pops into other recent movie and cultural mild-knocking. It’s all very good-natured, and The Zucker’s and Abraham introduce the double whammy of verbal gags and visual gags in the background to actors playing it straight to the camera. A large cast of established actors add to the delight, but newcomers Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty are also great. This was the movie that let Leslie Nielsen show his comic side (“and don’t call me Shirley”), Mission: Impossible’s Peter Graves airplane Captain take an unusual line of questioning to a little boy, Ethel Merman as a psychiatric patient who thinks he’s Ethel Merman, James Hong popping up again in my list as a Japanese General, and other assorted very non-PC one-liners and caricatures. It’s never mean-spirited though, so it carries well. If anything I’ve seen the film too often for it to have the same affect on me it used to, but there are so many hilarious moments (topped by the singing nun Airport 1975 piss-take – maureen McGovern of Poseidon Adventure theme tune fame – repeatedly knocking out the life-support drip to the child she’s singing to) that this and the space-based identikit sequel continue to give joy.

39. The Fugitive (1993)

Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, a great thriller remake of a favourite David Janssen 1960’s TV series of mine, how could it fail? It didn’t, phew! Ford & Jones are great combatants even though the scenes together are minimal, and the plotting is tight, the script punchy and involving, the set piece action sequences thrilling. In short, one of my all-time fave thrillers with two of my all-time fave leading men at their best. The basic plot: Dr Richard Kimble is framed for the murder of his wife, but escapes and searches for the truth (the one-armed man, essentially, played by the great Andreas Katsulas, soon to be the best thing in Babylon 5) while evading justice. That’s the whole series condensed into one movie, but the pacing is perfect, regardless. Tommy Lee won a best-supporting actor Oscar, quite deservedly, Jane Lynch puts in a showing almost 20-years ahead of her Glee-tastic bitchy award-winning Sue Sylvester, and the film was deservedly nominated for Best Picture. Should have won, too.
38. Cat Ballou (1965)

One of the great westerns, incidentally a comedy/drama, and Jane Fonda’s most endearing (title) role at a time when she was also stunningly beautiful and yet to be American public political enemy number one. The real star, of course, is oscar-winning double-roled Lee Marvin, capable of switching from menace to side-splittingly funny wisecracks or visual gags. It’s not all about him, though, Fonda is great, and the young cast-members match her, headed by TV favourite Dwayne Hickman (clean-cut Dobie Gillis, here a likeable rogue). Throw in the Greek-chorus duet singing of the cancer-stricken great Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye throughout the film, and it’s a very re-watchable treat. Reviews were apparently mixed at the time, according to Wikipedia, but I only ever remember word-of-mouth love for the film, and it did Top 10 box office. It’s recently been voted 10th best western by the AFI, and referenced by hot-actor of the moment Bryan Cranston as the film in his life that had the most impact. It was a childhood fave to me too. So “critics miss the point” shocker headlines, eh, who would have thought it….

37. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Spielberg’s follow-up, spiritually, to Close Encounters was a money-making sensation for such a small-budget kids movie, essentially. As always, plenty of people love to brag that they don’t fall for hype and have never seen the film, as if it’s something to be proud of. I call them “people with no imagination and no sense of wonder” co it’s a treasure of a film. There’s enough hard-times/cynicism/laughs in the film to avoid over-sentimentality, but at it’s heartlight it’s a film about love and survival against the odds. There are no baddies, only threat that isn’t what it seems, no-one gets killed, the directing and cinematography is stunning, an extension of Spielberg’s previous David Lean-ist movie style, and should have got him Best Picture, Director and Cinematography at the Oscars, as generously suggested, more or less, by winner Richard Attenborough. Child-star Drew Barrymore was amusing, and a future force in movies, but really it’s a cast of unknowns portraying the Family, and doing it well, especially Elliot (Henry Thomas) and of course ET. The John Williams soundtrack is gorgeous, the now-famous classic scenes in the film retain their charm, and all-in-all it’s just wonderful to re-live on a semi-regular basis, preferably after hopping on Universal Studios ET Ride for a boost to get in the mood. The film, of course, is destined to charm new generations of kids and kids-at-heart in a good way….Hooray!

36. Young Frankenstein (1974)

A Mel Brooks/ Gene Wilder script and movie, a loving parody of 30’s horror movies, complete with black and white cinematography and editing to match the target. It uses the cliches of horror to affectionate affect, the script is witty and packed with great lines, and the cast is top-notch. Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder were at the top of their games in this, hot off the back of Blazing Saddles, whatever they did afterwards might have been amusing, but it wasn’t quite as classic as this one. The cast? Oh, that cast! Gene Wilder is perfect as Dr. “FRONKensteen” trying to live down his ancestor’s mad inventions, Marty Feldman transferred from UK TV comic to memorable movie comedian and seemed to be having a ball, and the brilliant and under-rated Madeline Kahn shows herself to be one the great women film comic actors of all-time, her delivery is always spot-on. But there’s more! Terri Garr, of Star Trek, Close Encounters, Tootsie fame, shows she can do broad comedy too, I’d been a big fan of hers since coming across her Shirley Maclaine-esque role in Star Trek, and was very happy to sit in the audience of a 90’s TV pilot show with Burt Reynolds (a movie quiz) after she’d suffered a stroke and en-route to being Phoebe’s mom on Friends. Cloris Leachman, the fabulously bitchy Phyllis of Mary Tyler Moore Show and psycho-grandma from Malcolm In The Middle, has worked consistently brilliantly in character roles over the decades, this one might even be her best (Frau Blucher! – cue horses whinneying). Peter Boyle as the Monster is also great, and he went on to late-life fame and success on TV, his best role was in the X Files and this one though. Then there’s Kenneth Mars, a Mel Brooks regular, also of Malcolm In The Middle, and a great cameo from Gene Hackman, and the musical number (Puttig Ong De Ritzz) and townspeople burning frenzy, Wilder’s wide-eyed on-the-edge calmness, and just so many quotable lines. Fab. U. Lous.

35. Toy Story (1995)

The first entirely computer-animated movie, and the birth of Pixar as movie-makers. It’s also a return to mega-success family friendly, but contemporary, animated films that appeal to adults as much as kids, thanks to the great scripts, characters and cast. How about a list of great things? Randy Newman’s songs. Tom Hanks as Woody, he’s pure Mr Everyman and Mr Nice, even when he’s being envious and selfish. Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen’s first incarnation as spaceman) in tribute to the great Buzz Aldrin. Cowboys vs Spacemen, the two great kids genres of the 20th century, as a fantasy adventure, the other great genre, as the toys have a life of their own when humans aren’t around. Joss Whedon honing the script and adding Rex (Wallace “Grand Negus DS9” Shawn). Cheers’ John Ratzenberger (natch, it’s a Pixar film!), Don Rickles veteran comedian as Mr Potato Head. A great cast of characters/toys. Toy story wasn’t the first of the Toy Story’s I saw (that was 2, which in some ways is funnier), but it’s still a great entertaining film, and gets bonus points for being influential and ground-breaking.

34. Jurassic Park (1993)

Stephen Spielberg. CGI dinosaurs bringing the extinct big reptiles to life in a way that stop-motion movies never quite could, Ray Harryhausen apart, now that science had uncovered so much more about them. It’s very Spielberg-ian as films go, a cast of kids and adults, drama, excitement, human folly, beautifully shot and directed, great John Williams music, and a great cast: Richard Attenborough in his last real memorable acting role, Sam Neil and Laura Dern great leads, Jeff Goldblum being Mr Cynical, as always, Wayne Knight in my list again (Seinfeld/Third Rock From The Sun) as the baddie, and Samuel L Jackson popping up for the first time in a great big-budget movie. Of course no blockbuster is complete without him in the 21st Century (he claims his list of movies have made more money than any body of work by any other actor – and I’m sure he’s right!). There are so many great scenes in the film, the appearance of the T.Rex trapped in cars in the rain, the toilet block, the hunting packs of velociraptors (artistic licence here I think!) and the climactic ending. Florida’s brilliant theme park Islands Of Adventure (Universal Studios) is the best in the world, for me, not hurt by having a whole section devoted to Jurassic Park themes, wet dinosaur rides, and an interactive/dining centre designed to look like the Jurassic Park centre and loads to do for kids, with the theme music constantly chiming out as a backdrop amongst the sprays of cooling mists and foliage. The film is iconic and for a while was top money-maker of all-time. Spielberg at his commercial best, and significantly better than either of the sequels. Hopefully the 4th will be great again…

33. Alien (1979)

Ridley Scott’s tense, brilliant sci-fi horror movie. Design-wise it’s stunning (H.R.Giger’s alien and sets are beautifully frightening), and the Direction is genius, setting and building the tenseness and the horror cliche of victims being picked off one-by-one was never better than in Alien. Done to perfection, and genuinely shocking when it came out. Sigourney Weaver was a revelation in this, a tough, no-nonsense leading “man” role who happened to be a woman (the script had been written for a man), which set her up for a whole career as a goddess of sci-fi. The cast is uniformly brilliant, John Hurt and his chest-burster scene, Veronica Cartwright’s nervousness (later of X Files, earlier of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers), Tom Skerritt’s shock leading-man early departure, Harry Dean Stanton’s “here kitty kitty”, Yaphet Kotto’s lashing out, and Ian Holm’s emotionless android. Not to mention the ultimate cunning monster to beat all monsters, the semi-indestructible and adaptable alien itself. The grim n gritty vision of the mining spaceships was a million miles from glossy Star Trek, but Jerry Goldsmith’s score was the equal of the movie, and Dan O’Bannon’s script. The sequels were variable (see Aliens lower down the list, but none of the others came close), but the memory lingers. In 1979 one of my all-time fave films, I know it too well to watch as often these days, but the recent Ridley Scott prequel Prometheus improves on repeat viewing and may well join the 100 at some stage…

32. The Sound Of Music (1965)

Robert Wise may not have Star Trek The Motion Picture in the list (even though it would have rated higher than this for many years) but the childhood monster musical has legs. The reason it became the biggest musical of all-time (and biggest money-making film for a decade) was because it was so bloody brilliant. Julie Andrews was taken for granted at the time, she was such a huge star, the album topped the charts on and off for years, and songs from the film (and clips on TV) were still going strong well into the 70’s. And what songs, a mix of the catchy and family-friendly (The Lonely Goatherd, Do Re Me – we sang it at school – My Favourite Things) and the dramatic (the spine-tingling Climb Every Mountain as sung by Margery McKay (not Peggy Wood) Edelweiss, as sung by Bill Lee (not Christopher Plummer) and The Sound Of Music (as sung by Julie Andrews, thankfully!). It’s not just the songs though, nor the great dance routines, nor even the great cast – well so many sci-fi links to me! – it’s the script, it’s a proper musical with drama, threat (Nazis and fleeing) and ultimately a love story as the governess marries the Captain. Julie Andrews and icy Christopher Plummer are great. Sci-fi link 1: Star Trek IV movie Klingon = Plummer. The kids are cute: sci fi links: Nicholas Hammond was TV’s Spiderman; Heather Menzies was TV’s Jessica 6 in Logan’s Run; Angela Cartwright was Penny Robinson in Lost In Space (and just pips older sister Veronica in Alien!); Marni Nixon doesn’t have a sci fi connection (she’s a nun here) but her singing was prominent in many musicals dubbed over actors, most famously Natalie Wood in the other great dramatic musical 60’s Robert Wise film, West Side Story. End of the day, though, it’s a feel-good movie, timeless, a bonafide classic and anyone who dismisses it on grounds of “saccharin Julie Andrews wholesomeness”, which it was bombarded with for decades, is missing the point. Just give in and enjoy!

31. Notting Hill (1999)

Highest-rated traditional Rom-com on the list is this one, Richard Curtis’ follow-up to the hugely successful Four Weddings And A Funeral. That’s not to ignore everyone else’s contribution, but it’s all about the script with Richard Curtis TV and movies, and after Blackadder (my own fave Curtis co-scripts) this is far and away my favourite. Hugh Grant is at his most bumbling and charming, Julia Roberts was never more sensitive and likeable, and the supporting cast of British actors is great:
Rhys Ifans comical, Tim “Blackadder’s Percy” McInnerny and other TV Curtis or Ben Elton regulars all great support. It’s had it’s critics (twee middle-class Brit view of the world that isn’t based in reality) but it’s charm over-rides quibbles, and the plot is joyous: famous beautiful actress finds true love with a bookish nerd. Oh please that’s bound to appeal to every bookish nerd. Hello! Nerd here! It’s amusing, clever dialogue, whimsical largely-bitterness-free attitude, and tear-jerking (with happiness) finale is a guaranteed rainy-day-feeling-low boost for me. Its’ optimism and good-will is infectious, and it’s appeal grows with the years. Terrific.

and so to the top 30 fave movies of all-time, starting with a bang:

30. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

It’s James Cameron again, back with yet another sequel that’s bigger than the original – this time an action-packed, time-twisting, apocalyptic, relentlessly pursuing robot-with-a-twist thriller. Arnie said he’d be back…and here he is, this time as the protector of John Connor, future saviour of the human race in the battle against machines. Turning Schwarzenegger into a heroic figure was a stroke of genius, and it suited his acting ability brilliantly, he’s very, very likeable in a ruthlessly macho way. Linda Hamilton is also back, as Sarah Connor, John’s mother, trying to warn of the forthcoming catastrophe and locked up in a mental institution, now tough and utterly single-minded in her mission to look after her son. Still working in sci-fi (great in “Chuck” TV series) Hamilton’s performance is sooo different from the cowering character of the first film. That’s a good thing! Robert Patrick, later of the final X Files seasons, also a revelation here, as a morphing ruthless shapeshifter sent from the future to kill John Connor. CGI state of the art at the time, some of the scenes, like the car chase have since been parodied beautifully by the likes of The Simpsons. There are several different edits of the movie, all are great, and there’s also the little matter of Terminator 2: 3D: Battle Across Time, a mini movie sequel featuring Arnie and Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton and Robert Patrick, which has been showing at Universal Studios florida for 18 years, to millions of visitors each year. Now that’s what I call an exciting movie (shame about the sequels).

29. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

The follow-up to blockbuster Jaws, which shocked and startled and became instantly iconic, Steven Spielberg opted for a very different film, and which jointly (with Star Wars) turned around an ailing film industry, sci-fi suddenly meant cash not box-office poison. Special Effects were now advanced enough for aliens and spaceships to look convincing, not laughable, and Spielberg put forward an alternate viewpoint that advanced species would be intent on destroying humanity. There was something magical about the philosophy to me, and the small-town suburban America, and the cast: Richard Dreyfuss was great as the mysteriously-obsessed Roy Neary (he’d talked Spielberg into giving him the role over superstar actors, who frankly wouldn’t have had the right liberal intellectual hippie mood), Francois Truffaut was a bonus, and Terri Garr was terrific as always. The special effects and cinematography, though, were as much the real stars of the film as anything: I had posters on the wall of that breath-taking moment when the giant spaceship dwarfs Wyoming’s Devil Tower, and so many scenes in the movie are magical, the little boy standing shadowed in bright light, the mix of John Williams brilliant theme music with the spaceship communication, and the many false starts and jumps leading up to the climax. For many years it was my all-time fave film, from early 1978 well into the 80’s, and I bought all the booklets, photonovels and eventually DVD’s of the various released versions (Spielberg felt the original needed extra scenes and editing, especially as ILM took off – see George Lucas!). I can see now I was dazzled a bit by the pretty lights a bit, or else I just watched it too often, I know it by heart almost – it’s still the film I’ve paid to see most times at the cinema – but it’s not one I put on as regularly these days. I still love it though, and it kick-started my Spielberg-worship. I “heart” it, smiley face, in short

28. Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)

Jerry Bruckheimer reinvented the mega-Disney family movie with this series of films. Pirates had been decidedly out-of-fashion since Disney’s Blackbeard’s Ghost delighted kids of the 60’s, but decades of kids and grown-ups had been on the theme ride at the various Disney parks so it wasn’t THAT much of a stretch really to imagine a film doing well. What sent it mega, though, was the update for the new century in attitude and CGI effects, and most of all Johnny Depp doing an impression of the Rolling Stones Keith Richard and playing it for laughs. He’d always done cult movies, especially for Tim Burton’s most interesting movies, but he’d not really gone comic. Turns out he was a natural. The first in the series is still the best (though all have their moments) and the cast is great – what’s not to like about Orlando Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Crook, and Zoe Saldana and others swashbuckling, dashing, falling, swimming, getting captured by the undead, skeletons, and nods here and there to scenes on the Disney ride? It’s a lark, and most of all it’s Johnny Depp having a lark. Fantasy, of course, but pure fun.

 

27. What’s Up Doc? (1972)

A 1930’s pastiche tribute to screwball comedies from Peter Bogdanovich and a script co-written by Buck Henry, co-creator and co-writer of the wonderful Get Smart TV series with Mel Brooks. Barbra Streisand and Ryan O’Neal are marvellous as the unpredictable force of destruction meeting the nerdy professor and causing chaos. Visual gags aplenty, many of them tributes and variations on cliched trusty or famous movie moments, and the characters and actors are delicious. Streisand was never more likeable, ditto O’Neal (so much so that a rematch was set up for them, but The Main Event didn’t have the same magic), and any film that introduces the fantastic Madeline Kahn on the world as the uptight fiancee has won me over already. Kenneth Mars is also, as ever, pompous and amusing, and Liam Dunn got a great late career out of his judge/father role, in Mel Brooks movies and many a TV show fave, for the next 4 years of his life. How big was the film in 1972? Just behind The Godfather and The Poseidon Adventure. Why? Cos they’re great! The Poseidon Adventure was my all-time fave film till Close Encounters, and this one has sort of overtaken them both as it’s still a feel-good film with a great witty script and a film for movie lovers looking for references. It’s also very very funny.

26. Donnie Darko (2001)

A low-budget marginally profitable fantasy drama that sort of owes it’s success to Drew Barrymore backing it (and being in it), it’s a bit of a stunner. Dramatic, haunting and macabre, it made a star of Jake Gyllenhaal (and sister Maggie who’s also in it), and gave Patrick Swayze a post-movie-idol meaty role. Part of the appeal of the film is the brilliant use of 80’s British indie poprock, most notably the awesome Echo & The Bunnymen track, “The Killing Moon” at the start of the movie, part is also down to the building cult following of the very dark and disturbing subject matter and imagery, and working out what is mysteriously going on. It’s a clever movie, tragic but also heroic, and Gyllenhaal is a sensation in the central role. He’s had a few great roles since, such as award winning Brokeback Mountain and the very good Source Code, but this remains my fave, one that grows with time. Just to show how much it grew, 3 years after release Mad World, a cover track featured in the film, topped the UK charts. I caught the buzz, bought the DVD and have never regretted taking a pop. Wonderful. The hardest thing to believe though is writer/director Richard Kelly having no subsequent success. Astonishing!

25. Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery (1997)

From the sublime to…the ridiculous? Ridiculously funny, anyway! Mike Myers has British Liverpudlian parents and his upbringing (despite being Canadian) is so obviously rooted in UK pop culture in this film, the love for James Bond, 60’s music and assorted sundry 60’s references is pure delight for anyone sharing them. That’ll be me then. It’s a Mike Myers film, script and most of the great characters from Austin Powers and Doctor Evil to the supporting cast of Carry On innuendo named characters like Alotta Fagina (I still laugh), Scott Evil (the fab Seth Green, and here Doctor Evil’s son with Frau Farbissina, Mindy Sterling doing a sterling job, arf), and Vanessa Kensington obviously based on Mrs Peel from the Avengers (Elizabeth Hurley in this case). Toss in Michael York, Robert Wagner, Rob Lowe, Christian Slater, Carrie Fisher and especially Will Ferrell as the not-quite-dead-yet Mustafa and hilarity ensues. I’m guessing if the references pass you by it may be a bit Whoosh-over-the-head, but Myers and co give it more than enough gusto to be funny anyway. Goodnatured, a large proportion ad-libbed, daft, engaging and knowing, the plot holds it all together enough to flow well without getting any dull bits on repeat viewing. Plot? Brit Superspy with teeth Austin is frozen and reawakened into the 90’s and a new world where he’s a bit anachronistic. Fortunately the world comes to see things his way. Quite rightly too, it’s a very lovable movie!

24. Finding Nemo (2003)

Talking of lovable. A clown fish. Pixar. Parental love. An adventure saga. Whacky aquatic fish characters. The Coral Reef. What’s not to love?! As always with Pixar, the real story is over-protective fathers (following mama Clown fish getting eaten along with all of their offspring bar one partly disabled son). An unfortunate side-effect is the raiding of reefs for the adorable fish after the movie became a huge success. Somehow the other message of the movie (capturing fish from the wild not a good thing) got lost on many selfish child-pandering moronic individuals. Anyhoo, it’s got Ellen DeGeneres as Dory, the fish with the literal short memory, and what a terrific creation she is, utterly utterly free from malice, non-judgmental, funny, and heart-on-sleeve warm-as-toast personality. OK so she can’t remember anything or anyone for long, a real-life trauma for millions and millions, but she has a heart of gold and love to give. The film would be much much less effective without her. Throw in some great supporting actor-fish/birds/whatever, from Barry “Dame Edna” Humphries, Geoffrey “Pirates of the Caribbean” Rush, and of course John Ratzenberger as a shoal of fish. The seagulls are hilarious: “mine”. “mine”. I declare several biases in favour of the film: I kept fresh-water tropical fish (bred not from the wild) from age 12 to ooh, 26 or so; One of the great experiences of my life is snorkeling around Australia’s reefs cos I love coral reefs (I was careful); the movie is gorgeous to look at, beautifully designed; the plot is wonderful (kudos to Andrew Stanton co-writer and Director); did I mention its just so lovable a film? It is.

23. Blazing Saddles (1974)

Mel Brooks first foray into movies (The Producers) is great, but this comedy western was a sensation, and is still critically revered (though as ever sniffed at by some supposed-high-brow critics of the time). I was the right age for the first movie fart gags in a hollywood movie, and the Very-1974 hip and cool dialogue superimposed on an 1874-set cowboy film cliches mickey-take was a blast, as we might have said at the time, man. The Richard Pryor script is hilarious, which comes as a relief as many of the gags would be considered no-no’s in these overly-politically-correct days, and let’s be clear, it was the first not-pro-white film comedy (the whitefolk are largely inbred idiots – the whole town is populated by hilariously named famous people all named Johnson – or villains). The black cast are the heroes, along with the Indians. Mel Brooks is brilliant here, the theme tune alone (sung by Frankie Laine) is genius Brooks, the timing is perfect, Gene Wilder memorable, Cleavon Little as Bart the first black sheriff is enaging, and the supporting cast are pure genius. I’ve waxed lyrical about them already, so here they are again: Madeline Kahn (Best Supporting Actress nominated) as a short-tongued teutonic Dietrich rip-off Lili Von Shtupp; Harvey Korman talking direct to the audience with great one-liners; Alex Karras as Mongo part-man part-monster; Slim Pickens as the ultra-redneck cowboy and his various cronies as dumb as dishwater; Don DeLuise as the film director in the musical sequence when the big fight finale spills-out into Warner Bros studios lots. So many great gags.

Waco Kid: [to Bart, after the old woman insults him] “What did you expect? ‘Welcome, sonny?’ “Make yourself at home?” ‘Marry my daughter?’ You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the New West. You know…morons.”

The final scenes show the actors watching themselves at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, still dressed in Blazing Saddles gear, then it all goes back to the film again. Manic, inventive, irreverent, brilliant. I mention the Chinese Theatre as 5 years later I sat in the same cinema theatre in real life watching a similarly manic, inventive, irreverent, brilliant British comedy (see Number 19, coming soon).
22. Shrek (2001)

Dreamworks Shrek franchise has been a delight. I’ve nominally nominated the original (well, it IS the best of the bunch, still) but they all have their individual charms. Mike Myers has popped up before in my list, so why not again, Shrek’s grumpy, antisocial anti-hero was a breath of fresh air in animated movies. They took the Disney fairytale characters and turned them on their head. Suddenly the ogre was the goodie and the Prince Charming’s, Fairy Godmother’s and the like the baddies. Mike Myers is perfect for the role, it’s impossible to see anyone else being able to do it so convincingly (even though Chris Farley had already recorded most of it before he died, Shrek would have been less cool and knowing if Myers hadn’t stepped in). Eddie Murphy is equally terrific as Donkey, after years being a bit irritating, suddenly Murphy was a bit endearing and very funny. Cameron Diaz also shows off her funny side, ready to give anything a go with the lads, and John Lithgow is just his brilliant Third Rock persona, vain and arrogant and very very funny. The Universal Studios 3D version is set just after the end of the movie, and the ghost of Lord Farquaad (Lithgow) is hilarious in it (along with the rest of the gang). A final treat also, with the voice of Kathleen Freeman in her last movie. Who? Oh just wikipedia her, she’s been in every single movie released between 1948 and 2001, the world’s premier battleaxe (and she’ll pop up again in my Top 20). Just a brief list of films and TV? Singin’ In The Rain, The Fly, Innerspace, Naked Gun 33 and a third, Blues Brothers, I Dream Of Jeannie, Married With Children and many many more. She never stopped working. Shrek, though, fab script, ad-libbed and re-written by Myers, great choice of oldies, Smashmouth’s version of I’m A Believer is fun, the plot is perfect and unusual, and the ending is the real twist: love yourself for who you are, not what people want you to be. Throw in (as so many of my fave films do) references to previous movies and characters and cliches, especially Disney, and it’s icing on the cake. Or Gingerbread Man, at least. Funneeee!

As we move into the 21 most favouritist (made up word) movies of all time, as viewed by me, I see Empire Magazine just HAD to steal my thunder and publish 303 of the readers “Greatest” movies of all-time. I take consolation that to fairly large extent, they’ve just taken my list and shuffled them about a bit, bunged in some Tarantino and a few other darker movies and then gone and ruined the whole credibility of the list by having the Lord Of The Rings movies way high. How high? Way! No way? Way! I remain mystified by their charm, and I’ve sat through them all. This is my train of thought condensing those hours into a few lines…

Hmm good cast. Nice effects, cinema really has come a long way. Lovely landscapes. Love to go to New Zealand one day. Bit slow though.

Hmm not that keen on the characters actually, don’t they go on a bit without saying anything remotely interesting, all pomp and bluster! I’m sure it’ll pick up in the action sequences. Sometime soon. Anytime now. Still dull.

Oh god this dull. Is it nearly finished yet? You’re kidding? Half-way! Oh god this is tedious. I hate them all. Boooooring. So wooden. No personality. I wish they’d all die!

Oh. My. God. I’m going to explode with boredom. Help Me!!! Please!!! Oh kill me now!!! Is it never going to end. Please End!!! Give me a rifle I hate the world!!!!!

That was just the first film:) I’m sure they’ll grown on me one day.

Just missing the Top 20?

21. The Truman Show (1998)

The film that stopped me hating Jim Carrey. Quite an achievement, and to be fair, he gives a great performance in the title role. It’s a unique film, fantasy social-commentary, amusing, dramatic, involving and stylishly clever, with edits and camera angles all brilliantly taking the michael of TV in particular, adverts, reality TV and the dubious morality of those in control of it. Ed Harris, as ever, is great as the manipulative Christoff, and the supporting cast of unknowns (to me) were just perfect, especially Truman’s histrionic “wife” Laura Linney. Oh, plus Harry “Simpsons” Shearer in a cameo. I love the 50‘s look of the film, and Truman’s gradual awareness of how he seems to be the centre of the universe (he is) is engrossing and delicious. There’s no fat in the film, it’s exactly as long as it needs to be, taut, perfectly-formed and self-contained in it’s own little world. Just like a great TV show. There are no other Carrey films on my list, but he’s grown on me over the years since Truman Show with movies like Yes Man, Bruce Almighty and Kick Ass 2, and he’s a bloody good interviewee and a bit of a hero these days. The film was highly regarded on release and nominated for Oscars, but won none, which is shame, at the least the screenplay (Andrew Niccol) and Director (Peter Weir) should have won. I say that knowing my fave Director (Spielberg) got the Oscar for Director that year, and Shakespeare In Love best script. Saw them both, preferred Truman Show to both.

Next up…Top 20!!!

 

20. Planet Of The Apes (1968)

The debut of a film TV and comics franchise that’s still going strong, but the original is still far and away the best. Charlton Heston giving the role of his life, as astronaut crash survivor Taylor and reinventing himself as a cynical hero for modern (and frequently future) times, as opposed to a biblical hero for olden times. His other films don’t quite make the list, though there is a biblical “epic” coming up next. Of sorts. The recent movies use CGI rather than men in ape masks, but they lack the depth of character and appeal of Roddy McDowell, Kim Hunter and Maurice Evans as Cornelius, Zira and Dr Zaius, and the social commentary on their society and the shock ending where it turns out to be not a Planet of Apes, but a future Earth devastated by mankind. Heston is majestic throughout, but it’s that final scene of the Statue Of Liberty in the sand that is iconic. You know you’ve made it when you become iconic and parodied, and Maurice Evans brilliant performance as the main antagonist even had a song dedicated to him (to the tune of Rock Me Amadeus) inThe Simpsons. Prosthetic make-up was advanced seriously by this film, and the script (by the brilliant Twilight Zone genius Rod Serling) notches up the drama and surprises despite rewrites (his TV scripts needed no rewrites). Budgets got cheaper and scripts less good with later sequels, until the reboots by Tim Burton and the 2011 second reboot boosted budgets, cast and effects, but failed to capture the magic of the original. The film made me a fan of all the cast, except oddly enough Charlton Heston who absolutely dominates the film. A movie classic. The second highest-positioned film of the 60’s.
19. The Life Of Brian (1979)

One of the most controversial films of all-time, as religious groups gathered to get it banned from cinemas across the lands. It’s not surprising really, not because it’s mocking Christianity (Jesus is never mocked) but because it mocks fanatics, be they religious, political or stereotypical. Beatle George Harrison rescued the film financially (and cameos along with Marty Feldman and Spike Milligan), and I saw the film the week it opened in the most unlikely place you could imagine to see a typically British, madcap, shouty, irreverent comedy: Hollywood’s Chinese Theatre, the one with the megastar signatures and handprints in the sidewalk. A student of 21 and having the adventure of a lifetime, but I certainly never saw that one coming. My two Christian friends (of the 5 of us) also saw the film and weren’t offended, it’s too intent on a being a group of comics having a laugh for the accuracy of the material’s targets to have venom behind it. The script cleverly lampoons how quick to follow, and how obtuse to reality, people can be. It’s not a proper film, really, as it’s the same Python team of 6 in multiple ridiculous (and politically incorrect) caricatures (and controlling everything in the film), it’s not remotely heartwarming, though the Bassey-esque theme song and Eric Idles anthemic Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life are needed to lighten the ending a bit. Plenty of gags, and the most rounded of the Python movies, it’s probably one to split opinion – Python were a cult 70’s TV show, but they had a very large male bias in appeal, women and girls not so fussed, and the abstract and bizarre nature of much of the material left many blinking rather than laughing. Me, anyone that can imagine John Cleese dressed as a woman selling ice-creams at the cinema, but with a giant albatross in the tray (shouting “albatross! albatross!”) is going to have me in stitches. To be honest this is not as good a film as the 20 or 30 below, but, hey I saw it in Hollywood and it’s Python! Best bit: the crowd shouting “Yes, I’m an individual” in unison. Oh, and another reason to push it into the top 20: my motto is, if a film’s got aliens and spaceships it gets extra points. This biblical epic has them in it (taking the piss out of Star Wars) and confirms it’s a good motto….

18. Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969)

A comedy western towards the tail-end of the era of the mega-popular cowboy movies, but a warm-hearted, slightly cynical, adorable anti-hero type of western. The hero of this film (James Garner) is very much based on his TV western series Maverick persona – gambler, cowardly, selfish, blunt but so, so charming. He’s also a bit OCD when it comes to disorder and unregulated baddies who think they can do as they like by using fear and the gun. He prefers brains and deceit. James Garner, as I’ve said before, is one of my fave movie stars, he can have any number of bad characteristics to his screen personas and still make them charming and likable. It worked so well here that they did a quick copycat Support Your Local Gunfighter! follow-up, which was nearly as good, and then a couple of years later came the eternal Jim Rockford on the Rockford Files, the best TV detective of all-time. What makes Sheriff! genius though is the supporting cast of familiar movie faces, like the wonderful Jack Elam as his Deputy (previously town drunk), Harry Morgan of MASH & Dragnet TV fame, the fab Joan Hackett as the tomboy love interest, Bruce Dern as baddie spoilt-son, and Walter Brennan, veteran of westerns for 30 years, as the head of the clan battling against law and order. Bung in Kathleen Freeman (again) and it’s my favourite 100% western and my highest-placed film from the 60’s. You won’t find it in many All-Time lists, but it’s good-natured amusing cynicism and playful messing with western cliches just ticks all the right boxes for me. Did I mention James Garner is in it?

17. The Mummy (1999)

Fond memories of seeing this in a fab International Drive, Orlando, Florida multiplex the week of release, and of bits and bobs from the movie being on display at Universal Studios to promote the movie, might have pushed it further up my list. But not that much further up, it’s still a great adventure romp in the old-fashioned sense, swashbuckling, horror, fantasy, bickering hero and spunky heroine, and Brits in the cast to give a touch of class. The CGI is amazing, the cast impeccable, the dialogue snappy and tight, the characterisation spot-on, and Brendan Fraser in the lead was just perfect. Written and Directed by Stephen Sommers, it’s technically a remake, but is actually more a modern re-imagining. Rachel Weisz and John Hannah are great as heroine and sidekick (brother), Arnold Vosloo is perfectly cast as Imhotep/The Mummy, a striking and memorable villain, and Patricia Velasquez a great baddie-ess (a short role, but much more from her in the sequel). Oded Fehr is great, Bernard Fox is great (Welsh actor of many an American TV and film playing stiff-upper-lip Brits types in Titanic, Bewitched, Monkees, MASH and many more), and Omid Djalili takes a break from stand-up comedy and goes all character actor comedy. The various swarms of scarab beetles, sandstorms, life-sucking mummies and more are terrific fun, and the film cracks along at a great pace. Fraser and Weisz are great together too. Love it.

16. Return Of The Jedi (1983)

The 3rd and least of the original Star wars trilogy, it has one main flaw: Ewoks. Cute cuddly diminutive warrior aliens were more to do with merchandise than drama. An edit without would produce a much better and more dramatic, darker finale. The recent CGI additions don’t make a great deal of difference to the original, so I’ll just stick with ratings for all the Star Wars films as the original versions. In a way, Return is Part 2 of The Empire Strikes Back and the cliffhanger that finished on (Han frozen into a giant brick sculpture) is resolved after an iconic battle with Jabba The Hutt, Leia in skimpy outfit and all. The original cast is happily back to gladden the heart-strings, Mark Hamill, Carrie (daughter of Debbie Reynolds) Fisher, Harrison Ford (by now a superstar), Dave Prowse (Darth Vader’s physical being, caught him at Disney MGM studios nearly 15 years ago now in a Star Wars parade), and the evil baddie to beat all evil baddies, Ian McDiarmid as the Emperor, gives a brilliantly sinister performance. R2D2 and C3P0 are still amusing, the in-family soap scenes are good (Luke/Leia the son & daughter of daddy Darth Vader), and the special effects were on a galactic scale at the time. Not any more, of course, CGI has changed movie-making beyond recognition, and all the model-work and alien-suit techniques in use then have moved on to a virtual computer-driven experience. In a way Jedi was almost the end of an era (bar one other trilogy), but that sort of gives it a period charm these days (which is why I’m not keen on CGI tinkering round the edges). I haven’t mentioned George Lucas, yet, head of an Empire of his own, thanks to keeping the merchandising rights. The prequel trilogy started badly (Even seeing The Phantom Menace in Florida with media megahype couldn’t stop it being a) boring b) convoluted plotwise c) Liam Neeson being in it d) Jar Jar Binks ruining it) but the next two were both good, the last one still has a shot of making my Top 100 if I see it some more. I’m looking very much forward to seeing the reunited cast, another trilogy and best of all J J Abrams being in control after his recent Star Trek re-energizing. I wonder if we’ll hear from Lucas and Abrahams higher up the list….Hmmm. Guess!

15. Men In Black (1997)

Barry Sonnenfeld’s best movie, and my favourite Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones roles, and yet another Stephen Spielberg production. Stevie certainly knows how to appeal to me! In this case, it’s another comic-based rollicking, funny, engaging, fast-paced roller-coaster ride, aliens galore, good and bad, hi-tech, brilliant special effects, and a good supporting cast in Rip Torn, Tony Shalhoub, and many others. The plotting is fun (the Earth about to blown-up unless a galaxy hanging round a cat’s collar is kept away from a rampaging cockroach. Yes, that old ploy!), the large cast of colourful aliens is hilarious, Will Smith not only had a chart-topper with the theme tune, he cornered the market in blockbuster sci-fi heroes for a decade and beyond. Smith & Jones are a brilliant double-act, and this extends into the sequels – they might not be quite up to the originality of the first, but they are still well worth watching in their own right. The mass appeal of Will Smith is partly down the Fresh Prince TV show and friendly teen rapper background (having hits in the UK from 1986 on), partly down to a winning personality and family-friendly attitude, and not least down to being a great movie star. Box Office megabucks were also now possible for black actors too, worldwide, as lead hero, as opposed to support or comedians, so I see Will as a Sigourney Weaver-type of new role model in movies. I love this film, never get bored with it, cheers me up when I watch it, and is one of that rare breed: perfectly-formed, exactly as long as it needs to be, and no more. The curse of the modern movie (excess padding) not on view here! Actually, now I talk about it, I feel like watching it again – and I only saw it a month ago! Classic!

14. Some Like It Hot (1959)

This is a perfect film, and it’s difficult to imagine a Best, Favourite or Greatest list of films without it in – exceptions granted for those too young to have seen it yet! Billy Wilder’s comedy is regularly acclaimed critically and popularity-wise as the best comedy of all-time, and it’s just brilliant. The script is terrific, but the performances lift it up a notch further, especially Tony Curtis in his light-leading-man prime (doing a fantastic impotent Cary Grant impression on top of his Tony Curtis Brooklyn-charmer), and Jack Lemmon going way over the top in drag. Plot: a historical setting (well, all of 30 years at the time at any rate) as two musicians witness the St Valentine’s Day Massacre and go on the run in drag with a band of female musicians, especially Marilyn Monroe at her breathy iconic best: I Wanna Be Loved By You (poop poop bi do). The Mob (with many a great gangster actor) are out to get them. The gender-confusing cross-dressing plot is a lark (and quite daring for the time) and the sparring between Curtis & Lemmon for Monroe’s affections is great fun. Throw in Joe E. Ross and that perfect throwaway last line to Jack Lemmon’s wig-removing “Aww I’m A Man” after he got swept away being romanced (as a woman) by millionaire Ross: Nobody’s Perfect. But some films are. Top-rated film from the 50’s, top black and white movie, top notch.

13. Gravity (2013)

An Alfonso Cuaron film, screenplay (with son Jonas), Director (oscar winner), Producer, and amazingly a British-American film, filmed in the UK, this film is nothing short of stunning. The most realistic sci-fi film space drama ever, the plot is more a “might have been” than fantasy. OK it stretches quite a few coincidences to breaking point, but life is full of billion-to-one unlikely series of events (marooned in orbit following space catastrophe and the battle for survival against the clock). Even more incredible, there are basically two actors on screen in the whole film, George Clooney who is total hero, in the real sense of the word, ready to risk and sacrifice his life for others, and with a sense of positive optimism in the face of adversity, who wouldn’t just fall in love with him! The centre-piece though is Sandra Bullock, who is simply stunning. Given that for most of the movie she is acting with no-one but herself, and against screens for special effects (stunning Oscar-winning cinematography 3D special effects) it’s criminal she wasn’t the winner of the Best Actress Oscar. Star of a host of pleasing comedies, most recently the fab The Proposal with the marvellous Ryan Reynolds and Betty White, and occasional great dramas like The Net, she conclusively proved she can do drama as well as any actress, and do it brilliantly. Ed Harris, in a nice touch, is there on voice Mission Control reprising that other great space drama Apollo 13. The film has no flab, it’s perfectly-formed and perfectly-edited, inspiring, involving, and for once 3D is totally justified (as opposed to a gimmicky profit-increasing incidental). I’ve only seen the film 3 times in 12 months, but I see this film only going higher in my chart with the years. I. Love. It.

12. Wall-E (2008)

Another Pixar heartwarming tale with a difference – this time the last miniature robot left working on an abandoned planet Earth, environmental catastrophe appearing to have wiped out most life, bar a superfast mutated smart cockroach. It’s a film of 2 halves, the first half almost free of dialogue, full of mystery and engaging the viewer on a tiny l’il robot, still beavering away on his rubbish collecting and saving of souvenirs. Self-aware and curious, and above all lonely, a recurring Pixar theme is loneliness and finding love, and Wall-E finds it in a mysterious visiting probe and a rescued plant, a plant that is the saviour of a space-bound obese dumbed-down race of idiots under the thrall of super-computer in the second-half action-packed space-bound part of the film. There’s a lot of social commentary going on, and it’s certainly ambitious and critically-acclaimed, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t charming in the extreme. It so is. One of the ultimate feel-good films, and just for bonus I’ll mention two names that just keep on cropping up in my list. Sigourney Weaver. John Ratzenberger. Voices. Nuff said. Me, I love the mood change in the film, I don’t think the entire film could have worked focused on one location or the other, it needed both to give it a sense of scale, and the scale is grand. The future of the human race and the planet? Can’t really get more important than that… Brilliant!

11. Galaxy Quest (1999)

I couldn’t quite bring myself to put a daft film into the Top 10, and it DOES parody Star Trek and it’s fandom – but it’s so without malice, and accurate, and funny, and engaging it almost comes over as a mix of Star Trek and the Star Trek actors lifestyles. Alan Rickman is hilarious (as he often is) as the Spock-Nimoy character, Sigourney Weaver is wonderful (yes her again, I wonder if she’s in my Top 10. I wonder if Star Trek is…) as the computer-repeating Uhura-role, and Tim “Buzz Lightyear” Allen as Shatner-Kirk is marvellous. The rest of the cast is equally delightful, including the unknowns, and including the better-knowns such as Tony Shalhoub (see Men In Black) and Sam Rockwell (see Cowboys & Aliens). The script is funny, both for kids and adults, the aliens that turn a sci-fi show into reality are a great invention for the purposes of the laughs, and it’s not afraid to turn geeks into heroes. So I’m bound to love it. It’s fairly well-regarded as a great movie but not a Great movie, but there are few films that just give you a massive warm fuzzy feeling inside after watching it. It’s so damn lovable. It became my mum’s all-time favourite film when it came out on DVD, age 61, one watched with regularity, so that’s good enough for me. She still watches it, and still loves it, even though she has memory problems now (we watched it last week). Anyone mistakenly thinking it’s low-brow can just go and re-assess themselves, cos it’s an under-rated gem. So there!

 

10. Back To The Future Part III (1990)

The conclusion to the Robert Zemeckis trilogy, it’s part sci-fi Time Travel, part western-romp and re-unites the cast, notably Michael J. Fox in multiple roles, and Christopher Lloyd having a ball as old Doc Brown living in the past with new flame Mary Steenburgen and Thomas F. Wilson, the unsung great baddie of the three movies (Biff), here playing his descendant Mad Dog with nasty gusto, he’s great to watch. Fox is a great hero-with-flaws in these films, his TV days long behind him, till illness cut short his movie career, and Christopher Lloyd had been a major fave of mine since he debuted as Reverend Jim in Taxi. His Doc Brown is one of the great cinema eccentric scientists. As a western movie fan, it was great to have this final box-office hit for the genre (more or less) and having Pat Buttram in a saloon cameo didn’t hurt, star in many a western I was a huge fan of the Simpsons-influencing 60’s sitcom Green Acres, where he played wheeler-dealer Mr. Haney, complete with “has to be heard to be believed” nasal whiney voice. The plot of this film is more coherent than part II (which it quickly followed, as both were filmed simultaneously) and has a much lighter tone to it. Try not to think too hard about all of the time-travel paradoxes that each film creates, I count two past history changes, three 1980’s-present alternates (at least) and two future-possibilities (at least), so it’s better to just enjoy the romp, cos it’s the ultimate feel-good trilogy.

 

9. Back To The Future Part II (1989)

Sprawling sequel, this was in a way Back To The Future revisited, with it’s revisit of 1950’s small-town america, had most of the original cast return (bar 2), and took things further by going into the far future of 2015, where a lighthearted romp ensues showcasing such ridiculous far-fetched fantasy devices as wall-TV’s, skype, computer-controlled houses, 1980’s nostalgia, real-life celebrities recreated by computers and other stuff. OK, the fax is still about in 2015 (as if!) and the hoverboard and flying car better get going as they’ve only got 6 months now to sort themselves out, not to mention the ending of oil as a fuel. 2115 maybe….! For a long while this was my favourite part of the trilogy cos I loved the future setting followed by the time-travel-caused alternate dystopian future where Biff seems to have single-handedly caused the hope to be replaced with worldwide misery (or at least American). Michael J. Fox as his own daughter looked good, but was probably inadvised after the initial laugh, and Christopher Lloyd playing young and old Doc Brown got over the problem thanks to that rejuvenation treatment that I could do with next year. Looking forward to that coming onto the market! I also love time travel films, and paradoxes, though if you look too closely at it poor old Jennifer and Einstein end up left in an alternate universe 1985 present-day which has always bugged me. My nostalgia for the fifties (to be more accurate, nostalgia for 70’s versions of the 50’s) was still going strong, and I enjoyed the double-take revisit of the events of the original movie. Thomas F. Wilson again gives several great performances as various versions of Biff, the Bob Gale-Robert Zemeckis script is sharp and entertaining, I love hearing Mr Sandman in the film, and there’s a great cliffhanger at the end. In 2014, the 2015 sequences look a bit overly-ambitious technology-wise but they insisted they had to have flying cars, just because. And why not!? Fab.

8. Paul (2011)

OK I said there weren’t any daft films in the Top 10. I lied. This one ticks all the right boxes for me: sci-fi? Tick. Great cast? Tick. Funny script? Tick. References to past movies? Tick. Aliens? Tick. Affectionate pastiche of fandom? Tick. In a way, it does for Close Encounters (even to the same locations), E.T. and X-Files what Galaxy Quest did for Star Trek – takes the piss in a knowing and lovable way. To be honest, I’d not been a huge fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost up to this point – I mean, I liked them, but hadn’t been totally convinced till Pegg popped up in Doctor Who and Star Trek (as Scotty) – but their performances, their script, and their obvious love of the fandom/sci-fi stuff won me over. Seth Rogen as smart-assed alien Paul was a good modern-cynical take on the cliche, Jason Bateman is great as CIA baddie (sort of), Kristin Wiig is hilarious as the religious fundamentalist daughter (and opened up a career for her as romcom star of good movies like Bridesmaids), and of course, no sci-fi blockbuster is complete without Sigourney Weaver as a bad-ass bitch these days. Tick! Chuck in great character actors like Joe Lo Truglio (Brooklyn Nine-Nine), Jeffrey Tambor (Hill Street Blues among a million TV series, and fabulous The Invention Of Lying among a million movies), Jane “Glee” Lynch, and Bill “Men In Black 3” Hader and it’s one of the most joyous road movies ever made. It should have been a huge hit, but maybe it’s most appreciated by sci-fi geeks like me who juuuuust feel the love in it rather than the mainstream. Plus it has a great oldies soundtrack, notably the brilliant Todd Rundgren’s Hello It’s Me. Classic!

7. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Just voted the greatest movie of all-time in Empire magazine, the second-part (or fifth) of the Star Wars saga is a bonafide classic. Darker than the original (part IV), it has a few advantages over it (special effects are better, it’s on a bigger scale even than the universe-crossing original, most of the cast reprise their roles) but it also has some disadvantages to me (the Yoda scenes are over-long, Lando’s a bit bland) and one major flaw that will always stop it being top-rated: it just ends. OK, Luke gets his hand chopped off and Darth Vader announces he’s his dad, but it’s very much part 1 of 2 parts with Han Solo freeze-dried and the goodies in turmoil licking their wounds. That said, it was of course a joy to have the sequel after the cinema-changing sensation that was Star Wars 1977, and there’s many a cinema memorable moment, the ice-planet, the battle between Luke and Darth, and of course there’s many a great tribute to it, not least the funny Family Guy trilogy. George Lucas had a less-hands-on role in this one, but you wouldn’t notice too much, if anything the actors are better – guiding actors has never been one of Lucas’ strong points, nor has dialogue, here carried out by Irvin Kershner (Director), Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan (writers). I should also mention Pixar-regular  John Ratzenberger is in it. I haven’t checked who gets more mentions in my Top 100 films, but it must be Ratzenberger, Ford, or Weaver, just ahead of Will Smith. Ratzenberger though, wins as top supporting/cameo actor. I do enjoy trivia. Great film.

6. Star Trek (2009)

Highest-placed Star Trek film, it’s more of a surprise that it’s been forced out of my Top 5, cos, simply-put, I immediately fell in love with Star Trek the TV series when I was 11, it became my all-time fave TV series – until subsequent Star Trek series, notably Deep Space 9, overhauled it in my affections. I’ve been to conventions, met the stars of the various shows (briefly) and my mum has been a fan throughout too. After all the TV overdose, the franchise needed a rest until it got revitalised. J.J. Abrams did exactly that. He took the original characters, legendary and world-famous, got a perfect new cast of actors to reprise and keep the flavour of the original cast, and then rewrote the premise (time-travel tragedy changes everything that originally happened and this is now a new Star Trek universe where anything can happen and does. It’s obviously geared for modern action-oriented blockbuster-savvy audiences but it stays reverential to the original for the fans, even to the point of having Leonard Nimoy back meeting his new younger self (Zachary Quinto), and Majel Barrett as the voice of the computer two weeks before she died. Chris Pine is brilliant as Kirk, Karl Urban is great as McCoy, Simon Pegg is perfect as Scotty, and all the others actors are equally great in their roles. I love that it has brought classic Trek back to me, and JJ Abrams handling of the forth-coming Star Wars films also promises much (in comparison to the prequel trilogy that never really captured the zest of the original trilogy). OK, it’s not as ideas-based as the TV series, but movies have to appeal across-the-board, and this one bought in the dosh without dumbing down anything, keeping the heart of the show alive – that’s the character-interplay between Kirk and Spock, and all of the rest of the loyal characters – while adding in a new early-life trauma for this Spock (his mother’s death) and Kirk (his father’s death before he was born) to punch up the drama. That I rate it higher than any of the other Star Trek films is a joy!
5. Marvels’ The Avengers (2012)

Outside the UK just drop “Marvel’s” but oldtime TV fantasy fans still love the 60’s TV show of the same name. OK, the most recent of the top 5 is at 5, but it could easily be at 1 in a few years as the film is genius. That’ll be Joss Whedon then, a man who can do no wrong in my book, his scripts are always perfect combinations of humour, drama, invention, character-development, pathos and structure. If he wasn’t working in fantasy (with its sniffy-nosed critics looking down their noses) he would be considered a great, purely because he deals with the eternal human lot of life and death and love – just, in this case, with super-heroes. Whedon dialogue is amazingly concise, beautifully phrased, and the pace is always perfect. From 7 years on Buffy, 5 years on Angel, half-a-year on the gorgeous Firefly and on into the movies he’s never let me down. I’m a fanboy! So…this film hitched up the super-hero movie to a new level, and as a former huge DC Comics fan it’s through gritted teeth that I admit Marvel is the one to do the super-hero team movie right. Near-perfect, in fact, as the large cast is juggled beautifully, the inter-action is engaging, and the villains are an equal part of the appeal (here, Tom Hiddleston is every bit as important to the movie as the heroes – something other films often forget: the better the villain, the better the heroes look and the better the movie). Humour is vital to my enjoyment of any fiction-project, and there’s plenty here. Not to say it will always be appropriate to have humour in a tragedy, but I avoid mega-depressing films like the plague generally-speaking, there’s more than enough trauma in real life to deal with, films are an escape from it, for me.

The cast? Brilliant. The great thing is it’s genuinely an ensemble effort, there is no single star, though the organiser, if you like, is Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, who has popped up (as a character) in so many Marvel blockbusters, and (as an actor) in so many other blockbuster movies, that he lays claim to be the world’s biggest money-spinner star. Might well be too. Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Gwyneth Paltrow and many others (not least Whedon’s fab Agents of SHIELD TV show set-up) shine beautifully and link in to the various franchise spin-off movies for their characters before and following-on, such as the terrific 2nd Captain America movie, which came out too late to feature in my list – but would have! The plot is exciting, the effects fabulous, the pace non-stop: in short a perfect super-hero movie. Happily, the world seemed to agree with me, currently 3rd in box-office gross. Marvel-lous!

4. Up (2009)

After a lot of anguish, and rewatching it last week, I couldn’t quite put this into my top 3 as it’s too soon (at 5 years old!) to rate it properly – but it’s very much on the way Up. Top-rated film of the noughties, top-rated Pixar, top-rated animation, this heart-warming and sentimental film is equally funny, adventurous and gorgeous to watch. The animation is pure Art, by any standard, the fantasy charming in an Oz-fashion, the characters going against stereotypical kids movies and heroes, starring as it does a 78-year-old widower and a semi-abandoned Japanese-American boy, both with dreams of being explorers. The first 15 minutes of the film are both yearningly beautiful and heart-breaking. This grown-man weeps at the sequence where we see childhood sweethearts live out their life through short scenes and photos, until Carl is left a widower, bereft and empty. It speaks to me at my time of life, because I had to watch my grandma learn to live alone and lonely after my granddad died, but it also speaks to the optimistic boy wannabe adventurer in me who lost himself in exciting fantasy worlds created by others, be it books, films, TV or comics. As this film proves, that little boy is still there, live and kicking, just looking a bit more wrinkly these days!

The cast? Perfection: they chose Ed Asner, character actor of many a classic sitcom and drama (Lou Grant, Mary Tyler Moore Show, Roots) of the 70’s, where he played grumpy, lovable heart-in-the-right-place types, there’s no one of that age I can think of better suited to be Carl. The debut movie voice actor Jordan Nagai as Russell is charming, and the film is really about Russell dragging Carl back into the world while on their balloon-inspired house-flight to Peru, both of them finding love and a reason to live life to the max in each other, where a huge lonely gap had been before they met. Baddies: Talking dogs? Hilarious! Christopher Plummer (yet again) in my list, just before showing life can still be full at 82 (winning an academy award for Beginners), is terrific at the paranoid ruthless lost famous adventurer. Of course, there’s John Ratzenberger too. I love the 1930’s styled visuals to much of the film, accurate and charming. Above all though, I love the script/story – kudos to Pete Docter, co-writer of both as well as Director. As a film it’s unique, no Hollywood cliched rom-com adventure here, no brainless kiddie-flick, it deals (as ever with Pixar) with universal human lot issues like loss, living, loneliness, friendship. And it’s got a whacky bird too! What’s not to love. One of the greatest movies ever made, by any standard. Epic.

3. Star Wars (1977)

Shock! The film I generally mention as my fave film of all-time, if asked, and often see listed at 1 on many film polls, is only 3. I just watched it for the umpteenth time (it’s the film I’ve seen more times than any other, by far) and that’s part of the problem – I know it backwards. When it first came out I went to see it 5 times, in itself unprecedented for me, and it became my new fave film till Close Encounters came out weeks later and usurped it. Gradually it pulled back, though and reigned for 30 years because in a way it was the first modern movie and didn’t date quite like most movies. Since it occupied a brand new world of it’s own, it didn’t have a period to sit and be charming in. Is it a great film? Yes and no. If you want to have a laugh at the plot and characterization, and dialogue, and even the stilted acting, I suggest watching Family Guy’s Blue Harvest, which amiably and accurately re-does the whole movie brilliantly, but never loses it’s admiration and love for it. In any case, being Citizen Kane never was the point of George Lucas’ magic creation, the aim was to take the 30’s Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials and gift that pace and imagination, that galactic adventure melodrama and one-liners, with a modern-budget special effects setting. Job done, and then some!

When Star Wars was about to be released in the UK, the hype and word of mouth was intense, I was 19 and at College sharing a bedroom digs with 2 mates who asked me if it lived up to the hype (I went to see it immediately). Easily one of the Top 3 best films ever-made, I opined, thus setting up expectations which is not the best thing to do ahead of viewing! Well, here we are, 37 years on, and I still hold the view that I was spot on, all in all, because the elements of modern action cinema (especially sci-fi fantasy blockbusters) lead back to Star Wars. The editing, manic pace, special-effects led galactic-scale goodies and baddies was pretty influential to put it mildly. I don’t think it’s an over-stating the case that before Star Wars films were more leisurely (to the point of boredom sometimes) and sci-fi was well-known as box-office poison – not least because by it’s nature it needs special effects to not look silly. Everything changed immediately, sci-fi fantasy blockbusters became (and stayed) big business. Star Wars was like a glittering, sparkly, rollercoaster ride for the senses, and ordinary films seemed quite dull in comparison, even the big budget disaster movies, Bond films and the like. Star Wars may not have saved cinema, which was declining disastrously during the 70’s, but it didn’t hurt to have the new biggest-money-maker-film-of-all-time being one you could happily repeat view.

Cast? Do I need to list Alec Guinness, Harrison Ford’s highest-rated of many Top 100 films, Mark Hamill’s energetic Luke Skywalker, Carrie Fisher’s spunky bun-wearing Princess, the double-act C3PO and R2D2, the whinging butler robot and his short rebellious companion? Then there’s Darth Vader, James Earl Jones hissing evilly, and Peter Cushing (best performance in the movie). Add in John Williams music (and disco spin-off hit covers) which dominated the film and changed movie soundtracks back to the epic full-on strings-heavy drama that they need to be in blockbusters. MGM’s Star Tours ride upped the excitement after the sequels had been and gone (and eventually prequels), and Star Wars was copied and aped on TV and in the movies, none of them managing to kick the film from it’s revered pedestal (by fanboys such as me and Seth MacFarlane), cos George Lucas did it first. The Empire Strikes Back is most-likely a better film, but this one is a complete story, right to the bows and clapping at the end, stating quite clearly it’s old-fashioned roots. Ignore the annoying revamped digital versions though, they look even more dated than the original these days and add nothing much, save the bonus Jabba The Hut scene. I’ll prob give it a rest for a few years now though and let newer films shine through! Hopefully the next installment with Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, C3PO, R2D2 clanking about with rusty aging bits….

 

2. Back To The Future (1985)

I love this movie, and the entire trilogy. It’s crept up on me over the years, I mean I thought it was great when it came out, but there’s just something special, heartening, warm and endearing about it that lets me watch it over and over without ever getting bored with it. For a start it’s got time travel and it’s effects, a concept I love, it’s got fifties nostalgia, it’s got 80’s music and 50’s music, it’s got Michael J. Fox as the perfect all-American-Boy (slightly-flawed, but enthusiastic and loyal), it’s got the brilliant Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown in dual roles, without doubt the greatest mad (lovable) scientist ever, shortly after spending a few years as hilarious stoned Reverend Jim on Taxi, and the ruthless Klingon that kills Captain Kirk’s son. The plot is great (Marty Mcfly’s mum falls in love with her own son instead of Marty’s dad, which causes a loop stopping himself from existing unless he changes events back).

The time-travel paradoxes are an appeal of the films, though you have to accept things happen the way they do, cos it’s sort of fated, as opposed to the likely consequences where in the real world, change behaviour of people and you change events in life, change events in life and key moments change, people aren’t born, other people are born who weren’t originally (for instance if George McFly became a famous writer rather than failed insurance salesmen, it’s most likely the kids wouldn’t have been conceived the nights they were supposed to be, events would just change too much), so for the purposes of the film best forget and just enjoy the various different Marty McFly universes, cos they’re all great.

Ultimately, it’s a feel-good family-friendly sci-fi romp, but everything about it just seems to gel perfectly, especially Biff actor Thomas F. Wilson who is everyman school-bully, a type we all know from school, and on behalf of geeks world-wide there’s deliciousness seeing him get his come-uppence. It’s a sweet film, beautifully-imagined by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Stephen Spielberg (outdoing all of his own greats), and it’s now got the added bonus of being it’s own 80‘s nostalgia period-film charm to add to the original 50’s nostalgia period-charm – it was always an idealistic small-town version of both, but that’s not to say it’s fake, it’s just less…horrible than real life. A version I’d like to think existed in some small American communities. Top rated film of the 80‘s. Love it.

So, what’s Number One….? It’s a 90’s movie.

Ready for it? Want to know which is my Top Of The Film Pops..

 

 

 

 

 

 
It’s…..

 

 

 
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1. Groundhog Day (1993)

This film is miraculous. It takes what sounds like a boring idea (living the same day over and over for what must be centuries) and turns it into magic. The variations in the possible outcomes of the day are funny, touching, disturbing, and in the end, heart-warming and an affirmation that there is always hope, there is always love, and a selfish person can learn to love and be loved. It’s possibly the most-optimistic film ever, and it’s had such an impact on the world that the title has entered into the English language in it’s own right. What started out as a seemingly inoffensive Bill Murray-vehicle semi-rom-com from his Ghostbusters-mate Harold Ramis had more to it than it appeared. As time passed, the joy of the film became clear and critical opinion changed and re-evaluated it properly, belatedly having greatness bestowed on it. It has the ability to move, gladden the heart and reward familiarity that It’s A Wonderful Life has – it never gets tiring, there’s always something extra there that pops up.

Credit goes mostly to the script, which is almost perfectly-formed, original, chock-full of great one-liners (many of them based on the repeat-themes), but the cast also need applause too. Bill Murray is always Bill Murray, snide, cynical, arrogant, but he’s always managed to get away with it cos the charm and wit pulls through and wins. In this case, his unredeemable weatherman is redeemed when he gives up thinking about himself and genuinely learns to love the small-town cast of many. Andie MacDowell is also vital to the film, she is the moral compass, can spot bull a mile off, and nothing Murray ever does convinces her that he’s sincere – until he is, and the perfect day is the perfect ending. We’re never sure how long he’s been living the same day eternally, but he is accomplished in so many things, and knows everything about everyone in town, and spent so long trying to kill himself in inventive endless way, that it must be centuries at least. It was his own personal hell and it became his own personal heaven. Overstating the case? Nah!

I still love “I Got You Babe”, I love the German-festival-music and the whole groundhog event, I love the sci-fi/fantasy concept of the film, and I love a great rom-com. I love Larry and Ned Ryerson among the rest of the characters in the film, and I love that the Writers Guild Of America voted it the 27th best screenplay of all-time – except that it should have been higher! Not bad for a Bill Murray throwaway rom-com…..

So there you have it. That’s the film I go back to more than any other these days, it lifts me up when I’m down, and gives an optimism boost when I’m feeling jaded and cynical. Thanks for reading and putting up with the looooong wait between reviews!