My Top 10 Fave Sitcoms

10. AMERICAN DAD (2005-2019)

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

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

 

9. CHEERS (1982-1993)

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

8. BLACKADDER (1983-89)

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

5. FATHER TED (1995-1998)

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

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

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

 

 

4. GREEN ACRES (1965-71)

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

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

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

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

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

 

3. FAMILY GUY (1999-2019)

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

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

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

Anyway, still running, still on TV every night…

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

2. FUTURAMA (1999-2013)

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

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

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

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

 

1. THE SIMPSONS (1989-19 so far)

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

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

Name dropper.

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

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

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My Retro April 1969 Charts

5th April 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5th April Retro-Then

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

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

 

12th April 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

19th April 1969

It’s a first week on top for the second oldie chart-topper to do it for The Isley Brothers, following This Old Heart Of Mine in 1968’s retro charts. The solid gospel of The Edwin hawkins Singers shoot up to 3 some months ahead of their UK chart entry as jy charts continue to look like the summer/autumn UK charts with so many early US debuts taking over. Compare with the stuff I liked this week at the time and only 6 tracks are in both top 20’s. The Beatles go up to 9 with Get Back and Elvis is back with his biggest bang in the retro charts to date – straight in for his social-gospel ballad In The Ghetto. The evening I bought my first ever record with my own money – Dizzy at an evening outdoor market Singapore record stall in Changi Village – I also bought In The Ghetto with a picture sleeve, “for my mum” who is a huge Elvis fan, for 2 dollars (but really it was for me cos I loved it too). The B side was also fabulous, power soul ballad Any Day Now which enters at 33 and pushes out the lesser Percy Sledge version.

In at 17, Val Doonican gets his 2nd-biggest retro hit with Ring Of Bright Water, a gorgeous childhood fave movie theme tune, with Bill Travers & Virginia McKenna and some Otters in Scotland, a film I enjoyed in 1969, as I loved any film with animals in, and anything conservation-related. Saving animals and the Planet was a big theme in my childhood. Pity it’s taken 50 years and major damage to become a theme for young kids today as well. Another fave of the time from Herman’s Hermits, and one that stands up better than their jolly ditties, is in at 22 for My Sentimental Friend.

Dusty goes up 3 times, the biggest up to 29 with her non-single album track later title track on an album of Dusty covers from the wondrous Shelby Lynn, her I Am Shelby Lynn album is one of my all-time faves. CCR are in with both sides of the new single Bad Moon Rising and Lodi, the former reminding me of my first year at RAF Seletar Secondary Modern School where I took out a library book (Just William or some such) to find the lyrics written inside on a piece of paper, which was quite handy as I liked the song. Speed-on to the 90’s and it came on the radio as I was driving along the Florida Keys highway, one hot moonlit night, looking for a motel to stay. The lyrics REALLY made sense in that setting!

The Monkees keep on coming even if the hits were drying up, Someday Man, Joe South is back again with another great song of his that was never a single but charted this week in the USA in an inferior cover version of his album track 2 years ahead of the definitive Lynn Anderson cover. Glen Campbell gets a 3rd track on the list with Susie, The Four Tops drop in with a single that I was gifted by 2 friends of mum and dad’s in 1972, Pete & Gill Butler who’s been great friends of the family in Singapore. Buddy Holly gets another posthumous 50’s track, a cover of Love Is Strange, Sonny Charles gets a soul version of Black Pearl in ahead of the reggae cover by Horace Faith, while an obscure reggae track enters at 75 for Eddie Lovette. The Moments get a second chart entry, to bring it up to date! Phew!

1 ( 3 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
2 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
3 ( 22 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 3
4 ( 2 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
5 ( 8 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
6 ( 10 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 6
7 ( 4 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
8 ( 20 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 8
9 ( 6 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
10 ( NEW ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 10

11 ( 5 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
12 ( 7 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
13 ( 17 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 13
14 ( 9 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
15 ( 12 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
16 ( 11 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
17 ( NEW ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 17
18 ( 18 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
19 ( 14 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
20 ( 13 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4

21 ( 15 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
22 ( NEW ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 22
23 ( 16 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
24 ( 27 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 24
25 ( 29 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 25
26 ( 19 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
27 ( 21 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
28 ( 32 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 28
29 ( 62 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 29
30 ( 37 ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 30

31 ( 26 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
32 ( 25 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
33 ( NEW ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 33
34 ( 34 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
35 ( 24 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
36 ( 31 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
37 ( 39 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 37
38 ( 23 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 18
39 ( 28 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
40 ( 40 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 40

41 ( 33 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
42 ( 30 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 30
43 ( 60 ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 43
44 ( 48 ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 44
45 ( 58 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 45
46 ( 50 ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 46
47 ( 42 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
48 ( 44 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
49 ( NEW ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 49
50 ( 55 ) BADGE Cream # 50

51 ( 43 ) IF YOU GO AWAY Scott Walker # 43
52 ( 35 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
53 ( 66 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 53
54 ( 51 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
55 ( 38 ) HOT BURRITO #1 (I’M YOUR TOY) Flying Burrito Brothers # 38
56 ( 68 ) I CAN’T SEE MYSELF LEAVING YOU Aretha Franklin # 56
57 ( 63 ) JULY YOU’RE A WOMAN John Stewart # 57
58 ( NEW ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 58
59 ( 59 ) I CAN’T SAY NO TO YOU Betty Everett # 59
60 ( NEW ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 60

61 ( 71 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe # 61
62 ( NEW ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 62
63 ( 69 ) BLUER THAN BLUE Rolf Harris # 63
64 ( NEW ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 64
65 ( NEW ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 65
66 ( 74 ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 66
67 ( 67 ) I’VE BEEN HURT Bill Deal & The Rhondells # 67
68 ( 72 ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 68
69 ( NEW ) LOVE IS STRANGE Buddy Holly # 69
70 ( NEW ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 70

71 ( 36 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies # 26
72 ( 75 ) I WILL SEE YOU THERE Linda Kendrick # 72
73 ( 45 ) LOVE IS LOVE Barry Ryan # 13
74 ( NEW ) SUNDAY The Moments # 74
75 ( NEW ) TOO EXPERIENCED Eddie Lovette # 75

wot I liked that week then
1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 8 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
3 ( 4 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
4 ( 3 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
5 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
6 ( 9 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
7 ( 5 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
8 ( 6 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
9 ( NEW ) GET BACK The Beatles
10 ( 7 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations

11 ( 16 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
12 ( 10 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
13 ( 11 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
14 ( 13 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
15 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
16 ( NEW ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
17 ( 18 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes
18 ( RE ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
19 ( 20 ) GET READY The Temptations
20 ( NEW ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac

 

26th April 1969

It’s another new number one, the pure passionate gospel of Oh Happy Day, a track I had to wait 8 years to buy a copy of. Worth the wait! Elvis, with his social conscience gospel ballad isn’t far behind at 3, and The Beatles were number 6 in my charts of the time and number 6 in these retro creations. Val Doonican goes top 10 with his lovely movie theme, and Fleetwood Mac make it 2 top 10’s in a row.

The highest new entry at 23 is the only song that actually had memories attached – Ragamuffin Man was the Manfred’s final hit (though who knew it!) and a good one to go out on, a fave of mine as they usually were. All the other knew ones are tracks I’d never heard of yesterday, but today I find I like them, especially the obscure The Hit Parade at 27 with a gem of a pop single Ah, Ha, Ha Do Your Thing – if only they’d entered with Manfred Mann when they did Ha Ha Said The Clown, or waited for A-ha to chart. I can’t believe something that good failed to even make the US top 120 when some of the more rubbishy tracks of the time make the top 40! Not to be confused with the UK 80’s band of the same name.

All the other newies are pending in the lower reaches, with 3 stacked up outside (Neil Young, Wilson Pickett, Moody Blues), and include a decent Soul Survivors single, a hippie trippie Youngbloods, a punkish Paul Revere & The Raiders just ahead of Mark Lindsay going solo, another Scott Walker emotive ballad, and a good ol country track from Ronnie Milsap.

1 ( 3 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
2 ( 1 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
3 ( 10 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 3
4 ( 4 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
5 ( 6 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
6 ( 8 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
7 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
8 ( 5 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
9 ( 17 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 9
10 ( 13 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10

11 ( 9 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
12 ( 12 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
13 ( 7 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
14 ( 11 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
15 ( 22 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 15
16 ( 16 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
17 ( 14 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
18 ( 15 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
19 ( 24 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 19
20 ( 29 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 20

21 ( 19 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
22 ( 20 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
23 ( NEW ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 23
24 ( 18 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
25 ( 21 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
26 ( 28 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 26
27 ( NEW ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 27
28 ( 49 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 28
29 ( 33 ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 29
30 ( 26 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7

31 ( 27 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
32 ( 23 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
33 ( 37 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 33
34 ( 31 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
35 ( 43 ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 35
36 ( 42 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 30
37 ( 32 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
38 ( 45 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 38
39 ( 40 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 39
40 ( 35 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4

41 ( 36 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
42 ( 34 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
43 ( 44 ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 43
44 ( 46 ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 44
45 ( 25 ) I’LL TRY SOMETHING NEW Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations # 25
46 ( 53 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 46
47 ( 30 ) NEVER GONNA LET HIM KNOW Debbie Taylor # 30
48 ( 50 ) BADGE Cream # 48
49 ( 56 ) I CAN’T SEE MYSELF LEAVING YOU Aretha Franklin # 49
50 ( 60 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 50

51 ( 41 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
52 ( 62 ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 52
53 ( 48 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
54 ( 47 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
55 ( 61 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe # 55
56 ( 58 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 56
57 ( 59 ) I CAN’T SAY NO TO YOU Betty Everett # 57
58 ( 38 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes # 18
59 ( 64 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 59
60 ( 70 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 60

61 ( 54 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
62 ( 63 ) BLUER THAN BLUE Rolf Harris # 62
63 ( 65 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 63
64 ( 39 ) GET READY The Temptations # 14
65 ( 66 ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 65
66 ( 68 ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 66
67 ( 67 ) I’VE BEEN HURT Bill Deal & The Rhondells # 67
68 ( 57 ) JULY YOU’RE A WOMAN John Stewart # 57
69 ( 69 ) LOVE IS STRANGE Buddy Holly # 69
70 ( NEW ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 70

71 ( NEW ) DARKNESS, DARKNESS The Youngbloods # 71
72 ( NEW ) LET ME Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay # 72
73 ( 52 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s # 18
74 ( NEW ) BIG LOUISE Scott Walker # 74
75 ( NEW ) DENVER Ronnie Milsap # 75

Then charts
1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
3 ( NEW ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
4 ( 3 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
5 ( 6 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
6 ( 9 ) GET BACK The Beatles
7 ( 4 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
8 ( 5 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
9 ( NEW ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
10 ( 11 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl

11 ( 8 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
12 ( 7 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
13 ( 10 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
14 ( NEW ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
15 ( 16 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
16 ( 14 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
17 ( 12 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
18 ( NEW ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
19 ( 15 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
20 ( NEW ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra

My March 1987 Charts

3rd March 1987

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLAYIST OLDIES

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

 

 

10th March 1987

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

17th March 1987

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

24th March 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

31st March 1987

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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