Remembrance of The Chart Show

Posted on April 24, 2012

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The Chart Show was a programme in the UK aired during Saturday lunchtimes showcasing the latest in up-and-coming and established artists in the Top 40 on ITV. It ceased to air in 2000 but had a separate short-lived channel for a few years before its death knell. To this day it still amasses a cult following among many.

Here’s a brief reminder of the show from 1992 (those old enough to remember, here’s a blast from the past):

It brings back evocative memories for me because it was my first introduction to a spread of musical genres. There were respective indie and dance charts and a top ten countdown. Sure there was Top Of The Tops, which in its own right, without question holds legendary status. Also the Tube, but a bit before my time – I was barely a year old when it was on. But what stood out for me about the Chart Show was that it was at the perfect time of day to catch someone like me where I’m parked in front of the tv, not at school, not doing my homework, Saturday morning kids tv being over for another week, but most of all, it was the weekend with lots of time to kill.

Then there was also the video format and style of the show that captured my imagination. There would be graphics of a play caption underneath the video when a particular song was being featured, fast forwarding a tune to save time to get on to the next song, one for a pause to go to a commercial break and a stop/eject for the end of the show. It was such a weird concept at the time but when seeing it recently on another show in homage to the programme it brought me back with a wistful smile of yesteryear.

So I decided to write about a few songs that are diverse in their genre, but important in my formative years in broadening my musical tastes. Be warned – there are a lot of cringeworthy tracks below. At the same time though, a lot of important musical footnotes. And some that you’ve not heard in donkey’s years:

Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky

I must have been 4 years old when hearing this for the first time around. And since viewing this on the Chart show, my mum had taped this onto video and repeat watches of Kylie blowing bubbles in a bathtub became an unhealthy obsession. Even being as young as I was. And even if I didn’t know exactly what was going on.

Rick Astley – Together Forever

Rick Astley is a man beyond his years. Literally. For he had the voice of a 60 year old crooner within a 20 year old body. Despite his abnormality/uniqueness, he sold millions of records with smash hits worldwide. I’ve picked this track because, well, it where I was introduced to him for the first time. And being as small as I was, you don’t just forget a voice like that.

Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts

This song seemed really ubiquitous at the time – I heard it here, there and everywhere. It was just that chorus more than anything.

Salt n Pepa – Push It

I may well have heard this for the first time at either a school disco or a barbeque while running around chasing playing Cops and Robbers. I was again a 4 year old running around a playground and Saturday morning here came that hook. If only the little me could look and try to understand the reference of what it was to ‘push it real good..’

Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance

The same goes for this song as the previous – heard for the first time in a school gathering. In many ways this video works seemlessly with the Chart Show aesthetic: bold colours, deft use of graphics and the total showing off of flaunting what it’s got.

Sonia – You’ll never stop me from loving you

This must be the most stalkerish song ever written; “When I know that you’re alone / I wander to your home / And catch a glimpse or two”. Oh how the Suffragettes must be feeling of all their efforts bearing fruition. Stock Aitken Waterman might be responsible for some cheese, but when they hit the spot with their hooks with certain songs like Kylie, Rick and Jason mentioned above as examples, they hit that sweet spot like few can.

Lionel Richie – My Destiny

When I was 8, this song must have been in the top 5 for weeks and weeks. I’m not sure why this song sticks with me, but I’m willing to be brief and say its a hook chorus and a soulful feel and just end it there.

The Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode

I don’t think I need to highlight the significance of this track. If this isn’t the most blatant condoning of the use of Ecstacy and highlighting the era of which this song was produced, I don’t know what is. Still a good rave tune mind. Where was I in 92 you ask? Primary School. And the only pills I was taking were Vitamin C supplements.

Ce Ce Peniston – Finally

If this wasn’t on the radio so much I’d feel a little more reminiscent of this track. Is it just me or are there so many remixes to this?

SWV – Right Here

Sampling ”Human Nature” by Michael Jackson and not knowing this until years after its release, it didn’t matter too much as 90’s swing/jam is generally a very overlooked sub-genre which deserves better credit.

Other brief mentions that didn’t make the video wall of fame (because my bandwidth can’t take it) include:

Snap – Rhythm Is a Dancer

Freddie Mercury -Livin On My Own

KWS – Please Don’t Go

M People – One Night in Heaven

China Black – Searching

Let Loose – Crazy For You

All 4 One – I swear

East 17 – Stay

Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise

Blur – Country House

Ash – Goldfinger

Spice Girls – Wannabe

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Posted in: Music