I don’t think I had any pressing study appointments on Monday mornings in late 1992. Hence my weekly routine would be to drive onto the university campus, log on at a computer terminal and type up from my notes my weekly take on the UK charts. The columns were posted to usenet, but we mere students had no direct posting access to the university newsfeed, so I had to use an email gateway, firing the messages at an automated program which accepted submissions and deposited them in the requested group. It could take anything up to 8 hours to work its way through the queue, and it might be several days before I saw my own message filter back to the local feed. Somehow it always seemed worth the effort.
For the curious then, here is the unexpurgated text (headers and all) of that very first chart commentary message. Remember when the most noteworthy thing about I Will Always Love You was the “massive promotional effort” it had taken to get it into the Top 20 in the first place?
From: email@example.com (Mr J I D Masterton)
Subject: CHART: UK Top 40 analysis. Week ending 14-11-92
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 92 11:30:08 GMT
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X-Mailer: ELM [version 2.3.010 PL11]
Update of UK Top 40 for week ending 14th November 1992. This posting is
intended as a complement rather than a replacement of those supplied by
others on this newsgroup:
No. 40: NEW ENTRY. First of 10 on this weeks chart. PM Dawn – I’d die
without you. Yet another track from the soundtrack of the film
‘Boomerang’ makes it appearance. Unbelievably this is PM Dawn’s first
Top 40 hit since ‘Set Adrift On Memory Bliss’ back in August 1991.
Recent singles have fared less well and by their standards this is a
comparatively low entry.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. East 17 – Gold. East 17 are the latest teen
sensation to hit the UK charts. ‘Gold’ is a followup to ‘House
Of Love’ their debut hit which made the Top ten back in
September. With their tracks having a harder dance feel to them
unlike most teen bands their future looks set to follow
soundalikes EMF. Watch this climb.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Inspiral Carpets – Bitches Brew. A mixed year so far
for the Inspiral Carpets, their only top 20 entry this year was
‘Dragging Me Down’ back in March. You get the feeling they are only
selling at present to their existing fan base and this new track will
not change this. Expect it to progress no further.
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Cher – Oh No Not My Baby. Currently enjoying her
biggest run of UK sucess, Cher enters with the first track to be
released from her forthcoming Greatest Hits collection in time for
Christmas. The song itself, although being a new recording by
Cher, is an old one. Written by Goffen/King it has already been
a UK chart success twice, reaching No.11 for Manfred Mann in
1965 and being taken to No.6 by Rod Stewart in 1973.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Gary Clail – Who Pays The Piper. Clail, best known for
his 1991 hit ‘Human Nature’ returns to the charts with another
typically storming dance track. Like his previous ventures, the
record features the ‘On-U sound system’, one of the countries
most celebrated underground dance troupes.
No. 30: NEW ENTRY. INXS – Taste It. Third hit from the latest album
‘Welcome To Wherever You Are’ from the Aussie rockers. They too
have been experiencing mixed fortunes of late and have yet to
crack the Top 20 this year. ‘Taste It’ may well change
everything and makes a strong debut thanks to a live
performance on the BBCs Top Of The Pops on Thursday night…
No. 27: CLIMBER. Rotterdam Termination Source – Poing. Possibly one of
the quirkier records in this weeks chart, ‘Poing’ is the
brainchild of two Djs from Amsterdam. Imagine the sound ‘Poing’
coupled with a dance beat and you have this record in a
nutshell. Yes, that is literally all it does for 3.5 minutes!
Most would have expected it to climb further than 8 places this
week but its showing may well improve as radio airplay
increases and the clubs finally work out how to dance to it…
(have you tried?)
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Wedding Present – Queen Of Outer Space. The Wedding
Present continue to keep their new years resolution of
releasing a single every month for the whole of 1992. Logically
enough this one is No.11. As each one is only available in a
limited edition of 100,000 copies which sell out within days,
the position they enter gives a reasonable view of the state of
the charts. The higher they enter, the poorer sales are, as
typified by Aprils effort which made No.10 first week out. You
will be pleased to know this is one of the lowest peaking so
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Extreme – Stop The World. Second single from the
Boston Band from the album Three Sides To Every Story. Extreme
always do well in the UK charts, public perception of them as a
rock band has not been clouded by ‘More Than Words’ unlike
America where their only chart success has them classed as acoustic
No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You. Mrs Bobby
Brown makes her first chart entry for over a year. The song was
written by Dolly Parton and features in the soundtrack of the
film ‘Bodyguard’. At a stroke this becomes her biggest hit
since ‘I’m Your Baby Tonight’ back in October 1990, a reflection
perhaps of her status as a classic artist let down recently by
bad material. Time was when a Whitney Houston track was
guaranteed a Top 20 place. Now she requires a massive
promotional effort just to get her to chart.
No. 8: CLIMBER. Ambassadors Of Funk – Supermarioland. Riding high in
the Top Ten is the second example of the latest craze to hit
the British charts, dance versions of Nintendo themes. This
track follows on from the success of Dr Spin’s ‘Tetris’ (down
this week at No. 26) and yet unbeleivably is totally
unconnected to it predecessor. Did both acts have the same idea
at the same time? In case you are wondering the track features
a rap by ‘MC Mario’ to the backing of the Mario Brothers Theme
sounding as if it has been sampled directly from a gameboy.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Undercover – Never Let Her Slip Away. The second
single from this band becomes the highest new entry this week.
Undercover are a studio aggregation that set out to do just as
the name suggests – perform dance versions of classic hits.
First up was a cover of Gerry Raffterty’s ‘Baker Street’ and
their new single is a version of the song by Andrew Gold.
Gold’s original made No. 5 in 1978 and was his only Top 10 hit
in the UK. It remains to be seen if Undercover can eclipse this.
No. 2: HIGHEST CLIMBER. Charles and Eddie – Would I Lie To You. The
fastest selling single so far this year makes another massive
improvement. So far this track has moved 92-34-14-2. That first
leap would line them up for the biggest ever leap within the UK
charts, was it not for the fact that records in the 76-100
range are weighted upwards and so are not counted for record
statistical purposes. Few records with momentums like that fail
to make No.1 but they have some stiff competition before them.
No. 1: THIRD WEEK AT THE TOP. Boyz II Men – End Of The Road. Just as
Bryan Adams swept all before him in 1991 this record looks set
to do the same. Its list of achievements is incredible….
aside from its 12 week run at the top of the US charts, in the
UK it outsold last weeks No.2 by a margin of 2:1; its 10 week
climb to the top within the Top 40 was the slowest since John
Denver’s ‘Annies Song’ in 1974 and it is Motown Records’ first
UK No.1 since Stevie Wonder’s ‘I Just Called To Say I Love You’
back in 1984. Charles and Eddie may well make a strong assault
on the No.1 slot next week but the phenomenal sales of the band
over the last two weeks will take some beating. Watch out for
an appearance soon of ‘Motownphilly’ the boys’ debut track from
last year as Motown try for the third time to make it a hit
James Masterton 9/11/92
All comments and queries welcomed