I haven’t done one of these for a while but a little dip in to the reams of paper that were my officially noted charts of the 90s – written whilst plonked on my beanbag on a Sunday between 4pm and 7pm, fingers hovering over the record and play buttons on my hi-fi – prompted me to give you a quick flash back to the new entries flooring the Top 20 of this week, sixteen years ago.
Yes. It’s 1996. So what was number one?
1/ Gary Barlow: Forever Love
Well it was one Gary Barlow with his debut solo single ‘Forever Love’, which knocked The Fugees’ ‘Killing Me Softly’ in to the runner up spot. In retrospect, the piano driven ballad is even more appealing now than it was back then. And the video was a lovely depiction of love too. Quite courageously for the time too, it featured a gay couple which was very nice.
‘Forever Love’ shifted over 500k copies in its four month run on the chart and was soon followed by another chart topper in the shape of ‘Love Won’t Wait’.
3/ Spice Girls – Wannabe
With the Fugees holding firm at #2, the next new entry was for the new girl group on the block, the Spice Girls. Of course, we all know it later climbed to the top spot where it stayed for seven weeks and during its chart run it went on to sell over 1.2 million copies, a record number for a girl group and one that they hold to this day.
10/ Terrorvision: Bad Actress
With hits by Underworld, Peter Andre, Lightning Seeds, Celine Dion Livin’ Joy and Toni Braxton clinging on to their spots in the upper realms of the chart, there was just one spot left in the Top 10. And it went to English rock band Terrorvision with the third cut from their third studio album, ‘Regular Urban Survivors’.
‘Bad Actress’ became the second top 10 hit for the group, most famous for their Mint Royale remixed 1999 hit ‘Tequila’, having reached #5 the year before with ‘Perseverence’.
11/ Los Del Río: Macarena
Spanish duo Los DelRío entered the Top 40 for the first time with their massive worldwide hit ‘Macarena’ which spawned a dance floor craze that is performed at many a wedding to this day. It would take another month for it to peak at #2 but over in the US, it climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, where it stayed for a rather impressive fourteen weeks.
14/ Umboza: Sunshine
German dance duo Umboza followed up their 1995 Top 20 single ‘Cry India’ with this #14 hit, which sampled Gypsy King’s ‘Bamboleo’. Oh those were the days when we actually had a six week Summer.
15/ The Presidents of The United States of America: Dune Buggy
Punk rockers The Presidents Of The United States of America scored their third consecutive and final UK Top 20 hit with ‘Dune Buggy’ which matched the chart position of their debut single ‘Lump’, but failed to break the Top 10 unlike ‘Peaches’.
18/ Eric Clapton: Change The World
Now this was a favourite of mine at the time. Eric Clapton racked up a worldwide hit with the beautifully written ‘Change The World’, taken from the soundtrack to the John Travolta movie ‘Phenomenon’.
It won Grammy awards for Record of the Year, Song of the Year as well as Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and is still an impressive and inspiring piece of music that is up there with the singer’s best.
I did promise to just feature the videos for the Top 20, but it would be so wrong not to take the opportunity to feature the track that crashed in at number 22, as it’s one of my favourite 90s singles of all time…
22/ OMC: How Bizarre
Five weeks later it peaked at #5. Yes. It was New Zealand favourites, Otara Millionaires Club. AKA OMC.
“Elephants and acrobats. Lions, snakes, monkey. Pele speaks, “righteous”. Sister Zina says “funky”.