Saturday, 4 April 2015

REWIND: Massive Attack - 'Karmacoma'

Once again it's time for me to take a look back at the new entries making the UK singles chart twenty years ago in 1995. This week's chart is from March 26 1995 and can be seen HEREEvery week a Twitter account called @ThisIsMyJam95 invites followers to pick their favourite new entry of the week, and I have decided to take it a step further by listening to ALL of the new entries before picking the best of the bunch.

Landing in the number 40 slot are American rockers Queensryche with the sub-Bon Jovi dirge 'Bridge'... I can remember my Mum being particularly fond of one Queensryche song and buying it on CD single, but I cannot recall if it was 'Bridge' or not. The song certainly doesn't ring a bell. After only scoring a chart entry about 8 weeks previously with 'Do You Wanna Party', DJ Scott featuring Lorna B score a second Top 40 hit with 'Sweet Dreams', which goes in at 37 and sounds a lot more dated than the Eurythmics original. Van Halen pile on the soft rock cheese with the lukewarm number 33 entry 'Can't Stop Lovin' You', while awful RnB kiddy boyband Ultimate Kaos were no doubt aiming for a higher chart placing than number 24 for their hideous 'Show A Little Love'. Having just this second done an internet search to find out more info about them, I'm further sickened by the fact that they were put together by future murderer of popular music Simon Cowell. Even during the golden mid 90s, the Grim Reaper was lurking in wait... I can actually remember having a cassette copy of the 'Get Wild' by The NPG, which I found in the Woolworths bargain bin for 29p and took a chance on. The NPG were in fact Prince (then in his 'Symbol' phase) and his backing group the New Power Generation, who indulged in a harder, funkier sound that that of Prince's solo work. 'Get Wild' went in at number 19, but it's pretty generic stuff. The week's highest new entry is technically a re-entry, and goes to the annoying Bobby Brown and a remix of his grating 'Two Can Play That Game', which comes in at number 5.

Anticapella's hyped-up Euro dance number 'Express Your Freedom' is a dated but fun number 31 entry, while Reel 2 Real's number 27 entry 'Conway' is a fine bit of ragga-infused house that has less instant commercial appeal than some of their other Top 40 hits during the decade. Fusing hip hop, house and hardcore, the London duo Shut Up And Dance found their way to number 25 with the impressive Duran Duran-sampling 'Save It Till The Mourning After'. The slick RnB that came out of the USA during the 90s was usually repulsive, but Brownstone's funky number 21 entry 'If You Love Me' was a definite exception, and rang a rather positive bell with me after hearing it again many years after its release. Dance act Snap! made a return to the charts with the number 20 'The First The Last Eternity', which was their final UK Top 40 hit, aside from future re-releases and remixes of their previous hits. UK producer/DJ Jake Williams scored five UK Top 40 hits as JX, and the second was the excellent floorfiller 'You Belong To Me' which featured vocalist Shèna and went to number 17. 1995 was the year that I became obsessed with The Beatles, although the BBC session version of the early track 'Baby It's You' didn't exactly rock my world too much at the time, and went into the charts at number 7. It didn't wow me, but quietly charmed me instead. I remember being given a 7" jukebox copy by my dad, who ran a club/bar in Corsham, and who had to take the least popular records out of the jukebox to make room for new ones. In a week of fine dance tracks, one of my favourite 90s club hits enters the charts at number 6, but since Strike's 'U Sure Do' is technically a re-entry, I can't vote for it as my favourite new entry of the week. But what a tune, and a fine example of how great songwriting in 90s dance music was often overlooked.

My chosen track of the week is 'Karmacoma' from Bristol trip hop legends Massive Attack, which entered at number 29, three places below Ultimate fucking Kaos yet a song that has truly stood the test of time. It was taken from their second album 'Protection', released the previous year in 1994. I first got into this track in the late 90s after buying a copy of the 'Help' charity compilation, which featured an alternative version of the track. After that, it wasn't long until I picked up a copy of the 'Protection' album as well...

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