More from March 1993, and yes I know this has taken a few days to appear. Actually I'm just following the pattern I set 16 years ago when the original "James Masterton Chart Analysis" didn't appear on usenet to the following Monday owing to its writing coinciding with the university holidays and my inability to sneak into the computer labs back home in Leeds to put the thing online.

For those feeling particularly nostalgic, the original posting to rec.music.misc still survives in the Google Groups archive. Be warned, this dates from when I was still ironing out the kinks in the style and was more straightforward informational than penetrating comment. [Or of course you can look it up on this site as well. Do you need me to draw you a map?]

30: Madonna - Bad Girl

The furore over the publication of Madonna's "SEX" book in October 1992 (Look! Her minge!) had the unwanted side effect of stealing the focus from the release of her Erotica album which seemed to me to slip out as the most unscrutinised release of her career to that date. It was a shame as the album was a solid body of work and spawned some eminently listenable singles - such as this melancholy ballad. Bad Girl told the regretful tale of a wild party animal wondering just why she behaves that way and how to rescue things to win back the man she longs for deep down. The third single taken from the album, it caused fans a few nervous moments when it barely made Number 10 and almost brought her record-bending run of Top 10 hits to a shuddering halt. Further Top 10 hits in the shape of Fever (released the day after this chart was broadcast) and Rain would follow before her run of consistency finally fell off the rails with the badly conceived Bedtime Stories album in 1994.

29: Worlds Apart - Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

Back to the 70s again and the first-ever chart appearance for the (almost) legendary multinational boy band. The idea was to form a five-piece of proto-hunks from different nations in Europe to create an act that would have a selling point across the entire continent. The band staggered on with varying degrees of success throughout the 90s with an ever-fluid lineup that famously at one stage featured former Brother Beyond star Nathan Moore as a lead singer. He was absent for this single which penetrated no further than this entry point. Their biggest hit would come in 1994 when a cover of Could It Be I'm Falling In Love made Number 15.

28: Alice In Chains - Them Bones

Don't wash that hair just yet. The second hit single from Alice In Chains' debut album Dirt and um, well it is what it is, a grinding two and a half minutes of Seattle grunge which is as impenetrable to me today as it was back then. It was the follow-up to Would? which had given them their one and only Top 20 hit when it reached Number 19 in late January. Can I fast forward now? My ears hurt.

27: Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day

His hugely successful acting, presenting and producing career means he probably doesn't lose too much sleep over it but I've always thought it was a shame that Ice Cube, founder member of original Gangsta Rappers NWA, never made quite the impact his incredibly listenable solo hits deserved. Taken from his second solo album, recorded with the 1992 LA Riots as a backdrop, It Was A Good Day rolled along on a groove borrowed from Footsteps In The Dark by the Isley Brothers and was a deliberate attempt by the star to write a song about the good things he was feeling in life as a counterpoint to the darker elements of all his music to date. His first solo hit single, it sadly failed to progress any further than this chart entry but remains to this day one of the most famous hits of its era.

26: Van Halen - Jump (live)
A rather pointless release this one, a murky and poorly mixed live version of their own all-time rock classic, promoting live album Right Here, Right Now which was in the shops at the time. The famous synth line is just about the only thing that sounds right on this version, largely thanks to Sammy Hagar unable to inject the lyrics with quite the same sense of fun that David Lee Roth managed on the original. He even gets the words wrong for the start, spending the chorus banging on about having "my ass against the record machine". At the very least it gave the legendary rockers their first Top 40 single since 1988s When It's Love but other than that represents nothing more than the perfect way to ruin memories of the only song casual audiences pay to see them perform.

25: East 17 - Deep

A hugely significant single, one which I think marks the one and only time the stunt of releasing a pop record to clubs as an anonymous white label actually worked and helped to turn a potential flop into a crossover sensation. Created by Tom Watkins as the ultimate east London chav boy band (although the term didn't exist back then), East 17 had scored a major hit in the autumn of 1992 with House Of Love but that had watched second single Gold (which I preferred and actually bought a copy of) bomb out at Number 28. In the recession-hit early 90s this might have been the kiss of death for the group, but for the brainwave of sending promo copies of third single Deep to clubs under the name of "Levi and friends". Such was the demand created for the infectious rap groove that even the revelation that it was the lads from Walthamstow hardly seemed to matter. Deep smashed its way into the Top 5 and for the next four years they barely looked back. Without this single there would have been no Brian Harvey/Daniella Westbrook tabloid soap opera. Be thankful.

24: Bananarama - More More More

More from the 70s and sadly one final desperate roll of the dice for Banarama, by this time reduced to a duo of Sarah and Keren and with their imperial phase well and truly behind them. Truth be told there wasn't anything really wrong with singles such as Preacher Man and Long Train Running, it is just that they ran into the awkward point where their old audience grew up and the next generation no longer cared for everything they had achieved before. A cover of the old Andrea True Connection hit which Rachel Stevens would also take into the Top 10 in 2004, it wound up as their final hit single before their 2005 comeback. As a side note, their single before this one was Last Thing On My Mind which limped to Number 71 in November 1992 but which would wind up as a Top 10 smash when revived by Steps six years later.

23: Suede - Animal Nitrate

Now be honest. When you think of Suede now, do you think of Brett Anderson's pouting and posturing, Bernard Butler's guitar work, the hordes that saw them as the future of music as we know it, or do you think of Paul Calf smashing their album with his fancy dress truncheon? Easter 1993 saw Suede embark on a nationwide tour in support of their debut album which was released in April. A cousin went to their gig in Bristol and recounted tales of hysterical girls (and a fair few boys) and fans standing at the front mouthing "I love you" over and over again. Such was the atmosphere in which Animal Nitrate was released. Their third single and second Top 40 hit, it charged to Number 7 and established them firmly as THE group of the moment. Strange to think that their most consistent run of hits was to follow four years later when they dropped the glam rock posturing and ejected Bernard Butler along the way.

22: Robin S - Show Me Love

Topicality ahoy! This was naturally the first and greatest chart run for the track which has held a fascination for amateur remixers ever since, right up until the present day as anyone reading this at the time of writing will know full well. Show Me Love had actually been recorded back in 1990 but took over two years to become a hit, breaking out into the clubs just before Christmas 1992 and being granted a full commercial release in the new year. The famous bassline is apparently the default Percussion Organ sound from the Korg M1 synthesizer. So now you know.

21: kd lang - Constant Craving

All good things to come who wait. kd lang's most famous hit single had first been released on these shores in the summer of 1992 and had limped to a rather miserable Number 52 despite near saturation airplay by Radio One in the dying stages of the Smashie and Nicey era. Follow-up Miss Chatelaine flopped as well and it was left to the posthumous release of her duet with Roy Orbison on a remake of his famous hit Crying to finally give her a breakthrough hit. With memories of that track to bite on, Constant Craving was re-released in February 1993 and finally charged its way to Number 15, still not quite the smash we were always told it should be but enough to ensure the recording she would spend the next ten years trying to top was the hit it always should have been. It at least helped parent album 'Ingenue' to the Top 3, but 16 years on Ms lang is not only still in seach of her prefixed capitalisation but also a second Top 40 hit.


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