This week 24th September 1994
I said last time that the Indie Chart was ramshackle and brilliant, and it was most of the time. However, on occasions the choices of music were baffling and frustrating and I think probably hinted that various record companies or promotional companies had their fingers in various pies.
The chart from September 24th 1994 is a really good example of this. It adopted the usual format, ten songs, counted down, brief snippets of eight songs were played and two songs got extended plays. Yet despite having some brilliant tracks in that Top Ten, The Chart Show choose to play two songs by bands that look and sound almost exactly the same. I’ll explain.
Back in September 1994, indie music was I think enjoying a bit of boom, Britpop had arrived and bands like Oasis and Blur had just started making guitar music relatively interesting again. It had however, led to the creation of about a hundred identikit bands, who all looked the same and sounded the same, basically white boys with guitars. A bandwagon that the Chart Show gleefully supported in it’s selected choices.
On this weeks chart the two songs it choose to give extended clips of were the songs at number 8 and at Number 1.
Number 8 was ‘Detroit’ by Scottish glam rock enthusiasts Whiteout. ‘Detroit’ is awful, the very epitome of landfill indie. Next to Whiteout at the bottom of the landfill indie pile, trying to shove Molly Half Head off of them are These Animal Men, who somehow, inexplicably are at Number One, so the Chart Show dutifully play it.
This is the sound of youth – These Animal Men (1994, Hut Records)
This, by the way, is what it replaced at the top of the chart
We Are The Pigs – Suede (1994, Nude Records)
(and Songwhip, mercifully, can’t find anything by Whiteout, its so awful even the Internet doesn’t want to hear it)
Now, if you put Whiteout and These Animal Men in a room together, I’m pretty sure that even the managers of Whiteout and These Animal Men would struggle to pick them out if they were asked to.
There were of course, eight other tracks that were in the Top Ten, none of which were played by the Chart Show, but all of them are better than the two that were played. I understand the show having to play These Animal Men what with them being Number One and all – but below are the tracks going up or staying put, which they might have played instead.
Hi Fi Killers – Sammy (1994, Fire Records) (number 9) – which I had never heard before today. Sounds a lot like ‘Bossanova’ era Pixies if they were fronted by Lou Reed, which is a good thing I suppose. I suspect that the Chart Show didn’t play this video because after about twenty seconds, it will give you a headache. The next two at seven and six were both of which were going up the chart and would have been better choices.
Starcrossed – Drugstore (1994, Honey Records) (number 7) – Let’s have some context, there is more inspiration and emotion in the first twenty seconds of ‘Starcrossed’ than there is in the entire careers of Whiteout and These Animal Men combined.
Are We Here? – Orbital (1994, FFRR records) (number 6) – Orbital I think had just headlined Glastonbury and were one of the biggest bands in the UK at the time.
Everythings Cool – Pop Will Eat Itself (1994, Infectious Records) (Number 3) – yup even the third single from the sixth(?) PWEI album would have been a better choice.