Chart for stowaways – August 2020

August saw flashbacks to 1990, with the return of The Beloved to the charts with their debut studio album Happiness. From a humble re-entry at number 4 at the start of the month, it climbed gradually to the top spot, sitting there for the latter half of the month. For the final week, their 1989 single Your Love Takes Me Higher finally climbed up to the top spot on both the Singles and Catalogue Singles charts, finally deposing Pet Shop Boys‘ latest recreation of West End girls from both charts after eight weeks. Meanwhile, Sparks continued their domination of all the charts, with three previous chart-toppers remaining in the top ten for the whole month.

Here’s the album chart for the final week of the month:

  1. The Beloved – Happiness
  2. Erasure – The Neon
  3. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  4. The Beloved – Where it Is
  5. Sparks – A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
  6. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  7. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  8. Erasure – Hits! The Very Best of
  9. Erasure – Total Pop! The First 40 Hits
  10. Depeche Mode – Spirits In The Forest

Chart for stowaways – July 2020

July was a quiet month for the chart for stowaways. Pet Shop Boys sat on top of both the Singles and Catalogue Singles charts for the whole month with their recent lockdown version of West End girls, while recent single I don’t wanna and the My beautiful laundrette soundtrack hovered near the top of the Singles. After a quiet start on the album charts, Sparks‘ latest A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip finally re-entered at number 2 at the start of the month, and jumped to the top spot the following week, while various of their older albums hovered around too.

Here’s the album chart for 18th July:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. Sparks – A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
  3. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  4. The Beloved – Where it Is
  5. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  6. Depeche Mode – Spirits In The Forest
  7. Human League – The Essential
  8. Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne
  9. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
  10. Sparks – Hippopotamus

Chart for stowaways – May 2020

May saw Pet Shop Boys dominating the charts, with I don’t wanna climbing to the top of the singles and Hotspot holding onto the albums for the whole month. Meanwhile, Florian Schneider‘s untimely death saw Kraftwerk turning up all over the single and album charts.

Here’s the album chart for 16th May:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. The Beloved – Where it Is
  3. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
  4. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  5. Everything But The Girl – Temperamental
  6. Chicane – Behind the Sun
  7. Kraftwerk – Die Mensch-Maschine
  8. 1 Giant Leap – 1 Giant Leap
  9. Kraftwerk – Trans Europa Express
  10. Kraftwerk – Computerwelt

Preview – Sparks

Well, Sparks are back again already, with their ninety-fourth album, and what might be one of their highest-charting in the UK, A Steady Drip Drip Drip. Here’s Lawnmower. I wouldn’t want to remind them that they’re both in their seventies already, but don’t they look great?

Chart for stowaways – April 2020

April was the month when the lockdown really started to hit, and when the chart consequently slowed right down to a crawl. There really weren’t too many changes from March, apart from some fun re-entries from the likes of Moby and New Order. With so few changes, it’s probably worth just focusing on the albums this time, which on 11th April looked like this:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. The Beloved – Where it Is
  3. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  4. Nightmares On Wax – Smokers Delight
  5. The Orb – Abolition Of The Royal Familia
  6. Caribou – Suddenly
  7. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  8. Moby – 18
  9. Pet Shop Boys – Battleship Potemkin (OST)
  10. David Bowie – Is It Any Wonder

Chart for stowaways – March 2020

With the start of the lockdown, March was a quiet month, with Pet Shop Boys solidifying their grasp on the upper reaches of the charts. Hotspot held onto the top of the album chart for the whole month, and Monkey business, Will-o-the-wisp, Musik, Dreamland, and Happy people all performed well on the single chart. Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money) even poked its head onto the Catalogue Singles chart briefly.

The Beloved continued to perform well too, with Where it Is following at number 2 for the whole month, a firm grip onto the top end of the Catalogue Singles with Forever Dancing and If Only, and Grin even grabbing the number one spot on the singles chart for a couple of weeks.

Other than that, things were really very quiet, with Depeche Mode and Air throwing occasional re-entries into the lower reaches of the Catalogue Singles, Albums, and Artists charts, and the odd new entry here and there. Here are the singles from 21st March:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Will-o-the-wisp
  2. The Beloved – Grin
  3. Frances Barber & Pet Shop Boys – Musik (Original Cast Recording) – EP
  4. Pet Shop Boys – Monkey Business
  5. Pet Shop Boys – Happy people

And here are the albums:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. The Beloved – Where it Is
  3. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  4. Caribou – Suddenly
  5. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins

Chart for stowaways – February 2020

February was the month of Pet Shop Boys‘ intriguing homage to Berlin, Hotspot, which started the month off by entering at number 4, and then stole the top spot from Sparks, holding onto it for the rest of the month. They also did the double, with Dreamland holding onto the top spot for another three weeks and then relinquishing it to Monkey business at the end of the month.

This was also the month when The Beloved saw debut release Where it Is finally hitting the charts, deservedly spending the whole month in the top three. Singles Forever Dancing, If Only, and Grin all performed well, the first of those taking the top of the Catalogue Singles chart and also peaking at number 4 on the main chart.

Otherwise this was generally a month for introspection, with new releases by David Bowie, Marc Almond, and Ben Watt all performing well but failing to shake the acts at the top. Here are the singles from 22nd February:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Monkey Business
  2. The Beloved – Grin
  3. Pet Shop Boys feat. Years & Years – Dreamland
  4. Frances Barber & Pet Shop Boys – Musik (Original Cast Recording) – EP
  5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Almost

And these were the albums:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. The Beloved – Where it Is
  3. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  4. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  5. Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy

Greatest Hits – Covid Edition

I’m all too aware that there haven’t been a lot of new reviews around here lately – sorry for that. For now, with the lockdown firmly in place, let’s roll back to some of the reviews from the last couple of years that you might have missed!

Chart for stowaways – January 2020

I’m afraid this won’t be a huge comeback quite yet, but I did want to check in with everyone. Hope you’re doing well in spite of the current difficulties. Let’s take a look back at the charts for stowaways from back in January.

January saw Pet Shop Boys dominating the singles chart, with Burning the heather grabbing the top spot for one week, and then Dreamland returning for the rest of the month. Decide and Monkey business floated around in the top ten as well. Vince Clarke‘s astonishingly good remix of Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark‘s Almost kept it in the top three for the whole month, and Sparks‘ new 7″ release of Let’s Go Surfing spent the month steadily climbing as well. Both also spent the whole month holding onto the top two of the new Catalogue Singles chart.

Sparks also dominated the album chart, with their wonderful three-disc reissue of 1995’s Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins holding onto the top spot for the whole month, and their new Past Tense singles compilation holding the number two spot. It was a quiet month all round, with Hot Chip holding onto the number three spot as well.

Here are the singles for 18th January:

  1. Pet Shop Boys feat. Years & Years – Dreamland
  2. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Almost
  3. Sparks – Let’s Go Surfing
  4. Pet Shop Boys – Burning the heather
  5. Pet Shop Boys – Decide

And the albums:

  1. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  2. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  3. Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy
  4. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
  5. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths

Chart for stowaways – Albums 2019

These are the top albums for stowaways for last year:

  1. Hot Chip – A Bath Full Of Ecstasy
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinoxe Infinity
  3. Ladytron – Ladytron
  4. Jean-Michel Jarre – Planet Jarre
  5. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  6. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  7. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  8. Kylie Minogue – Step Back In Time – The Definitive
  9. The Future Sound of London – Yage 2019
  10. Dido – Still On My Mind
  11. Erasure – Wild!
  12. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Ghosteen
  13. The Chemical Brothers – No Geography
  14. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  15. Madonna – Madame X
  16. Divine Comedy – Office Politics
  17. Rammstein – Rammstein
  18. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  19. Pet Shop Boys – Inner Sanctum
  20. Lighthouse Family – Blue Sky In Your Head