Both charts in October was dominated by the return of The Future Sound of London, with Cascade 2020 holding the top spot on the album chart for the whole month, and the single Cascade finally knocking Pet Shop Boys‘ West End girls off the top of the singles half way through the month.
There was some back catalogue drama on the albums meanwhile, as demonstrated by this top ten from October 24th:
September started with Pet Shop Boys retaking the top of the singles chart with their lockdown version of West End girls, who then held onto the top slot for the whole of the month. The albums, meanwhile, belonged again to The Beloved, who held the top with their reissued Happiness for the whole month too.
A little bit late, this one. I don’t know Westbam particularly well apart from a couple of remixes, but as is probably apparent to regular readers, I do know The Beloved. With shades of Be Angeled, they return together with this, Sky is the Limit. I haven’t made my mind up about whether I think it’s The Beloved‘s finest lyric or even vocal delivery, but it’s definitely a great song.
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:
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.
June still saw Pet Shop Boys dominating, with Hotspot still at the top of the albums, and now My beautiful laundrette at the top of the albums. Kraftwerk continued to float around all of the charts, and we finally saw the long-awaited return of The Grid, with their new remix of Floatation.
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.
The Beloved‘s brilliant reissue series continues, this time with their debut studio album Happiness, which was originally released in early 1990. The double CD version is an essential purchase, backed with The Wolf Studio Recordings, a new compilation of contemporary recordings from Wolf Studio. It’s also released on double LP, which has the original ten tracks spread across two discs, making it one of those albums where some of the sides contain less than ten minutes of music, and also necessitating a change in track order, so maybe this one is for completists only.
Either way, the music is great, and let’s celebrate that with the brilliant The Sun Rising:
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:
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:
Pet Shop Boys – Will-o-the-wisp
The Beloved – Grin
Frances Barber & Pet Shop Boys – Musik (Original Cast Recording) – EP