This feelgood song is probably best remembered for being used as the theme music for the Labour Party's 1997 political campaign, which succeeded in getting Tony Blair into power as Britain's next Prime Minister.
In terms of the economy these appeared to be the good times. In reality, of course, everyone was borrowing beyond their means and now it all has to be paid back. Thankfully, I didn't fall into that trap.
The video clip features D:Ream performing the song on the first Top Of The Pops show from 1994.
Things Can Only Get Better was originally a hit in the clubs and reached #24 in the main singles chart during 1993. After the departure of band member Al Mackenzie, frontman Peter Cunnah took D:Ream in a new chart-friendly direction and remixed and re-released the song, causing it to top the UK charts for 4 weeks in 1994 - it was eventually knocked off the top spot by Mariah Carey's Without You. The song was re-released again in 1997 and reached #19, giving the Irish dance pop group their last chart hit in the UK.
Following the success of the song in 1994, the group decided to re-release the track U R The Best Thing, which had originally charted at #19 - this time it was more successful, peaking at #4.
D;Ream reformed in 2008 and released a new single in 2009, All Things To All Men, and an album in 2011 entitled In Memory Of...
Innuendo was the lead single and title track from Queen's fourteenth studio album, and spent one week at the top of the British singles chart from 20th January 1991. At 6 minutes and 30 seconds long, the flamenco rock epic was longer than Bohemian Rhapsody, and was actually the band's longest-ever single. When I first listened to the song I would just never have guessed that a flamenco style was going to kick in about halfway through - simply amazing - and words can't express how much I adore this song.
When this track was released, rumours were rife that frontman Freddie Mercury was ill with Aids, and despite continually denying the rumours, Freddie died on 24th November 1991 aged 45, just ten months after the release of the album in February.
Queen's last proper studio album is definitely up there with their finest. The determination by the whole band that the "show must go on" can be heard on this album. From the incredible guitar work by Brian May, to the experimentation with different musical styles, and Freddie belts out the songs with amazing gusto. Some of the tracks are quite chilling, some have humour and others (such as Headlong) see a return to the harder rock style of earlier albums. Lyrically, this is the band's strongest album and many of the songs on the album reflect the fact that Freddie was struggling with an illness, in particular, the singles I'm Going Slightly Mad and The Show Must Go On.
Check out the extended version of Radio Ga Ga at my 80s Remix blog.
Madonna has always been very clever at following musical trends, and Vogue is no exception. The single features an upbeat house groove which was very much the trend in the early 90s. Released on March 20th 1990, the song spent four weeks at the top of the UK singles chart from 8th April, and also topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.
Vogue featured on Madonna's soundtrack album I'm Breathless - Music From And Inspitred By Dick Tracy, which featured many jazz and swing style tracks. One more single, Hanky Panky, was released from the album which reached #2 in the UK and #10 in America.
When Madonna performed Vogue live she wore an 18th century Marie Antoinette style costume alongside her dancers. For the black and white video she wore a controversial sheer lace blouse. What I remember most about the song, though, is the rap section which lists 16 stars of the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s; "Greta Garbo, and Monroe, Deitrich and DiMaggio..." Unfortunately, I can't list any more of the lyrics for copyright reasons.
To call this a comeback single would be a bit of an understatement! Before Maria, Blondie's last single, Warchild, was released in July 1982, reaching #39 in the UK - that's a gap of almost 17 years - although, six remixes of previous hit singles were released during the mid 90s.
Maria reached No.1 on 7th February 1999 for one week, making this the band's sixth chart-topper in the UK. The follow-up single, Nothing Is Real But The Girl was less successful, but still managed a fairly respectable #26.
The No Exit album reached #3 in the British album charts just two weeks after Maria had topped the singles chart. After all these years, the band were still experimenting with different musical styles, and they were sounding more professional than ever for this album. However, it's certainly not their best work, but comparing this with the band's earlier albums is always going produce much to criticise. No Exit is an interesting collection of catchy pop tracks in lots of different styles, but for those expecting Parallel Lines all over again, you'll be left disappointed.
You can find many more videos on the Blondie page.
Sit Down was originally released on the Rough Trade record label in 1989 as a seven and a half minute single, reaching #77 in the UK singles chart. A re-recorded, and, thankfully, shorter version of the song was released in 1991, this time reaching #2 for three weeks, cruelly being kept off the top spot by Chesney Hawkes with The One And Only. The photo on the left is from the single sleeve of the 1991 version.
Another dance remix released in November 1998 by Apollo 440 reached #7. The video clip above features James performing the newer version on Top Of The Pops. The song was released to help promote the band's "Best Of" album which had been released on June 30th. The album topped the UK album charts and achieved Platinum sales.
Between 1990 and 2001, the Manchester band achieved success with 19 Top 40 singles, although Sit Down is definitely their most memorable track. The band are also recognised as being part of the 90s Madchester and Britpop movement, although Oasis certainly dominated the scene, of course. Lead singer, Tim Booth, left the band in 2001 leaving them unactive.
Booth returned in 2007 and the band reformed and went on tour, releasing a new album in 2008 entitled Hey Ma. Although their most recent albums have all been successful in the British album charts, the single releases have failed to chart. Their last hit single, Getting Away With It (All Messed Up) reached #22 in 2001.
This video clip features Wet Wet Wet performing Goodnight Girl live from Milan on Top Of The Pops in January 1992.
The ballad was the Scottish band's third single release from their fourth studio album High On The Happy Side, and topped the UK singles chart for four weeks from 19th January. The album also topped the British album charts and achieved Silver. Despite this, it was actually the band's least successful album of the 80s and 90s in terms of sales, with their other five albums achieving at least Platinum.
The band's previous single, Put The Light On, was the first and only single not to break into the Top 40, and so it must've come as a relief for Goodnight Girl to reach #1. However, the next two releases from High On The Happy Side weren't massively successful, with More Than Love reaching #19 and Lip Service peaking at #15.