Thursday, February 27, 2014

'Now, On With the Countdown!' -- Casey Kasem

I recently hit post No. 800, and I feel like marking the occasion with a list. So let's take a trip back to the 1980s and listen to my 50 favorite singles from the UK Independent Chart. This is the decade when the chart began, and it truly had purpose and meaning in those early days. The guidelines were strict but simple: Every aspect of a label's operation had to be independent. For example, even the independent spirited Stiff Records couldn't be part of the countdown because the outfit received help with distribution. Of course, the very success of the indie chart ended up being its downfall. By the early 1990s the majors smelled another way to make a buck and set up "independent" labels that made the chart, as Iain McNay described it, "a farce."

All entry dates and ranks will be taken from the book 'Indie Hits 1980-1989: The Complete Independent Charts (Singles and Albums).' This reference bible was compiled by Barry Lazell and put out by Cherry Red Records in 1997. I highly recommend it.

I'm choosing 50 songs because for most of the decade that was the size of the singles chart. My other rules are that an act can only appear once and must actually be from the UK. I hope this makes for a fun March and April full of rants and raves from the peanut gallery. All posted songs for this little project will be available for only about 48 hours. In other words, don't be tardy. As a little walk up to the countdown, here are a few of my favorite singles from the chart that somehow sneaked in from other parts of the world. There weren't many that pulled off this feat.

fIREHOSE - Sometimes (No. 18, July 2, 1988)
The Go-Betweens - Cattle and Cane (No. 4, March 19, 1983)
Hüsker Dü - Makes No Sense at All (No. 2, Sept. 14, 1985)
Minor Threat - Salad Days (No. 20, Aug. 10, 1985)
Pixies - Gigantic (No. 4, Sept. 3, 1988)
The Sugarcubes - Cold Sweat (No. 1, Jan. 30, 1988)
They Might Be Giants - They'll Need a Crane (No. 13, Feb. 18, 1989)
X - Los Angeles (No. 14, Aug. 2, 1980)


Uncle E said...

Congrats on hitting 800 posts, my friend! I know how difficult that is, and what a commitment that takes, to achieve. Yours is one of my regular "must check out to see what's been posted" music blogs, and you've introduced me to plenty of great bands and/or albums that somehow passed me by the first time 'round. Keep plugging away, great job!

Brian said...

Uncle E,
Thanks for all of your input through the years. Without you and Echorich sometimes I'm not sure I would feel like anyone is out there.

Uncle E said...

Man don't I know exactly how you feel. Someone somewhere (in summertime?) told me that only about 5% of people who read blogs on a regular basis feel comfortable enough to comment. Keep going. People with your taste are hard to come by.