Music History: the ITV chart show

20 May

Now last week i did my music memories post on being an indie Saddo from the years 1989-92. Back then as my mother would say, “Indie wer reeeeeal Indie! None of this poxy landfill shite that you´ve got nowadays”. My mother is pretty much got her finger on the cultural pulse she has….

All of us indie saddos made sure we got a copy of either the NME of Melody Maker to determine what was cool and what wasn´t. But all of us held a much darker secret to what formed our music buying tastes. we all watched the ITV chart show.

Broadcasting on Saturday mornings before the lunchtime football show, the ITV Chart Show ran from 1989 to 1998. As a partial counter to the likes of MTV, the chart show was entirely presenter free, instead relying on the artists music videos and some pretty garish video graphics as the links. As the show was an hour-long, there was a lot of time to fill in, so one of the items they did was the specialist chart top 10. Each week it would alternate between Rock, Dance and my favourite…. Indie!

Yes the indie top 10 chart was required viewing for me in those formative years. So many top bands starting out (the Happy monday, Stone Roses, Ride, Spiritualized) to some that were clearly not going to make it (Dr Phibes and…err… Lard anyone?), oh and Lisa Stansfield!

And of course this being the internets, some enterprising nostalgic indie saddo has gone and posted all the chart Show indie charts on YouTube, allowing me to wallow in blissful jangly memories. Result! Here are a few choice videos.

Take this one from December ´89, Electronic with Getting Away With It (god doesn´t Johnny Marr look so fresh-faced?) and Happy Mondays with Hallelujah. Looking back then it´s rather quaint to see the VERY low-budget, cottage industry videos for indie bands at the time. Some of them almost look like videos for Icelandic bands!

Fast forward to July 1990 with Neds Atomic Dustbin “Kill your Television” and The Soup Dragons “i´m Free”. The Soup Dragons were one of the earliest of what we call “bogus” indie bands, where they signed for an “independent” record label (Raw TV) that was financed entirely by Sire Records. This would ensure indie credentials with big money backing. God the horror and shame of it all!

As we approach February 1991, we see some early tracks from the Manic Street Preachers and Nirvana, but they show the Tremelo EP from My Bloody Valentine and “Big City” by Spacemen 3, which is a total classic.

And the we move to January 1992, where we see “Love your Money” by gold standard Indie one hit wonders Daisy Chainsaw, and (yes they had to be in there somewhere) “hit” from talentless no-marks The Sugarcubes! As my brother said when he heard Einar Örn´s rapping, “Jesus what is wrong with that guy? He can´t even shout properly!”



Posted by on May 20, 2010 in history, music, Video


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Music History: the ITV chart show

  1. ellyoracle

    May 20, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Nooo! I’d completely forgotten about the Chart Show! We weren’t allowed to watch it (corrupting influence apparently – ??) so I’d spend my Saturdays praying my mum would go shopping so I could stick the telly on! You’re right, I was a saddo too.

    • bobcluness

      May 20, 2010 at 10:25 pm

      Was “Oranges are not the only fruit” based on your childhood?

  2. ellyoracle

    May 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    only loosely….

  3. majid

    February 25, 2012 at 1:19 am

    OMG The chart show was ace man, I loved it, the graphics were great, the way it was designed & presented is unarguably awesome. I moved to America in the early 21st century just after the great show came to an end, and I have to tell you NOBODY has come even close to achieving the same sort of standard as the ITV chart show once was, amen!



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