6. Cat Stevens – “The Very Best Of”

ISLAND : Charted at #4 on 28th January 1990

One of 83 “Very Best Of” Cat Stevens collections, none of which feature “Tea For the Tillerman”…so…. is it a very best of or just a “mostly best of”?

76% – A lovely listen

5. The Sundays – “Reading, Writing and Arithmatic”

ROUGH TRADE : Charted #4 on 21st January 1990

Oh, hello jingly indie guitar! Hey there 6th form common room tape machine.

It’s Newman and Baddiel favourites, Bristol alumni, David Gavurin and girlfriend-wife & pre-Wener indie boy crush Harriet Wheeler…and others, “The Sundays”.

Apparently, the “Reading” is a reference to Wheeler’s home town so I’ve been getting the name of the album wrong for 30 years.

It’s a great slice of indie-student pop with whispy, dreamy vocals and decent singles that scream ‘moody showgazing’.

78% – Although it was before my time, it feels like Halls of Residence.

4. The Christians – “Colour”

ISLAND : Charted at #1 on 21st January 1990

A lot can happen between blog posts…especially when you’re as lazy as I am.

This was the first number 1 album of the 90’s.

I absolutely forgot that Henry Priestman was in the Christians I just remember the brothers.

“Colour” isn’t a classic but it’s nice, the singles really stand out. I’m more a “Greenbank Drive” man than I am a “Words” enthusiast…but nothing’s making my blood pump!

54% – Nice but we’re not really doing dinner parties at the nice new house we’ve just bought…oh yes, I’ve bought a house!

3. The Moody Blues – “Greatest Hits”

POLYGRAM : Charted at #71 on 14th January 1990

Tried growing up in the 1990’s as this blog testifies to, but today I felt like I’ve really grown up as I put in an offer on a house!

Back to the blog, I wondered whether or not to include greatest hits and re-releases because I wanted to make a record of 90’s music. I decided that greatest hits albums made more of an impact on me culturally, and it is a new release, whereas re-releases aren’t…and on that obvious note…

One of Birmingham’s finest bands released this collection after a special documentary was shown. It’s got new versions of “Question” and “Isn’t Life Strange?”

47% – The dictionary definition of “Meh!”

2. Quincy Jones – “Back On The Block”

QWEST : Charted at 57 on January 14th

So today is payday! Woo-hoo!

Unfortunately my wife spent most of her adolescence watching “Sister Act” in her bedroom, and so when it was announced that Whoopi Goldberg would be taking to the West End stage reprising her role as Delores she simply HAD to have a ticket.

The only tickets available on the date she fancied…were £110…..EACH!! And of course she won’t go on her own…

So I am skint within moments of of being paid and so today’s album needed to be a absolute belter, especially after The Carpenters. I’m happy to call that a false start.

Hello Quincy Jones!

The man who played trumpet for Elvis Presley. The producer of “It’s My Party” The REAL genius behind Thriller…8 years after a brain anuerysm. Rashida’s dad! Heck, his middle name is Delight! Surely this all points in the right direction!

Another omen is that this is a collaboration with some of the greatest names in music…like…ever! Ice-T’s on it, Chaka Khan, Barry White, Ray Charles, it’s even the last recording to feature Ella Fitzgerald.

It was co-written by Cleethorpes legend Rod Templeton and also won 7 Grammy awards.

He was 57 when this was recorded and released and so, of course, he does a rap to start it. Hmmm.

It flows into Ice T’s contribution, “Back On The Block”, which is brilliant…and as it goes on it gets better and better and better.

The stellar guest list is enough to anticipate a classic and it doesn’t disappoint.

30 years later, it sounds like you’d imagine a modern artist would interpret a classic 80’s soul sound…but with Miles bloody Davis!

It’s just joyful and deserves to be bigged up far more than it is.

90% – I’m annoyed it’s taken me 29 years to hear this

1. The Carpenters – “Lovelines”

A&M : Charted at 73 on January 7th 1990

I hate The Carpenters,

I hate the way they sounded. I hate the syrupy production and although I can appreciate the stunning talent of Karen Carpenter had, I’m afraid I hated her voice. It bores me.

This is their 13th album released in the US 6 years after her death and is made up of recordings from TV shows and some of Karen’s solo work.

11% – Did my Diabetes no favours whatsoever

Buy it…if you must

Proper 90’s

Remember the 90’s? Because I don’t!

So I was 13 when the 90’s started and 24 when they ended and so it’s fair to say the 90’s had the best years of my life.

It annoys me when people harp on about how great the 80’s were because everything was better and the music was amazing.

It annoys me because, well, it’s bullshit!

Things WEREN’T better, Thatcher had us gripped by the short and curlies, you couldn’t really go anywhere because it was properly violent in the city centres and towns and if they weren’t violent they were “fun pubs” – eugh!

TV highlights included a glittering game show based on darts, a former Goon singing hymns at you and a 3 hours of nonsense every Saturday staring a bloke who seemed to have arthritis in his right hand.

No, the 80’s were shite.

Now the 90’s! THEY were the dog’s doodahs!

We had bright, optimistic politicians who wouldn’t start REALLY lying to us until well into the new century. We had bright young things on new TV channels, people you really could go down the pub with and the music was properly brilliant….

….I think! You see for most of the 90’s I was either moping about in my bedroom listening to local radio or drunk. Very very drunk.

So I have decided that 30 years is enough water under the bridge and it’s time to look back and reevaluate the 90’s bit by bit.

I will, and this blog will be my record, attempt to listen to every single album that charted in the 1990’s. In doing so, I hope to find a bit of joy from revisiting old favourites and finding new loves that were under my nose this entire time.

You’re more than welcome to join me…so long as you’re wearing a shell suit with a Global Hypercolour t-shirt underneath, and a Tamogochi in your pocket.

This is Proper 90’s

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