If there’s one thing we love at Official Charts, it’s a mega-hit, and this week back in 1989, the hits didn’t come much bigger than Black Box’s Ride On Time. Having perched at the top of the Official Singles Chart for an incredible six weeks, the catchy, sample-heavy slice of piano house had weathered a huge media controversy and was looking pretty unstoppable – until a certain cartoon bunny came along.
Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers hailed from Rotherham, and used their slick sampling and mixing skills to come up with the medley to beat all medleys – Swing The Mood. Taking its cue from Glenn Miller's In The Mood and adding a ‘50s beat into the mix, along with snippets from just about every record released in that era, the track ruled the Official Singles Chart for five weeks, before Italian dance group Black Box knocked them off the top.
Anticipation for that pesky rabbit's follow-up was high, and it was only fair, then, that Jive Bunny should return the favour and, with That's What I Like, kick Black Box back into second place!
Ride On Time had held firm at Number 1 despite the revelation that Katrin Quinol, the group’s lead singer, wasn’t actually singing the song, despite appearing on Top of The Pops and lip-synching for her life.
It turned out that DJ and super-producer Daniele Davioli had been heavily influenced by Loleatta Holloway’s 1980 single Love Sensation, and it was her vocals you could hear on the track. Remember, this is before the internet, where news like this would have spread in seconds and would have been easy to verify.
There was a little bit of outrage, but pop fans didn’t seem to mind too much – Ride On Time has sold over a million copies in the UK. It also turned out pretty well for Loleatta – she enjoyed something of a career revival and guested on Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s debut hit Good Vibrations in 1991, giving her a very first chart entry in the UK.
Jive Bunny held on to the Number 1 spot for three weeks, before Lisa Stansfield knocked them off. Everybody’s favourite rabbit went on to have another Number 1 hit with their next single – making them the first act to have their first three singles hit Number 1 since Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
Debut hit Swing The Mood has sold over 860,000 copies and ended up the second biggest selling single of 1989. And who beat them to first place? Why, it was Black Box, of course!
There’d be no more chart-toppers for Black Box, but they would have nine more Top 40 hits including another two Top 10s – and from then on, it was definitely Katrin on vocal duties. And she did have a pretty good voice!
But Black Box weren’t the only group in the Top 5 giving a masterclass in miming… here’s the rest of the chart from this week in 1989:
3: Milli Vanilli – Girl I’m Gonna Miss You
Hailing from Germany, rapping and singing duo Milli Vanilli caused a stir with their good looks, catchy tunes, spirited dance routines and, erm, their very tight leggings. However, the real sensation was to come a little later, when it was revealed that members Fab and Rob didn’t actually sing on any of the records – it was a group of session singers. Although the band had 3 Top 40 hits, they never really recovered from the scandal, and this was their last chart entry in the UK.
4: Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam
The first hit for Belgian dance outfit Technotronic, this time featuring the vocal talents of Felly who – guess what? – wasn’t actually singing on the record either. Top trend for 1989 was miming, clearly. Felly may have appeared on the cover art and in the video for the song, but Felly was only a model – the real vocalist was Ya Kid K.
The band went on to have eight more hits – this time with Ya Kid K front and centre, with help from MC Eric – including Get Up and This Beat Is Technotronic. In 2009, to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary, Ya Kid K and MC Eric reunited and went on tour. No word on whether Felly got an invite.
5: Sydney Youngblood – If Only I Could
A debut hit for Texas–born Sydney, which was heavily influenced by club hit Break 4 Love by Raze. The track would peak at Number 3 and was followed by one more hit for Sydney – Sit And Wait reached Number 16 later in the year.
6: Rebel MC & Double Trouble – Street Tuff
7: Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire
8: Belinda Carlisle – Leave A Light On
9: Cher – If I Could Turn Back Time
10: Fresh 4 FT Lizz E – Wishing On A Star
This time last year…
She came in like a wreeeeeecking baaaaaall. Yes, this week in 2013 Miley Cyrus scored her second chart-topper of the year, sending OneRepublic reeling to Nunber 3. Check out the full Top 40 from this week in 2013, including big new entries from Eminem, the Saturdays, Conor Maynard, James Blunt and John Newman.