Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Seventh Most Misjudged Attempt At A Christmas Number One of the Early 1990s (That We Meant To Include But Forgot But Then Governmentyard Reminded Us. Of It.)

But anyway, onto the glaring omission from yesterday’s music rundown. We feel even more ashamed, because us remembering this song was the reason we’d written that blog update in the first place. Boh.
(We’d also forgot to namecheck SOTCAA in the Fist DVD review, too. Without their work on it, we strongly suspect it would have been a noticeably weaker purchase, and their comprehensive sleevenotes that come with the DVD set are thumpingly compelling. Belated thanks, chaps.)

Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine - The Impossible Dream

Year: 1992 Peak chart position: 21
Except… well, we were kind of right not to include it.
We recall the NME trumpeting the fact Jim Bob and Fruitbat had tentatively planned to release their excellent cover of a song originally written for 1965 musical Man of La Mancha just in time to make 1992’s Christmas number one. That was just after lead single from chart-topping LP ‘1992: The Love Album’, The Only Living Boy In New Cross, moshed its way into the top ten, giving the duo their biggest hit to date. From there however, the self-styled “awesomely loud cross between the Pet Shop Boys and Mega City Four” dipped in popularity a little, with follow-up single Do Re Me (So Far So Good) falling outside the top twenty. That after an animated promo video directed by Richard “Roger Rabbit” Williams, to boot*. (*We think. We’re pretty sure we remember the pop-up from The Chart Show at the time correctly. Unless it was directed by someone less senior, it was certainly someone involved in Roger Rabbit though**.) (**Oh, and that video featuring photos of animal testing probably didn’t help it get much daytime rotation on MTV Europe.)
Getting slightly cold feet, record company Chrysalis ended up putting The Impossible Dream out in late November 1992, where it reached a fairly respectable number 21, but had fallen outside the top 75 by the time of the advent rundown. At the time of the release, anyone only vaguely interested in Carter probably already owned the album, though the extra tracks on the EP made it a worthy purchase for their fanboys, especially barnstorming stomper ‘When Thesauruses Ruled The Earth’.
So, not really a missed shot across the bows of The Good Ship Christmas Number One after all, but worthy of inclusion here because it’s such a bloody good version of the song. The truncated version of it in the video up there (on Top Of The Pops) doesn’t quite do it justice, but our search for the proper video on YouTube led us to this video, where the song has been used to soundtrack a photo montage of Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 US Presidential Election. If you’re asking us (and we’re going to assume you are, because we’re hugely misguided about our popularity), it captures the majesty of the song pretty damn well. It’s so good, we don’t even want to kneecap the uploader who disabled the option of embedding the song elsewhere. It’s THAT good.
With thanks to Government Yard. Go visit his blog. Or badger him on Twitter. Or hide in his dustbin and wait for several days, biding your time until he goes out there to take the kitchen rubbish out, then spring out while yelling “I AM THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT! FEAR MY FESTIVE WRAITH!” into his bewildered face.
No, hang on, just the first two.

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