Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bring Back The Chart Show! (But Do It Properly!)

It's Saturday morning, I'm perusing YouTube for interesting music videos. I'm doing this despite a hangover. In the old days I could have had a TV-based computerised video jukebox do this awkward task for me. It was called The Chart Show and it was utterly brilliant.

Exhibit A:

It started out on Channel 4 back in the autumn of 1986, when it was transmitted at 6pm on Fridays. From January 1989 it became The ITV Chart Show and was broadcast at 11.30am. This is the slot it will perhaps be best remembered for. The Chart Show's genius move was to show rather left-field music videos side by side with the Top 10 at the one time of the week when kids were sure to be paying attention. I've very fond memories of the show; the useless trivia that would appear on screen during a song's instrumental break, the gimmicky videotape spooling where it would fast forward and rewind through the charts. It always seemd to tantalisingly by-pass a song you'd love in favour of something utterly ghastly by Jive Bunny. And then there was The Indie Chart. This was where your parents would become acquainted with the phrases "Half Man Half Biscuit", "Red Lorry Yellow Lorry" and "Alien Sex Fiend". Lots of the bands hadn't thought (or cared) to make a video for their indie "hit", so a still photo of them would have to suffice instead. Sometimes a band would create a DIY vid just to get airtime on The Chart Show on a Saturday morning. The specialist charts (Indie, Dance, Rock - and for a brief period Reggae) were invariably fascinating.

Exhibit B:

I'd honestly love to see The Chart Show return. Now that 4Music is up and running on digital I don't see why they shouldn't do it there. Get Video Visuals back in to produce it, base it on the 1989-1995 era ITV Chart Show (no band interviews, competitions or phone votes which ruined the revamped version from 1996 onwards). You can find this week's Indie, Dance and Rock Top 10s among the links on this rather garish web page.

Exhibit C:

It's worth a go, don't you think?

Edit: Further to 23Daves' comment below, a revamped version of The Chart Show can be seen here. But be warned, it is piss-poor.