#ThrowbackTunesday: Episode 12

It’s time once again for #ThrowbackTunesday, our weekly blog and playlist bringing you five of the biggest UK chart hits in this exact week at five points in the last 25 years. Time to see what we’ve got on this week’s playlist before we get to our featured track…

  • 1993: Jade – ‘Don’t Walk Away’
  • 1998: Run DMC vs Jason Nevins – ‘It’s Like That’
  • 2003: Coldplay – ‘Clocks’
  • 2008: Estelle – ‘American Boy’
  • 2013: Pink – ‘Just Give Me A Reason’

And our favourite song from this week’s #ThrowbackTunesday playlist is…

  • ARTIST: Run DMC vs Jason Nevins
  • SONG: It’s Like That
  • ALBUM: Run DMC: Greatest Hits

With yet another insufferable multi month run at number one in the UK from Drake about to come to an end (at least according to the midweeks), it’s easy to forget that once upon a time, the instances of a single spending longer than four weeks at the top were nothing short of magnificent.

20 years ago, in 1998, the UK charts paid host to two fine examples of this once rare chart phenomena. One instance of the long staying chart topper wasn’t until the closing months of the year, but the other was halfway through it’s mammoth six week run at the summit on this very week.

Pioneers of rap and hip-hop music, New York based collective Run DMC had released ‘It’s Like That’ as their debut single some 15 years prior to this, in 1983. But it was when DJ and producer Jason Nevins got hold of it that he turned the hard hitting track about dealing with bad life decisions into an out and out floorfiller. Coupled with a memorable video of two gangs battling each other with break dancing and body popping, a potential classic was waiting in the wings.

Originally gaining a huge reception in mainland Europe, this new version of ‘It’s Like That’ was gaining traction even before it hit the shops in the UK on March 9th, 1998. In common with quite a lot of big name singles of the decade, it was charting in the lower regions of the top 75 on sales of copies of the CD imported from Europe, that were significantly higher in price than a regular CD single.

Usually this meant it was guaranteed a high entry once it’s official UK release arrived, although the import copies no longer counted for the chart at this point (bear in mind this was in pre-streaming/global release date times, to anyone under the age of 20 who might be reading this). 

But it came as a surprise to many when it did crash straight in at number one. Not least because it did the unthinkable, and halted the Spice Girls’ run of consecutive number one hits (the aptly named Motown aping ‘Stop’ stalled at #2), but when it kept on selling in the face of only a resurgent Celine Dion with that song about the sinking boat to challenge it over it’s six week run at the top.

By year’s end, it was the third biggest selling single of 1998, with over a million copies shifted, and prompted dancefloors and school discos the land over to take the floor and attempt a snake the second they hollered ‘It’s like that, and that’s the way it is. HUH!’

Check out the full playlist here, and let us know what your favourite hit from the past is this week on our Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackTunesday!

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