As Christmas draws ever closer and the Crazy Frog Jingle Bells/U Can't Touch This mass murder is released, we dip into the Christmas chart of ten years ago:
1 Michael Jackson - Earth Song
"What about elephants? Have we lost their trust?" After their success, of a fashion, with Elvis last year twenty Jacko limited edition singles will be released from January 23rd, seemingly still not having realised how they're cutting off their nose to impress their face, and seemingly picked at random (Jam?) This is out on May 8th. Jarvis, be prepared.
2 Boyzone - Father And Son
Boyzone used to get plenty of stick for the number of MOR covers they did, but few mentioned just how inappropriate it is for a band to be singing this. Isn't it quite personal? Once performed by Jim Davidson and his actual son on the Generation Game, perhaps the moment they decided to drop it.
3 Beatles - Free As A Bird
Were there not supposed to be more Lennon demos ripe for re-recording? Maybe the critical reaction to this and - quick, ten points if you can name it, too late - Real Love stopped them. The video was supposed to be full of references to their proper songs, which ended up being the only reason to commend it.
4 Bjork - It's Oh So Quiet
A cover version, not that that knowledge will help her image any more. She can be as arty as she likes, but to many she'll always be screaming at a pillar box.
5 Everything But The Girl - Missing
What a chart this is so far. The remix had been about for months before Britain noticed and preceded an unwise move into light drum'n'bass. Ben Watt will be on this blog again before 2005 is out.
6 Queen - A Winter's Tale
From Made In Heaven, an album of recycled Freddie solo demos found after his death and featuring an in no way cynical cover of a silhouetted bloke in an open jacket with a fist in the air.
7 Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise
Fair to say this has outlived Dangerous Minds, the Michelle Pfeiffer vehicle is was commissioned for. He did get a proper career out of it, although it's fair to say nobody was that bothered by him or his spidery hair by the time of 1-2-3-4 (Sumpin' New).
8 Robson & Jerome - I Believe/Up On The Roof
You forget just how big they were in 1995, taking over the chart for large parts of the year then almost as suddenly deciding they'd rather act after all. The energy generated by national laughing at the dancing in the Up On The Roof video powered the nation for three weeks.
9 Childliners - The Gift Of Christmas
Boyzone, the Backstreet Boys, Michelle Gayle, East 17, Deuce, Dannii Minogue, Sean Maguire, Peter Andre, China Black, Let Loose, Ultimate Kaos, MN8, CJ Lewis and Gemini prove why we had to wait so long for the next Band Aid.
10 Oasis - Wonderwall
The Mike Flowers Pops Wonderwall came a week later, which spurred this back up to 7. Completists might like to note the video features Scott McLeod, who replaced Guigsy for a few weeks due to illness before becoming homesick himself while on tour and buggering off again. We're surprised he never wrote a book about his life with the Gallaghers. Everyone else did at the time.
11 Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men - One Sweet Day
Melisma ahoy! Such conjoined vocal gymnastics ensured it became Billboard's longest serving number one. The video was recorded as live, as all Mariah videos seemed to be at the time.
12 Levellers - Just The One
A jaunty pub piano singalong about drink driving, featuring Joe Strummer. But of course.
13 Eternal - I Am Blessed
One of our favourite showbiz stories ever was when Easther Bennett from Eternal did a Songs Of Praise gospel recital with her bandmate sister Vernie in 2000 in a low-cut top, and according to reports a shout was heard of "you should be more modestly dressed in the house of the lord!" You don't get that at the Comedy Store.
14 Pulp - Disco 2000
Re-released four years later, much to the band's chagrin. Pop fact: the week after Jarvis' arse-waving Brits antics Earth Song climbed back up 22 places to 18. Why would anyone buy it on that basis?
15 Enya - Anywhere Is
Just released her first album in five years, half of which is sung in a made up language called Loxian. We must say, it's no Hopelandic.
16 Luther Vandross and Janet Jackson - The Best Things In Life Are Free (Remix)
Wrexham's own K-Klass reworked a number two single from three years earlier. And the label went for this? Sod that, the artists agreed to it?
17 - Gold
Best to do these things accurately. This was during his enslaved years when he'd demonstrate his stance against authoritarian major label paymasters by sanctioning the release of any old toss. And now he wonders why nobody trusts him.
18 Molella featuring the Outhere Brothers - If You Wanna Party
Fair to say people weren't buying this at the time for Molella's input, this being the year of school playground favourite Don't Stop (Wiggle Wiggle). They're still going, albeit in fits and starts and in 1999 reduced to covering the Vengaboys' We Like To Party. They've even got two best ofs, both unwisely titled, The Fucking Hits and Dance History.
19 Smokin' Mojo Filters - Come Together
Paul Weller, Paul McCartney, Noel Gallagher and assorted backroomers, lifted from the Help album. The first single from that album was Radiohead's Lucky, now regarded as one of their pinnacle releases, then deemed too depressing and hardly selling anything. So much for charity.
20 Crescendo - Are You Out There
Hark, the year of Eurohouse.
21 Madonna - You'll See
Most artists have to wait until they're dead for ballad specific compilations, but Madge brought one out in 1995 called Something To Remember, and this was one of the new tracks. To think that she was huge in 1985, and she's huge in 2005, and in the middle she'd been written off. We'd make more greatest hits plans for 2015 now if we were her.
22 Corona - I Don't Wanna Be A Star
23 East 17 - Thunder
24 LV - Throw Your Hands Up
The featured artist on Gangsta's Paradise, who wisely put his own version on the back of this.
25 Skee-Lo - I Wish
He wished he had a girl with a beard, apparently. This is the rap record that features elements of Buffalo Springfield's For What It's Worth and was sampled on Les Rhythmes Digitales' Hey You (What's That Sound), a one-off hit about eight years out of time and all the better for it.
26 Passengers - Miss Sarajevo
U2 and Brian Eno amade an album of songs for soundtracks, this one featuring Pavarotti, and then offered the songs out for tender, apparently not under the U2 name as their label didn't want it officially adding to their catalogue. Shame, as it's probably the last great thing they did.
27 Whigfield - Last Christmas
Whose idea was this?
28 Michael Barrymore - Too Much For One Heart
No Kenny The Kangaroo or Doin' The Crab, this (full discography here), but a proper heartfelt ballad released just after he'd come out but before the unpleasantness set in. As a heartfelt ballad from the bloke they liked for being hyperactive, nobody went for it.
29 Blur - The Universal
30 M People - Itchycoo Park
Can you even begin to imagine this?
31 Frank Bruno - Eye Of The Tiger
He was world heavyweight champion at the time, and everyone loved him for finally achieving his dream. It didn't mean they'd flock to buy this, of course. Stock and Aitken produced it for the future part-time DJ, and we're don't think he even sang on it.
32 Queen - Heaven For Everyone
33 Jimmy Nail - Love
34 Simply Red - Remembering The First Time
35 Mary Kiani - I Give It All To You
36 Tina Turner - Goldeneye
From Brosnan's first Bond theme, and sounding like someone who might have heard a Bond theme once thinks they all sound like.
37 Pauline Henry - Love Hangover
38 Wet Wet Wet - She's All On My Mind
39 Mr Blobby - Christmas In Blobbyland
Two years earlier the false children's favourite turned actual children's favourite had famously grabbed the top spot from Take That, a chart we will do during this run, and with Noel adding his voice to this one they must have thought a repeat success was a banker. The banker offered top 20, Noel decided no deal but ended up at 36.
40 Motiv 8 & Kym Mazelle - Searching For The Golden Eye
Just a coincidence, that title, of course. We've got the rest of the chart here, with Morrissey's falling-out-with-record-company-unofficial-release Sunny at 42, PJ and Duncan just escaping a write-up at 49, the Corrie cast doing Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life at 51 and at 59 the aforementioned Roy Wood Big Band. At 64, meanwhile, What's That Tune? by Dorothy, for those who needed a house remix of the Blind Date theme in their lives.