Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Only Chart That Counted: 2002

They'll be doing I Love Last Tuesday next. As we celebrate both four years of Girls Aloud and four years of reality television ruining the Christmas number one battle, let's have a look at how it all started:

40 Scooter - Posse (I Need You On The Floor)
Of course, all their songs were meant to be like that as they quote KLF in virtually everything and adhere 100% to the stupid end of trance. Excellent vocalist name too: H.P. Baxxter.

39 Blue - One Love
Due a reformation any day, even if they appear to be unique among the last great era of boy bands in that all of them are still visible in one form of another, albeit mostly one notch above being one of the people who doesn't get to open the selected box on the Deal Or No Deal viewer phone-in.

38 S Club - Alive
Although you'd have to say these are nearer to the special press conference given we're not entirely sure they're all in showbiz any more. Are they all still alive?

37 Westlife - Unbelievable
Now reduced to touring Britain once a year and occasionally releasing a water treading album just to remind us that they're still alive and active.

36 Rolling Stones - Don't Stop
See above.

35 Enrique Iglesias - Maybe
What did happen to him? Even if he did end up being Anna Kournikova's partner at a time when people could actually say what she does for a living.

34 Darius - Rushes
And whither the Danesh? Writing in LA, says his Myspace blog, but then they all say that.

33 Will Young - Don't Let Me Down/You and I
The only moment worth any salvage from Five's Live With Chris Moyles was on the first programme when he pointed out a 3am Girls piece mocking Young for not having any friends on the basis that the director of the You And I video had hired some extras.

32 Madonna - Die Another Day
Chris Cornell's theme for Casino Royale seems to have drifted away already, but that's what you get for messing with the David Arnold formula. This was even less good, notoriously, but GMTV have heard of Madonna so it got even more attention than the film.

31 Justin Timberlake - Like I Love You
Bringing sexy forward. This was famously the song being performed when Janet Jackson was denuded and instantly killed the nipple accessories market.

30 Sugababes - Stronger/Angels With Dirty Faces
Superior swaying balladry with video filmed at the same lido everyone else films at plus mid-ranking dancier end of the sound with Powerpuff Girls video left off the Stalinist hits album.

29 Shania Twain - I'm Gonna Getcha Good
There's been a biopic of her! Unfortunately, within the last week someone has deleted a sentence at the end of the third paragraph which for ages had read "some dismissed the t-v movie as a crock of shit".

28 George & Zippy - It's A Rainbow
So what happened was a company called Entertainment Rights started buying up alleged cult kids' TV characters a few years before this and in every case booked them one or more of an autobiography, a pilot of a chat show (because puppets can ask questions humans can't, you know) and a novelty record. The Rainbow franchise offered up all three, and then did so a bit later when Geoffrey Hayes took them to the Edinburgh Fringe. All that silliness seems to have finally abated now, apart from YouTube-using pub idiots who insist that double entrende episode really went out, it really really did. No it didn't, it was made for a VT Christmas tape.

27 Big Brovaz - Nu Flow
"We make them hits and stack them chips!" Apparently still going despite the girls having some success as the secret face of recent dance hit Booty Luv, although the one that got fired for trying to bring hash into the country is still AWOL.

26 DJ Sammy - Heaven
Brilliantly, Sammy later came up with a piano ballad version for the trance/Magic FM market. Your move, Fedde Le Grande.

25 Holly Valance - Naughty Girl
Ms Vukadinovic's follow-up to Kiss Kiss and Down Boy. A pattern seemed to be emerging, one little in evidence on those 0800 Reverse adverts.

24 Jennifer Lopez - Jenny From The Block
"Look at Mysterious Chicken go!"

23 Pascal featuring Karen Parry - I Think We're Alone Now
It's precisely what you think it is. They probably thought it was a Tiffany cover too.

22 Russell Watson - Nothing Sacred: A Song For Kirsty
Kirsty Howard, of course, and this single was only talked about at the time because her more famous sponsors David and Victoria Beckham were reportedly on backing vocals (they weren't). The People's Tenor, as his own biog puffs him up, announced at about this time live on Richard & Judy that he was quitting Radio 2 because they hadn't playlisted it (oh, alright, mid-market tabloids, "banned it" if you want). Not only did Radio 2 not listen, as he continued hosting his weekly show for some time afterwards, but neither did the hosts.

21 Liam Lynch - United States Of Whatever
Seriously, how the hell did this go top ten? We have memories of listening to Dr Fox on the Network Chart Show or whatever it was being called at the time just to see how he'd approach it. With much surprise, it turned out. Lynch directed the Tenacious D film, but everyone's allowed a second chance.

20 Ja Rule featuring Bobby Brown - Thug Lovin'
All Whitney Houston jokes have been edited out on legal advice.

19 Christina Aguilera - Dirrrty
Before she'd heard of this new thing called jazz (copyright Paul Morley) Xtina was busy redefining the phrase 'trying too hard'. Are there genuinely people who found that look mindbogglingly attractive?

18 Liberty X - Holding On For You
This would be the one with them walking down a disused railway line in big coats. Now only exist to go on reality shows and make workout DVDs.

17 Atomic Kitten - The Last Goodbye/Be With You
They had six singles after The Tide Is High and we defy you to name one of them. Without a hint such as this, obviously.

16 Pink - Family Portrait
The song that won us Mark Radcliffe's Son Of Cheesily, and thus beyond reproach.

15 Gareth Gates - What My Heart Wants To Say
Title track of the album, when surely Gates was in no position to be so highfaultin.

14 Death In Vegas featuring Liam Gallagher - Scorpio Rising
Not classic doomy Death In Vegas, no, a mortal-sounding DIV plus Liam on his tea break. Expected to be massive. Wasn't.

13 Nelly featuring Kelly Rowland - Dilemma
The whole 'boo' abbreviation died out quickly, didn't it?

12 Ronan Keating & Lulu - We've Got Tonight
What is it with Lulu? Highly respected pre-Boom Bang-A-Bang she may have been, but that doesn't excuse the last ten years of acception every MOR duet offer that comes her way. No mention on her Wikipedia profile of disastrous National Lottery show Red Alert, curiously.

11 S Club Juniors - Puppy Love/Sleigh Ride
Well, this hardly turned out to be the pop breeding ground Fuller must have expected, only Rochelle Wiseman still in the public eye and that on CBBC. What business had 13 year olds with Puppy Love?

10 Robbie Williams - Feel
Peaked at number four, which caused a minor roundel of 'is Robbie finished?' stories which abated as soon as someone realised Escapology was selling in shitloads. There's no real reasoning behind the bit about the secret tracks on the album here, is there?

9 Avril Lavigne - Sk8er Boi
At the time Complicated was breaking big in Britain, did your heart sink when you saw that this was the title of the next single? Richard Herring's deconstruction remains a joy.

8 Las Ketchup - The Ketchup Song
A summer novelty dance hit is for life, not for Christmas, even if it is based on a phonetic translation of Rapper's Delight and despite the label putting out a radio mix with sleigh bells on. Since this they've dug out another sister, finished 21st at Eurovision and are, as they optimistically stay when clearly nobody's going to ever care again, still recording.

7 Love Inc - You're A Superstar
Canadian, for the little it's worth, from the year that euphoric house broke. And then mended itself again.

6 Daniel Bedingfield - If You're Not The One
Simon Cowell reckons this is one of the greatest songs of the last twenty years, but then he reckoned Steve Brookstein had the X factor.

5 Eminem - Lose Yourself
Marshall's best lyric, possibly, wracked with self-doubt and overcoming thereof, it also launched rap battles into the mainstream for a short period, which mutated in Britain into an interest in poetry slams. And that's what the special relationship has done for us all.

4 Blue & Elton John - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
Elton can pick 'em, can't he?

3 The Cheeky Girls - The Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)
As once sung by Barry Cryer to the tune of We'll Gather Lilacs on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, The Friday Thing campaigned for this to be Christmas number one as an antidote to the Popstars: The Rivals takeover. They hadn't quite thought that one through. In between startling everybody in Britain with much the most alarming news story we've seen in a while, apparently they're about to release a double A side of a cover of I'm Too Sexy - yeah, that'll work - and new song Farmyard Hokey. That's Farmyard Hokey, everyone.

2 One True Voice - Sacred Trust
Giving the girls something new and exciting and the boys a Bee Gees cover was in retrospect perhaps pop's most brilliant self-aware satire ever. Reformation expected in about May.

1 Girls Aloud - Sound Of The Underground
So spectacular has been their rise that you tend to forget they were created in front of you sometimes, until new technology gives your brain a gentle jolt. You forget how much of a car crash the formation looked for a short time, Nicola replacing a contestant who quit the week before the first vote over pay and conditions, Kimberley coming in for another one who discovered she was pregnant and/or producers realised she was a few days over their age limits and got thrown out and Sarah ousting Javine on the last vote, controversial at the time as many callers claimed their votes had been miscounted. Mind you, this seemed to happen in every single reality phone vote for years. After all that, it took about two years for the natural antipathy to die down (it was also claimed that the vocals were actually by a dumped girl band who had recorded it already, which you'd have to say is an interesting claim to make on behalf of a band formed on the basis of the public deciding which were the best singers) and most people to realise just how great a song this is. Listen to it! It starts with panning surf guitar followed by drum'n'bass rhythms!

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Atomic Kitten songs after The Tide Is High:

Cradle 2005 and It's Ok.
Eevryhit tells me that the latter was in fact BEFORE, but I still got one!

ian said...

I can name one of Atomic Kitten... Liz.

Anonymous said...

"39 Blue - One Love
Due a reformation any day"

And to thnk I thought that was hyperbole.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2004580002-2006590126,00.html

Simon said...

Bloody hell, we wrote that line two weeks ago. Maybe their manager's subconsciously siphoning off our preplanned material.

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