lbum Chart Notes: The last of yr chart show guest hosts are Scott Mills and Edith Bowman. Next week JK & Joel start their newly relaunched chart show. I am extremely worried about this for reasons I will detail later.
Today's innovative thing is…you get to pick what track you want played off certain albums in the album chart. A man rings in to request 'This Love' off Maroon 5's album. How lovely of Radio 1 to oblige. Oh look, someone wants to hear 'Vertigo' off the U2 album. It is truly a life of possibilities.
The Definitive Tony Christie is new at #10. Scott Mills responds by playing noises from Max & Paddy's Road To Nowhere over the top of about thirty seconds of 'Is This The Way To Amarillo'. Y'know, for kids.
The other new entry sees Doves get their second ever number one album. Jimi Goodwin sounds unseasonably happy on the phone. They play the LIVE & EXCLUSIVE ACOUSTIC LIVE LOUNGE WITH JO WHILEY SESSION LIVE version of 'Black & White Town', which he describes as being 'coffee table', and yet somehow it's much better than the original. Very folky in a really good way.
New Entries Outside The Top 20: Tears For Fears #40, 'Closest Thing To Heaven' (starts nicely in an incredibly overproduced MOR pop kind of a way, but ends up being far too long); Dogs #36, 'She's Got A Reason' (big messy pile of haircut indie-punking that's strangely quite alright. Vocalist gets all Aidan Moffat about a girl. Then the shouting takes over and it isn't quite as good anymore); DT8 Project #35, 'Winter' (Jurgen Vries gets his synth noise out again. It's OK, I suppose); Groove Cutters #33, 'We Close Our Eyes' (BANGING types do 'We Close Our Eyes' over. It's not wonderful); Charlotte Hatherley #31, 'Bastardo' (impossibly perky squeaky yes yes YES indie-pop. Drums that sound like handclaps. Guitars that sound like handclaps. A bit where it all suddenly goes like 'Video Killed The Radio Star'. Irresistible and a half. Crap video, though – the idea's good, but The New Hot Young British Comedy Elite really should are too smug by half. And Lauren Laverne… alors, alors, alors…); Keisha White ft. Cassidy #29, 'Don't Care Who Knows' (Cassidy's rubbish. Other than that, solid but unspectacular R&B); and KT Tunstall #28, 'Black Horse & The Cherry Tree' (ooh, nice. Almost Zep-esque Scots folk, except 'folk' seems a bit harsh for something with this much groove. The dark side of handclapping, and it's delicious).
THE UK TOP 20: WHEN I YELL "OH!", YOU YELL "OH-OH!"
20) MAXIMO PARK – Apply Some Pressure (NEW ENTRY)
The missing link between The Futureheads and The Inspiral Carpets (i.e. they are from the North East and they have an organ)! And yes, I do sort of think that's a good thing. It's a good pop song till it gets to the bit where they try to get a bit too clever, and the momentum is lost somewhat, then it starts getting About Girls and goes on too bloody long and loses its tail end in a sloppy way. Close, but not quite close enough.
19) ELVIS PRESLEY – Surrender
This is what they wanted. That intro fair rattles along, the piano chugs along and is EVIL, the backing vocals sound fucking doomed, Elvis has melodramatic straining down perfectly, and it's all wrapped up inside a couple of minutes. Really very good.
18) U2 – Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
The ALL NEW UK CHART SHOW WITH JK & JOEL, then. It's being transformed into a lifestyle guide. They will tell you what is hot. They will also tell you what is not. Films, gigs, music (not the same thing, no), TV, DVD and (o Jesu) 'celebrity gossip'. Apparently they will also be featuring the album and singles charts too. So, they've put even more pointless crap that can quite easily be got anywhere else, and so there's even less time for the chart itself. Why? What for? Who really thinks this is a good idea?
17) DESTINY'S CHILD ft. T.I. & LI'L WAYNE – Soldier
Also, one of JK & Joel has a really irritating voice, and I can't tell which one of them it is, and that's really annoying me. Though the other's voice is pretty annoying too. Well, the future lies ahead of me, I suppose…
16) IDLEWILD – Love Steals Us From Loneliness (NEW ENTRY)
Idlewild go all rock anthem in the Green Day fashion. Guitars are quite loud and stuff. There's some nice chanting. It's all a bit hefty, but also a bit more Biffy Clyro than anything else. A touch dull, really.
15) BRYIAN McFADDEN & DELTA GOODREM – Some fucking ballad wank
On the plus side—Jay-Z & Linkin Park—GONE! Uniting Nations—GONE! Though they are #21 and #22 respectively, so they'll just be waiting for a quiet week and then sneak back in. Like 'Hey Ya!' but shit and not accompanied by Wee Kev or Fatman Scoop.
14) REFLEKT ft. DELLINE BASS – Need To Feel Loved (NEW ENTRY)
Rather dull ambient trance stuff. Vocalist sounds a little like Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the tune itself takes a sample of some balladic strings that it drifts along with to nowhere in particular. So lightweight that eventually it just glides off on the breeze. Oh well.
13) SNOOP DOGG ft. PHARRELL – Let's Get Blown (NEW ENTRY)
"Let's follow up 'Drop It Like It's Hot!'" "OK!" "I have a noise like a Pong bat!" "I've got some leftovers from a Warren G session!" "Party up!" etc. I do quite like Warren G, though, and if the chief failing is that it's not 'Drop It Like It's Hot,' then that's pretty much fair enough. Problem is that the chief failing might be Pharrell's voice getting all squawky. "You know you want this!" Not necessarily.
12) EMINEM – Like Toy Soldiers
The JK & Joel trailer has nicked the riff from The Professionals. This really is looking extremely bleak.
11) VERBALICIOUS – Don't Play Nice (NEW ENTRY)
Oh, that is some fucking bass. Reverb like you'd never believe. Owowowowwwww… She herself… right, imagine if 'Queen Of The Night' wasn't shit. She's bossing it all ends up. Things sound like they're crashing down and making improbably large amounts of noise. "Cuzza don't playee niiice!" She says it, you believe it. You know how when British types do R&B and it sounds bollocks because they don't sound like they've ever been up in the club in their entire life? Not here. Hell, it's not even hip-hop, it's pop, but big, shiny, spike-heel & skintight jeans with a fistful of FIST pop. Rocks. Hip-hops. Pops. Aces.
10) THE GAME ft. 50 CENT – How We Do
And yes, that means that THE FUTUREHEADS ARE IN THE TOP TEN! Along with six other new entries! Told you this week'd be fun. OH-OH!
9) USHER – Caught Up (NEW ENTRY)
NOT AS POPULAR AS THE FUTUREHEADS! OH-OH! I have not smiled like this in so long…
This is nth single off the album syndrome—nice enough but with very little hook or impetus. Bit weak, but OK enough I suppose.
8) THE FUTUREHEADS! THE FUTUREHEADS! THE FUTURE-FUCKING-HEADS! – HOUNDS OF FUCKING LOVE! FUCKING COME ON! (NEW FUCKING ENTRY!!!!!!!)
FUCKING COME ON!!!
*SHROOSH! SHROOSH! SHROOSH!* "The hounds awv loovercall-ing! I feel your arms suh-rounding meee!" "OH-UH-OH-UH-OH!" "Ah've alwezz binna cow-uh-hud… and I-DON'T-KNOW-WHAT'S-GOOD-FOR-ME!"
"So here I GO-HO! Don't lemme GO-HO! HOLLLLLLLLLLD ME DOWWWWN! IT'S COMING AT ME THROUGH THUH TREEEEEEEES! HELP me SOME-one HELP me pleeeeze!"
"TAKE my shoes off! And I will THRURRRRRRRRRR them in the lake! And I will be!"
"OH OH OH! OH OH OH!"
"Twooo steps from tha War-tahhh! UH-WATTA-TAWWA-TAWWA-TUHHH! DoyouknowwhatIneeddoyouknowwhatI NEED? I need a HEY-ey-uh-yey-ey-uh-YEYYY!"
Can we play you every week?
Reaction after the chart has ended and I've calmed down a little:
FUCKING COME ON!!!
I've got excited in the past, I know. But I dunno if I've ever felt quite like I did when Edith Bowman said there was a four-piece from Sunderland at number eight. All the things that could have gone wrong, and barely any of them did. I mean, apart from charting behind Akon and not being number one… top ten, dude! Top Ten! The Futureheads, those gawky Mackem bastards that play tighter than the aisles at Kwik-Save, with their glasses and shirts and ties, them that all look like people that get bumped off in 1970's conspiracy films, the boys with so many more ideas than the others could ever dream of, them whose album (that still hasn't entered the top 40) is so filled with hooks, energy, J-O-Y, they don't waste no time, they don't waste no space, their lyrics are a bit cack every now and then but then aren't everyone's? Those ones? TOP FUCKING TEN!
That brilliant moment on Friday night at the emo-indie-punk-rock club in Leeds, thinking that every next song was going to be this, waiting in anticipation of every next song being this—realising that, for the first time in god knows how long, I wanted a song to get played, I wanted that moment, I was trembling in anticipation of the intro to this coming out over the PA and then just exploding into life and watching it all just blow up… it didn't happen, though I was too giddy to mind, and they played the Futureheads remix of 'Fit But You Know It' anyway so I was happy, but what I realised was that this song is a landmark. Because what I realised was that you could play this song after anything—ANYTHING—and it would work. It would fit. It would not go wrong. That cry at the start, the "AH! OH-OH! AH! OH-OH!" chant—it's perfect. The answering call of "OH-OH! OH-OH!"—perfect. It all seems so simple and yet somehow it isn't at all. Just that bit, those few seconds, two blokes shouting at each other—I have no idea what it is that it does to me, how it does it, but I know that it does it and I love it. I love how I instantly recognise it and my heart starts to race in accordance, that I know what's coming next and that I will love it. I love the way that it starts fast and then keeps picking up the pace. I love the way that when the guitar starts you can imagine Barry Hyde walking into shot from behind a tree and in the video he walks into shot from behind a tree.
I love the way that it's a cover that you just can't really compare to the original, they're such different beasts. The Futureheads take it and re-imagine it as their own. They don't make it their own. They don't destroy the original, but they don't copy it either. They take it and make it new—it didn't need it, it doesn't change the original's status or existence or anything, maybe it's not even a companion piece, but it's its own song. The two can co-exist together perfectly—I heard this before I heard the Kate Bush one, and I was quite amazed by how different they were. I love them both. I don't care which is better, and I don't really think either is, because you can't compare them. Don't try and force the issue. Don't be a prick.
(I keep trying to make points and then I keep listening to the song and singing along to it instead so I forget what I was trying to say. It's kind of embarrassing, really. This will not go down well with The Independent On Sunday.)
The remixes of this song don't work because they try to pull it apart, break it up and throw bits in and I can't stand it. It's perfect. It really is, absolutely perfect. There's that thing that happens when you listen to a song too many times, and where it was exciting to start with you start to notice little holes, tiny flaws where it stops working and then those holes get bigger and bigger till soon they've swallowed the whole damn thing. This doesn't happen with 'Hounds Of Love'. Not once, not ever. Every time, every single time. There's no room to move, scarce any room to breathe—every square millimetre is filled.
The best bit is when he declares "Well here I GO-HO! Don't lemme GO-HO!" The song's biggest asset is the way it builds up its tension, starts tight, gets tighter, by the end you can barely breathe and then that moment, and on the first "GO-HO!" everything just explodes and tears off and the ecstasy of it is almost peerless, incomparable, because in their hands this song is no trick, nothing in it has been done because it's what everyone else does, nothing is lazy, there are no cheap spots at all. Everything is there because it works. Like how tight and together they are on stage, so it is with the arrangement. Ross and Jaff's vocal hook at the start runs throughout, filling in the gaps between Barry's lines. The vocals of the Futureheads are, as a team, almost unbeatable, always there forcing the matter, engaging the brain and the heart and the body all as one.
I love how relentless it is, how full of life it is, how fast and agile and clever and strong and desperate they sound, like they have got to get this message to you, like Barry just has no idea at all what to do with himself, he tells himself no though inside he screams yes, YES dammit, YES! The bit in the video where the cymbal conveniently appears on the tree branch that Dave is walking past! The way that cymbal crash is so damn key even without it! EVERYTHING is key! It's all so much, and so wonderful, and I realise that I've done that horrible thing where I feel like I've not written enough so I keep throwing words at the page, and that all these words have most likely not changed anything at all for you and you're just looking at me like "Huh?" So maybe I'll have calmed down by next week and have organised my thoughts into something beyond this vaguely onanistic frenzy though somehow I doubt it because I don't think this song will ever stop making me feel this excited or happy or just plain bloody alive...
Best chart ever.
7) LL COOL J – Hush
Oh, like you matter…
6) KAISER CHIEFS – Oh My God (NEW ENTRY)
But hang on, cos this is fucking tasty too. What might save the Kaisers from being average is the fact that they seem extremely intent on having fun. This week's Syllable Of The Week, as you have already noticed, is "OH!" And 'Oh My God' isn't lacking in "OH!" Essentially it's all about doing the collapse, as the verses hammer this piano riff and Ricky Wilson does his vaguely foppy thing with some lyrics that are on the rubbish side of good, but then the chorus—oh boy. The Kaisers yell. That's roughly it. "OH my GOD I CAN'T be-LIEVE it, I've nevvuh bin this far away from home, and OH my GOD I CAN'T be-LIEVE it, I've nevvuh bin this far away from home!" Then there's a guitar thingy. Later, there comes a breakdown, which is resolved by all the Kaisers getting round the mic and starting an ever-escalating shouting competition: "Ohhh… OHHHH…. OHHHH… OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…" and then the chorus returns and you can just hear them loving every single second of it. You kind of do too. Because it's bloody marvellous, really.
5) AKON – Locked Up (NEW ENTRY)
Whereas this is Akon bleating about how he's locked up. They won't let him out. He's locked up. They won't let him out. Four minutes later, he's still locked up. They still won't let him out. It's dull to start with, and then it just gets worse as you realise that the 'good bit' isn't going to turn up at any point because it doesn't exist. It's meant to be painful, but not like this…
4) GIRLS ALOUD – Wake Me Up (NEW ENTRY)
Dance Move Of The Week, of course, is the Dave Hyde Spontaneous Tree-Cymbal Swipe, closely followed by the Barry Hyde Dalmatian Stare-Down and the Ross Millard Strum-O-Jog. However, it is worth pointing out that in practically any other week the move would be the Girls Aloud Double Hair-Flick. *swish-swoosh!* 'Wake Me Up', of course, is the one where they talk about at least two varieties of booze, the guitars are all filthy and reverb and EEEEVIL, and the Girls get all EEEEVIL to match – "My best face just fer yewwww!" It's big, nasty, and brilliant. Oh, best week ever…
3) ELVIS PRESLEY – (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame (NEW ENTRY)
Elvis is good this week too. Tidy & pretty, Elvis sounds dead cosy, it all swings and swishes just like you'd want it to. No "OH-OH!", but that'd just be gratuitous, wouldn't it?
2) JENNIFER LOPEZ ft. FABOLOUS – Get Right
Yet somehow, this was a number one and 'Hounds Of Love' won't ever be. Oh well.
Then again, it could climb.
There's not that much out next week.
You never know…
1) NELLY ft. TIM McGRAW – Over & Over (NEW ENTRY)
So, ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
Not here so much, oddly. Yes, in a chart so full of high points, having Nelly being all "Bitch, why you happy? Hell-OH-OH! I am hurting over here!" at the top of the pile is a bit of an anti-climax, even if you could see it from miles off—for some reason they just can't get enough of the man with the shaved-in side parting and shonky teeth telling them how much they want to fuck him, in the sensuous way. Ft. Jaheim.
But again, there's something about this, something oddly appealing. The way that McGraw sounds so far-off, the way it's all kind of restrained, the interplay of the voices in the chorus works somehow. I'm not sure why, but I do really, really like this. Course, we all know how they feel.
BOOM! He got your girl-friend!
(hell, gotta have some rapture before the wake next week, eh? JK & Joel are on the phone at the end. "It's a more entertainment based show, but trust me it's gonna be brilliant! We will have interviews with proper—PROPER—A-List celebs!" I find out that it's Joel that has the more irritating voice. But they're both deeply annoying and the future of this rundown looks immensely depressing. Not right now though. Tell me again, Mr Hyde, what exactly it is you need…)