The Singles Jukebox
A Million Indie Clubs Can’t Be Wrong…

album Chart Notes: Lloyd Banks is new at #15. They play a snatch off it, and it sounds very, very boring. A reissue of Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall is new at #13. Bevvlee Knight is new at #11. Original Pirate Material is #10 by virtue of being in the sales, and by the same token… The Stone Roses is #9! They play ‘Waterfall’! I ain’t entirely sure where I stand on the whole ‘legendary or toss’ debate, given that I’ve never heard the album in its entirety, but I do really love the guitar noise. Dwee, deedle-ee-de deederdeeder… Man, it’s like The Seahorses realised that they should have given up after ‘Love Is The Law’, cos there was no way they could ever top that .... Actually, this whole jam bit at the end of ‘Waterfall’ is a bit shit. But the bit before that—quality. And much better than bloody ‘Fool’s Gold’.

The Cure’s new album is #8. The Jacksons’ Best Of is new at #7. Razorlight are new at #3, and ‘Up All Night’ is played. They really aren’t terribly interesting, are they?

But A Grand Don’t Come For Free is #2… AND THE SCISSORS HAVE DONE IT!!! #1! #1! #1 with a bullet that took the best part of six effing months, BUT STILL—#1! God bless festival appearances, eh? Anyway, they play ‘Comfotably Numb’. It’s ace. Everything is ace. Such a shame this has to end with the sound of Wes’ voice…

New Entries Outside The Top 20: Longview #38 (Dear God, they’ve had another hit. This sounds like Coldplay and The Cure at the same time. They’d like to think that’s hard to imagine. It isn’t.); The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster #35 (slightly-less-screamy-than-usual deathabilly stomping—still dead good, but the problem is I can’t remember quite how it went now.) The 22-20’s #30 (hang on… is it just me, or are these living up to their hype? Admittedly, I’ve only heard a minute, but it’s been quite good so far… no, sorry, just confused ‘quite good’ with ‘sounds like Tim Booth fronting The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’. Which isn’t such a bad thing, if I’m being honest); and Ryan Adams #27 (he covers ‘Wonderwall’ and becomes one of those rare people that gets outclassed by both Cat Power and Mike Flowers Pops).


20) BRANDY – Talk About Our Love

Apparently the song isn’t called ‘Coldplay’, as was claimed here last week, but does namecheck them and nicks several lyrics off them. Which obviously isn’t at all uninteresting.

19) ANASTACIA – Left Outside Alone

And when considering hand gestures, how could I forget her pointing? And that thing where she mimes lifting her breasts for some reason.

18) FRANKEE – Fuck U Right Back

Eamon has finally left the top 20. You can shut up now.


Oh Jesus. I’ve not yet had a chance to vent about this lot, owing to the fact that till now they’ve not made an impression on the upper reaches of the chart, but they’re here now, and they are SHITE. ‘Social commentary’ delivered in the way that only indie bands of a certain degree of pishness can, which is to say In The Style Of The Jam. They pride themselves on their book-reading, which means their lyrics are overlong and boring and snidey. The singer man has modelled himself on Morrissey, you can hear it when he sneers at people who “stand in overlong shopping lines”, and in the supposedly singalong chorus—“How’s the weather?/GREY AND BOR-ING!/It’s back to work on/MON-DAY MOR-NING!” There’s a line where he goes “Initi-ATE deb-ATE” in the manner of a PE teacher attempting to belittle someone with sarcasm. They’re bored of British suburban tedium. Quite how this is meant to be any different is beyond me.

16) BEVERLEY KNIGHT – Come As You Are

They play a wee jingle beforehand, where she says “This is my new single, ‘Come As You Are’” in this ultra-thick Wolverhampton accent. Ai lovi Bevi.

15) CASSIDY ft. R KELLY – Hotel

The photo of him on the Radio 1 ‘As It Happens’ Top 40 page has been put in somewhat out of resolution, and makes him look like one of the Goombas out of Super Mario Bros post-squidging.


No, you’ve not read that wrong—this has been re-released off the back of being the theme tune for the BBC’s Euro 2004 coverage. It doesn’t quite work in that context, because the snatch that they’ve chosen to sample has been shorn of its flourish and the shouting and just sort of shivers instead, which gets rather annoying after a while. This still kicks it, though.

13) KELIS – Trick Me

“You might trick me once, I won’t let you trick me twice.” This is about that Bush feller, isn’t it? Ahhh… and I thought it was just a skillsy bassline with nice “oah-oah” sounds.

Thing is, if it is about him, why did she vote for him in the first place?


On the other hand, it’s probably fair to say that “Got me so hot now, baby don’t stop now” isn’t about Tony Blair.

Yes, I am floundering slightly.

11) BLACK EYED PEAS – Let’s Get It Started (NEW ENTRY)

Yo! They bring the party! Yo! How they bring the party? Yo! They cross Santana with Dilated Peoples! Yo! We’ll be staying in then. Maybe watch Universal Soldier or something.

(Note to Radio 1: Beverley Knight should do all jingles, ever)

10) O-ZONE – Dragostea Din Tei

Still not been on TOTP, and will never be now, because foreign-language records are obviously not credible and will never get over with the public.

9) BLUE – Bubblin’ (NEW ENTRY)

Unlike this, wherein Blue do an uptempo R&B; number in the style of Triple 8 and are about as successful as Triple 8 ever were when they were still doing this sort of thing. Obviously.

8) GEORGE MICHAEL – Flawless (Go To The City) (NEW ENTRY)

George Michael is a mature artist now. George decides to express both his maturity and his artistry in this song, and sort of fails on both counts—what he decides to do is impart the wisdom his years have given him (e.g. “You got to go to the city”) over the top of The Ones’ popular dance hit ‘Flawless’. So what we have here is essentially ‘Flawless’ as was except with George babbling over it for a bit. It’s a very peculiar listen, yet somehow with a kind of quaint misguided charm—a curio, and you don’t get many of those in the chart these days. Not counting Paul Weller covering Gil Scott Heron, obviously.

7) OUTKAST – Roses


6) KYLIE – Chocolate (NEW ENTRY)

Has been getting roundly slated due to its unfortunate association with her last two singles (i.e. it’s on the same album as them)… but really, this is quite good. I’ve been listening to 70’s soft-rock outfit Fox lately, and the airiness of the vocals on this along with the gently skipping beat is awfully reminiscent of them. Of course, where Fox did songs about tigers and jugglers, were justifiably disrespectful of the arcane concept of the singer keeping time with rest of the band, this one is working over the rather tired “chocolate=sex” thing with all the subtlety Kylie usually imparts to seductive matters, and isn’t anything like as good. It’s still an awful lot better than most would have you believe, though.

5) MARIO WINANS ft. P DIDDY & ENYA – I Don’t Wanna Know

Oh yes, and the tennis, in the week in which the British media decided it did actually care about women’s tennis again—and all it took was a blonde-haired Russian teenager with unfeasibly long legs:

Who’d’ve thought it, eh?

4) McFLY – Obviously

Even more improbably, this here is my favourite number one of the year now. It’s so… jangly, isn’t it? It bobs and sways in the ears, that incessantly catchy chorus, the little falsetto vocals in the background towards the end, the Britpop strings—ah, Menswe@r, they truly shall never forget thee! That said, if this lot try covering ‘Daydreamer’ I shall be very cross indeed.

3) BRITNEY SPEARS – Everytime

Roger Federer won the men’s title at Wimbledon, but British media doesn’t care about him so much as he is Swiss and has a squidgy nose and just generally isn’t Tim Henman.


It’s now about six minutes past eight, and the top 40 finished at about quarter to seven. Much of the time since then has been spent trying to work out what to write about this, if this is actually my favourite single that’s been released so far this year (you really wouldn’t believe me if I told you what the main competitor is)… because this song, it really is bloody incredible, isn’t it? And now my computer is skipping the MP3 about.

This song isn’t really about anything, which is quite a big tick in its favour. What it is comes off like a free-association series of hook-lines spat out as fast as the songwriters could manage, all vaguely about girls in love. It fakes to start with, as Nadine Coyle gets assigned something that does actually sound like a verse, but from then on it’s a chorus followed by a different chorus then another then another—it’s the nu-millenial pop ‘Losing My Religion’! But so much better than that sounds—this song keeps it about as unreal as you could imagine, every vocal sounding doused in lacquer and treatment, Cheryl Tweedy tweaked to sound like a slightly narky fembot while Sarah Harding does her best impression of Princess Zelda crying out for Link, after being announced by a chorus of “Ooh-oohs” that I’d swear sound like Bananarama if I could remember what Bananarama sounded like. Then there’s the lyrics themselves, the Girls in unison hammering home nonsense couplets like “Should’ve known, should’ve cared, should’ve hung around the kitchen in my underwear acting like a lady—you should’ve made me” like the Super Troopers hunting ABBA down and administering justice for their medley of ‘On Top Of Old Smokey’ and ‘Pick A Bale Of Cotton’.

Oh, and the intro! Great singles do generally need the great intro, the thing that makes the listener sit up and pay attention the very nanosecond the laser hits the polycarbonate (adjust metaphor for your recorded medium of choice), and ‘The Show’ has a corker in this jaggedy synth riff, where the synth doesn’t pretend to be any instrument other than a synth, this huge electronic crash DINUHNUHNUH - NI! Nuh nuh nuh DINUHNUHNUH –NI! “If it’s not you – oh – no, I won’t do that.” DINUHNUHNUH - NI! Nuh nuh nuh DINUHNUHNUH –NI! “You’ll have to wait – for – me And That Is That!” It’s this gigantic siren, no messing, Attention Scum, We Are Girls Aloud!

It’s all so very incredible, this huge pulsating beast of a record that bounces you about for three and a half minutes, disorienting and obliterating, smashing and crushing, then the “ooh-ooh” bit, then back to the smashing. It doesn’t make sense. It refuses to comply with your feeble humanoid concepts. It’s brilliant.

And I swear I had something really clever and sensible to say about it last night.


Anyway, it’s just their bad luck that this week Usher decided to release a ballad that sounds utterly indistinguishable from his previous ballads (esp. ‘You Got It Bad’), and so obviously they never had a chance of getting to number one. This week, the album chart is better.

(fade to Comfortably Numb...)

By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2004-07-06
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