The Singles Jukebox
It's Not A Matter of Life or Death

album Chart Notes: Not much, really. Alicia Keys new at #13, Will Young is the new #1. Oh, and Where Is The Love? gets played again, entirely necessarily.

New entries outside the top 20: Nelly #36 (would like you to know he has several cars. For some reason I’ve never quite been able to get past the fact that he’s quite short. This isn’t much good, anyway); Blu Cantrell #24 (sounds a bit like ‘Thoia Thoing’, except with Blu Cantrell instead of R Kelly. It’s a fair bit worse. Oh, and some bloke comes in to inform us that Blu Cantrell is “HOTTT!” Thanks for that); and Daniel O’Donnell #22 (putting the “Jesus Christ” into “Jesus Christ no”).

20) BRITNEY SPEARS ft. MADONNA – Me Against The Music

I’ve not written much about the song itself, probably because I don’t find it very interesting, but two points: 1) “it’s like a competition, me against the beat” = “I have no rhythm”, surely? 2) Why does the beginning sound like they’re getting up from a very uncomfortable sofa in which they have been sitting for quite some time? Surely this means they are in the ‘indie’ room, and as such probably dancing to ‘Can You Dig It?’ by the Mock Turtles? Ooh, I’m confused… though I suppose that would explain Britney’s collar and tie thing. Maybe.

19) LEMAR – 50/50

Album currently available at Tesco. It’s great what you learn from telly, innit?


Bollock-mincingly odd balladeering, which sounds a bit like when Evanescence get the piano out. Her voice, though, goes very odd towards the end, like she’s prolapsing through her mouth or something. I dunno. I’m in an odd mood at the moment.

17) MUSE – Hysteria (NEW ENTRY)

So I’ve been in a quandary as of late, cos all the end-of-year lists are happening and stuff, and I’m trying to decide whether to be really bolshy and put in things that I liked but not too much, but which I know other people hated, solely to piss them off. This sort of falls into that category, as the usually bog-awful Teignmouth goth fops pull something vaguely resembling a half-decent tune from their collective arse, with some filtered vocals and overdone guitars and stuff, thus sounding pretty much like what they’re described as sounding like rather than what you’d imagine they sound like judging by what they’re described as sounding like, i.e. The Cooper Temple Clause. Got that? ‘tastic.

Wes interviews Victoria Beckham, or something. Following on from the ‘people’s choice’ vote on All New Top Of The Pops, where the public voted to decide which song off her double A-side single they want to see her perform on All New Top Of The Pops next week having seen both of the videos for them. Both songs are released as the single, by the way. The record company just fancies using you as a focus group, and the BBC is only too happy to help. Democracy in action. Wonderful.


Somehow made the final 10 of ITV’s Record Of The Year 2003 competition. Thus prime-time Britain gets to see him take his shirt off again. You see? Sometimes watching TV with your parents can be top fun.

15) ALEX PARKS – Maybe That’s What It Takes

So Posh Spice is great and Alex gets hung out to dry. I am warming to this girl more and more as time goes by…

Wes still doesn’t appear to realise that Victoria Beckham is releasing both of those songs as a double A-side single, like what she said five minutes ago. He is still saying that he is very excited that he gets to tell her what the public have voted as her new single. TWAT. And on that note -

14) JA RULE – Reigns

“I hope the sun shines with some light rain.” This song is about rain, which has something to do with murder, and Ja Rule feels a bit fragile. Or something. TWAT.

13) OUTKAST – Hey Ya

Why is it that the British media gets so pleased with itself for knowing what rappers’ real names are? Ceefax delighted in letting us know that Andre 3000’s real name is Andre Benjamin, and Big Boi is called Antwan Patton. Thank you Ceefax. Truly, my appreciation is deepened no end.

I remember when the Guardian delighted in letting us know that Roots Manuva’s real name is Rodney Hylton Smith. See, they got his middle name too. That’s how dilly they are. The Guardian’s album of the year – The Strokes. Well done The Guardian.

12) BUSTED – Crashed The Wedding

Also on Record Of The Year 2003 – Busted do ‘Year 3000’, and when it does the whole ‘seventh album, seventh album, seventh album…’ echoey fade bit they cut to Charlie’s face. He looked a bit… wistful.

11) KEVIN LYTTLE – Turn Me On

Leaves the top 10 after something approaching forever, thus dashing his hopes of Christmas number one, probably. Still grand though, particularly when one considers that coming up right after this is one of the two songs Victoria Beckham is releasing as her new double A-sided single. Great.

“Turn me on! Turn me oh-honnn!”

Radio 1 has its own 12 Days Of Christmas jingle. As you’d expect, Dave Pearce messes up the rhythm.

Victoria Beckham attempts not to diss Sophie Ellis Bextor. I’m not sure I care. Actually, I don’t.

Go me!

‘This Groove’ has won the public vote. Congratulations ‘This Groove’.

And it sounds like… do you remember Clea? Them that failed to get into Girls Aloud or be Javine. They had a single called ‘Download It’, and it got to #21. It was several times better than this. Several. Victoria is sexing us up, allegedly, I think. Probably. They were trying to sound like Richard X… they failed. Majorly.

And All New Top Of The Pops’ big competition this week – win a dinner date with… Victoria Beckham. Am I the only person that is spotting certain flaws in this plan? All of these plans? The fuck is going on?

10) KATIE MELUA – Closest Thing To Crazy (NEW ENTRY)

‘Talented teenage singer-songwriter,’ and as such wants to sound like Norah Jones. It sounds like it’s off the soundtrack to Cats instead. Her voice is way too mannered – it’s distinctive, but she sounds like she doesn’t want it to be, like she wants it to sound like several other people. Still, she is from Croydon, like me. Or rather, she’s ended up there via Tbilisi and Belfast, but still – big up in the area, or something.

9) D-SIDE – Real World (NEW ENTRY)

And still they breathe. Like Westlife but without the distinctiveness, five Irish chaps release a ballad, and it’s rubbish. Fuck’s sakes, it’s called ‘Real World’, obviously it’s gonna be shit, because having that title more or less automatically means it will sound like Phil Collins or Sting. Which it does. We’ve already had Fatman and Outkast and Wee Kev, haven’t we? Thus giving me approximately sod all to look forward to. Smashing.

8) DIDO – Life For Rent (NEW ENTRY)

Right, on this form, ‘Jump’ is going to be the highlight of the next hour, as Dido comes over all Enya on us, which on its own could be OK but following on from the three tracks previously I just want to cry… not in the good way, you understand. “My heart is a ship” – FUCK OFF. NO. I DO NOT CARE IF YOUR LAHHH-HAHHHF IS FOR RENT. IN THE WORDS OF ALEX PARTY, SORT OF, “DON’T GIVE ME YOUR LAHHH-HAHHHF.” Or rent it, either. See? See what I’ve done? I’m still there! Still there! I cling! Tightly! Even if they’re having some fucking phone-in competition to hang out with Big Brovaz! And I am having to listen to Wes’ voice! I AM GREAT! LOOOOK!

7) SIMPLY RED – You Make Me Feel Brand New (NEW ENTRY)

NO. NO. YOU ARE TAKING THE FUCKING PISS. Oh Jesus, it’s got a piano on it. In fact, no, it’s a sodding electric piano. If I wanted a mid-life crisis I’d fucking well get one, there’s no need to bloody induce it… WHY IS THIS NUMBER SEVEN? WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? FUCK’ S SAKES, I’VE STILL GOT TO SIT THROUGH WESTLIFE! AND GARETH GATES!

Let me put it this way –

I am currently looking forward to Shane Richie.

Do we have an understanding, fucko?


Oh good. It has. What now?

6) GIRLS ALOUD – Jump (For My Love)

HOORAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! BEST SONG EVER!!!! I AM LOVING IT!!!! IN A NON-CORPORATE SENSE!!!! (I saw the video for that this week. Timberlake is half rodent. Trust me. Show him some exposed wiring and he’ll lose himself…)

“More! More! MORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!!!” Dear god, please, don’t let this end…

Oh. It has.


However, in better news, Ultrabeat’s Christmas single gets played on Dave Pearce. Who will be Christmas number one? Ultrabeat? G-Unit? Turbonegro? Oh, the tension…

5) WESTLIFE – Mandy

This won Record Of The Year on ITV. Which, if you take it to represent people in suits being crap, is fair enough really.


See? Choir effects. Christmas. See? This is very probably the worst top ten I have had to endure this year. Gareth is… I don’t know. It’s a ballad, isn’t it? It follows all the conventions of the Westlife model to the letter and is very dull. You can hear him dreaming of Ronan Keating if you listen hard enough. Wouldn’t bother, though.

3) SHANE RICHIE – I’m Your Man

I’m in that much of a state, I nearly described the opening of this as ‘funky’. Bonus points for featuring Fearne Cotton in the video, because everyone loves Fearne Cotton. Unless they don’t, obviously, but for the purposes of this everyone loves Fearne Cotton.


Oof. And then, there was dinner. My guts feel like lead… anyway. Wyclef-I-Am, Horseface, The Girl and The Other One return, sounding disconcertingly like Spooks. Do you remember them? I hated Spooks, and I’m not too keen on this either. They are having relationship problems, which means that the he-types in the band get to use words with lots of syllables and the woman gets to sound a bit like Christina Aguilera on the chorus. Probably an improvement on ‘Where Is The Love?’, though.

1) WILL YOUNG – Leave Right Now

And so Will breaks the ‘British Acts Only At #1 For A Week In 2003’ hex by being A Nice Bloke with A Half-Decent Ballad. I’m still not sure why this is quite so adored, in that it seems more efficient than anything else, but his voice probably sets it apart a bit. It doesn’t sound quite so formulaic, so set in its ways… he seems quite comfortable with it. #1 in the albums and the singles, which Wes was probably irritating about, but never mind. After all the trials and tribulations of the past three hours, the light at the end of the tunnel:

Us 3-2 Charlton, and Ormerod scored twice. Fantastic, and not in the sarcastic way neither…

By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2003-12-08
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