The Singles Jukebox
Saw The Future, It Was Shit

new entries outside the top 20: Johnny Cash #39 (yep, it’s ‘Hurt’. You don’t need me to tell you how good this is, or that it should’ve been a number one. Oh well); Jet #34 (this week’s NME carries some kind of mock tribute to the recently defunct Shed Seven, and presumably fawns over this lot quite heavily. ‘Disco Down’ crushes this, and Jet in general); Goldfrapp #31 (further really-quite-good electro-disco-popping from disconcerting bit-weird tiny woman and A Man That No-One Ever Sees); Hundred Reasons #29 (Surrey, emo, bollocks); The Wildhearts #26 (disappointingly below-par rocking); and Matt Goss #22 (not wholly unpleasant pop-reggae – do you remember Sid Owen’s recording career? On the off-chance you do, this sounds a bit like that).

Unto the 20. Woof.

20) OBIE TRICE – Got Some Teeth

I realised the other day that I really, really like this song. Think I might’ve started singing it on the bus, though I probably didn’t, cos though I do have shit ideas they don’t tend to be that shit. Or that kind of shit, in any case. The bit where he sort of namechecks ‘Buffalo Girls’ (almost certainly he reckons he’s actually referencing ‘Without Me’, tho) is rubbish though. Also – he notices that Lean Cuisine rhymes. Well done, Obie!

19) THE DARKNESS – I Believe In A Thing Called Love

Weird how I really don’t care for this song any more. Wes hilariously interviews them ‘in the dark’. What a wacky funster, or something spelt fairly similar to that in any case.

18) EMMA BUNTON – Maybe

Wes is interviewing her as well. She laughs at his surname. Wes does not laugh. Hmm. This song is still great, and it’d still be greater if it was sung by someone else. There. Tricky week, cos after last week’s special (i.e. cack) edition, I’ve decided to not post any pictures this week. Hardcore style. So I was gonna do one of those pictures with text (ASCII, is it?) of Fugazi, to commemorate this. Yet somehow I can’t be fucked.


Nu-metal from Wales, so obviously they try to sound like they’re from California, so obviously the singer ends up sounding a bit like Seal when he goes for the high notes. And it’s just pish generally. Hmm.

16) DIDO – White Flag

See, the trouble with not posting pictures is that I end up saying “Hmm” a lot. And swearing. And starting sentences with “And”. I don’t think I’ve said “Anyway” yet, so on that front I’m doing OK. Oh, Wes has cut this short. I would be thankful, but he is a tosspot.

15) LIBERTY X – Jumpin’

Furthermore, you keep hitting signles about which you’ve said pretty much all you’ve got to say. Then you keep pointing out that you keep hitting singles about which you’ve said pretty much all you’ve got to say. This single, for instance, which is of absolutely no interest to anyone whatsoever. Seriously. Say something interesting about this single. No, you can’t. No, you’re WRONG. WRONG. GO AWAY.

14) R KELLY – Thoia Thoing/Step In The Name Of Love (Remix) (NEW ENTRY)

We get played ‘Thoia Thoing’, which sounds a bit like ‘Snake’, but missing Big Tigger and Lyric-Of-The-Year-contender “LIKE TWO GORILLAS IN THE JUNGLE - making luhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhvvvv!!!” They get replaced by a surprisingly non-irritating loop of some digitised voice going “Thoia Thoia Thoia Thoi-a-thoing-a-thoia”. Which is great.

13) JAMELIA – Superstar

On the other hand, not posting pictures does enable one to sit back and have a better look at the quality stuff too. Such as this, which has now been eight weeks in the top 20, outstaying all the other singles that entered in the same week as it, which included Rachel Stevens, Nickelback, Westlife, So Solid Crew, Limp Bizkit, Justin Timberlake, The Chemical Brothers and Mary J Blige. Her previous single got to #37. Her only really big hit before this was about #9. The success of this song is, generally, just rilly rilly great. Huzzah.

12) HOLLY VALANCE – State Of Mind

Realise this doesn’t sound like Add N To (X), but rather like Goldfrapp. Oh. It’s still quite good, though. (Word indicates that’s only the second time I’ve described something as ‘quite good’ this week. Go me!)

11) ANGEL CITY – Love Me Right

This sounds like Dannii Minogue but shit/shitter (delete where preferable), and worryingly is not moving anywhere. Nu-XTM? Oh dear.

Top 10 next – but first – REASONABLY HARD QUIZ. I was trying to think of what the least memorable top 10 single this year was the other day, but in looking at the chart on the week that ‘Superstar’ entered it I think I’ve accidentally found it. I missed out one name from the list of singles I put in Jamelia’s entry. Can you remember it?


What is the point of this single, then? He’s already had, like, loads of them off his album. And this is… pointless, really. It’s a ballad, or at least it’s got a piano on it, and as the title suggests is sung with practically perma-arched eyebrow. Why is it that all the UK pop types want people to be like this man? This horrific ironic self-referencing that masquerades as having something of interest to say that now gets barcode-stamped onto UK Pop Man and Youth TV Presenter Man by default, unless you’re Gareth Gates or Will Young, oddly – what the fuck is it all for? This whole valley of bollocks that suggests that being rude and wearing a Transformers T-shirt is a personality, let’s all go to Starbucks… fuck it. Fuck all of it. Robbie Williams is probably therefore the defining male pop star of our times. Fuck him.

9) PINK – Trouble

This ain’t de-angrifying me any. It is better than the Lostprophets single. That’s not an achievement.

8) SUGABABES – Hole In The Head

Right – question. Why does this namecheck Ricki Lake? She’s not been on telly over here for years, has she? Unless she’s on one of the cable channels, like UK Living or something. Either way, it’s not making much sense.

7) BLUE – Guilty

As Tim Finney suggests, some of them have actually got halfway-decent voices, and it’s quite well-sung, I suppose. They played an album track of theirs on something the other day, about the winter, which wasn’t too bad in a sort of ‘Kiss From A Rose’ way, except obviously not as good. I still do not like this though. So nyer.

6) ATOMIC KITTEN – If You Come To Me

This is not impressing either. I saw the sleeve for their new album on the telly. It’s even worse. The title is written in the font they used to use for the timings on Ski Sunday. But I’m not posting any pictures. Just trust it looks stupid ugly.

5) THE BLACK EYED PEAS – Where Is The Love?

I need to sit down and address this. This is the best selling single of the year, has spent more weeks at number one than any other single this year has done or will do, and has propelled a previously fairly little-known (in UK chart terms) hip-hop outfit to something vaguely approaching superstardom. And yet this song still doesn’t have any real impact on me aside from a kind of uneasy apathy, the feeling that this song fits that badly, that the biggest selling single of this year will be something that people are bandying about as an anti-war song but which to me just doesn’t feel like that, like it’s more sort of generally ‘anti’ lots of things but primarily the media (verse three the backing shifts into quieter ‘contemplative strings’ stuff, as well as this being the last verse of the song, positioning itself as the conclusion, the summation of the main points, and what does it sing about – the stuff the kids see at the cinema). Then you see them having this huge impact on the video-charts, going down an utter storm at the MTV Awards… and despite all that, I really, really just DO NOT CARE about this song. And I dunno what’s gone wrong. I have no bloody clue. I’ve been writing about the top 40 for the past six months now, and this is set to be the most dominant single of the year, and I couldn’t care less about it. Somehow that feels like my fault, and it fucks me off intensely. Jesus.

4) KEVIN LYTTLE – Turn Me On

I’ve forgotten this existed, I got that angry. So I’m going to write about Johnny Cash instead. ‘Hurt’ was not playlisted by Radio 1 or Radio 2. It made the B-List on the digital-only BBC Radio 6. Would it be awfully rude of me to ask what the fuck is up with this? Now, it’s annoying when people start thinking songs have some kind of birthright to be on radio playlists. But the way this song has been treated… Johnny Cash was an old man. He was also a country singer. Is that your trouble right there? It’s like he’s been treated as a ‘fanbase’ band, as having no appeal outside the people that owned his records, as if there was no chance of ‘young people’ appreciating the man, as if ‘Hurt’ automatically Would Not Work. ‘Hurt’ is the kind of song that makes you stop and listen. I saw Ralph Stanley play this week. He’s 76, has been performing since 1946. First visit to Britain in 1966, then 1970, then 1991. He’s country, certainly. And I got it. Don’t tell me I couldn’t. If you, the BBC, are telling me that Robbie Williams dripping smart-arsed clichés has got more to offer me, more to tell me about my life, about anyone’s life, about life at all, than ‘Hurt’, then I can understand why I don’t listen to you anymore. I remember reading James Dean Bradfield saying that he wasn’t sure if he still wanted to be making music in his 30’s. Fucking dimwit. By the same token, I remember reading James Walsh (of Starsailor) saying he didn’t want to sound like the Buzzcocks, because they play working men’s clubs now, or something. He’s a fucking dimwit too. Music shouldn’t have an expiry date. Trends shouldn’t dictate how music sounds. Six months, everyone will see what’s trendy now as being the preserve of the sad old man in the Fleece and Firkin again. It’s stupid, stupid, all of it. I’m 20 years old. This puts me bang in the middle of Radio 1’s target demographic age-wise. I couldn’t feel more alienated if I tried. Wes is going on about Robbie Williams all afternoon, how him playing Knebworth was a massive event and they’ve made a film of it. Fuck them.

Mr Lyttle, I apologise. I had to say something somewhere, and it just so happened that it was when your record was on. I do love your record. I very much admire the fact that you’re the first top 40 artist from St Vincent. It’s particularly pleasing how it appears to have got popular off the back of the Notting Hill Carnival. ‘Turn Me On’ is bloody great, god bless you, and apologies once again.


This, too, is bloody great. I might write about it at more length next week, but for now, a question – does he actually say “Be faithful” at any point in the song?

2) BLAZIN’ SQUAD – Flip Reverse (NEW ENTRY)

God, I can barely remember this either. I know the intro actually sounded something close to classic, then it tailed off… then there’s my fear of my own closed-mindedness. It’s how there’s ten of Blazin’ Squad, how none of them apart from Him That Sings The Hook, You Know The One, Him, seem to have any personality, and he only has personality cos he looks like the kid from Mike & Angelo. This is probably a half decent song, but the reek of forced cool is that heavy in the air… do I want to like this, but something inside stops me? Is that my problem? Or is it actually truthfully not much good? It’s how it seems like an approximation of how this kind of record should sound… there just seems something vaguely dislikeable at the heart of this record, this band. It’s not a ballad, though, so well done there.


I’ve written enough (too much?) for today. This doesn’t go anywhere. It’s number one, because We All Love Kylie. This is probably the most interesting record in the top 40 this week, in that it’s number one (by an apparently quite cosy margin, too), yet it just… doesn’t sound like one. Emperor’s New Clothes? Oh… whatever.

By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2003-11-10
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