The Singles Jukebox
Turkey 'n Stuffin' n' Shit



album Chart Notes: Erm, again… not much. Dido is #1 for Christmas. Hooray for Dido. Here is her new single… it’s a bit rubbish. Oh well.

New Entries outside the top 20: Erin Rocha #36 (I have no idea what this sounds like. On the other hand, Southampton beat Portsmouth 3-0); G-Unit #29 (50 Cent related dullness. Jason Dodd scored direct from a corner, y’know); Billy Mack #26 (from the Love Actually soundtrack, unlike Marian Pahars, who did two defenders then scored from 20 yards out to put us 2-0 up. I’m just delighted he got a shot on target); and Fast Food Rockers #25 (I’m taller than Marian Pahars, I think).

THE UK TOP 20. WITH CHRISTMAS!!!

20) GIRLS ALOUD – Jump

So then. The Christmas chart. The big one. The only time anyone really gives a shit about the charts in the year, because it gives Radio 2 listeners a chance to rig it and get some dull shit they like to number one. This year, we have a two horse race between The Song With The Guitars and The Song With The Piano. This is better than both of them, as neither of them feature Nicola Roberts looking a bit confused.

19) UB40 ft. UNITED COLOURS OF SOUND – Swing Low Sweet Chariot

See? Rugby is rubbish. Isn’t that right Jimbo?



Exactly.

18) EVANESCENCE – My Immortal

The Radio 1 trailer still features the long-departed Ben Moody. Perhaps this means they will now permanently hire the shouty bloke from ‘Bring Me To Life’, or integrate his Christian rock band into Evanescence. Like Menudo, but with more black net curtains and candelabras and Jesus and being over 16 and stuff.

17) KATIE MELUA – The Closest Thing To Crazy

“This is the closest thing to crazy I have ever been/Feeling twenty two/Acting seventeen.” Hard-knock life, eh?

16) OUTKAST – Hey Ya

Goes up six places in the biggest week for single buying in the country, as well as being the week that Stylus made it their single of the year. Just saying, y’know…

I get the feeling I should find an amusing picture of a snowman or something.

15) CHEEKY GIRLS – Have A Cheeky Christmas

God bless office parties.

When you type amusing snowman into Google’s image search, this is what you get:



And there’s two of them, just like the Cheeky Girls, thus it is relevant and I am the best music journalist ever.

14) WESTLIFE – Mandy

When you type amazing snowman in, you get this:



Which is actually the second picture, but the first is on Tripod so you can’t link to it. And isn’t as good.

13) CLIFF RICHARD – Santa’s List

Apparently lots of people tipped it to go up to #1 this week. Hmm. That worked.

If you really fancy looking up to an old person, keep William G Stewart in your thoughts. He presents Fifteen To One over here, or he did till it ended this week. It was the best quiz show on telly ever, possibly the best quiz show host ever. His name also sounds a bit like mine. To find out more about the great man, click his picture:



My favourite thing about him: his middle name is Gladstone.

12) ULTRABEAT – Feeling Fine (NEW ENTRY)

Because nothing says Christmas like “JOIN ME, JUDGE JULES!” It’s a bit like Scooter without the necessary oomph to push it to the next level, and the shouting bloke to push it to the level after that. So instead it sounds like N-Trance, and isn’t really very good.

11) BLUE, ANGIE STONE & STEVIE WONDER – Signed, Sealed, Delivered (NEW ENTRY)

As someone else said somewhere, achieves the remarkable feat of taking a Stevie Wonder record and removing all the funk from it. It really cannot be put any better than that.

As we head into the top 10, by my calculations there’s still six new entries to go. Darkness. Gary Jules. Atomic Kitten. Sugababes. Avid Merrion. And Your Pop Idols. Tense? Ooh, that doesn’t even begin to describe it…

10) SUGABABES – Too Lost In You (NEW ENTRY)

You could argue this was the best song in the running for the Christmas number one, except it was never really in the running. But it’s a nifty little number anyway, nice layered ballad thing, all sung nicely. Apart from when Keisha starts getting rather too loud. But it’s quite good anyway.

9) SHANE RICHIE – I’m Your Man

Further Fifteen To One-ing – have just found that the site with the WGS info on it has the questions from the one time someone scored a maximum on the programme. Test yourself here. You start with three ‘lives’. For the purposes of this, you lose one life for each question you get wrong from round one and two. At the start of ‘the final’, you score one point for each life you have remaining. You start the final with three ‘lives’, and you lose one for each question you get wrong. You score ten points for each question you get right, and ten for each life you have remaining at the end.

I have no idea where you get the answers from. And I’ve put myself behind in the most important chart of the year. Grr.

8) ATOMIC KITTEN – Ladies Night (NEW ENTRY)

Does for Kool & The Gang what Blue did for Stevie…

7) BLACK EYED PEAS – Shut Up

this isn’t a cover but isn’t much good either…

6) WILL YOUNG – Leave Right Now

… and this isn’t a cover either, but is quite good. Back on track. BOOM!

5) THE POP IDOLS – Merry Xmas (War Is Over) (NEW ENTRY)

Tom Ewing is right. It does have a bomb effect on it. Contrary to expectations, this probably won’t bother the Pop Idol machine much – they’ve got their winner now, so a record featuring 11 ‘others’ not getting to number one is hardly much of a blow. The profits from the winner’s record probably won’t be going to charity either…

4) BO! SELECTA – Proper Crim-bo! (NEW ENTRY)

Unfunny TV programme leads to unfunny novelty record. Except, annoyingly, it has a damn good chorus on it, probably the best of all the Christmas singles this year. Still rubbish, however, as the video features Richard Bacon and Jimmy Carr in the same shot, thus breaching EU regulations on cuntishness. Bad.

3) KELLY & OZZY OSBOURNE – Changes

Like anyone gives a shit.

So then.

Tightest race for Xmas #1 in years…

And our loser is…

2) THE DARKNESS – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) (NEW ENTRY)

Blimey. Well, there’s an upset – promoted to fuck, ahead in the midweeks… and they’ve been done over again. The new Pulp? No. Pulp were better. It’s got a solid chorus on it, true, but the whole “all the gifts we despise” line is a bit grating. And Ten Benson, to whom they are a less good tribute act, did this all better with ‘Black Snow’ a few years ago. Then again, do you see Colin Murray going all over that? No? Oh well. Anyway. #2. Loo-hoo-sers, or something.

1) MICHAEL ANDREWS ft. GARY JULES – Mad World (NEW ENTRY)

Improbable? Relatively unknown US singer man with song from the soundtrack to moderately successful US film, not even considered with the front runners when betting on the Christmas number one opened. Even when the singles came out this week, it wasn’t given much chance at number one, third favourite behind Your Pop Idols and The Darkness. All through the week, it trailed The Darkness by about three thousand sales. As shock number ones go, it’s a biggie. So in terms of actual chart race tension, this is the closest it’s been since R. Kelly’s Gold Run.

In terms of actual number ones, we get presented with a song that I don’t hate. That is as nice as I can be. We have here a song on the piano with occasional swooshing effects and a man singing in a ‘nervous’ voice, kind of like a twee-er Jonathan Donahue from Mercury Rev. Switches are flipped in the minds of radio and media types who do not want cheesy pop and want to smash the system and stuff – it’s PROPER MUSIC! At CHRISTMAS! Hoo-RAY! THIS WILL SHOW THEM! The video is terrible, a baby mobile with clips of how it is a ‘mad world’ on its faces, all the while with Gary Jules’ face smirking and nodding that it is, indeed, a ‘mad world’. The song isn’t in itself bad. But the thing is: this got ‘universal approval’. Radio 1 playlisted it on the A-List, and in his Wes’ intro bigs up how “almost every DJ has had it as their record of the week.”

Think about it. At any other time of year, would this have happened? If this hadn’t been on a soundtrack of a film popular with young people, would this have happened? And it’s not like this was a song released now ‘due to outstanding public demand’ – Donnie Darko was out ages ago, and I’m pretty sure this was getting played on XFM a summer or two ago. They’ve specifically released it now to capitalise on the Xmas sentiment. It’s a base-coverer, soft enough for old people but with enough supposed profundity for the young person to say “Hmm, yes. I am thinking”.

Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’ was not playlisted by Radio 1.

I am sour. True.

I don’t hate this song. If it comes on the radio I probably won’t turn it off. You can sing along with it.

Alex Parks’ version of it was almost certainly inspired by this version. She does it better. She’s not real music though, because she was on the telly and is manufactured and everything.

I am sour.

What I’d recommend: Get yourself to Fluxblog or Antipopper and get Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone’s version of ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’. Cos that is how you do Christmas (you could also get the soundtrack to Elf, but that might have Smashmouth on it).

Oh, and next week in this timeslot I’m running down my favourite singles of the year just gone.

And I probably won’t be able to review the chart the week after cos I’ll be in Cornwall.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Tutti con frutti.



And so say all of us.


By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2003-12-22
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