The Singles Jukebox
William Swygart Is Unwell

album Chart Notes: Oh, dunno… I have an utter wanker of a cough this afternoon. I don’t think there’s any new entries, but I wasn’t paying a massive amount of attention. Dido’s #1, so ‘White Flag’ is played again, obviously. Oh, and Busted’s new single is played, and you can probably guess what I reckoned to that one.

New Entries Outside The Top 20: Texas #40 (Spiteri dispenses with the bandmates and replaces them with former Robbie Williams co-writer Guy Chambers. Who’s sorry now, eh?); Good Charlotte #34 (their best single thus far wot I have heard, and not that bad on its own merits either. Thus, misses the top twenty by miles); John Lennon & Yoko Ono & The Plastic Ono Band #33 (Everyone seems to forget that the best version was actually done by the cast of Harry Hill. It had Burt Kwouk); Jay-Z #32 (like ‘Frontin’’ but with Pharrell on Jay-Z duties and vice versa, and thus OK but not as good); Noddy #29 (some touted this as an Xmas #1 contender, conveniently ignoring that it’s the theme tune to a cartoon on Channel 5); Rachel Stevens #26 (song that could have been something had it been sung by someone who gave a shit about it); and The Lost Brothers #21 (N-Trance, Ultrabeat and Flip ‘n’ Fill have a lock-in, or at least that’s how it sounds = GENIUS, probably).

20) DIDO – Life For Rent

Before this, Wes and Bill Nighy from the HIT SMASH #1 ROMANTIC BRITCOM EVER Love Actually STARRING HUGH GRANT MR DARCY HIM OFF MY FAMILY HER OUT OF PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN AND EMMA THOMPSON review the Christmas singles. They reckon The Darkness will win. And somehow, that’s still more interesting than this song.

19) ALICIA KEYS – You Don’t Know My Name (NEW ENTRY)

Or The Amazingly Talented Alicia Keys as she always seems to be called over here. And this is actually really very nice, as she resists the temptation to be all Amazingly Talented and instead hustles along in the background of some very nice 70’s soul style backing, bit like ‘Nutmeg’ by Ghostface Killah, or at least the version I’ve got anyhow. It’s about her moaning that some bloke that she adores doesn’t ever notice her. In the video, the bloke is Mos Def. Poor sod – what with this and The Italian Job, he’s not exactly having a wonderful year. I mean, the song is good and that, but when his sole purpose seems to be making lesser people look Amazingly Talented (Keys, Mark Wahlberg, Jason Statham), you gotta feel for him.

18) KEVIN LYTTLE – Turn Me On

Outkast and Fatman have both left the top 20 this week. I saw the video for Fatman’s new single this morning too. It is shit. Still, Wee Kev is still in there. And Southampton beat Liverpool yesterday. Perhaps it isn’t all bad after all.

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

Big Stylus Editor Man pointed out to me that I keep saying ‘we’ instead of ‘Southampton’ when I talk about the football, which, it is fair to say, isn’t much use for Americans, who tend not to be me. Americans may also not have noticed that England won The Rugby Union World Cup the other week. This was obviously The Most Significant Thing Ever, and as such it is soundtracked by a rubbish white reggae act and a ‘vocal harmony group’ masterminded by the red-haired dimwit off Fame Academy. Rest assured, it fits.

16) SIMPLY RED – You Make Me Feel Brand New

Oddly, sounds much better when I’m unwell. Less oddly, sounds much better when not immediately preceded by Dido.

15) BIG BROVAZ – Ain’t What You Do (NEW ENTRY)

In which they mess up Bananarama and Fun Boy Three. And don’t get in the top ten. Haaaa.

14) KATIE MELUA – Closest Thing To Crazy

She sounds like Ronni Ancona covering that Christmas single Kate Winslet did. This, again, isn’t much use for Americans, but if you look at the description for the UB40 single, it’s about as much fun as that.

13) NELLY FURTADO – Powerless (Say What You Want) (NEW ENTRY)

I quite like Nelly Furtado, and I’m not sure why. She does genuinely seem ever so slightly odd, which doesn’t really transfer to her music that often, but there’s something perversely appealing about. Perhaps it’s that her voice is a bit odd, the way it wobbles, warps and tangles itself in the vowels, the way in which she starts clattering into high notes at random… perhaps also it’s cos this has a properly lovely banjo line twanging all the way through to the extent that pretty much nothing else about this song matters. Is good.

12) GIRLS ALOUD – Jump (For My Love)

I’m dancing to this. Has a somewhat special place in my heart now after the disaster of last week’s top ten. Unfortunately, it would appear that only three of the rubbish elements of last week’s top ten have dropped outside it, and are going to be replaced by records that are somewhat rubbish too. Oh cripes.

11) MADONNA – Love Profusion/Nothing Fails (NEW ENTRY)

Best single off her album thus far, but still… I really don’t fancy growing up. Because it would appear growing up entails becoming a boring, boring person – witness Madonna’s attempt at ‘mature pop’, which is the rubbish ‘acoustic guitar’ effect off the other two singles and her saying ‘profusion’ a lot and just being distinctly not much fun.

10) CHEEKY GIRLS – Have A Cheeky Christmas (NEW ENTRY)

Hmm… so utterly wrong that it’s right? No. It’s a naff record with no purpose other than making money for whoever it makes money for, by an act that the country treats ironically because they’re foreign, you see, and at the first possible opportunity will drown in bile in order to make itself appear less naff. Certainly a great deal better than the Madonna record, though.


That Madonna single was pointless, because it’s presumably been put out to boost sales of her album for Christmas, but it isn’t very good, and can you actually think of anyone who’s giving the gift of American Life this Christmas? Maybe it’s cheap in Smiths or something. This, however, comes off a popular and reasonably acclaimed album, and as such seems to have a somewhat justified existence, in terms of pumping the album up the Christmas charts at least. I can’t remember what it sounds like cos I was on the toilet at the time.

8) GARETH GATES – Say It Isn’t So

Liverpool 1-2 Southampton, then:

Brett Ormerod has scored three in the last two games. This may be more than he’s ever scored for us, ever. Magic.


Not quite ‘Have Yourself A “SAYYYYYYYYYYY-VE MEH!” Christmas’, but never mind that. They’ve toned themselves down a bit, and gone all quiet and piano-ballad-style, and it’s kind of touching, really. Amy Lee is much better at sounding sorrowful than growling, and this is all sweet and stuff, the guitars come in for the last verse and chorus, and though it’s not quite tastefully done (not their style), it does kind of fit. If it does all end here for the mighty Evs, then there couldn’t be a better footnote. Except ‘Bring Me To Life’, obviously.

6) WESTLIFE – Mandy

Unfortunately, the chart doesn’t end there, and we’ve still got to sit through this…


And this, as Cliff reminds us that presents = bad and church = RIGHT. Oh, and Cliff = Christmas also. Nicks the opening lines off ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’, just in case you hadn’t got the point.

4) SHANE RICHIE – I’m Your Man

Yeah, it’s not been very thrilling this week. But it is a pretty bobbins top ten again, and somehow none of the top half of the top ten last week have really gone anywhere despite the fact everything else is going down the chart double-time to make room for Basil Brush and Atomic Kitten next week.


So here’s a picture of Liverpool’s manager:

I don’t particularly have anything against him. We just don’t beat Liverpool very often, so this week that picture gives me some pleasure, and a fair bit more than this chart has given me.

2) WILL YOUNG – Leave Right Now

Not Christmas number one, but still alright. And certainly deserving of being knocked off by a far better record than:


That’s seven ballads in the top ten, then, at least half of which are rubbish. Maybe this’d be better without Kelly’s sulkatonic flump of a voice dragging all over the place, and Ozzy’s voice sounding so weak and overstrained. Maybe this’d be better if the backing choir actually fitted in with the song. However, one can’t help but conclude that it’d be better if the lyrics weren’t so calculatedly slushy, and the song went along at something faster than 5 BPM, and the whole thing just fucked off generally. This versus Pop Idol, Gary Jules, The Darkness, Atomic Kitten, the song off Love Actually… at the moment, I’m rooting for Travis for Christmas #1. Father, what have we done…

By: William B. Swygart
Published on: 2003-12-15
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