Pop Playground
A Big Historical Moment Of History

lbum Chart Notes: The Killers are yr new album chart number one, possibly for the first time ever. That's about it.

New Entries Outside The Top 20: Pink Grease #36 (nu-sleaz-o-glam from Sheffield. Not especially wonderful); Jamie Scott #33 ("I play a six-string for a living / And I ain't about to give in… I believe in what I'm doing / Though at times my life feels ruined." FOR FUCK'S SAKE); Longview #32 (yeah, so it's January, in case you've not noticed. This is Longview's third top 40 hit, and it sounds just as much like Coldplay crossed with The Cure as their previous two did); Narcotic Thrust #28 (like Longview, but a bit better, and in a more sort of Northern House style); Roni Size ft. Beverley Knight & Dynamite MC #26 (anti-gun D&B;, production's fairly standard issue but Bev is handled very nicely, and it's a Top 40 Hit with Dynamite MC on! What is not to love?); Kings Of Leon #24 (Perilously close to being half-decent but his voice is still shit and it's far too short and the title is shit and it's just really not very much fun at all in the end); and Client ft. Carl Barat #22 (DUBSTAR = BACK! Or at least, Sarah Blackwood is, and yes, I'm aware they've had albums etc. out for a few years or whatever, but they're BACK IN THE TOP 40 and they sound like The Human League but more murderous—"It's YOU-AND-ME! POR-NOG-RA-PHY!" In this, the week of the 1000th number one, this little gem slips in completely unnoticed, which is a shame, cos it's the best single of the year thus far easy).


20) THE MUSIC – Breakin' (NEW ENTRY)

Earlier this week, I sort of maybe kind of hinted that perhaps it was a possibility that this might in some way be quite good. And, erm… it is. A bit. I mean, he can't sing, his lyrics are shit, but there's just a certain vitality about it that appeals to me for some reason. I think it's the "Ah-oh-ah-oh-uh-oh-ah-oh!" vocal hook line that runs throughout it, the way everything seems to be turned up to full… it's a mess. A nice mess. I'm so hating this by the end of the month.

19) ICE CUBE ft. MACK 10 & MISS TOI – You Can Do It

So yes, this is the week of the 1000th number one. There have been jingles where Charlie from Busted (introducing himself as 'Charlie from Busted'—possibly not a good idea this week) said his favourite number one was 'Maggie May' and someone out of Rooster said their favourite number one was 'Honky Tonk Women'—"cos yeah, Mick Jagger's the reason why I'm doing this!" Rooster's new single charts later. Comparisons might possibly be drawn, then. Maybe.


God, I bet this is huge on XFM. Mediocre indie AOR ballad from the South-West of England… you have heard this before. Except this time the singer sounds a bit more like the guy from Mew. Playing a university near you soon, almost inevitably. I'd call it shit, but it just doesn't seem worth having an opinion on. They might get big. They might not get big. A bear might shit in the woods.

17) JAY-Z vs. LINKIN PARK – Encore/Numb

Oh, never mind.

16) POP! – Serious (NEW ENTRY)

Popjustice are quite big on this… and I can sort of see why. They're trying to be Alcazar but they're just not quite interesting enough—it's a nice song though, the way they sing "Seeeeeeee-rious!" is very good. Possible lost classic of the future, today it's sounding pretty good. It'll probably grow on me.

15) GWEN STEFANI – What You Waiting For?

I realised the other day where I'd heard someone sing about Harajuku before. It's 'I'm A Cuckoo' by Belle & Sebastian. I'm not quite sure who this says most about…

14) ERASURE – Breathe

OK, so perhaps this isn't so good. Certainly not by comparison to 'Sometimes' or 'Blue Savannah' or any of the ones that have the word 'Love' in the title (there's a few), but it's a quantum leap from their cover of 'Solsbury Hill', and it's an Erasure song that went top 5, and it's actually just quite nice hearing Andy Bell cooing sweet nothings in your ear.

13) GREEN DAY – Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Oh yeah, and I'm incapacitated for the next three weeks by virtue of being in a play. But fear not, because top-quality cover is being arranged as we speak for the coverage of momentous events such as Wes' last ever chart, JK & Joel's first ever chart, and the new Athlete single.

12) SCISSOR SISTERS – Filthy/Gorgeous

Also, apparently JK & Joel's new programme will have somewhere in the region of naff all to do with the chart, and will be 'entertainment-led'. Enh.

11) DANA RAYNE – Object Of My Desire

It's all so very… enh.

10) ELVIS PRESLEY – Jailhouse Rock



Yeah, so get excited and shit. Steve Brookstein, if he goes back up to number one, won't be the 1000th number one. Except that's not going to happen because it's going to be Elvis. There's a documentary on Elvis on Lamacq Live tomorrow night. How fucking convenient.

Oh Jesus, they've got Bruno Brookes (longtime Top 40 host from late eighties and early nineties) on the phone. He's got a castle in Ireland. He agrees that the 1000th number one is important. The Eighties featured many great bands with one-word names: "Wham!, Duran, Spandau, Depeche…" Wet Wet Wet really deserved their first number one, apparently, owing to Marti Pellow's "continuous smile". Bruno's favourite number one is 'Maggie May'. Just like Charlie from Busted (Until Last Week)! His least favourite is St. Winifred's School Choir. He's probably got a point there.

8) IRON MAIDEN – The Number Of The Beast

See, if this had been the 1000th Number One, I'd have been quite happy. But another Elvis-fest… they're re-releasing all his number ones. Including 'A Little Less Conversation'. For fuck's sakes.

7) DARIUS – Live Twice (NEW ENTRY)

Oh lovely. A ballad. With pianos. Thank you Darius. Thank you so fucking much.

6) SOUL CONTROL ft. KATHY BROWN– Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own) (NEW ENTRY)

Nice little piano-house belter in the Incognito style, with some strings, Kathy bellows, good chorus… I like it.

JK & Joel do a jingle for some Radio 1 feature next week where pop star types go to a school for a day next week. They sound so anodyne it's crippling.

5) ROOSTER – Staring At The Sun (NEW ENTRY)

The answer to the Mick Jagger question is 'not even fucking close'. This is a ballad because it's slow and overwrought to the point of unlistenability and the lyrics are fucking cock. He growls in the manner of someone who can probably sing quite well but is too busy trying to be 'authentic'. Here's a guitar solo by someone who thinks Brian May is good. There is a chorus which is shouted. This is fucking horrible.

4) STEVE BROOKSTEIN – Against All Odds

To be fair to Darius, his single is one hell of a lot better than this. I need a piss.

I think he's interviewing Tony Blackburn now (former chart host from the seventies). He copped his ideas off Alan Freeman apparently. He also thinks Elvis will win. But in a way, we will all win. Or something.

3) THE KILLERS – Somebody Told Me (NEW ENTRY)

I got really excited about this last year, and it's still quite good. They may well sound like Shed Seven or The Bluetones, but I quite like The Bluetones (and Shed Seven did have their moments)… They've re-recorded the vocals to insert a high note that the singer can't reach, which is clever of them. But now, they are top three and have the biggest-selling album in the whole of Britain. This isn't as good as the first time, but I still stand by it.

"This is SUCH a HISTORIC LINK!" Fuck off Wes.


"Collapsing like thuh-huh Tween Tow-uhs!" It sounds like a hybrid of Simple Minds and 'Pounding' by Doves and is all a bit so-so. In a fairly bearable way. There's a piano. BUT NEXT—HISTORY!



Every hundredth number one is run down and brief clips are played. Al Martino, The Beatles, Dawn, Julie Covington, Nicole, T'Pau (CHINA IN YOUR HAND! FUCK YEAH!), Chaka Demus & Pliers, All Saints ('Booty Call'—there's a fucking landmark, eh?) and Christina Aguilera, Pink, Mya and Li'l Kim.

I think I've got 'China In Your Hand' somewhere, actually.

It appears that I haven't. Bugger.

Elvis here sounds like he's trying to drink himself to death. I'd join him but I've only got lemonade.

And that's history. Elvis is the 1000th number one. Why? Could we possibly have had something from this century? Something that fucking sounds like the 2000's? In fact, could we possibly have had something good?

No, the singles chart is this crap nowadays that it's only fit for tokenistic stabs at HISTORY like this. This is an event nowadays. The final signal that I may as well give up, because really, this does not fucking matter anymore. But no, I'll cling on. Not for the next three weeks admittedly. But… when I return, perhaps it will all have changed and things will be wonderful and we can have something more exciting than Elvis vs. the Manics. Maybe. 'Hounds Of Love' in a few weeks. Chin up, eh?

By: William B. Swygart

Log In to Post Comments
Posted 01/18/2005 - 04:58:36 PM by lukem887:
 i'm somewhat puzzled by the Elvis thingy. Will somebody please it explain it to me?
Posted 01/18/2005 - 07:11:21 PM by WBSwygart:
 BMG are reissuing all Elvis' #1 singles each week for the first 18 weeks of this year to commemorate it being his 70th birthday. 70 being a very significant number in his life. Basically, he's got 18 weeks of being at number one again.
Posted 01/19/2005 - 08:22:16 AM by lukem887:
Posted 01/20/2005 - 12:03:42 AM by fraew001:
 the bbc had the giant list with a 'pick your top 50 singles' poll... i struggled past 25...
Posted 01/20/2005 - 12:04:59 AM by fraew001:
 don't get me wrong, i love pop. i guess the main problem with these sort of things is i was identifying songs from the list by artist, rather than the cognotive response of actually hearing the fucking things.
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