Reviewing Number One Singles from the Year 2000 (Part 2)

Reviewing British Number One Singles from the Year 2000: July-End of December

Date of Number 1: 01.07.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Kylie Minogue
Song Name: Spinning Around
Fact: Co-written by Paula Abdul. Ick.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Kylie Minogue’s ass > Nicki Minaj’s ass’

My Take: Welcome to the millennium Kylie and Kylie’s Bum! I wasn’t terribly keen on this song at the time despite having been raised on Kylie in the 90’s. I was pleased that the little one was doing well and looking good and having a bounce in her video but the song was overplayed and not that interesting. She is spinning around and wants you to move. That is it. Considering I am a self confessed pop enthusiast it may surprise you that I don’t love this, but it is hard to care when I know the best of the best is still to come from wee Minogue…

Did I own it: No

Could I sing along now: The chorus is pretty easy and the middle 8 is kinda the chorus. So more or less.

Worth Remembering: It is one of the biggest Kylie songs ever and her fans loved it. Still you won’t find me fawning over her. Yet.

 

Date of Number 1: 08.07.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Eminem
Song Name: Real Slim Shady
Fact: The video had a bit where a fat lady ate spit covered onion rings. It used to make me feel like I was going to be sick and I still can’t watch it.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I miss this Eminem. Old but gold.’

My Take: Before he got kinda old and past it (yeah I said it!) Eminem was a breath of fresh but angry air on the stale charts. Parents and politicians fretted despite the fact he didn’t say anything that children did not already talk about by a certain age. From about 7 or 8 I knew all the swear words (except the C word which was still to come) and enjoyed using them in general conversation. And as with Animaniacs before him (Am I the first person to compare the two? Really?) Any jokes that were for the grown ups just went right over our heads.

So what about the tune? The song is good and funny although not the best he can do, from my perspective. Having said that his sense of humour and level of self awareness coupled with his sudden universal appeal does lead to some interesting moments. When it came out I didn’t really take in the moments of cruel bitchiness in his work: There are some sharp barbs directed at the likes of Christina Aguilera who would think twice before poking gentle fun at him on a TV show again.

Occasionally an artist from a very distinct genre crosses over and becomes popular with the masses who don’t necessarily like the world the singer came from. Often it is a song that leads to the cross over but the way I remember it, it was him that people wanted. Yeah the first big hit ‘My Name Is’ was a big hit but it might not have been if somebody else had been the MC. It was the messenger and not the message that people responded to. Like with everything he released at time the chorus and the video has stuck in my head over the years. Whiny, overrated and a bit too up his own ass? It is hard for me to say cause I had never heard anyone like him at the time and I have never let go of that fascination with him. But I suspect yes.
The man can rap though.

Did I own it: You would think after that, but no. I would procure the album a few years later around the time that I started to feel like a really, really angry teenager.

Could I sing along now: A lot of it actually.

Worth Remembering: Yes. Most of his early stuff is.

 

Date of Number 1: 15.07.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: The Corrs
Song Name: Breathless
Fact: This was their first number 1. Who knew?
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I’m here listening to this song to escape from the pile of mulch that is Justin Bieber and the like’

My Take: Wow I had forgotten this lot. In amongst angry white rappers, bland dance tunes and pop/rnb, Irish fiddles and yodelling vocals also dominated the charts. While this is all very nice and charming it seems odd now that they did as well as they did. What happened? Did they go their separate ways despite being related? Did we finally get bored of their pleasant Irish lilts? Or is there only so many times you can reissue one album? I don’t know but they had better songs so I am sad this rather meh one got to Number 1.

Did I own it: No. I had one version of their previous album Talk on Corners though and I loved it.

Could I sing along now: Only the ‘go on…go on…’ bit.

Worth Remembering: Not really. It was all becoming a bit predictable by this point. I would take their decent cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ their middle of the road love lament ‘What Can I Do’ and especially the delightfully hammy ‘Only When I Sleep’ over ‘Breathless.’

 

Date of Number 1: 22.07.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Ronan Keating
Song Name: Life is a Roller Coaster
Fact: Counting Boyzone, this was his 8th Number 1.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘These were the days of innocence and care free music’

My Take: I am so pleased I no longer live in a world where Ronan is a heart throb. Didn’t like him then don’t like him now. For one thing the song is stupid for another he is a bad singer. Not a singer I don’t like: a BAD singer. I am starting to come across a bit Anti-Irish what with my aforementioned disdain of The Corrs hit and all Westlife but seriously…Keating? Fuck off. Ride your roller coaster over there. Away from me.

Did I own it: Now album, I think. I would have skipped the track though. Full disclosure: I may have disliked Ronan even as a little ‘un but when I do go back to the 90’s there may or may not be a Boyzone song that got to Number 1 with a little help from me…

Could I sing along now: Something about not fighting love and riding a roller coaster. Ick.

Worth Remembering: I can’t say no loud enough.

 

Date of Number 1: 29.07.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: 5ive and Queen (Seriously. This happened)
Song Name: We Will Rock You
Fact: The Queen version may be well known but it was never released as an A Side. Till now.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Still a better boy band than One Direction’

My Take: That this happened was one of the biggest shocks on the list for me. But why am I surprised? Roger Taylor and Brian May will literally do anything and that has been proven: The Proms, west end musicals with Ben Elton, X Factor…there is no pay cheque too small for these two. You know who I respect? John Deacon. The bass player from Queen who following Freddie’s premature and tragic death promptly retired from show biz. But why do that when you can exploit the memory of one of your friends and ride his ghostly coattails all the way to validation and a shiny new mansion?

Ok enough ranting: Musically this is a stupid idea that is stupid. One of them raps for fucks sake and occasionally shouts ‘Ha-ha!’ as if even he can’t believe this is happening. Although if they were going to pick a boy band to do this song with at least it wasn’t fucking Westlife.

Did I own it: Nope. I had the Queen version on cassette and very happy I was too.

Could I sing along now: Of course. Except the bits they changed. Yes. 5ive heard a song by Queen and thought ‘It’s good…But we can make it better’

Worth Remembering: I had forgotten and with good reason. Shame on Brian and Roger. Unless every single member of 5ive were terminally ill and playing with Queen was their dying wish there is no excuse for them agreeing to this.

 

Date of Number 1: 05.08.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Craig David
Song Name: 7 Days
Fact: Fucking hell, he was only 19 when he did this. 19!!! (also I WISH he would stop putting stupidly long intros on his god dam videos. 1 minute and 15 seconds before I got to the song. They don’t need a plot. Fuck you Craigie Boy.)
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘What happened to music this good? RIP good music’

My Take: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…That sums up how I feel about this song. It is so silly and so tacky and so bad that it nearly becomes good again. Nearly. He is so cheesy in every way. One example: When asked who he would be if he could be anyone he replied he would like to be a Craig David fan so he could experience what it is like to hear his music for the first time as a listener. What a dick. But what a sincere dick.

The lyrics to this song are like a child boasting about how many toys he got for Christmas even though everyone knows his family is poor and he only got a jumper knitted by his drunk Granny. Or something. But in the video of course everyone is really impressed with Mr David and he gets high fives and that. That’s nice for him. So what is my take? It sucks hard, but man it is funny.

Did I own it: On the Now Album. And it featured on at least one mixed tape I made.

Could I sing along now: The chorus and the break down: Yes. Not with a straight face though.

Worth Remembering: For comedy value: Yes. For its contribution to music: Even Craig David might agree, not so much.

 

Date of Number 1: 12.08.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Robbie Williams
Song Name: Rock DJ
Fact: His video involved him taking off his skin. At a roller disco. I still have not seen the whole thing cause it used to get censored for being gross. (NOTE: Just watched it. It was pretty gross)
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
N/A. All the top comments relate to their horror/delight at the aforementioned skin ripping

My Take: I liked this at the time actually. It had a groovy beat and was easy to shout along to. Robbie brought a kind of earnest fun to everything he did, riding high on remarkable chart success… in the UK at least. He was untouchable in that he was a guy with a committed fan base, not considered a wash out by critics, could be funny in interviews and had the local boy done good act down. Thinking about it now, the song is kind of annoying and not that good and his performance of it is kind of annoying and not that good and yet it still isn’t a total fail. Explain that if you can.

Did I own it: It was the first track on Now 47. So there. Oh and my sister had the album. There were better songs on it.

Could I sing along now: Nearly every word.

Worth Remembering: Robbie fans would say yes. Logic says no.

 

Date of Number 1: 19.08.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Melanie C
Song Name: I Turn to You
Fact: Mel C is the first artist to top the charts as part of a quintet, quartet, duo and as a solo artist. All she needs to do is form a trio and she will be unstoppable.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Incredible song it never gets old’

My Take: I have respect for the Sporty One. She doesn’t chase publicity and crave attention as transparently as the other 4 (well, Emma Bunton seems cool too, but she has been a judge with Dancing on Ice which has fuck all to do with her skill set so I am counting it) I couldn’t tell you if she is married or even in a relationship cause she has never done a glossy spread in Hello or Ok to my knowledge. And when she decided all the Spice madness was getting a bit silly (and causing her an emotional and physical breakdown) she simply informed her 3 remaining band members that she would record her vocals for their third album at a different time to them and set about doing her own thing. Which turned out to be a pleasantly diverse collection of songs. Although they still smack of freshman enthusiasm more than professional skill (The worst track contains the lyric: ‘I could not live without my phone…But you don’t even have a home.’ Deep.) it demonstrated some creative ability outside of being the one who could do a back flip.

This song was the peak of her commercial solo success and listening back it works outside the time in which it was written. It is similar to a lot of pop/dance fusion tracks that were being made at the time: it has a lot in common with ‘Feels so Good’ so why am I enjoying it more? Perhaps it is sentimental. I was always a Spice Girls fan and hearing Mel C belt out triumphant high notes over a banging beat and 90’s-tastic strings is transporting me to a simpler time…Or maybe it is a fine example of the genre. Maybe both.

Did I own it: On the solo album. That I had before. Remember?

Could I sing along now: Yes. I mumbled bits of it but that was mainly cause I couldn’t hit the notes.

Worth Remembering: I think so. Kinda cheesy in sentiment but fun to dance to and besides I just root for her as a singer.

 

Date of Number 1: 26.08.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Spiller & Sophie Ellis Bextor
Song Name: Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)
Fact: A big thing was made in the press of this being released at the same time as Victoria Beckham’s first outing outside of the Spice Girls. Posh Vs Posher. (SEB is the daughter of a former Blue Peter presenter.) This won.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘This is 13 years old and still sounds amazing’

My Take: Back in 2000 or 2001 I watched a talking head list show on channel 4 compiling the greatest number 1 singles of all time as voted for by the public. This song was number 9. Number 9. Out of all the songs ever written that had got to number 1. Wrap your head around that for a moment. This song was popular at the time granted but did nobody have the foresight to imagine that it would date and start to sound like about a million other songs? I remember it though, mainly cause of the press attention it got stopping VB getting to Number 1 with her truly dreadful Dane Bowers collaboration. The post millennium wilderness was a strange time, folks.

But is it actually that good? Well come on, it is far from the 9th best number 1 of all time but as a house/disco holiday song in an era full of them it is pretty marvellous. The catchy riff, the lazy vocal, the memorable hook (which is not the same as a catchy riff, keep up) all blend beautifully. I wasn’t that keen on it then. I like it better now. But it is not the 9th greatest number 1 of all time. Seriously, British channel 4 voting public? Wtf? Were you that happy VB still hadn’t got her greedy mitts on a solo number one?

Did I own it: Yes as part of The Greatest Number One’s CD based on the TV show which I still have. It is the last track on Disc 2. I don’t always skip it but I often do. You have to be in the right mood for it. I.e. On holiday.

Could I sing along now: Every word. Which is not that impressive when you consider 78% is the line: ‘And if this ain’t love…’

Worth Remembering: I am sure the fickle public have largely forgotten it but yes. Kind of.

 

Date of Number 1: 02.09.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Madonna
Song Name: Music
Fact: Ali G is in the music video. Oh Fuck you Madonna.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Pure genius…this still sounds epic’

My Take: Sorry I am still recovering from having looked up the video. How desperate was she to be cool? And how much money did you get Sacha? How can you satirize it when you are part of the problem? Mind you, this song almost seems satirical. A woman old enough to be my mum (I was 12 when it came out) talking about dancing with her baby while wearing a cowboy hat. She is like that Mum that tries to be cool by giving her teenager and their friends alcohol, like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls. Madonna is that Mother. But yet still has clout in the modern world.

Taking the boring, lame publicity and status seeking attempts out of the critique it is not a bad pop song…Sorry. Hating the video has sucked most of my energy. I am going to be concise: Electro pop with a dense but solid production that draws you in and gets you moving (my foot is currently tapping against the chair against my very will). Well done Madonna. Now try super hard to write, produce and sing without resorting to…well anything other than that. Go on. I dare you.

Did I own it: No. We are in the latter half of the year and I have yet to purchase any of the number 1 singles of the year. I was either too cool for the top 40 or permanently skint.

Could I sing along now: Not really. I got as far as the dooby-dooby bit at the start.

Worth Remembering: I want to say no. But I think this one will endure. Sadly.

 

Date of Number 1: 09.09.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: A1
Song Name: Take On Me
Fact: What? Are you kidding? This happened? REALLY?!
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I love this version of the song it was part of my childhood…you don’t understand’

He/she is not wrong.

My Take: This was a thing. A1 was one of many floppy haired boy bands that were around then and I remember some of their songs and that their most fancied member was Ben cause he had curtain hair and…I didn’t care for them. But they covered A-ha? When? Man…Why do a cover of a song with one of the most iconic videos ever and not even attempt to make it interesting? They even date it hilariously by doing a whole: ‘A1 as a CD Rom in a PC’ thing and referencing Tron…Oh wait that came back.

Anyways, it is a lame cover as everything that works about the original is put on ice in favour of auto-tune clear up and cheap sound effects. Bad luck A1.

Did I own it: Nope

Could I sing along now: Of course. Not well, but then neither can A1 by all accounts.

Worth Remembering: The biggest shock since I remembered that 5ive did We Will Rock You. The boy bands really did rule the charts back then…

 

Date of Number 1: 16.09.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 2
Artist: Modjo (?)
Song Name: Lady (Hear me Tonight)
Fact: French Duo sampling an old Chic B-Side to create a dance track
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Who else knew this song before GTA?’ (Another Grand Theft Auto song I guess)

My Take: French Duo sampling an old Chic B-Side to create a dance track. Fair enough.

Did I own it: French Duo sampling an old Chic B-Side to create a dance track. No.

Could I sing along now: Actually the refrain has stuck in my head over the years. Dam you Euro Trash.

Worth Remembering: Nope. I am getting very bored of the dance/pop thing now. Nothing ever happens. What happened to rock n roll? Rap? Indie? Even pop songs with a twist and fun lyrics? I hope this stops soon. This is why I hate clubbing.

 

Date of Number 1: 30.09.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 2
Artist: Mariah Carey & Westlife (Oh fuck me…I take it back. More dance music!)
Song Name: Against All Odds
Fact: You can’t make me listen to this. And I won’t.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
I am not prepared to find out.

My Take: Mariah and the Blandest Boy Band ever sing a Phil Collins song. No thank you. I politely decline. Never. Not if you were paying me to review it. Not if you were holding the answer to life, the universe and everything. I have not heard this version in about 10 years and have possibly never heard it the whole way through but I will not watch it cause while I am happy for youtube to recommend that I might like to listen to other hits by A1 and 5ive I draw the line at Mariah. Plus I know how it goes…

Westlife: Ooh…Ooh…

Mariah: So take a look at me no-ow-ow-ow-ow cause I’ll still be standing HEEEEEEEERE… And you coming BACK to me-e-e-e-is-against-ALL-odds-and that’s a CHANCE I gotta-TAKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE….

Did I own it: My childhood was never that traumatic, jeez.

Could I sing along now: Only cause my brain hates me and there is about 90,000 versions of this fucking song.

Worth Remembering: This may well be the worst song on the list. I throw up in my mouth just thinking about listening to it. Although we are still just in September 2000.

 

Date of Number 1: 14.10.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: All Saints
Song Name: Black Coffee
Fact: This is neither electro-dance nor a boy band butchering a hit from the 80’s. So I am glad to see it. It was also their last number 1.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I’m 21 and I miss being 10-11 when the music was so much better and meaningful’

My Take: Thank god for that. I love that there is no dramatic intro…Just straight into a belter of a pop song which proves ballads don’t have to be mushy and packed with purple prose to make an impact. Although it gets a bit repetitive and outstays its welcome the sound is gloriously silky, like being hugged by audio cool. It creates a hush, by keeping it all low key with just a hint of vulnerability and literally nobody ruins their vocals by screaming like a fucking banshee (Mariah…You overrated…gah!) I love the words, the shift in tempo at the end, the bridge, the chorus, how the girls sound, I just really like it.

I actually like it…Look at that. A song on this list I actually like.

Well done All Saints. You proved the sophomore effort of a girl group can mature and sound stronger and…And then they broke up. You know who didn’t? Westlife. I have a lot more cover versions to sit through don’t I? Sigh…

Did I own it: I do now. And I had the album. Which was good. Fucks sake girls, why couldn’t you just have all gotten along?

Could I sing along now: Yes. Can you? Is it just me that likes this song?

Worth Remembering: I think so, yes.

 

Date of Number 1: 21.10.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: U2
Song Name: Beautiful Day
Fact: They were old hats at this…their first hit was in 1981.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘One Direction and Justin Bieber fans can’t appreciate music like this’

My Take: At the risk of sounding like I play Fifa Games and think Bono has some ‘good ideas’ I kinda like it. I would never have listened to it of my own accord. But sitting here…I am smiling. Ok, when Bono starts begging me to touch him and screeching like a large lunged bint I could mention (dam Mariah, dam her to hell) I lost interest but the first time you hear that low voice on the verse lead into the 80’s air punch of a chorus…hell, it works. At some point were they not a legit rock group? Maybe? Either way it has proper guitars and drums and sounds like adrenaline so it gets half a stamp of approval. If the stamp was low on ink.

Did I own it: No.

Could I sing along now: I can give you some of the chorus.

Worth Remembering: Not really. I’d forgotten it until just now. I’d be interested to see if U2 fans like it. You know, as much as The Joshua Tree and stuff.

 

Date of Number 1: 28.10.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Steps
Song Name: Stomp
Fact: Their second number 1. Also there is a mockney hard man at the start of the video that I thought was Jason Statham and I ended up googling: Was Jason Statham in a Steps video?’ while wondering what the fuck I was doing with my life
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I miss you Steps be back in the music industry please!’

My Take: Oh Steps. They wanted to be our generation’s ABBA. And yet their songs were not quite good enough. I mean the opening line of this one was: ‘Thank god for the weekend…’ Cause it is knackering being in Steps during the week. All that line dancing…Back in the days where an obedient smile and a flat stomach could buy you 2 and a half years of chart success Steps was one of the silliest pop acts ever to grace the charts stopping just short of novelty by the fact that the songs were dam catchy. This was by no means their best and is a paint by numbers party track, but hell it hurts no one and against your better judgement, you may even stomp.

Did I own it: No. I did buy Steps so it is not that I was too cool but I had outgrown them by this stage in their career.

Could I sing along now: I managed ‘Stomp all night…yeah’

Worth Remembering: No. Again not being snobby, but this ain’t no ‘Deeper Shade of Blue’

 

Date of Number 1: 4.11.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: The Spice Girls
Song Name: Holler/Let Love Lead the Way
Fact: Their ninth number one. Also their last.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I remember all their songs even thought I was only 4 and this one is underrated’

My Take: Well, well well. At their peek they were insanely famous and prolific and I loved them. When I woke up one terrible morning to find that Geri had left the band, I was devastated. I suspected it was my fault for only owning 4 out of the 5 Spice Girls dolls. I was missing the Ginger one…Coincidence? Almost certainly, but at 10, I wasn’t sure. But I was sure The Spice Girls were done taking over the world. And in a way, I was right.

Sure this got to number 1, but It took the 4 remaining Spice Girls quite a long time to reunite and the magic spark that made them work had, without question, gone. That is not to say Geri was talented, clever or even especially charismatic. But whatever made The Spice Girls huge it was not r n b mid tempo tracks about ‘fantasy rooms’ or Jessica Simpson style ballads. Neither track has any oomph at all. They are both so lifeless, like the girls are sleepwalking through them. There is little else to say. Neither song captures the peerless joy of the 96-98 Spice Girls although, anyone would admit, that was a tall order. Farewell girls: Your time was short but man was it sweet.

Did I own it: I bought ‘Forever’ the poorly named final Spice album. Both songs were on it. And I am sad to report probably the strongest tracks.

Could I sing along now: Actually, most of it yes. I must have liked them at some point, I guess.

Worth Remembering: Nope. I believe even the girls themselves suspected this wouldn’t work. They hardly promoted their third album despite their insistence it was a ‘more mature’ sound. Translation: Boring.

 

Date of Number 1: 11.11.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Westlife (For fucks sake)
Song Name: My Love
Fact: Seriously? More Westlife. Their 7th Number 1??? Jesus…
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘This is real boy band. And nobody can’t change this band’ (What? 43 likes this has!)

My Take: Oh lord they are acting in the video…Ok now that is over…How bland…Strings, drum beats, meh harmonies, insincere solos, hallmark lyrics…Did they like singing this dreck? Hard to say. They suck though. Oh mighty me, they suck…Ok I am 2.55 in I have to turn it off before the key change I can’t do it.

Did I own it: No, no, no…

Could I sing along now: Did not remember this one…Until the chorus…Then it all came screaming back…Couldn’t sing it though. Not even half heartedly. Is there any other way to sing a Westlife song? Not according to the sound they produce…

Worth Remembering: Still no. Nothing funny to say. This group…fucking hell. I only hope they are unhappy with their current lives. They deserve it.

 

Date of Number 1: 18.11.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: A1
Song Name: Same Old Brand New You
Fact: 2nd number 1 and not a cover of an A-Ha song.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘One of the most awesome boy bands of all time’

My Take: It is kind of sweet. They want to be N Sync or Backstreet Boys so badly. That kind of whining, nasal singing and the grimy beats with a disco twist. But ‘Bye, Bye, Bye’ this ain’t. And at least ‘Backstreet’s Back’ had a sense of humour about itself. What does the title ‘Same Old Brand New You’ even mean?

I think I get this boy band thing now…They are always either singing about a girl they want to treat right or how confused they are by how a girl is treating them wrong…Teenage girls listen up: Boys. Don’t. Act. Like. This. These boys? I don’t think they are that into you and they didn’t write this song. Harsh but true. Move on.

Did I own it: Nope

Could I sing along now: Didn’t know they were so popular in 2000. In my mind, boy bands were already dead by then. How wrong I was…

Worth Remembering: Better than last time. But no.

 

Date of Number 1: 25.11.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: LeAnn Rimes
Song Name: Can’t Fight the Moonlight
Fact: Only number 1 in the UK, although ‘How Do I Live’ spent 33 weeks in our top 40.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I am in love with this song it reminds me of when music was good’

My Take: Ok, you got me. I really liked this. It was fun to sing along to. It sounds like it was made for karaoke. It was actually put together by a pop dream team that included super producer Trevor Horn (responsible for many hits, including ‘Video Killed the Radio Star’) and power ballad writer extraordinaire Diane Warren (‘There You’ll Be’ and Aerosmith’s gloriously over the top ‘Don’t want to miss a thing’ to name but two) And Rimes, while not a personal favourite of mine, has a solid voice that builds nicely in this song, without going too over board on the riffing. Although the trousers she is wearing in the video look so uncomfortable that my thighs are sweating in sympathy.

‘Can’t Fight the Moonlight’ was featured in the hilariously awful but awesome Coyote Ugly, a favourite film of mine at the time, which means it gets bonus nostalgia points. The sound is lush and it demonstrates a slight knowing with the not all that innocent lyrics. It would seem I still like it. While I am here, I wonder how much Coyote Ugly is going for on Amazon? It has Tyra Banks in it! I wonder if you could spy the crazy way back when?

Did I own it: On the Coyote Ugly soundtrack and on a Now album.

Could I sing along now: Yes. And I did. And I danced. So there.

Worth Remembering: My inner music snob says no…But the 12 year old in me who wanted to work in a bar where you couldn’t serve water says yes!

 

Date of Number 1: 02.12.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Destiny’s Child
Song Name: Independent Women Part 1
Fact: From the soundtrack for the film ‘Charlies Angels’ Hence their mentioning of the actors and the film at the start. And in the middle.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I miss when the charts was full of this’

My Take: I don’t want to get up on my soapbox…but…the message of this song is made somewhat weak by the knowledge that Beyonce and co are managed by Beyonce’s Dad. And the song was written by 3 men. And Beyonce. But she is somewhat famed for claiming that she writes her songs when her contribution is contested quietly by those who actually did it. Plus I don’t really feel they capture the spirit of female independence with their talk of diamonds and not so subtle promo of a film where 3 stunningly attractive actresses leap around in various titillating outfits for 2 hours.

Taking that out of it, this is admittedly catchy as hell and a solid contribution to the pop cannon. If you can get past the somewhat confused and patronizing message. Which I can’t. I own a few songs by Destiny’s Child. This is not one of them.

Did I own it: Nope.

Could I sing along now: Yes. Although I feel silly.

Worth Remembering: It did mad business everywhere, especially America where it stayed at the top of the charts for 11 weeks (!) they have produced better songs though.

 

Date of Number 1: 09.12.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: S Club 7
Song Name: Never Had a Dream Come True
Fact: This was a Children in Need single. And their second Number 1.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘I miss this kind of music videos. MTV today is too weird’

My Take: It was a very common thing in the 90’s/early 2000’s, and indeed throughout the history of music, for there to be superfluous band members. Never has there been an odder example of this than S Club 7. Jo O Meara was the lead vocal on 95% of their songs and the other 6 only had to sway in a meaningful way. In fact, I am struggling to hear the 3 boys on this track, even in the background. What did they do when they performed this? I might look up a live performance…Hang on… The camera just focuses on Jo during the verses…And the others ooh…Although the back row of S Club Members look bored as hell…

So why were there 7 of them? Does anyone know? Ok, I am just stalling: I really, really liked this song. It is cheesy as hell and production wise quite cheap. Yet I was just the right age for it…I had loved and lost a lot (or so I believed. And believing makes it so) and really dug the melancholy of the chorus. On this, my re-listen, I am struck by the sentiment ‘Even though I’ll pretend that I’ve moved on…’ being quite honest for a pop song. How many times have you pretended to be over someone before you actually are? It is like, real and stuff. Also, the main Club Member can actually sing quite well. And in the video they all look all comfy in their winter wear…Ah hell. It is nice. It may live.

Did I own it: Yes…Oh my god! I don’t remember buying it but I had it! JESUS CHRIST…With only 3 weeks of the year 2000 to go and we have found the first single I bought! And it is S Club 7. Well done young me. Good effort.

Could I sing along now: Yes. Not well, but yes.

Worth Remembering: No. But S Club will be back on this list with a surprisingly brilliant slice of pop…And that is another story…

 

Date of Number 1: 16.12.2000
Number of weeks at the top: 1
Artist: Eminem feat Dido
Song Name: Stan
Fact: Dido’s bit was taken from her own song ‘Thank You’ which is dreadful.
Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:
‘Nobody tells stories in songs any more…’

My Take: I worked with a man once (a really cool man who makes jewellery: http://www.justified-sinner.com/jewellery.html ) who said this was his least favourite song ever. Eminem and Dido = his own personal hell. And you know, I get it. I heard him. This shit is not for everyone.

Eminem tapped into the pain of teenagers across the world with his angry, chip on his shoulder melodrama and Dido whined her way into many a movie soundtrack at a time when such sounds were appreciated and critically lauded. I cannot remember the last time a Dido song hit the charts (White Flag? Was she really surrendering?) and the latest from Eminem suggests the King of Poor White Boy Idealism is Dead. Their reigns as King and Queen of the pop charts was short. You might even call it a fad.

So does this song live on several years later? Does it deserve music critics nodding seriously over how good he used to be? Honestly? I can’t speak for everyone. But I love it. Having heard the rest of the song the sample comes from, the less said about Dido the better. I just looked her up and it turns out she did release a new album this year. Good for her. I will be sure and check that out…later. But for me this was Eminem at the height of his power. The song is reflective, intelligent and genuinely affecting. Again, I can’t emphasise this enough, I am not confident that this is based on analysis but more my affection for good story telling. Oh God I sound like that youtube comment…But in my defence Eminem is not phoning this in. I felt it then and I feel it now.

What do I feel? I really feel the narrative hook, about an obsessive fan trying to make a connection with Eminem, is a sobering reminder of the pitfalls of celebrity and that the unhinged walk among us, waiting for their passion and aspirations to be recognised. And when they inevitably continue to pass unacknowledged they get mad. Each verse tells us more about this guy, his priorities, his mental state… and the echoy, breathy intermittently sprinkled ‘My teas gone cold, I’m wondering why I got outta bed at all…’ was perfectly selected to work with it, a reminder that monotony is often the reason people lose the plot.

Is Eminem a genius? Nah. Is he talented? Indisputably. Does this song still pack a punch? I just put it on for the first time in ages, much to the annoyance of my boyfriend who is not a fan, and by the time Eminem is gently suggesting Stan get some counselling before realising he is far, far too late…I came to my decision. It is fucking brilliant.

Did I own it: Yes. Two in a row, baby!

Could I sing along now: Yes. Not in front of people though, cause my rapping, while well meant, is offensive to people with ears.

Worth Remembering: I think so. I do get why people don’t like it though.

 

Date of Number 1: 23.12.2000
Number of Weeks at the top: 3 (really people?)
Artist: Bob the Builder
Song: Can We Fix It
Fact: Neil Morissey is the voice of Bob the Builder. Previously more famous for breaking up the marriage of Amanda Holden and Less Dennis. And a sitcom with Martin Clunes. What an obituary he is going to have, huh?

Over zealous top voted Youtube comment relating to how much better music used to be:

‘I love this it is my whole childhood. Kids songs today are not nearly as good’

My Take: Who bought this? Seriously…5 year olds don’t earn that much money do they? This was Christmas Number 1. It seems fitting that this ends what was a displeasing bad year for music. A mixture of uninspired pop and dull as hell dance, it was 12 months of shrugging and sighing for any music fan. So what of this song? What can I say? It is sung by a happy chappy who likes fixing things and…well…Goodbye 2000…The world didn’t end on the first of January but with that much Westlife in the charts, I kind of wish it had.

Did I own it: Three in a row…I’m kidding. No. No to Bob the Builder. No to Dizzy and Wendy. Lofty can go to hell.

Could I sing along now: Well…yes. I’m not a monster.

Worth Remembering: I doubt many people remember how long it was number 1 for. Seriously UK… Are you proud?

 

Round Up

Total Number of Number 1’s: 43

My hopes for 2001: Less songs actually. Very few artists managed to retain the top spot for more than one week. On reflection the few that did included Westlife and Bob the Sodding Builder.

Best Song: For me, Stan has stood the test of time in a way that other songs that year have not. Although there was disappointingly few decent songs in there. Not just songs I loved but even songs I liked. Boo.

 

Worst Song: So many to choose from…I couldn’t even stomach the idea of listening to a version of ‘Against All Odds’ sung by Mariah and Westlife. Out of the ones I actually could listen to…That Bryan Adams remix and the casualty remix were pretty bad. Note to 2001: Please stop remixing things.

 

Surprisingly Not Terrible Song: Rise by Gabrielle was nicer than I remembered

 

How did this Happen Song: 5ive and Queen. Seriously. Still not over that.

 

Nostalgic Overload Song: Never Had a Dream Come True. Back when I wasn’t so cynical I think this song used to make me cry.

 

A Song to Save in the Time Capsule just to Confuse Historians: 7 Days by Craig David. They will take one look at his wanky face on the cover, listening to music through headphones with his eyes closed, and wonder who this sexually successful man he is singing about is.

 

 

Next Time…The 900th UK number 1 is revealed, Shaggy has some relationship advice for us all and the first of many, many reality TV show musical acts shoot for the moon in the hopes of landing in the stars…January-End of June 2001

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1 Comment

Filed under Music

One response to “Reviewing Number One Singles from the Year 2000 (Part 2)

  1. Stan is very good for what it is. You have chosen well.
    A1 ruined my 18th birthday party with that A-Ha cover. I know I have told you this, and I’m sorry for repeating myself, it’s just… I’m still so very bitter.
    Also: “Ali G is in the music video. Oh Fuck you Madonna.” These will never not be my sentiments exactly.

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