Posts from 8th April 2010

8
Apr 10

BEE GEES – “You Win Again”

Popular62 comments • 7,788 views

#599, 17th October 1987, video

A scrap or two of memorable chorus, great thunking drums to cover up how negligible the verses are, mostly exhausted vocals, plenty of repeats to try and bang it all home. A weak song, and an ugly sounding, hollowed-out record – the big thin sound of “Chain Reaction” imploded like an squashed plastic bottle. Every time I play it I want to unpop my ears and check I’ve not got a 64kbps bitrate version by mistake. If “You Win Again” had be their only number one you could approach it with sadness and affection as a long-service medal. Instead I know how much better they can do: this is the dust at the bottom of the Bee Gees cereal packet.

How To Win A Pop World Cup

FT/35 comments • 722 views

You may be loving the Pop World Cup (we hope you are!). You may be thoroughly sick of it (in which case – sorry! But we’re more than halfway through now). But I hope you’d agree that the basic question it’s asking – how do you represent a country’s music? – is an interesting one. Certainly in the comments boxes this year we’ve seen a lot more people expressing outrage or delight at the choices the managers’ AREN’T making as much as those they are.

Which can get pretty confusing. Too little Latin pop! Too MUCH afropop! Too Eurovision! Trying to be American! Novelty nonsense! Only the North Koreans sit serenely above this fray because nobody had any idea what to expect of them anyway.

As I said in a comment box this morning, the PWC asks a player to balance three things: their own music tastes, the music of the country they represent, and the preferences of the crowd. The precise weighting of these is what makes it tricky. But the tactics the players use point to more general issues around ‘pop’ and ‘world’ music. So let’s look at some of the strategies we’ve been seeing!

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Pop World Cup 2010: Group C – USA vs Algeria

FT/28 comments • 822 views

This group’s as tight as anything. Any of the four could go through, any of the four could go out. This is not time for letting up or blooding the weaker squad members. This is a time for giving it everything and worrying the knockout rounds if and when it comes to that.

This match closes at midnight on Tuesday 13th April

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Pop World Cup 2010: Group C – England 0 Slovenia 3

FT/20 comments • 674 views

Slovenia have made a lot of friends so far in this tournament but have not secured many points: they need a win to have any chance of progressing. England are developing a reputation for versatility, but that also means that the outcome of their games depends very much on which team turns up on the day. A draw is no good to anyone – we should expect both managers to be throwing the kitchen sink at the opposition.

This match closes at midnight on Tuesday 13th April

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