Posts from January 2014

Jan 14

SPICE GIRLS – “2 Become 1”

Popular62 comments • 6,708 views

#755, 28th December 1996

2b1 The last Number One about sex and its uses was “Fastlove”, and at first that record and this one seem very different creatures. “2 Become 1”, with its gentle singing and its Vaseline production, is about closeness, or at least an ideal of it – the very thing “Fastlove” flinched from. But the songs have more in common than it appears. Both are about sex as a repairing force. Where on “Fastlove” casual sex was a sticking plaster for some awful loss, in “2 Become 1” the promise is that sex won’t just mend a relationship, it’s a stepping stone to something more profound. “Set your spirit free / It’s the only way to be.”

Jan 14

PWC14: Group C Match 1 (Colombia, Greece, Cote D’Ivoire, Japan)

FT + Pop World Cup 201445 comments • 2,941 views

monica1Our third game is the Group C curtain-raiser – bringing you Colombia, Greece, Cote D’Ivoire, and sleeping pop giant Japan. This group has been subject to a bit of upheaval as, very sadly, Colombia manager and Popular comments stalwart Patrick Mexico has had to pull out due to ill health. Get well soon Patrick! So the managerial position was OPEN. I filled it as a temporary measure, and promptly fucked up – see below. Luckily, David Cooper Moore has now taken over the job.

Of the other teams, Billy Dods is managing Greece, Garry McKenzie has taken on the Cote D’Ivoire job, and Japan’s boss is Patrick St Michel. Four tracks, three four managers, two votes, one poll – below the cut!

Jan 14

DUNBLANE – “Throw These Guns Away” / “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”

Popular85 comments • 8,619 views

#754, 21st December 1996

guns In the 12 years since Band Aid, the charts have hosted a lot of charity singles – more than enough to give you a cynical familiarity with the shape of them. A terrible thing happens; the public is horrified; a number of pop stars make themselves available to help – some selflessly, some perhaps not; a sombre track is found and a dirge of a cover recorded; Number One is reached; the proceeds are (we trust) distributed; the matter is closed, and if any good is done we do not hear about it. The Dunblane single is almost completely different from any of this.

Jan 14

PWC14: Group B Match 1 (Spain, Netherlands, Chile, Australia)

FT + Pop World Cup 201436 comments • 2,613 views

Ricardo-Villalobos Today’s Pop World Cup game is the Group B opener. It’s a very open group – nowhere I think of as a real powerhouse in pop competition, so this is a strong opportunity for all four teams. Spain is managed by PWC veteran Carsmile Steve, Netherlands by Job De Wit, Chile by lartsaegis, and Australia by Matt Powell.

It’s the usual Group Stage format – four tracks, you pick two, the poll is down the bottom of the post. Click through to see what our managers have come up with! (And remember you can STILL VOTE in the Group A game until Thursday morning).

Jan 14

Welcome To Violence: Mondo Topless

Do You See + FT/1 comment • 2,150 views

“Recently” Al Ewing and Sarah Peploe came into possession of a box set containing 18 uplifting classics (end quote) from the cinematic oeuvre of Russ Meyer. Heedless of the consequences, they have taken it upon themselves to watch and review each of these in turn on an irregular basis. This is part eight.

DISCLAIMER DEPT: This is definitely NOT SAFE FOR WORK. There is actual porn.


BOYZONE – “A Different Beat”

Popular34 comments • 3,200 views

#753, 14th December 1996

ADB One of the charges you might level at Irish Model boybands is a lack of ambition. Once Louis Walsh and crew found a style that worked, they generally stuck to it – and the evidence is they were right to. But “A Different Beat” is ambitious. It’s Boyzone taking to the pulpit, standing up in front of their new, wider audience and preaching. What they’re preaching is harder to work out.

Jan 14

The FT Top 100 Songs of All Time #4: Madonna -“Like A Prayer”

FT1 comment • 953 views

madonna on the crossTom wrote about this on Popular here: so here is a project ending couple of thoughts.

“Life is a mystery”. But Madonna doesn’t mean a mystery like the kind Sherlock solves three times a year, or even the kind they solve using CSI in Las Vegas, New York or Miami (with or without sunglasses). What Madonna means here is that “Life is a mystery” sounds, in itself, mysterious. Smart. Sexy. A bit deep. Like a good lyric.

Compare that opening to the main couplet in the chorus: “When you call my name, it’s like a little prayer”. Now this sounds self-aggrandizing, perhaps a little big headed, a typical silly lyric – but of course is factually correct. If you call her name: “Madonna”, it is indeed like a little prayer, it is a little prayer to the Virgin. All of which lies at the heart of this terrific song. It earns its religiosity, by being factually religious and reassuringly secular at the same time.

Jan 14

PWC 14: Group A Match 1 (Brazil, Mexico, Cameroon, Croatia)

Pop World Cup 201425 comments • 2,396 views

Stampedo Welcome managers and fans to the Pop World Cup 2014! Over the next few months 32 teams and over 100 songs will be fighting it out to be crowned Pop World Champions 2014. Who decides the winner? You do – by listening to the tracks for each match and voting for your favourites.

In the Group Stage, we’ll be putting up matches every Monday and Thursday. Each match will include 4 songs and you get to pick your two favourites in a poll. After a week, the poll will close and we’ll announce the results. As in the so-called real World Cup, each team gets three matches to impress on this global stage.

As well as voting, fans are encouraged to cheer on their favoured teams – and critique the opposition – in the comment boxes.

Onwards! Group A features host nation Brazil, managed by Matt DC; Mexico, managed by Steve Mannion; Cameroon, managed by Chris; and Croatia, managed by intothefireuk. This year there won’t be any ‘analysis’ from me, it’s straight into the tracks. (Click through for tracks and poll – we also have a Spotify Playlist)

Jan 14

PETER ANDRE – “I Feel You”

Popular62 comments • 3,725 views

#752, 7th December 1996

peter ify To forget one Peter Andre number one might seem a misfortune. To forget two… yet here he is, sneaking into the rather congested pre-Christmas schedules with a song that, strictly as a song, isn’t so horrible.

Jan 14

PRODIGY – “Breathe”

Popular54 comments • 5,327 views

#751, 23rd November 1996

Breathe_Prodigy The Prodigy’s success was built on two things: Liam Howlett’s remarkable feel for how to carve a collection of exciting sounds into a track, and the group’s increasing attraction to aggro of a particularly surly, lairy, kind. As long as the two develop in step, the results can be brutally thrilling. Once he loses his touch craft-wise – for me, either during or after this album – the lad’s mag roughness gets very tiresome very fast.