TASH-BED: Hi everyone! It’s us, the singing Bedingfield siblings! Remember us? You must remember us.
DAN-BED: Summon Tash and she will appear!
TASH-BED: We’ve been keeping busy for the last few years, doing a turn on the New Zealand X Factor, manning the tombola stall at our ancient religion’s summer fête, organising the occasional covert raid on government strongholds. You know the drill. There’s not been much time for pop stardom!
DAN-BED: Tash the inexorable!
TASH-BED: Well, I say ‘we’, it’s mostly been me doing all the work. My darling brother here has just been sitting on his arse babbling about some old Pink Floyd record and looking up spiritual retreats in the west of Ireland.
DAN-BED: Tash the irresistible!
TASH-BED: Sigh. See what I have to put up with? He’s never been quite the same since he went on that ‘vision quest’ in the tropical house at Kew Gardens a few years ago. I found him a week later dancing away in the woods on Wimbledon Common with a bunch of hairy hippies and had to drag him home for a bath.
DAN-BED: All hail Tash!
TASH-BED: You’re really starting to get on my wick, Dan.
I’m sure the Bedingfields will kiss and make up soon. Here’s #20-#11!
Greetings! I’m the Toilet Duck and I’m here to solve all your problems! It’s easy (*quack*) when I’m on your team. With my catchy tunes and the help of my squadron of all-terrain bathroom fixtures I will defeat the rebel bacteria menace that would otherwise evolve into a terrifying ‘super’ ‘bug’ and bring civilisation to its knees. My global presence means there’s nowhere for rebel scum to hide! I’ll even plant a tracking device under the rim of your toilet seat to make sure they don’t get away. Bye bacteria, bye worries!
Reassuring words from Toilet Duck, there. On to numbers #30-#21!
“‘Allo. My name is René Artois, cafe owner and reluctant assistant to the Resistance. You may be wondering what I am doin ‘ere, at the top of a German communications tower, ‘olding a large knockwurst with a fuse coming out of it (use your imagination – Picture Ed). It is a good question, one I am currently asking myself. As you remember, Michelle of the Resistance, ‘er with the beret, ‘ad an ‘are-brained scheme to steal the secret plans for the V2 rocket. I am to transmit the plans to Edith and Yvette who are sat atop that distant tree, ‘olding a colander as a makeshift satellite dish. Edith will then ‘ide the plans in ‘er undercrackers, and escape in a dustbin transported to the Resistance base by Monsieur Alphonse’s ‘earse. This sausage – which, did I mention, is filled with nitro-glycerine – is apparently a precautionary measure in case I am caught! Why is it always me left ‘olding the banger? This whole place could blow up at any second! It is madness, but of course I never get a say in these matters.”
Merci, René. Let’s inspect our first batch of songs!
“Hello readers! It’s me, last year’s winner, Missy Elliott! Although 2016 has been an eventful year, I definitely hadn’t forgotten about my triumphant song at all. Definitely not. And neither had the good folk at Freaky Trigger forgotten about this year’s poll until yesterday! Submissions are now OPEN so get voting…”
Cheers Missy. Here’s the shiz:
Email up to 20 of your favourite tracks of 2016 to firstname.lastname@example.org by 23.59pm GMT on 31st December 2016.
– You don’t have to send 20 tracks – 10, 5 or just 1 is fine.
– Tracks should be in order – your #1 song will get more points than your #20 (if you really can’t put them in order, I’ll do it for you randomly!)
– Release date should be this year, but realistically I’m not going to check. If one of your picks appeared in last year’s poll, I’ll ask you for another one.
If you really have no idea what happened in pop music this year, there’s still plenty of time to have a listen to everyone’s best-of lists and see if anything floats your boat. If you’ve already made one, why not plug it in the comments?
“Yojne! – 01 Pot gnilffuhs-zzaj, gnikcilc-regnif lanif eht s’ereh, yawyna! Ekil I mug taht ekil, elyts ni kcab emoc ll’yeht yllufepoh. Selit eht htiw yoj on tub, sniatruc der eht dah yeht dna Esabemoh ni dekool I. Egdol Kcalb eht detaroceder tsal ehs nehw, morf selit roolf gazgiz esoht tog ehs erehw Remlap Arual gniksa ot dnuor teg yllanif nac I! Seires wen eht tuoba enoyna sa deticxe sa m’i. Skaep Niwt morf frawd gniklat-sdrawkcab eht, Ecalp Rehtona Morf Nam Eht m’i, olleh.”
I couldn’t have put it better myself. Without further ado: let’s have a look at the Top 10:
“Hi readers, I’m Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head. You may remember me from the ‘Hello’ video where a visually impaired student nearly sticks her fingers right into my eyeballs – ouch! Just because she’s blind doesn’t mean she has the authority to blind others. Didn’t anyone tell her ‘an eye for an eye’ is not a sound basis for a system of restorative justice? Anyway I’m potentially the only eye witness to my human counterpart’s abuse of his teacher-pupil power dynamic – a lawsuit waiting to happen if you ask me. But wait, what’s that noise? It sounds strangely like the roaring of a kiln… surely they couldn’t be trying to silence me for ever???”
Thanks Lionel Richie’s Enormous Clay Head, I’m sure the Claymation Jackie Wilson will come to your rescue any minute. Shall we say ‘hi’ to our top 20?
“Good morning readers, I am a humble cyanobacteria from the Paleoproterozoic Era! I am responsible for the First Great Mass Extinction Event around 2 billion years ago, when I farted out a bunch of oxygen and wiped out 99% of all life on Earth! Yes that’s right – I’m worse than Hitler. And YOU are breathing the results, haha! Over the last 2 billion years I’ve heard some great pop tunes, but for some reason none of them were by anaerobic life forms? I guess there’s just no market for Now That’s What I Call Peptostreptococcus! in today’s tough industry conditions.”
Thanks Cyanobacteria, without you this poll literally wouldn’t exist. Let’s have a look at #30-21!
“Hi there kids, I’m an anthropomorphised visualisation of the online streaming service Tidal. This year has been a veritable whirlpool of activity for me, trying to remind people that I exist and keeping all my celebrity investors afloat. It’s not all been smooth sailing: I had to separate Usher and Jack White earlier this morning after a game of rock-paper-scissors got out of hand. But I’ve got just enough spare time to wave in this year’s Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll! Enjoy streaming the deluge of tracks below on my slightly-more-expensive-than-Spotify app!”
Cheers Tidal. In a hark back to 2012, we actually have 41 tracks in our Top 40. Here at FT you get 2.5% more bang for yr buck!
TAYLOR: What a year it’s been.
KANYE: I know, I totally won an award and you didn’t! There is a complete Blank Space in your trophy cabinet.
TAYLOR: Shhh, we’re meant to be bezzie mates now. And I totally won loads of awards. I just can’t remember what they were now.
KANYE: Sure Britney, and I’m the President of the United States. Why don’t you tell the good folks why we’re here?
TAYLOR: I could well take you in a fight, you know. Anyway, we’re delighted to announce that submissions for the Freaky Trigger Readers’ Poll 2015 are now open!
KANYE: I am also showing more boob than you are.
TAYLOR: Feminism has truly triumphed.
Thanks TayTay and KanYay – the voting for this year’s FT Poll is indeed open, assuming I can remember the login for the account. All you need to do is email email@example.com with your top 20 songs of the year.
– The closing date is 11.59pm GMT on 31st December 2015.
– The order of your top 20 is important! Your #1 will be allocated more points than #20.
– If you can’t think of 20 songs then 10 or 14 or 1 is just fine.
I’m not going to be strict on release dates because Literally Who Knows These Days, but if a song appeared in last year’s poll I’ll let you know and you can choose something else. I forgot to do even this most basic of checks last year, so if you are intent on sabotage then feel free to take advantage of my laziness.
Judging by previous years, everyone’s #1 choice is likely to get a mention even if no-one else votes for it, so this is also the chance for you to plug your obscure fave. Minimal techno, trombone skronk, Guatemalan ragga all welcome.
P.S. We are being deluged with comment spam at the moment, please have patience while we pick our way through the moderation queue!
He’s got licences to kill, he’s got licenses to fish! But what was Sam Mendes’s *real* wish for James Bond in SPECTRE? An intrepid band of your FT correspondents stumbled upon an early draft of the screenplay last night, while digging through a remaindered box of Scampi Fries. The details can now be exclusively revealed below the cut – naturally what follows contains spoilers of the highest magnitude…