Tom Ewing

Mar 14

PWC14: Group G Match 2 (Ghana, USA, Portugal, Germany)

Pop World Cup 201412 comments

seeed Group G’s middle game sees Ghana (Jonathan Bogart) in front after narrowly beating the USA (The Lex) last time. Behind them come Portugal (Weej) and Germany (Tak) who will be looking to make more of an impact on this very tough group.

As ever, play the four songs and vote for two below the cut – where you’ll also find the Group E results and our first European qualifier for the knockout stages!

Mar 14

PUFF DADDY, FAITH EVANS AND 112 – “I’ll Be Missing You”

Popular77 comments

#770, 28th June 1997

IllBeMissingYou I don’t normally pay too much attention to the length of a song’s stay at Number One, but the scale of “I’ll Be Missing You”’s popularity is significant. It ran three weeks at the top, was knocked off by the comeback single of the country’s biggest band, then came back the week after for another three – and all this before Princess Diana died, giving it another surge. It outsold “Wannabe”. It was colossal.

Mar 14

PWC14: Group F Match 2 (Nigeria, Iran, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Pop World Cup 201413 comments

leila The second Group F match finds Nigeria (managed by Cis) in pole position, riding a wave of appreciation for African pop. Charged with getting past them are Iran (Wichita Lineman) and Argentina (Chris B) with Bosnia-Herzegovina (Scott M) needing points quickly.

As usual, you have two votes between the four tracks. The poll is below the cut, and so is the Group D results, with a second team exiting the tournament….

Mar 14


Popular69 comments

#769, 7th June 1997

mmmbop The word “manufactured” is the most enduring and potent slam on pop music, suggesting music as sheer product – assembled by formula, made by people interested only in money. But what the opposite – more desirable – quality would be is rather less clear. Artisanal pop – hand-crafted for love or art’s sake – is generally what’s meant. There’s a second opposite shadowing that one, though – implicit in the m-word even if it lurks there unintended: not artisanal but natural. An idea of pop as something simple, something that comes easily – think of Paul McCartney supposedly waking up with the melody to “Yesterday” in his head, convinced he couldn’t have thought of it, it seemed so primal a tune. Most people know enough about music to realise such instances are absurdly rare, if they happen at all, but the idea still appeals.

Mar 14

Popular ’61

Popular22 comments

There’s a few big Popular entries coming up so I’m giving myself a spare day’s breathing space, which means it’s time for a year poll. To be moved to its proper place in a week or so.

I give every record on Popular a mark out of 10 – this is your chance to say which of the number ones of 1961 you’d have given 6 or more to. This year got three 9s from me – “Johnny Remember Me”, “Blue Moon” and “Moon River”. At the other end “Wooden Heart” and “I Reach For The Stars” got lumped with a 2. As ever, discuss the year in general in the comments…

Which Of The Number One Hits Of 1961 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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Mar 14

PWC14: Group E Match 2 (France, Honduras, Ecuador, Switzerland)

Pop World Cup 201414 comments

mckenzi Group E’s second game sees France (managed by Jessica) looking for the win that will see them through to the knockout phase. Giant-killers Honduras (Kat) will be trying to build on their fine early start, with Ecuador (Megan) and Switzerland (Mullah Rezmat) hoping for improved second-game fortunes.

Click through for the tracks, the poll (pick 2 of 4), and results from Group C.

ETERNAL ft BEBE WINANS – “I Wanna Be The Only One”

Popular45 comments

#768, 31st May 1997

eternal All through the pre-Spice 90s, if you wanted a girl group, it was R&B you looked to, and the reason you looked there was En Vogue. Like the Spice Girls, they were immediately successful and widely copied. They mixed high-gloss beats with rich, harmony-driven soul and used it to deliver short, potent empowerment slogans. They were exhilarating, they seemed exactly right for their times, and their imitators and successors ultimately led to one of pop’s grandest and most inventive eras. And, like any great American band, they received the dubious compliment of a British knock-off: Eternal.

Mar 14

State Of Decay

The Brown Wedge3 comments

three-04 THREE #1-#5 (Image Comics) by Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire

Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire’s THREE is a political comic on every level. The level on which it got most of its publicity was a right-to-reply in a conversation conducted between comics – Three is an a riposte to Frank Miller’s Thermopylae epic 300, almost an unauthorised sequel. Stressing this may have enhanced its impact – comics fans like sequels – but might also have held it back, downplaying the extent to which Three works for someone (like me) who has never actually read 300, and how much further it goes than the simple “your fave is problematic” style callout its early press positioned it as.

Mar 14

PWC14: Group D Match 2 (England, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Italy)

FT + Pop World Cup 201423 comments

Carmen Sandiego England (managed by Ronald) top Group D at the moment – sparking tabloid frenzy back home – while Uruguay (Matthew), Costa Rica (Pete) and Italy (Andrew Hickey) will be looking to stop their momentum. It could be a closely fought group, with mind games aplenty as several managers have played down their chances of progress.

Four tracks, two votes – the poll is below the cut, along with the latest Group B standings.

Mar 14

OLIVE – “You’re Not Alone”

Popular83 comments

#767, 17th May 1997

Olive “You’re Not Alone” walks a line between the mind-expanding and the tediously polite, a nexus point for a handful of mid-90s trends and ideas. There’s trip-hop in the mildly skippy beats, or at least what was left of trip-hop after all the scuzzy, stoned, party-friendly elements had been siphoned off elsewhere. There’s the well-groomed soul of the Lighthouse Family in the songwriting – particularly the drab verses: when I started my business career, the Lighthouse Family had already become the conference call and lobby music of choice, and they were more than fit for purpose. And there’s Everything But The Girl’s “Missing”, too, a dance track whose yearning, thoughtful tone had earned it plenty of post-club usage. As the rave generation settled into their mid-20s and beyond, the music of the chill out room found its way out of the club and into the home.