Jun 11

Popular ’91

Popular57 comments • 4,166 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every single on Popular. Here’s where you can tick the ones you’d give 6 or higher to – and talk about the year in general.

(My highest mark for 1991 was an 8 for the KLF, my lowest a 1 for Hale And Pace.)

Which of the Number Ones of 1991 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 31
    wichita lineman on 10 Jun 2011 #

    Shameless plug. Domino Radio at 4pm – I’ll be channeling David Jacobs this afternoon as I spin Pre Rock, R&R, Big City Soul, Brill Building, Brit Building, Girl Groups, Belgian Popcorn, English Baroque and other fictitious pop genres. Maybe the odd number one, too. 87.7 FM or http://dominorad.io

  2. 32
    Tom on 10 Jun 2011 #

    #30 IIRC Peel was aghast at the conservatism of the list and scrapped it?

  3. 33
    Mark G on 10 Jun 2011 #

    I’m sure I remember JPeel saying it was because “Smells like Teen Spirit” had an overwhelming majority over everything else.

  4. 34
    thefatgit on 10 Jun 2011 #

    Re: JP. 91’s “Phantom 50” wasn’t broadcast until 93 according to Wiki. I had an idea it was 92, but my memory plays tricks again. I’ll have to check my Margrave Of The Marshes to find any explanation for his delay. It could be as simple as him being a bit of a curmudgeon occasionally.

  5. 35
    Al on 10 Jun 2011 #

    The second best no. 1 voted for is a song actually released over 10 years previously – just about sums up 91 then!

  6. 36
    punctum on 10 Jun 2011 #

    Actually it was just under nine years (appeared on Combat Rock, released May 1982).

  7. 37

    He’d been complaining for years about the gumming up of the festive fifty with immoveable “classics”. It’s not curmudgeonly to be bored and disappointed that something’s turned into a chore when it shouldn’t be.

  8. 38
    Billy Smart on 10 Jun 2011 #

    TOTPWatch: In the studio on the Christmas Day Top of the Pops 1991 were; Seal, Nomad featuring MC Mikee Freedom, Chesney Hawkes, James, OMD, Kenny Thomas, Erasure, Right Said Fred, Oceanic, The Scorpions and 2 Unlimited. Tony Dortie, Mark Franklin & Claudia Simon were the hosts.

  9. 39
    Matthew H on 10 Jun 2011 #

    That Face list at #15 is basically my DJ set from 1991. Magnificent.

  10. 40
    andsayyoutried on 10 Jun 2011 #

    One of the reasons Peel gave when eventually running through the list was indeed due to “not very many people bothered voting” (before playing ‘Dress’ during a live Glastonbury show).

    ‘SLTS’ was presaged with the abandonment being down to “the votes not coming in as they should be”, so make of that what you will. He did call it “a great record by any standards” when spinning it in July ’93 though.

  11. 41
    Mark M on 10 Jun 2011 #

    I remember Peel complaining about the Festive 50 as far back as 1986, essentially on the grounds that he spent the year playing a huge variety of music and then the listeners just voted for a small range of Anglo-American guitar bands (of course he was happy enough if the guitar band in question happened to be The Fall).

  12. 42
    Mark G on 10 Jun 2011 #

    Well, that would account for a great many ‘peel favs’ making up the later festive fifties…

  13. 43
    Billy Hicks on 11 Jun 2011 #

    The KLF and Queen (of course), Enigma, Cher, Bryan Adams, and a guilty pleasure vote for Mr Jason Donovan. Unlike 1990 though, not the best year for #1s but some excellent tracks elsewhere in the top 40. I will forever love these rave tracks, cursing those old enough to enjoy them:

    Bizarre Inc – Such A Feeling/Playing With Knives
    Bassheads – Is There Anybody Out There
    Cola Boy – 7 Ways To Love
    The Prodigy – Charly/Everybody In The Place
    T99 – Anasthasia
    Human Resource – Dominator

    Best group of the year goes to The KLF/JAMs. Everything they released was legendary.

    Great albums of ’91:

    REM – Out of Time
    Erasure – Chorus
    OMD – Sugar Tax
    And honorable mention to Pet Shop Boys – Discography, a compilation but contained the epic ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’ cover from that year.

    Having a peek at 1992, bloody hell it’s dire isn’t it? Roll on 1993 already!

  14. 44
    Ed on 11 Jun 2011 #

    @19: 1991 really was the best year ever for pop albums, wasn’t it? I had remembered the obvious peaks, but there is amazing strength in depth there. ‘Foxbase Alpha’! ‘Pretty on the Inside’! And a fantastic year for hip-hop (again, the best ever?) and techno.

  15. 45
    LondonLee on 11 Jun 2011 #

    Only two from me and it was very nearly just the one (I didn’t count BoRap). I was thinking I really don’t remember music being that bad in 91, then I saw the top of The Face list

    1 Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
    2 Young Disciples – Apparently Nothin’
    3 PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
    4 DSK – What Would We Do?
    5 Ce Ce Peniston – Finally
    6 Prince – Gett Off
    7 Alison Limerick – Where Love Lives

    And it wasn’t! What a great, great year it actually was.

  16. 46
    Steve Mannion on 11 Jun 2011 #

    7 ticks – being generous to Queen and CMB.

    I’m wondering if 1991 was a record year for instrumental hits in the top 40, including those with the more minimal sampled vocal snippets (Moby ‘Go!’, 808 State ‘In Yer Face’, SL2 ‘DJs Take Control’, Orbital ‘Satan’, N-Joi ‘Adrenalin’ and numerous others).

    It’s been nice to revisit the year 20 years after the event (as with 1990). IIRC Popular was 40 years ahead for part of 1966 and 30 years ahead for 1978. Perhaps 2003 will be reached two years hence.

  17. 47
    swanstep on 12 Jun 2011 #

    Tori Amos was more of a 1992 phenomenon I suppose, but one of her best singles ‘Silent all these years’ was in the lower reaches of the UK charts in Nov and Dec 1991… so, yeah, woo-hoo 1991.

  18. 48
    Billy Smart on 13 Jun 2011 #

    NME Readers Poll Best Single 1991;

    1. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    2. REM – Losing My Religion
    3. Electronic – Get The Message
    4. Vic Reeves & The Wonder Stuff – Dizzy
    5. James – Sit Down
    6. Carter USM – After The Watershed
    7. Billy Bragg – Sexuality
    8. Chapterhouse – Pearl
    9. Teenage Fanclub – The Concept
    10. REM – Shiny Happy People

  19. 49
    Billy Smart on 13 Jun 2011 #

    Melody Maker readers poll best single of 1991;

    1. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
    2. REM – Losing My Religion
    3. Vic Reeves & The Wonder Stuff – Dizzy
    4. Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun
    5. Curve – Ten Little Girls
    6. Blur – There’s No Other Way
    7. The Wonder Stuff – The Size Of A Cow
    8. Ride – Unfamiliar
    9. 9″ Nails – Head Like A Hole
    10. Chapterhouse – Pearl

  20. 50
    Rory on 13 Jun 2011 #

    A pitiful 4 for me too (U2, KLF, Queen the Second, Cher). Only two of those scored higher than 6, and I was probably a tad generous on the sixes.

    Those Australian 1991 number ones…

    Vanilla Ice, “Ice Ice Baby”, 3 weeks
    *Divinyls, “I Touch Myself”, 2 weeks
    Londonbeat, “I’ve Been Thinking About You”, 4 weeks
    The Simpsons, “Do the Bartman”, 1 week
    Dimples D., “Sucker DJ”, 2 weeks
    Julee Cruise, “Falling”, 1 week
    Roxette, “Joyride”, 3 weeks
    *Ratcat, Tingles EP, 2 weeks
    *Daryl Braithwaite, “The Horses”, 2 weeks
    *Ratcat, “Don’t Go Now”, 1 week
    Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, “Grease Megamix”, 5 weeks
    *Melissa, “Read My Lips”, 2 weeks
    Bryan Adams, “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You”, 11 weeks
    Martika, “Love… Thy Will Be Done”, 1 week
    Big Audio Dynamite, “Rush”, 2 weeks
    U2, “The Fly”, 1 week
    Right Said Fred, “I’m Too Sexy”, 3 weeks
    Michael Jackson, “Black or White”, 8 weeks (3 in 1992)

    *Australian artists. Plus half of the Grease Megamix, I suppose.

  21. 51
    Kit on 14 Jun 2011 #

    Adams aside (I had NO IDEA he’d ruled us with his emerald glove too), that’s so much better than the UK run! :O at there being just two weeks between the Tingles EP and Don’t Go Now being at the top – I do recall that they had #1 on the singles and albums at the same time, so maybe it was the promo for the LP that finally pushed Tingles to the top, after floating around the charts since the previous year?

    (They’re doing a one-off “20th anniversary of Blind Love” gig down the road from my house on Saturday, incidentally. Aww.)

  22. 52
    Ricardo on 18 Jun 2011 #

    4-13 score for me. Around 30% of all #1’s. Could have been worse, I guess.

  23. 53
    Auntie Beryl on 12 Jan 2013 #

    It’s an odd odd one. I remember 1991 being the best year for music, and in pub discussions have put that forward -it’s quite easy if you can reel off the various canonical albums released in September and October alone.

    On the singles front, the Face list is fantastic (I love how Curve, at 30, is the first guitar record) and even the NME and MM lists are good. It was plainly a great year for music.

    Yet this list of number ones… Adams dominates, but there is other slurry here… I have hugely fond memories of the winter and spring (KLF, Enigma – there was a sense that chart pop was improving, getting spooky, getting wonderfully weird) and I’ll give a pass to The Fly for not sounding like Rattle & Hum (least appealing album title ever?). Elsewhere, thin gruel.

  24. 54
    swanstep on 3 Feb 2013 #

    New My Bloody Valentine is blowing up the internet and my mind as I type. She Found You, New You, Wonder 2 and Nothing Is seem like instant new classics to me (at least if you’re at all on MBV’s wavelength), whereas the rest will have to grow on me (which is how Loveless felt to me whenever I first heard it). Fantastic record after 2 listens. Woo hoo!

  25. 55
    Tom on 3 Feb 2013 #

    Just staggered it exists! And very happy for them and the fans – glad that particular ghost is laid to rest. I don’t feel a huge urgency to listen to it (but that’s the case with everything – at the moment I enjoy things more if I come to them when I’m in the mood, not when they’re released) (I miss the social dimension though…)

  26. 56
    Steve Mannion on 18 Jun 2015 #

    Spotify playlist: Around 863 singles entered the UK Top 75 in 1991. Here are 695 of them (including AA sides and usually two tracks per EP) http://t.co/ZTwIu3rDSj

  27. 57
    CriticSez on 12 Dec 2016 #

    Everything except Bartman and Stonk. (Even those were 5’s.)

    A little controversially, 1991 was one of the better years by my standards. Even better than 1983 or ’84.

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