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Jul 12

MR BLOBBY – “Mr Blobby”

Popular218 comments • 11,950 views

#698, 11th December 1993

“Mr Blobby” is something of a first. We’ve met terrible records before – worse than this, in many cases – but their terribleness has been down to incompetence or cynicism (or in Jive Bunny’s case both). Blobby is doing something different: his single is best understood an extension of the Blobby M.O., the gag which made him a star on Saturday night TV. Celebrity is given to understand Blobby is a harmless kids’ TV character; Blobby then deliberately annoys the sleb, destroys the set, etc.

In other words the awfulness of “Mr Blobby” was a given. More, it was an aim. By Christmas 1993 Blobby was a national figure so his effectiveness as a prankster was long over, but there was enough time for one last great prank – get to number one with a record designed to infuriate, but that people would buy anyway because it would be funny to see it at the top of the charts, especially at Christmas. Hardly anyone had heard of “trolling” but here it was.

If you were being melodramatic – or keen on a bit of trolling yourself – you might say that this is the moment when the British public give up on the charts, turn their back on the one-shot dance hits, the first-week price-fixing, the return of boybands, et al. “Sod this,” the public cry, and vote for a deliberately stupid single by a pink jelly monster. Except I don’t think there was any malice in it – this isn’t a “Killing In The Name” type of incident, where one species of pop was pitched against another with plenty of sneering on each side. Nobody stood to win or lose. It was – like Blobby in general – just slapstick, corporate Dada, highly merchandised nonsense. It’s true that Blobby struck an awful lot of nerves – he was a lodestone for a wider debate about “dumbing down”, the BBC’s shift to an internal market under John Birt, a lurid, shambling “why we can’t have nice things” symbol for a vaguer sense of cultural decline.

But he was also a man in a rubber suit who fell over a lot. And this is his single, coming on like a megamix of previous novelties – the tinny Casio rush of Bombalurina, a chorus of kids a la St Winifreds, three-line-whip jollity (not quite as gritted-teeth as The Stonk), and plenty of parping and farting because, er, Britain. And what do you know – it improves on its sources.

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Comments

  1. 1
    punctum on 3 Jul 2012 #

    Well, I don’t get to write about this anywhere on TPL, so here goes:

    “Human Behaviour” by Bjork; “Cannonball” by the Breeders; “Her Jazz” by Huggy Bear; “Heart-Shaped Box” by Nirvana; “Call It What You Want” by Credit to the Nation; “Into Your Arms” by the Lemonheads; “Cherub Rock” by the Smashing Pumpkins; “Stutter” by Elastica; “Open Up” by Leftfield and Lydon; “Regret” by New Order; “What’s My Name?” by Snoop Doggy Dogg – these are just eleven 1993 singles, off the top of my head, that I would much rather be writing about here than “Mr Blobby” by “Mr Blobby” but that’s the way this story goes (“White Love” by One Dove). Only in Britain, and perhaps only at Christmas, would records like this have any chance of becoming a hit (“You’re In A Bad Way” by what was their name again?). Though not 1993’s last number one – that comes next – “Mr Blobby” did return to the top for the festive season (“The Gift” by INXS). It represents the first of the BBC’s highly profitable children’s brand maximisation, and prior to his extremely dubious resuscitation in Deal Or No Deal, the last triumph for the brand of Noel Edmonds.

    Although he played no part in the writing or performing of the song, and only appeared in the video, Mr Blobby was the instantly identifiable mascot of Edmonds’ peak-time Saturday show Noel’s House Party; set in a fictitious country house named Crinkley Bottom to which various C-list celebrities would pay scripted weekly visits, the programme epitomised just how and why Edmonds was so easy to appeal to Middle England – those who believe in nineteenth-century good manners and manicured lawns, who chuckle at a lightweight double entendre but don’t want the boat rocked too wildly, whose idea of multiracial integration ends at the benign buffoon of a proto-Teletubby pink and yellow plaster cast which was Mr Blobby (note the song’s rather disagreeable racial double entendre of “Though he’s unconventional in hue”), whose toleration of anarchy and disorder was defined in its boundaries by Mr Blobby thrusting himself helplessly and causing slapstick wreckage around whatever room in which he happened to be standing, or thrusting. Perhaps the Blob also represented Edmonds’ own extremely belated response to the seventies ITV children’s show Tiswas, whose surrealistic and shameless custard pies and grunge-filled cages of baffled viewers’ parents stood out in stark contrast to the benign, patronising 1953 paternalism of Edmonds’ Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, playing on the BBC in direct (and losing) competition. Or to prove to himself that disaster could always be conquered (“Oh, Mr Blobby, when disaster strikes you never get depressed”) after a viewer was killed while preparing for a stunt on his eighties Saturday teatime programme The Late, Late Breakfast Show.

    After a misleading and copyright-vaulting “Thus Spake Zarathustra” takeoff intro, the song, as such, is derived in equal measures from “Lily The Pink,” “The Bucket Of Water Song,” “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma,” Bombalurina and SAW in general; maybe there would have been a case for it had the KLF been covertly involved, but its ghastliness (“No bridge too far – he’s got a car!”) is thrown into even sharper relief when contrasted with something of genuine danger such as “Sesame’s Treet,” the Smart Es’ 1992 number two hardcore rave breakdown of guess which children’s programme theme tune. When performed on TOTP, in accordance with the programme’s then blanket rule that samples must be performed “live,” the band assembled a roughshod cast of young kids who danced and moped around the stage in complete anti-coordination, humming or trying to sing something which may have been either the Sesame Street theme or Noye’s Fludde. It looked and felt like real anarchy, and is one of the greatest of all TOTP performances. Whereas “Mr Blobby” with dreary eagerness seeks to maintain the status quo – and if this looks too hard a judgement on a record made specifically for young children, then the various signifiers scattered hurriedly through its duration (“if humanity’s a question of degree” etc.) suggest that its composers were engaged in a particularly hamfisted act of pseudo-subversion.

    (“Mmm…Skyscraper, I Love You” by Underworld)

    (Simon Cowell – “Congratulations. We shall need the body for evidence.”)

  2. 2
    punctum on 3 Jul 2012 #

    (did I mention that this is where Simon Cowell comes in to derail the Popular story?)

  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 3 Jul 2012 #

    I watched Noel’s House Party every week but I hated the Blobby single (poss due to the Will Carling association?). I remember going round to some friends of my parents’ between Xmas and NY and one of their kids proudly displaying me her shiny new Blobby single she’d got as a present. I pitied her, reader, I pitied her.

    I myself got a cassingle of Moving On Up by M People.

  4. 4
    Steve Mannion on 3 Jul 2012 #

    The cover intrigues me. Was there actually more than one Mr B? A potential legion of blotchy buffoons ready to unleash hell on Noelly E’s signal? A cloned clown for all to see, no severer a science scandal oddly obscured by the more palatable presentation of a sheep named Dolly?

    Clearly.

  5. 5
    Lazarus on 3 Jul 2012 #

    Quite the most unpleasant sound to emerge from Noel Edmonds’ Crinkly Bottom, this was greatly enjoyed by our daughter, who, at two and a quarter, was squarely in the Blobby demographic. Worse, she got his video for Christmas, so we had to endure repeated playings of that between Rosie & Jim and Tots TV (Spider in the Bath was good, though, and that had kids singing on it as well). Mr B was interviewed in Q, by the way, in the late Tom Hibbert’s “Who the Hell …” feature. Thankfully the man in the suit, whose name I don’t now recall, soon broke off from going “Blobby blobby blobby!” – possibly under threat of violence – and gave quite a sensible interview in which he basically said he just liked making kids happy. 2 seems charitable but I take the point that it was supposed to be rubbish anyway.

  6. 6
    punctum on 3 Jul 2012 #

    I would have given it a zero but Popular customs dictated that I had to give it a one, ooer missus, etc.

  7. 7
    Cumbrian on 3 Jul 2012 #

    If anyone tries to tell you that TV used to be so much better in the old days, especially if they are only old enough to formulate proper memories from about 1990 onwards, Noel’s House Party should be thrown right at them. Watched by millions because it was that, Blind Date, a documentary on Roman Roads on BBC2, a random French film on C4 or turning the TV off (and why would anyone do that?), it stands out as being cheap, occasionally nasty and utterly lightweight. Were we really better off with families watching this on Saturday night instead of Strictly, X Factor or what have you? Never mind that the Beeb were in the middle of their self imposed Dr Who exile. There really could have been something a hell of a lot more entertaining on than NHP – but why bother eh? The proles don’t have any choice so they’ll lap it up. It’s not like I think we’re in a golden age of Saturday night TV now (though I suppose in some senses we might well be) but at least it’s better put together than Noel’s House Party.

    Tosh anyway. Utter tosh. Lucky to get 1 – though marginally better than Bombalurina and Hale and Pace, so that much I agree with.

  8. 8
    Pete on 3 Jul 2012 #

    @4 There was certainly a Mrs Blobby and baby Blobby: at least according to the Amiga game:
    http://www.emuparadise.me/GameBase%20Amiga/Extras/Boxscans/M/Mr%20Blobby_Front.jpg

  9. 9
    thefatgit on 3 Jul 2012 #

    Tom and Marcello have nailed it. I wondered, as the dreary Major years rolled on, whether the Great British Public’s appetite for schadenfreude (Noel & Blobby for BBC, Beadle and his elaborate disguises for ITV) could ever be satiated. I found that Saturday Night’s TV watching started to become a chore rather than a delight.

    I was settling into a family routine with my future ex-wife and her 6 year-old daughter who thought Mr Blobby was for “toddlers”. Her obsessions were unsurprisingly, Barbie and Ken. The Blobby single never passed our threshhold, for which I am eternally grateful.

  10. 10
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 3 Jul 2012 #

    It’s a daily mail link so I won’t give them traffic, but if you’re in the market for reverse schadenfreude, google-image the strangely poetic phrase “abandoned ruins of mr blobby theme park”

  11. 11
    flahr on 3 Jul 2012 #

    The first eponymous number one single and – if I remember my Kutner & Leigh correctly – the tallest ever occupant of the top spot. It’s certainly a single seemingly tooled to be ultimately perverse, though Tom’s analysis seems a bit wishful thinking to me – the song has a certain bounce to it, never stays the same for too long and was, after all, a Christmas hit, so surely it’s more a case of the kiddies liking it than it is some lowbrow gag on the part of its buyers?

  12. 12
    lonepilgrim on 3 Jul 2012 #

    If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever. A pink boot, with yellow spots.
    I have done as much as I can to avoid exposure to this piece of sh!t with it’s crushingly enforced ‘hilarity’. The video appears to include Carol Vorderman and Jeremy Clarkson as well as parodies of Shakespear’s Sister’s ‘Stay’, Robert Palmer’s ‘Addicted to Love’ and ZZ Top videos which may be designed to ‘amuse’ the adults but probably reflect the director trying to window dress the hideous void at it’s centre.

  13. 13
    will on 3 Jul 2012 #

    I have to say the Blobby phenomenon rather passed me by. At this stage I was more likely to spend my Saturday nights mashed up on ecstasy pipes than watching TV.

    A man in pink and yellow dotted suit that falls over a lot whilst crying ‘blobby blobby blobby’…don’t know about you, but I always thought it sounded rather fun. I could never work out why people got so annoyed by him/ it.

  14. 14
    wichita lineman on 3 Jul 2012 #

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard it.

    I’d imagined Blobby himself taking the lead vocal, which would have made it more “corporate dada” (nice phrase) but maybe far worse. As it is, Mr Blobby reminds me of the Skippy theme, which almost makes me feel warmly towards it. It’s nowhere near as awful as The Stonk (no dreadful gags, at least not that I noticed) or Bombalurina (take one of the most irritating hits of the sixties and make it ten times more irritating).

    Think how many ways this could have been worse. The kids chorus isn’t sickly. There’s no “ah yeah! ch-ch-check this out!”. And Noel doesn’t do a creepy Phil Spector-styled Christmas message.

    But it’s no I See The Moon.

  15. 15
    Steve Mannion on 3 Jul 2012 #

    #7 I think that’s quite unfair on Noel’s House Party really – 20 years ago time it seemed like perfectly pitched early evening family-orientated light entertainment and relatively imaginative and innovative with it e.g. ‘NTV’, ‘Wait Til I Get You Home’, introducing guests (regular or not) literally through the front door(bell). Blind Date good fun too. That said ’93 or not long after is probably around the time both were starting to seem tired.

  16. 16
    Tommy Mack on 3 Jul 2012 #

    I cringe when I remember how much I liked Mr Blobby: his brand of coporate Dada I guess appealed to my 12 year-old (christ, was it that late, I must have been pretty backward) self: a no-brow personification of chaos and destruction, destroying all in his wake, trashing the bourgeious pretentions of Noel’s C-list guests.

    At least that’s how I saw it at the time. But yes, in retrospect, utter, utter shit. Once more, deep and deserved shame at my younger self…

  17. 17
    Richard Buckley on 3 Jul 2012 #

    I’ll join the semi-defenders. I remember at the time feeling rather pleased that this cheap throwaway gag became such a phenomenon, conquering the carefully researched and market-tested products of the international toy and entertainment brands – proving once more that nobody knows anything.

    If the BBC had actually intended this to happen, the character would surely have been slicker and better-written, with more than one joke to offer. Auntie would surely also have made more than one costume – I remember that nasty rubbery thing becoming more grubby, creased and decrepit with each week’s antics. I can only imagine what it must have smelt like.

    And the commercial windfall must surely have helped the BBC keep the licence fee a fair bit during the hard times of the early 90s; the fad may even have helped save the BBC, which was at the time under threat from the Government like never before. So perhaps this is actually one of the most politically important number ones of the nineties. Would we really prefer that it had never existed?

  18. 18
    speedwell54 on 3 Jul 2012 #

    Tom you mention “a record designed to infuriate”. I never thought of it like that at the time. I never thought of it deliberately trying to annoy. I am reconsidering. When you look at the video cast list, Noel, Carol Vorderman, Will Carling, and Jeremy Clarkson, I guess it’s difficult to come to any other conclusion. TV sports bloke Garth Crookes is also featured, and laughs SO much when Mr Blobby knocks over some goalposts. I don’t know if he is a good actor or genuinely thought it was funny, actually, I struggle to believe either option. Bizarre.

    It’s hard to find ways to be positive about this single (and I don’t know if this counts either) however, Snoop Dogg debuted in the UK singles chart the same week as Mr Blobby and they can both be described as offensive, all be it in different ways. At gunpoint I could sing Mr Blobby in a reasonably recognisable rendition, but I couldn’t save my life with Snoop’s first NINE credits. I have just listened to them and just five minutes later, I’m still a goner. (eventually ‘Still Dre’ has a memorable hook)

    I don’t mind this record or it being at No1. You need chaff to get wheat.3

    Being 25 at the timeI can appreciate I wasn’t his key demographic, BUT the fact it’s a bloke in a costume is just so… His legs come out of something akin-in shape- to a jumper, there is no attempt to disguise this. He is not cuddly. He is not an heroic figure. He is not charmingly clumsy, but rather he is aggressively destructive. The electronic/robot voice doesn’t fit with the visuals or movement.. ok too much.. I’ll move on.

    @11 flahr – I’m thinking “Theme from S’Express” was close but no cigar.

    Finally thanks Izzy and Erithian for the warm welcome on the last one, and Punctum please don’t stop.

  19. 19
    swanstep on 3 Jul 2012 #

    At the time in the US NPR (National Public Radio) did a ‘The UK charts are crazy/The UK has lost its mind on bleep and E’ story that used this track as its terminus. IIRC, the commentator played a couple of (alien to the US) things including 2 Unlimited’s big hit then presented Mr Blobby as the bottom of an inanity slippery slope.

    Anyhow, hearing it now in the context of Popular, Mr Blobby feels entirely continuous with prior (The Stonk, We love you Grandma, Do The Bartman) and subsequent (Krazy Bunny) novelty songs rather than any sort of identifiable cultural moment or trend:
    1

    Unwanted consistency check: TomScore(Mr Blobby) = TomScore(Imagine) = TomScore(Mull of Kintyre) = TomScore(I’d like to teach the world to sing).

  20. 20
    Billy Hicks on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Right, yes, if you were an adult this was crap, yep, totally accepting that. And if, I dunno, the cast of ‘In The Night Garden’ had a massive hit with their theme tune now, it may well irk me as well.

    But in 1993 I was five years old and THIS WAS THE GREATEST THING EVER.

    * It’s my earliest memory of Top of the Pops. Watching the top 10 countdown, asking my Mum what all the arrows and numbers meant, and this song riding high.

    * It seemed completely understandable to my mind. Of course he’s ‘number 1’, he’s Mr Blobby. Maybe The Riddlers or the cast of ‘Tots TV’ will be number 1 next? After all they’re on TV all the time too.

    * There are contemporary photos of me, wrapped in a massive pink towel, pretending to be the Blobby in question. There are also photos of me *next* to the yellow-spotted creature, sadly not in reality but thanks to those early trick photo-booth machines.

    Some call it the end of an era, a new low, etc, for me this is just yet another notch forward to me in my introduction of music, which grows ever further from hereon. And whenever I hear it I get a giddy little thrill of extreme nursery-school era nostalgia. It’s meant for small kids and I fit into that demographic perfectly. At *least* a 5 for that sake.

    Pleasantly surprised this got more than a 1, to be honest. :D

  21. 21
    Weej on 4 Jul 2012 #

    I watched and enjoyed Noel’s House Party every week, but the introduction of Mr Blobby just baffled me. He knocks over something, annoys someone, yes, but it just isn’t funny, not in the slightest.
    Then he’s suddenly at number one with a song which also isn’t funny, not in the slightest.
    Yes, it could be worse, it could have more bad jokes and more novely sound effects, but then at least it would have something.

    Also, fantastic quote from that Daily Fail article – ”
    “The ravers should have more respect for Mr Blobby. He was a hero to a lot of kids and the thought of them taking drugs and having all-night raves in his house is completely disrespectful.”

  22. 22
    Cumbrian on 4 Jul 2012 #

    #15. Fair enough – YMMV and all that – but I’m definitely sticking to my guns on this one. You might say NHP was innovative but the question for me is not whether it was innovative but whether its innovations were to be welcomed. NTV and Wait Til I Get You Home were both formats relying on shock and then embarrassment of the victim/parents. Then you’ve got the gungings and what have you and the central plank of the show is about laughing at the misfortune of others. Even the Gotchas – great to puncture the considerable egos of DLT, Eddie Large and Will Carling – but why is it amusing to set up Jill Dando or Carol Smillie? NHP and Beadle (kudos to thefatgit for mentioning him) are responsible for mainstreaming a lot of this – and it’s still around today, what with the humiliation of people during the X Factor auditions and what not.

    Inclusion of the public for large sections of the show means you don’t have to pay writers or actors but gives a cosy sense of inclusion for the audience. Hence it is cheap TV. Laughing at others’ misfortune (admittedly not in every segment) means that the show was occasionally nasty. Being lightweight is not in and of itself a crime but add it up to the other stuff and it doesn’t help (the reason I find the Brasseye set up of celebrities funny and Gotchas not so much, is that there is a point to Brasseye – and often, there wasn’t with the Gotchas).

    I regard the whole thing with due suspicion. In my view, it’s no wonder that there was Grab A Grand during NHP and Noel Edmonds felt the need to run his annual Christmas gift giving programme – it’s to remind everyone that he’s actually human.

  23. 23
    Steve Williams on 4 Jul 2012 #

    The most interesting thing about Mr Blobby is that he started as a parody of a children’s character and then became an actual children’s character.

    Of course, there was a follow-up – with Noel on lead vocals!

  24. 24
    will on 4 Jul 2012 #

    What? There was a follow up? I really wasn’t paying attention, was I?

  25. 25
    thefatgit on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Despite NHP, Blind Date and Beadle’s About, 1993 TV was changing.
    The Word and The Big Breakfast had Channel 4 surfing some kind of televisual zeitgeist. Brookside was probably the best soap out there. Quentin Crisp’s contribution to the first Alternative Christmas Message. It seemed to me all the exciting stuff was happening on the fourth channel.
    BBC1 ended Going Live and replaced it with Live And Kicking, which was almost identical. BBC2 launched the marvellous Shooting Stars.
    ITV was busy with it’s new independent franchises, but they slapped us about with Cracker, and tickled us with Dale’s Supermarket Sweep.

  26. 26
    Cumbrian on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Big thing on TV for me in 1993 was The X Files starting. Shame about the last 3 or 4 seasons but, at least initially, was required watching in our house. I think I remember it getting big enough that they started sticking episodes on BBC1 (until the Beeb realised that it wasn’t pulling in quite the audience that they expected on the flagship channel and moved it back to BBC2 or a much later slot on BBC1 – again, only my memory on that though).

  27. 27
    ottersteve on 4 Jul 2012 #

    AND HERE IT IS!!!

    Officially the worst ever No.1 for me in the history of the universe.

    TOM! How can you give this absolute piece of tripe a 2? I would rather listen to the dreadful “grandma” song 10 times over than hear this again just once. “Mr. Blobby” is the worst example of something just thrown together for a quick buck while riding on the back of a temporarily popular – and then increadably annoying – childrens character. Admittedly this has been done since music began, but at least future No 1’s of a similar ilk sounded like some work had been put into them.

    This record alone made Xmas 1993 my worst one ever – mainly because the mental scares it inflicted on me remain to this day – and are all I CAN remember of that particular Xmas.

    Phew!! Glad i got that of my chest…..

  28. 28
    ottersteve on 4 Jul 2012 #

    #19
    Consistency check. Yes, Toms credibility is at stake here.

  29. 29
    Another Pete on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Late 1993 for me was when the phrase “comedy is the new rock and roll” gained momentum. Radio 1 around this time featured people like Alan Davies, Chris Morris, Lee and Herring and recent recipient of an OBE Armando Ianucci in their 9pm comedy hour. The Day Today made it’s TV début the following January.

    I will say this about Mr Blobby. Even if it took the duration of a pub lunch to write there is far more craft in this than some of the X-Factor finalists’ Christmas number 1’s.

  30. 30
    Tom on 4 Jul 2012 #

    My credibility died a long time ago! I love Swanstep’s consistency checks because in his Charlton-Heston’s-Stone-Tablets-Of-Quality universe they are a GRAVE INDICTMENT and I usually read them and think “Hmm, would I want to listen more to Blobby or Imagine? Nah, too close to call.” and give myself a pat on the back for getting it right so often. ;)

  31. 31
    Rory on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Not having heard the song or really known who Mr Blobby was before yesterday, this was a first-time listen for me, and I’ll be damned if there’s ever a second. I can see how it might appeal to five-year-olds, but please, please, may it never appeal to mine. “The Stonk” and Bombalurina are harmless fluff by comparison.

    Now that I’ve voted on it, seeing “You say: 1” feels like words are being put into my mouth, to the tune of 1.

  32. 32
    Rory on 4 Jul 2012 #

    Mind you, I’m taking a perverse pride in the fact that, on the day that the Higgs boson has been announced and the EU parliament has rejected ACTA by a landslide, I am here posting a comment about the awfulness of Mr Blobby. There are priorities.

  33. 33
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 Jul 2012 #

    mr blobby IS the higgs boson: they knew all along, they were just waiting for tom’s score

  34. 34
    Chelovek na lune on 4 Jul 2012 #

    This is terrible, unlistenable dross.

    However, unlike “Imagine” it doesn’t even come close to aspiring to pretending that it is anything more. It lacks even the suggestion than anyone involved in its production, presentation, conception has ever dreamed of holding messianic illusions. There is not even the tiniest whiff of self-righteousness or pretence (however misguided)of political insight.

    However, the photograph in post #8 above – the very notion of Mr Blobby as, somehow, a sexual character – the very very notion of a Mrs Blobby, or a Master (or Mistress Blobby) could ALMOST make me reconsider – and make me think that Lennonish drivel wasn’t so bad after all.

    But only almost.

    This is utterly dreadful, but no-one is going to portentiously sing it on Breakfast television, or on national occasions, finding in their foolishness profundiity in its adolescent blandishments and platitudes.

    There are worse semi-gimmicky number 1s ahead, alas.

  35. 35
    Tom on 4 Jul 2012 #

    #34 re Blobbysexuality: That isn’t a head. It’s a bud.

  36. 36
    Special Girl AKA on 4 Jul 2012 #

    #8 – Baby Blobby is in the video, carried in by Mr Blobby in the final verse. He sings the backing vocals/obbligato ‘oh yeahhhhhh’ over the top, and is actually pretty cute with quite a gospel-y voice.

    I think some contributors to this thread are missing the point of Mr Blobby. Granted, NHP was a terrible shower of Saturday night shite and I felt too grown up for most of it (being a supercillious 12 year old at the time). However, Blobby was actually mildly amusing: watching Wayne Sleep, hoodwinked into co-presenting a fake kids’ tv programme with a fat pink puppet, become irate when the idiot pink thing couldn’t do ballet and fell over a lot made me laugh. A bit.

  37. 37
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 4 Jul 2012 #

    non obbligato sed blobbligato

  38. 38
    Izzy on 4 Jul 2012 #

    #16 – love it! Twelve-year-olds ime are still mostly kids, and certainly suckers for base humour of all kinds.

    Hats off for admitting it. I cringe when I hear folk claiming to have been into Crass or prog at that age, or something impossibly cool. There’s a guy in Peter Shapiro’s ‘Turn The Beat Around’ reminiscing about being down Studio 54 every night, aged eleven. I don’t think so, pal.

  39. 39
    Lazarus on 4 Jul 2012 #

    This thread is shaping up to be a latterday “No Charge” isn’t it? It’s a record that divides opinion to some extent – not, however, as to whether it’s good or bad, merely how bad. I’ve resisted the urge to listen to it again, but there is a proper female singer on it, isn’t there? Has she ever been identified?

  40. 40
    MikeMCSG on 4 Jul 2012 #

    # 5 His name was Barry Killerby and he gave his favourite film as “Straw Dogs” which did raise the question of whether he should be working around kids.

    No mention yet for Blobby’s most memorably unamused victim – Gary Davies. Is that because there’s other DJs here who didn’t appreciate Blobby’s assault on their art ?

    Very mixed feelings about this one as I was seeing a primary school teacher at the time and – quick check over the shoulder for lurking wife – it’s one of the few records that I associate with her. A guilty pleasure that can’t be indulged very often.

  41. 41
    El boludo on 5 Jul 2012 #

    Follow-up “Jack Your Blobby” failed to chart. Or exist :-(((((((

  42. 42
    Rory on 5 Jul 2012 #

    I’m not really convinced by the “it was supposed to be rubbish, so let’s be a shade more generous” argument. Plenty of extremely ordinary number ones were supposed to be good, but that doesn’t mean we give them all 8s or 9s. And what about Nick Berry’s “Every Loser Wins“? That was supposed to be a song from a fictional East End, so “real” scoring should surely not apply – yet that didn’t stop us hating it.

    If the people behind “Mr Blobby” intended to make a truly horrible record, all credit to them: they succeeded. I’m sure that tongues were firmly in cheek for “Star Trekkin'” and various other horrors as well.

    [A side note: what’s happened to the Freaky Trigger search box? It used to be a reliable shortcut to old Popular entries, but now it’s returning rubbish. Is it a “powered by Google” problem? That’s giving very odd results as well. Googling nick+berry+freakytrigger returns a page that links to an old tweet that links to the right page, but the right page itself is nowhere to be seen.]

  43. 43
    punctum on 5 Jul 2012 #

    I was interested to read the pro-Blobby comments (or as pro-Blobby as could be managed). Probably the liveliest of these was #17 to which I have to reply: if only! Sadly I don’t think such an argument holds any real water; although the writers may have tinkered with the record’s body in terms of mild subversion, I really do not think that there was any powering motive behind its existence other than the BBC trying to maximise income from a then highly profitable brand. It wasn’t the first time Noel had done it, either; remember “Brown Sauce” and their late 1981 Swap Shop tie-in single “I Wanna Be A Winner”? Has not been played at all on radio since it was a hit, probably because of the line “Go Nationwide with Frank Bough.”

    About the listening trends of 12-year-olds; well, of course there is a degree of revisionism at work in some cases but it’s unfair to those who were actually listening to something other than Blobby-type froth at that age. For what I was listening to at that age, see TPL in due course (I’m saying no more).

    Finally, careful with that “us” (#42) – I don’t like “Every Loser Wins” that much, but then nor do I hate it.

  44. 44
    Rory on 5 Jul 2012 #

    @42 Fair enough. Many of us.

  45. 45
    Rory on 5 Jul 2012 #

    Erm, @43, that is. I shouldn’t have edited my original “people” to “us”, I suppose; an attempt not to be even-handed to a fault. “Hating” is an unhelpful word there, too. I meant it in the same loose way that many use “loving” (for “liking a great deal”), not as an expression of hatred equivalent in degree to the love people feel for their partners or children. I don’t hate Nick Berry himself (I barely know much about him), but I certainly dislike that song a great deal. Judging by its average score, so do many other Popular readers.

  46. 46
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 5 Jul 2012 #

    As the mums and dads (and uncles and etc) reading will probably attest, there’s a whole music industry geared to writing songs for tots, tinies, infants and upwards: I seriously doubt that its single professional rule is “any old rubbish will work” — this may not be a record crafted “to be rubbish” but it was surely a record meant “to be annoying in a way 12-yr-olds will love” — which means the question should probably be, was this fashioned with the tenets of that skewed kind of craftsmanship in mind, or was it just tossed together with no consideration at all.

    Music that Niche A embraces because it maddens Niche B actually has a pretty honourable place in the story of the charts. But some niches seem to have a lot more heft than others, when it comes to writing up the canons of “true” taste :)

  47. 47
    punctum on 5 Jul 2012 #

    Paul Haig’s tinned peaches to thread.

  48. 48
    Erithian on 5 Jul 2012 #

    I haven’t had a chance to listen to this one again yet (by which I mean I’m still steeling myself for the experience and wondering whether it’s better to do so with or without our 5-year-old in attendance) – but apropos of targeting a song at a niche market, this was possibly the youngest market at which a pop single had so far been targeted, and remained so until a bunnied record (indeed featuring bunnies in the video IIRC) which sold an awful lot in 1997 and actually included nursery rhymes. Come to think of it, though, the heartbeat effect in “Albatross” probably goes down well with newborn babies.

    Even so, I was quite tickled by the idea that a kiddies’ record would manage to cram five- and four-syllable words into consecutive lines (“Although he’s unconventional in hue / his philosophy of life will see him through / and despite the limitation / of his poor co-ordination…”). There’s a certain level of production values at work here, and I’ve definitely heard worse lyrics! I’m not saying it’s all that good or anything, but a 2 is about right.

    Five-or-more-syllable words in Number 1 lyrics, anybody? I think the champion is the seven-syllable “individuality” in another bunnied (and TV-promoted) hit from 1999. Unless of course, in the words of Cyril Fletcher, you know better…

    BTW Billy Hicks #20 is possibly the sweetest post in the history of Popular!

  49. 49
    punctum on 5 Jul 2012 #

    #48: A “bunnied” record featuring a recently departed comedy giant, I think.

  50. 50
    Steve Mannion on 5 Jul 2012 #

    ‘Fondest’ Blobby memory: I accidentally played the intro (and a few seconds after so not just the TSZ intro which would’ve been easier to pass off as intentional perhaps) to ‘Mr Blobby’ at the first (iirc) Club Popular. This was instead of a 1994 #1 requested by someone as it was his birthday. Pete branded me a ‘cop out’ for not playing the whole thing of course, but then he on at least one occasion played just the intro of a 1996 #1 which for many was always its most recognised and celebrated bit.

    Re the talk of ‘annoying pop for kids’ (or ‘pop for annoying kids’?), I’d agree that Mr B was no less crafty than other hits from the time – the WWF Superstars hits sprang to mind. I still enjoyed WWF at the time but ‘Slam Jam’ and ‘Wrestlemania’ were more painful than a Bret Hart Sharpshooter. The even more ‘Dated On Arrival’ Power Rangers Xmas hit the following year is another example (peaking at #3 mercifully), both being the cold crappy brainchildren of one Simon Cowell “ahead” of his time.

  51. 51
    Lazarus on 5 Jul 2012 #

    We are, as I’m sure many are aware, going to have more of the ‘music for kids’ debate four years down the line – and another eponymous number one much sooner! But that’s maybe enough bunny-baiting.

    #40 – Barry could have just been a Susan George fan of course.

  52. 52
    weej on 5 Jul 2012 #

    Re: #50 I always sing “Wrestlemania” by the WWF when I’m trying to crack macadamia nuts – “Woooah macadamia, the battle to survive” etc.

  53. 53
    MikeMCSG on 5 Jul 2012 #

    # 43 There are many other reasons not to play Brown Sauce -the President Reagan/ Kevin Keegan rhyme for one and all the other 30-year old pop culture references.
    Come to think of it what does still get played from the oeuvre of BA Robertson ? I’m quite partial to “Knocked It Off” and “Kool In The Kaftan” but haven’t heard either in years. Lena of course will have to get to grips with the execrable “Bang Bang”.

  54. 54
    thefatgit on 5 Jul 2012 #

    #46 P^nk S. Yes, I responded well to Bubblegum as a little ‘un. “Yummy, yummy, yummy I got love in my tummy” is perhaps one of the earliest lyrics I can recall. Bubblegum wasn’t necessarily aiming at tots, but a sense of innocence. The Yummy/Tummy couplet works as tots, I believe would respond positively to how those words are shaped when repeated. (My parents actively avoided my exposure to Bill & Ben, because they thought it might be detrimental to my speech development. Who knows if it would? But there you go…). Nursery-rhyme-style pop is aural crack for pre-schoolers. Mr Blobby only works because the word “blobby” is repeated over and over. Fine up to a point, but nothing to stimulate a developing toddler-brain, in my humble opinion.

    As a pre-teen, I remember a lot of the angrier post-punk/new-wave didn’t necessarily speak to me, but Streetband’s “Toast” amused me greatly. I would repeat huge chunks of that song word for word with the correct inflections and everything. I have absolutely no idea why I would respond to a record like that, but I did.

  55. 55
    thefatgit on 5 Jul 2012 #

    Come to think of it, “blobby”/”flobbadob”…curse you Mum & Dad!!! You’ve skewed my thinking.

  56. 56
    Ed on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Some great comments. I particularly like the ones from people who are dismayed by how lenient Tom has been with his score. I haven’t seen that much outraged disappointment since Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling on ObamaCare.

    It’s a feeling I share (about Blobby, not ObamaCare). Lonepilgrim @12 nails it: that was exactly the image that sprang into my mind. There’s something about the barely concealed aggression behind “IT’S A JOKE, SEE? DON’T YOU GET THE JOKE?” that also reminds me of Michael Haneke’s ‘Funny Games’.

    And like Rory @42, I don’t think the intent is an escape clause. In fact, I think it makes it worse. Better to try to have some harmless fun and end up with ‘The Stonk’ as a result of your overwhelming and irremediable lack of talent, than to try to be crap and hit the nail right on its pointless head.*

    I’m with Bob Mortimer – whose humour is infinitely more good-natured – here, at 1.45: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBUaUy8XDGQ&feature=related

    *Question: has any music that tried to be terrible ever been worth hearing? That was McLaren’s plan for the Sex Pistols, of course, but Lydon, Cook, Jones, Matlock and, crucially, Chris Thomas had other ideas.

  57. 57
    MikeMCSG on 6 Jul 2012 #

    # 56 Nick Lowe’s contract-busting “Tribute To The Rollers” is worth a listen especially in conjunction with reading the comments on youtube from Rollers fans who don’t know the story.

  58. 58
    punctum on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Nope, Talcy’s plan for the Pistols was for them to be the new Bay City Rollers.

    Since when did bubblegum have anything to do with “innocence”?

  59. 59
    El boludo on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Haha mr blobby is like funny games! Not a comparison I’d considered before. Someone should put that to haneke!

    Mind you, it’s all funny games until someone ah never mind

    I was 11 when this song came out & hated it. But then, we never watched noel. We watched cilla on the other side.

  60. 60
    El boludo on 6 Jul 2012 #

    I seem to recall Luke Haines saying somewhere that he only commissioned the μ-Ziq remix album because he knew it would be terrible. But again, μ-Ziq apparently didn’t get the memo, & Haines was probably just trolling IDM nerds anyway.

  61. 61
    punctum on 6 Jul 2012 #

    b-b-but it’s a great album! I’ve still got it!

  62. 62
    weej on 6 Jul 2012 #

    It’s a fantastic album, I listen to it much more than I do either The Auteurs or μ-Ziq, i.e perhaps once a year.
    Really not sure how we’re talking about this, did El boludo post on the wrong thread?

  63. 63
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Probably worth distinguishing what McLaren at any given point told the press (or indeed the band) was his plan, and what his plan actually really was. He too is something of a “Funny Games” theorist/prankster.

    (I fear I can’t now stop picturing Haneke being interviewed about his latest film, all present very serious and head-waggy, until Mr B suddenly charges in and knocking the director flying. The art of the future will be the bouleversement of situations, or nothing. )

  64. 64
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    We’re talking about the value of the “creative intention to be terrible”, with Luke Haines trying to shoehorn himself into the McLaren role, in respect of a record of his own that he hates but others love. This in itself topsyturvies the issue of intention, of course (not to say “auteurism”). Controversial final sentence: Haines never needed the input of others to be terrible.

  65. 65
    punctum on 6 Jul 2012 #

    yeah but mingus sleevenote “throw all other records of mine away except this one.” used in more than one sleevenote.

  66. 66
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Ah. Um.

  67. 67
    Steve Mannion on 6 Jul 2012 #

    My first thought re this question (in this context) was The Firm and ‘Star Trekkin’ being intentionally terrible in obvious calculated ways (which I suppose makes it theoretically easier to ‘get’). I still disagree with Tom’s dismissal Of Jive Bunny as ‘incompetent’ (as in there’s a clear difference for me between that and being just naff).

  68. 68
    swanstep on 6 Jul 2012 #

    In case someone hasn’t heard it, the third track (‘Chinese Bakery’) on The Auteurs vs mu-ziq is a blast.

  69. 69
    Lazarus on 6 Jul 2012 #

    I’m just wondering if NHP was up against Blind Date, or whether Cilla & Co went out a little later, at 8. I hardly ever watched it except when we went to the in-laws for the weekend when we were forcefed stuff like that (and before that 3-2-1, The Price is Right etc). I have a feeling that BD was up against ‘Casualty’ – another programme which we’ll get to in the fullness of time. If so the proles could have a double helping of entertainment.

  70. 70
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    That’s my memory also, Lazarus: that they didn’t actually clash. But I never watched NHP and only very occasionally watched BD, so I might just be wrong here.

  71. 71
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    (I always watched casualty though)

  72. 72
    Cumbrian on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Unsurprisingly, it’s bloody difficult to find TV listings from 1993 online to see whether NHP and BD were on at the same time. My memory is that they were – but I could well be wrong (given I disliked both shows I was more than likely playing Tetris or Super Mario World on my old Gameboy or something similar). The best I could find at a short google was this:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bbc-pulls-plug-on-noels-house-party-cancelled-1136432.html

    From The Independent in 1998. Seems to imply that they were on at similar times at least, though it doesn’t rule out BD being up against Casualty either.

    ETA: I also found this, which says that they were on against each other in 1999.

    http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/war-zone-saturday-night-benchmark-battle/1215685.article

    And this implies they were on head to head in 1995.

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/spl/aberdeen/he-s-back-at-the-double-1.650522

    Suffice it to say, I work in TV research.

  73. 73
    punctum on 6 Jul 2012 #

    We watched Blind Date. Never watched Casualty; I work in the NHS, don’t need to see a fantasy version of it in my own time.

  74. 74
    Mark G on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Yeah, that’s why I never watched Grange Hill either. Or the IT Crowd, funnily enough as the few I did see were quite good.

    I think the very start of the IT Crowd started in an office set on the top floor of an office block with a view of London Bridge, and all young good looking staff, etc. “Hey! That’s my old office” I said. And then the setting changed to the basement, at which point the similarities ended.

  75. 75
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Oddly enough the only time the only time I was interviewed by the police — they were taking witness statements about some local incident, I wasn’t a suspect — I was watching The Bill when they knocked on the door. I apologised, and by way of something nervous to say, said that I’m sure they all thought it was very silly and unrealistic. “No,” said the young officer cheerfully: “It’s very good. We all love it!”

    No doubt this was the canny response of a highly trained crimecracker, playing with my mind.

  76. 76
    enitharmon on 6 Jul 2012 #

    It’s all very well saying that one shouldn’t dismiss this because it isn’t aimed at one’s demographic, but it would seem that 1992’s pre-teens were much more easily pleased than those of 1962.

    When I was 8, I and my classmates had the emerging Beatles and Stones, the whole Mersey scene (we were just over the water after all) and so on. Sure, we also had things like Right Said Fred (no, not that one) but even so Bernard Cribbins seems an order of magnitude more sophisticated than this pile of ordure. 2 is way too generous; you can’t really be suggesting that Vincent is even worse than this, can you Tom?

  77. 77
    Lazarus on 6 Jul 2012 #

    Tom thinks EVERYTHING is better than ‘Vincent.’

    I think he has some sort of deranged vendetta.

  78. 78
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jul 2012 #

    “this world was never meant for one as blobbiful as you”

  79. 79
    wichita lineman on 7 Jul 2012 #

    “Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
    Swirling clouds in violet haze
    Reflect in Blobby’s eyes of china blue”

  80. 80
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 7 Jul 2012 #

    blobby was the VINCENT VAN GUNGE of 90s chartpop

  81. 82
    thefatgit on 7 Jul 2012 #

    #77 I can think of one possible candidate. We’re a long, long way from that, however.

  82. 83
    swanstep on 8 Jul 2012 #

    Could the Mr Blobby image (on the record sleeve as well in other material judging by lonepilgrim’s link) have influenced South Park’s ‘BP drills the moon’ image, e.g., here?

  83. 84
    wichita lineman on 9 Jul 2012 #

    I can’t get the ‘search’ function to work properly. I know I’m not the first person to mention this. If I type in, say, “The Kinks Sunny Afternoon” it seems to take me to every mention of the song on the site bar the actual Popular entry.

  84. 85
    Mark G on 10 Jul 2012 #

    Found the year of original posting via the wayback website..

    http://www.freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2005/

    then to.
    http://www.freakytrigger.co.uk/popular/2005/10/the-kinks-sunny-afternoon/

  85. 86
    flahr on 10 Jul 2012 #

    If you’ve looking for individual entries it’s usually easiest just to open the Populist and Ctrl-F for the one you want.

  86. 87
    Mark G on 10 Jul 2012 #

    Need Populist link someplace.

  87. 88
    Steve Mannion on 10 Jul 2012 #

    Search seems OK for me – a search ‘kinks sunny afternoon’ showed the Popular entry as the fourth result tho. Alan may have fixed some issues recently.

    There are some things we could build in to make access to particular entries (plus polls) easier tho. IMO Ideally you could get to ANY entry on FT with just two or three clicks rather than actually having to use Search. Of course it’s a bit of work…but stay tuned :)

  88. 89
    Cumbrian on 10 Jul 2012 #

    Isn’t the Populist link the one that says “Index of scores and reviews so far” in the top of the sidebar?

  89. 90
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Jul 2012 #

    # 1 – “Congratulations. We shall need the Blobby for evidence. What do you desire?”

    “Number one.”

    “I’ll take you.”

    “Actually. Don’t bother. It will only be bloody Edmonds.”

  90. 91
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Jul 2012 #

    Vincent Blobby
    Tom’s not listening still
    Perhaps he never will.

  91. 92
    punctum on 10 Jul 2012 #

    “He’s the new Number One.”
    “What happened to the old one?”
    “Oh, didn’t you notice? He vacated the premises.”
    “He escaped?”
    “Ha ha ha ha!”
    “There was no funeral?”
    “It’s not always possible. You need a Blobby.”

  92. 93

    blobby blobby blobby

  93. 94
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Jul 2012 #

    What was in his mind?
    What was the purpose of his swim?
    Was he attempting suicide? Suicide?
    Tell us!
    WHAT WAS IN HIS MIND?…

  94. 95
    punctum on 10 Jul 2012 #

    The question is: is Mr Blobby any good at kosho?

  95. 96
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Jul 2012 #

    That’s a good question, Punctum. Certainly the Blobmeister would have natural bounce and speed but his noted-lack of co-ordination might well have turned against him when matched with a determined and fully-trained Number Six (actually Frank Mayer, of course). My own take on it would be that Six would have patiently worked out Blobby’s manic style, foiled his wild rushes and overcome the weight disadvantage before finally sending his comic opponent into the water.

    But then I’m the numpty who backed Nadal and Stosur to win Wimbledon!

  96. 97
    Lazarus on 11 Jul 2012 #

    #53 – Brown Sauce rhymed “President Reagan” with “Kevin Keegan?” By the fag end of 1981, we all knew how to pronounce his name, surely. One could forgive Heaven 17 whose “Reagan’s president-elect” line on “Fascist Groove Thing” was presumably recorded a year earlier. A band we won’t be seeing on Popular although Lena will come to them in due course.

  97. 98
    wichita lineman on 11 Jul 2012 #

    Re 97: The flip of the Brown Sauce 45 is the Swap Shop theme – which is really rather good. Can’t say I’ve played the A-side much though.

    Rather sweetly, I hear that Maggie Philbin and Janice Long (her ex sister-in-law, I think) are currently flatmates.

  98. 99
    Cumbrian on 11 Jul 2012 #

    #98: when I was starting out in Market Research, the best part of a decade ago, part of my training was to go out and do the door knocking to collect interviews with one of the old hands. Totally by chance, we knocked on the door of a house in a residential street in London and Maggie Philbin answered the door – the guy I was with didn’t know who she was and I kept mum until afterwards. She didn’t want to do an interview anyway. :(

    Janice Long didn’t put in an appearance at the threshold. Mind you, as I said, this is getting on for 10 years ago now.

  99. 100
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Jul 2012 #

    Maggie Philbin, of course, grew up and went onto Tomorrow’s World, a sensible and much-respected science show which went out in the early evening and had a great theme tune. Janice remains on Radio 2. I don’t know where Blobby is. Probably at Pontins in Prestatyn with all the other no-marks.

  100. 101
    wichita lineman on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Pub talk last night – The Manual is responsible for Mr Blobby.

  101. 102

    music explained

    “He’s justified and he’s ancient and he likes to roam the land”

  102. 103
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    #101: It most certainly was not. Edelweiss yes, Kon Kan yes, but not Mr Blobby. Cowell had his own “manual.”

  103. 104
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    The song was written by somebody called Philip Raxster, of whom little trace can otherwise be found, including on Google.

  104. 105

    nanker, phelge, raxster <-- so you wanna be a rax (n roll) ster?

  105. 106
    Lazarus on 12 Jul 2012 #

    #102 – you mean “this is why Britpop had to happen?”

  106. 107
    wichita lineman on 12 Jul 2012 #

    How did Cowell get the Blobby gig? Anyone know?

    I thought his first no.1 production was also the first non vinyl no.1, coming up on Popular in a short-ish while, which would have made SO MUCH sense as an era end/beginning. Curse that Blobby for ruining my nice tidy conclusions!

  107. 108
    Kat but logged out innit on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Will Carling is the Mr Blobby of Britpop no wait hang on

  108. 109
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    #107: Or indeed Culture Beat, who actually had the first non-vinyl no. 1.

  109. 110
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    (if there was a 12″ of “Mr Vain” I never saw it and I DON’T WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT)

  110. 111
    Steve Mannion on 12 Jul 2012 #

    “Mr Vain” was of course the first laserdisc #1, with the B-side simply being a mirror (DYS). Sony (or whoever) duly lost money on every copy sold and their fortunes didn’t quite recover until capturing George Michael’s soul and imprisoning it onto the world’s first carbonite laserdisc six months later. This in turn inspired the cover of the second Prodigy LP, and in turn Blobby’s never released 1995 mixtape “Music For The Deflated Abomination”, half a million copies of which remain buried under Kirkby Lonsdale golf club.

  111. 112
    Lazarus on 12 Jul 2012 #

    I have a feeling that one of those factoids is not quite right, but I can’t put my finger on which. Here’s Tim Smith! Here’s Janey Lee Grace! Here’s the Old Woman! What do you mean, what was that record I just played? What record?

  112. 113
    Jimmy the Swede on 12 Jul 2012 #

    Do any of you swells know who the Old Woman is? And if you do, would you need to kill us all having provided that information?

    She sounds like me Auntie Nora but it ain’t her.

  113. 114
    punctum on 12 Jul 2012 #

    I think it was supposed to be former nun Sarah “Terrible Twos” Kennedy.

  114. 115
    Adam on 14 Jul 2012 #

    I have a (very) small story about how this song did a little good.

    I worked, through much of the 90s, as a paralegal in a family law department, and one case was one of many disputes about contact with children. Dad said ‘I just want to see them’ Mum said ‘Over my dead body – I’m too upset about him to have anything to do with him any more and the kids don’t care’. He insisted that he spoke to them from time to time and it was fine, she denied everything and said she couldn’t cope with any contact involving him at all. BUT. But but but. He had recorded one of his phone conversations. She said it was years old… but in the recording he and one of the kids were singing Mr Blobby to each other. She backed down and the kids got to see their dad.

  115. 116

    Wiping away a secret tear at this tale, St Peter hurried Blobby on through. “Just don’t say anything to anyone!” he whispered.

    Then he turned back to the man with the beard. “I’m sorry Noel, I really am, but you’re not on the list and there’s nothing I can do.”

  116. 117
    lonepilgrim on 15 Jul 2012 #

    I remain unconvinced that Blobby would enter Heaven for I strongly suspect that he is a
    Shoggoth .

  117. 118

    te-blobby li!

  118. 119
    Kit on 16 Jul 2012 #

    There’s a bunny coming up as late as 2000 that was based on The Manual…

  119. 120
    ciaran10 on 20 Jul 2012 #

    Atrocious in every aspect.Ugly Sleeve, awful video, even worse song.

    The time travel back to 1993 hasn’t been that bad.better than I thought it would be but this brings it right back down again.Luckily I had very little interest in the charts back then and my Amiga obsession was at its peak.Playing Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 meant there was little time for Blobby.thank god I missed the thing.

    Easily the worst number 1 of the 1990s outstripping that of the two ‘1’s awarded so far and at least 4 or 5 more to come but we wont get into that.

  120. 121
    Ben Cook on 10 Aug 2012 #

    This might be an awful song, but it’s a very well crafted. Just read the lyrics. They’re actually quite clever.

  121. 122
    punctum on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Had you actually read the comments section in full before posting your comment, you would have seen that the lyrics and their varying presumed meanings have been discussed fairly comprehensively.

    As for “a (sic) very well crafted,” pop music isn’t boat-building.

  122. 123
    New York, London, Paris, Munich... on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Long time lurker (adore Popular – great work Tom), first -and likely last – time poster who had to surface to thank Punctum for his latest posting. A great contribution, and just the kind of message which encourages others to raise their head over the parapet. Note to self…ensure you have studied previous entries meticulously before daring to dip your toe in the water.

    i guess poor old Ben is in detention this weekend for his poorly researched, sloppy piece of work.

    Really – what was the point?

    Lordy me.

    Back to the shadows…

  123. 124
    thefatgit on 10 Aug 2012 #

    Attention lurkers! There are no sharks in this pool.

    As someone who is an enthusiastic amateur on these comments threads, who is more than aware he is rubbing cyber-shoulders with esteemed professionals, I’ve never felt intimidated by the company on here. I would take it as a compliment if someone like Marcello nudged me in the right direction. The last thing anyone on here would like to see is for Popular to become some sort of elitist talking-shop. I think I speak for all when I say anyone’s opinion is welcome here.

  124. 125
    punctum on 12 Aug 2012 #

    Interesting that as soon as I “raise my head over the parapet” there pop up two “sharks” ready to take a shot at me.

    “anyone’s opinion is welcome here” – well tbh it’s not for you or me to say who or what is or isn’t welcome here since it’s not your or my blog but I would take it as read that “anyone’s opinion” includes mine. Is it really “elitist” to want anyone who comes on these comments boxes to have done their homework and pitch their comments accordingly? To have put a little bit of thought into their comment before posting it? Otherwise it becomes ProgTech pub chat; if that’s all you want, then fair enough, but it’s not my thing and I won’t hang around. I come here for higher quality chat than that.

    But of course I forget; “higher quality” implies elitism, but when you look at the bigger picture, life is “elitist” really; if it wasn’t, we’d all be getting paid the same salary. Sport and education are “elitist” because they are based on the premise that some people are better at things than others. Same with work; that’s why there are employers and employees.

    Circumstance is not the same thing as opportunity, of course, and the kind of elitism based on whether you were born to the right parents, went to the right school or college, made the right friends at university etc. is a terrible and vile thing. The thing about socialism is that its central aim OUGHT to be pulling everyone up into the “elite” rather than pushing everyone down to the bottom, and by “elite” I mean a certain level of wisdom and shared knowledge that everyone should have the opportunity to attain rather than be precluded from it because it’s “elitist” or “unfair” to others. My English education at school was ruined by putting everyone in a “mixed ability” class in our third year. What this meant in PRACTICE was that the “better” pupils mostly sat around bored, waiting for the “slower” ones to catch up, and so substandard work was produced as a result (the whole of my third year at school was the unfortunate result of an experiment with late seventies pseudo-socialism but I have more to say about that elsewhere). There are other ways of achieving it but it’s too much work for most people organising things to put into action.

  125. 126
    Men on 12 Aug 2012 #

    Pretentious gibberish is pretentious. You know nobody actively likes you punctum.

  126. 127
    enitharmon on 13 Aug 2012 #

    #126 Oi, mush, you leave my mate Marcello alone! Which midden did you crawl out of anyway?

  127. 128
    Mark G on 13 Aug 2012 #

    post reeks of public school, just sayin like…

  128. 129
    Matt DC on 13 Aug 2012 #

    Perhaps we could form the Freaky Trigger Free Academy where elite young minds will be able to take part in Advanced Mr Blobby Studies unencumbered by the rest?

  129. 130
    punctum on 13 Aug 2012 #

    #127 – hey thanks Rosie! :-) But the commenter shot himself anyway by making the elementary mistake of thinking “pretentious” is a pejorative (I’m guessing it was a “he”).

    #128 – I hope not; I went to grammar school, so I did.

    #129 – I’ll have to ask Lord Coe about the feasibility of that.

  130. 131
    Mark G on 13 Aug 2012 #

    — purely on the basis of 1) speaking for everybody in his own mind 2) perjorative use of ‘surname’ 3) haughty tone and an outlying 4) fakeLurkerNameUnknownPreviously

    (oh and assuming male is fair enough as he called himself “Men” which adds to my point 1 in fact.)

  131. 132
    Men on 13 Aug 2012 #

    #127. I’m usually found in Europe and Asia, feeding on insects and other small creatures.

    P.S I get confused with school terms in England, but I did not pay for my sub-standard education at my comprehensive. Hence why I’m making innane comments on music forums. Just to spice my life up a bit.

  132. 133
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 14 Aug 2012 #

    Only yesterday was reading about Morrissey’s insistence that his fellow Smiths never use his first name, so perhaps this is a clue

  133. 134
    punctum on 14 Aug 2012 #

    Stanley Dance used to moan about Max Harrison sending him letters with the signature “Harrison,” implying that he had been elevated to the House of Lords.

  134. 135
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Aug 2012 #

    “BOTH names, please!”

    “Er, I only use one.”

    “You don’t have a first name?”

    “No, I’m Lord Melbury so I simply sign myself Melbury…”

    #126 – Oh, and The Swede actively likes Marcello too, thank you kindly. Our occasional “Prisoner” jousting is a great joy, even if it bores everybody else daft. And just for the record, I also didn’t pay for my sub-standard comprehensive education, except with nearly my life on one or two occasions. It was the best finishing school in London. Once you were there, you were finished.

  135. 136
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 16 Aug 2012 #

    “BOTH names, please!”
    “They call me MISTER Blobby” (said in an angry Sidney Poitier voice)

    (sorry, this just popped into my head and amused me momentarily — I will now get my coat and PSYCHOLOGICAL HELP…)

  136. 137
    Billy Hicks on 22 Aug 2012 #

    As we await the entrance of 1994, some stats which may or may not be interesting around this time as to what was selling on what format, as gleamed from Music Week:

    Despite ‘Mr Vain’ setting a new record, the 7″ vinyl was still the dominant format for singles as we began 1994, with 39% of sales. A hefty 25% were on 12″ vinyl, with 19% on cassette tape and a mere 17″ for the new-fangled ‘compact disc’.

    For albums a different story, the CD flourishing with 65% of sales followed by the cassette with 32%. Vinyl accounted for just 4%…although this makes 101, so not sure what happened there. Perhaps it adds up fractionally.

  137. 138
    Billy Hicks on 22 Aug 2012 #

    That’s not a direct quote, by the way, just in case anyone thinks Music Week was genuinely calling the CD ‘new-fangled’…it’s just me being flippant and making a straight list more verbally interesting.

  138. 139
    wichita lineman on 22 Aug 2012 #

    Billy, I’m still trying to uncover which was the first digital only no.1 – no vinyl, no cassette. I was told it was R-bunny & J-bunny by an ‘authority’, then checked and saw 27,000 copies of the 7″ on gemm.

    Oh, and that is properly fascinating info for a stats-orientated ex public school boy* like me, thanks.

    *bursary

  139. 140
    Steve Mannion on 23 Aug 2012 #

    I would’ve thought the most likely candidate would be something neither remotely ‘clubby’ nor particularly ‘collectable’ (which rules out the pin-ups) nor representing some sort of throwback (as R&J were).

    Looking at the list, a #1 by some rumpled chancers six months from “now” strikes me as the most vinyl-unfriendly on those bases.

  140. 141
    hardtogethits on 23 Aug 2012 #

    Been away from this site for a while
    And another contibutor said “where have you been?” I was surprised anyone noticed
    But I’m here to say I’m back again
    Even if I don’t comment until the next number one.

  141. 142
    punctum on 23 Aug 2012 #

    To be honest, you may be in for a long wait.

  142. 143
    Billy Hicks on 23 Aug 2012 #

    Wichita – I know that the first #1 not available on vinyl in any form is a bunnied song in just over a year’s time from ‘now’ (eg Christmas ’93). The act’s initials, are, brilliantly, ‘CD’. But of course that would have a cassette version, as indeed would most singles for the next decade.

    The last number 1 to be available on cassette, again according to Music Week, is in August 2003 – from the artist ‘EJ’. So definitely from then onwards it’s digital all the way (CD and then download), but perhaps there’s a couple from before?

  143. 144
    Billy Hicks on 23 Aug 2012 #

    …not to be confused, of course, with the CD (and P) twisting and shouting very soon indeed. LOL OMG, etc.

  144. 145
    punctum on 24 Aug 2012 #

    To be honest, you may be in for a long wait..

  145. 146
    Lazarus on 26 Aug 2012 #

    We haven’t touched much on Blobby’s career since his split with Edmonds (did they cite ‘artistic differences?) such as his frequent but largely unwanted appearances as a guest on JIM DAVIDSON’S GENERATION GAME STARRING JIM DAVIDSON, but I was reminded recently that he had a minor role in a 2005 number one, I think it might even have been the year’s biggest hit.

  146. 147
    Mark G on 27 Aug 2012 #

    One of those “didn’t sell terribly well” items you find in a pound shop: “Mrs Blobby”

  147. 148
    wichita lineman on 28 Aug 2012 #

    Thanks Billy. 2003 eh? I knew about “CD” but not “EJ”. Any idea which was the first no.1 not to have ANY physical presence at all?

    By the way, OMG is also bunnied… but I think it’ll be a long old while before we get there.

  148. 149
    Mark G on 28 Aug 2012 #

    There was that Elvis’ reissue, which got to number one having sold out of all copies and was unavailable in shops. Does that count?

    (we’re not re-doing ‘re-entries’ are we? So them’s not bunnied, right?)

  149. 150
    punctum on 28 Aug 2012 #

    Dunno if Tom is doing any further entries on here (this one is eight weeks old), so it may be academic…

  150. 151
    Tommy Mack on 28 Aug 2012 #

    What an ignominous note to end on – surely not! He was just getting to my era too!

  151. 152
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 28 Aug 2012 #

    BLOBBY KILLED POP

  152. 153
    Tommy Mack on 28 Aug 2012 #

    “Pink spotty rubber tw*t” – Bob Mortimer

  153. 154
    Ed on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Given what’s been said here about Mr Blobby as the Raoul Vaneigem of the 1990s, it’s somehow appropriate.

    Fin du Blobby

    Fin du Popular

  154. 155
    Mark G on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Did we ever get to talk about “touch me touch me” ?

  155. 156
    Billy Hicks on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Wichita – I know far too much of this silly information :p First number 1 without ever getting a physical single release (in the UK at least, it got one overseas) was in 2008, a band who only have a one-word name so I’ll say the initals of the song – VLV. Of course for the last year or so that’s been the case for almost every single track in the top 40, let alone the #1s.

    So, erm…rumours of Popular’s death are greatly exaggerated, right? We are *just* on the cusp of entering into the beginning of ‘my era’ for pop music. Stopping just as I actually begin to have memories of these songs when new (stand up Blobby, Take That, 2 Unlimited etc) would be far too much of a shame. By 1999 I’d be writing massive entries for every #1…maybe perhaps in that case we should be grateful for small mercies, though, as the Steps/S Club 7 era of British pop was one I fell head over heels in love with as a nipper… :p

  156. 157
    tm on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Nothing wrong with Steps/s-club, Billy. At least you weren’t old enough to be into some of the dross that passed for credible music in the post-britpop era. Thank god post-university penuary saw most of my teenage record collection end up in MVE!

  157. 158
    wichita lineman on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Re 155: Go on, I dare you.

    Re 156: It’s not silly information and you know it, mister! Thanks for that. These are significant landmarks in popular culture.

    First hit single on 7″: Mario Lanza – Because You’re Mine (1952)
    First no.1 on 7″: Jo Stafford – You Belong To Me (1953)
    Last no.1 on 78 only: Frankie Laine – Woman In Love (1956)*
    Last no.1 on 78: Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown (1960)*
    First no.1 on 12″: ???
    First no.1 on cassette: ???
    First no.1 on 12″/CD only: Culture Beat – Mr Vain

    Can anyone fill those gaps?

    *I’m pretty sure on these, but I’m happy to be corrected.

  158. 159
    Mark G on 29 Aug 2012 #

    I own one of these: Last no.1 on 78: Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown (1960)*

    First number one on 12″, I’m thinking “I feel love”, although was it around at the time of the number oneing?

    Looking at the list, it’s quite possibly “Float On” the Floaters, that was certainly out ‘at-the-time’

    Cassette-wise, I’m looking at “Relax” Frankie..

  159. 160
    Jimmy the Swede on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Aww, Tom. Don’t split up the family, Massa!!

  160. 161
    wichita lineman on 29 Aug 2012 #

    Re 159: I was thinking I Feel Love, but I don’t remember a 12″. There only appear to be American 1977 12″s around. So, Float On looks like the unlikely winner. Frankie… makes sense. And I remember you said you had the 78 of Cathy’s Clown, you lucky tyke.

    I’m sure Tom’s just working out what to say about the anodyne bleat he’s got coming up next…

  161. 162
    hardtogethits on 29 Aug 2012 #

    #141: self referential, I know, but whatever happened to cryptic prompting through use of lyrics?

    First cassette no 1. I’d set the bar at John Lennon’s “Woman” in 1981.

  162. 163
    swanstep on 29 Aug 2012 #

    @hardtogethits, 162. Well, I used to do the occasional lyric prompt but most of the chart entries in 1994-1995 are completely new to me (remember that Take That had very little success outside the UK) so that’s not an option.

  163. 164
    wichita lineman on 30 Aug 2012 #

    Re 162: Ah… right. I honestly can’t remember much about it, beyond an overwhelming sense of “weedy”.

    Woman? Wow. No memory of this either. I like the way they haven’t decided what to call the format yet.

  164. 165
    Lazarus on 30 Aug 2012 #

    ‘Cassingle’ was in use for a while wasn’t it?

    #162 – Owen to its short title (and, I would suggest, forgettable lyrics) there’s not too much we can do with the next one.

  165. 166
    weej on 31 Aug 2012 #

    Tom. We’re here again. I tell you, we’re here again.
    Where have you been? (Where have you been?)

  166. 167
    punctum on 31 Aug 2012 #

    When he started Popular, Tom made it pretty clear that he was only going to keep doing it for as long as he could be bothered to do it. Myself, I like the idea of pop music ending with Mr Blobby, which in a lot of senses it did. Given the vast amount of junk coming after it, with only the odd gem scattered hither and thither, I really cannot blame him for not wanting to carry on (if indeed that is how he feels, but I am not Tom so can only guess).

  167. 168
    hardtogethits on 31 Aug 2012 #

    #166 vs #141.

    #167. Fair enough. It would be nice to know, though, if your guess is right, and I too think it would be an appropriate cut-off point. More importantly, for those of us who don’t know Tom,, it would be reassuring to know that Tom is ok and that ill-health or personal circumstances or whatever else have not brought it all to a halt. After a while, you begin to wonder.

  168. 169
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 31 Aug 2012 #

    Tom’s in France with his family. I imagine he will return refreshed and excited at what’s to come. ¡Blobi no pasarán!”

  169. 170
    flahr on 1 Sep 2012 #

    liberté, égalité, blobbé

  170. 171
    flahr on 1 Sep 2012 #

    p.s. “vast amount of junk” PSHAW PSHAW OLD MAN

    we still haven’t reached the best song ever yet, among other things

  171. 172
    Tommy Mack on 1 Sep 2012 #

    That said, I can’t remember if many of the singles I liked actually made it to #1.

  172. 173
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Sep 2012 #

    From a latterday great entertainer (Blobby), we must now say goodbye to one of yesteryear. Max Bygraves alas ain’t wot he used to be. RIP.

  173. 174
    thefatgit on 1 Sep 2012 #

    Blobbyblobbyblobbyblobbyblobbyblobbyblobby…by the sea.

  174. 175
    lonepilgrim on 2 Sep 2012 #

    Blobbito ergo sum

  175. 176
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Sep 2012 #

    #175 – You certainly couldn’t apply that maxim to Bygraves now!

    God, I’m good!

  176. 177
    punctum on 2 Sep 2012 #

    #171: not “OLD MAN” but “HONEST MAN.”

  177. 178
    punctum on 2 Sep 2012 #

    and if not faking passion for a bunch of overhyped crap based on record company marketing strategies rather than genuine popularity, or alleged talent show side-projects, makes me old then I’m happy to be such. Also I mentioned “the odd gem,” so don’t presume that I’m excluding “the best song ever yet” whatever that is or means.

  178. 179
    speedwell54 on 2 Sep 2012 #

    Re Wichita lineman, Mark G, hardtogethits. The first No1 cassette single; I think ‘Woman” is a good call. I had no recollection of this. I was aware of Bowie releasing “Scary Monsters” on c-s (a matter of weeks before “Woman” as it happens) and I thought he was pretty much leading the way. Although this was nowhere near making number one my second guess for this feat was “Let’s Dance”.

    My first guess was Tubeway Army “Are ‘Friends” Electric?” I cannot find evidence of the release date (hence I’ll go with “Woman”) It was around at the latest in 1981, it has a flip top cigarette type box, a bit like the Bow Wow Wow c-s. Music Master Catalogue 1988 doesn’t list “Woman” or “AFE” but does note Bowie. The Great Rock Discography- Martin C Strong, does list “Woman” – and “Watching the Wheels”! – and gives the c-s for “AFE” to the US release only. I’m wondering if this is the version that found it’s way over here?

    The Guinness Book Of Hit Singles – 8th Edition, notes in the introduction; over the period 1989-1990, single format sales percentages have changed significantly. 7″ falls from 67% to 49%, 12″ increases from 29% to 31%, cds 4% to 10% and c-s from 0.2% to over 10%. From my memory and collection it was mid to late 1987 when they were becoming common, a good SIX years after “Woman”. Respectable, Who’s That Girl?, Always On My Mind to name but a few. Obviously not too many people actually bought them until a couple of years later.

    Last No1 cassette single- I’ll go “Bring Me To Life”- Evanescence. Anyone?

  179. 180
    wichita lineman on 5 Sep 2012 #

    Speedwell – great stuff, cheers. Evanescence as the last bastion of non-digital formats, how about that. It was a weird record that felt like either a throwback or the start of some goth revival at the time. I still don’t really know what it was – Capital Radio-friendly Emo? But that’s a conversation for another time, maybe in 2024.

  180. 181
    punctum on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Bow Wow Wow’s “Your Cassette Pet” – wasn’t that late 1980?

  181. 182
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Certainly says 1980 on the label on the cassette itself — but it’s more a “mini-LP:” than a “cassette-single”, isn’t it? Was there a single released off it? What form did that take (if any)?

    (There was a monthly “pop magazine” round this date released in the form of a cassette, also — with songs and interviews. Maybe it was called SFX? I had the first two issues — possibly I still do, but I couldn’t find them just now. It was pretty terrible, and didn’t last for many more than the third, I don’t think. Reasonably sure I remember the date on that as being 1981.)

  182. 183
    thefatgit on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Wiki is no help regarding “Your Cassette Pet”. It’s listed both as single and LP in Bow Wow Wow’s discography. What might be helpful is that Wiki states “C30 C60 C90 Go!” was released in July 1980 and YCP was released in December, taking into account the usual precautions using Wiki as a source.

  183. 184
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Google Image Search of “C30 C60 C90 Go!” only throws up 7″s, as far as I can see (as well as pictures of actual C30s, C60s and C90s). I feel that if it had existed as cassette someone would have posted a photo of their prized possession somewhere.

    I only looked a few pages in, mind you.

  184. 185
    punctum on 6 Sep 2012 #

    I bought YCP and it was definitely in the singles section (and listed in the singles chart). Still have my copy as well innit.

  185. 186
    thefatgit on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Discogs offers up Cat# TC-EMI 5088 cassingle version of “C30 C60 C90 Go!”.

    You get plenty of bang for yer buck on YCP. 8 songs!

  186. 187
    Mark G on 6 Sep 2012 #

    9 songs, in fact, there was an untitled instrumental.

    I can confirm there was a cassette version of C30-etc. (Did anybody bother with C30s? I guess it scanned better than C120 anyway).

    I guess the first 12″ single hit can be accepted as being “Substitute” the Who, right?

  187. 188
    punctum on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Not sure if that was the first 12″-only hit (“Lay All Your Love On Me”?).

  188. 189
    speedwell54 on 6 Sep 2012 #

    Bow Wow Wow and “Your Cassette Pet” was exclusively on cassette (unlike their other singles) and the 8 song/nine tracks, did make the singles chart. I’m not up on the rules -then or now- but I would have thought time wise it should have been an album. Hardtogethits -is that in your area of knowledge?

    Bob MacDonald wrote a short bio of BWW in ’84 saying Malcolm McLaren (their manager,producer and co-writer) was using his “adept publicity skills” in releasing them on this young persons format,(starting with “C30… “), and was also stirring it a bit with the record industry. This was at a time when you couldn’t so much as look at a cassette without been accused of murder; home taping is killing music and all that. Don’t know if he won the battle, EMI weren’t overly chuffed and “were reluctant to market or advertise it” No34 isn’t really a win.

    Re 182 “a tanned and rested etc” Louis Quartorze from YCP was released as a single in ’82, a follow up to “I Want Candy”. It, and they didn’t trouble the top 40 again.

  189. 190
    Mark G on 7 Sep 2012 #

    #188 Not ‘only’ no, there was definitely a seven-inch of Substitute with both b-side tracks

  190. 191
    wichita lineman on 7 Sep 2012 #

    Backtracking a bit… my initial question was which were the first and last cassette no.1s. Woman, for such an un-futuristic single, was really ahead of the game.

    I remember an issue of Sounds from summer 1980 which had a cassette on the cover and a line along the likes of “will Malcy get his fingers burnt again?”. I remember wondering whether you were meant meant to prononounce MM’s nickname “mal-see” or “mal-kee”.

    I remember SFX very well. Soft Cell, Madness, and a rare Dolly Mixture interview.

  191. 192
    Mark G on 7 Sep 2012 #

    Still got ’em all in the loft, the HolgerCzukay ‘presentation’ is a higlight

  192. 193
    hardtogethits on 8 Sep 2012 #

    #189. I’m not one to bluff, and I’m afraid I just don’t know why it was considered a single and not an album. I have a couple of ideas of possible explanations, but would want to check them out before sharing them.

    What I can say conclusively is that if the cassette-only release had been considered an album, it would not have qualified for the album charts!

  193. 194
    wichita lineman on 8 Sep 2012 #

    Was it single price? I seem to remember it being ‘value for money’.

  194. 195
    hardtogethits on 8 Sep 2012 #

    #194. Absolutely, dealer price would be my top guess – and it retailed at £1.99.

  195. 196
    hardtogethits on 8 Sep 2012 #

    Done a bit of research. Music Week in 1980 explained the presence of the BowWowWow single in the chart on the grounds that that the BPI considered it fell in line with the expectations of a 12 inch single. I am still not quite sure whether this means number of tracks, aggregate length, or purely price -but it really does look like the latter.

    There’s a definite sense that EMI were trying to give the BPI something to make a decision about, but it’s not altogether clear why (to me).

    FWIW, on its chart debut the eight track cassette was listed in Music Week as “Louis Quartorze” (sic).

  196. 197
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Sep 2012 #

    PAGING WICHITA!!

    Erithian and the Swede will be at Welling United’s ground this coming Saturday (15th) for the uncontested match of the day, Erith and Belvedere v Whyteleaf. Will the Lineman also be on the line? It would be great to see you.

  197. 198
    wichita lineman on 9 Sep 2012 #

    Sounds good to me… though as Leafe lost at home to the mighty Cray Valley Paper Mills yesterday, I sense a home win is inevitable.

  198. 199
    speedwell54 on 9 Sep 2012 #

    ..back to music. re 196 hardtogethits. Price fits. I wonder if they listed as “Louise Quartorze” to try and bolster their decision to call it a single. I don’t know, but I’m guessing “Your Cassette Pet” wasn’t one of the 8/9 tracks and therefore it would be pretty unusual to refer to a single in that way.

    The extra “r” is in Music Master too, hence 189.

  199. 200
    Jimmy the Swede on 9 Sep 2012 #

    ..back to footy. That’s great, Lino. See you in the ground. You’ve already met Erithian, I think. I’ll be the fat drunken bloke with him in the Mucky Sue t-shirt. Later.

  200. 201
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Sep 2012 #

    Blobby, Blobby, Blobby!!

    Murray, Murray, Murray!!

    And a big well done to Andy for finally lifting a Slam. It was the one he was always going to win first, predicted Popular’s self-appointed tennis correspondent, The Swede. And now the duck’s broken, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t bag another three or four. The guy has got no personality at all but he can ‘alf play tennis!!

  201. 202
    punctum on 11 Sep 2012 #

    Don’t know him personally so I don’t know whether he has any personality or not but hey if I wanted no personalities I’d watch Daybreak TV. GAUN YIR’SELF ANDY!

  202. 203
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Sep 2012 #

    The Swede is thus assuming that yon punctum knows personally the folk on Daybreak TV! If he means Eamonn Holmes, he’s absoulutely right. As for young Mr Murray, he very nearly broke into a smile during one post-match interview but couldn’t quite do it. He’ll need to learn to stop mumbling, though, as he’ll be going round to Brenda’s gaff shortly to pick up a bun. And Brenda can’t be doing with mumblers!

  203. 204
    punctum on 11 Sep 2012 #

    prince charles to thread

  204. 205
    Jimmy the Swede on 11 Sep 2012 #

    and that nincompoop (Sir) Trevor Brooking!

  205. 206
    Erithian on 14 Sep 2012 #

    so Lino (and if anybody else wants to boost our attendance I won’t stop you) – Park View Road, Welling, 3pm tomorrow, be there or be square.

  206. 207
    wichita lineman on 14 Sep 2012 #

    Square! I’ve got a date in Hertford. Three points in the bag for the Deres I reckon. Look out for Paul Scott – Leafe’s Billy Ocean lookalike and ‘lone wolf’ who pops back every few years to score a hat trick, lose form, then disappear again.

  207. 208
    Erithian on 14 Sep 2012 #

    Billy Ocean circa ’77 or now?

  208. 209
    Jimmy the Swede on 14 Sep 2012 #

    That’s a pity, Lino. Maybe we can do something when the Deres go to your place.

  209. 210
    Jimmy the Swede on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Lineman – You should have gone to the game. Leafe won 2-1. The return game is at the end of the season in April. Let’s be ‘aving you!

  210. 211
    Mark G on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Presumably they had 2 linemen already..

    (coat, I know..)

  211. 212
    Erithian on 25 Apr 2013 #

    PAGING WICHITA AGAIN! – The return match is tonight, Whyteleafe v Erith & Belvedere: see you there Lino? Squeaky bum time sees Deres two points ahead of VCD Athletic with three games to go, the abovementioned September result being one of only two league defeats so far this season. Leafe are a further 15 points behind in 4th but always dangerous. Also tonight VCD are visiting Bowie’s old haunts at Beckenham (though I’ll wager the Dame never took in a match at Eden Park Avenue).

  212. 213
    wichita lineman on 25 Apr 2013 #

    Sorry I’ll be in Yorkshire. But good luck to the ‘Deres. It would be great to see them back in the Isthmian.

  213. 214
    Erithian on 25 Apr 2013 #

    Thanks, appreciated. According to people who know way more than I do about feeder leagues, we and VCD are probably both going up, but you’re never quite sure.

  214. 215
    Erithian on 1 May 2013 #

    You’ll be pleased to know the Deres clinched the Kent League title last night. We only drew on Saturday, so went into the final pair of games behind on goal difference, needing either a better result than VCD or to beat Greenwich by five more goals than VCD beat Lordswood. And while we hammered Greenwich 7-1, VCD were being held to an unexpected goalless draw – cue the end of 31 years of hurt.

  215. 216
    Patrick Mexico on 24 Sep 2014 #

    Re 151: He was also just getting to MY era, so to speak! This is the first Popular entry I ever read, and my emotions quickly shifted from “This is MY kind of town” to “Oh shit! I completely derailed this through unintentional un-divine intervention!” But two months later, Tom came through a river of pink and yellow gunge made from the thickener in fruit pies (true story, ask Noel Edmonds) and came out smelling of roses on the other side.

    Which sadly isn’t the case with EveryNowSong (a Twitter page posting the video for every Now! That’s What I Call Music track) – does anyone know why the user pulled the plug on that? They got as far as NOW 11..

  216. 217

    This song is the definition of why the EU won’t ever take us back.

  217. 218

    At least the fears of #216 have been completely eased! You’re the one for me, Patreon.

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