Sep 12

Popular ’93

Popular84 comments • 2,370 views

The year that broke Popular! (nearly)

I gave every song a mark out of 10, now you can say which you’d have given 6 or more to, and reminisce about the year in general, post lists, discuss the merits of Back To The Planet, etc etc.

Which Of These 1993 Number Ones Are Any Good At All?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 51
    Mutley on 21 Sep 2012 #

    @44: Another Paul Ryan wrote a UK #1 (although not in this chart) called Eloise and recorded it with his twin brother, Barry in 1968, and it was later covered by the The Damned. Unfortunately, that Paul passed away in 1992.

  2. 52
    thefatgit on 21 Sep 2012 #

    #46 Ed, I am sure if you took the title of the song at face value alone, you could imagine the video that you described. However, Genesis P. Orridge “wrote” (for he was quoting pieces of text from a letter from Blaster Al Ackerman) “Hamburger Lady” about a victim of an horrific car crash.

    I’d still love Miley to cover it though!

    (edit: reading back Ed, I guess you knew that already!)

  3. 53
    Ed on 21 Sep 2012 #

    @44 Also, if I were a top Democratic strategist, I would point out that he chose to name bands from Australia and the UK, and ask: why does Paul Ryan hate America?

    And what’s wrong with ZZ Top?

  4. 54
    Steve Mannion on 21 Sep 2012 #

    A lot less since they recently covered DJ DMD ft. Lil Keke & Fat Pat’s ’25 Lighters’

  5. 55
    Cumbrian on 21 Sep 2012 #

    And like good Republicans they did it for a film based around the military (Battleship) before selling it off for commercials (Jeremiah Weed).

  6. 56
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 21 Sep 2012 #

    The internet does seem to be saying ZZTop are Republican in bent: or at least that Republicans love the noise they make and feel they must be of the same flesh. Is there any less ambiguous evidence?

    I ask partly because one of their classic LPs is called “Deguello”, which is a bit like calling it “Remember the Alamo — which we LOST haha and everyone died horribly!” So — once upon a time at least — they had a fairly sardonic take on routine US military attitudinising.

  7. 57
    Cumbrian on 21 Sep 2012 #

    mmm. Dunno. I was being a bit flippant to be honest – and trying to tie it into the tangential discussion of Paul Ryan and that he should have mentioned them (as Ed pointed out at 53). I had no real idea of their politics. If I’d had to take a guess, based on the members of ZZ Top’s demographics and the fact that they’re Texan (? – or at least Southern), I’d have probably said that they were Republican – but using such generalisations is perilous.

  8. 58
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 21 Sep 2012 #

    Related: what remains of Lyrnyrd Skynyrd — not actually that much — have apparently just recently apologised for using the Confederate flag on-stage, and promised not to any longer.

    (Disclaimer: I read this on the internet very recently, but can’t remember where.)

  9. 59
    Cumbrian on 21 Sep 2012 #

    Not much of Skynyrd has remained since October 20th 1977.

    Looking it up on Google – there’s a small article from the Wall Street Journal talking about it.

  10. 60
    lonepilgrim on 21 Sep 2012 #

    didn’t one of ZZ Top study with Pierre Boulez in Paris for a while?
    Fraternising with cheese-eating surrender mionkeys doesn’t sound like typical Republican behaviour

  11. 61
    thefatgit on 21 Sep 2012 #

    Look! Nicki Minaj! Just look at what you’re (allegedly) aligning youself with!

  12. 62
    Steve Mannion on 21 Sep 2012 #

    The clue is in the name re ZZ Top – advocates of an automonous socialist democracy from the bottom up, aiming to turn the capitalist system upside down. Thereon all would wear shades and long beards (real or not) and drive those rad purple cars to symbolise equality.

    However, the plot thickens: http://www.freakingnews.com/pictures/7000/ZZ-Top-7337.jpg

  13. 63
    Ed on 22 Sep 2012 #

    @58 Yes, you’re right about Skynyrd: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-lynyrd-skynrd-denounces-confederate-flag-angering-some-fans-20120920,0,4023988.story

    Good for them. Or for him, anyway. I am a bit surprised, because I thought that the modern-day Skynyrd was just Tea Party by numbers. (Eg this: http://www.metrolyrics.com/that-aint-my-america-lyrics-lynyrd-skynyrd.html, which really is the Fox News anthem. Compare that to the sharpness of pre-20/10/77 Skynyrd, not least in the mighty, and mightily misunderstood, ‘Sweet Home Alabama’: http://www.lyricsfreak.com/l/lynyrd+skynyrd/sweet+home+alabama_20086081.html)

    As for ZZ Top, I know nothing about their politics, but they are certainly not just rednecks. Billy Gibbons is a trustee of the Houston museum of contemporary art, and a great collector himself. I’d not heard about the studying with Boulez, but I guess it’s not impossible. “Le Tush Sans Maitre”, anyone? And Wikipedia tells me the new album is influenced by DJ Screw.

    And Nicki Minaj: I think the consensus now is that she was just putting it on about Romney, in character. I mean, she’s not really Eminem’s mum either, you know

  14. 64
    enitharmon on 22 Sep 2012 #

    @ 58 Not much of Skynyrd has remained since October 20th 1977.

    No, I think predators will have accounted for anything left unburnt.

  15. 65
    DV on 22 Sep 2012 #

    Thinking back, this must be the year when I stopped engaging with the mainstream charts. From here on in the indie music and dance music are my pop music.

  16. 66
    Mark M on 23 Sep 2012 #

    Lots and lots of tremendous hip hop on those end-of-year lists – I think 1993 was better in retrospect than I remember it being at the time.

    Re 9: Madder Rose were a bit dull – I think I’ve still got their album for some reason. Swim (aka Madder Rose) is likable enough – bears some resemblance to a more indie take on Edie Brickell’s What I Am – but I’m baffled that it ended up so much higher than say, Cannonball, on the Peel list. And I can’t remember anything about their other songs at all.

    Also, what the hell are M People doing on the Select list?

  17. 67
    weej on 24 Sep 2012 #

    Madder Rose were one of the first bands I really got into when I was really exploring the world of music for the first time. First album is fairly interesting alt-indie, nothing too special but not bad either, second album (Bring It Down) is easily their best – it has a woozy, sleepy heroin high feel to it, but still launches into jagged paranoid rock every now again, so never gets boring – and the singer’s voice is just amazing. Then they joined the great trip-hop exodus of the late 90s and churned out a couple of CDs of the kind Texas & EBTG were making.

  18. 68
    swanstep on 24 Sep 2012 #

    Thinking over again what I was listening to in 1993, one thing that hasn’t come up here is stuff like The Lemonheads, the Juliana Hatfield Three, Matthew Sweet. There was a lot of attempted hype over this stuff both for the cutie-pie-ness of the lead singers as well as more generally for being a sweeter indie alternative to the new grunge/rock mainstream. It never really took off, mostly because the records weren’t that great, and minor problems like Hatfield not being able to sing for nuts live. Anyhow, I still have those albums, Become Who You Are, Altered Beast, It’s a Shame About Ray in my collection and the former in particular is one of the sounds of 1993/early 1994 to me… Notwithstanding their occasionally lumpen lyrics, the four or five best tracks on that record still seem fun to me. (Can’t recommend much on youtube – mainly a few characteristically poor live performances seem to be there, not even original videos in most cases.)

    One other big indie-ish thing at the time in the US that hasn’t appeared on any lists here so far is Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville. I didn’t really pay attention to it until 1994 but it was definitely the more cred. Chicago alternative to Smashing Pumpkins in 1993. Anyhow, I’ve listened to Exile a lot over the years since, whereas the Hatfield/Dando/Sweet pop-indie stuff has only warranted very occasional ear-peeks back.

  19. 69
    Rory on 24 Sep 2012 #

    @68 The records weren’t that great?!? Matthew Sweet’s Girlfriend is a drop-dead classic. Altered Beast suffered from follow-up syndrome, and I don’t listen to it at all nowadays, but he got his mojo back with 100% Fun, Blue Sky on Mars and especially In Reverse.

    But a good point. I never got into the Lemonheads, but tried with Juliana Hatfield and Liz Phair – the Phair album of choice for me was Whitechocolatespaceegg, which is still a few Popular years off. Also worth mentioning here is Aimee Mann’s reinvention (1993′s Whatever, although 1995′s I’m With Stupid is my favourite).

  20. 70
    Cumbrian on 24 Sep 2012 #

    #66. Weren’t M-People pretty highly regarded at the time – at least critically? Won a Mercury (if that is worth anything) and people seemed to think Elegant Slumming was good (and to a lesser extent Bizarre Fruit). I think they might have got drowned in the upcoming wave of retro-guitar bands that seemed to have very little space for what M-People were doing. I’m no great fan but think they were alright (I think I lost patience with the ubiquity of Search For The Hero – and lost everything with the overkill of Heather Small’s Proud on the BBC coverage of some Olympics or other – Sydney possibly).

  21. 71
    Tom on 24 Sep 2012 #

    Exile was huge in the music press so I’m very surprised it hasn’t cropped up on the lists (not that I’ve clicked back to check). Rightly huge, though I only learned that a lot later. I was very disenchanted w/American indie at this point, a disenchantment which became a default after a bit, and I think the only records I bought in that category this year were by ex-Pixies.

  22. 72
    Tom on 24 Sep 2012 #

    #70 M-People had some good singles (“Renaissance”, “One Night In Heaven”, “Sight For Sore Eyes”), some which outstayed their welcome (“Moving On Up”), an awful lot I can’t remember at all, and “Search For The Hero” which grrr arrgh.

    Their Mercury win caused a certain amount of music press (and fan) outrage, mostly along the now very familiar lines of “Of course I don’t care about the Mercury BUT….”

  23. 73
    thefatgit on 24 Sep 2012 #

    “Proud” was one of those songs that would be played over Lenny Henry dishing out mosquito nets to families in some village in Mali for Comic Relief, or Darren Day spreading good cheer in a children’s ward for Children In Need. If I heard it now, it would sound exactly like nagging.

  24. 74
    Alan not logged in on 24 Sep 2012 #

    Proud would be the song used in Sarah Hadland’s Heather M People impression on Miranda/Miranda Hart’s Joke Shop. pop fact.

    Also clearly an excuse to pile in on how funny/unfunny a telly show is – cos that’s always entertaining.

  25. 75
    swanstep on 24 Sep 2012 #

    @Rory, 69. I agree that Girlfriend (with one of the all-time great covers I must say) is better than Altered Beast, but AB was the 1993 cd so I thought I should stick to that. That said, neither Girlfriend nor 100% Fun struck me as solid all the way through (so I wouldn’t myself describe them as classics). Mann and Phair both much better for that in my view (I prefer Exile to SpaceEgg though), although I wasn’t quite switched on to them until 1994 IIRC.

    1994 felt v. exciting and surprising to me at the time – things like Weezer and the Pulp Fiction s/track and The Downward Spiral and Aphex Twin’s double cd and, ahem, one ginormous bunnied record seemed to emerge out of nowhere and become social cornerstones almost overnight!

  26. 76
    Rory on 24 Sep 2012 #

    @75 I was just looking at what lies ahead for Popular in 1994 and thinking how nonplussed I am by it… I’m intrigued to wonder what your ginormous bunnied record is.

  27. 77
    Cumbrian on 24 Sep 2012 #

    #72 Yep, when I think of M-People I think of those early singles and the later stuff that set my teeth on edge. No middle ground really. “Moving On Up” sounds like something entirely designed to live forever at aerobics classes.

  28. 78
    swanstep on 24 Sep 2012 #

    @Rory, 76. Oh, I meant the Wets’ Troggs cover: 4 Weddings was a surprise massive hit in the US. (Checking now, the song didn’t do well chart-wise in the US but it certainly felt like it was all over MTV and everywhere else.)

  29. 79
    Rory on 24 Sep 2012 #

    Oh, right, I hadn’t registered that one. (Or the dates… three months? Crikey. Will shut up now.)

  30. 80
    Brendan on 1 Oct 2012 #

    I’ve done all the year-end votes now and I can confirm that, for me, this was easily the worst so far, especially as the previous years in the 90s had produced 10,10 and 7 no 1s that I considered worthy of a 6 or more. Being that there were only 2 in this year it was a truly shocking list of number 1s which I guess I was too busy enjoying listening to great music elsewhere to care about at the time.

  31. 81
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  32. 82
    Tom on 5 Jul 2013 #

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  33. 83
    Steve Mannion on 5 Jul 2013 #

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  34. 84
    Mark G on 5 Jul 2013 #

    Does anyone else have suggestions as to what to rename the days of the working week?

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