Sep 12

Popular ’93

Popular85 comments • 3,387 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. 1
    Mark G on 18 Sep 2012 #

    This “Popular” poll needs to be under the “Popular” tab

  2. 2
    old man sukrat grrr on 18 Sep 2012 #

    my heart says blobby but my fingers say nobby

  3. 3
    thefatgit on 18 Sep 2012 #

    Voted for 10…must be getting soft!

  4. 4
    lonepilgrim on 18 Sep 2012 #

    I struggled to vote for four – which is as much a reflection on my investment in 1993 chart music as the songs themselves, although they don’t seem a vintage bunch.

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 18 Sep 2012 #

    Here’s the top fifty singles for 1993 as voted by The Face (according to http://www.rocklist.net/)

    1. The Pharcyde – Passin’ Me By
    2. Bjork – Venus as A Boy
    3. Ice Cube – It Was A Good Day
    4. Naughty By Nature – Hip Hop Hooray
    5. Robin S – Show Me Love
    6. Onyx – Slam
    7. Paul Weller – Wild Wood
    8. Sub SubAin’t No Love
    9. Belly – Feed The Tree
    10. Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box
    11. One Dove – White Love
    12. Breeders – Cannonball
    13. Jamiroquai – Too Young to Die
    14. Jamiroquai – Blow My Mind
    15. David Bowie – Jump They Say
    16. New Order – Regret
    17. St Etienne – Hobart Paving
    18. Suede – Animal Nitrate
    19. Espiritu – Los Americanos
    20. Dr Dre – Ain’t Nothing But A G Thing
    21. Moby – Move
    22. Pet Shop Boys – Go West
    23. Gabrielle – Dreams
    24. M People – Moving On Up
    25. Future Sound Of London – Cascade
    26. Snoop Doggy Dogg – What’s My Name
    27. Oui 3 – For What It’s Worth
    28. Pet Shop Boys – Can You Forgive Her
    29. Mariah Carey – Dream Lover
    30. Rage Against The Machine – Bullet In The Head
    31. D:Ream – U R The Best Thing
    32. M People – How Can I Love You More
    33. SWV – I’m So Into You
    34. Juliet Roberts – Caught In The Middle
    35. Smashing Pumpkins – Today
    36. Paul Weller – Sunflower
    37. Cypress Hill – Insane In The Membrane
    38. Urban Cookie Collective – The Key, The Secret
    39. Radiohead – Creep
    40. Terence Trent D’Arby – Delicate
    41. Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch
    42. Chaka Demus & Pliers – Tease Me
    43. Shaggy – Oh Carolina
    44. The The – Slow Emotion Replay
    45. Lemonheads – It’s About Time
    46. Prince – Peach
    47. Janet Jackson – That’s The Way Love Goes
    48. Secret Knowledge – Sugar Daddy
    49. One Dove – Transient Truth
    50. Disco Evangelists – De Niro

  6. 6
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Sep 2012 #

    And the John Peel Festive Fifty (from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/johnpeel/festive50s/1990s/1993/)

    1. Chumbawamba & Credit To The Nation – Enough Is Enough
    2. Madder Rose – Swim
    3. Huggy Bear – Her Jazz
    4. PJ Harvey – Rid Of Me
    5. Stereolab – French Disco
    6. Voodoo Queens – Supermodel Superficial
    7. Sebadoh – Soul & Fire
    8. Breeders – Cannonball
    9. Palace Brothers – Ohio River Boat Song
    10. Eggs – Government Administrator
    11. The Fall – Why Are People Grudgeful
    12. Credit To The Nation & Chumbawamba – Hear No Bullshit
    13. New Order – Regret
    14. Pulp – Razzamatazz
    15. PJ Harvey – 50ft Queenie
    16. New Bad Things – You Suck
    17. Cornershop – England’s Dreaming
    18. PJ Harvey – Wang Dang Doodle
    19. The Fall – Lost In Music
    20. The Fall – Glam Racket
    21. Senser – Eject
    22. The Fall – I’m Going To Spain
    23. Archers Of Loaf – Web In Front
    24. Credit To The Nation – Call It What You Want
    25. Hole – Olympia
    26. The Fall – Service
    27. Tindersticks – Raindrops
    28. Chumbawamba – Timebomb
    29. The Fall – Ladybird (Green Grass)
    30. Tindersticks – Marbles
    31. Radiohead – Creep
    32. PJ Harvey – Naked Cousin
    33. Heavenly – At A Girl
    34. J Church – Good Judge Of Character
    35. Boo Radleys – Barney & Me
    36. Madder Rose – Beautiful John
    37. Tindersticks – City Sickness
    38. Elastica – Stutter
    39. Stereolab – Jenny Ondioline
    40. Nirvana – Scentless Apprentice
    41. The Fall – A Past Gone Mad
    42. Dinosaur Jr – Get Me
    43. The Fall – Behind The Counter
    44. Madder Rose – Lights Go Down
    45. Nirvana – Rape Me
    46. Pulp – Lipgloss
    47. Hole – Beautiful Son
    48. The Fall – It’s A Curse
    49. Transglobal Underground – Syrius B
    50. The Fall – War

  7. 7
    Jim5et on 18 Sep 2012 #

    Fucking hell, Voodoo Queens made the top 10?

  8. 8
    DV on 18 Sep 2012 #

    I think this may have been one of those years where pop music had its ass handed to it by indie, dance music, and that lot. Pretty thin selection of number ones, really apart from the awesome 2-Unlimited, with Ace of Bass just about making up the numbers.

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 19 Sep 2012 #

    It’s clearly the year I bailed out of listening to John Peel. French Disko, Cannonball and Her Jazz I’d expect to see in there, even the Voodoo Queens, but I don’t think I ever heard a note by Madder Rose, and where the heck did the surge in votes for Chumbawumba suddenly come from?

    Who are Eggs? I should know, I wasn’t yet 30. Frightening.

    I’ll rest easy in the knowledge the Festive 50 could be manipulated – the Membranes featured in the Top 10 one year and Peel mentioned the rather large number of votes it got with a Blackpool postmark.

    The Face’s early support for Jamiroquai and M People aside, that list’s proof that it was a far from stinky year.

    But even though they’re really different lists, there’s an almost total lack of rave/hardcore in both – I’m not sure where I’d look for a handy Top 20 for ’93… any suggestions? More than any year before, there was no agreed centre-ground for the music press in 1993 (= why B**tp*p had to happen).

    Here a bunch of things that didn’t make it onto the Popular, Fest 50 or Face lists on a David Holmes Essential Mix from December ’93:


  10. 10
    Tom on 19 Sep 2012 #

    “Government Administrator” by Eggs is one of the best things on there. or at least it is in memory – lost Gen X classic, dripping with contempt for THE MAN and his SO CALLED JOBS. It gets loud then it gets quiet! etc etc.

    Dare I play it again? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMXHIpQGzj0

    (I dared. Still good!)

  11. 11
    swanstep on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Wow, I voted for only 4 (easily my lowest total ever I’d say), moreover three of the four I voted for are in the bottom 6 in the poll so far. My tastes no longer track Popular’s at all! Let’s hope this is a temporary blip.

  12. 12
    Rory on 19 Sep 2012 #

    I had to go back through the entries to check what scores I’ve given things over the past 10 months, and surprised myself by finding eight with 6 or more. So I’ve voted for those: “No Limit”, Shaggy, “Five Live”, Ace of Base, “Dreams”, Freddie, “Mr Vain” and “Boom!”. But of those, I think only Freddie and “Boom!” are tracks I would return to, so my sixes must have been influenced by how infrequently we were rating entries. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.

    And because I know you’re all breathlessly waiting for the Australian number ones of 1993…

    Sonia Dada – “You Don’t Treat Me No Good” – 4 weeks
    Ugly Kid Joe – “Cat’s in the Cradle” – 1 week
    Lenny Kravitz – “Are You Gonna Go My Way” – 6 weeks
    Faith No More – “Easy” – 2 weeks
    Janet Jackson – “That’s the Way Love Goes” – 1 week
    Snow – “Informer” – 5 weeks
    UB40 – “(I Can’t Help) Falling in Love with You” – 7 weeks
    Billy Joel – “The River of Dreams” – 1 week
    Meat Loaf – “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” – 8 weeks
    Culture Beat – “Mr Vain” – 1 week
    Ace of Base – “All That She Wants” – 3 weeks
    Bryan Adams – “Please Forgive Me” – 5 weeks in 1993, 2 weeks in 1994

    Popular music for me in 1993 doesn’t mean many of those, it means this, the first Triple J Hottest 100 compilation album on double CD. Triple J was just making the transition from a Sydney-based youth station to a nationwide one, and from 1993 onwards became the arbiter of teen and twenty-something musical taste in Australia. You’ll see a few oddities there from a UK point of view, like Gabrielle (which is probably why I rated her song more highly than most here; for me it had a totally different context). And there are so many other great tracks that typify the year for me, like the Smashing Pumpkins, King Missile, Porno for Pyros, and most of disc 1… in fact I think I’ll dump into onto the iPod tonight and relive it all.

  13. 13
    Alan not logged in on 19 Sep 2012 #

    ISTR Eggs did the rounds with Tortoise which always looked funny on the posters

  14. 14
    Brendan on 19 Sep 2012 #

    I’m still working my way through the old entries (currently at the end of ’75) so haven’t seen any of the comments for these (except Mr Blobby to see if (and when) the next entry was going to appear). But, based on my own experience as a 21 year old, this was surely one of the most dire years for number 1s. I could only bring myself to vote for 2 of them (Bluebells and Take That’s least worst song Pray).

  15. 15
    wichita lineman on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Eggs! Rotten! But I was quite taken with New Bad Things’ I Suck, a Portland pisstake of indie self-loathing that reminded me of the Lollapalooza kids in the Simpsons:
    “Are you being ironic?”
    “I don’t even know anymore!” (sobs)

  16. 16
    wichita lineman on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Those (decidedly non-rock) US number ones of ’93:

    “I Will Always Love You” Whitney Houston
    “A Whole New World” Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
    “Informer” Snow
    “Freak Me” Silk
    “That’s the Way Love Goes” Janet Jackson
    “Weak” SWV
    “Can’t Help Falling in Love” UB40
    “Dreamlover” Mariah Carey
    “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” Meat Loaf
    “Again” Janet Jackson
    “Hero” Mariah Carey

    The big Euro hit that Popular (only just) missed was 4 Non Blondes’ What’s Up, no.1 for ten weeks in Holland and eleven in Norway.

  17. 17
    Alan not logged in on 19 Sep 2012 #

    A Whole New World there – the filthiest Disney song ever

  18. 18
    lonepilgrim on 19 Sep 2012 #

    for myself I suspect that finally owning a CD player meant that most of my music purchases in 1993 consisted in buying albums that I already owned on vinyl and a growing detachment from what was current. The arrival of Mojo magazine reinforced that pattern for me and many others.

    Looking at 1993 in music on wikipedia, the only new records I bought were Dylan’s ‘World Gone Wrong’, Rickie Lee Jones’ “Traffic from Paradise’ and Sheryl Crow’s debut – none of which were cutting edge – although I still love the first two of those albums.

    Outside of music 1993 also saw the debut of ‘The X-Files’ and the release of ‘Groundhog Day’

  19. 19
    Tom on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Select’s 1993 list – this is preeeety representative of what was reaching my student ears. Some of it is absolutely DREADFUL. Some of it certainly stands up.

    1. Suede – Animal Nitrate
    2. Leftfield Lydon – Open Up
    3. Aphex Twin – On
    4. Blur – For Tomorrow
    5. Bjork – Venus As A Boy
    6. Pulp – Lipgloss
    7. Sabres Of Paradise – Smokebelch II
    8. St Etienne – Who Do You Think You Are?
    9. Pj Harvey – 50ft Queenie
    10. Pet Shop Boys – Go West
    11. M-People – One Night In Heaven
    12. Polygon Window – Quoth
    13. New Order – Regret
    14. Rage Atm – Bullet In The Head
    15. Faith No More & Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. – Another Body Murdered
    16. Pet Shop Boys – Can You Forgive Her?
    17. Elastica – Stutter
    18. Manic Street Preachers – La Tristesse Durera (Scream To A High)
    19. Lemonheads – Into Your Arms
    20. Billie Ray Martin And Spooky – Persuasion
    21. Boo Radleys – I Hang Suspended
    22. Therapy? – Screamager
    23. Apache Indian – Boom Shak A Lak
    24. Kingmaker – Ten Years Asleep
    25. Sub Sub – Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)
    26. Sven Vath – L’esperanza
    27. Faith No More – Easy
    28. Credit To The Nation – Call It What You Want
    29. New Order – World (The Price Of Love)
    30. Paul Weller – Sunflower
    31. One Dove – Breakdown
    32. James -Sometimes
    33. Nirvana – Heart.Shaped Box
    34. Secret Knowledge – Sugar Daddy
    35. The Wonder Stuff – On The Ropes Ep
    36. Teenage Fanclub – Radio
    37. Cypress Hill – When The Shit Goes Down
    38. Voodoo – Queens Supermodel Superficial
    39. Belly – Feed The Tree
    40. The Fall – Why Are People Grudgeful?
    41. 2 Unlimited – No Limit
    42. Back To The Planet – Teenage Turtles
    43. Collapsed Lu Ng – Thundersley Invacar
    44. Depeche Mode – Walking In My Shoes
    45. Dinosaur Jr – Start Choppin’
    46. Echobelly – Bellyache
    47. Fluke – Electric Guitar
    48. Frank Black – Hang On To Your Ego
    49. Disco Evangelists – De Niro
    50. Fun’da’mental – Countryman

  20. 20
    Lazarus on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Own up then, who voted for Blobby?

    #11 – hah, my thoughts exactly, four for me too. I wonder if they’re the same? Bloobs, AoB, Gabby and Loaf. I’m never really sure though if you should mark according to how much you liked the record at the time, or how much you like it now. There can be a marked difference.

    #14 – Brendan is reading through from start to finish. Have most people done that? I’ve been dipping in, reading the 10s and 1s, and favourite songs and years (I think I’ve done most of the 70s now).

  21. 21
    wichita lineman on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Re 18: “Outside of music 1993 also saw the debut of ‘The X-Files’ and the release of ‘Groundhog Day’”

    And Muzik magazine, and Mojo… a real tug between recycling the past over and over again, and trying to make sense of a troublesome near-future.

    Possibly no one looking at this thread can help, but were there any publications covering nascent jungle? My memory of living in Clapton in ’93 is that it was EVERYWHERE. But – beyond a few copies of Ravescene, which aren’t that helpful – I can’t find any record of what was being played, or what sold. Any advice welcome!

  22. 22
    Brendan on 19 Sep 2012 #

    #19 – after looking at the list of number 1s I wondered how I ever got through this year (all most of them managed to do was remind me of my How Soon Is Now phase (go… leave… go home and you cry…)) but that list reminds me that I did have a life in this year after all (but I still can’t for the life of me understand how anyone could have enjoyed 2 Untalented (guess I need to read their entry).

  23. 23
    Tom on 19 Sep 2012 #

    #21 Muzik pretty much refused to cover it IIRC! You’ll have to ask Simon R :)

  24. 24
    wichita lineman on 19 Sep 2012 #

    I think you’re right – Muzik, DJ, Mixmag and everyone else! Simon R had loads of pirate radio tapes, the contents of which were mostly a mystery to him. But hats off to him for trying to keep up, as no one else in what David Essex called “the rock media” seemed interested.

  25. 25
    Rory on 19 Sep 2012 #

    #22 I always find it worth reminding myself what a relatively low bar a 6 is:

    “Good. Enjoyable pop record, if it came on the radio you’d say you liked it. You probably wouldn’t want your own copy but you’d have no problem hearing it fairly regularly.”

    It’s a fair step down to “Pleasant for a listen or two, certainly nothing to switch off, but not anything you’d return to either”, which is a 5, and as a generous sort I tend to give the benefit of the doubt when deciding between 5 and 6. Personally, I’d find 7+ a better indicator of tracks I enjoyed enough to be worth singling out. But these polls are what they are…

  26. 26
    Cumbrian on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Various gems from those long end of year lists:

    Hip Hop Hooray
    Ain’t No Love
    Heart Shaped Box
    Nuthin But A G Thang
    50 ft Queenie
    La Tristessa Durera
    Open Up

    Some really great things I’ve not had time to list as well. 1993 seems to have been a pretty good year to my ears.

    Separate question: did the Pet Shop Boys’ Go West precipitate the football chants to it or was the tune still on holdover from the 1970s and brought out when required? I remember Fantasy Football League doing a sketch around all the different terrace songs following the tune. I wonder where it comes from – gay anthem appropriated on the terraces, hooligans on e, other assorted cliches to be inserted here…

  27. 27
    Kat but logged out innit on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Best year ever, viz I ticked everything except UB40 and Blobby.

  28. 28
    Chelovek na lune on 19 Sep 2012 #

    “Razzmatazz” by Pulp stands out for me, jumping out for attention of all of these lists

    And to a lesser extent “It Was A Good Day”

    With “Very” probably being my album of the year

    And then (living out on the East Fife coast, with only Radio Tay as musical accompaniment) I kind of drifted away from pop music for a few years, no doubt in part influenced by the mediocrity of much of 1993’s crop….

    Intrigued by the Billie Ray Martin and Spooky track, which I don’t recall at all….

  29. 29
    Brendan on 19 Sep 2012 #

    Rory – that’s about my criteria too and even that couldn’t apply to any more than 2 of this sorry bunch.

  30. 30
    glue_factory on 19 Sep 2012 #

    @28 – as I recall the Spooky and Billy Ray Martin track was on the Trance Euro Express CD/Magazine (techno off-shoot of those indie Volume CD/Magazines you used to get). It’s a cover of the Throbbing Gristle track but don’t remember it adding much to the original.

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