Nov 12

DOOP – “Doop”

Popular66 comments • 6,168 views

#703, 19th March 1994

doop One of the divisive things about disco was the apparent will to discofy anything and everything: no style, era, film theme or rock classic was safe. To haters it was proof of disco’s stultifying lack of creativity – why make something new when you could slap strings and a beat under the old? But there’s something a little utopian about it too – a sense that disco was the philosopher’s stone of pop, the perfect unifying sound that could turn anything into dancefloor gold.

Something of that survived in commercial dance music. While club music continued mutating and innovating at bewildering pace, its leaps forward took it into the charts less often. The gap was often filled by novelties – raved-up TV themes, videogame music, cover versions, and finally stand-ins for whole genres with a 4/4 thump grafted on. Hence “Doop”, some Europeans building their money-making vehicle from a xerox of a memory of a decade that had happened somewhere else, souping its engines up and letting it loose.

Of course it’s a very good record. I’m writing this on the 60th anniversary of the charts – how could I let it go without an entry? – and novelty is something they’ve always smiled on. If the Internet has damaged pop in Britain then some of it is that the web is simply a more efficient delivery system for the transient grin or thrill of annoyance.

Nobody buying “Doop” expected to be playing it in one year, never mind 18. A month would have been a shock. But it fully commits to its one idea, owns it and crafts it. While it’s never anything more than “the Charleston with a donk on it”, it’s also far more generous with its hooks and energy than one-line descriptions suggest. It does enough with its squealing horns and showy, tumbling drum samples that the entry of the scoo-be-doo vocals feels like a delightful bonus.

And when the 1990s grafts take hold fully the track is harder than you’d expect: by choosing the rapid, aggressive kick and pump of hardcore over softer, more inclusive house beats “Doop” stays as true as a cash-in can to its source material. The 20s, after all – the 20s we had handed down to us – were a giddy, dangerous decade and Doop treats that image with more respect than you might remember.



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  1. 51
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 19 Nov 2012 #


    KC sat there with waves in his socks to demonstrate to the suck-ups in his court that he was LESS powerful than the the sea, and could they please stop sucking up because it was annoying him. ie he was precisely the one *not* living in the ” King Canute-like past”

    I know this is irrelevant to punctum’s point and everyone knows what is meant but it I guess is my “iconic” :)

  2. 52
    DietMondrian on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Or did he genuinely believe he could turn back the tide, and it was a clever bit of spin by an 11th century Alastair Campbell to portray him as having done it to make a point to his court?

    *Punctum’s point recedes further into distance*

  3. 53
    punctum on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Yes well let’s stop that now (on a thread about “Doop” but never mind).

    I’m not completely unsympathetic to OCC’s point of view but if I owned the copyright to these charts I would have done more with them – this past week was a missed golden opportunity to do so – instead of just waiting for somebody else to make something of them then acting all hurt over infringement rather than engaging with the other person.

    Or maybe the internet is now destined, not to bring humanity forward by sharing information, but to drag humanity back to the Middle Ages complete with feudal lords and serfs.

  4. 54
    Mark G on 19 Nov 2012 #

    There was a ‘chart stats’ book back in the mid-seventies, listed all the hit singles and their positions each week, partitioned by month..

    So, the first month would list all the singles in chart order for the first week, followed by all the singles that made it in subsequent weeks, and each position placed in the column, until the next month…


    Anyway, I believe this book was also withdrawn for similar reasons. Certainly, it went out-of-print pretty quickly.

  5. 55
    hardtogethits on 19 Nov 2012 #

    #54 That book was called “Top Twenty” and was ‘by’ Tony Jasper. It stuck around surviving several updates into the 1990s. Its earliest edition was AFAIK 1976 (covering charts to 1975), and its latest AFAIK 1994.

    I spoke to a lawyer – a real one – today about this whole business. She strongly advised against speculation (what lawyer wouldn’t say “leave it to the lawyers if you don’t know the law”). There’s stuff I’m keen to say about the Jasper book, the GRRR Guinness Books etc., and I think it would illuminate the discussion a bit – but I’ll have to be careful in what I say, so it will take a little longer.

  6. 56
    hardtogethits on 20 Nov 2012 #

    Following on, and treading carefully, and avoiding analogies which may distract from the key points:

    The charts are available under legitimate, official, licensed arrangements by people who do not make a profit – for example, see ukchartsplus.co.uk. This does not mean the charts are available for free. I must also declare at this stage that I have no financial interest in ukchartsplus.co.uk.

    If the OCC were to take anything less than a hard line with sites that do NOT have official licensing agreements, this may create tension with the tiny, loss-making organisations who have paid for and dutifully observed licensing agreements with the OCC over the years – of which ukchartsplus.co.uk is only one example.

    There are a number of people who already think “I could produce a fantastic chart website if I chose to operate outside my (organisation’s) licensing agreement, but I choose to observe that agreement”.

  7. 57
    wichita lineman on 21 Nov 2012 #

    HTGH, ukchartsplus.co.uk is loss making and it charges £5.50 an “issue”?

    Football clubs were being threatened for reproducing league tables not long ago before bad publicity led the prosecutors – I can’t remember if it was the FA or some shadowy third party – to back down.

    There should be a way for people to get chart information which has been in the (printed) public domain for a very long time.

  8. 58
    hardtogethits on 21 Nov 2012 #

    Hi Wichita and thanks for the comments – which allow me to open up a bit!

    Last point first, I think you know I agree with you as strongly as possible that the chart information should be made available affordably to the public. I’m as frustrated as anyone by what the OCC fails to give out by way of accessible chart data – and, like you IIRC, I’ve even approached them to suggest what people might like by way of OCC product!

    Re ukchartsplus.co.uk. Yes, loss making. And the previous owner of that particular business gave up on it because it was loss making. As you point out, it’s not cheap to one-off purchasers, and not particularly cheap to annual subscribers. However, the people who put in the enormous amount of work don’t pay themselves for the time they spend on it. From this, it’s possible to deduce:

    1. The licensing fees from the OCC are the major cost, and it’s hard to make the business work and
    2. Nevertheless, people are so determined to put the charts in the public domain under a proper licensing agreement, that they are prepared to invest money in it as well as time.

    Database law is complex, and being tested across Europe. V complex stuff to do with intended location of audience, intellectual effort invested and all sorts of stuff I don’t understand toooo well. However, I gather the ‘feeling’ (the spirit of case law, if you will) is that league tables are so easy to compile in the first place that it is hard to make a case for them to be copyrightable. Anyone publishing a league table is AS likely to have worked it out for themselves (and got the same results as official league tables) as to have ‘copied’ the official league tables. Contrast this with fixture lists, though – these are NOT easy to compile / construct, and anyone who did so would not emerge with a list that matched the official list. Therefore, trying to find a comprehensive but UNlicensed list of fixtures is surprisingly hard. Even professional clubs (tend to) list only their own fixtures, and of course under licence. I see charts as being quite similar to fixture lists in this respect.

  9. 59
    Lena on 24 Nov 2012 #

    Happy 5th Anniversary to us! Marcello and I were married five years ago today in Toronto, on a dancefloor, with the great Scott Woods as both our best man and our DJ. (This posting should be, properly, with Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” as it was a transatlantic #1 at the time, but this will more than do.)

  10. 60
    hardtogethits on 24 Nov 2012 #

    First record to be simultaneously a) the most recent Popular entry, and b) featured on Strictly Come Dancing?
    Or Did I miss Kimberley and Pasha dancing to Mr Blobby?

  11. 61
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Nov 2012 #

    Happy Annie, Lena and Marcello. The 5th is your “Wood”, apparently.

  12. 62
    highnmighty on 25 Nov 2012 #

    Yay! Happy birthday to Stuart for Tuesday (I think it’s Tuesday). He hates that James Blunt record!

  13. 63
    hardtogethits on 3 Dec 2012 #

    I was musing over the weekend – thinking that from this point on it became more common to enter at #1 than to climb to number one. Not so. We’ve a wee while to wait before that particular trend emerges.

    So bang goes my theory that “After this record, everything changes.” Take that, reliance on memory! Retrospective research wins the fight again!

  14. 64
    Erithian on 31 Dec 2012 #

    Time for the annual review of how far we’ve come in this project. Here’s where we’ve been at the end of each calendar year:

    2003 Great Balls Of Fire (#66, Jan 58 – 5 years 2 months, 66 entries in the year)
    2004 A World Without Love (#167, Apr 64 – 6 years 3 months, 101)
    2005 Eleanor Rigby/Yellow Submarine (#222, Aug 66 – 2 years 4 months, 55)
    2006 Get It On (#302, Jul 71 – 4 years 11 months, 80)
    2007 Lonely This Christmas (#362, Dec 74 – 3 years 5 months, 60)
    2008 This Ole House (#477, Mar 81 – 6 years 3 months, 115 (plus the Pistols!))
    2009 I Want To Wake Up With You (#575, Aug 86 – 5 years 5 months, 98)
    2010 World In Motion (#646, Jun 90 – 3 years 10 months, 71)
    2011 No Limit (#685, Feb 93 – 2 years 8 months, 39)
    2012 Doop (#703, Mar 94 – 1 year 1 month, 18)

    Of course it’s been Popular’s slowest year, and the first year in which the tally of new number ones (36) has exceeded the tally that Tom has covered. There’s been a post every month except August and December, and bursts of activity with six in 20 days in spring and 3 in 4 days in September. But overall it’s been a year in which Real Life and having kids (and boy can I identify with that) has slowed our leader down considerably. But with 16 September next year being the 10th anniversary of Tom’s first post on Al Martino, let’s hope that the good ship Popular gets a fresh following wind. Thanks as ever Tom and Happy New Year to all commenters past, present and future.

  15. 65
    enitharmon on 31 Dec 2012 #

    Ten years? Blimey, I know I wasn’t here right from the beginning (I arrived somewhere in late 1961 I think, just about the time my embryonic interest in pop was beginning to sprout) but is it really that long?

  16. 66
    Erithian on 11 Jan 2013 #

    And re Doop – just watched the video and it was pretty horrible, particualrly the insistent repetition of that shrill high-pitched phrase – then out of curiosity watched the clip from Strictly Come Dancing and it made a lot more sense!

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