Nov 12

DOOP – “Doop”

Popular70 comments • 8,295 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. 61
    Jimmy the Swede on 24 Nov 2012 #

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

  2. 62
    highnmighty on 25 Nov 2012 #

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

  6. 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!

  7. 67
    benson_79 on 27 Dec 2020 #

    Presume I’m missing some kind of clever in-joke here, because otherwise this is terrible gimmicky nonsense.

  8. 68
    Andrew F on 28 Dec 2020 #

    Is your objection to the concept, the materials, the execution? What would a good version of this sound like?

  9. 69
    Gareth Parker on 20 May 2021 #

    I can’t go any higher than a 3/10 here, I’m afraid.

  10. 70
    Mr Tinkertrain on 9 Feb 2022 #

    Somehow I’d never heard this song until right now. Maybe if I’d heard it as a kid I might feel more fondly towards it.

    As it is, it sounds like something they’d play at Guantanamo Bay. 1/10 is about fair.

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