Feb 13

WHIGFIELD – “Saturday Night”

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#710, 17th September 1994

209390716;encoding=jpg;size=300;fallback=defaultImage DEE DEE NANANA!

“Saturday Night” has two big things going for it. The main thing is that it’s one of those iconically simple pop hits, like a “Louie Louie” for the Thomas Cook set. How can you tell when something is iconically simple and not just, er, simple? I’d say when it never actually ends up irritating you. Obviously that’s entirely subjective and I expect to be swamped with annoyed Whigophobes in the comments, but for me this record has lucked onto something sweet and primal. Not, though, irresistible – I’ve generally been pleased to hear “Saturday Night” and am content that it has made the world a happier place in some small fashion, but I wouldn’t own it, or put it on for fun, or even learn the dance. If anything, I like this most for its influence – the enduring post-Whigfield school of plinky-plonk smilecore Eurodance which produced feelgood gems (Ang Lee’s “2 Times”, ATC’s “Around The World”) through the rest of the decade.

But actually “Saturday Night”‘s resistibility is its second fine quality. It is that rare holiday smash which doesn’t hustle its listener. Most of them – from Conga to Macarena – carry a strong tang of coercion amidst the Piz Buin and Pina Colada, a vampiric need to co-opt their audience into the Fun. Not so “Saturday Night”, which is charmingly unassuming, thanks mainly to Whigfield’s matter-of-fact performance. If you do stick around, your reward is a lovely bit of house piano heading for the fade. But this song is never pushy. It’s Saturday night. Whigfield is having a great time. Maybe you are too. You don’t have to be. It won’t spoil anything. Have fun if you like. It’s up to you.



  1. 1
    Tom on 24 Feb 2013 #

    I am almost certain that this wasn’t the UK sleeve, by the way, but I can’t remember which of the many cleavagetastic shots of Ms Whigfield was.

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 24 Feb 2013 #

    there’s a generosity of spirit about this which makes it hard to resist – the singer invites us into her world and is happy to share – like an interior monologue from Abba’s Dancing Queen.

  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 24 Feb 2013 #

    After a semi-crap first year at secondary school (like everyone else’s, I guess), my second year seemed packed full of new friends, better classes and stupid crushes on boys who couldn’t care less. Saturday Night went down a treat at the Lower School Disco (ages 11-14), in that it was the only song that the majority of kids danced to, because they could copy someone else in a socially acceptable way. I made a point of memorising the routine so that when the jump-jump-jump-CLAP bit rotated me 90° and put me on the front row, I’d still know what to do without having to steal a glance either side of me. DON’T LOOK WEAK.

  4. 4
    Steve Mannion on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I do like that duck sound (altho not so much Black Duck’s ‘Wiggle In Line’, a shoddy rip-off of this that charted lower down a few weeks later).

    The ‘Nite mix’ of ‘Saturday Night’ is a ravier affair – I turned on The Big Breakfast one morning to see Carl Cox in playing it in the show set’s back garden, and if it was good enough for him it’s at least a 5 and a half from me.

    PLUG: Local talent and comrade Bobby Whirlwind’s debut album includes a ‘Sunday Morning’ which serves as some sort of sequestered sequel to ‘Saturday Night’, at least opening with the same bassline in tribute. http://bobbywhirlwind.bandcamp.com

  5. 5
    swanstep on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Jesus, 7/10. I despair. This is a song fragment posing as a song. The track’s not finished; it’s barely even been begun.
    “a lovely bit of house piano heading for the fade”
    Really? I didn’t notice anything.

    SN is a 2 or 3 tops in my books, and not worth discussing. 4 weeks at #1 – unbelievable!

  6. 6
    Chelovek na lune on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I remember dancing to this at the “megabop” in St Andrews as an undergraduate.

    I’m afraid I will have a big stone labelled “Whigophobe” tied around my neck, and I will then be cast into the sea and left to drown, if I say very much more about this song, however. Although in fact a reacquaintance with the track did make it appear less objectionable than I had categorised it as being in my memory.

    The record it reminded me at the time of – maybe in quality (palpable musical thinness, and in being mildly irritating, the mildness of which was probably actually more annoying than if it had been a full-on gimmicky track) was Crystal Waters’ “Gypsy Woman (La Da Dee)”.

    I am prepared to grant that “Saturday Night” has a certain innocent, good-natured cheery charm about it. But still, in general I’d gladly not hear it again, and there are countless other tracks I’d rate over it for “retro sentimental dancing purposes”.

    I might give it 5 if I were being generous. Very generous indeed.

  7. 7
    voicesby on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Brings back immediately some very strange memories of nightly entertainments at Haven holiday camp, dancing to this & various other Eurodance numbers with (I think) large furry animal mascots. (Was 6 or 7, not sure.) Anyway, listening to it again the last 45 seconds or so are really lovely.

  8. 8
    23 Daves on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I think I initially regarded this song favourably purely and simply because it knocked The Wets off the top of the charts (I’m sure I can remember Tony Mortimer of East 17 hosting “Top of the Pops” for the final week of their reign and predicting that Whigfield would finish them off, and I actually got slightly excited). Then that goodwill gave way to irritation, and eventually to extreme dislike.

    The problem with very minimal, repetitive songs is that if you don’t like them, you somehow begin to find a bottomless well of details you find aggravating despite their slender construction. For me, the annoyance started with the bloody irritating noise in the background (which I always thought might have been influenced by Rotterdam Termination Source’s “Poing”) then it became the way Whigfield sang “Baby” (“Bay-baaaay”) then the “dee naa naa” bits, then the bassline… but I knew (and still know) people who swear this single is a perfect piece of pop, my wife for one. Perhaps it’s an all-or-nothing deal – in minimalist songs you either adore the central hooks, or you don’t like them in the first minute and find them increasingly wearing thereafter, because there are no additional flourishes or details to distract you. I’ve certainly never met anyone who feels indifferent to this single.

    2 from me, I’m afraid. I really can’t hack it. It’s annoying me now just thinking about it.

  9. 9
    hardtogethits on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #6. Chelovek … I was about to respond by quoting what ‘someone’ had said on the Gabrielle/Dreams thread, when I realised the ‘someone’ was you. It reminded me of Crystal Waters, too, and Gabrielle. This was because they were, respectively, the first female solo acts to debut at 3 and 2 in the charts, and Whigfield the first to go straight in at 1. And in each instance, large numbers of the population were left wondering what the heck all the fuss was about.

  10. 10
    D.C. Harrison on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I wish I could write something meaningful here… but it reminds me of being on holiday aged 13, in Spain (I can only assume it was knocking around Europe before it was brought back to the UK like some horrific disease), and this song was sodding everywhere. I wonder if my misanthropy began around here, as I watched people do whatever the synchronised dance to this song.

    1/10 if that’s the lowest we can go. Just for the bad memories alone.

  11. 11
    23 Daves on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Actually, I do have an unpleasant memory associated with this song as well! I was actually chatted up by a woman at a party (note – this almost NEVER happens, and when it does I’m normally flattered beyond belief) while this was number one, who was determined to drag me on the dancefloor to do the “Saturday Night” dance. I was polite enough not to tell her that I hated the song, but I did (honestly) say that actually I didn’t know how the dance went. This she found unbelievable and was incredulous, but continued drunkenly and unsubtly coming on to me, at which point I had to (honestly) say that I was spoken for by somebody else in my university town.

    This lead to ranting, raving, mocking and general invective (“You’re ugly anyway, and you’re so up yourself”, etc. etc.) which her friends actually had to talk her into stopping. It was almost like the sort of thing women have to put up with in clubs every weekend, except I was finding myself on the receiving end instead. Genuinely interesting, but a bit worrying. It was an incident people reminded me of for years afterwards, but today is the first time I’ve thought about it in an age.

    And I never did learn the “Saturday Night” dance, either. Sorry if the above is of interest to no-one.

  12. 12
    JLucas on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I have a fascination for the oft-forgotten follwup to the big Europop record.

    Whigfield, like many of her ilk, followed up with a record that sounded almost exactly the same (Another Day) then used the time she’d bought to come up with something better.

    To this day I believe that ‘Think Of You’ (her third and final top ten hit) is a marvellous piece of throwaway pop music.


    “It’s like resurrection, I’m calling your name…”

  13. 13
    Auntie Beryl on 25 Feb 2013 #

    She did horrible things to Last Christmas as the shepherd’s crook appeared from stage left.

    I have no problem with cheesy dance music in theory, but sometimes in practice the records just aren’t good enough. No more than a 3.

    I was on a clubbing hiatus for financial and behavioural reasons when this was big, so never witnessed ‘the dance’- which from memory of TOTP was close to line dancing. I may be conflating this with another, bunnied, abomination though.

  14. 14
    flahr on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Not that I was sapient at the time but I’ve seen 7″ copies of it about in charity shops since – wasn’t the original UK cover a sort of diagram of a spaceship on a mint-green background?

    Also: Ang Lee, “2 Times” indeed. Not that Spielberg needed any more trophies on his mantlepiece.

  15. 15
    punctum on 25 Feb 2013 #

    It was key that Whigfield seemed to a great extent reluctant to show herself to her public. The video for “Saturday Night” has her in front of her dressing table mirror, happily getting herself ready and singing to herself as though she were all she needed; she looks so knowingly happy one wonders whether she even needs or wants to go out. On TV performances she hid half her face beneath a baseball cap with such regularity that her record company eventually had to order her to take it off on pain of immediate excommunication.

    Both connected phenomena would explain why it’s hard to get a grip on this record. It was 1994’s Eurodance smash, sung by a Dane and written and produced by Italians (the same team responsible for Spagna’s 1987 number two hit “Call Me”) which came with its own inbuilt Club 18-30 line dancing routine; shamelessly artificial, monotone and plastic, it seemed the ideal record to dethrone “Love Is All Around” since it represented everything Wet Wet Wet weren’t, or at least pretended very hard not to be.

    But where is Whigfield, a.k.a. 24-year-old Sannie Carlson, in all of this? Her vocal is reedy and evidently speeded up, with the consequence that she sounds like a newly-stranded Martian urgently trying to learn the planet’s language from a nearby sixties bubblegum compilation; pop tropes dart around the track, not especially joined up (“I’ll make you mine,” “I’ll take you to the top,” “I’ll drive you crazy,” “It’s party time,” “Be my baby,” and so on and so forth, as well as the obligatory Euro-syntax slip of “And not one minute we can lose”) and making no great sense. The music doggedly runs along its pre-built line of post-House pop, building up exactly as one would expect, albeit with some interesting birhythmic crosscurrents in the final minute, with a retrospectively indispensable hook (I hesitate to call it “punctum” in this context) of what sounds like an anxious and hungry duck quacking for its mother all the way through. It’s reasonable enough, doing what it says on the cover and no more, but there’s a protective layer of aspic around its curvatures which means, at least for me, that it’s impossible to access; the toe may tap but the heart can never believe, or even connect.

    (Oh, and I think Eddy Grant would still like a word about an old Equals song called “Rub-A-Dub-Dub”…)

  16. 16
    James BC on 25 Feb 2013 #

    New entry at number one!

    In my mind at least, this song is a chart watershed. Before it, a new entry at number one wouldn’t happen once in a few years. Not long after it, they were crashing in every week whether you’d heard of them or not.

  17. 17
    punctum on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Hmm, let’s have a look at the stats:

    Prior to Whigfield two other singles in 1994 had debuted at #1 (Mariah Carey and Take That).

    In 1993 there were four – one was “Five Live,” the other three were by Take That.

    In 1992 there was just one (Erasure).

    In 1991 there were five – Elton/George, U2, Michael Jackson and two by Queen.

    In 1990 there was just one, Iron Maiden (hang on a minute – nope, entered the chart 30 December 1990).

    So it probably escalates from hereonin but really had been there for some time.

  18. 18
    Weej on 25 Feb 2013 #

    23 Daves @ #8 – ” I’ve certainly never met anyone who feels indifferent to this single.”

    Well, I’m one. It’s not bad, not that annoying, the ending is nice enough, Christ, I’m straining to have an opinion about it at all besides “yeah, it’s ok”

    According to wikipedia, “Whigfield was the first act to debut at number one in the UK charts with their debut single.” – this is referenced with ’1000 UK Number One Singles by Jon Kutner & Spencer Leigh’. Is this true or is it a wikifact?

  19. 19
    will on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Re 5: That is exactly what I thought about this song. Whoever wrote it couldn’t actually be bothered to finish it, and that prevented me from enjoying it in the way others evidently did. My reaction was always ‘huh, is that it?’

    Really, compared to 2 Times, Call Me or even the contemporaneous Rhythm of the Night it’s pretty flimsy. 4 from me.

  20. 20
    anto on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Out of context this sounds grey and dreary and has a cold, anonymous hotel bathroom feel to it. In the setting it was meant for – a dancefloor- it’s been a success but I just find it that little bit too repetitive.
    Mind you I’ve never liked “Louie Louie” either. I seem to be the only person on the planet who can’t stand that song.

  21. 21
    Tom on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #14 Amazed that it took 14 comments for someone to mention that.

    #19 Well obviously it’s nowhere near as good as “Rhythm Of The Night”. :) What a record!

  22. 22
    thefatgit on 25 Feb 2013 #

    There’s something about “Saturday Night” that makes me feel quite warm and cosy. Maybe seeing my 7 year old daughter learning the dance moves, watching a new generation getting their own handle on this “pop” thing, is fused in my memory whenever I hear it. Then thoughts turn to remembering myself attempting some basic Jackson 5 moves or some easy to copy Glam stomp. Yeah, so a thumbs-up for Whigfield. For the purposes of Popular, I’m willing to give it a 6, maybe a 7 on a good day.

    Whigfield’s voice (speeded up it seems, according to Punctum) sounds awfully similar another bunnyable Dane.

  23. 23
    Steve Mannion on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #18 It is true. I wonder about the increased anticipation at the time as to who was going to be the first act to do go straight in at #1 with their first single. What’s interesting is that:

    a) it took a complete bolt from the blue to dislodge Wet Wet Wet (it was a huge help that LIAA had been deleted on its 15th week – it could well have beaten Bryan Adams record otherwise unless Take That had lined something new up sooner).

    b) the aformentioned precursors of Crystal Waters (who’d just had her biggest hit since her debut with the very good ’100% Pure Love’) and Gabrielle suggesting that a hitherto-unknown solo woman with a club-friendly track was more likely of achieving the feat than any other kind of act (harder to imagine the guitar bands on the verge of becoming the country’s biggest managing it in those days). Just coincidence tho I guess – maybe Stiltskin would’ve done it in a different week.

  24. 24
    Billy Hicks on 25 Feb 2013 #

    The original UK cover, as #14 mentions, was indeed some odd generic green machinery thing with no picture of Whigfield or indeed any indication other than the title that this was the song you were looking for: http://www.mix80.com/dimages/cds_whigfield_saturday.jpg

    I can’t really remember a world without this song as it hit the top during my 6th birthday, still an age before I paid attention to the charts themselves and simply heard songs around a lot, whether on Live & Kicking or the radio or just out and about – this one, like ‘No Limit’ stuck in my mind more presumably because it was played everywhere for about a year.

    As a fan of this sort of thing I do love it and 7 is a fair score. Maybe a bit on the long side at 4:10 but a fun listen, and almost every year has one of these huge novelty summer hits (usually with their own dance) from now on. Sadly we won’t be seeing the Macarena here as it only got to #2 two years later, but in a couple of decades we’ve got W* N* S**** A******** and G****** S**** to look forward to.

    Although I do have one query – similar to ‘YMCA’, the distinctive dance doesn’t actually appear in the video, so where did it actually come from?

  25. 25
    D.C. Harrison on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #24 “Although I do have one query – similar to ‘YMCA’, the distinctive dance doesn’t actually appear in the video, so where did it actually come from?”

    I’m wondering that myself now, as I’m sure I saw (English) people doing the dance, in I think it was Gran Canaria, at least a month before it hit #1 here.

    But now I’m worried my memory has more holes in it than Dr Sam Beckett’s.

  26. 26
    Tom Lawrence on 25 Feb 2013 #

    It’s 1994, I am eight years old, and this is where my pop-conciousness truly begins. I remember earlier number ones, of course I do – the lengthy reign of Wet Wet Wet was unmissable in the worst sense, I recall novelty hits like Mr. Blobby and probably my earliest number one memory was Right Said Fred. But here, with Whigfield, I encountered a number one I recognised as directly marketed to people around my age, at the same age as the very earliest beginnings of pubescence led to an interest in “discos” and just what might be playing while you were in them.

    I recall the video, I recall the dance, I recall the girls doing the dance while the boys charged around the edges of the room. I recall performances on kid’s Saturday morning TV show Live and Kicking.

    As such this record is immortal to me, and defies rigorous analysis in its brutal wrenching memory-tunnel.

  27. 27
    Mark G on 25 Feb 2013 #

    There’s this thing in some of these ‘european’ ‘feel=good’ hits, of “Party Time”, which you don’t get in UK or USA hits of the same, um, feel.

    That DJ Otzi waits until 3/4 way through before announcing “ok, everyone it’s party time!!” like it wasn’t before.

    At least W mentions it in verse one, so we know where we are, or where we are supposed to be. Then again, where is that? Venue details not forthcoming…

  28. 28
    MikeMCSG on 25 Feb 2013 #

    It’s interesting to note the shift in the cultural landscape since the 80s. This is the nineties equivalent of “Agadoo” or “The Birdie Song” which were excoriated at the time – they weren’t “iconically simple” or “smilecore Eurodance”. Post-rave anything vaguely club-favoured gets a green light as long as it doesn’t stick around too long.

  29. 29

    One of the facts of this shift is that an entire dance-weaned generation learned — by club-based osmosis as much as anything — how simplicity can be a glacial mesmeric virtue rather than a soon-maddening vice. There’s no sense that either the Tweets or Black Lace had given this possibility a second thought, or even — possibly more to the point — had unconsciously picked up tips towards effecting same. Not everyone agrees Whigfield had done so either, I suppose*, but whether or not this is actually enough to redeem it, it seems to me measurably and musicologically more considered than Agadoo or (especially) The Birdie Song.

    (The latter is anyway a relic of a Swiss 50s drinking song, “Der Ententanz”, composed — I think you can hear this as soon as you learn the fact — on an accordion, by one Werner Thomas. It’s true that in a very loose sense all three come from Euro-party culture, but by the 90s this was actually quite a roomy and a diverse world.)

    *Personally I’m not so over-familiar with Saturday Night that it’s ever begun to disagree with me (1994 was the first year of my pop purdah): mileage will vary no doubt according to exposure, and then to how well they achieve the glacial mesmerism thing,

  30. 30
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 25 Feb 2013 #

    (empirical studies prove, however, that if you happen to listen to all three on a loop for an hour while you research backstory and analyse chord patterns, the the birdie song will be the one that sticks in your head)

  31. 31
    Another Pete on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #24 See also the single cover for What’s Up by DJ Miko though at least that looks like a speaker it was clearly the design of choice for that record label at the time.

  32. 32
    23 Daves on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #27 – I lived in mixed (international/ non-international) halls of residence around the time this hit broke through, and I can confirm that “Party time” was a phrase hurled about a lot by the Dutch students in particular. In fact I used to live next door to somebody who would bellow it at weird hours whenever he was excited or drunk, and he was a rocker in all other respects with his Hendrix and Floyd records.

    The character Ólafur in the brilliant Icelandic film “Bjarnfreðarson” (and the three TV series leading up to it) is obsessed with party time and “throwing the best parties” as well. Does anyone utter those words in Britain or America? It seems too mild, somewhere between a Hyacinth Bucket “do” with fine china and doilies or a place where jelly and ice cream and some bouncy castle frolics may be expected. It doesn’t sound appropriate somehow.

  33. 33
    Auntie Beryl on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #31, #24 The label was Systematic, a short-lived London Records imprint, seemingly a home for for dance releases considered a little mainstream for ffrr. Systematic also gave us Ann Lee amongst others.


  34. 34
    Another Pete on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #32 Is one of the TV series set in a Reykjavik petrol station?

  35. 35
    Cumbrian on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Re: comments on “party time”, when abouts did this start to become a saying? I suspect, but have no proof, that it might all be down to Wayne’s World (and 2) using it in the title sequence of the show within the film (Wayne’s World, party time, excellent, guitars bit, end) though if usage predates this as a temporary blip on 90s culture, I could, as usual, be talking out of my hat.

    Despite listening to Saturday Night several times over the last two days, I have nothing to say about it. It is just kind of there for me. It is not positively hateful, I reckon, but it is not something I would choose to listen to. Maybe a 4 or 5? Sounds about right. There is some proper awful euro dance rubbish to come up. I think I will likely spare the rod here to use it later on.

  36. 36
    old man sukrat on 25 Feb 2013 #


    Sent from my iPhone

  37. 37
    Steve Mannion on 25 Feb 2013 #

    Alex Party’s twinkly banger ‘Read My Lips’ was another Eurodance hit from this time insistent (but in this case excitedly whispering it) that “tonight…it’s party time”. None others spring to mind for me right now tho.

  38. 38
    23 Daves on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #34 – That’s the one! Brilliant stuff too. I actually saw the film while holidaying in Iceland and that’s also something that deserves much broader praise/ a proper release here.

  39. 39
    Auntie Beryl on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #37 Cubic 22, Night In Motion?

  40. 40
    Alan on 25 Feb 2013 #

    the icelandic petrol station thing was on bbc4 last year

  41. 41
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 25 Feb 2013 #

    I read #34 as “#32 is one of the TV series set in a Reykjavik petrol station” — ie Another Pete identifying what 23 Daves had mentioned as JUST ONE OF THE MANY ICELANDIC TV SERIES SET IN A PETROL STATION.

    Now that I’ve parsed it correctly I feel strangely let down.

  42. 42
    Chelovek na lune on 25 Feb 2013 #

    #39. Aha, Yes. But that one was really rather good….

  43. 43
    flahr on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Anyway, listening to it: all I remembered of it was the title line, although it’s not really as if there’s too much more to it than that. All of my memories of it are linked to Butlins, which is not overly surprising. Pleasantly dinky but I get bored before the end, so I suppose that’s 3/4 territory.

  44. 44
    swanstep on 26 Feb 2013 #

    SN’s background duck-quacking reminds me of a rather more musical synth/backing vox part/hook on Urban Cookie Collective’s The Key The Secret (from 1993 I believe, but along with Alex Party’s Wrap Me Up, I don’t think I heard either until 1995/6).

    Having listened to SN a few more times, I confess it’s become slightly less tiresome. Have, however, been completely enjoying lots of other great ‘Saturday Night’-themed songs. To my surprise, I rate Cold Chisel ahead of EWF and Blue Nile and Suede (that has to be a first!). Anyone else’s fave?

  45. 45
    Patrick Mexico on 26 Feb 2013 #

    My Popular debut! Thought of starting with Love is All Around but it’s such a daunting rock face of a hit (and not a very good one, coupled with summer ’94 being a glorious epiphany for the nine-year-old me) I’ll return to that later. By September, I seriously believed Wet Wet Wet’s behemoth was part of a sick global conspiracy, to permanently end the charts I’d been following – and taping ever since Mr Blobby kicked Take That’s jelly and ice cream stained butts (Yeah, I know..) A bit like when a cartoon character was killed off, the credits would shrink to a postage stamp on the ubiquitous CBBC broom cupboard (showing my age/tender years here!) and Messrs Forrester/Peters/Crane would have that blank “I told you so, kids” expression, pulling a… ah, let’s not, bunny alert… it’s something a long way down the line but with a similar “dee dee da da da” gimmick. With added gender dysphoria. But let’s not dwell on that.

    Anyway, though this was undeniably refreshing after wading through 15 weeks of Richard Curtisland treacle (enough to drive a man to Divine Brown!), I still find this a somewhat unpalatable number, like chewing through a tiny, overpriced stick of candyfloss. Everything that works brilliantly in its favour (great hook, iconic dance routine, lyrics definitive to the record’s atmosphere) threatens to destroy any sense of credibility (the same hook all the way through, embarrassing dance routine, lyrics of tooth decaying cliches not seen on this level since Sabrina – Boys (Summertime Love) – and who, ahem, came to that for the lyrics? I’m so sorry..)

    I also don’t like what this eventually did to “clubland” (note small C!) chart-toppers.. okay, all the following could be filed under “Fun For All The Family” as well as full-blooded commercial decadence dance, but compared to what made me love Ride on Time, No Limit, Mr Vain, Ebeneezer Goode, and 3AM Eternal, this just sounds like music for little girls.. not necessarily the worst thing for a number 1, but there’s far worse where that came from appearing here soon. The problem is, the production’s so polite and locked-in you lose the kitsch appeal which is always a vital ingredient of this genre. On the flipside, I loved that Tony Di Bart record but it’s meant to be tasteful, and adult… if SN wants to be juvenile it should actually try and have a bloody good go rather than faxing it in.

    And anyway I’m more of a “Think of You” man myself, because one of the lyrics sounds like “I need you inside me tonight.” (Yes, I know I’m this blog’s resident sacked Carry On writer.. I’ll change tack soon, don’t worry. It’s late. I’m single.)

    Worst review ever. But definitely not the worst record ever.


    Credit where credit’s due – that summer I was worried not about a tragic clown or evil monkey haunting my childhood wardrobe, but under my pillow finding a, er, hirsute Pellow. Sannie Charlotte Carlson, you’re a life saver.

  46. 46
    punctum on 26 Feb 2013 #

    this just sounds like music for little girls

    that’s more than enough Taliban music criticism, thanks.

  47. 47
    Tim on 26 Feb 2013 #

    A “Party Time” from Jamaica in the 60s (and a total winner):


  48. 48
    Rory on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Welcome, Patrick!

    Chalk me up as one of the indifferent; I’d give it 4. Whigfield made little mark on the Australian charts until 1995 (with “Sexy Eyes”, which peaked at number 6) — as swanstep points out, Cold Chisel own “Saturday Night” there.

  49. 49
    James BC on 26 Feb 2013 #

    And a welcome to Patrick from me, too.

    Interesting the few mentions of Ann Lee, as 2 Times had the same producer/mastermind as this, I believe (sorry if you all knew that already). How many other cherished eurodance hits had the great Larry lurking in the shadows?

    (Given that the Taliban banned all music when in power, #46 is hardly apposite.)

  50. 50
    Tom on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Hello Patrick, and it wouldn’t be a Popular welcome without a callout from Marcello so don’t mind that.

    The Saturday song I most want to hear right now is “Saturday (Oooh, Oooh)” by Ludacris. Doubt that’s my actual favourite though.

    As for “party time” (+1 GMT), all I have to say is that when it’s time to party we will always party hard.

  51. 51
    punctum on 26 Feb 2013 #

    If only Andrew WK had covered “Saturday Night.”

  52. 52
    Patrick Mexico on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Re 46: Don’t worry, I’m just hamming my opinions up for the first post.

    (This isn’t meant to be a terrible Danish pun… but tonight I’m watching The Illing, where Adam Yauch and MCA solve crimes in chunky knitwear.)

  53. 53
    Alan Connor on 26 Feb 2013 #

    His colleagues drove off with what remained of the bodies and Wallander returned to his car. He didn’t follow behind, not yet. He tossed his revolver onto the dashboard and rummaged on the floor for a cassette. The music filled the vehicle. De de na na na. A voice from another Denmark, from across the generations. The gulls screeched across the surface of the Skagerrak.

  54. 54
    old man sukrat on 26 Feb 2013 #

    are you ready to SKAGGERAWK??!!! they screeched

  55. 55
    Alan Connor on 26 Feb 2013 #

    And all the cats on the Kattegat said COOOOL.

  56. 56
    enitharmon on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Am I right in thinking that Alan Hull of Lindisfarne sued the writer(s) for plagiarism? It being basically a ripoff of Fog on the Tyne?

    Alan died not long after, I think, which is a shame because he was an all-round good egg and a fine songwriter. Lindisfarne were huge when I was a sixth-former. I fear they are largely forgotten these days.

  57. 57
    Billy Smart on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Re #45 No, she *is* singing “I need you inside me tonight” in ‘Think Of You’. I think that a large part of what makes that single so affecting lies in its surprising lack of euphemism.

  58. 58
    old man sukrat on 26 Feb 2013 #

    he did! And successfully too

    (this perhaps explains why the tune has seemed naggingly familiar and was not become annoying with repetition)

  59. 59
    Pete on 26 Feb 2013 #
  60. 60
    mark g on 26 Feb 2013 #

    Not like Gazza’s version then?

  61. 61
    wichita lineman on 26 Feb 2013 #

    As Marcello pointed out, Saturday Night is DEFINITELY lifted from the Equals’ Rub A Dub Dub, which means it can’t also be lifted from Fog on the Tyne. I’d say Alan Hull was lucky, but then I doubt his royalties came through in time for him to appreciate them.

  62. 62
    swanstep on 27 Feb 2013 #

    Hmm, that Equals song reminds me a hell of a lot of Manfred Mann’s Do Wah Diddy which Tom gave 2/10. I know which of SN and DWD I’d rather have written and/or originally performed.

  63. 63
    Patrick Mexico on 27 Feb 2013 #

    This is growing on me now, though I think the song’s appeal to people who can remember it at the time lies mainly in the reign of terror it ended. Sure, Wet Wet Wet kindly waved the white flag anyway. Definitely, maybe a PC Pyrrhic victory – but you’ve got that “glass of pure fruit juice cutting through the worst hangover ever” vibe.

    And it sounds nothing like Fog on the Tyne! You’re dead right about Rub-a-Dub-Dub though.

    We’ll have plenty more from this genre to talk about, though I’m not sure if the next Eurodance number 1 will prompt the same fond “just good pop” memories..

  64. 64
    hectorthebat on 27 Feb 2013 #

    As well as the Equals, there’s also a sample of The Rockets – One More Mission. The song has also been re-released as Saturday Night 2013.

  65. 65
    swanstep on 28 Feb 2013 #

    @hectorthebat. Good spot! (I wouldn’t have picked the duck quack as a sample.)

  66. 66
    Erithian on 2 Jun 2013 #

    Blimey, only just heard the Equals song and yes there’s no way that can have been a coincidence. Though if I’d been Eddy Grant (who I presume wrote it) I’d have been embarrassed to have that piece of guff exhumed after I’d spent the 80s establishing myself as a well-respected writer and musician – maybe that’s why he didn’t?

    I certainly wasn’t indifferent to “Saturday Night” – utterly hated it, mainly for its repetitiveness with the one musical phrase and that house piano (not a favourite thing of mine in any context). Then it popped up on TOTP2 shortly afterwards, and in the voiceover Johnnie Walker said something about her refusing to do the line dance for the video, which apparently made her (IIRC) “one of the most independent people in rock”. I was spluttering, “who the flip writes this stuff?”

    Looking at it again now, she’s an engaging personality, and although the song hasn’t improved there have been worse things since. But yes, “Think Of You” was a lot pleasanter.

  67. 67
    Mark G on 3 Jun 2013 #

    I looked it up a while back: he didn’t write it.

  68. 68
    Patrick Mexico on 7 Nov 2013 #

    I’m baffled how anyone over 10 can like Ann Lee – 2 Times.

  69. 69
    Will on 7 Nov 2013 #

    Be baffled. I was 30 around the time it charted and loved it. Still do, in fact.

  70. 70
    Patrick Mexico on 8 Nov 2013 #

    I don’t intend any offence to anyone over 10 (or 30) who does like it, it’s just always left me cold; nine times in every ten I can’t get in touch with pop’s “innocent childhood” side, blame me on getting into the charts just as Girls and Boys carpet-bombed us with chewing gum stuck to the school desk (and “DAZ 4 ZOE” crudely carved in them), but there needs to be some lust to it for me. Some teenage angst., teenage lust. (I mean about actually *being* a teenager, don’t Yewtree me please.)

    I doubt it somehow, but maybe I might change my mind for a sasquatch-named 1999 bunny.

  71. 71
    Patrick Mexico on 17 Apr 2014 #

    I’m so glad I’ve been clean of anti-anxiety medication since New Year. The posts I made here while under the influence… sorry.

  72. 72
    weej on 30 Jan 2015 #


  73. 73
    hectorthebat on 14 Apr 2015 #

    Critic watch:

    1,001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010) 1002
    Gary Mulholland (UK) – This Is Uncool: The 500 Best Singles Since Punk Rock (2002)
    Face (UK) – Singles of the Year 37
    New Musical Express (UK) – Singles of the Year 15
    Select (UK) – Singles of the Year 33

  74. 74
    Mostro on 14 Apr 2015 #

    With respect, I have to disagree about the “lovely” house piano!

    Even at the time I remember thinking that had to be the flimsiest, least convincing and most dated-sounding “piano” I’d ever heard on a commercial record. It’s like someone used a £200 home keyboard bought from Dixons in the 1980s! (*)

    For some reason I’d remembered this from the instrumental solo in what I thought was the middle-eight, but it actually comes in a lot earlier- just after the one minute mark- and following its moment in the sun continues backing the rest of this equally underproduced song. It’s a lot cheaper sounding than even those somewhat of-their-time late 80s house tracks.

    It’s actually so flimsy, it’s almost likable now. Almost.

    Yet it’s a long way down from “Ride on Time’s” still-great Italian house piano from five years previous, and it seems to have been one of the last hits to feature that sound. Did it jump, or did Saturday Night help push it?

    (*) We’re talking a low-end FM synth (with 32 preset auto-accompaniment rhythms) here, no £2000 sample-backed Roland D50 sounds for you, Saisho boy.

  75. 75
    flahr on 14 Apr 2015 #

    Not to rile the bunny too much, but doesn’t the current #1 single feature some top-drawer off-the-shelf Italohouse piano?

  76. 76
    Abzolute on 9 Jan 2017 #

    Surprised that no one actually mentioned that the REAL vocalist was indeed Ann Lee herself. At the time (as they did with most euro-dance acts) they drafted in a model to front the band (Black Box & Cappella being two of the more famous examples), so it’s no surprise Ann Lee was part of the same stable where Whigfield also emerged from.

    Funnily enough Sannie Charlotte Carlsson (Whigfield was just the stage name of the act) eventually went in to porn apparently.

    Still, a great mindless track that makes most people feel good.


  77. 77
    Mark G on 10 Jan 2017 #

    #76 citation, dude?

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