Jun 13


Popular70 comments • 4,783 views

#723, 8th July 1995

outhere2 A dilemma, here. On the one hand, the second Outhere Brothers number one is somewhat better than “Wiggle Wiggle” – it shouts at you less, for one thing. On the other hand, the very words “second Outhere Brothers number one” suggest we have left the borders of necessity far behind. The Brothers here sound a little less obnoxious, a bit more playful – nursery rhyme goofs instead of unabashed horndogs. They have better ideas, too – a breakdown early on that sounds like it might be going somewhere, with an atmospheric dancehall intro. But the basic approach, constipated rappers leching over ordinary beats, really hasn’t changed, and “Boom Boom Boom” outstays its welcome just as surely as “Wiggle Wiggle” did, so you send it on its way still wondering why it bothered us in the first place.



  1. 1
    Tom on 26 Jun 2013 #

    The last three entries have hit (as of posting) 76, 87 and 193 comments. I am sure this will beat them all combined.

  2. 2
    Billy Hicks on 26 Jun 2013 #

    One of the last few number 1s – inexplicably given its longetivity – that I simply do not remember. My musical knowledge age 6 was almost entirely gleaned from either children’s television (CBBC/Blue Peter/Live & Kicking/whatever ITV were showing) or the radio. Top of the Pops very occasionally although by 1995, at least in my household, it was never a family viewing thing and was something that just happened to be on if it proved interesting enough in competition to the other three channels. This, despite a clean radio edit, was perhaps not seen much on any of those.

    Had it come out a few years later I’d have absolutely loved it, and I’ll be feverishly writing about the positives of a future bunnied #1 with one more ‘Boom’ than this one in four years time. Instead it wasn’t until about 2004 when I first heard it and immediately thought “It’s a bit No Limit/I Like to Move It, isn’t it?”. Fun and works better a track than Don’t Stop, just that little bit before my time to enjoy it further.

  3. 3
    mintness on 26 Jun 2013 #

    One Saturday afternoon, when this song was already fading from the public eye, a brave soul at St James’ Park took it upon himself to stand up and chant “Toon Toon Toon, let me hear you say ‘Why aye'”. No response of “Why aye” was forthcoming.

    If nothing else, I suppose this illustrates the popular culture crossover that “Boom Boom Boom” enjoyed compared with the Brothers’ previous appearance here. For that reason – and because it’s harmless, albeit fairly pointless too – I think I could also stretch to a 4.

  4. 4
    fivelongdays on 26 Jun 2013 #

    Whereas ‘Don’t Stop’ was basically about shouting about how much he loved blow jobs, this is more of a developed song – with a bloke shouting about how much he liked doing women from behind. Classy.

    However, it’s a catchy fucker, and after seven bloody weeks of Robson & Jerome, it came as a relief. I rather like it, and I think I’ll give it seven.

  5. 5
    Billy Hicks on 26 Jun 2013 #

    Addendum to 2 – Sneaking a look ahead, my memories *really* start to perk up in the autumn of 1995 for some reason and we abruptly switch from the “I remember a few” we’ve been in since about 1993 to “I remember almost all of them” from there on to present day. It’s quite a sudden step-up memory-wise, perhaps because of a bunnied battle, perhaps just because we’re about to reach a run of highly popular and well-played songs and perhaps simply because I’m reaching the age of 7, when hazy childhood memories become slowly but surely clearer. Can’t wait.

  6. 6
    MarkG on 26 Jun 2013 #


  7. 7
    thefatgit on 26 Jun 2013 #

    Ok so they’ve taken the very catchy and earwormy bassline from “I Like To Move It, Move It” and added some butt filth on it.

    Reel 2 Real’s hit was a great piece of Dancehall with a rap that was knowingly, comically sexist. Here the Outhere Brothers remove the “knowingly” and the “comically”. Bleurgh!

  8. 8
    Erithian on 26 Jun 2013 #

    #3 – funny you should say that, since on the day of England v Scotland in Euro ’96 I distinctly heard fans chanting “Say boom boom boom, and let me hear you say Gazza (Gazzaaaa)”. Which is the first time, but not the last, that particular tournament will be referenced on here.

    As for the song itself, marginally less moronic shite than their previous number one, but then everything’s relative.

  9. 9
    lonepilgrim on 27 Jun 2013 #

    whatever credit the catchy title phrase earns is thrown away with monotonous repetition – the rapping is pedestrian at best. I don’t remember it from back then I won’t remember it tomorrow.

  10. 10
    mapman132 on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Two good things about this record:

    1) It’s not Robson & Jerome

    2) It’s not “Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)”

    I was tempted to say those were the only two good things about it, but it’s actually not too terrible – maybe a 4 in my book. Unlike “Don’t Stop” it charted in the US (peak #65) and I even remember it getting some airplay at the time.

    On a more whimsical note, it seems like all the permutations of Boom have been represented at #1 at some point. We’ve already had Boom (Shake the Room) and now Boom cubed. Still to come: Boom^4, Boom squared (with a Pow added for good measure), and eventually the distant cousin Bom squared.

  11. 11
    Chelovek na lune on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Yeah, a bit (if only a bit) less of a non-song than their previous no 1 (although more irritating, because more memorable, in consequence).

    Erm…not Robson & Jerome, either.

    But…The main (perhaps, really, the only substantive) thing to be said in support of this record is that it really helps one appreciate, in comparison, how VERY superior, how much wittier, more charming and musically and vocally proficient to this, is the bunnied Vengaboys single with with the similar title. Which is quite an achievement, all things considered.

    Depraved and horrid, Way-oh.

  12. 12
    Izzy on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #3: I too once saw a thug (while this was in the charts, it was a preseason friendly) trying to start a ‘Boom Boom Boom, let me hear you say Gazza’ chant, with equal lack of success. Nothing else to say about this record.

    #8: ha! Wow.

  13. 13
    23 Daves on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Did I mention on the other Outhere Brothers entry that they were booked to do a special show at my university’s graduation ceremony? Two songs in, somebody at the front grabbed one of the brother’s legs and pulled him over, and they left the stage in a huff never to return (although who knows, perhaps their set only consisted of two songs). Really, as an act they were an appalling choice for a student graduation ball – if they weren’t going to upset the feminists then they were surely going to upset the music snobs, and if they weren’t going to upset those then a drunken rugby boy was surely going to at the very least heckle them for being naff. As it turned out, they went one further and tried to tackle their dance routine instead.

    I have to say that “Boom Boom Boom” seemed to be everywhere in my neck of the woods whereas “Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)” was rather underplayed, which doesn’t seem to chime with anyone else’s experiences. I found it tolerable then and I still do now, although there’s absolutely nothing you can really get your teeth into.

  14. 14
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    This kept Shy Guy by Diana King off the #1. This, in my view, is more cause for dismay than the Common People/Unchained Melody situation. Shy Guy is marvellous I reckon, particularly the clash between the patois of the verses and the brakes coming off in English for the bridge to the chorus which is never less than thrilling for me.

    Boom Boom Boom has more going for it than Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle) but not by much – mostly I think this is down to the chorus. I’m a bit of a sucker for call and response though (give me Land of 1000 Dances or something similar though, please), so that will be my own biases speaking likely. It’s still much worse than the other chart toppers around this time mentioning the word Boom though, both Will Smith and a bunny to come, due to its blaring background and aggressively bad vocals – pretty much just like DS(WW).

    Oh yeah, and it kept the supremely overplayed and, as a consequence, highly irritating Alright off #1. I otherwise love Supergrass but if I never hear Alright again, that would be fine by me.

  15. 15
    James BC on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Seems very unfair that this doesn’t get more than Wiggle Wiggle, when it’s clearly better. I find this one actually enjoyable in the clean version, especially the “Geronimo, look out below” rap.

    #7 I Like To Move It Move It was great. It warms my heart to think that the Mad Stuntman is raking in royalties from the Madagascar films because of it.

  16. 16
    Mark G on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #10, If only Fat Larry’s band had gone with “Boom” instead of “Zoom”..

    #1, I dunno, we may be back down to Dream Weavers’ “It’s Almost Tomrrow” totals, I reckons.

  17. 17
    anto on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Around this time a lot of acts seemed to have two number ones in quick succession, even if as the review notes some were not exactly spilling over with promise.
    The only other thing I can find to say about the Outhere Brothers is that I don’t ever remember them being referred to by their first names (Clarence and Douglas) at any point during their abrupt 15 minutes. Ultimately the Chuckle Brothers had little to fear. You’ve either got it or you ain’t boys.

  18. 18
    punctum on 27 Jun 2013 #

    “Boom Boom Boom” musically has a slightly harder edge than its predecessor; a nod in its harsher, fuzzier tones, no doubt, to the then up-and-coming producer and remixer Erick Morillo, responsible inter alia for 1994’s spectacular “I Like To Move It” by Reel 2 Real and the Mad Stuntman, not a number one but a long-term chart resident, and “Them Girls, Them Girls” by the unlikely Zig and Zag. Otherwise, however, it’s the same old locker room jive as the first one, with its round booties and requests for kisses on their faces in a way which confirms which faces they mean. Were the Outhere Brothers a meme they would be “hyuk hyuk,” flicking towels as though they were peanuts.

  19. 19
    Chelovek na lune on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #13 Shudders at thought of them playing at university graduation ball. Mind you St Andrews was mostly ceilidh bands…

    But it was also my experience that Don’t Stop was (thankfully) played rarely, and this was played too often, also, although in the contex of North East Fife, probably only on the radio in either case, and in fact probably not that much either there. (Radio Tay had a jingle, I thnk not ironically, that boasted it played “every kind of music, from East 17 to Roxette”)

    #14 Absolutely agreed re Shy Guy. Fabulous summery record.

  20. 20
    Tom on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #15 yes, I fucked up the mark for the first one – overgenerous to a bad record – and so this suffers by direct comparison.

  21. 21
    will on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Funny how circumstances can cast some records in a positive light. Boom Boom Boom is indeed an immensely stupid song, but in July 95 I found its juvenility positively life affirming. Perhaps it was as others have mentioned the fact that it came directly after 7 weeks of granny music at Number One. But I think it was also that there were so many other great records around that summer that each reflected onto one another. Common People, Shy Guy, Alright, McAlmont and Butler’s Yes, God, even PJ and Duncan’s Stuck On U…Corona’s Try Me Out. UK dance music was still evolving into ever more interesting shapes and there was the revival in guitar pop that around this time began to be codified as, well, you know what.

    And perhaps most importantly there was the weather. It’s easy to be positive and see the good in everything when the sun is shining and it’s warm week after week after week.

  22. 22
    punctum on 27 Jun 2013 #

    and you’re not listening to crap like the Outhere Brothers.

  23. 23
    Tom on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #21 yes, it was a lovely summer. I bore this no ill will, because I bore the world no ill will.

  24. 24
    Patrick Mexico on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Spotify hosts this on a compilation called “LA Deep House.” Megalolz.

    Far less of an ordeal to listen to than Don’t Stop (Wiggle Wiggle.)
    In fact this toasty/rappy/dancehally bit two minutes in is a bit of manic genius, in a perfect world it’d be channeling the spirit of George Clinton:

    “Geronimo, look out below
    Here comes the brother with the offbeat flow
    I just fell from the mothership
    Outhere Brothers ’bout to rip it on another tip, slip”

    But FFS, I’m so sorry for comparing the people who wrote “Maggot Brain” to this..

    “Girl your booty is so round
    I just wanna lay you down
    Let me take you from behind
    I won’t cum until it’s time”

    Techno by numbers. Obviously No Limit was, but its brilliance is in the fact that it doesn’t try too hard and its schtick isn’t based on sub-Inbetweeners innuendo from the end of the sixth form common room which spent less time thinking about music and politics* and more guffing in pint glasses and sticking clingfilm to the toilet seats.


    * Not necessarily a good thing, but just wanted to crowbar in a reference to the Disposable Heroes of HipHoprisy. I thought it would establish my gangsta/hipster credentials, given the last time I made a similar pun on Popular it was based on.. wait for it.. 2wo Third3. I thought I Want to Be Alone from Christmas ’94 was a terrific parody of East 17 and the Pet Shop Boys, by uber-laddish ’90s comedians who got all the girls.. oh.

  25. 25
    Kinitawowi on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #14: Knew Shy Guy got to number 2 but couldn’t remember what stopped it. Damn, that was a beast of a song (and Bad Boys is comfortably the best thing Michael Bay will ever do with his life); that’d be about an 8 or so.

    This… is better than Don’t Stop in the same way that Neighbours is better than Home And Away. And at least the chorus has something anthemic about it (witness the aforementioned football chants), even if it’s the most half-arsed anthemic in existence. 4 is about right.

  26. 26
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Bad Boys is good (Bad Boys II is fit for the purpose of having something Hot Fuzz can rip off for its final reel) but my favourite Michael Bay film is probably The Rock – which I watched again last night on BBC Three. It’s mostly the dialogue though – I think I am right in saying that they got a whole boat load of people in to do polish work on it (including Quentin Tarantino, Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais amongst others – I think Aaron Sorkin might have had a hand in there too).

    What I think should be undisputed is that, of all of his films, Bad Boys is the one with the best tie in song. I’m listening to it again right now. It’s putting me in a good mood and I don’t think I can offer higher praise than that.

  27. 27
    Steve Mannion on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Was always hard to make the link between Shy Guy and Bad Boys tho – how did the song get on the soundtrack in the first place?

  28. 28
    weej on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Bad Boys II is the worst film I’ve ever seen. I had to cancel a night out with friends because it made me so angry.

  29. 29
    Patrick Mexico on 27 Jun 2013 #

    On the sleeve they look (right one) like Mike Tyson gone “Deliverance”, and (left one) like the man a certain Bolton comic calls Jason Z (OH MY DAYS WHY DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE A BUNNY! NO FAIR!).. gone “Deliverance.” Don’t say it doesn’t warn you.

    Quite impressed with Shy Guy – covers a lot of hip early nineties bases especially ragga and New Jack Swing. Bizarrely, as a kid I thought it was the work of a male, bhangra/British-Indian “fusion” act. I don’t know, maybe Apache Indian covered it or something.

  30. 30
    wichitalineman on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Not sure if anyone has confronted this question yet, but… Outhere Brothers – what does that even mean?

    Oddly I only have the vaguest memory of Shy Guy, and had no idea it was such a big hit.

  31. 31
    James BC on 27 Jun 2013 #

    They said in an interview (on the Big Breakfast if I remember rightly) that “Outhere” meant that they were different from everyone else. “Like, everyone else is in there, and we’re out here”.

    Not sure why ‘brothers’, though.

  32. 32
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    27: Not a clue! It is set in Miami though and, having been there, there are quite a few Jamaican expats knocking around – so, taking a wild stab in the dark, it might be that someone thought that a reggae fusion record would speak as being somehow from the area.

    The soundtrack album has 2Pac, Warren G, Ini Kamoze and Inner Circle on it – as well as KMFDM (which stands out like a sore thumb – that track is being played when they infiltrate a metal club).

  33. 33
    Cumbrian on 27 Jun 2013 #

    28: Bad Boys II is indeed pretty bad – and not bad meaning good. Bad definitely means bad there.

  34. 34
    Kinitawowi on 27 Jun 2013 #

    #28: I kinda accept Bad Boys II in an “it’s a Michael Bay film and you know what you’re going to get, and at least he knows how to make a stupid OTT action sequence look good” way, although I’ll freely admit it’s not high art. And it’s certainly not the worst film I ever paid money to see at the cinema (that’s probably The Simpsons Movie), or even the worst film I saw in 2003 (The Matrix Reloaded).

  35. 35
    Patrick Mexico on 27 Jun 2013 #

    If I was being a bit cruel, I could say that Azaelia Banks was the Outhere Brothers’ spiritual daughter. I wondered why I liked the “mothership” bit of Boom Boom Boom and 17 years on she seemed to have picked up the baton (nsfw innit):

    1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3Jv9fNPjgk&t=0m20s

    2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWjsvYXM9RU&t=2m10s

    I do like that sprawling, beyond puerile 212 song, but only because it sounds like Buffalo Stance going to hell. And: what are you going to do when I eat a bear? Or is it a pear? You could write a book on this theory alone. It’s like Eats, Shoots and Leaves gone to hell.

  36. 36
    hardtogethits on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Re the Bad Boys soundtrack: There is a track on there called “Boom Boom Boom”. It’s not the same erm, ‘song’ as this. Stupidly, I went to Spotify to listen to it. Seriously, life is too short. When will I learn?

  37. 37
    Chelovek na lune on 28 Jun 2013 #

    #35. Nah, because “212” is witty and playful, and its aggression is a bit less primal and a bit more personal: (Would all this apply if it had been performed by a man? Good question. But no, almost certainly not – certainly not when you get to the concluding line/pay-off). “Buffalo Stance” surely a better point of ref than this. (Oh. It does a have “way-oh” breakdown though… Still.)

  38. 38
    punctum on 28 Jun 2013 #

    WTF does “beyond puerile” mean? Amoebic?

    The correct answer is LMFAO.

  39. 39
    Steve Mannion on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Only a few weeks before this came out Definition Of Sound released ‘Boom Boom’ (not a John Lee Hooker cover) but their double boom proved lacking and it stalled at #59. Other lacklustre booms in 1995 came from Hunter (‘Shakaboom!’) and Benz (‘Boom Rock Soul’), not including its use as part of other words for spoilery reasons if nothing else.

  40. 40
    James BC on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Boom Shak a Lak by Apache Indian might have been around this time too.

  41. 41
    Steve Mannion on 28 Jun 2013 #

    That was ’93 but as an entry tends to be listed as the Nuff Vibes EP so doesn’t show up on a polyhex search for ‘boom’ anyway which could be tres irritating to some pop-pickers.

  42. 42
    hectorthebat on 28 Jun 2013 #

    Sample watch: contains a sample from “erotic city” by prince and Sheila e.

  43. 43
    AMZ1981 on 29 Jun 2013 #

    #14 has mentioned that Alright by Supergrass got stuck at number two behind this. Whatever the merits of Alright (I like it) this is the second example within a few weeks of a Britpop classic getting (and holding) number 2 behind an artistically irrelevant record. 1995 ultimately only had two guitar led number ones but with a few breaks there could have been quite a few.

  44. 44
    Nixon on 2 Jul 2013 #

    #43 It’s interesting how little impact Britpop ultimately ends up having on the very top of the charts, and hence the picture of the UK music scene ’94-’97 painted by Popular. Without getting into bunny territory, if we leave aside Oasis, there’s precious little from the scene to trouble Tom in the future.

    (Whereas it felt like almost every half-decent Britpop act scored at least one chart-topping album. I haven’t checked, but from memory there are a *lot* of them – TPL will be interesting!)

    I don’t know what the singles sales figures would say, but from a #1’s perspective, mid-90s Britpop seems to have been like punk, just another relatively minor genre, exerting minimal gravity before the charts course-corrected. Even “now”, here in the summer of 1995, the Outhere Brothers are outscoring Oasis 2-1, and that 1 isn’t yet – possibly isn’t ever – the herald of some great changing of the guard. At best, it’s a start for one hugely successful and famous band, not a sound, not a scene; at worst, it’s an outlier, a quirk, representing just one strand of what was going on (albeit a strand most commenters here seem to have “lived in” a bit more directly than others), representing albums and clubs most people hadn’t heard or seen; Tony di Bart with better marketing. Given the choice, the British public voted for seven weeks of the Singing Squaddies followed by a dirty joke.

    Anyway, I digress. My question is: we’re now past the 40-year mark, long enough for trends to emerge – without getting caught up too much in specific “that record’s rubbish/hogged the limelight/was unjustly held off #1” arguments, do you think that the list of UK number ones, taken as a weird at-a-glance sweep of British music history, very broadly accurately reflects that history?

  45. 45
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    #43 – “artistically irrelevant”; please define terms, irrelevant to whom, or what, and why. Lot of dance music fans I can think of who consider “Alright” “an artistically irrelevant record.”

    #44 – I’d say VERY broadly indeed, in that you still get a fairly decent developmental picture, though its contour is regularly disrupted by whatever fly-by-night novelty fancies British people decide to take to their bosoms.

  46. 46
    Tom on 2 Jul 2013 #

    This is sort of the central question this blog wanted to answer – it reflects *a* history, but which one? I don’t think “accurately reflects that history” is meaningful though – there isn’t an accurate pop history to reflect, there’s a sense of ‘what happened’ and ‘what mattered’ which is a mix of personal memories, received wisdom, critical takes and commercial realities, which themselves may not be realities given the distortions gathering sales data creates.

    When pop history is written, it’s usually written by the critical winners, not the commercial ones. So if the question is – how well do Number Ones map onto that? – the answer varies. If you look at it by genre, then for some things – Merseybeat, glam, new wave, the house music revolution, 00s R&B – it does very well. For others – metal, punk, Britpop, progressive rock, hip-hop up to a point – it seems to do quite poorly.

    Looked at as a more material history: of technology, format changes, sales channels, etc. – the Number One lists work better but have disastrous gaps.

    Looked at as a history of British cultural interests – the chart as a seismograph of wider trends – they are an interesting if incomplete fossil record: Robson And Jerome is a case in point.

    You can definitely see broad trends. The overall history of the No.1 spot – I worked this out with graphs once and should again – is broadly speaking a history of increasing diversity: the more you go on, the fewer white men (with guitars or otherwise) you tend to see. (There’s evidence in the US that increasing digitalisation of music may be reversing this a bit – not sure that’s true of the UK). This process, it seems to me, runs parallel to decreased critical respect for the charts and number ones, accusations of irrelevance, the rise of the dread adjective “manufactured” etc.

    Another trend that comes out is that, since the early 80s, “indie” music in its broadest sense has rarely if ever sold well enough on singles to dominate the charts. Britpop is its high watermark – I think it’s fair to say that some bands and singles were unlucky not to reach number one, but that’s also how pop works and it does seem it couldn’t quite mobilise the buyers. Before and after that, indie music has been an important part of pop but, from a singles sales perspective, not THAT important.

    Obviously this doesn’t match up to the attention paid to it critically and culturally – it’s easy to buy into a version of the mid-90s where Britpop DOMINATES the charts and the music scene, despite plenty of opposition to that idea at the time and since. There’s also – as the relatively massive excitement on Twitter over a silly poll suggests – a lot of warm feeling towards the idea of Britpop as a movement and a moment. Other styles have enjoyed far more dominant periods in the chart but haven’t been lavished with attention by the music press, let alone the mainstream news.

    In other words I think in this instance the number ones list gets Britpop right representationally, though the actual selections leave a bit to be desired. And the number ones list is a vastly imperfect version of history, but anyone dismissing it as irrelevant is still revealing their own biases as much as the charts’.

  47. 47
    fivelongdays on 2 Jul 2013 #

    @46 – One would suppose that a history of popular music could be told through an amalgamation of the singles and album charts.

    @43 – ‘Alright’ guitar led? I’d say the song’s hook is the piano intro. Besides, Supergrass (who were sort-of local heroes for me) had far better songs. Had it been ‘Caught by the Fuzz’, ‘Mansized Rooster’ or ‘Lenny’ being kept off number one, I’d see your point a lot better. Suffice to say, as a rather angsty teen, I remember hearing ‘Alright’ for the umpteenth time and thinking “But what if I DON’T feel Alright?’.

  48. 48
    Tom on 2 Jul 2013 #

    I’ve reposted Nixon’s excellent question and my comment as a separate post. http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2013/07/number-ones-vs-history/

  49. 49
    James BC on 2 Jul 2013 #

    I don’t know about the albums. On the rare occasions that I’ve looked at lists of old number 1 albums, they’ve seemed far less interesting than I might have expected, and certainly of a lot less general interest than the singles number 1s.

    Probably because…
    – The number 1 single: 100,000 people have bought it, most people who listen to much music have heard it.
    – The number 1 album: 100,000 people have bought it, most other people haven’t heard it and never will.

    And I mean, if I haven’t heard Xanadu or some song like that, I might go to Youtube or Spotify and fill in the gap. If I haven’t heard ‘Home Lovin Man’ by Andy Williams, which is more recent and by a far from obscure artist, I’d have to be a raging obsessive to go and look it up purely because it happened to be number 1 once.

    Even in the 70s, where the received wisdom is that the serious artists ignored singles and released only albums and went on the Old Grey Whistle Test, the number 1 albums list is not some kind of thrillingly arcane grown-up counterpart to the singles list. Sure, there’s a bit of Rick Wakeman but a lot if it seems to be best-ofs and late-period potboilers by people from the 50s. Where’s the history in that?

  50. 50
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Yes well anyway Britpop fans tended to go for the albums. Hence TPL 1995’s “corrective” work (don’t underrate it; it was a central factor in my deciding to start the blog).

  51. 51
    flahr on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Sadly the great Menswe@r critical rehabilitation will have to wait until somebody starts Music Sounds Better With Ten :(

  52. 52
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    Don’t get to do I Can See For Miles or Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now either. It’s a disgrace.

  53. 53
    flahr on 2 Jul 2013 #

    I was going to say well at least you do on TPL, but not there either! I guess entry #311 will just have to be a long one :)

  54. 54
    punctum on 2 Jul 2013 #

    May well have to be, though entry #267 is probably going to take a year or seven…

  55. 55
    Steve Williams on 3 Jul 2013 #

    Seems a bit of a downer to go back to The Outhere Brothers after that fascinating discussion but I’m not sure #2 is quite right because I recall it getting loads of play on kids TV (which I was just about still young enough to get away with watching) and indeed The Outhere Brothers are responsible for one of the most excrutiating moments in TV history when they performed one of their follow-ups on Live and Kicking and Andi Peters questioned them on, and invited them to perform a bit of, their album track Pass The Toilet Paper, when surely even the smallest child knew what that song was about. Happily the pair only sung the refrain.

    Although an undistinguished song this is the start of a period of about two years when I knew more or less every single record in the charts and have a memory of every number one, because the combination of Chris Evans joining and me having just finished my GCSEs means I was now listening to Radio 1 all day, every day (I’d completely bought into the Bannister revolution) and completely immersing myself in pop, buying both Q *and* Smash Hits and watching Top of the Pops *and* TFI Friday. And some of it wasn’t just to impress the girls in my A-level classes.

    As mentioned, this was a boiling hot summer as well, which makes me feel a bit more predisposed towards a lot of these records than might otherwise be the case. I wonder if anyone ever has the time or inclination to go through the last forty summers or so and working out if those with above average temperatures (1976, 1990, 1995, 2003) were particularly fertile for pop music.

  56. 56
    Billy Hicks on 4 Jul 2013 #

    That’s fair enough – it just must have never entered my memory. As said in another post it’s only a couple of months before I start to remember almost everything, for now it’s still just the occasional Take That song and hearing, of all things, ‘Trouble’ by Shampoo on the soundtrack of the Power Rangers movie which got it back into the top 40.

    There was a big boom in reggae and dancehall in 2003 which suited that summer perfectly, but it seems to be a happy coincidence rather a genuine reaction to the heat.

  57. 57
    hardtogethits on 4 Jul 2013 #

    #55 Clearly whoever did so would need to start by defining objectively what was meant by “summers with above average temperatures”. And by the way, I’m not arguing against the inclusion of 1995, which would almost certainly pass, whatever the definition. I mean like, 1995, yeah, eh, phew what a scorcher!

  58. 58
    Billy Hicks on 5 Jul 2013 #

    I would include 1983 and 2006 in the four mentioned by Steve.

  59. 59
    hardtogethits on 5 Jul 2013 #

    #58. Since you two have, between you, identified 6 years out of 40 or so you want to include in the sample, the ‘which were the hot years’ test couldn’t be very objective. Also, your suggestions contain a recency bias (I’m going to express a hunch here that it is because the hot years are based on your own memories – but irrespective of that, there is a recency bias).

    I’m sure you could fudge it to get the years you wanted, but that would be likely to be self-fulfilling when you came to consider whether the years were “fertile for pop music.”

  60. 60
    punctum on 5 Jul 2013 #

    It’s a nice day today. Go out for a walk. Learn about yourself. Enjoy life.

  61. 61
    hardtogethits on 5 Jul 2013 #


  62. 62
    AMZ1981 on 6 Jul 2013 #

    Just rather belatedly replying to #44 and reflecting on 1995 myself I made the point that there are only two number one singles this year by guitar bands but we’ll see a holding pattern of guitar based number two hits as the year goes on – not necessarily Britpop ones.

  63. 63
    Patrick Mexico on 7 Jul 2013 #

    Re: #59 Well I guess the stifling heatwave of ’76 caused the necessary tension for punk rock to explode. I always thought if it hadn’t been for the glorious summers of 1989 and 1990, acid house and rave culture – and perhaps the Mondays and Roses – would have died out early. Given they followed a run of limp, wet ones from 85-86-87-88 (that sounds like a Simple Minds album title from when they were “good”, and most music in those years sounded like Simple Minds when they “weren’t” very good. Something had to change..)

  64. 64
    punctum on 8 Jul 2013 #

    Don’t know where you were at the time but ’87 was a remarkably hot and nice summer.

  65. 65
    Patrick Mexico on 8 Jul 2013 #

    I was only two years old at the time, so these opinions are based on secondary sources and my father’s distrust of eighties (especially the mid-eighties.) But then again, I was born in them..

    Of course, people’s expectations of a “good” British summer have fluctuated throughout the years, and sun worshippers were perhaps spoilt by that great run from 1994-1997. I remember the morning of August 31, waking up to Princess Diana’s death and heavy rain from the remnants of a Biblical thunderstorm – it felt like the end of many different eras.. Mark E Smith was right when he said the Great British Public never fully recovered from their [confused and hypocritical] reaction to events in that Paris tunnel.

    … not to mention another hammer blow, the paranoia and fanatical, nay, fundamentalist hype over a certain Oasis album released the week before – which musically I really don’t mind that much, but we’ll get round to it later. Though I wouldn’t mind a TPL hatchet job on its cultural impact..

  66. 66
    Patrick Mexico on 8 Jul 2013 #

    Talking of weather and August 31, 1997, John Kettley is struggling to make it through this forecast, almost close to tears.


  67. 67
    punctum on 8 Jul 2013 #

    “Its cultural impact” has a much wider frame than just the second Oasis album, and I intend to begin addressing that issue in the very next TPL entry.

  68. 68
    ciaran on 18 Jul 2013 #

    This was probably the first Number 1 I can remember just making its way into the top 20 and climbing to number 1 as opposed to the more expected straight to the top records that would occur more often from the mid-1990s.A record from just a year after this and one from late 97 are the other 2 I can recall making leaps but cant go into detail now.

    It wasnt entirely unexpected.Radio-friendly (in edited form obviously),Dumb chorus,Teenage respect,Terrace/Sports anthem – the uniforms of the then imperial phase NBA helping no doubt- the unexpected heatwave.Nothing was stopping this juggernaut.Guaranteed to fill the dancefloor.

    I’m embarrassed to admit I liked this a lot.All the ways up to dancing like a berk around the house when it was played.Might have also been the key factor in buying Now 31.

    would have been an 8 when released but would find it hard to give it anymore than 3 nowadays.

  69. 69
    mrdiscopop on 23 Oct 2014 #

    Or, as my dad once sang: “Wa-hey, let me hear you say boom boom.”

  70. 70
    Chinny Reckon on 29 Mar 2015 #

    I’m sure I remember Mark Goodier playing the explicit version of this on the Radio One Top 40 once during the weeks it was at number one- accidental or not, I don’t know.

    Interesting facts (or not, depending on your point of view)- The Outhere Brothers, aka ‘Hula and K Fingers’ produced ‘Summertime’ by Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and were also behind a number of other dance tunes, including garage hit ‘RU Sleeping’ by Indo.

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)

If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page