Which Decade Is Tops For Pops

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 1: the Number 10s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops67 comments • 1,667 views

Hello! I’m Mike Atkinson, and over the course of the next three or four weeks, I’ll be overseeing an IMPORTANT EXPERIMENT IN PARTICIPATIVE DEMOCRACY, right here on Freaky Trigger. If you’ve ever visited my old blog during the month of February, then you might be familiar with the procedures – but with a new decade underway and the old blog sinking into disrepair, it felt like the right time to move operations to a new home (and arguably its natural home), and to start the process all over again from scratch.

If you’re new to the game, then this is what’s going to happen. I’ll be taking you on a guided, step-by-step excursion through the Top Ten UK singles from this week in 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. Today, we’ll be looking at the singles at Number Ten in each chart. In two days’ time (all being well), we’ll examine the Number Nines… and so on, until we reach the Number Ones.

I’ll be providing YouTube links throughout, as well as a brief memory-jogging MP3 medley, containing roughly thirty seconds from each of that day’s six tracks.

At the end of each post, you will be invited to rank the six tracks in descending order of preference. I’ll be totting up your votes (using an inverse points system, but let’s not sweat the details just yet) and providing running totals at regular intervals.

As we step through the chart positions together – day by day, place by place, from the Number Tens to the Number Ones – your scores will be accumulated into running totals for each decade. So when we get to the end of the exercise, we will have SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN which of our six decades – the Sixties, the Seventies, the Eighties, the Nineties, the Noughties or, um, this one – contains the GREATEST POP MUSIC OF ALL TIME.

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 2: the Number 9s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops74 comments • 1,482 views

Historical background note: Phase One of “Which Decade”, which ran for seven years on my old blog, was nearly always timed to coincide with my birthday week in mid-February. So I’m glad that Phase Two has shifted to May – partly because February’s charts tend to suffer from the back end of the post-Christmas dip, but mainly because they rarely capture the musical essence of the forthcoming year, which usually takes a little longer to define itself.

Looking at Monday’s opening selections, all of which possess at least some discernible measure of merit, it looks as if the decision might have been justified. But as we count our way up our six Top Tens, will quality prevail? Only one way to find out! Let’s wheel out the Number Nines.

1960: Lonnie Donegan – My Old Man’s A Dustman (video) (Tom’s post on Popular)
1970: Creedence Clearwater Revival – Travelin’ Band (video)
1980: Hot Chocolate – No Doubt About It (video)
1990: Heart – All I Wanna Do is Make Love To You (video)
2000: Sweet Female Attitude – Flowers (video)
2010: Professor Green – I Need You Tonight (feat. Ed Drewett) (video)

(Download the MP3 medley)

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 3: the Number 8s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops53 comments • 1,348 views

Timely reminder: I’ll be keeping the voting open on all rounds until a few days after we’re done – so if you’ve just breezed in and fancy playing catch-up, there’s no immediate rush. Experience has shown that late votes in earlier rounds frequently affect the final placings, so NO VOTE IS A WASTED VOTE.

Got that? OK, then let’s unveil the Number Eights.

1960: Elvis Presley – Stuck On You (video)
1970: Tom Jones – Daughter Of Darkness (video)
1980: Motörhead – Leaving Here (from the Golden Years EP) (video)
1990: Soul II Soul – A Dream’s A Dream (video)
2000: Toni Braxton – He Wasn’t Man Enough (video)
2010: Diana Vickers – Once (video)

(Download the MP3 medley)

BONUS CONTENT! As we’ve struck lucky on Spotify, here’s a playlist of all six of today’s entries.

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 4: the Number 7s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops46 comments • 1,248 views

With three rounds of voting already underway, let’s take our first look at how the six decades are matching up against each other. In accordance with the mood of the times, i.e. in order to make every vote count, I have replaced the hated and discredited “Cumulative Inverse Points” system with the progressive and inclusive “Cumulative Average Scores” system. (This is probably even more baffling to the layman than the old method – but if you’d like it explaining, please see me in the comments box.)

Cumulative scores so far:
1. The Eighties – 12.62 points.
2. The Teens – 11.78 points.
3. The Noughties – 11.72 points.
4. The Nineties – 9.80 points.
5. The Sixties – 8.71 points.
6. The Seventies – 8.37 points.

It’s been a good run so far for the Eighties, who have yet to place outside the top three in any round – whereas the opposite is true for the Seventies, who have been stuck in the bottom three throughout. Meanwhile, it’s neck and neck between the Noughties and the Teens, who are virtually tied for second place.

Time for a new round, then. Let’s take a look at the Number Sevens.

1960: Brenda Lee – Sweet Nothin’s (video)
1970: The Hollies – I Can’t Tell The Bottom From The Top (video)
1980: Rodney Franklin – The Groove (video)
1990: Snap! – The Power (video)
2000: True Steppers Featuring Dane Bowers – Buggin’ (video)
2010: Chipmunk – Until You Were Gone (ft. Esmee Denters) (video)

(Download the MP3 medley)

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 5: the Number 6s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops57 comments • 1,160 views

First things first: let’s see how Round 4 has affected the cumulative scoreboard. I’ve put positions from the previous round in brackets.

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 15.84 points.
2(4) The Nineties – 14.94 points.
3(2) The Teens – 14.24 points.
4(3) The Noughties – 13.96 points.
5(5) The Sixties – 13.59 points.
6(6) The Seventies – 11.44 points.

So it’s good news for the Nineties, as “The Power” nudges them up a couple of spaces at the expense of the Teens and the Noughties. The Eighties are holding steady at the top, while the Seventies have a lot of catching up to do.

Eyes down for the Number Sixes, then…

1960: Jimmy Jones – Handy Man (video)
1970: Christie – Yellow River (video) (Tom’s post on Popular)
1980: Sky – Toccata (video)
1990: UB40 – Kingston Town (video)
2000: Mandy Moore – Candy (video)
2010: Taio Cruz ft Ke$ha – Dirty Picture (video)

(Download the MP3)

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 6: the Number 5s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops47 comments • 1,408 views

Although our scoreboard currently remains unchanged from last time, the inconclusive voting pattern of the previous round has left our middle-ranking decades in a constant state of flux, and the gap at the bottom of the table is beginning to narrow:

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 19.81 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 18.44 points.
3(3) The Teens – 17.44 points.
4(4) The Noughties – 17.42 points.
5(5) The Sixties – 16.33 points.
6(6) The Seventies – 15.56 points.

After the grimness of our last selection, will today’s Number Fives restore our spirits? We can but hope…

1960: Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Fall In Love With You (video: expired link fixed)
1970: Dana – All Kinds Of Everything (video) (Tom’s post on Popular)
1980: David Essex – Silver Dream Machine (video)
1990: The Adventures Of Stevie V – Dirty Cash (video)
2000: Sisqó – Thong Song (video)
2010: Aggro Santos ft Kimberly Wyatt – Candy (video)

(Download the MP3)

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 7: the Number 4s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops46 comments • 3,457 views

Looking at today’s cumulative scoreboard, we find the Teens – who led the pack for the first two rounds – continuing their gradual slide down the rankings. The Eighties are beginning to look unassailable, the Seventies could be irredeemable… but, as ever on Which Decade, ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN.

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 24.19 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 22.54 points.
3(4) The Noughties – 20.54 points.
4(3) The Teens – 20.35 points.
5(5) The Sixties – 20.18 points.
6(6) The Seventies – 18.89 points.

Now let’s open the traps, and bid a cordial welcome to our plucky Number Fours.

1960: The King Brothers – Standing On The Corner (Spotify)
(video: same song, different group) (video: same group, different song)
1970: Frijid Pink – House Of The Rising Sun (video)
1980: Blondie – Call Me (video) (Tom’s post on Popular)
1990: Adamski – Killer (video)
2000: The Bloodhound Gang – The Bad Touch (video)
2010: Pendulum – Watercolour (video)

(Download the MP3)

May 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 8: the Number 3s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops35 comments • 951 views

Back after an extended break, we’re finally ready to tackle the Top Three – but before we do that, let’s check the cumulative scores so far:

1(1) The Eighties – 29.20 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 27.65 points.
3(3) The Noughties – 23.32 points.
4(5) The Sixties – 22.56 points.
5(4) The Teens – 22.46 points.
6(6) The Seventies – 21.82 points.

Since the last round was basically all about Blondie and Adamski, it’s no surprise to find the Eighties and Nineties increasing their lead over the rest of the pack. And while it might seem strange that the Sixties have gained a place on the Teens, straight after a round in which the King Brothers are currently placing last, that’s down to some of the late votes that we’ve been receiving in earlier rounds, which have worked in the favour of our 1960 chart.

So, will our Number Threes upset any apple carts, or will they merely confirm the emerging status quo? Let’s take a look.

1960: Adam Faith – Someone Else’s Baby (video)
1970: The Moody Blues – Question (video)
1980: Paul McCartney – Coming Up (video)
1990: Alannah Myles – Black Velvet (video)
2000: Craig David – Fill Me In (video)
2010: Plan B – She Said (video)

Listen to all six songs on Spotify.

(Download the MP3)

Jun 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 9: the Number 2s.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops38 comments • 932 views

After days of stasis, there’s change at last! A good result for Plan B in the last round has reversed the declining fortunes of the Teens, and the Seventies are finally off the bottom of the pile, where they have been languishing since Round Three. This is all at the expense of the Noughties and the Sixties, who are going to need all the help they can get as “Which Decade” approaches end-game.

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 33.55 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 30.26 points.
3(5) The Teens – 27.41 points.
4(6) The Seventies – 25.88 points.
5(3) The Noughties – 25.96 points.
6(4) The Sixties – 24.95 points.

And so, with everything still to play for, let us place our Number Twos under the microscope:

1960: Anthony Newley – Do You Mind? (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1970: Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1980: Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year? (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1990: Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract (video)
2000: Fragma – Toca’s Miracle (video)
2010: Usher – OMG (video)

(Download the MP3)

Listen to all six songs on Spotify.

Jun 10

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops? Round 10: the NUMBER ONES.

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops47 comments • 968 views

With just one round left to run, the Seventies continue to claw back some of their lost ground. Our leading decade took a knock in the Number Twos, as Johnny Logan notched up the lowest average score of any track to date – but with the voting far from over, all this could change in a heartbeat.

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 35.52 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 33.72 points.
3(4) The Seventies – 31.05 points.
4(3) The Teens – 30.01 points.
5(5) The Noughties – 29.53 points.
6(6) The Sixties – 29.16 points.

Mindful of the fact that this is a post about UK Number Ones, on a site that already contains the ultimate guide to the subject, I’m going to try and keep these final blurbs short. Toe-trampling ain’t my style!

1960: The Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1970: England World Cup Squad – Back Home (video: at 3:46) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1980: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1990: Madonna – Vogue (video)
2000: Oxide And Neutrino – Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty) (video)
2010: Roll Deep – Good Times (video)

(Download the MP3)