Top 100 Songs Of All Time

28
Sep 07

THE FT TOP 100 SONGS 51. WHIGFIELD- “Think Of You”

FT/13 comments • 2,224 views

What do I think of when I think of “Think Of You”?

Sadly, the answer is “Saturday Night”. You can’t talk about Whigfield without talking about “Saturday Night”, and the problem with that is that in the end “Saturday Night” is probably all you end up talking about. If hard pushed to name another Whigfield song, the smart people may remember “Think of You”, but would be easily sidetracked into saying “Turn Back Time” by Aqua. Indeed Aqua seemed to be Whigfield fronting the B-52’s* such their equivalent lasting appeals and places in pop. So why Whigfield and Think of You?

The “holiday” song was not a new phenomenon by the time summer 1994 came around. Y Viva Espana was twenty years before. But “Saturday Night” was a holiday pop song which came from Ibiza, the ubiquitous pop club banger which everyone knew on their way home. By the time it was finally released in the UK it had a ready made audience. It also had the extreme good fortune to knock Wet Wet Wet’s “Love is All Around” off of the top of the charts engendering Whigfield with an indie cred that could not be derived from the song itself.

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14
Sep 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 52, Joe Jackson – It’s Different For Girls

FT/5 comments • 1,785 views

DIFFERENT FOR GIRLSLook over there! Where? There in wikipedia where it tells you that Joe Jackson has been putting out records (but not cigarettes) constantly since the late 70s. Not just those two songs once. Yes JJ is one of those unfortunate artists that you know more of their songs than you realise. “Stepping Out” that was him too — a song I know very well, but didn’t even know the title or that it was by him until 20 minutes ago. (Go find it on youtube.) But that was later, smoother 80s JJ — you don’t get more dinner-party-smooth than playing piano for Suzanne Vega, and Stepping Out is even on one of the GTA soundtracks – so perhaps the right phrase is “Mondeo Pop”. If it is I have to insist there are no pejorative connotations. Good, that’s settled.

Anyway. Earlier in 79/80, It’s Different for Girls, and Is She Really Going Out With Him?. These merge into one another in my head. Partly because, well , they do sound the same (they do!), but also because they are in a particularly malleable bit of my memory (someone find me a JJ megamix plz!). The late 70s was the environment that formed my own pre-teen musical tastes

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13
Sep 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 53: Wham! – Wham Rap

FT/15 comments • 6,015 views

hmmm, where shall i put this shuttlecock...They rly don’t make ’em like this any more. Boy bands singing about unemployment? Mentions of governmental departments in choruses? Comedy rapping? OK, there’s still comedy rapping.

My “best of wham!”, which features the 12″ mix of wham rap (all 6:46 of it!), credits the song to michael and ridgeley, I’d kind of always assumed it was written for them, otherwise why is the george michael “character” so very far from the different corner/careless whisper big girls blouse GM we grew to love (and which was clearly much more commercially successful)? In terms of early 80s english rap singles, it’s probably the best though (not that there was a lot of competition). It does kind of capture the Chic groove that eg rappers delight has, and is arguably no more lyrically niave, why shouldn’t essex boys do rap? I think it works because they’re singing about what they know, what three million people knew at the time (although I doubt whether dole money stretched to buying singles, which might explain why this was their lowest charting proper single). Interesting that the lyrics on the 12″ version include the wonderful line “i choose to cruise”, but this is excised from the single version, Tom Watkins’ idea not to raise suspicions perhaps?

29
Aug 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 54 WILL YOUNG – “Leave Right Now”

FT/10 comments • 3,880 views

leave-right-now.jpgBALLSY! That’s no the first word that springs to mind when I think of Will Young. And perhaps BALLSY is the wrong word to append to “Leave Right Now”, a sappy song of monumental wetness. But let me tell you why I have recently realised that “Leave Right Now” is one of the BALLSIEST songs of the noughties. And before you say it, none of the reasons is that the songs is itself BALLS. No, I think “Leave Right Now” is terrific. Its just that’s not the reason why its BALLSY.

Will Young came to pop stardom late, and via a route usually relegated to lousy thrashalong indie bands. NO, I don’t mean Pop Idol, you wouldn’t have got the singer of Midway Still getting past four seconds with Simon Cowell. I mean he was finishing a Philosophy degree at university. This should not, and does not, qualify you in anyway to be a teenage heart-throb singer. Being gay is not usually a detriment, but you’re not really supposed to tell anyone until a small proportion of the countries teenage girls have embarrassed themselves over you.

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21
Aug 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 55 DAVID BOWIE – “Suffragette City”

FT/2 comments • 1,274 views

Dame David in 40 years timeWham bam, thank you mam, well quite. Having just looked up the lyrics (having sung them phonetically all these years), is this like bowie trying to be bolan or summat? The other thing is I seem to spend most of the time thinking about other songs whilst trying to think about SC. If it’s not surfin’ usm it’s rock & roll suicide (now i no longer listen to alBUMs this very rarely happens with new tracks, but i have played ZS&TSFM once or twice over the years). maybe it’s the way the wham bam thank you mam bit (the most memorable bit of the song) drags you to the end before you’ve sung the beginning to yrself, thus leading you into the next track on the alBUM, or it being the sample makes you think of the other song (see also cloudbusting vs the u-u-utah saints).

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23
Jul 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 56 MARVIN GAYE – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Do You See + FT//3 comments • 2,239 views

A British sitting room, 1988. A father and his son are both watching a rental television, a Ferguson one, which was not supplied with a remote control. The child is sitting on the rug, whilst his father has dominion over the room in a very comfy chair.

The strains of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” come through on the televisions single tinny speaker, boxed in by veneer. The son seems resigned in his role as nominal remote control, but puberty has made him less reliable than the standard infra-red version

Father: Turn it over.
Son: I like this.
Father: It’s a travesty. Using a great song like this for advertising.
Son: I like them.

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20
Jul 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time: No. 57 ELVIS COSTELLO & THE ATTRACTIONS – “Oliver’s Army”

FT//74 comments • 5,166 views

I semi-remember just two lines from the NME’s (Charlie Shaar Murray’s?) review of “Armed Forces” (secret unused title “Emotional Fascism”). One was that one of the other songs resembled ELP “jamming in the bottom of an oil drum”! The other — more germane to this post, as well as being true — is that “with the boys from the Mersey, the Thames and the Tyne” is a brilliantly compressed evocation of a nation’s sense of itself (if “a nation” = England obv), the disparate togetherness of an army abroad. The other thing I recall from the time is this: watching EC&tAs play this on top of the pops, and someone sitting near me — who was iirc an organ scholar — saying in sudden surprise (as he watched Steve Nieve play the triple-stabbed piano chords of the bridge passage into the second verse), “Oh! He can actually play!”

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25
Jun 07

The Freaky Trigger Top 100 Tracks Of All Time No. 58 SHANGRI LAS – “Leader Of The Pack”

FT/6 comments • 907 views

Mysteries Of Pop #38715 – Who are the chorus on Leader of the Pack?

The backing vocalists on monumental deathpop masterpiece “Leader Of The Pack” are a gaggle of interested parties who first appear in the spoken-word section that opens the song – “Let’s ask her”. They ask two questions – “Is that Jimmy’s ring you’re wearing” and “Is he picking you up after school today?”. So we know they can’t come from the singer’s school, where everyone stops and stares, because they don’t yet know that Jimmy is dead.

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24
May 07

THE FT TOP 100 TRACKS OF ALL TIME No.59: C+C MUSIC FACTORY – “Things That Make You Go Hmmm”

FT/3 comments • 3,253 views

cuckold.jpgaka Things to make you go hmmmmm about “Things The Make You Go Hmmm”.

This is a more than adequate early nineties pop dance track, perhaps a little more suited to the radio than the dance-floor, with a cheap but memorable video and a killer hook in the chorus which justifies its longevity in any case. However my reason for loving this record is wholly due to the anachronistic circumstances under which it was used as part of my schooling. I was in the Upper Sixth (Year 13 EMO BOY!) doing Chaucer, and we were having a lesson regarding some of the archaic spellings and words (and swears) which rock up. The classic being “cuckold”, which is a terrific word which has drifted out of usage without actually dying. Its not a word I use often in speech, and this Chaucer class was the first time I had encountered it – though the theme of being cuckolded was quite familiar to me. When Steven Lees and Caroline Hogan split up apparently it had been due to her dalliance with Martin Brown, and thus an instant analogy was identified by the the class. Though she did not then go and prance around with horns on.

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11
May 07

THE FT TOP 100 SONGS: 60: DIANA ROSS – “Upside Down”

FT/6 comments • 2,125 views

Kat Stevens writes:

It’s 1997, and the Brit Awards organisers are trying to recover from the previous year’s Jacko/Jarvis debacle. The Spice Girls steal the show and the Manics’ rendition of A Design For Life ensures sales of Everything Must Go increase by 200%. And then we have Motown legend, Miss Piggy sound-a-like and all-round bonkers diva Diana Ross teaming up with… Jay Kay from Jamiroquai? Jay Kay from Jamiroquai? It’s a terrible duet, both performers sounding breathless and disinterested. Diana stares at Jay’s feet, Jay’s head is encased by a monstrous fluffy ushanka. The seventeen-year-old classic has been chewed up and shat out by the horrific advance of late nineties coffee-table funk. Bernie Edwards must have been turning in his barely-cold grave. Luckily we need never think of this travesty again, and can instead wallow in the deliriously euphoric Nile Rodgers guitar groove and knotty bassline of the original. Not a stupid hat in sight.