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Jun 10

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

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops38 comments • 1,196 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.

If you’ve got the time after listening to the studio version linked above, then do take a look at this performance clip (titled “Most Promising Newcomer 1960”), in which Anthony Newley cavorts with a bunch of dancing girls (while a couple of on-stage suits mutter that “he’s an actor, not a singer”) before singing a similarly arranged version of “Do You Mind”. It might help to explain his peculiarly downplayed, almost embarrassed studio rendition, as we see the actor-turned-singer adding comically exaggerated hand gestures to his already-verging-on-the-hammy delivery, suggesting that the song’s corniness is rather beneath him.

Corny as the song may be (compare and contrast with Brenda Lee’s deft handling of her own whispered “sweet nothings”, for instance), Newley does succeed in mining it for points of interest (that sudden snap of luv-ya is a cute touch), casting himself as a diffident, buttoned-up Englishman forced into Sinatra’s shoes. Too stiff to swing, he shies away from declaring his romantic interest too forcefully. (When the lyric demands it, the hamminess merely steps up a notch.) As for his handling of the intrinsically cautious title line, I am reminded of George Mikes’ observations of the English from How To Be An Alien, published fourteen years earlier:

The English have no soul; they have the understatement instead. If a continental youth wants to declare his love to a girl, he kneels down, tells her that she is the sweetest, the most charming and ravishing person in the world, that she has something in her, something peculiar and individual which only a few hundred thousand other women have and that he would be unable to live one more minute without her. Often, to give a little more emphasis to the statement, he shoots himself on the spot. This is a normal, week-day declaration of love in the more temperamental continental countries. In England the boy pats his adored one on the back and says softly: ‘I don’t object to you, you know.’ If he is quite mad with passion, he may add: ‘I rather fancy you, in fact.’

Having first encountered “Spirit In The Sky” through Doctor And The Medics’ flashy, irreverent cover version, I find it hard to listen to Norman Greenbaum‘s original without thinking of daft costumes, silly dance routines, and indeed of the glam-rock glitter-stomp (“Son Of My Father”, “Rock And Roll Part Two”, “Blockbuster”, “The Jean Genie” and particularly “My Coo-Ca-Choo”) which its fuzzed-up bluesy shuffle must have helped to inspire.

This does rather distract from the song’s presumably sincere evangelical intent – although lines such as “never been a sinner, I never sinned” suggest a cockiness on Greenbaum’s part (there seems to be no doubt in his mind that paradise rather than purgatory awaits) that could just be satirically meant. Where’s the repentance, Norman? You’re skipping a key step in the process!

Every now and again – 2010 being the most recent case in point – a Eurovision winner is heralded as a victory for the contemporary, which will assuredly “bring the contest up to date”. (They never do, of course.) The false dawn of Johnny Logan‘s triumph is a good case in point, for in the context of 1980 MOR pop, “What’s Another Year” was really rather on-trend. (We’ll hear echoes of its production style in some of Sheena Easton’s ballads from a year or so later, for instance.)

“A winsome fella”, commented Wogan, whose old pal from RTE days (the TV presenter Shay Healy) composed “What’s Another Year”. The song was inspired by the grief felt by Healy’s father over the loss of his wife, and Logan does a decent enough job of conveying a certain measure of that sense of loss. But although the track might have sounded refreshingly modern to the Eurovision juries of 1980, its signature devices quickly palled. Yes, gloopy jazz-sax solo, I’m looking at you.

The premise of “Opposites Attract” – she’s a lady, he’s kinda shady, ain’t it crazy! – is hardly a new one, if you cast your mind back to romantic comedies of the Fifties and Sixties (for some reason, I’m picturing Rock Hudson and Doris Day in matching pyjamas, back to back, arms folded, mugging to camera), but Paula Abdul was fully entitled to update it for 1990, “aided and abetted” by the “lovable” cartoon character MC Skat Kat. It’s chirpy, it’s cheeky, it’s clever enough in its way – and it leaves me absolutely stone cold. Can we leave it there, please?

Oh, mash-up culture, so much to answer for! For every “Freak Like Me”, there has to be a “Toca’s Miracle”, in which Fragma‘s perfectly serviceable instrumental trance hit from 1999 is needlessly plastered over with the vocal line from Coco’s humdrum “I Need A Miracle”. For this, we have to thank a DJ from my home town of Nottingham, who slapped together an illicit bootleg mix that became “big in Ibiza”, leading Fragma to recreate the magic for themselves.

To my ears, there’s something brutally ice-cold about “Toca’s Miracle”. Like “Dirty Cash”, it reminds me of false excitement in crap clubs, with Coco’s artlessly strained vocals striking a jarring, almost desperate note. She’s pretending to feel something – we’re pretending to feel something – and somehow the experience diminishes us all. (Then again, 2000 was the year I retired from regular weekend clubbing, and “Toca’s Miracle” played its part in soundtracking my disillusionment – so feel free to dismiss me as an unreliable witness.)

As for Usher‘s club-banging collaboration with wll.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, I sense we are headed for a sharply polarised verdict. If 1991 was “the year that punk broke” in the States, then it has taken almost as long for electronic dance music to achieve equal mainstream success – but in the wake of Gaga and Guetta, Eurodance derivatives are now big box office, and the scramble to jump aboard the bandwagon is everywhere to be seen.

Most of you approved of Kelis’s similarly inclined “Acapella”, which won Round One of “Which Decade” with ease – but what will you make of Usher’s “OMG”? Are you gearing up to dismiss it as an act of lazy, cynical acquiescence from an artist who should know better? Or do you, like me, welcome “OMG” as a daring, thrilling, joyously life-affirming piece of pow-pow-pow, which has you sighing wow-oh-wow?

And on that note, it’s over to you. Will Johnny Logan and Paula Abdul keep the Eighties and Nineties out in front? Or will Usher hasten the Teens’ advance on the Top Two? Let’s find out together!

Comments

  1. 1
    Mike Atkinson on 2 Jun 2010 #

    FINAL SCORES:
    155 points: Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky
    122 points: Anthony Newley – Do You Mind?
    117 points: Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract
    116 points: Fragma – Toca’s Miracle
    101 points: Usher – OMG
    61 points: Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year?

    My votes:
    6 points: Usher – OMG
    5 points: Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky
    4 points: Anthony Newley – Do You Mind?
    3 points: Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year?
    2 points: Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract
    1 point: Fragma – Toca’s Miracle

  2. 2
    Lionel d'Lion on 2 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum
    5 points – Paula Abdul
    4 points – Fragma
    3 points – Anthony Newley
    2 points – Usher
    1 point – Johnny Logan

  3. 3
    DietMondrian on 2 Jun 2010 #

    6 – Norman Greenbaum – I’ve always liked this song’s dopey lope. Have to tune out the lyrics, though.
    5 – Paula Abdul
    4 – Anthony Newley
    3 – Fragma
    2 – Johnny Logan
    1 – Usher – Autotune again. Ban it, ban it, ban it. Ban them all.

  4. 4
    intothefireuk on 2 Jun 2010 #

    Oh dear this round isn’t so good again….

    6 Norman Greenbaum – Mainly for the riff and the echoed guitar chords.

    The rest I could easily change on a daily basis depending what mood I’m in as I wouldn’t want to particularly hear any of them again. Today the marks are :-

    5 Anthony Newley – cos I like his voice.
    4 Johnny Logan – Soporific but at least he sounds vaguely sincere.
    3 Fragma – Formulaic euro trash.
    2 Paula Abdul – Pretty dire
    1 Usher – The production has managed to exorcise any soul, feeling etc. out of it (if there was any to begin with).

  5. 5
    grange85 on 2 Jun 2010 #

    Feeling so uninspired. Newley was just forgettable – already forgotten it. Spirit in the Sky was OK but actually Dr & The Medics did it better (and even that wasn’t great). Playing What’s Another Year was the first time I’ve felt embarrassed listening to a “What’s Decade” song. Quite liking this Paula Abdul track. Fragma is pretty (sub-)standard stuff – for someone who doesn’t listen to music like this often it seems like I’ve heard this a billion times before. Ugh! Football chants and autotune shudder… and did he really sing “honey’s got some boobies like wow wow wow” without humour? horrid!

    6 points – Paula Abdul
    5 points – Norman Greenbaum
    4 points – Fragma
    3 points – Anthony Newley
    2 points – Usher
    1 point – Johnny Logan

  6. 6
    lonepilgrim on 2 Jun 2010 #

    A mixed bag at number two
    6 points – Anthony Newley
    Although I’m not overly wild about this I still find it a fascinating suggestion of a road not taken in UK pop – and far more compelling than Adam Faith’s watered down Buddy Holly. This is more like beefed up Noel Coward
    5 points – Norman Greenbaum
    This chugs along compellingly but has become a little overfamiliar
    4 points – Fragma
    It’s a little too anonymous to make much of an impact but at least it doesn’t grate
    3 points – Paula Abdul
    There’s something theatrical about Paula’s performance that connects it to Anthony Newley in my mind. There’s also something irritatingly ‘perky’ about it too.
    2 points – Usher
    Usher sounds uncomfortable on an unfamiliar bandwagon and the crowd chanting seems designed to be repeated at sports events for a long time.
    1 point – Johnny Logan
    Dreary beyond reason. Makes Dana sound hardcore

  7. 7
    Z on 2 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum. Loved it then, love it now – the song, that is, I prefer Doctor and the Medics’ version, though that may be nostalgia (which isn’t allowed, of course).
    5 points – Anthony Newley. Thanks for the reference to George Mikes, whose books I used to read with amusement 40 years ago. And yes, I’m awfully English, which may be the reason this appeals to me.
    4 – Johnny Logan – The sort of thing I don’t like at all, but I preferred it to the rest.
    3 – Usher – I’d have liked to mark this lower.
    2 – Paula Abdul – Quite annoying
    1 – Fragma. Couldn’t do the third listen. Disliked it a lot.

  8. 8
    thefatgit on 2 Jun 2010 #

    Some number 2’s in more ways than one here:

    6 points-Norman Greenbaum
    5 points-Anthony Newley
    4 points-Paula Abdul
    3 points-Fragma
    2 points-Usher
    1 point-Johnny Logan

    Eurovision can throw up dross as well as gems. Although there is nothing intrinsically wrong with Johnny’s performance here, it’s really quite dull in arrangement, enough to suck any spark of soul from it.
    Usher’s got a fine voice. Shame Will.i.am ignores it. A formula that works for BEP’s may not necessarily work for Usher. Keep your gadgets in the cupboard Will.
    Fragma’s track is another example of a fine dance tune ruined by a crappy tacked on vocal. The charts were full of such examples as Trance ran out of steam.
    Paula Abdul comes across as a thoroughly likeable person doesn’t she?
    Anthony Newley also comes across as a thoroughly likeable person, and this song’s “englishness” makes an impression albeit briefly.
    So we’re left with good old Norm who gets 6 points for not being Dr & The Medics. Also I’m a little bit partial to some prog-fuzz.

  9. 9
    lockedintheattic on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6 – Fragma – Unlike Mike, I was slap bang in the middle of my clubbing career here and have very fond memories of this one. I knew, and had been happily enjoying the original for months, but there was something about this version that lifted it to another level (and clearly not just for me). Love it.
    5 – Paula – Rather throwaway but great fun.
    4 – Usher – Gosh. Possibly the first Usher song I have ever liked. Here’s to bandwagon jumping.
    3 – Norman Greenbaum – Dr & the Medics > Norman > Gareth Gates
    2 – Anthony Newley
    1 – Johnny Logan – Ugh

  10. 10
    Steve Mannion on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6: Fragma – Not that great really but hey the first mash-up #1 before the bootleg boom.
    5: Abdul – Corny as hell but fun.
    4: Usher – Has grown on me a bit but rote as anything else in the charts lately.
    3: Greenbaum – Well it’s the best version but what a stupid song.
    2: Newley – I really can’t judge 60s pop easily, oh well.
    1: Logan – Nafferama.

  11. 11
    taDOW on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6 – norman greenbaum
    5 – fragma
    4 – usher
    3 – newley
    2 – mc skat kat
    1 – logan

  12. 12
    JonnyB on 3 Jun 2010 #

    Oh dear.

    6 – Norman. Great song, exciting sound.
    5 – Paula.
    4 – Fragma – and then, ummm….
    3 – Newley
    2 – Usher
    1 – Logan

  13. 13
    David Belbin on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum: I bought this and it still works for me. I remember taking the lyrics to Sunday school (my last year as a Catholic) where we analysed them and found them to be pretty uncontroversial, especially as compared to ‘All Along The Watchtower, where I had tried to transcribe the Hendrix version. The beginning of a lifetime trying to make sense of Dylan
    5 points – Anthony Newley: just for being David Bowie’s dad, we owe him a lot for the way Bowie used his vocal influence, very clear here, and because the rest are complete crap
    4 points – Usher
    3 points – Paul Abdul
    2 points – Fragma
    1 point – Johnny Logan

  14. 14
    punctum on 3 Jun 2010 #

    Have to go with Mike’s marks, i.e.:

    6 points – Usher: will.i.am is officially King Of Pop; deal with it.
    5 points – Norman Greenbaum: was it really the case that he got away with playing sets consisting of 45-minute versions of “SITS”? I can’t imagine any pig farmer’s ever been happier, fictitious Dick King-Smith ones excepted. Towers over the terrible two covers which subsequently went to number one here. Once again, the sixties are over, but don’t worry, there’s a light and it’s not an oncoming train.
    4 points – Anthony Newley: “Be My Wife”?
    3 points – Johnny Logan: unexceptional but doesn’t he sound like Anne Murray?
    2 points – Paula Abdul and a Cartoon Cat: her best hit (though “Rush, Rush” comes a close second) but really that’s not saying much at all.
    1 point – Fragma: a fragment, indeed, from a time which is still very much lost to me and this dreary Europrance-by-numbers muddley doesn’t inspire me towards much rediscovery.

  15. 15
    Erithian on 3 Jun 2010 #

    We’ve used this gag before Mike, but the expression “Number Twos” is once again rather appropriate.

    6 pts: 1960 Anthony Newley – it’s been a strange selection from this year, classics interspersed with songs that are twee, dated or both. This one is rarely heard today as far as I can tell, but it’s the best of those that haven’t come down to us as part of the 1960 canon. Nice sparse Sinatra-esque arrangement, nice guitar, confident vocal. Like it.

    5 pts: 1970 Norman Greenbaum – suffers a bit from overfamiliarity, but if you listen to it for its message rather than the fun glam overtones brought in by Dr and the Medics and enjoyed by Gareth Gates, it’s an interesting document of a time when religious sentiment and messages were no barrier to chart success.

    4 pts: 2000 Fragma – dance music I didn’t care much for, albeit elevated somewhat by a decent soulful vocal. Gets 4 points while the much superior Plan B got 3 in the last round – luck of the draw.

    3 pts: 1990 Paula Abdul – she was pretty massive in the US at the time wasn’t she? Too soulless and plastic for me. Wonderful video, though, paying homage to Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse in, was it Anchors Aweigh?

    2 pts: 1980 Johnny Logan – could have been scientifically designed to win Eurovision (at least in those days) – and the first major success for a 27-year-old budding impresario named Louis Walsh. A bit meh though.

    1 pt: 2010 Usher ft Will.i.am – OMG indeed, from the click track to the autotune to the football crowd sound, this is all kinds of horrible.

  16. 16
    wichita lineman on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6 Usher – terrace r&b, a brand new rhythm (has anybody else heard it before?) and so many hooks, single of the year so far
    5 Fragma – pardon my dimness Steve@10, but what is this a mash-up of? I was under the impression it was another minor key Rob Davies triumph like Can’t Get You Out Of My Head and Not Over Yet. But I could well be wrong!
    4 Anthony Newley – intrigued by how badly this has gone down in comparison on Popular where it was/is in the readers’ bottom 100 no.1s. Finger snapping simplicity, assured if not great.
    3 Norman Greenbaum – some lovely dubbed-out guitar effects and a storming groove soiled by the lyric and Xtian campfire melody
    2 Johnny Logan – I can imagine this in the hands of Toussaint McCall or Joe Simon as a country-soul ballad. So it plays better in my head, definitely.
    1 Paula Abdul – nothing to it, no tune, just blank dance-pop for the Pepsi generation, a no.53 hit without the video

  17. 17
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Jun 2010 #

    Wichita, see my Fragma blurb in the main post for further details… there are YouTube links and everything! “I Need A Miracle” (the vocal bit) was a Rob Davies composition, but “Toca Me” (the instrumental bit) wasn’t.

  18. 18
    Billy Smart on 3 Jun 2010 #

    I only like one of these, don’t mind one, and am not keen on the rest…

    6 – Anthony Newley – Appealing simplicity

    5 – Usher – Suave

    4 – Fragma – Generic

    3 – Johnny Logan – Sappy

    2 – Paula Abdul – Muzzle that sodding cat!

    1 – Norman Greenbaum – Happy-clappy that makes me unhappy and unclappy.

  19. 19
    Amanda S on 3 Jun 2010 #

    6 Points: Norman Greenbaum – Pioneering glam rock stomp
    5 Points: Anthony Newley
    4 Points: Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair
    3 Points: Fragma
    2 Points: Johnny Logan
    1 Point: Usher

  20. 20
    Ben on 4 Jun 2010 #

    6 – Fragma
    5 – Anthony Newley
    4 – Johnny Logan
    3 – Norman Greenbaum
    2 – Paula Abdul
    1 – Usher

  21. 21
    Tom on 4 Jun 2010 #

    6 – NORMAN GREENBAUM – Stand by what I say, one of the witchier songs in a witchy year.
    5 – USHER – The terrace chants are what do it, yes.
    4 – PAULA ABDUL – Love the crappy 1990 production touches in the background – that skid-and-breaking-glass noise! This has gusto.
    3 – FRAGMA – Is ageing poorly to be honest.
    2 – ANTHONY NEWLEY – Still don’t like this one much.
    1 – JOHNNY LOGAN – THAT EYE ON THE SLEEVE!! Man I’d forgotten that.

  22. 22
    Martin Skidmore on 4 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum
    5 points – Paula Abdul
    4 points – Fragma
    3 points – Usher
    2 points – Anthony Newley
    1 point – Johnny Logan
    I don’t like Norman that much, don’t care about Paula, and don’t like any of the rest.

  23. 23
    grange85 on 4 Jun 2010 #

    Got my comment in early so am rather annoyed at missing my chance to make the “number 2s” joke well done #8!

  24. 24
    Mike Atkinson on 4 Jun 2010 #

    Ahem… I actually made the “Number Twos” gag near the top of the original post. But subtly!

  25. 25
    grange85 on 4 Jun 2010 #

    Much too subtle for me but well done (thinking of heading back over previous Which Decade’s to make sure you use it every time!)

  26. 26
    Mike Atkinson on 4 Jun 2010 #

    I used it in 2007 (“Without wishing to get all Gillian McKeith on you, shall we examine the Number Twos?“) and 2008 (“Was a Which Decade selection ever more appropriately named? Hold yer noses! In we go!“), but let it lie fallow in 2009…

  27. 27
    Lena on 4 Jun 2010 #

    Ah, now we come to the crunch…

    6 – Usher, will.i.am, “LET THE BEAT ROCK” ten seconds in, OOOH-oh_OOW_OOW etc. Awesome!
    5 – Anthony Newley, believe it or not; utterly simple and direct and disarming, really.
    4 – Norman Greenbaum pigfarmer entryism!
    3 – Paula Abdul, more to say when I eventually get there!
    2 – Fragma – yes you need a miracle, you need a TUNE
    1 – Johnny Logan – UGH

  28. 28
    RobMiles on 4 Jun 2010 #

    6 – Fragma – For me, THE song of 2000. Brings back many happy memories of a great time in my life. An all-time dance classic.
    5 – Paula Abdul – My 10 year old self loved this.
    4 – Norman Greenbaum – Don’t like the lyric, but good production.
    3 – Anthony Newley – Not really into this sort of music but passable.
    2 – Johnny Logan – Bland and I don’t really like Irish pop music.
    1 – Usher – The sort of modern song I don’t enjoy

  29. 29
    Nick P on 4 Jun 2010 #

    oooh. More fun!

    6 points – Anthony Newley (whisper it quietly as I really like a bit of Newley)
    5 points – Paula Abdul – man, I loved this, back in the day.
    4 points – Johnny Logan. It’s not “Hold Me Now”, but I still like a bit of Logan
    3 points – Norman Greenbaum
    2 points – Fragma
    1 point – Usher

  30. 30
    jeff w registered on 6 Jun 2010 #

    Here’s a belated and welcome attempt from the 70s to salvage something from the wreckage that has been their WDITFP? challenge this year. I was just too young for “Spirit…” first time round but was bowled over when I first encountered it in the early 80s via Jimmy Saville’s oldies chart show – bowled over by the riff and the beat mainly, the Jesus stuff only registered later. Lovely stuff – though pipped here even so by perky Paula’s finest moment.

    6 pts – P. Abdul
    5 pts – Norman G
    4 pts – Tony Newley
    3 pts – Usher
    2 pts – Fragma
    1 pt – J Logan

  31. 31
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 6 Jun 2010 #

    6 for Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract
    5 for Usher – OMG
    4 for Fragma – Toca’s Miracle
    3 for Anthony Newley – Do You Mind?
    2 for Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year?
    1 for Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

    norm g: terrific fuzzboogie riff, utterly tiresome vocal spoils it
    abdul: lovely furry little paula, unassumingly lithe and cosy and i miss her so she tips out Usher’s smooth perfect-form gorgeousness

  32. 32
    Gordon on 8 Jun 2010 #

    1. Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky
    2. Paula Abdul With The Wild Pair – Opposites Attract
    3. Anthony Newley – Do You Mind?
    4. Fragma – Toca’s Miracle
    5. Usher – OMG
    6. Johnny Logan – What’s Another Year?

  33. 33
    Clair on 8 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum
    5 points – Anthony Newley
    4 points – Fragma
    3 points – Johnny Logan
    2 points – Paula Abdul
    1 point – Usher

  34. 34
    Al Ewing on 9 Jun 2010 #

    A tough choice, presented (almost) without comment:

    6 points – Norman Greenbaum.
    5 points – Usher.
    4 points – Johnny Logan.
    3 points – Fragma.
    2 points – Anthony Newley.
    1 points – Paula Abdul. I was expecting this to romp home, but I’d forgotten quite how wretched it was, with the bloody cartoon cat and the dreadful mauling of the vocals and the smug horror of it all. OH GOD MC SKAT KAT.

  35. 35
    Tom Lawrence on 9 Jun 2010 #

    6 points Norman Greenbaum (a stone cold classic)
    5 points Fragma (good memories attached to this but haven’t heard it in a while and not as good as I remember)
    4 points Usher (entirely for the crowd noise thing really)
    3 points Paula Abdul (OMG WTF – wish I remembered this the first time out)
    2 points Anthony Newley
    1 point Johnny Logan

  36. 36
    asta on 10 Jun 2010 #

    6 pts- Norman Greenbaum – That stomping guitar intro, the joyful beat throughout, even the bridge does it for me. Norman makes the Spirit in the Sky sound like the name of a rock club and Jesus is the guy with connections to get you past the bouncer. Yeah that’s where I’m going. No question. Never sinned? no, of course not. (wink)

    5pts- Usher- I recall hearing him talk recently about performing, and how he’s acutely aware of himself as a brand, and the tricks he uses in live performances to sell a song to the back of the room and, oh, nevermind. The lyrics to this song, such as they are, are whatever lies beyond ridiculous. None of it matters. This is a song for the summer. Solid

    4 pts-Fragma- I’m unfamiliar with the original, or even this version of the song. It’s nothing special, but it doesn’t annoy me.

    3 pts- Paula Abdul- Cheesy Cheesy; the cartoon version of a cartoon entertainer. Paula’s entire career has been posing with a beat.

    2 pts- Anthony Newley- Frank Sinatra?! Newley, especially in this horrible song bears more resemblance to a tanked out bar singer at 2 am playing a lounge on the outskirts of Atlantic City. Frank Sinatra?? Why, I oughta…

    1 pt- Johnny Logan- This won? Really? It’s Christopher Cross meets Kenny G. Ah, yes, that part of the 80s.

  37. 37
    sarlitchin on 10 Jun 2010 #

    6 points – Paula Abdul
    5 points – Fragma
    4 points – Norman Greenbaum
    3 points – Usher (umm – did you see the Graham Norton performance? What was with the video/dubbed effect?)
    2 point – Anthony Newley
    1 point – Johnny Logan

  38. 38
    redhairkid on 27 Jan 2014 #

    Don’t particularly mind Johnny Logan (I’m Irish myself!) but the Swedish entry should have won that year. I’m still in love with Tomas Ledin!

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