Posts from March 2014

17
Mar 14

WILL SMITH – “Men In Black”

Popular51 comments • 5,991 views

#772, 16th August 1997

The ‘Greys’ – those spindly, abducting, UFO-piloting scamps – were the iconic early 90s monster. They’d bounced around pop culture through the Cold War but enjoyed a final, late heyday when that conflict ended, bringing a whole bestiary with them – the hypnotic MIBs included. Indeed, they made sense as a Cold War epilogue – a goodbye to the age of spies and spymasters and dreadful international secrets, a way for its tropes (conspiracies, disappearances, and brainwashing) to seem romantic and exciting again one last time.

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14
Mar 14

OASIS – “D’You Know What I Mean?”

Popular139 comments • 13,244 views

#771, 19th July 1997

dkwim “Call me naive but I felt something – I’m not quite sure what it was, but I felt it all the same.” – Noel Gallagher on New Labour.

When Tony Blair and Noel Gallagher shook hands in Downing Street that Autumn, they were men facing similar problems: what do you do after you’ve won? Accounts of the first Blair term stress that New Labour never realised, deep down, they were as powerful as they were – Blair stuck to plans which assumed his party would be working with only a modest majority.

Gallagher, on the other hand, believed absolutely that Oasis would be the biggest band in the country. He’d said it would happen by right, and it had. But that didn’t make him any more prepared. If Blair didn’t believe he could tear up his plan, Noel hadn’t seen much need to make one. What do you do after Morning Glory? You do it again – bigger, better, louder, longer, even if the band hate each other and the songs aren’t there. Be Here Now is known as a cocaine album, but just as pertinently it’s a success album. It’s an avalanche of half-worked, muddy, adequate ideas that exist because nobody said they couldn’t and momentum said they had to. Landslide indie: as 1997 as it gets.

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13
Mar 14

PWC14: Group G Match 2 (Ghana, USA, Portugal, Germany)

Pop World Cup 201412 comments • 1,359 views

seeed Group G’s middle game sees Ghana (Jonathan Bogart) in front after narrowly beating the USA (The Lex) last time. Behind them come Portugal (Weej) and Germany (Tak) who will be looking to make more of an impact on this very tough group.

As ever, play the four songs and vote for two below the cut – where you’ll also find the Group E results and our first European qualifier for the knockout stages!

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12
Mar 14

My Lover’s Got Pneumonia

FT17 comments • 1,617 views

Of course he doesn’t have pneumonia, that would just be silly. What does Italian #2 hit-maker Gala‘s lover REALLY have apart from a shortage of cash?

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11
Mar 14

PUFF DADDY, FAITH EVANS AND 112 – “I’ll Be Missing You”

Popular79 comments • 11,107 views

#770, 28th June 1997

IllBeMissingYou I don’t normally pay too much attention to the length of a song’s stay at Number One, but the scale of “I’ll Be Missing You”’s popularity is significant. It ran three weeks at the top, was knocked off by the comeback single of the country’s biggest band, then came back the week after for another three – and all this before Princess Diana died, giving it another surge. It outsold “Wannabe”. It was colossal.

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10
Mar 14

PWC14: Group F Match 2 (Nigeria, Iran, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Pop World Cup 201413 comments • 1,783 views

leila The second Group F match finds Nigeria (managed by Cis) in pole position, riding a wave of appreciation for African pop. Charged with getting past them are Iran (Wichita Lineman) and Argentina (Chris B) with Bosnia-Herzegovina (Scott M) needing points quickly.

As usual, you have two votes between the four tracks. The poll is below the cut, and so is the Group D results, with a second team exiting the tournament….

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9
Mar 14

HANSON – “MMMBop”

Popular73 comments • 8,836 views

#769, 7th June 1997

mmmbop The word “manufactured” is the most enduring and potent slam on pop music, suggesting music as sheer product – assembled by formula, made by people interested only in money. But what the opposite – more desirable – quality would be is rather less clear. Artisanal pop – hand-crafted for love or art’s sake – is generally what’s meant. There’s a second opposite shadowing that one, though – implicit in the m-word even if it lurks there unintended: not artisanal but natural. An idea of pop as something simple, something that comes easily – think of Paul McCartney supposedly waking up with the melody to “Yesterday” in his head, convinced he couldn’t have thought of it, it seemed so primal a tune. Most people know enough about music to realise such instances are absurdly rare, if they happen at all, but the idea still appeals.

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6
Mar 14

PWC14: Group E Match 2 (France, Honduras, Ecuador, Switzerland)

Pop World Cup 201414 comments • 1,881 views

mckenzi Group E’s second game sees France (managed by Jessica) looking for the win that will see them through to the knockout phase. Giant-killers Honduras (Kat) will be trying to build on their fine early start, with Ecuador (Megan) and Switzerland (Mullah Rezmat) hoping for improved second-game fortunes.

Click through for the tracks, the poll (pick 2 of 4), and results from Group C.

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ETERNAL ft BEBE WINANS – “I Wanna Be The Only One”

Popular49 comments • 9,365 views

#768, 31st May 1997

eternal All through the pre-Spice 90s, if you wanted a girl group, it was R&B you looked to, and the reason you looked there was En Vogue. Like the Spice Girls, they were immediately successful and widely copied. They mixed high-gloss beats with rich, harmony-driven soul and used it to deliver short, potent empowerment slogans. They were exhilarating, they seemed exactly right for their times, and their imitators and successors ultimately led to one of pop’s grandest and most inventive eras. And, like any great American band, they received the dubious compliment of a British knock-off: Eternal.

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4
Mar 14

State Of Decay

The Brown Wedge3 comments • 2,523 views

three-04 THREE #1-#5 (Image Comics) by Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire

Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly and Jordie Bellaire’s THREE is a political comic on every level. The level on which it got most of its publicity was a right-to-reply in a conversation conducted between comics – Three is an a riposte to Frank Miller’s Thermopylae epic 300, almost an unauthorised sequel. Stressing this may have enhanced its impact – comics fans like sequels – but might also have held it back, downplaying the extent to which Three works for someone (like me) who has never actually read 300, and how much further it goes than the simple “your fave is problematic” style callout its early press positioned it as.

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