The Freaky Trigger Pop Music Focus Group 1999

(Special Acknowledgement: The format and ideas of the FTPMFG are entirely ripped off from Phil Dellio’s Radio On poll format, which attracts critics of the calibre of the awesome Chuck Eddy, and can be found at Popped!)

A very 90s instrument of democracy, the Focus Group: credited by some for ensuring New Labour’s 1997 landslide in the UK’s general election, seen by others as a preposterous mockery, easily manipulated and subject to weaselly interpretation.

However we at Freaky Trigger have absolute faith in the focus group concept, and on November 5th a select group of opinion formers and drunks convened at Trigger Mansions, Southgate, to hear and consider an arbitrary selection of the year’s most important or inescapable tunes, and the Lanterns too. Everyone else reading this – you missed a fantastic party. Those enforced and grape-fuelled opinions were then combined with the votes of our ‘internet jury’ to create the table of quality you see below, an ABSOLUTELY OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT of the, hem hem, platters that mattered in 1999. Prepare for a barrage of unsupportable opinions and gross national stereotyping that will replace criticism as we know it!


If you’d have liked to take part and I didnt send you the survey, my apologies. If you’d like to take part next year, you have only to ask: this will most certainly be an annual event and next year the selection won’t be quite so dependent on what I’ve got on MP3. Immense thanks to everybody who did join in: I’m sorry I’ve had to edit people’s comments for space, but I think the results are pretty entertaining. Comments have not been selected to represent the range of opinions aroused by the record.

The rules: Every record could be given a score between 0 and 10. As well as the average score resulting, a ‘controversy index’ is given to reflect how bitterly each tune divided opinion – the higher it is, the more controversial.

Your esteemed critics are as follows:
Karim Adab (KA), Magnus Anderson (MA), Pete Baran (PB), Mike Daddino (MD), Gruf Evans (GE), Al Ewing (AE), Tom Ewing (TE), Guy Flower (GF), Kate Griffiths (KG), Persinthia Lawdro (PL), Mark Lenel (ML), John McGhee (JM), Irene O’Dowd (IOD), Ned Raggett (NR), David Sim (DS), Isabel Smith (IS), Fred Solinger (FS), Alex Thomson (AT), Nicole W (NW)

You can hear many of the songs, in order, on a Spotify playlist here.