May 20

The People’s Pop Poll: Day 6

FT3 comments • 344 views

These are the groups for Day 6 of the People’s Pop Poll! Obviously it contains SPOILERS for the day’s matches so if you’d prefer to be surprised read no further! As usual, these are in order from the group with the most-streamed tracks to the one with the least (except today Division 6 is a bit special).

Division 1 GROUP 6:

JAMES – “Laid”: Lead single from the LP of the same name and a big US college radio hit for the Manchester indie group. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_qZ5B-yioU

KELLY CLARKSON – “Since U Been Gone”: Signature 2004 track and floor-filler by the American Idol winner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7UrFYvl5TE 

THE KILLERS – “Mr Brightside”: The most streamed song in the poll! (800 million+) Indie disco monster and debut single for the Vegas indie rockers.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gGdGFtwCNBE

R.E.M. – “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”: Apocalyptic fast-talker by the Athens indie royalty, from their 1987 LP Document. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OyBtMPqpNY

Division 2 GROUP 6:

BILLY PAUL – “Me And Mrs. Jones”: Adulterous Gamble & Huff-penned 1972 soul classic from the Philadelphia hitmaker. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWOTdt9Bovk

MARLENA SHAW – “California Soul”: 1969 soul-funk slow burner by the oft-sampled New York singer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kC2QK6KHnEA

NINA SIMONE – “Sinnerman (Live In New York)”: Epic 1965 live performance by the jazz legend that’s become one of her best-regarded tracks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kl849RJ2bbU

STEVIE WONDER – “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing”: This hit single from the soul master is from his 1973 classic Innervisions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zywDiFdxopU

Division 3 GROUP 6:

THE PRIMITIVES – “Crash”: Biggest hit for Coventry indie-poppers and leading lights of the Blonde scene. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y7NGqfZteg

PROPAGANDA – “Duel”: Biggest hit for ZTT synth teutons from their 1985 LP A Secret Wish. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnQ2zOmb6Hg

ROXETTE – “Joyride”: Pan-European 1991 smash by the Swedish dance-rock duo from their LP Look Sharp! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCorJG9mubk

SWING OUT SISTER – “Breakout”: Biggest hit for the Manchester sophisti-pop outfit, from 1986 from their debut platter It’s Better To Travel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIOJdMdS56k

Division 4 GROUP 6:

KATE BUSH – “Them Heavy People”: Japan-only 1978 single from the then-teenage warbler from her debut LP The Kick Inside. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfNtPbHkp0U

THE ROCHES – “Hammond Song”: Written after a bust-up with their record label, this is from the folk sisters’ eponymous 1979 debut. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EA-U5H4VoX8

ROSANNE CASH – “Seven Year Ache”: A 1981 Billboard country chart-topper for the Tennessee singer-songwriter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrUs_FWqj9s

THROWING MUSES – “Not Too Soon”: 1991 single from the Boston indie band, written by Tanya Donnelly (later of Belly). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZI-FTcFtn8

Division 5 GROUP 5:

JOHNNIE ALLAN – “Promised Land”: Cajun swamp-pop pioneer’s 1983 cover of the Chuck Berry classic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gG8rG9RhnhY

LORD KITCHENER – “London Is The Place For Me”: The oldest song in the poll, a 1948 calypso by the Trinidadian legend (recorded in 1951) – famously sung on a newsreel to celebrate the arrival of the Empire Windrush. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGt21q1AjuI

NINA SIMONE – “Funkier Than A Mosquito’s Tweeter”: Jazz-funk diss track from 1974 and Nina Simone’s second appearance in the poll. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GsCHQkulr4

SHIRLEY BASSEY – “You Can Have Him”: Welsh star’s version of the Irving Berlin standard, recorded several times in the 60s so I hope we found the right one. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uakECvlebfg

Division 6 GROUP 6:

FRANCO BATTIATA – “Bandiera Bianca”: 1987 hit by the multi-genre pop singer and experimentalist known in Italy as “Il Maestro”. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i483knGRppA

GOLD – “Capitaine Abandonee”: French No.1 hit from 1985 for the Toulouse band and the 318th best selling single EVER in France.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i01oMkipjdk (video contains flashing lights)

LUCIO DALLA – “Pafff…Bum!”: Early single by the Italian singer-songwriter, from his 1966 debut LP 1999. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7PojOm3Yks

MIRIAM MAKEBA – “Pata Pata”: Signature song for the South African star from 1967. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBJVVhn7iuo


  1. 1
    koganbot on 11 May 2020 #

    According to Wikip, Johnnie Allan released “Promised Land” in 1971 (seven years after Chuck, three before Elvis).

  2. 2
    Tom on 13 May 2020 #

    Results! (Some days behind)
    Group 1 – REM (33%) and Kelly Clarkson (30%) qualified. One of the more hotly contested of the “big” groups, where the theme was roughly indie disco floorfillers (Kelly representing the pop-curious end of indie discos, natch). The Killers initially looked strong but faded; poor James never had much of a chance.

    Group 2 – Nina Simone (35%) and Stevie Wonder (28%) got though. Not for the first or last time the clout of Nina Simone wins the day – I did wonder if a 10-minute live track might prove too much but no, it cruised through. Painful though to lose the excellent “Me And Mrs Jones”, suggesting soul ballads struggle with the poll audience.

    Group 3 – Crash (38) and Duel (23) progressed. The Primitives swept the group but there was a mighty tussle for second, with Roxette and Propaganda pretty much level throughout. Lobbying by Propaganda fans – who had been more passionate throughout – carried the day, though the casual strength of “Joyride” should see it do well in the play-offs. I expected Swing Out Sister to be in contention too, but the competition was too tough. One of the groups that worked very well, I think.

  3. 3
    Tom on 13 May 2020 #

    Group 4 – Kate Bush (38%) and Throwing Muses (27%) get through. Definitely a group where the UK skew of the voters had a big impact on the result. “Hammond Song” and “Seven Year Ache” are two of the best songs in the tournament for me, but they are far better known in the US than Kate Bush, even a Kate Bush album track. And Throwing Muses had already shown they had a strong fanbase among the voters. Both the songs that progressed are great, so I can’t be mad here, but I hope some people discovered the Roches and Cash tracks through this.

    Group 5 – Nina Simone (36) and Lord Kitchener (35) went through. This was one of the closest groups at the top, and a satisfying outcome, for all that Johnnie Allan’s swamp pop is a terrific find. It’s good that the oldest track in the poll got through, and it’s very charming, but this Nina Simone track is just brutal – one of my personal great finds from the whole competition.

    Group 6 – Miriam Makeba (71%) and Lucio Dalla (11%) qualified. The figures there say it all really – a completely mismatched group, which was largely my fault: Spotify gave me the mono version of “Pata Pata” and I dutifully noted down the few hundred thousand plays it had racked up. The stereo version, however, has 11 million. That said, the Franco Battiato and Gold tracks which failed to get through had several million each too – I downgraded them to Division 6 because of their total unfamiliarity to an anglophone audience. Both were, I thought, a lot of fun.

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