POP-EYE 19/11/00

Let us start with a poser for you. This weeks top six records are all newcomers to our chart, all except one. What – dear readers and lucky not to be listeners – can that record be? Surely one of the combatants in last weeks battle of the boy bands? Perhaps those Tweenies, inexorably making their way to “Number 1”? I’m not telling you till the end, though if you can’t guess frankly you have not been reading Pop-Eye, looked at the charts but you might possibly have been listening to Radio One – since the snobs there won’t play the nations number three.

But to the top of this weeks no mark charts. Its like a chart-wise personification of the Paula Abdul/MC Skat Kat classic – as at the top opposites certainly attract. Daft Punk’s relatively weak for them “One More Time” is still an awful lot better than anything else employing a vocoder in the charts. Of course, post Cher’s “Believe” this is pretty much every tune in the forty. One More Time has been over the radio like a rash, and its a nagging song which certainly needs an itch or two. Unfortunately it just develops you that involuntary shoulder twitch, which is the sign of good insidious dance. Would have made a good number one, in the way that bands best tunes never make the top.

The same could be said about this weeks actual chart topper. Except “Can’t Find The Moonlight”, is no better or worse than LeAnn Rimes’ other Jerry Bruckheimer film collaborations (“How Do I Live” being about as bad as John Malkovitch in Con Air). CFTM is ripped still-born from the female Cocktail “Coyote Ugly” – a concept the world had been clamouring for – and is altogether as bad as the film. LeAnn is a ridiculous name, and I shall not comment any further except for in a year of forgettable number ones, this may well top them. Because I heard it last night and I’m damned if I can remember how it goes. Some pop columnist I am, but this says more about the tune than me taking the piss out of her surname. (She does, to her credit, Rime).

What can number three be?

Artful Dodger’s two old geezers are back with possibly Linford Christie in tow. Sorry, that’s Lifford. Pretty standard garage fare from the Dodgsters, direct, fun and four million times more interesting than MJ Cole. Five is Finnish, so the less said about that the better (I don’t do Scando-pop/dance). And finally we get to six, the best of the top five and a stirling return to form from the Wu-Tang Clan.

Of course, this isn’t really a return to form chart-wise, as the Wu’s have never had a UK top twenty hit before. Not on their own. The beauty of their cluster-bomb stealth like attack on the music biz is that they can get ten hits at any one time. The down side is that casual observers may never have heard of them. But who cares about casual observers? A grimy piece of production, lots of dark rhymes and the WTC return to stake their territory from Johnny come latelies. Like the Bomfunk MC’s.

So A1 plummet from 1-8 – serves them right. Tweenies outlast them at 7, because its a better song. So its boyband central at the bottom of this area, which at least keeps Toploader out of the top ten with the third release of “Dancing In The Moonlight”. This record is rubbish, and each release shows how rubbish it is. The seventies original was a hideous stab of rockism, and Toploader – named after a washing machine fer’chrissake – make it so much worse. Same cannot be said for Badly Drawn Boy’s pointless re-release of “Once Around The Block” – which has already been once around the block and did as poorly in this chart as it did originally (27). Its a good record, but familarity is starting to breed contempt.

So what else of note? Richard Blackwood shy of the twenty (phew). Savage Garden bore for Australia. And the Devil rocks in with a number of the beast statement of intent. All in all PJ Harvey must count it as – ahem – “Good Fortune” to miss out on being in this unpleasant top forty altogether. There is nothing obvious trendwise here and most of those top ten entries will drop out of the charts in two weeks. Except of course our number three. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back the sticking like glue. The Baha Men’s “Who Let The Dogs Out”. An uncharitable man may also ask, how did she get to number one?

Daft Punk – “One More Time” (2)
The Baha Men – “Who Let The Dogs Out” (3)
The Wu-Tang Clan – “Gravel Pit”(6)
The Tweenies – “Number 1” (7)
Badly Drawn Boy – “Once Around The Block and long in the tooth”(27)