POP-EYE 3/12/00

Well, it appears we have an honest-to-god chart battle on our hands. It may have taken until December, and we may have had to endure tiresome run-offs involving bloody Spiller (or, worse, the Spice Girls/Westlife battle, which was in the album charts ergo nobody cares save the accountants), but now at last the charts are showing signs of fight. In the red corner, Eminem with “Stan”, his unconvincing but well-done attempt to show he’s not such a bad boy after all (but if he wasn’t, then why would he say he was? Oh the contradiction.) In the blue corner, Bob The Builder, up for the stocking-filler slot.

This is exactly why the charts in Britain are so great, of course.

Not that you’d know it from this week’s.chart, topped as it is by S Club 7. I have a growing amount of time for the S Club, based more on their smiley inoffensive presence than the music, but this is a Children In Need song and therefore by definition shit. Children In Need is a worthwhile cause and no mistake: sadly every year it could be renamed Celebrities In Need (Of A Slap). The whole point of charity is that you give without expectation of return, hence buying things for charity has always seemed a bit odd to me, especially when said things are excruciating.

Destiny’s Child have got this buying lark the right way round. They want lots of money so they can buy things for themselves. Another couple of members a year, for example. Good record, probably deserved a second week at the top but it was not to be. Madonna did not deserve a number one and despite putting a whole half-hour of effort in on the publicity front she has to make do with No.4 for her bizarre acoustigoth mewlings. “Beg the bed not to gape / Like the open mouth of a grave?”. What? No, no, Madonna, you’ve got it all wrong. Beds are higher than the ground: you want to go back to Ikea with that.

Most of the rest of the entries are too unspeakable to countenance – we should all be very thankful that there were two Whassup songs to split the vote, though anyone who bought both Da Muttz and True Party should face a severe penalty. Top retro flick Charlie’s Angels confirms its nostalgia-status by getting Apollo 440 to do a big beat film theme for them – I thought this was meant to be all about 1977 not 1997 but, hey, whatever. And Mystikal scores a measly and ill-deserved 30 with the mighty “Shake Ya Ass”, which is a great tune about desiring that somebody shake their ass, and will be described much better when I finally get the focus group up.

And that’s it….oh! oh! but wait! What is this at No.18? Mel C is back with another single, and this time she’s serious, for “If That Were Me”, is about the homeless. POP RULE: Do Not Write Songs About Homeless People. It won’t help. Evidence A: “Another Day In Paradise”. Evidence B: “Gypsy Woman (She’s Homeless)” (handy parentheses, cheers). Just as Crystal Waters informed us that Gypsy Woman has “never had make-up”, Mel C is horrified to learn that “I can’t live without my phone / But you don’t even have a home”. She also wonders whether “your hope keeps you warm at night”. I’m not a scientific man, but my guess on that one is: no, Mel, it doesn’t.

Christmas, eh? Four more weeks of this to go.


Destiny’s Child – “Independent Women Part 1” (2)
Daft Punk – “One More Time” (13)
Wu-Tang Clan – “Gravel Pit” (17)
Backstreet Boys – “Shape Of My Heart” (28)
Mystikal – “Shake Ya Ass” (30)