POP-EYE 3/2/02

Oh pity the poor Pop-eye writer in the first three months of the year. No chart stability, a deluge of faceless no-mark new entries slapping in the top ten making the column long (and certainly longer the new NYLPM enforced limit of 500 words). So it is with a weary air I take the chart baton from Ewing and over to the Radio One chart page.

Hold up. Surely that’s last week charts. That darn BBCi, supposedly the most looked at UK website has yet again shown what fools and monkeys the BBC employs (unless they want people to slag of David Bowie). Closer inspection reveals however that Pink is again at number two and Puretone at number five. Maybe this is chart is two weeks oldt. Off I fire a cheeky e-mail to the Radio One webmaster telling them of their very embarressing error. And I get this reply almost instantly.

[[Dear Mr Baran.
Your eyes do not deceive you and we have not made an error. If you look closely there is a new entry at Number 13. But alas, unlike the last four years (not including Christmas / New Year) there are none in the top ten. I suggest you complain to the record companies for allowing such a weak song as Enrique Iglesais’ Hero to remain at number one. By the way, that thing you also mentioned in your e-mail about Mark Goodier’s arse would get you in very serious trouble with the Net Crimes Squad if you ever repeat it in public. However it is true.]]

So Pink goes back up to number two – denied again. Puretone go back up to five. Britney even gets an extra point. What is going on? Well it would appear that record companies just did not have last week on their release schedules. Bit of a pity therefore that the highest new entry did not go in higher than thirteen. In the year of the flute, I would have expected Mary J.Blige to do better with Dance For Me. Indeed I would have thought using a piccolo would have made it go even higher (relative pitch of instrument joke – cheers). I have never really cared for Blige in the past, filing her under dull diva status. But this and Family Affair have both impressed me. If Peter Jackson had not decided on dodgy Irish fiddling for Bilbo’s party in Lord Of The Rings he could have done a lot worse than this track.

And then to twenty (twenty! – last time I did Pop-Eye I gave up at twenty) for the Cooper Temple Clause. And it is nice to see that it is not just Johnny America who can make noisy records. Its not so nice to see that Johnny England makes pretty lousy noisy records though. It uses British Indie single rule number one of “not being about traditional pop song subjects”, and is also a double A side. I’ve not heard the AA side (British Indie Single Rule 2 is the AA side) but on the strength of the Film Maker I cannot say I am holding my breath. Still maybe we are better off having homegrown to the excesses of Jimmy Eat World – yet more emo which is pushing its handcart in the UK and getting stuck in the Dave Matthews Creek. Of shit.

De Nada? Okay, I won’t mention it then.

Which remains some grubbing around the 40-30 range for anything else of note. There is an oddly anonymous cover of Alisson Willliams’ Sleep Talk bobbling around. It took me about fifteen minutes to recall the original – and that was after hearing the ATFC version. The Dutch Dub of What Ya Got 4 Me is equally merely interesting for being in the charts finally. I am never quite sure why it takes records like this two years to reach the shops. Certainly there may be the question if anyone wants to own it but DJ’s – and surely after two years ever DJ who would ever want to play it will have it.

Which finally brings us to Mull Historical Society (no – not that one) using British Indie Single Rule 1. Watching Xanadu unfortunately is not about Colin McIntyre watching the roller disco Olivia Newton-John movie of the same name. It is also operating under Scottish Indie Single Rule 1: be twee. Luckily it is not slow twee, but for all the goodwill it garners for being upbeat it loses with its stab at deep lyrics. Still they are at least lucky that they are being mentioned. Usually number 36 is well out of the running. Hopefully the entire record industry will come back from its ski-ing holiday and release some records next week. After all, we wouldn’t want to have to tell that story about Mark Goodier’s arse.