9
Jun 11

Popular ’91

Popular57 comments • 4,148 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every single on Popular. Here’s where you can tick the ones you’d give 6 or higher to – and talk about the year in general.

(My highest mark for 1991 was an 8 for the KLF, my lowest a 1 for Hale And Pace.)

Which of the Number Ones of 1991 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

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Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Mark G on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Songs with 100%! OK, so there’s only been 3 voters, but hey.

  2. 2
    lex on 9 Jun 2011 #

    The KLF, Color Me Badd, Michael Jackson, Cher, Bryan Adams.

    Weirdly underwhelming considering it was the year I got into pop music and the charts.

  3. 3
    Alan Connor on 9 Jun 2011 #

    First year I”ve only picked *one*. Horrifying stuff. I was listening to Clannad In Concert.

  4. 4
    Tom on 9 Jun 2011 #

    7 out of 17 but a large number of borderline 6s in amongst those. Pretty grim. I spent the first half of the year listening to NME-approved shoegaze, increasingly glumly as I realised it was all rubbish, then the second half of the year I turned my back on the NME and GOT INTO DYLAN. I remember the charts being tons better than this list suggests, mind you.

  5. 5
    lockedintheattic on 9 Jun 2011 #

    wow…that was a shockingly bad year. Have just had a look back and for me, turns out 91 is the worst year so far since I was born (74). Even the ones I ticked were borderline, other than the KLF.

  6. 6
    Billy Smart on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Four out of 17! What a poor selection.

    There were a lot of ‘phantom’ number ones in 1991 that topped the ILR/NME charts, but not the BBC ones;

    James – Sit Down (1 week)
    The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon (1)
    Madonna – Rescue Me (1)
    Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman (2)
    Kiri Te Kanawa – World In Union (1)

  7. 7
    dorsalstop on 9 Jun 2011 #

    KLF (9), U2 and Color Me Badd (7), and some borderline 5.6 votes I generously rounded up. Looking at the 1991 charts now, I like a lot of the dance-oriented stuff, though not as much as that of the 3-4 years to come.

    At the time (18/19yo) I listened to nothing but REM for pretty much the whole year; bought Achtung Baby, Bandwagonesque and Nevermind towards the end of the year, and liked “Unfinished Sympathy” quite a bit.

  8. 8
    Billy Smart on 9 Jun 2011 #

    The NME Critics Poll singles of 1991;

    1. Higher Than The Sun – Primal Scream
    2. Justified & Ancient – The KLF
    3. Loosing My Religion – REM
    4. Starsign – Teenage Fanclub
    5. The Concept – Teenage Fanclub
    6. Get The Message – Electronic
    7. Smell Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
    8. Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack
    9. Pearl – Chapterhouse
    10. Size Of A Cow – The Wonder Stuff
    11. Sexuality – Billy Bragg
    12. I Won’t Try – Midway Still
    13. Only Love Can Break Your Heart – St Etienne
    14. Playing With Knives – Bizarre Inc.
    15. I’m To Sexy – Right Said Fred
    16. Happy – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
    17. After The Watershed – Carter USM
    18. Feel So Sad – Spiritalized
    19. Set Adrift On Memory Bliss – PM Dawn
    20. Wear Your Love Like Heaven – Definition Of Sound
    21. Waterproof EP – Kingmaker
    22. Motown Junk – Manic Street Preachers
    23. Where The Streets Have No Name – Pet Shop Boys
    24. Endless Art – A House
    25. You Love Us – Manic Street Preachers
    26. The Fly – U2
    27. Infiltrate – Altern 8
    28. Destined To Be Free – Fabulous
    29. Apparently Nothing – Young Disciples
    30. What Do I Have To Do? – Kylie Minogue
    31. My Legendary Girlfriend – Pulp
    32. Gett Off – Prince
    33. Carwash Hair – Mercury Rev
    34. Cream – Prince
    35. Dominator – Human Resource
    36. No Score After Extra Time – Thousand Yard Stare
    37. Not Superstitious – Leatherface
    38. Superelectric – Stereolab
    39. Planet Of Sound – Pixies
    40. Bring The Noise – Anthrax & Public Enemy
    41. Go – Moby
    42. Missing On The Moon – The Field Mice
    43. Tasty Fish – The Other Two
    44. There’s No Other Way – Blur
    45. Pregnant For The Last Time – Morrissey
    46. Words That Say – Mega City Four
    47. Young People – The Pooh Sticks
    48. Tremolo EP – My Bloody Valentine
    49. Drive That Fast – Kitchens Of Distinction
    50. Frozen EP – Curve

  9. 9
    Billy Smart on 9 Jun 2011 #

    The Melody Maker Critics Poll best singles of 1991;

    1. Unfinished Sympathy – Massive Attack
    2. Losing My Religion – REM
    3. Higher Than The Sun – Primal Scream
    4. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
    5. Blindfold EP – Curve
    6. Coppelina EP – Levitation
    7. Tremolo Ep – My Bloody Valentine
    8. Nothing Can Stop Us – St Etienne
    9. Carwash Hair – Mercury Rev
    10. Enter Sandman – Metallica
    11. Size Of A Cow – The Wonder Stuff
    12. Bring The Noise – Anthrax & Public Enemy
    13. This Is Fascism – Consolidated
    14. Starsign – Teenage Fanclub
    15. Last Train To Transcentral – The KLF
    16. Where The Streets Have No Name – Pet Shop Boys
    17. Get The Message – Electronic
    18. Adoration – Cranes
    19. Winter In July – Bomb The Bass
    20. Teenage Whore – Hole

  10. 10
    punctum on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Five out of seventeen; the Balkanisation of the Top 40 sets in, like concrete.

  11. 11
    Nanaya on 9 Jun 2011 #

    I think 1991 was largely responsible for me hating the charts a lot for quite a few years. It was a fairly low point in my memory.

    Still, Enigma & KLF! I haven’t got tired of them yet. That’s a silver lining, right?

  12. 12
    wichita lineman on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Such a great year and I only picked four, three of which I gave 6.

    What kept PM Dawn off the top, anyone know? It’s aged really well.

    Billy, have you got the Face singles of the year?

  13. 13
    swanstep on 9 Jun 2011 #

    4 out of 17 for me, and as with others here, I was doing some desperate, charitable rounding up to get that (the amazing 1990 #1s seem a very long time ago!). Lots of good stuff around on the NME and MM charts I see. My Legendary G/f and Superelectric, oh how I love thee…..

  14. 14
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Jun 2011 #

    A miserable five.

    This was the year I started properly (and regularly) gig-going. First gig Inspiral Carpets supported by the High (with the second on the bill Gary Clail not bothering to turn up). Then later on Carter USM, Thousand Yard Stare, Catherine Wheel, Hole, PJ Harvey, Daisy Chainsaw, Five Thirty, The Primitives, The Doves (the ex-Thrashing Doves. Dire band, except for one glorious track where they changed their style and ditched their unintersting whiny indie singer for the glorious Angie Brown – of Bizarre Inc fame, “Beaten Up In Love Again”, which no-one but no-one bought but which still sounds fantastic today), Buffalo Tom, Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, and countless others I have forgotten. (Some of these may have stretched into early 92 actually)

    Anyway, the charts, and especially the top of them, were very evidently far from where it was at.

  15. 15
    Billy Smart on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Re #12 – The Face Critics Poll singles of 1991;

    1 Massive Attack – Unfinished Sympathy
    2 Young Disciples – Apparently Nothin’
    3 PM Dawn – Set Adrift On Memory Bliss
    4 DSK – What Would We Do?
    5 Ce Ce Peniston – Finally
    6 Prince – Gett Off
    7 Alison Limerick – Where Love Lives
    8 Omar – There’s Nothing Like This
    9 Urban Soul – Alright
    10 Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over
    11 The Source featuring Candi Staton – You Got The Love
    12 Incognito – Always There
    13 Sounds Of Blackness – Optimistic
    14 Primal Scream – Don’t Fight It Feel It
    15 Crystal Waters – Gypsy Woman
    16 DJ Jazzy Jeff & Fresh Prince – Summertime
    17 Madonna – Justify My Love
    18 Jesus Loves You – Generations Of Love
    19 Sabrina Johnston – Peace
    20 Primal Scream – Higher Than The Sun
    21 Rozalla – Everybody’s Free
    22 Kym Sims – Too Blind To See It
    23 A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
    24 Pet Shop Boys – Where The Streets Have No Name
    25 Brand New Heavies – Never Stop
    26 PM Dawn – Paper Doll
    27 Moby – Go
    28 Mass Order – Take Me Away
    29 Dread Flimstone – From The Ghetto
    30 Curve – Blindfold
    31 Definition Of Sound – Wear Your Love Like Heaven
    32 Naughty By Nature – OPP
    33 Crystal Waters – Makin’ Happy
    34 Joey Negro – Do What You Feel
    35 Ariel – Mustn’t Grumble
    36 Ultraviolet – I Wish That
    37 Right Said Fred – I’m Too Sexy
    38 REM – Shiny Happy People
    39 REM – Near Wild Heaven
    40 The Wonderstuff – Size Of A Cow
    41 Tyrrel Corporation – Six O’Clock
    42 Massive Attack – Safe From Harm
    43 Brothers In Rhythm – Such A Good Feeling
    44 Bassheads – Is Anybody Out There?
    45 Pinchers – Bandolero
    46 Cola Boy – 7 Ways To Love
    47 DNA – Rebel Woman
    48 REM – Losing My Religion
    49 Maxi Priest and Shabba Ranks – House Call
    50 World Of Twist – Sweets

  16. 16
    punctum on 9 Jun 2011 #

    PM Dawn – “Set Adrift” was kept in third place by “Everything I Do” and “I’m Too Sexy.”

  17. 17
    DietMondrian on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Just two for me – an 8 or 9 for the KLF and a feeling-generous 6 for Queen. My tastes at the time reflected the absolute height/nadir (delete according to personal preference) of my NME/MM-ness.

  18. 18
    Weej on 9 Jun 2011 #

    6 out of 17 for me, and most of those borderline cases. 1992 looks a bit better.

  19. 19
    punctum on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Let’s go with the NME‘s 1991 albums list:

    1. Nevermind – Nirvana
    2. Bandwagonesque – Teenage Fanclub
    3. Screamadelica – Primal Scream
    4. Weld – Neil Young & Crazy Horse
    5. Out Of Time – REM
    6. Blue Lines – Massive Attack
    7. OG: Original Gangster – Ice-T
    8. 30 Something – Carter USM
    9. Loveless – My Bloody Valentine
    10. Never Loved Elvis – Wonder Stuff
    11. Of The Heart, Of The Soul And Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience – PM Dawn
    12. Eat Yourself Whole – Kingmaker
    13. Electronic – Electronic
    14. Trompe Le Monde – Pixies
    15. Shift-Work – Fall
    16. Apocalypse ’91: The Enemy Strikes Black – Public Enemy
    17. Love & Life: A Journey With The Chameleons – Definition Of Sound
    18. And Now The Legacy Begins – Dream Warriors
    19. Don’t Try This At Home – Billy Bragg
    20. Achtung Baby – U2
    21. Bertie’s Brochures – Fatima Mansions
    22. Peggy Suicide – Julian Cope
    23. God Fodder – Ned’s Atomic Dustbin
    24. Foxbase Alpha – Saint Etienne
    25. Kill Uncle – Morrissey
    26. The Low End Theory – A Tribe Called Quest
    27. Strange Free World – Kitchens of Distinction
    28. Pretty On The Inside – Hole
    29. Leisure – Blur
    30. Ex:El – 808 State
    31. To Mother – Babes in Toyland
    32. Spartacus – The Farm
    33. Diamonds And Pearls – Prince
    34. Friendly Fascism – Consolidated
    35. The Real Ramona – Throwing Muses
    36. The Great White Wonder – Pooh Sticks
    37. Death Certificate – Ice Cube
    38. The First Of Too Many – Senseless Things
    39. Beatsongs – Blue Aeroplanes
    40. Schubert Dip – EMF
    41. The White Room – KLF
    42. Whirlpool – Chapterhouse
    43. Honey Lingers – Voice of the Beehive
    44. Watershed – GW Mclennan
    45. Just For A Day – Slowdive
    46. Slinky – Milltown Brothers
    47. Orbital – Orbital
    48. Frequencies – LFO
    49. Mush – Leatherface
    50. In The Presence Of Greatness – Velvet Crush

    The ones I didn’t buy tend to coincide with the ones for which Steve Lamacq probably voted (Nevermind obviously excepted).

  20. 20
    Mark G on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Hmm, there’s plenty on my “permanent” list there:

    1. Nevermind – Nirvana
    2. Bandwagonesque – Teenage Fanclub
    3. Screamadelica – Primal Scream
    9. Loveless – My Bloody Valentine
    11. Of The Heart, Of The Soul And Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience – PM Dawn
    30. Ex:El – 808 State

  21. 21
    enitharmon on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Just two from me I’m afraid. A pretty dismal year to my ears.

  22. 22
    23 Daves on 9 Jun 2011 #

    @8 – Midway Still?! Was there really an NME consensus that this was one of the best singles of 1991? Their presence surprises me even more than that of Ned’s Atomic Dustbin.

  23. 23
    lonepilgrim on 9 Jun 2011 #

    only two from me and only the KLF that rises above a 6 – but as the best of year lists show there was a lot of good stuff around

  24. 24
    thefatgit on 9 Jun 2011 #

    I voted for 6, but I guess most of us here are in agreement that the #1s are unrepresentative of a pretty exciting year.

    Peel list to follow…

  25. 25
    thefatgit on 9 Jun 2011 #

    JP’s Festive Fifty 91

    1. Nirvana -Smells Like Teen Spirit
    2. PJ Harvey -Dress
    3. Curve -Ten Little Girls
    4. The Fall -Edinburgh Man
    5. Teenage Fanclub -Star Sign
    6. Teenage Fanclub -The Concept
    7. Hole -Burn Black
    8. Wedding Present -Dalliance
    9. The Fall -A Lot Of Wind
    10. Hole -Teenage Whore
    11. Primal Scream -Higher Than The Sun
    12. Wedding Present -Dare
    13. Gallon Drunk -Some Fools Mess
    14. Wedding Present -Fleshworld
    15. Catherine Wheel -Black Metallic
    16. Nirvana -Drain You
    17. Moose -Suzanne
    18. Babes In Toyland -Handsome & Gretel
    19. Boo Radleys -Finest Kiss
    20. Slowdive -Catch The Breeze
    21. Foreheads In A Fishtank -Happy Shopper
    22. Wedding Present -Rotterdam
    23. Slint -Good Morning, Captain
    24. The Fall -High Tension Line
    25. Nirvana -Lithium
    26. Pixies -Planet Of Sound
    27. Smashing Pumpkins -Siva
    28. 70 Gwen Party -Auto Killer UK
    29. Billy Bragg -Sexuality
    30. Babes In Toyland -Catatonic
    31. Babes In Toyland -Laugh My Head Off
    32. Wedding Present -Octopussy
    33. Chapterhouse -Pearl
    34. Pavement -Summer Babe
    35. The Fall -The War Against Intelligence
    36. Teenage Fanclub -Like A Virgin
    37. My Bloody Valentine -To Here Knows Where
    38. Curve -No Escape From Heaven
    39. Babes In Toyland -Primus
    40. Electronic -Get The Message
    41. The Fall -The Mixer
    42. Babes In Toyland -Ripe
    43. The Fall -So What About It?
    44. Th’ Faith Healers -Gorgeous Blue Flower In My Garden
    45. Field Mice -Missing The Moon
    46. Pixies -Motorway To Roswell
    47. Pixies -Bird Dream Of The Olympus Mons
    48. Nirvana -Breed
    49. Mercury Rev -Car Wash Hair
    50. Bongwater -Nick Cave Dolls

  26. 26
    tonya on 9 Jun 2011 #

    US Billboard list:
    “Justify My Love” Madonna
    “Love Will Never Do (Without You)” Janet Jackson
    “The First Time” Surface
    “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” C+C Music Factory Freedom Williams
    “All the Man That I Need” Whitney Houston
    “Someday” Mariah Carey
    “One More Try” Timmy T
    “Coming Out of the Dark” Gloria Estefan
    “I’ve Been Thinking About You” Londonbeat
    “You’re in Love” Wilson Phillips
    “Baby Baby” Amy Grant
    “Joyride” Roxette
    “I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” Hi-Five
    “I Don’t Wanna Cry” Mariah Carey
    “More Than Words” Extreme
    “Rush Rush” Paula Abdul
    “Unbelievable” EMF
    (Everything I Do) I Do It for You” Bryan Adams
    “The Promise of a New Day” Paula Abdul
    “I Adore Mi Amor” Color Me Badd
    “Good Vibrations” Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch featuring Loleatta Holloway
    “Emotions” Mariah Carey
    “Romantic” Karyn White
    “Cream” Prince and the New Power Generation
    “When a Man Loves a Woman” Michael Bolton
    “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” P.M. Dawn
    “Black or White” Michael Jackson

    Think I said this for 1990, too, but take a look at all those women.

  27. 27
    anto on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Surely the strangest year for number ones since 1980.

  28. 28
    AndyPandy on 9 Jun 2011 #

    That American list looks a bit better – C&C Music Factory, Londonbeat (sort of OK that one), Mariah Carey, Prince, PM Dawn, Surface (never knowingly heard that one but they put out good stuff like ‘Falling In Love With You’ and ‘Happy’ in the mid/late80s) so will at least be a classy production

  29. 29
    Mark M on 9 Jun 2011 #

    A horrible year for number ones, but still lots of great stuff out there, especially on The Face list (as ever). Very bad things going on with that NME poll, though – just had a listen to Midway Still to check they were as third-hand and charmless as I remember (they were). Still, a year that offers songs as varied yet enticing as There’s Nothing Like This and Nick Cave Dolls shouldn’t be dismissed.

  30. 30
    chelovek na lune on 9 Jun 2011 #

    Nice to see The Tyrrel Corporation scrape into that Face list – I loved “Waking With A Stranger” and “Going Home”; not quite perfect pop, but such melancholy; and the artwork on the 7″ singles sleeves were beautifully presented too.

    And Mass Order too – although obviously “Lift Every Voice” was superior to “Take Me Away”..

    The Festive 50 this year is the one John Peel refused to broadcast, isn’t it? Can’t remember it was more because he didn’t like the music in the 50, or because so few people voted.

    And “Alright” by Urban Soul was very much the sound of my 6th form common room towards the end of that year. Damn fine track it was too

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