Nov 12

DOOP – “Doop”

Popular70 comments • 8,242 views

#703, 19th March 1994

doop One of the divisive things about disco was the apparent will to discofy anything and everything: no style, era, film theme or rock classic was safe. To haters it was proof of disco’s stultifying lack of creativity – why make something new when you could slap strings and a beat under the old? But there’s something a little utopian about it too – a sense that disco was the philosopher’s stone of pop, the perfect unifying sound that could turn anything into dancefloor gold.

Something of that survived in commercial dance music. While club music continued mutating and innovating at bewildering pace, its leaps forward took it into the charts less often. The gap was often filled by novelties – raved-up TV themes, videogame music, cover versions, and finally stand-ins for whole genres with a 4/4 thump grafted on. Hence “Doop”, some Europeans building their money-making vehicle from a xerox of a memory of a decade that had happened somewhere else, souping its engines up and letting it loose.

Of course it’s a very good record. I’m writing this on the 60th anniversary of the charts – how could I let it go without an entry? – and novelty is something they’ve always smiled on. If the Internet has damaged pop in Britain then some of it is that the web is simply a more efficient delivery system for the transient grin or thrill of annoyance.

Nobody buying “Doop” expected to be playing it in one year, never mind 18. A month would have been a shock. But it fully commits to its one idea, owns it and crafts it. While it’s never anything more than “the Charleston with a donk on it”, it’s also far more generous with its hooks and energy than one-line descriptions suggest. It does enough with its squealing horns and showy, tumbling drum samples that the entry of the scoo-be-doo vocals feels like a delightful bonus.

And when the 1990s grafts take hold fully the track is harder than you’d expect: by choosing the rapid, aggressive kick and pump of hardcore over softer, more inclusive house beats “Doop” stays as true as a cash-in can to its source material. The 20s, after all – the 20s we had handed down to us – were a giddy, dangerous decade and Doop treats that image with more respect than you might remember.



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  1. 31
    heather on 15 Nov 2012 #

    Also a rather arty pastel video.

  2. 32
    Brendan on 15 Nov 2012 #

    When it comes to videos with sinister rictus smiles I’ll take Soundgarden’s ‘Black Hole Sun’. This is pretty darn awful though anything had to be better than Mariah’s torturous warbling.

    And ‘Parklife’ is one of my top 20 albums of all time.

  3. 33
    Tim Byron on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Doop was a #5 in Australia. I recall finding this a guilty pleasure at the time, I suspect half because of the video which had a certain self-knowledge of the song’s own ridiculousness – they’re in on the joke, whatever it is exactly. Now I listen again for the first time in years and oh god it’s so repetitive, it’s unbearable. Even if the idea is a clever one, which it is. But I suspect it wouldn’t be half the earworm it is without the sheer repetition, and that’s the whole point. A brief googling suggests the same producers behind this were also responsible for ‘Here’s Johnny’ by Hocus Pocus (a number one in Australia, but not very big in the UK? I remember being amazed that there was a #1 single that almost literally had no melodic content whatsoever).

    ‘Girls And Boys’ was the very first I’d heard of Blur (it was a #19 here) and I don’t think they registered on my consciousness after that until ‘Country House’ and the (amused Australian news reporters using ridiculousness of the British press as the light relief comedy item to end the news re: the) whole Oasis vs Blur title fight to #1 thing. I remember being surprised when I eventually got the Parklife album, ten years later, that the version I knew was actually a remix. In retrospect, it was fairly obvious why my original impression of Blur was that they were a bit like the Pet Shop Boys. I remember thinking the song was another public service announcement song like ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’.

  4. 34
    jim5et on 16 Nov 2012 #

    Oh, I loved this. And since this is the Girls and Boys thread too, that was the point I gave up on the vendetta I’d had against BLur since they drove up the price of Burtons suits in every charity shop in Brighton and my housemate spent a month watching Starshaped every day. I remember going to see My Life Story (yes, I know) supporting them at Sussex the previous summer, grudgingly hanging around to see the headliner, and being entirely blown away by how undeniably great Girls and Boys was.

  5. 35
    glue_factory on 16 Nov 2012 #

    @17, in my mind the superclub has already arrived. Certainly, when I found myself dancing in the basement of a Great Portland Street pub 6 months from now (with Witchita, I believe!) to proto-Big-Beat, the press seemed happy to talk about it being a reaction to those superclubs and their superstar djs, dress-codes and reliance on 4/4 beats.

    I wonder why the more credible dance records weren’t charting at this point. Had the various scenes splintered so much that no individual scene wielded enough purchase power to propel their floor-fillers into the charts? I tried to think of records that might span different genres and came up with Hardfloor’s Aceperience which would have got played in house as well as techno clubs (and the aforementioned Social). But that came out in 1992 originally, so maybe those wide-appeal records spread their sales over months and years.

  6. 36
    thefatgit on 16 Nov 2012 #

    #35 Small world! I tore a cruciate ligament dancing in that very basement a few years ago. My poor knees are both shot to pieces due to partying a little too hard.

  7. 37
    Steve Mannion on 16 Nov 2012 #

    The original release of ‘Acperience’ actually charted at a relatively impressive #56 during Xmas week ’92. It would’ve been amazing to hear Goodier playing that at 4pm on a wintry Sunday (would’ve meant I’d have heard it three years before I actually did too).

    Annoyingly The Official Charts Company finally made ChartStats remove their charts. Would be fine except OCC site only lists the Top 40 so now where do you go to check full Top 75/100s from the past?

    Credibility-wise, soulful/tasteful Garage tunes were charting (Degrees Of Motion, Juliet Roberts, Crystal Waters, Loveland…) if they count but I guess it was more about the likes of ‘Son Of A Gun’ and ‘I Like To Move It’ at this point.

  8. 38
    Brendan on 16 Nov 2012 #

    #37 – I’m bloody annoyed about chartstats too. How can the OCC claim copyright for something that they don’t even publish?

  9. 39
    speedwell54 on 17 Nov 2012 #

    I am pleased about the general favourable feelings towards “Doop”. Yes a novelty, but not silly. When I first heard “We Speak No Bunnies” from 2010, it immediately reminded me of this. A true one hit wonder, they did attempt a follow up – “Huckleberry Jam” , no me either. They changed their name to Hocus Pocus and had an Australian No1 in ’95 with “Here’s Johnny’ -think 2Unlimited v Jack Nicholson and you won’t be far off. If you exclude homegrown acts, it’s about the only Australian No1 of that decade that wasn’t a sizeable hit over here.

    I bought a copy of this on vinyl from a small record shop in Halifax, but broke it later the same day. On returning home, I realised I had lost my keys and couldn’t get back into the house. I used the edge of the single and wedged it between the lock and the frame of the conservatory entrance. Eventually I managed to release the catch allowing me to get back in. You could say this was my “sliding doors” moment.

  10. 40
    hardtogethits on 17 Nov 2012 #

    #39. Comedy genius!

    Alternative response = “(Gasp!) you’ve got a conservatory!” (Thank you Craig Cash, Phil Mealey)

    But it wouldn’t work to pretend I’d missed out on The Punchline.

  11. 41
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 17 Nov 2012 #

    On first hearing, the LP “Doop Circus” is kind of terrific (I say this as a proud owner of the entire crazy frog corpus — but then I would have put m.frog on the cover of the wire, so there we are, yr mileage may vary, it takes all kinds, spice of life’s a b!tch and then we cry ect ect)

    Is the Sidney (of Sidney Berlin Ragtime Band) Sidney Bechet?

  12. 42
    speedwell54 on 18 Nov 2012 #

    Re Hardtogethits at 40 ,3,5.

    Firstly thanks, good to know at least one person gets it. I’m never quite sure where to pitch things. For fear of turning this into a mutual respect forum, I like your comments too; always interesting and beautifully written, great knowledge and I get your references. Hence…

    Secondly, much respect for the “conservatory”* quote, was a big fan.

    Thirdly, very subtle, people might be missing The Purpose. Could get proper kvetched!

    *(Early Doors, Series 2 Episode 4 Part 2 on Youtube, watch scene from 3.20)

  13. 43
    punctum on 18 Nov 2012 #

    #37: Balls to the Official Crap Company, who don’t hesitate to tweet chart spoilers on Sunday before the charts are fully counted down but feel obliged to stamp corporately on harmless but highly informative NON-PROFIT Chart Stats. If it breaches copyright (how does it?), why are you not putting out more post-Guinness chart update books? Or perhaps these would contain as many elementary mistakes as the last Guinness chart book. Admit it, Chart Stats pwned you because they did something you should have set up years ago, instead of sitting on your lazy, smug copyright arses.

    Yet another example of old ways ruining everyone else’s new ways (just like you threw out Sharon Mawer’s album chart surveys, presumably because they might have confused the eight-year-old One Direction fans you’re so obviously trying to attract), whereas I sigh yet again that the only way humanity is going to survive, let alone progress, is if it does so together, sharing common information instead of pulling up drawbridges.

  14. 44
    Lazarus on 18 Nov 2012 #

    I wish I’d printed the old charts off now while I had the chance (or, more cheaply, copied them out) – looks like I shouldn’t chuck out my old Record Mirrors (1983-88) just yet. A Chartstats (random chart)/Youtube night used to be quite entertaining when there wasn’t much on TV.

    If anyone’s interested I’m quite happy to start posting Top 75s from the mid-80s on the relevant No. 1 threads.

  15. 45
    Steve Mannion on 18 Nov 2012 #

    More justified annoyance at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialCharts?filter=2

  16. 46
    swanstep on 18 Nov 2012 #

    Argh, incredibly irritating about chartstats. For what it’s worth, The Internet Archive Wayback Machine has various at least partial snapshots of the site here. I checked the July 19 2012 snapshot and it seemed fairly complete so if you want to slurp up the data you still can, at least mostly (don’t delay if that’s your intention tho’).

    So, what is the official alternative site?

    Last point: the charts are part of history, just as dates, times, sales, box office info are. Chartstats and sites like it must have a legal defence of *some way* of presenting their information. Somebody needs to work that out and make the proper safe harbour formula and associated guidelines commonly available.

  17. 47
    Steve Mannion on 18 Nov 2012 #

    Huge amount of scans at http://scans.chartarchive.org/UK/ at least.

  18. 48
    Steve Mannion on 18 Nov 2012 #

    Another (inelegant) workaround would be using sites like YouTube and apps like Spotify to compile the charts as they were. Missing tracks can still be listed, and in YT’s case they don’t even need to be the actual songs as long they’re listed as such on the playlist itself.

  19. 49
    punctum on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Many thanks for all these sets of links; nice to have the Record Mirror lists available online, I must say. The robot blandness of the OCC website response to the ChartStats complaints is sadly predictable. It really does beggar belief. If they want to make money out of their charts (if NME, BMRB and Gallup charts can be said to be “theirs”) then why not publish books of them, both singles and albums? Yes, they’d be pretty big and presumably priced to match, but there’d be a definite audience for them.

    As I understand things, the relative paucity of chart books in recent years has been a direct consequence of the “who needs them, they can look them up on ChartStats” way of thinking. So bully your biggest rival out of meaningful existence and provide your own, extremely meagre online “archive” as the only point of reference; nice way to mark 60 years of the singles chart, eh?

  20. 50
    punctum on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Actually, if OCC really wanted to clean up on profits they’d be offering Matt at ChartStats a job with them, transferring his data over to their website. I’m sure there’d be more than enough sponsors interested to keep it going financially and, moreover, plenty of advertisers would also be attracted. Set those potential profits against, say, selling old Top 50 charts for a fiver a throw (as I understand is the plan), and really it’s a no-brainer. Much better than living in the King Canute-like past and pretending that Napster, downloads etc. are only passing fancies and the old way of doing things will thrive. It won’t even survive.

  21. 51
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 19 Nov 2012 #


    KC sat there with waves in his socks to demonstrate to the suck-ups in his court that he was LESS powerful than the the sea, and could they please stop sucking up because it was annoying him. ie he was precisely the one *not* living in the ” King Canute-like past”

    I know this is irrelevant to punctum’s point and everyone knows what is meant but it I guess is my “iconic” :)

  22. 52
    DietMondrian on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Or did he genuinely believe he could turn back the tide, and it was a clever bit of spin by an 11th century Alastair Campbell to portray him as having done it to make a point to his court?

    *Punctum’s point recedes further into distance*

  23. 53
    punctum on 19 Nov 2012 #

    Yes well let’s stop that now (on a thread about “Doop” but never mind).

    I’m not completely unsympathetic to OCC’s point of view but if I owned the copyright to these charts I would have done more with them – this past week was a missed golden opportunity to do so – instead of just waiting for somebody else to make something of them then acting all hurt over infringement rather than engaging with the other person.

    Or maybe the internet is now destined, not to bring humanity forward by sharing information, but to drag humanity back to the Middle Ages complete with feudal lords and serfs.

  24. 54
    Mark G on 19 Nov 2012 #

    There was a ‘chart stats’ book back in the mid-seventies, listed all the hit singles and their positions each week, partitioned by month..

    So, the first month would list all the singles in chart order for the first week, followed by all the singles that made it in subsequent weeks, and each position placed in the column, until the next month…


    Anyway, I believe this book was also withdrawn for similar reasons. Certainly, it went out-of-print pretty quickly.

  25. 55
    hardtogethits on 19 Nov 2012 #

    #54 That book was called “Top Twenty” and was ‘by’ Tony Jasper. It stuck around surviving several updates into the 1990s. Its earliest edition was AFAIK 1976 (covering charts to 1975), and its latest AFAIK 1994.

    I spoke to a lawyer – a real one – today about this whole business. She strongly advised against speculation (what lawyer wouldn’t say “leave it to the lawyers if you don’t know the law”). There’s stuff I’m keen to say about the Jasper book, the GRRR Guinness Books etc., and I think it would illuminate the discussion a bit – but I’ll have to be careful in what I say, so it will take a little longer.

  26. 56
    hardtogethits on 20 Nov 2012 #

    Following on, and treading carefully, and avoiding analogies which may distract from the key points:

    The charts are available under legitimate, official, licensed arrangements by people who do not make a profit – for example, see ukchartsplus.co.uk. This does not mean the charts are available for free. I must also declare at this stage that I have no financial interest in ukchartsplus.co.uk.

    If the OCC were to take anything less than a hard line with sites that do NOT have official licensing agreements, this may create tension with the tiny, loss-making organisations who have paid for and dutifully observed licensing agreements with the OCC over the years – of which ukchartsplus.co.uk is only one example.

    There are a number of people who already think “I could produce a fantastic chart website if I chose to operate outside my (organisation’s) licensing agreement, but I choose to observe that agreement”.

  27. 57
    wichita lineman on 21 Nov 2012 #

    HTGH, ukchartsplus.co.uk is loss making and it charges £5.50 an “issue”?

    Football clubs were being threatened for reproducing league tables not long ago before bad publicity led the prosecutors – I can’t remember if it was the FA or some shadowy third party – to back down.

    There should be a way for people to get chart information which has been in the (printed) public domain for a very long time.

  28. 58
    hardtogethits on 21 Nov 2012 #

    Hi Wichita and thanks for the comments – which allow me to open up a bit!

    Last point first, I think you know I agree with you as strongly as possible that the chart information should be made available affordably to the public. I’m as frustrated as anyone by what the OCC fails to give out by way of accessible chart data – and, like you IIRC, I’ve even approached them to suggest what people might like by way of OCC product!

    Re ukchartsplus.co.uk. Yes, loss making. And the previous owner of that particular business gave up on it because it was loss making. As you point out, it’s not cheap to one-off purchasers, and not particularly cheap to annual subscribers. However, the people who put in the enormous amount of work don’t pay themselves for the time they spend on it. From this, it’s possible to deduce:

    1. The licensing fees from the OCC are the major cost, and it’s hard to make the business work and
    2. Nevertheless, people are so determined to put the charts in the public domain under a proper licensing agreement, that they are prepared to invest money in it as well as time.

    Database law is complex, and being tested across Europe. V complex stuff to do with intended location of audience, intellectual effort invested and all sorts of stuff I don’t understand toooo well. However, I gather the ‘feeling’ (the spirit of case law, if you will) is that league tables are so easy to compile in the first place that it is hard to make a case for them to be copyrightable. Anyone publishing a league table is AS likely to have worked it out for themselves (and got the same results as official league tables) as to have ‘copied’ the official league tables. Contrast this with fixture lists, though – these are NOT easy to compile / construct, and anyone who did so would not emerge with a list that matched the official list. Therefore, trying to find a comprehensive but UNlicensed list of fixtures is surprisingly hard. Even professional clubs (tend to) list only their own fixtures, and of course under licence. I see charts as being quite similar to fixture lists in this respect.

  29. 59
    Lena on 24 Nov 2012 #

    Happy 5th Anniversary to us! Marcello and I were married five years ago today in Toronto, on a dancefloor, with the great Scott Woods as both our best man and our DJ. (This posting should be, properly, with Leona Lewis’ “Bleeding Love” as it was a transatlantic #1 at the time, but this will more than do.)

  30. 60
    hardtogethits on 24 Nov 2012 #

    First record to be simultaneously a) the most recent Popular entry, and b) featured on Strictly Come Dancing?
    Or Did I miss Kimberley and Pasha dancing to Mr Blobby?

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