With just one round left to run, the Seventies continue to claw back some of their lost ground. Our leading decade took a knock in the Number Twos, as Johnny Logan notched up the lowest average score of any track to date – but with the voting far from over, all this could change in a heartbeat.

Cumulative scores so far:
1(1) The Eighties – 35.52 points.
2(2) The Nineties – 33.72 points.
3(4) The Seventies – 31.05 points.
4(3) The Teens – 30.01 points.
5(5) The Noughties – 29.53 points.
6(6) The Sixties – 29.16 points.

Mindful of the fact that this is a post about UK Number Ones, on a site that already contains the ultimate guide to the subject, I’m going to try and keep these final blurbs short. Toe-trampling ain’t my style!

1960: The Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1970: England World Cup Squad – Back Home (video: at 3:46) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1980: Dexy’s Midnight Runners – Geno (video) (Tom’s write-up on Popular)
1990: Madonna – Vogue (video)
2000: Oxide And Neutrino – Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty) (video)
2010: Roll Deep – Good Times (video)

(Download the MP3)

While I’m aware of the reverence shown to them by the generation above me, The Everly Brothers have never really floated my boat. Perhaps it’s because I don’t get the premise: two brothers, singing love songs to the same girl? Doesn’t that rather dissipate the emotional impact? That said, I’m not about to quibble with their way with a melody, or with the blue-eyed sweetness of their vocal style. It took me a while to unpack the meaning of “Cathy’s Clown”, as it wasn’t immediately obvious that the fourth line of the chorus switches to reported speech. But now that I’m over the hump, I’ll grant them points for competent songcraft and pleasant delivery. I’m sure they’ll be pleased.

Although the England World Cup Squad‘s “Back Home” sounds as if it belongs in a different musical universe to the rest of 1970’s pop, it was in fact the work of Bill Martin and Phil Coulter: best known for “Puppet On A String”, “Congratulations”, Slik’s “Forever And Ever” and various Bay City Rollers hits. This was the first football record to chart, setting the template for “Blue Is The Colour”, “Good Old Arsenal”, “Leeds United” and Monty Python’s “We Love The Yangtse”, and while I’m not about to make false claims for its artistry, I’ll give it credit for avoiding hubristic triumphalism. The message is “We’ll do our best”, not “We’re going to win”. There is a difference.

Like many people – including the committee of my university’s hall of residence, who duly booked Geno Washington as the entertainment for one of our formal dinners at the end of 1980 – I assumed that Dexy’s Midnight Runners were offering unqualified praise for Kevin Rowland’s erstwhile hero. But the warning (“And now you’re all over, your song is so tame”) was there all along, garbled by Rowland’s diction as it might have been – and if we had but realised, we could have been spared a dismal let-down at the student hop. “There There My Dear” was, for me, Dexy’s Mark One’s finest hour, but “Geno” will do just fine.

(A passing mention, if I may, for its producer Pete “Eighteen With A Bullet” Wingfield, who played keyboards for the Everly Brothers for the thick end of twenty years. Met him once, at a family funeral. Nice chap.)

In the wake of Tom Ewing’s excellent (and Pet Shop Boys sanctioned!) Pitchfork piece on the subject, “imperial phase” has been quite the phrase de nos jours in some of the circles which I inhabit. Madonna‘s own imperial phase reached its pinnacle with “Vogue”, which soundtracked my 1990 more than any other record. Even my partner, who hates clubs and doesn’t dance unless he’s pissed to the point of near-collapse, would ritually make an exception when “Vogue” came on in our local gay fleapit disco. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s the ultimate accolade.

Yesterday, while appending a comment to Dorian Lynskey’s Guardian blog post about feeling on the wrong side of a musical generation gap, I forgot to include a prime personal instance of what-the-fuck-are-these-kids-PLAYING-at bafflement. Strictly speaking,Oxide and Neutrino are the fifth UK Garage act to appear in our 2000 Top Ten, but it seems daft to mention them in the same breath as MJ Cole’s “Crazy Love” or Craig David’s “Fill Me In”. Where Cole offers aspirational sleekness, Oxide and Neutrino offer gunshots, gabble and (ahem) grime, crashing the swanky uptown party with their rough mates. If I remember correctly, the leading lights of the established UKG scene were so concerned at this shifting of the ground that some sort of vetting committee was set up, in order to draw up lists of approved and banned records. And so came the schism, as UKG begat grime, and grime begat…

Roll Deep, from whose ranks sprang Dizzee Rascal, Tinchy Stryder and Wiley (who remains their leader to this day). And guess what? Yup, you’ve got it. Not to be left behind in the breaking-big-and-getting-paid stakes, Roll Deep have “done a Dizzee” (and a Tinchy, and a Chipmunk, and an Aggro Santos, and a Professor Green…), ditching the grime and chucking out yet another (all together now!) club banger.

If I had been writing this blurb three weeks ago, then I would have been making a stronger case for the raucous cheer of “Good Times” – but listening again to these six songs on the train back from London a couple of days ago, I found that its take on clubbing-as-escape-from-the-daily-grind suffered in comparison to Madonna’s more elevated and empathetic approach. Where Madonna speaks of longing “to be something better than you are today”, Roll Deep merely urge you to grab, to consume, to flash your cash and get twatted to oblivion. But hey, if all you want to do is jump around in the middle of Walkabout, in your sponsored T-shirt, on your Carnage bar crawl, then “Good Times” will serve you well.

Over to you for the last time, then. Voting will remain open on all rounds until the end of Thursday June 10th, and I’ll be revealing the final results on Friday June 11th.