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Aug 11

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops 2011: the Number 5s

Which Decade Is Tops For Pops43 comments • 1,380 views

1961: Warpaint – The Brook Brothers (video) (lyrics)
1971: Mozart Symphony No 40 – Waldo de los Ríos (video)
1981: Grey Day – Madness (video) (lyrics)
1991: Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD (video) (lyrics)
2001: Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott (video) (lyrics)
2011: Sweat (David Guetta Remix) – Snoop Dogg (video) (lyrics)

Spotify playlist (minus Waldo De Los Rios)

One place up from The Allisons, we find another “Britain’s answer to the Everly Brothers” – but there’s no sibling fakery this time round, as The Brook Brothers are properly born of the same stock. This cover of Barry Mann’s “Warpaint” (a rare excursion into performance for the songwriter, which didn’t chart in the US) gave the former skiffle act their biggest hit, and deservedly so; it’s a likeable romp, boosted by a strong production from Tony Hatch, which adds an affectionately teasing quality to Mann’s harsher original. Why, I can even forgive the yakety sax.

If our 1971 entry reminds you of dressage music, or of TV theme tunes, then there’s context for that; other Mozart adaptations by Waldo de los Ríos were used for the BBC’s Horse of the Year coverage, and for Radio 4’s Brain of Britain. When he wasn’t MOR-ifying the classics, Waldo also led an Argentinian folk group – which perhaps accounts for the incongruous Spanish-style guitar, adding confusion to the otherwise smooth arrangement. Waldo was on a roll in 1971, having just helped Spain to second place at Eurovision with his work on Karina’s “En un mundo nuevo”, and although darker days lay ahead – struggles with depression, and eventual suicide in 1977 – none of that is apparent here. It’s kitsch writ large, of course – but you can’t altogether keep a good tune down, and the perky augmentations never quite tip over into full “Hooked On Classics” horror.

Its position in Madness’s discography might mark “Grey Day” out as a sharp break from (and maybe a pointed reaction to) the knockabout nuttiness – for singles-wise, this was the first full surfacing of their glummer, wearier streak – but the song itself was already three years old, dating from the band’s early days as the North London Invaders. Hitting the charts after “That’s Entertainment” and before “Ghost Town”, it helped to define a key theme of 1981: fed up, pissed off, all but defeated, offering sour commentary on the new recession. It’s not clear if the narrator is ground down by the emptiness of unemployment, or worn out by long hours of brutal labour – but whatever the cause, mental and physical suffering have brought him to the edge of insanity. Dirty, bruised and vilified, he sinks to the grass in the pouring rain, longing for extinction. And this got to Number Four?

Five years on from their last hit, OMD had shrunk from a duo-led six-piece band, to a solo vehicle for Andy McCluskey. Perhaps a certain measure of nice-to-have-them-back goodwill helped propel “Sailing On The Seven Seas” upwards – remarkably, only “Souvenir” matched it for chart peak success – because if it didn’t, I’m left struggling to understand why it did quite so well. McCluskey’s still-characterful vocals provide the only discernible link to the OMD of old, while the hired hands heave and ho through an insistent, uncluttered shanty, its rhythms carrying faint echoes of glam-rock’s stomp. Its forcefulness pulls you in, its momentum keeps you engaged, but it scores next to nothing for lasting impact.

Matching and arguably exceeding “Hot Love” for initial clout and lasting influence, elements of Missy Elliott’s “Get UR Freak On” persist to this day – you can trace some sort of wiggly line to MIA, and thence to “Run The World (Girls)” – and it duly bestrode the pop landscape of 2001 like a colossus, topping every end-of-year poll and hatching a thousand forensic dissections within the newly emerging blogosphere. Overplayed and picked to pieces, its tricks long since co-opted and subsumed, the track’s shock-of-the-new aspects are hard to re-imagine ten (TEN!) years on. So its exhumation still feels premature. Another decade should re-vitalise it, for sure – but as of now, I can’t recapture the thrill I once felt. (It still gets the six points, of course – and my favourite bit is still the dubby instrumental wind-down in the closing minute.)

First released as the altogether ruder “Wet” – and written, if you can credit it, to honour the impending nuptials of Wills ‘n Kate – Snoop Dogg‘s slinky, atmospheric and (needless to say) slobbering original (“I’m in like a cigarette” – don’t do yourself down in the downstairs department, dawg!) didn’t blow up properly worldwide until David Guetta got hold of it. Daubing it with hefty splodges of Felix’s “Don’t You Want Me”, Guetta dutifully fed it into his state-of-the-art ClubBangaTron – and out popped “Sweat”, his biggest hit of 2011 thus far. Speaking not only as a total sucker for GuettaBeat, but also as someone who has DANCED to “Sweat” in a PROPER CLUB in LONDON with HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE in it (I’ll be fifty next year, it doesn’t happen often, it’s a big deal when it does), I can give this nothing but praise. History has yet to record whether it graced the dancefloor of our new Duke and Duchess’s wedding bash – but hell, why wouldn’t it?

You can blame Vic Reeves for this: the Nineties have crashed from first to fourth place, while T.Rex have revived the fortunes of the Seventies and The Jacksons have sent the Eighties to the top of the heap. At the bottom of the heap, Katy Perry has done the Teens no favours, and not even a respectable showing for Depeche Mode has managed to lift the Noughties from last place.

1 (3) The Eighties (19.61)
2 (2) The Sixties (18.63)
3 (5) The Seventies (18.08)
4 (1) The Nineties (17.89)
5 (4) The Teens (16.16)
6 (6) The Noughties (14.63)

Can Missy Eilliott bring it for the Noughties? Will Madness strengthen 1981’s lead? It’s all to play for!

Comments

  1. 1
    Mike Atkinson on 2 Aug 2011 #

    My votes:

    6 points – Missy Elliott
    5 points – Snoop & Guetta
    4 points – Brook Brothers
    3 points – Madness
    2 points – OMD
    1 point – Waldo de los Rios

    SCORES SO FAR:

    75 points: Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott
    70 points: Grey Day – Madness
    52 points: Sailing On The Seven Seas – OMD
    47 points: Warpaint – The Brook Brothers
    38 points: Mozart Symphony No 40 – Waldo de los Ríos
    33 points: Sweat (David Guetta Remix) – Snoop Dogg

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 2 Aug 2011 #

    6 points – Missy Elliott
    5 points – Madness
    4 points – Brook Brothers
    3 points – Snoop & Guetta
    2 points – Walso de los Rios
    1 point – OMD

  3. 3
    hardtogethits on 2 Aug 2011 #

    A very varied selection

    6 points – Madness. Is the song’s title a pun on Grade A? The idea that the central character is turning to drugs and alcohol through joblessness is under-explored, perhaps rightly.

    5 – Missy Elliott. It’s got groove and it’s got influence.

    4 – OMD. A big surprise that 20 years on, it’s not dated much really. The reason, IMHO, is that pop genres are mutually hostile, balkanised etc, and the mainstream is occupied by stylised singers.

    3 – Waldo De Los Rios. Thanks Mike for the Horse of The Year enlightenment – that’s exactly what it sounds like. And Ski Sunday. In places, it’s really lovely – no surprise, you can’t keep a good tune down – but those little flourishes (which you highlight) bugged me throughout my determined and attentive attempt to hear this one out.

    2 – Brook Brothers. The cool alliteration in the name of the act and the title have misled me all these years – I’d always assumed this would be an important point in rock’n’roll. Not so.

    1 – Snoop Dogg.

  4. 4
    AndyPandy on 2 Aug 2011 #

    6 pts Snoop Dogg – always one of my favourite rappers
    5 pts Waldo De Los Rios – reminds me of being about 6 or 7 they always played this on Radio 2 at the weekends back then (I think it was this version)
    4 pts Madness – good attempt at conjuring up the paranoia and depression following a few days on the booze.If I’d only known about that side of drinking when this was out and I was just about to start (over-)indulging…
    3 pts OMD
    2 pts Missy Elliott
    1 pt Brook Brothers

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 2 Aug 2011 #

    6 points – Missy Elliott
    still sounding head and shoulders above anything else that I’ve heard in this competition – I was wondering how well the asian samples would have played in the US had this been released after, rather than a few months before, 9/11
    5 points – OMD
    I’ve always quite liked this – although it’s crying out for a remix, with more of the ‘? & the mysterians’ organ that pops up towards the end
    4 points – Brook Brothers
    there’s a hint of misogyny to this which makes it less bland than much of the previous hits from this era – great production and taut rhythms
    3 points – Madness
    I’m always surprised by how much my original enthusiasm for Madness has faded over the years – I still like the dubby moments and the horn section – but there’s a fatalistic streak to their lyrics that comes to the fore in songs like this one, which I find too depressing.
    2 points – Snoop & Guetta
    I enjoyed the original ‘wet’ for its balance between man and machine – DG’s version is far too uniform and lacking in dynamism for my taste
    1 point – Waldo de los Rios
    tasteless – in several senses of the word

  6. 6
    wichita lineman on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 Missy Elliott – extraordinarily exciting and super minimalist – an almost impossible double act.

    5 Waldo de los Rios – solves the problem of too many notes by sticking a soft cloppity beat underneath half of them. Follyfoot!

    4 Brook Brothers – meant as a gag by Barry Mann who had recently scored his only hit with Who Put The Bomp. Jolly. Daft. Nice tympani.

    3 Madness – heavy handed compared to the melancholy uplift of The Sun & The Rain or One Better Day, and Clanger/Winstanley’s production overeggs. Still, Grade A (nice spot, HTGH) debilitation at NUMBER FOUR!

    2 OMD – wasn’t this another Nik Kershaw-penned hit, hot on the heels of The One And Only? Too early for early 80s renaissance, this was a hit due to its own modest pleasantness.

    1 Snoop Dogg/D Guetta – Don’t You Want Me I might have given 6 to but I’m worn out by this, it sounds so dated already. Can we have something new please?

  7. 7
    taDOW on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 – missy, 6 points not enough
    5 – waldo de los rios, tasteless!
    4 – madness, this band annoys/bores me in manic mode but add any other emotional element – wistfulness, nostalgia, irritation – and i’m entertained.
    3 – omd, latter day omd always gets crazy disparaged esp in the states where the much much greater chart success of latter day omd puts a finger on the scale, but i think it has it’s charms, even beyond john hughes chestnuts. this is so close to being something good, it’s amazing that omd + glamstomp doesn’t nail schaffel by default but it never comes close.
    2 – brook brothers, negligable
    1 – snoop/guetta, guetta is a menace

  8. 8
    Weej on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Best selection so far, I’d say – the top four could all have got six points elsewhere.

    6 – Madness – Just great, really captures something true and dark about life in England. Really needs a more suitable video though.
    5 – OMD – One I bought at the time, and I can still see why – it’s all about the whirling rhythym in the verses, the chorus is just there to break it up a bit. The video linked here is the wrong version though, it’s an inferior American release remix. This performance on TOTP is more like it – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tb4eyhEi9m8
    4 – Missy Elliott – Feel guilty putting this so low as it’s obviously both very good and very much still relevant today, but I too have grown a little tired of hearing it. I’m sure it’ll still get plenty of points here anyway.
    3 – Brook Brothers – Pleasant enough, would’ve finished much higher in earlier rounds.
    2 – Waldo de los Rios – What? Muzak, or near enough, in the charts? Something’s wrong here.
    1 – Snoop Dogg – The original is ok, but this remix is proper rubbish.

  9. 9
    swanstep on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Not heard OMD’s own Personal Jesus before. How depressing. Back later.

  10. 10
    swanstep on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 points – Missy Elliott (Massive, overwhelming number of good ideas in this track. Missy was such a muse to vid. makers too, she’s terribly missed. What’s she doing these days anyway?)
    5 points – Madness (An almost classic in my book – perhaps just needed an extra major chord or two somewhere in the chorus, a McCartney polish perhaps, to make it more tuneful and it would have been one for the ages.)
    4 points – Brook Brothers (Not bad.)
    3 points – Snoop & Guetta (Boring. Guetta is the devil I’m sure of it.)
    2 points – OMD (Personal Jesus generically revisited – what a come-down for a classic band.)
    1 point – Waldo de los Rios (Mozart makes great dance music so I appreciate the effort here, but this just doesn’t work for me for some reason)

  11. 11
    Weej on 3 Aug 2011 #

    @swanstep – Missy Elliot has put her music on hold as she’s had Graves’ disease for a while, apparently she’s on the up now though.

  12. 12
    swanstep on 3 Aug 2011 #

    @weej. Ah, thanks for that. Googling now I can see that this was widely discussed in the media back in June…

  13. 13
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Personal Jesus! *slaps forehead* Of course!

    Maybe I woke up cloth-eared, but over breakfast I couldn’t hear what’s different about the “US remix” (which seems to have become the band-branded official version on YT). Are the drums a bit louder on the UK version?

  14. 14
    enitharmon on 3 Aug 2011 #

    An amazingly lacklustre selection methinks.

    6: Madness (perhaps not their best, but an enjoyable romp nonetheless)
    5: Waldo de los Rios (tacky and tasteless but Mozart is indestructible)
    4: Brook Brothers (not classy American shirts then, ok for their time)
    3: OMD (a once-fine band now outstaying its welcome and spoiling its reputation)
    2: Missy Elliott (the lesser headache)
    1: Snoop Dogg (the greater headache)

  15. 15
    thefatgit on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 pts-Missy Elliott
    5 pts-Madness
    4 pts-Brook Brothers
    3 pts-OMD
    2 pts-Snoop & Guetta
    1 pt-Waldo de Los Rios

    A sharp upstep in quality here.
    I remember the Horse Of The Year Show, and also had a small collection of Thelwell books (fat little ponies ridden by stroppy little madams). So a point for nostalgia.
    David Guetta’s ubiquity is doing him no favours. Snoop is as always, effortlessly adept.
    I really liked Sailing On The Seven Seas at the time, and I’m willing to afford McCluskey his last shot at personal glory before he unleashes A****c K****n upon us.
    Brook Brothers are new to me, and I’m liking what they are doing here. Or should I say, I’m liking what Tony Hatch is doing here?
    Madness would have effortlessly been awarded a six if it wasn’t for…
    Missy Elliott! And how strange that we touched upon hauntology on the previous thread. Get Ur Freak On was a massive illuminated roadsign flashing THA FUUUTURE. Funny thing is, it still looks like one now.

  16. 16
    Lena on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Hey Hey! This one’s tough…but…

    6 – Missy – For everything already said, plus Marcello & I had it as one of our songs at our wedding dance, by request.

    5 – OMD – I can’t help liking this; it is New Pop blues, Andy still in awe and lost, sailing the seas because there is nothing else he *can* do. I remain blissfully ignorant of A***** K***** though I am guessing they are not as MODERN as OMD.

    4 – Snoop Dogg – This is the club banger done right, and while Guetta’s touch isn’t always to my taste, this really works, in that Snoop’s terminal laidbackness is a great foil to the technicolor vibrancy of Guetta’s mix.

    3 – Madness – The wacky video doesn’t erase the aching misery of the song; it just illustrates it while making fun of it. That it was a hit either means people just really liked Madness or this was a protest vote of some kind.

    2 – The Brooks Brothers – Any song this cute cannot get the lowest mark here; plus, they are actual brothers.

    1 – I think this was used for horsey-type tv in Canada as well, as I immediately had flashbacks to nerve-wracking rounds of seeing whether the horse/rider would make it to the end without balking, rearing up, splashing water and so on. To this day I can’t really watch showjumping because (and perhaps this is because I am a Horse in Chinese astrology) I am in agony the whole time & totally sympathize with the horses that live on their nerves second to second, and this music doesn’t soothe me at all, unfortunately.

  17. 17
    enitharmon on 3 Aug 2011 #

    I feel the need to point out that the horse music wasn’t this but Waldo’s (of the Rivers as opposed to of Eastbourne) arrangement of the Divertimento for horns and string quartet K522 known as A Musical Joke.

  18. 18
    Lena on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Ah! I think as a kid it probably all sounded much the same to me, in any case. Nothing against poor de los Rios, but oh for the horses!

  19. 19
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Aug 2011 #

    #6 @wichita lineman – No, not Nik; “Seven Seas” was co-written by McCluskey and a chap called Stuart Kershaw, who had just been drafted into the band, but not made a full member. (The writing credit was OMD/Kershaw.)

    NB Having earwormed the tune since breakfast time, I feel belatedly inclined to revise my opinion upwards!

  20. 20
    wichita lineman on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Coo! Thanks Mike. I remember liking Pandora’s Box, their swansong Top 10 hit, much more. But can’t remember how it goes….

  21. 21
    logged-out Elisha Sessions on 3 Aug 2011 #

    get ur freak on is one of the very few songs where i remember the first time i heard it. it was coming out of a shitty boombox tuned to Hot 97 in a guitar shop on houston street, just east of ludlow, run by my then-friend sarah. the second it came on i started singing along to it, convinced i’d heard it before. we both just stopped what we were doing and danced to it. missy and timbaland are often thought of as people who did “weird” hip hop, but despite its novel instrumentation this song came across like a straight banger (and crucially, its sonics shone brightly on that shitty boombox)

  22. 22
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Aug 2011 #

    #20 Have just Spotified “Pandora’s Box” – oh yes, THAT one! It’s the one that goes “It’s a LONG LONG WAY, from where you want to be…” I totally forgot it existed, and yet it was instantly familiar.

  23. 23
    Conrad on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 points. Missy E – from a time when hop hop still had the capacity to surprise, Very inventive

    5 points. Madness – not their very best, but still a pleasure to listen to.

    4 points. OMD – not bad, really. a twelve bar blues with a tune goldfrapp wish they’d written

    3 points. Brooks Bros. Did this inspire Shaky to write lipstick, powder and paint?

    2 points. waldo de los rios.

    1 point. guetta/snoop. this sounds dated already

  24. 24
    Erithian on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 pts 1981 – Madness: two years and three albums into their chart career, they were continuing to find new depth and strength in their material. Most of the band were still around 20 years of age, but their music was fast maturing beyond what many of us had thought them capable of. I particularly like the macabre fairground keyboard effect, and Dan Woodgate’s drum sound is perfect.

    5 pts 1991 – OMD: swings like a good ‘un, and a fine vocal too. Some of their best songs are based around keyboard phrases, but it’s good to hear them move away from that.

    4 pts 2001 – Missy Elliott: not my usual bag by a long way, but you can’t deny the originality (at least I’d never heard anything much like it before, although it’s not the kind of thing I follow) and the sharpness – a real crossover to a wider audience. Plenty going on, and how about the visual effect with her neck?

    3 pts 1961 – Brook Brothers: I remember liking this on Jimmy Savile’s Old Record Club back in the day. Good production and witty lyric (“let me introduce you to a cake of soap”). You might suppose that this and “Are You Sure?” said something about s€xual politics in the era of “A Kind of Loving”, until you realise it’s by a Brooklyn songwriter – more cute than misogynistic really.

    2 pts 1971 – Waldo de los Rios: a welcome classical crossover in the chart, although hearing it again the percussion etc doesn’t do much for it. It’s a bad sign that around 2:30 it comes to a natural flourishing end, only to crank up again and you realise with a sinking heart that there are two more minutes of it.

    1 pt 2011 – Snoop Dogg: so in 50 years we’ve come from “you’re not going to fight a war, you’re only going out with the boy next door” to “get into that bikini, open your legs a bit and drape yourself around Snoop”. I empathised with the YouTube comment that “this soft p0rn film has a good soundtrack”, and as for the protagonist I can only echo a friend’s comment: “Wikipedia says he hasn’t hit 40 yet [but] he looks older than Chuck Berry did when I saw him in 2009”. The music? Nothing new there.

  25. 25
    DietMondrian on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6. Madness. I’d forgotten how dubby this was. Nice.
    5. OMD. Preferred Pandora’s Box, though.
    4. Missy Elliott. Full of ideas, but I don’t actually like listening to it very much.
    3. The Brook Brothers. Nice timpani.
    2. Waldo de los Rios. Pointless.
    1. Snoop Dogg. Meh.

  26. 26
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Aug 2011 #

    For a first glimpse of this round’s scores so far, hop back up to comment #1.

  27. 27
    Mike Atkinson on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Just discovered that a rival version of Mozart’s 40th – by Sovereign Collection – also charted at the same time, peaking at 27. It’s not on YouTube, so I can’t compare.

  28. 28
    AndyPandy on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Just downloaded Sovereign Colection and its not that different, maybe the poppy guitary and flutey stuff slightly more obtrusive than Rios – I’m pretty sure the Rios version was the Radio 2 version I remember from back in the day.

  29. 29
    JonnyB on 3 Aug 2011 #

    Late in – and can’t believe nobody has yet mentioned the odd fact of tubular bells appearing two weeks running. Go the bells!

    6/Grey Day – one of the great overlooked Madness tracks IMHO. I’ve had the track in my head for years – what surprised me upon listening again is how much faster it is than I recall. I pair this with ‘Cardiac Arrest’ which I always found enjoyable but pretty flawed – but this track strikes me as a comprehensively excellent pop tune.

    5/Brook Brothers – hadn’t heard this before; enjoyed it immensely, enough to bump it up to second place, which may be down to an element of my own surprise at the impression it made. Seems to have everything missing from the Allisons’ effort, to whit energy, sincerity, a touch of danger, soul.

    4/Missy – Truly torn about this one. Not what I’d listen to for fun, but hypnotic and interesting, and the outro has a minimalist magnificence.

    3/OMD – golly. This isn’t a cover? I always assumed it was a cover? Not a cover? Oh. Ummm – ermm… lahdahdahdahhspiritinthesky dummdeeedumsummertimeblues. Catchy. Not unpleasant. May well be an earworm for the rest of the evening.

    2/Waldo – Like a bad cover version of a great record. Which essentially it is. The drums – in the name of all that is holy, why? Mozart plus the guitar I could understand, but the drums lost it for me.

    1/Snoop – Oh, ah, um. I’m so listening to this in the wrong context, but nope – move on.

  30. 30
    Z on 3 Aug 2011 #

    6 points – Brook Brothers
    5 points – Missy Elliott
    4 points – Madness
    3 points – OMD
    2 points – Snoop & Guetta
    1 point – Waldo de los Rios

  31. 31
    Scott M on 4 Aug 2011 #

    6 points – Missy Elliott – Basically still amazing
    5 points – Madness – Brilliant – had no idea it predated Ghost Town
    4 points – Brook Brothers
    3 points – Waldo de los Rios
    2 points – OMD
    1 point – Snoop & Guetta – Empty Guetta House, crass in every way.

  32. 32
    chelovek na lune on 5 Aug 2011 #

    Tough to rank these, as I neither intensely dislike four of them, but wouldn’t go out of my way to track any of them down either… So the top 4 rankings are a bit by default; only the last two am I certain about their position in these ranking…

    6 – Madness – I also generally prefer them when they are more understated and melancholic rather than nutty (and like Jonny B I too put this alongside “Cardiac Arrest” – which is certainly imperfect but has something glorious about it in its structure and form. Don’t you worry, there’s no need to hurry…). Actually I prefer “Cardiac Arrest” to this, but it’s still a skilful & proficient piece of pop.

    5 – Brook Brothers – starts promisingly, ballsier than the Allisons. yakety sax tolerable in small quantities, but for a time is a bit too much swanney kazoo territory

    4 – Missy Elliot – I can see that this is a quality track, but still, I have never really loved this. For some reason the earlier parts throw into my mind the Cookie Crew “gainin’ respec’ in a cool British dialec'”, although this is way more interesting and experimental than that. Definitely a “great on the dancefloor” track that requires a physical response rather than something jus’ to listen to…

    3 – OMD – a bit of a travesty compared with much of their earlier, more experimental stuff. Or even their paler post-Dazzle-Ships-oh-god-we-need-to-rediscover-our-commercial-potential mid-80s stuff. (“Secret”, “So In Love”, “If You Leave” I still have a soft spot for all of those). This, it’s alright + it is memorable, but not really much more. (“Pandora’s Box” definitely superior, yes). Once great bands denuded of key personnel have made far worse comebacks than this, anyway. But hardly wow-inducing as they consistently were up to about 1983…

    2 – Snoop Dogg/David Guetta – the Guetta remix destroys the so intense you can almost smell the dope hypnotic feel of “Wet” and makes it profoundly dull, uninteresting, we are transported from Snoop’s somewhat sleazy but interesting world (the Serge Gainsbourg of hip hop that he is) to a Chelmsford nightclub that still is playing Felix. A dully commercial destruction of something that started out with considerable character.

    1 – Waldo de los Rios – oh my god that’s so inanely and unpleasantly and unnecessarily middlebrow and provincial (/London snobbism) Mind you in London it’s the sort of thing they play in the ticket halls of deserted tube stations in rough suburban estates (e.g. Elm Park) to deter the local yoof. (/inner London snobbism) So it is good for something.

  33. 33
    Clair on 7 Aug 2011 #

    6 – Madness
    5 – Brook Brothers
    4 – Missy Elliot
    3 – Waldo de los Rios
    2 – Snoop Dogg/David Guetta
    1 – OMD

  34. 34
    Waldo on 8 Aug 2011 #

    Hello fans, esp Rosie (Barrow as opposed to Cracklin!)

    Waldo’s Mozart 40 was originally introduced on Radio 1 as a backing track over which birthday requests were broadcast. Thereafter it was known as the “birthday music” and then it charted. And then a few years later Waldo killed himself. I don’t think he jumped off Beachy Head, though.

  35. 35
    jeff w registered on 8 Aug 2011 #

    Nothing to hate here, in fact much to like. Only the 90s are letting the side down (a bit). I was a big OMD fan up to ’86 and “Sailing…” was a real let down when I first heard it. I can still hum the hook though, so it’s no big surprise that it did so well.

    I share others’ concerns about the Guettafication of the current charts, but Mike’s right: this is a monster tune, in a club or on the radio. Madness are just a bit more classy here though – and I really like the contrast between the depressing subject matter and the entertaining arrangement.

    I only paused over where to rank Mozart. This is one of his most ‘pop’ compositions (and if Waldo was broadly faithful – I haven’t relistened – then no reason not to give this high points). But the 40th was probably less of a game-changer than the Jupiter symphony. “Get Ur Freak On” OTOH…

    6pts – Missy
    5pts – Waldo
    4pts – Madness
    3pts – Snoop
    2pts – “Warpaint”
    1pt – OMD

  36. 36
    Mark M on 9 Aug 2011 #

    Another fairly duff bunch, so…
    (Written before I’ve read everyone else’s comments, sorry if I repeat obvious points)

    6 points: Missy – an absolute monster, of course. Not my very favourite Missy track, but brilliant and a landmark. The winner by a couple of hundred of miles.

    5 points: Madness – I always liked The Specials more, and Suggs’ has subsequently become a bit of a plague, but they had a whole bunch of fine singles, and this is certainly the best of the rest here.

    4 points: The Brook Brothers – the rather objectionable lyrical sentiment is just about outweighed by plenty of energy and a decent tune.

    3 points: OMD – their answer to Personal Jesus, I guess, and typically cloying and underpowered. Shocked they were still around at this point.

    2 points: Waldo – what the hell?

    1 point: I love Snoop, but the appalling Guetta has swamped him here.

  37. 37
    David Belbin on 16 Aug 2011 #

    Been on holiday for two weeks but only one update, which is useful.

    6 points – Missy Elliott This was on our best of year cd. 10 years, blimey
    5 points – Madness I used to use the lyric of this song for a writing exercise when I was a schoolteacher. It was old even then, but the kids would always recognise it, and the sentiments. Never underestimate the love people feel for Madness, a quintessential English band with as many good songs as the Kinks. Not one of my faves but I never thought of the ‘Grade A’ pun, which is brilliant!
    4 points – Brook Brothers Don’t remember this but I like it better than the rest
    3 points – Snoop & Guetta Dull
    2 points – OMD Double dull
    1 point – Waldo de los Rios Eh, if Fast Car wasn’t allowed, surely a number from the 1780’s should be ruled out?

  38. 38
    Mike Atkinson on 17 Aug 2011 #

    David, you really need to let go of the “Fast Car” ruling! My word is final (if sporadic)!

  39. 39
    intothefireuk on 20 Aug 2011 #

    Madness some way ahead of the rest but I can only score them one point more than OMD.

    Grey Day 6 – Blissfully gloomy
    Sailing on the 7 Seas 5 – The 80’s in the 90’s
    Mozart 4 – You’ve got to love it’s schlock
    Get Ur Freak On 3 – Was a big deal – now pretty tame – never that impressed myself
    Sweat 2 – only due to it’s felix lift
    Warpaint 1 – very bouncy

  40. 40
    Ed on 27 Aug 2011 #

    6 – Missy Elliott. One of the best things about this series is being reminded to listen to fantastic records like this one. Wonderful in every respect, especially the way that the delicacy and detail of Elliott and Timbaland complement each other. Top video, too, although I see that it’s not a Hype Williams, and perhaps falls just just short of the master’s greatest work.
    5 – Snoop Dogg. It’s true that Guetta crushes all the subtlety out of it; the original (heavily influenced by Tim and Missy) is much better. But Snoop’s aging roue act is always fun. He’s like a rap Sid James.
    4 – Madness. Beginning to scrape the barrel here. ‘Embarrassment’ and ‘Night Boat’ aside, I’ve never had much time for them: Two-Tone’s sharp black-and-white smeared together into something drab. I can see this is cleverly done, and the 1981 context makes it more powerful. But there’s something about the combination of dour and wacky that I cannot love. Sad clowns, ugh…
    3 – Brook Brothers. Isn’t that a bit sexist? “Let me introduce you to a cake of soap”, indeed. Still, I’d like to hear Warpaint doing it. When I was little, the idea of the song ‘Iron Maiden’, by Iron Maiden, from the album Iron Maiden, seemed like the most hilarious move in rock history. (cf ‘Black Sabbath’ by Black Sabbath, from Black Sabbath, also.)
    2 – OMD. More No-Longer-New Pop. Cannot form any opinion of this whatsoever, after repeated listens.
    1 – Waldo de Los Rios. I think it’s Mozart’s symphonies that they say are like the music from God’s waiting room, but this is just Purgatory. Proof that not even the greatest melodies are indestructible, it makes Sky sound like Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

  41. 41
    lonepilgrim on 26 Sep 2011 #

    * bump *

  42. 42
    Weej on 14 Nov 2011 #

    Any chance of these being done before the end of 2011?

  43. 43
    Elisha Sessions on 12 Jan 2012 #

    More, more!

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