More groups and more songs today!
Geri Halliwell – Lift Me Up: When Geri left the Spice Girls, it signalled the end. Each girl went their own way, with Mel C clearly having the best songs but with Geri getting the most attention. She was never much of a singer but this is such a simplistic song that anyone could make it sound okay. I was going to say that I didn’t remember this until the chorus dropped – I do remember the chorus. It’s a sweet little pop song, nothing more.
Suede – Lazy: I’ve always liked Suede without ever really getting into them fully. This one doesn’t seem familiar to me but there were so many Britpop songs around at the time. It’s fine, far from the best I’ve heard from them.
Belinda Carlisle – Always Breaking My Heart: There should be more singers like Belinda Carlisle; there aren’t enough unique vocal tones and styles in pop music these days. Say what you like about her songs, but her voice has always stood out. It’s not clear what this is supposed to be – it’s nowhere near heavy enough to be considered even soft rock, but it’s somewhat more edgy than your regular pop. The chorus is all over the place and doesn’t stick the landing. Good middle 8, but doesn’t go anywhere.
Boyzone – Everyday I Love You: Every week a new Boy/girl band hit would hit the charts, either from one of the established success stories or one of the newbs. We’re not going to get away from these throughout this poll. I have zero memory of this song but honestly, as a ballad, it’s better than most of what they released.
Pearl Jam – Spin The Black Circle: Outside of their debut, Pearl Jam didn’t make a lasting impact on me and those subsequent albums are the ones I’ve returned to least out of the big Grunge Four. I probably should revisit them. This is cool, fast, and a nice break from the other rubbish here.
Ian Brown – My Star: I’ve never been much of a fan of Ian Brown. Too waif-like in his vocals. There’s decent music in here, the melodies are too drifty, he’s really trying to make some sort of point in his lyrics, but fails. Not the worst thing he’s ever done.
Cartoons – Witch Doctor: It’s terrible, but it’s also incredibly, nauseatingly catchy, and that’s more than enough for me.
Deep Blue Something – Breakfast At Tiffany’s: Another significant one hit wonder – significant because it’s actually good. That the curious thing about One Hit Wonders – how does a band come along and write something, not only good enough to hit the charts, but to stay in the charts and remain popular for years, but never have anything else? How can that happen? Surely if you’re good enough to write one great song, you can write other good songs. This has decreased in its potency over time, but it’s still a good song. My group winner.
Peter Andre – Mysterious Girl: Following on from my previous comment, sometimes a One Hit Wonder artist will carve a niche for themselves and sustain as something else. I’m sure Pete had other songs, but this is the only one anyone knows. Somehow, against the odds, he is still a significant British media presence today, appearing in reality shows and in TV presenting jobs – all because he did this song and then married a woman with big tits.
Gary Barlow – Love Won’t Wait: The Take That solo careers were never as successful as those of their Spice Girl counterparts, at least to my knowledge. Gary is the only one who made a lasting impact, and in truth he’s grown into a decent songwriter over the years. This though has all the hallmarks of bad mass market manufactured pop junk – tepid, weak, soulless. It has a bit of a Motown melodic bop in the verses, but the chorus is entirely forgettable.
Let Loose – Make It With You: Let Loose… why do I know that name. It sounds like a band I once talked about but have since completely forgotten. The verse is familiar, but makes me think of other songs and artists, particularly Seal for some reason. It’s not too different from Barlow’s drivel, but a step or two above.
MC Sar & The Real McCoy – Another Night: I couldn’t have told you that I knew what this is, but within seconds of the opening note I knew what this was. Standard 90s dance stuff – one of those which features a woman for the chorus and a bloke pseudo rapping in a fake deep voice for the verses. The decade had a lot of these. Again, it doesn’t have enough of a beat, it’s not powerful enough. If I’m listen to dance music I want the beat to blast my heart out through my ears. Decent melody I suppose.
George Michael – Too Funky: I never cared for George Michael – vastly overrated in his solo output. This is a subpar attempt at cashing in on what Michael Jackson perfected over ten years earlier. Where’s the chorus? Aimless noise.
Lisa Loeb – Stay I Missed You: I always liked this one. Had a bit of a crush on Lisa thanks to the video, even with the hyper American accent in the vocals. It’s strange though because it’s not really that good of a song. A bit pop, a bit country, a bit blues. This hit big at the time, but it’s not that great these days. My group winner.
Love City Groove – Love City Groove: No memory of this whatsoever, the song or the group. It’s fine.
Whigfield – Another Day: Turns out Whigfield did have another hit. This starts out almost identical to Saturday Night. Once the vocals drop… I think I remember this but it also sounds like any number of other songs. That’s this song’s biggest curse – it’s basically a near-exact retread of Saturday Night to the extent that this sounds like a demo for the bigger song, like they refined it and came up with Saturday Night later but thought ‘fuck it, lets just release the demo too, with different lyrics’.
Camisra – Let Me Show You: Who? Presumably another one hit wonder of the dance variety. More wafer thin beats. See, if Dance music had taken some influence from Metal and actually put some venom into its beats, I might have had a 5% greater appreciation. It just keeps going too, with almost zero variety. You’d get the same result handing a toddler a couple of twigs and a plastic plate. It eventually drops and we get a two note beat. I recognise this part. But two notes. Seriously. I know we shouldn’t say that there’s not a lot of talent involved in stuff like this, but from any musical or melodic standpoint this is pre-nursery level fare. Pill heads were impressed by anything.
The Doors – Light My Fire: No idea what this is doing here, but sure. My group winner.
Divinyls – I Touch Myself: A silly, filthy song. Plus it’s referenced in Buffy.
Run DMC vs Jason Nevins – It’s Like That: A banger which was all over the radio and TV, and for a while had even the most whitest, least gangsta Irish fuckwits pointing at each other across the school halls, grabbing their testicles, and busting out some truly tragic dance moves. Not me though, I just watched on filled with shame.
Dario G – Sunchyme: Another tune that was everywhere back in the day. I never liked it, but at least it has more than two notes. It’s still repetitive, as is Dance music’s way, but there’s some feeling and effort behind it. You couldn’t listen to all 8 minutes of it like – this should be no longer than 3.
Cher, Chrissie Hynde, Nenah Cherry, Eric Clapton – Love Can Build A Bridge: Hmm, I’d forgotten this existed. These collabs were all the rage in the 90s. Few of them were any good. It’s a cover and it was a charity single, but what a bizarre choice of singers. Who decided these three would be a good group? I can only assume they offered a bunch of people a load of money, and these were the three who said yes and were available. The voices don’t fail to work together, but the song is good enough that it would work with anyone. It doesn’t show off the voices in any great way – only Cher has a voice you could show off anyway – but just weird all around.
Def Leppard – Lets Get Rocked: One of the few Def Leppard songs I actually like, this is still cheesy as hell.
Spin Doctors – Two Princes: Is this the group my Da liked? Or was that Saw Doctors? Or both? All crap either way. Look, this is a decent song even with all the yabba dabba do stuff in the middle. Another one hit wonder, over here anyway. My group winner.
Savage Garden – To The Moon And Back: Maybe you’ll be surprised, but I did like Savage Garden back in the 90s. And it wasn’t just a name to drop to show girls you had a sensitive side before they’d let you grab a boob – I did genuinely like them. They were a logical step between a boy band and a soft rock band and more often than not their melodies landed with a fair fill of emotion. I like this. My group winner.
Rosie Gaynes – Closer Than Close: Another one hit wonder dance hit. I kind of remember this one. I remember the weird vocals more than the janky melody.
Eternal – Good Thing: Eternal is a weird one, slotting in the girl band category but with maybe more credibility. They were pre-Spice Girls too, so deserve some credit. But lets face it, I only liked them for Louise and wasn’t interested after she left. At no point was the music that exiting. This is suitably tuneless.
Billie Ray Martin – Your Loving Arms: There’s an Achy Breaky joke in here somewhere… but I… can’t… quite… yeah, I don’t know what this is either. Turns out this is actually a woman and it’s another one hit wonder dance thing. It’s not very good but I remember the chorus. It’s a fairly bland song in all respects, except they put these atmospheric dance beats and synths underneath which makes it listenable.
Catatonia – Mulder & Scully: The 90s were a weird time for a music, and TV. Sometimes paths would cross and something which shouldn’t possibly make sense, did. This is a prime example. Good song, but completely bizarre.
Madonna – You’ll See: One of my favourite Madonna songs – you’ll read about it once I get to my Madonna Rarities post. My group winner.
Chemical Brothers – Hey Boy Hey Girl: Another banger by Chemical Bros, maybe my favourite song from them.
Tatyana Ali – Day Dreaming: I always felt she should have had a bigger career, but it never quite went the way it should. This isn’t great, but it’s okay.
Let us know your favourites in the comments!