DJ Quicksilver – Bellisima: I know the artist name, but I couldn’t have named one of their tracks. I instantly recognise this one – it was all over the charts and blasting from cars back in the day – it even made regular appearances in the clubs into the next decade once I started getting dragged to those. It follows the precise formula of dance music – short, simple melody played over and over and over with occasional differences in the beat and one or two drops and/or underwater moment where the melody gets muffled before storming back. This one isn’t as cheap or weak as most.
The Beloved – Sweet Harmony: I can’t recall what this is. The video seems to have a lot of nudity. It’s only a couple of seconds into the song before I remember it. And I remember not liking it at the time. Lets see if my opinion has changed. There’s definitely something annoying about it, but I can’t say for sure what it is. The vocals aren’t my thing and it’s longer than it should be and I assume the nudity was a significant part of the song’s success. It’s fine, nothing against it.
Metallica – Enter Sandman: An easy group winner.
Incognito Ft Jocelyn Brown -Always There: The early 90s was picked with these dance/jazz/new jack hybrids with a big gospel vocal. Can’t say they ever did anything for me. I know I’m supposed to be impressed by the vocals, but they’re so on the nose, they’re screaming ‘look what I can do with my voice’ rather than ‘look how my voice compliments this song’. The song is actually fine too, but the whole early 90s dance vibe and production rubs me in criminal ways so it’s not something I’d ever vote for.
The Tamperer Feat Maya – Feel It: Another song sampling Michael Jackson. And the song was notable back in the day for asking the important questions – ‘what’s she gonna look like with a chimney on her’. Being a Northern Ireland lad and a fan of absurdity, this was amusing for various reasons. It’s that silliness which stops the song from getting on my tits and I did have a soft spot for it back then, even if I’d entirely forgotten it till now.
Mariah – Dream Lover: One of the bigger hits of Mariah’s early days in the UK, this one mixes gospel and pop with her trademark vocals – it’s just sad what she became when she made sweet little pop songs like this. My group winner.
Black Grape – In The Name of The Father: Black Grape was one of those periphery groups for me – there was always one friend in the group who was a fan and the rest of us knew a few songs by association. That same person was much more into Happy Mondays, but Black Grape is basically the same thing. I did have one of their albums, but can’t remember what it was. Like most of the more rock oriented Madchester songs this one sounds good the first time you listen, but you quickly realise it sounds identical to all the others.
The Urban Cookie Collective – The Key The Secret: A decent one hit wonder.
TLC – No Scrubs: We all know it. It’s fine. My Group winner.
Technohead – I Wanne Be A Hippy: We all know it. Arguably one of the most embarrassing pieces of music ever shat out.
Shamen – Ebanezzer Goode: We all know it. One of my most hated songs. lOoK hE sayS Es ArE goOd!
The Smurfs – Your Christmas Wish: I had no idea this existed, but on principle of the previous two songs being two of the worst songs of all time, I’ll be voting for this over them.
Sybil – When I’m Good & Ready: Another new one as far as I’m concerned. Vocals are decent, the video has entirely too much smiling, the beepy boopy sound is somewhat annoying. Actually, the chorus has elements that I may have heard before. I don’t have too much negative to say about it, it’s fine. My group winner.
Hale & Pace & The Stonkers: The Stonk: I remember Hale & Pace. They were a duo that were a ‘bit too blue’ in my parents’ words for pre-teen me to watch, which of course made me want to watch more. They were always on late though and I never got to see a lot. Like many comedy duos, they had the odd musical skit or flirtation. I don’t remember this at all, but it’s expectedly bad. The lyrics are funny – it seems to have been a charity song for Comic Relief – and the video is interesting as it features a load of old comedians and celebs, but the music is bad.
Ace Of Base – Don’t Turn Around: We all know The Sign and the one about wanting another baby, but do we know this? Of course we don’t. It’s quite similar to the two biggies.
Baby D – I Need Your Loving: Another example of one of those slow ballad songs with an inappropriately fast beat shoved into the song for some reason, without the pace of the song actually changing. The main melody is actually decent, the beat makes a mockery of it, and then some random Jamaican shite joins in the middle and completely spoils any good feeling I had for the song.
Eagle Eye Cherry – Save Tonight: I have a feeling this person or group had other hits and that they were bigger outside of the UK, but it feels safe to call this a One Hit Wonder. Good song though. My group winner.
Chicane Ft Moya Brennan: I didn’t realise this was so long so I must have heard a radio edit. I liked this one – had a bit of emotion behind it which is one of the main reasons I can’t enjoy most dance music.
Puff Daddy Ft Jimmy Page – Come With Me: A pretty big song for a big movie – the movie was a bit of a flop but it momentarily brought Led Zep back into the limelight.
The Orb – Toxygene: Bit of a long an unnecessary intro for a single, unless there was an edit. Nothing happens of note until the second minute mark and the song actually starts. And yet, the opening two minutes are better than the final three.
House Of Pain – Top O The Morning To Ya: Well, at least it not fucking Jump Around. That same friend who loved Black Grape would inevitably also love House Of Pain. I could never take their Irish Wannabee shtick seriously. This song is less annoying than Jump Around, but not as bombastic.
Lionel Ritchie – My Destiny: I’m still not sure why or how the whole Lionel Ritchie being a success in the 90s thing happened, but this is maybe his best song, out of those I’ve heard. My group winner.
Bellini – Samba De Janiro: I mentioned in an earlier post how dance music with a Latin tilt will be more enjoyable to me than that with a Jamaican lilt. This is one of those examples, but it’s a low tier example because it’s so repetitive. It gets points by being under three minutes long but it could have been under 1 minute and no-one would have noticed.
Smashing Pumpkins – The End Is The Beginning Is The End: Arguably the one 90s band I should have been into at the time but I never bother listening to them. They always seemed like a poor man’s American version of the Manics, without the politics. Plus, Billy Corgan’s nasal mewling annoyed me to a similar extent to Michael Stipe’s. At least they could still make a bit of noise, but this is by the number alt rock middle of the road nothingness.
EMF – Unbelievable: They’ve done other stuff, right? But this is the hit. Fuck it – one hit wonder. It was so big then that it’s still used today in movies and such. It’s most famous now for being lazy Ad Execs go to song to accompany some ‘shocking’ sales event. Make of that what you will.
Bombalurina Ft Timmy Mallet – Itsy Bitsy: Christ, what a terrible collection of songs this group is.
Madonna – The Power Of Goodbye: One of her best. Excellent. An easy group winner.
All Saints – Lady Marmalade: One of the most overrated and irritating songs of all time, in any of its versions.
Madonna – Justify My Love: Not my favourite Madonna song, but it’s still Madonna.
Right Said Fred – Stick It Out: They had a few songs which weren’t I’m Too Sexy. This is one of those. It’s about as bad as the others.
Duran Duran – Ordinary World: Duran Duran’s crowning achievement. My group winner.
The Beatles – Baby It’s You: No idea why this is here.
Steps – Tragedy: It’s a cover. It’s one of their most popular songs. It’s entirely unnecessary, but sure.
R Kelly – If I Could Turn Back The Hands Of Time: It’s another R Kelly song which isn’t I Believe I Can Fly. I don’t know any of his other songs. At least this one has an ironic title.
Sleeper – Sale Of The Century: One of the many female fronted Indie bands of the Britpop era, I quite liked them and this song, even if the accents pissed me off. My group winner.
Robbie Williams – Let Me Entertain You: Probably his biggest song outside of Angels. Also one of the few which is tolerable. It’s catchy but it’s so overplayed that you can’t get any enjoyment out of it anymore.
RATM – Bulls On Parade: It’s RATM, so you know exactly what you’re getting. As much as I respect them, they’re one of the most predictable and repetitive rock bands in the world. If this was the only song you heard by them, you’d be right to love it. But then you hear another one, and it’s the same. It’s good too. But then you hear another one and it’s the same too. After the fourth song things begin to run a little thin. Still, my group winner.
East Side Beat – Ride Like The Wind: Another name I don’t recognise. Another early 90s dance track, but this one is actually good. I know, I’m more surprised than anyone. It’s not as cheap or repetitive as most, and crucially it has solid vocals and good melodies.
George Michael – You Have Been Loved: Say what you will about George, but he sure knew who to make dreary old rainy day sounding shite which resounded with people. It doesn’t do anything for me, but at least there’s a sense of melody, emotion, and melancholy which is so often absent from modern pop.
MN8 – Happy: Another boyband from the sounds of it and another one which those unfortunate enough to have heard it have almost certainly forgotten. I had not heard it before and have already forgotten it.
Madonna – Nothing Really Matters: One of her best. Excellent. An easy Group winner.
A1 – Be The First To Believe: Another boy band. Everyone has forgotten they existed, including the band members.
Snap – Snap Megamix: A Megamix is what – a recorded jumble of hits mixed together to make a new thing? A compilation as a single track? These were all the rage in the early 90s for Dance acts, seems like an easy way to cash in. This of course features the couple of Snap songs I know. It is what it is.
Primal Scream – Funky Jam: I don’t know if I ever heard this – I probably have as plenty of my mates would play Primal Scream full albums and bits at house parties, but it’s not stirring anything in my memory banks. It is a funky jam, a mixture of funk, rock, jazz, dance, other stuff.
Louise – Naked: The only song anyone remembers by Louise, post Eternal. It’s good though.
Backstreet Boys – Larger Than Life: It has that sound which marks them out from other Boy Bands. Doesn’t mean it’s any good – it just sticks to the Backstreet Boys formula and sound. The verses are junk, the chorus is fine but several steps down from their best.
Robyn S – Show Me Love: Ah ok, I know this. I thought it was going to be another new one for me, but this was a smash and is still heard frequently on TV over here. It’s okay, not something I’d go out of my way to listen to it but I can bop my head when it’s on. My group winner.
Salt N Peppa – Lets Talk About Sex: A meme when I was in primary school and didn’t really know anything about it. Didn’t stop the boys singing it at the girls though.
Which songs do you love/hate/know etc?