The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 71 – 82

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Group 71

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.

Group 72

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.

Group 73

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.

Group 74

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.

Group 75

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.

Group 76

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.

Group 77

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.

Group 78

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.

Group 79

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.

Group 80

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.

Group 81

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.

Group 82

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?

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 59 – 70

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Group 59

The Presidents Of The USA – Peaches: I don’t know if they had other songs, but over here it’s clear this is the only one. The one hit wonder. It’s an odd song to ever become a hit, but most one hit wonders are; they rely on a quirk which is amusing or interesting for a while, people jump on the bandwagon, suck it dry, then move on to the next thing. This is a prime example. Move in to the country and eat me a lot of peaches. That’s the quirk. That’s the meme. An okay song. My group winner.

Steps – After The Love Has Gone: It Steps, so you know what you’re going to get – bouncy, light pop designed to be (choreograph) danced to, and with overly shrieking vocals.

Spacedust – Gym & Tonic: I thought I knew this from the name, but I can safely say I had not heard this in my life. Sadly I now have heard it, and my life is worse because of it. Another complete shambles.

The Source Ft Candi Staton – You Got The Love: An okay dance track which has been done to death and suffers from overplayed classic rock syndrome – you can’t listen to it anymore. There have been so many versions, covers, and remixes of this that you don’t know which is the original.

Group 60

Bon Jovi – This Ain’t A Love Song: I know it’s cool to hate on Bon Jovi, and they have done a lot of crap. But they’ve also written any number of wonderful hits. This is one of them. Though many will also call this crap, and that’s cool. My group winner.

Alanah Miles – Black Velvet: I used to think this was interesting when it first dropped. I quickly wised up. It’s not. It’s annoying.

Luther & Mariah – Endless Love: Again, I unironically enjoy this. I love basically anything Mariah did before she went Diva.

Mr Ozio – Flat Beat: Is that it? A few electronic throbs repeated ad nauseum with little to no variation or addition? Again, I just don’t understand it or how people like this or spend their money on it. There’s just… nothing here. Absolutely nothing.

Group 61

Another Level – Freak Me: Was this yet another boy band? I think so. The ‘get freaky with you’ bit I remember, but everything else I don’t. This is the point at which they seemed to run out of attractive young men who could kind of sing, and started pulling random unattractive young men and sticking them in front of a camera and mic. I’m no looker, but one of the first rules of creating a boy/girl band is ‘pick people who other people want to fuck’. I would fail that, and surely these blokes do too. The song’s crap too.

Boyzone – Father And Son: This thing. A Cat Stevens cover. I never liked the original or this. I can’t put my finger on it, but there’s something inherently off-putting about it. It’s perfectly bland boyband fodder, but that’s not why I don’t like it. There’s something else. Don’t know.

Chaka Demus & Pliers – Twist And Shout: I’ve talked about the ‘Jamaican’ thing before. Actually, I don’t mind it here – giving the Beatles song a twist (sorry). It makes the song worse, but at least it’s different.

B*witched – Hold On: I remember reading something about B*Witched once holding some sort of record – like most number 1 singles in a row or some bollocks like that. And yet, I and everyone else only remembers C’est La Vie. I haven’t heard this before and it sounds nothing like those twee Irish girls we do remember. This sounds like it could be any girl band from the 90s. Standard manufactured nothingness.

Group 62

Blur – The Universal: Have we had Blur in another post? Probably. I’d either forgotten or didn’t know this was Blur. It’s a decent song. See, even when I don’t particularly enjoy a band I can still appreciate individual songs.

Chemical Bros – Setting Sun: You can always rely on Chemical Bros to show how to do dance music well. A banger.

Group 63

Curtis Stigers – You’re All That Matters To Me: It’s cheesy as a decaying foot, but I like it. My group winner.

Basement Jaxx – Rendez-vu: I never liked these guys in the same way I liked Chemical Bros. I think it’s because these guys are crap. But I always liked this tune.

Savage Garden – I Knew You Loved Me: I mentioned having a soft spot for Savage Garden, but I don’t remember this one. It may as well be a boy band song though – it’s almost identical to the bland crap 90s boy bands were putting out, right down to the production.

Madonna – Another Suitcase In Another Hall: I believe I covered this one in my Evita post. It’s not up to her best, but it’s decent. Certainly better than the bulk of the Evita soundtrack.

Group 64

Jon Bon Jovi – Queen Of New Orleans: Not the best solo effort from Jon. Given everything else here though, it’s my group winner.

R Kelly – Gotham City: Oh dear. It’s R Kelly.

Duece – I Need You: No clue what this is. Dreadful.

Boyzone – All That I Need: Another song which I probably have heard as it sounds familiar, but could equally be because it sounds like a hundred other songs. A very poor group.

Group 65

Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box: I always considered this to be the weakest song on In Utero. But it’s still Nirvana, and it’s still Heart Shaped Box. An easy group winner.

George Michael – I Can’t Make You Love Me: No, you can’t. If you had made good music you may have made me appreciate you a little more. Still, we’ll always have Last Christmas, a legit banger. This is a cover. It’s as dull as a dentist’s waiting room.

Perez Prado – Guaguline: Beer Adverts. You could guarantee that if there was a beer in the 90s which wanted to advertise, it would slap a jaunty tune on the ad. That tune would then become a hit, no matter if was new or 50 years old. This is one of those.

Gary Clail On You Soundsystem – Human Nature: Another 80s tune masquerading as a 90s baby. At least it has some vocals. They’re not very good. Solid message though, I suppose. Pity the music is a bit balls.

Group 66

Steps – Better Best Forgotten: Indeed.

Shaggy Ft Rayvon – In The Summertime: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Shaggy has never made anything worth hearing, either on his own or as a guest.

Simple Minds – She’s A River: A band I never got into – I knew a couple of their songs from compilations, and liked them, but not enough for me to look for any other tracks. I kind of know this song but didn’t know it was by them. It’s good. Not great, but good. My group winner.

Five – When The Lights Go Out: Another boyband, this one leaned more into the US oriented R’n’B sound. The video is funny because the lads look no older than 15 years old. I’m sure they weren’t far off. Same crappy 90s production as all the other bands, the verses are tripe, the chorus is decent.

Group 67

The Family Stand – Ghetto Heaven: It’s funky and all – doubt I’ve heard it but it has the same percussive and rhythmic sounds as much of the music of this genre and era. But it has a sombre vibe which is nice and not typically found in the chart stuff. My group winner.

Boyzone – Shooting Star: Uck, it’s pure musical theatre cheese. I never liked the guy’s voice, but he really doubles down on the theatricality in this one, making it several degrees worse. The song is dreary ballad fare.

S Club 7 – You’re My Number 1: It has a Motown vibe, wiped clean of any emotion. But you can’t deny it’s fun and it’s designed to put a smile on faces. It’s funny how the chorus has no resemblance to the verse, it’s like the writers had two different songs and couldn’t do anything with them so decide to just slap the best bits together to make a new thing. The new thing isn’t great.

Texas Ft Wu Tang Clan – Say What You Want: I never enjoyed the original, this is certainly different. I don’t think anyone saw this collab coming. Unfortunately, like the track above the two parts here do not go together in the slightest. Not all songs can be smashed together.

Group 68

John Lennon – Imagine: Not sure what this is doing here. In fact, there are at least three songs which shouldn’t be here. Well, one of them is a cover at least.

Ash – Oh Yeah: Well, this was easy. One of my favourite Ash songs, one which reminds me of early Secondary school times, talking about your favourite bands with your mates. My group winner.

Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive: Not sure what this is doing here.

Nikki French – Total Eclipse Of My Heart: If you’re going to do a cover, in the words of every Reality Show Judge, ‘make it your own’. This is not that. Until the second verse this is a carbon copy of the original. Then they chuck in some lame dance beat for the second half, but it makes it sound like the music played in a speed round of a kids game show. And the vocal diction from this point on is hilarious. Hilariously bad. Like an early Text To Speech program.

Group 69

Shaggy Ft Marsha – Piece Of My Heart: See above.

Mansun – Closed For Business: I liked Mansun when they first dropped, but it was at the time I didn’t have much of my own money to spend on music and what music I did have was being spent elsewhere. So beyond the handful of songs I heard on the radio I didn’t chase the band down until years later. This song has the elements of creepiness and melody which drew me to them in the first place, but it’s a weaker copy of Wide Open Space.

Bon Jovi – Some Day I’ll Be Saturday Night: Another Bon Jovi I have a lot of fondness. My group winner.

Shola Ama – You Might Need Somebody: A decent song even if the vocals are too wobbly for anyone’s tastes. At least the vocals are somewhat unique.

Group 70

EMF/Reeves & Mortimer – I’m A Believer: Vic & Bob are two of my favourite comedians/humans. As musicians… lets say I prefer their original compositions. EMF I have no idea. Still, this is silly fun, but pretty disposable. I don’t remember them having so many songs in the 90s.

Wet Wet Wet – Julia Says: I remember the chorus, but it’s too lightweight and drifty for me. There’s a touch of The Beatles in there, the song opens in a promisingly dramatic fashion but quickly loses its steam with a drab verse. It pulls things back, but that opening verse drags the whole thing down.

Hepburn – I Quit: Ah Hepburn. Whatever happened to them. I loved this song when it came out – it was one I recorded off the radio and continued to enjoy for about a year before forgetting it. I always found it amusing that they looked almost identical to B*Witched. Plus there is a slight Buffy connection, but I already liked the song by that point. Buffy would also do the same thing with my beloved My Vitriol.

Dave Stewart – Lily Was Here: Oh man, I’d forgotten this existed and could have sworn it was an 80s song. I don’t think I ever knew who played it or what it was called, but I used to play it on my guitar. It goes on a bit, and I wasn’t aware it was entirely an instrumental, leading me to believe I never actually heard the whole thing – only bits.

Let us know your memories and favourites in the comments!

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 47 – 58

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What do we have in store today? Lets have a gander.

Group 47

Gabrielle – Dreams: I can’t say I ever enjoyed Gabrielle’s music. Too nasal, too bland. Not that I had any illogical hate towards here like I do for UB40 and Erasure and various shitty Dance acts – I just couldn’t understand why she was a thing, why she got the spotlight over many more deserving artists. This is probably her biggest hit.

Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, Sting – All For Love: Bryan Adams was your go to guy for a big hit song for a big hit movie. At some point in the 90s, duets and triplets became the thing if you wanted a hit movie or charity song. I think they could have picked any other three voices – these three near enough middle aged, middle of the road white boy rockers, two with a rasp and one with a shrill, don’t complement each other at all. The song is average, the movie is average, but in all honesty I don’t think it would have been improved even with there were different vocalists.

Cyndi Lauper: Hey Now Girls Just Wanna Have Fun: Lauper’s trademark song, revamped with added ‘hey now hey nows’ for the 90s. It’s a little slower, a little sexier, but a little less fun. Still, probably my favourite of the group. My group winner.

911 – The Day We Find Love: Have we covered 911 yet? Probably, though there were so many 1-2 album boy bands in the 90s that it’s easy to mix up their bland sameness. This song could have been performed by any of the other boy bands (or girl bands) and you wouldn’t notice much difference. That would be fine if the song was good, but it’s just a whisper in a class of screaming kids. I’ll give the chorus melody some credit for having some moments, but crap verse, shocking production, poor vocals.

Group 48

Lolly – Big Boys Don’t Cry: I mentioned some base familiarity with Lolly which I could nail down last time her name came around. Maybe this is the one. This doesn’t help matters. It’s actually very sweet. The melody is incredibly predictable though – it’s one of those songs you can sing the next series of notes on your first listen – before those notes come. Still, it’s sweet.

Tin Tin Out Ft Emma Bunton – What I Am: A sexy enough cover of Edie’s 80s banger. I’m not sure which I prefer – the original is the original, but Tin Tin Out add some nice twists and Bunton gives it a solid go on the mic.

Green Day – Basket Case: I mean… it’s Basket Case. The best thing Green Day ever did. The peak of pop punk or power punk or whatever you want to call it. It’s just a perfect blend of melody and offbeat fun and speed. How can you not love this? My group winner.

En Vogue – Hold On: Band name sounds kind of familiar. It opens with a riff on You Really Got A Hold On Me, which MJ perfected decades earlier. Seems to be a girl group. I don’t know if this intro was part of the single as it takes up over a minute of the run time, which is ridiculous. We then descend into fairly standard 90s chart R’n’B pop. Probably the worst song of this fairly strong group.

Group 49

Shanks & Bigfoot – Sweet Like Chocolate: One of the more annoying songs of the 90s.

Jordan Knight – Give It To You: Another name which sounds familiar, but I couldn’t tell you anything about them. Or if it’s a bloke or a woman. Or something in between. It’s a bloke. It has one of the worst introductions I’ve ever heard. Then it becomes some faux Craig David thing. Horrible lyrics – but that’s to be expected. It’s not bad – get rid of that intro and it might be tolerable.

Bone Thugs & Harmony: The Crossroads: That’s a hilarious name. BONE THUGS. I’m imagining some terrible leather and loin-clad 80s metal band, but you already know it’s going to be some shitty gangsta wannabe. At least the badly sung intro subverts my expectations, with some Gospel moaning. Then it hilariously turns into an even more badly sung verse and on to some high pitched high paced rap. There’s almost no musical accompaniment at points. It’s incredibly weak. What the hell is this? Who wrote this and thought it was good? Who put these people near a microphone and thought it was a good idea? Who recorded this and thought ‘nailed it! We definitely don’t need another take, but this time have the people sing in tune’? One of the most inept Top Ten songs I’ve ever heard.

Spice Girls – Stop: Well, by virtue of every other song here being either bad or horrendous, this is the clear winner. It’s one of their most bouncy and fun songs too, so it had a chance of being the best in the group even if the other songs weren’t curling cat turds. My group winner.

Group 50

Steven Houghton – Wind Beneath My Wings: Is this really necessary?  Get some bloke no-one’s ever heard of and make him sing one of the most famous songs of all time – and do a crap job? Win win. Look, I get it. He has a nice voice. So do millions of other people. Does it sufficiently update or improve upon the original? No. Should it have been a B-side or album track – sure. Do I care? Not particularly.

Gina G – Fresh: Gina G was a thing in the 90s, thanks to Eurovision. Hey boy – do you wanna get fresh? Is that an overly forwards/presumptuous way of asking if I need a shower. Or a breath mint? Yes, I know it means ‘lets fuck’. But pop stars didn’t have the balls to sing that in the 90s – most of them anyway. Anyhoo, I don’t remember this and it’s very very poor in all respects.

Britney Spears – Crazy: I never understood Britney. The music wasn’t very good, her image was unfortunate, and she couldn’t really sing. Then weird shit started happening. I don’t really understand the rabid hatred or support she gets now too. I understand the support, but not the frothing. She’s a woman who has seemingly been abused by everyone for much of her life, and I’d wager that many of her early fans were complicit in that abuse. With all that in mind, this song has a different ring to it than it did upon release. It’s a carbon copy of Hit Me Baby and has the same fun dance vibe. Like that song… it’s fine. Never more than a 3 out of 5 song.

Michael Jackson – Heal The World: MJ has been doing very badly in the polls so far, which I can only assume is down to the sexual allegations and not the music. There’s no getting away from the fact that this is easily the best song in the group. It’s gorgeous. Sure it’s twee, but it’s honest and sung with heart. My group winner.

Group 51

The Course – Ain’t Nobody: A cover which somehow adds a tonne more beats and content than the original but comes off sounding much weaker, musically and physically.

Will Smith – Gettin Jiggy With It: Probably missed a couple in this group, but out of these two songs this is the one I prefer. I don’t have any special memories of it or any real connection to Will Smith’s music. I loved Fresh Prince at the time and it’s still one of my favourite shows – his music is okay.

Group 52

K Ci & Jo Jo – All My Life: Another one which I would have told you I didn’t recognise from the name but which I do remember upon hearing the opening notes. It’s another song which is fairly badly performed – put a genuinely good singer against this or at the very least remove the garbage filters from the vocals, and there’s a perfectly good song here.

M People – One Night In Heaven: It’s M People again. I don’t like them. The song sounds like burps.

Eternal – I Am Blessed: Like almost every Eternal song, I have no memory of this. Seems like a sweet ballad. But also seems like it’s about religion, which is a shame. This is a crap group so far, so based on music alone (which isn’t great) this could be my group winner.

2 Unlimited – The Real Thing: Say what you will about 2 Unlimited, at least they put a bit of fire and energy into their music. This isn’t one I remember and it’s not the best thing I’ve ever heard, but it’s a damn sight better than most of the 90s dance tripe I do remember. My group winner.

Group 53

Oasis – Wonderwall: You know it. I know it. One of the hugest songs of the decade. I wasn’t the biggest fan. My group winner.

DJ Kool – Let Me Clear My Throat: It has an interesting name, I’ll give it that. Once it hits the ‘everybody jump’ part I remember it. There isn’t much to it, but it’s fine.

Pulp – Mis Shapes: I never liked Pulp. I never liked the music, the vocals or the fact that they all looked like tramps. Their lyrics were usually okay. This is the first time I’ve heard this song and musically it’s almost identical to every other Pulp song I’ve heard – incredibly dull.

Vanessa Williams – Save The Best For Last: I’m secure enough in my self and my tastes that I don’t mind saying this is a perfectly beautiful little ballad.

Group 54

Jamiroquai – Cosmic Girl: I’ve often said that if the guy didn’t have those hats, the band would not have been a success. That’s my number one top for hitting the big time in music, kids; wear a hat or have some other silly gimmick. The song is solid though – very funky, as was their way. I suppose my view on them has softened over the years, partly because I didn’t like or dislike them strongly at the time, and partly because their brand of music has not really been improved over the years. If anything, it has been diluted by everyone who has followed.

Bryan Adams – The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me: Not my favourite BA song, but it’s fine. My group winner.

Boyzone – Key To Life: Well, I’d forgotten this was a thing. Not surprising like, it’s less memorable than throwing out another holey sock.

Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby: This doesn’t ring a bell, but it’s drenched in Motown nostalgia. Not much else to say.

Group 55

Prince & The New Power Generation – Gett Off: Is this the first Price song? I never understood the hype around Prince. His music just waft by me with zero effect. I do know this song, but I honestly didn’t know it was Prince. The lyrics are quite amusing in how openly sexual and brazen they are. I’m happy for that as most pop songs skirt around the obvious subject matter. Good tune.

Child Liners – The Gift Of Christmas: Apparently a charity song which somehow avoided my ears. I’m trying to identify the different voices, but as far as I can tell there aren’t any big hitters – it’s mostly boy/girl band types. Make no mistake, it’s an absolutely terrible song which sounds like it was produced by me, at age 7, in my bedroom in 1990. It’s about as generic a pop song as you’re likely to hear.

Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds – 3 Lions: It’s the winner, right? Great song in any of its incarnations. My group winner.

The Outthere Brothers – Boom Boom Boom: One of the first and biggest songs which pissed me off when it came to dance music – not because it was bad, but because it was fine yet everyone else praised it like the second coming of Lennon. The fact that everyone loved this song annoyed me more than the song itself. It’s catchy and a bit naughty, but it’s just another song.

Group 56

Damage – Wonderful Tonight: We’ve had a song by these boys already, right? See, I’ve forgotten already and I only started this thing a few days ago. I never liked the original song much, and this is a quaint, smooth take on it which makes it more appealing for the modern (90s) yummy mummy wondering what the fuck went wrong with her life.

Vengaboys – We Like To Party: I’m sure you do, and that’s one of the many reasons I hate you. This song is another.

The Verve – The Drugs Don’t Work: One of the best songs of the decade. It’s a shame I don’t like The Verve more. My group winner.

Guru Josh – Infinity: I’m going to assume this is some one hit wonder dance muck. <presses play>. Yes. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to take it seriously. The main instrumental melody is fine, but everything else is bad with a capital SHIT. The absolute state of the video too.

Group 57

Cast From Casualty – Everlasting Love: I watched Casualty when it first came out. It was one of the few chances I had of seeing of blood and guts on TV without my parents telling me to leave the room. Sadly, those moments were few and far between and the waffling between Ash, Duffy, and the other one didn’t really appeal to me. Here they are, inexplicably, covering one of the greatest songs of all time. Watching the video, they do their best to ruin the song but even their lack of talent is able to finish the job. Also; I don’t remember fake Liza Minelli being in Casualty. She does her best, bless her, but as the song progresses her voice begins to collapse and she duffs or chickens out of a number of notes. Sadly, we don’t get a good look at the hot one in the white shirt.

DJ Sakin – Protect Your Mind: I didn’t know it was called Protect Your Mind. The Braveheart music is of course gorgeous. This doesn’t ruin it – it comes close – though lets be honest, it’s not that difficult to add a batch of cheap-ass beats to an already wonderful piece of music.

Take That – Love Ain’t Here Anymore: Yet another of the countless Take That ballads of the 90s, this one more turgid and forgettable than most. I’m sure it had a video with lots of hairless open-shirted boys to compensate for the lack of musical interest.

Mark Snow – The X Files: It’s The X Files theme tune, with added bits. My group winner. 

Group 58

Primal Scream – Rocks: A solid tune.

The Outthere Brothers – If You Wanna Party: It’s not Boom Boom Boom and therefore no-one cares.

Ultra Nate – Found A Cure: It’s not Sonique. I didn’t know what this was until the pre-chorus. I have wiped the verses and chorus from my mind, but the pre-chorus remains. It’s not very good, is it?

Tori Amos – Professional Widow: An easy group winner, a song with more power than almost anything else on this list and barely a guitar in sight. One of the best endings to any song, ever. I bet the remix is on the list too. My group winner. 

Share your memories and favourites in the comments!

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups – 41 – 46

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

More! Either there’s some typos going on or some other mishap, but some of the groups seem to be missing songs.

Group 41

Depeche Mode – In Your Room: When I think of Depeche Mode I think of dark synth beats, and that’s exactly how this song starts. I’ve never listened to much by them and this is new to me. I like it. I’m generally not a fan of this vocal style and that has been part of the reason I haven’t been interested in Depeche Mode before. Even though the song isn’t high on melodies, there’s something enchanting about it.

Erasure – Run To The Sun: If I haven’t said it already, Erasure rank alongside UB40 as one of my most hated bands. I always classed them as an 80s band, but they’re all over this chart. I haven’t heard this before but it has all the stuff I don’t like about the band – synth overboard, the guy’s vocals… that’s about it. The song’s not bad, solid chorus. Just not my thing.

Group 42

Halo James – Could Have Told You So: What the hell is this doing in the 80s? It sounds like early 80s Waterman shite, and they’ve clearly ripped off The Way You Make Me Feel and Leave Me Alone. Get back in the bin.

Ocean Colour Scene – The Circle: Song name doesn’t ring a bell, let’s see…ah right, this one. Yes, I quite liked this one but I remember the riff being faster. Good tune. My group winner.

Backstreet Boys – As Long As You Love Me: About as good as boy band songs get.

Sonia – Only Fools Never Fall In Love: Everyone’s favourite Scouse ginger, we all had a crush on her for a while back then, don’t deny it. I don’t remember this, but it’s fun. It’s clearly a Motown inspired song but the cheesy production spoils it.

Group 43

Ten Sharp – You: I couldn’t have told you what this was before listening, but the piano intro reminds me what it is, and the verse confirms it. It’s another song I’d forgotten about. It’s very 80s. But I like the melodies and the vocals.

Mariah Carey – Honey: A hefty slice of pop R’nB and one of Mariah’s most famous songs. I got quite a lot of enjoyment out of the video. Fin. My group winner.

Busta Rhymes & Janet Jackson – What’s It Gonna Be: It’s pretty funky and I remember the chorus. I don’t remember it making much of an impact on anyone though.

Offshore – I Can’t Take The Power: About as generic an example of early Dance music as you could get – heavy on the drum and bass, highly repetitive, cheap production, not very good.

Group 44

Olive – You’re Not Alone: I was about to type that I had never heard this, and then the chorus dropped. I know the chorus, which means I didn’t pay much attention to the song when I did hear it. Chorus is fine at best, everything else is bland and forgettable.

FPI Project – Getting Back To Me Roots: What the balls is this? I recognise the ‘woo – yeah’ screeches, but don’t those come up in a hundred different songs? On the whole an incredibly poor piece of music bereft of… anything.

Group 45

Pras Ft ODB & Mya – Ghetto Superstar: One of my favourite songs of the decade. I… don’t have much to add. A lot of nostalgia around it, sure, but it still remains a great song, somehow merging Knight Rider and Dolly Parton into something awesome.

Pras – Blue Angels: Even as much as I loved the last song, it didn’t spur me on to get into Pras. As such, I don’t know what this is. It’s cool though, and due to the references to other music I do know, it sounds familiar too.

Group 46

White Town – Your Woman: One of the last singles I bought on Cassette, I would frequently blast this in my bedroom and annoy people with it in school thanks to my Walkman. The song has had something of a renaissance in recent years too.

Mariah – Without You: I’ll say it; this is the definitive version of the song. I love this version.

Share your memories and favourites in the comments!

 

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 29 – 36

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

More groups and more songs today!

Group 29

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.

Group 30

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.

Group 31

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.

Group 32

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’.

Group 33

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.

Group 34

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.

Group 35

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.

Group 36

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!

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 19 – 28

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

I know, it’s already been one day and I’ve already missed a post. But my intention was never to post daily on this – it’s just that the groups disappear after every 24 hours and therefore I have to wait for weeks for them to come around again for me to be able to post about them. Therefore, I’m adding the Groups to the post title so that I can easily check which groups I’ve missed.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about – check this link for my first post in the series. Lets see what today has in store.

Group 19

The Verve – Lucky Man: I’ve tried to like this over the years, due to liking other songs by the band, but it’s significantly bland. I don’t dislike it, but it’s meh.

Arnee And The Terminators – I’ll Be Back: Should I know what this is, given the first two Terminator movies are my favourite movies ever? Lets give it a blast on Youtube and see if I remember. No, I can safely say wiped this from my memory banks if I ever heard it at all. It’s a mess of shouty talking in a terrible accent with a throbbing synth, gunshots, laser sirens, and some guy shouting ‘Uzi 9mm’ every few seconds. Horrendous.

Fatboy Slim – Rockerfeller Skank: I mentioned not liking Fatboy Slim before. This is one of the reasons why. Can’t. Stand. This. Montrosity.

Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe: An absolute banger. It’s bad, obviously, but it’s also so good. Arguably the best of the dance oriented one hit wonders of the decade. My group winner.

Group 20

Ginuwine – When Doves Cry: I don’t know who or what this is. Is it a Prince cover? I can’t really remember the Prince song, but I’m guessing this is a cover. In any case, this is mostly poor. Solid beat, but nothing.

Fresh Price & Jazzy Jeff – Summertime: Not a huge fan of this one, but it’s cool. My group winner.

Michelle Gayle – Do You Know: Do you know I’m old enough to remember Michelle Gayle from Eastenders. She had a few big hits in the 90s, but I have no memory of this. Pretty boring.

Damage – Love Guarantee: Never heard of this artist or song. Seems to be another boy band, but they must not have been very big. Sounds like the sort of nonsense they would have as a special guest on Sister Sister. Complete by the numbers Boy Band junk.

Group 21

Kim Syms – Too Blind To See It: Jesus. This is clearly an 80s song dressed up in 90s sheen. Except it’s not even dressed up, the video and the fashion, the editing, everything screams Stock Aitken Waterman badness. Garish. Awful. The girl can sing, but the song is terrible.

Meatloaf – Bat Out Of Hell: What is this doing here? The album was re-released in the 90s, right. Looks like the single was too. My group winner.

Sinead O Connor – Nothing Compares 2U: Wasn’t this an 80s song? Or was it re-released. In any case, I’ve always despised this song. I hate it so much. Never understood the overwhelming praise it gets.

Bee Gees – For Whom The Bell Tolls: It’s not Metallica, but it’s not bad.

Group 22

N Trance Ft Rod Stewart – Do Ya Think I’m Sexy. The original was bad enough. Give it to some dance act and watch it become much worse. Listening again now, it’s actually not that bad.

Sash – La Primavera – I liked a few Sash tracks. They seemed to be one of the few dance acts who knew the value of melody and could actually make a decent tune. This was never one of my favourites and is quite tame, but it does have a nostalgia factor coupled with the Spanish element which I also enjoy. The horns are laughably cheap and sound like an early 90s MIDI videogame celebration jingle. That thing where I hate Jamaican accents in music, especially when it’s done by an English white guy? It’s the opposite when we’re talking about Spain – I like Spanish elements and vocals in my songs.

Cher – One By One: This doesn’t ring a bell, in name or in sound. Oh, hold on. Ah yes, I do remember this now the vocals have started. Yeah, I quite like this but had forgotten it ever existed, probably because it doesn’t have many peaks or anything interesting going on.

Leann Rimes – How Do I Live: There was no escaping this song in the 90s, and it still gets regular rotation these days. It’s a big powerful ballad, well sung. My group winner. 

Group 23

Bryan Adams – Please Forgive Me: Did I cover this in my Bryan Adams posts? Can’t remember. I’ve always liked this one. My group winner.

S Club 7 – Two In A Million: S Club 7, that boy/girl band hybrid featuring a horrible racist and some other people you can’t remember. They were the next big thing after Spice Girls – battling against Steps for supremacy in the charts. I don’t remember ever hearing this and it’s almost identical to that Damage song up above.

PF Project Ft Ewan McGregor – Choose Life: Look, I love Trainspotting. One of the best movies of the 90s. But the soundtrack has also has been terrible. This song was absolutely everywhere in the 90s – the club clubs, the Indie clubs, and I couldn’t deal with it. Listening now, it’s better than most of the dance hits of the 90s, slightly manic given the McGregor quotes, but it’s repetitive as fuck.

Lolly – Viva La Radio: Now this one could be interesting. I have the slightest gnawing recollection about this, but if you asked me right now to hum a piece of it I couldn’t. I suspect when I listen it’ll come flooding back. I can picture it rather than hear it. Lets see… wait. Did she have another song? This sound somewhat familiar, in the chorus at least, but it’s not what I was expecting. In other news though – how did this get made? Who listened to this person sing and thought ‘there’s a voice the world needs to hear’? It’s very bad, but it’s funny in how shamelessly confidently bad it is is. There’s a lot going on in the song too. What a weird mess.

Group 24

SWV – Right Here: I don’t know what SWV is, or means. Stevie Weigh Vaughn? Ah right, I remember this. I hated this at the time because it does that thing where they take one of the most annoying pieces from a Michael Jackson song and playing it over and over and over and over. Someone did that recently with ABC, right? The rest of the song is pretty badly performed too, going out of tune in many places.

Whigfield – Saturday Night: Another contender for best Dance based One Hit Wonder of the 90s. It’s a bit of a banger, and all us pre-pubescent boys had a thing for her. My group winner.

Garbage – Stupid Girl: This was their biggest hit, right? I like it enough, but I was never wowed by it or them like other people were.

Utah Saints – Believe In Me: The group name is familiar, but I couldn’t tell you what they did. It’s another cheap dance song. I get that the technology was new and basic and that explains how cheap and dated it sounds, but as with much of this ilk it’s all so repetitive that you can listen to any 30 seconds and get the same effect and value as listening to either any other 30 seconds or the entire track. There’s a piano bit in the middle which gives us a break for a few seconds. Great if it was influential like, but lets not pretend it’s any good.

Group 25

Elton & Pavarotti – Live Like Horses: I don’t remember this pair ever being a thing. Listening to it now. Was it for a movie? Was it an original? It sounds like it’s ripped from a bad musical – but then this is Elton John we’re talking about. Pavarotti gives it a different flavour. The song’s somewhat emotive and atmospheric and I’m surprised I’ve never heard it before. I’m no Elton John fan, but this is more enjoyable than most of the stuff I know by him.

Eminem – My Name Is: It took me a while to get on board with Eminem when he first arrived, but by the time this came around I was a minor fan. Then I heard his other stuff and got the Marshall Mathers LP and saw it for the masterpiece it obviously is. This is a fun, silly song, not one of my favourites, but still better than most of what was in the charts back then. My group winner.

Mark Morrison – Horny: I couldn’t have told you another Mark Morrison outside of Return Of The Mack. Listening to this now, I have heard it before, but everything about it is low tier badness. Why does he sing like that? Why do the women in the chorus sing like that? Why do the drums sound so flat and weak, and why have they not improved in music since the 90s? It’s another forgettable song about sex marketed at pre teens. Nice.

2 Unlimited – Tribal Dance: I knew they’d done another song outside of No Limit. This must be it, lets see. Does anyone else want to shout MORTAL KOMBAT after the intro? I do remember this. It doesn’t have the impact of No Limit, but it’s the same sort of thing. The chorus isn’t strong enough, but it’s fine as far as 90s dance music goes.

Group 26

Temptations – My Girl: What’s this doing here? Because of the My Girl movie I assume. I always preferred the Michael Jackson version, but there’s no doubting this is a classic. My Group Winner.

Mariah Carey – Open Arms: Back before Carey was a bin lid she used to make decent songs. This isn’t one of her best, but it’s still good.

Tori Amos – Cornflake Girl: Tori had less impactful hits for me after Little Earthquakes, but this was one of her biggest. I can’t say I was ever the biggest fan of this particular song, especially when the album contains Baker Baker and Past The Mission. But it’s good, and it’s Tori, so it’s win win.

Ali Campbell – That Look In Your Eye: UB40 are maybe the band I hate most. They’ve never made a single song I could tolerate for more than ten seconds, let alone enjoy, and they just would not get off the TV in the 90s. It seems the main guy had a solo career too. I have blotted this from my memory, but I have heard it. There’s a woman in the mix here too. It’s a very weak ballad which is instantly forgettable – it doesn’t highlight the worst of UB40s shtick, but it still has Campbell atrocious vocals. Whoever the woman is – very poor too, with many notes being fumbled, mumbled, and flat. Noticeably poor production too.

Group 27

Boyzone – Coming Home Now: Boyzone were the Irish Take That. Equally bad, yet also worse. Notable for Ronan Keating’s unique warbling, there was also a duck-billed platybus looking dude who sang like a drunk sheep, a guy with tatoos, a guy with a beard, an possibly another guy. Naturally, they’ve sold billions. I don’t remember this one. Listening now – you already now; standard, bland boy band shite, slow, cheap, cookie cutter. Unbelievably bad.

Blur – Boys And Girls: One of their biggest early hits, this was of course a hallmark of Britpop. I wasn’t a huge supporter, but it’s fine. My group winner.

Take That Ft Lulu – Relight My Fire: As much as Take That brought great musical evils into this world, they’ve also had a few decent, maybe even good songs too – which is more than we can say for almost every other boy and girl band. This is one of the better ones. It’s a cover, but they give it a bit of oomph, or what passes for oomph where boy bands are concerned, and Lulu throws her back into it.

Kim Appleby – Don’t Worry: Name doesn’t ring any bells so I’m going to say it’s another one hit wonder. It’s the worst of 80s pop re-packaged as a 90s song. A complete nothing.

Group 28

2Pac Ft Dre – California Love: Just listen to the difference in quality in production of this and, well, every other song on this list. But particularly the British pop stuff. There’s no comparison. This sounds like a song released today. The other stuff sounds like it was recorded by children with a V-tech microphone. This is as good as it ever was, and it was always pretty damn good.

Whitney Houston – It’s Not Right: I could have sworn this was a Noughties song, but there you go. I never liked it and came at the time when Whitney had already jumped the shark. Whitney is undoubtedly one of the greatest singers of all time, but most of her songs were beneath her – this is nowhere near potent enough. Good production but also very weak. This should have been an anthem, so where’s the power? Where’s the RAGE. It’s a song I should fell, but I just don’t.

Blondie – Maria: This was a big thing when it was released – Blondie’s back everyone! It lasted for a few months and Blondie was quickly no more again, but for a brief while suddenly everyone was a Blondie fan. It was weird. It’s a good song – it hasn’t aged too well and sounds less energetic and interesting now than it did then, but still good.

DJ Jean – The Launch: This is dreadful by any measure. I don’t think I’ve heard it before. It’s little more than the same descending double four notes played over and over, with a change in the beat every so often. This is a thing. This exists. Someone thought it was good. Enough people spent money on it that it became a UK top ten hit. Think about that.

Not the greatest batch of songs today, but a few drunken singalongs to be sure. That’s probably going to be the case most days. No standout songs for me today though.

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Part 1

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Greetings, Glancers! You may have picked up that I’m a Manic Street Preachers fan, and one of the only reasons I’m still on Facebook is to chuck my vote at one of the Manics fan group polls which does the rounds. It’s always pointless because Faster always wins, but at least I can see how the other fans think about certain songs.

Recently (due to low voting) the group owner, Terry ‘Sensai’ Lawrence, has scrapped the next Manics poll and decided to make a Best Songs Of The 90s poll. Specifically, the song entrants have to have made it into the Top 10 in the UK Singles charts at some point during the 1990s. The Manics will be represented, but Faster will not. Naturally I’ll be using this as a chance to catch up on some songs I either missed or have forgotten, and to vote and talk about it too. Here’s a link to the group if anyone is interested in joining.

Why make a blog post about it? I’ll write about any old shite and may as well use the daily poll format to talk about the songs and the groups. It’s a traditional football knock-out format – groups of four songs will ‘play’ each other in a mini league, with the top two songs from each group going into a cup format, progressing until there is a winner. If you’re curious about the songs, I’m going to list every single one, with my thoughts on each. If you want to play along, you can Spotify the tracks or join the group to vote. It looks like he’s posting 16 matches every day, so I’ll try to post along for as long as possible or until I get bored. I won’t post the specific matches – you’ll get the idea that each song in a group plays every other and can pick your winner yourself – but I’ll post the groups. According to the page, there are over 1600 songs to cover over 407 groups. That’s…. a lot. We start with the first eight:

Group 1

The New Radicals – You Get What You Give: This is one of those songs which immediately takes me back to a time and place. I think it was 1999 and hit big around Spring, so just as I was entering exam time when I was 16. I recorded it off the radio so it was in regular rotation for me for a brief period of time. It’s not that great a song, but it has a chill vibe which always makes me nostalgic.

M People Angel Street: I had to Youtube this one to remind myself. M People are one of my most hated groups. That’s going too far, but they’ve always been an instant ‘turn that crap off’ for me, seemingly remaining popular because the lead singer has a unique voice. Unique doesn’t mean good. They’re also annoyingly jazzy. I must admit I don’t remember this song – the chorus maybe sounds familiar, but that could be because it’s generic. It’s fine, not as grating as most of the songs I’ve heard by M People.

Michael Jackson – Earth Song: Here’s my winner for this group. Obviously I’m a big MJ fan, but this was one of his last, best songs. I don’t expect the song to do very well in what started out as a Manics group.

Stereophonics – Pick A Part That’s New: I was never a huge fan of Stereophonics, but I’ll admit to liking a few of their hits. This one has the same sense of nostalgia I get from You Get What You Give. It came at that tail end peak of Brit pop. I still can’t get on with Kelly’s vocals, but it’s a decent song.

Group 2

Dee Lite – What Is Love: There’s going to be a tonne of songs I can’t stand in this whole enterprise. Dee Lite will have made at least one of those songs, but I admit to not remembering what this was. There was an unbelievable amount of shite, what I class as Dance/Rave music in the 90s. It likely was influential and I still find it hilarious that the US is only now catching on to the awfully labelled EDM now when the UK has been blasting crap for decades with great success. This is typical of 90s Dance – cheap, repetitive, sounds like it was played and recorded on a Gameboy. It’s pretty horrible.

Echobeatz – Mas Que Nada: I didn’t know what this was until I played it. This was a bit of a football related hit for a while. It’s not bad, catchy, but it’s also very cheap. There will be many, many one hit wonders such as this on this poll. This will be one of the least annoying. It also does that thing of having a scantily clad video, which was huge for dance tracks in the 90s and beyond, so if you like boobs – enjoy!

Madonna – Beautiful Stranger: I haven’t got around to finishing my Madonna rarities posts, but this will be on there. I like it, good song. My group winner.

D Mob Ft Nuff Juice – Put Your Hands Together: No clue what this is. Presumably a one hit wonder, but feel free to tell me I’m wrong. I’ve never heard this, but listening now… sure. Dance based Rap. Nothing very exciting, decent pace, trash lyrics.

Group 3

Happy Mondays – Step On: I begrudge voting for Happy Mondays because they’re outrageously overrated, but look at the state of the rest of this group. This is one of their better songs, and by ‘better’, I mean 6 out of 10.

Bitty McClean – Dedicated To The One I Love: I often remember that Bitty McClean was a thing, and laugh my ass off. The UK has this weird fondness for shite reggae – obviously there’s a culture heritage thing going on, which is great. But the music, at least that which made it to the charts, is uniformly terrible. Bitty McClean seemingly made a career out of covers. His covers are frequently the worst versions. This is perfectly pleasant and unnecessary.

Clubhouse Ft Carl – Light My Fire: I’ve no idea who or what Carl, or Clubhouse is. But this is another one hit wonder of the dance variety, and as you would expect it’s repetitive, cheap junk. A shambles.

The Wonderstuff – On The Ropes: I know them from Dizzy. I can’t think of anything else I’ve heard, but playing this it sounds familiar. I know I’ve heard this at some point, but I can’t place it. I mean, I’ve probably heard all of these songs at some point because I watched TOTP every week and listened to the radio most days. Seems like an okay, forgettable song.

Group 4

Phats & Small – Feel Good: One hit wonder. The vocals… there’s something familiar. It doesn’t sound cheap. Fair enough, not my kind of music, but I can feel it.

OMC – How Bizarre: One hit wonder. This was a meme before mems were a thing. Anything strange happened in school? How bizarre. How bizahh how bizzah. It doesn’t quite hit that nostalgic groove as the others mentioned, the video is embarrassing, the vocals are not good, but a chill vibe.

Madonna – I’ll Remember – Madonna is going to be all over this poll. It’s another rarity I’ll cover in that post when I get to it, but it’s a lightweight, average single by the Queen Of Pop.

Spice Girls – Viva Forever: The Spic Girls are going to be all over this poll. One of the better Spice Girls songs. I’ve always had a fondness for it. My group winner.

Group 5

Cast – Walk Away: I had a bit of a love/hate thing going on with Cast back in the day. They seemed to my naive young mind as a cheap Oasis clone, with worse hair and worse songs. But sometimes they had a good song. Listening decades later, this is quite nice but ultimately feels too tame and lacks the emotional impact it seems to give other people.

Janet Jackson – What’ll I Do: As much of a Michael fan as I was, that never extended to the rest of the family. There are very few Janet songs I’ve heard (until now) that I enjoy. This is one of those, though I don’t really remember it. It has a distinct Britpop mixed with Motown vibe, which is cool.

Prodigy – Firestarter: It’s Firestarter. You love it. My group winner.

The Cartoons – Doo Dah: One of those One Hit Wonders which people despise, while loving other objectively or equally worse one hit wonder songs. Many of those are on this list. I have some sort of fondness for this song. It’s no Witch Doctor. It is terrible, but it knows it’s terrible, and therefore is somehow tolerable. You couldn’t listen to it for more than 40 seconds without having a hernia, but still…

Group 6

Embrace – Come Back To What You Know: Embrace was always a Coldplay V0.9, but if pushed I would say I prefer Embrace. They’re not twats about being bland. This was their big hit. It’s fine.

Wet Wet Wet – Don’t Want To Forgive Me Now: The band had a number of hits in the 90s, but on name alone I don’t remember this. They’re generally music for Mummy In Laws, but not usually offensive. Terrible music video. This is cheery, and in the hands of a decent band this could have been turned into something marginally better. There’s a solid core melody, but they cheese the fuck out of it.

The Clash – Should I Stay Or Should I Go: This came out in the 90s? Okay. My group winner.

911 – All I Want Is You: The first boy band entry, of which there are sure to be hundreds. Each group was worse than the one before. This is exactly what you would expect from a boy band – you could write it yourself even if you lacked the power of language and had no concept of music.

Group 7

Fatboy Slim – Right Here Right Now: If there’s one musician I’d happily have removed from the history books, it’s Fatboy Slim. Having said that, I do like this one. Probably the only one I do. My group winner.

Everything But The Girl – Walking Wounded: I never really understood the appeal of Everything But The Girl. This is very weak and I have zero recollection of it.

Garbage – When I Grow Up: I had to check this out because I couldn’t remember the name. I immediately remembered it, of course. I wasn’t the biggest Garbage fan in the world – they passed me by like many of the riot grrrl groups of the 90s. I don’t know if I’d go as far as saying it’s good – not as good as their biggest hits, but it’s fine.

Cliff Richard – Millennium Prayer: Cliff sure loves the baby Jesus. It goes without saying that this is one of the worst musical atrocities of the decade.

Group 8

Chemical Brothers – Let Forever Be: One of the dance acts I had any respect for in the 90s. Good tune.

Candy Flip – Strawberry Fields Forever: One hit wonder. Dance. Cheap. Not repetitive because it’s actually a fairly faithful cover, but given that early 90s glazed eyes pill-popping softness. As bad as that sounds.

Notorious BIG – Mo Money Mo Problems: One of the few B.I.G songs I know. That era passed be by for the most part. Good tune. My group winner.

Blur – Tender: I’m not a big Blur fan. This is one of their more wafting and dull songs.

There you go. There will be many, many more of these posts assuming I keep up with them. What are your group winners? Which songs are completely new to you? Let us know in the comments!

The Best TV Shows Of All Time (20 – 1)!

Greetings, Glancers! Today we run down the next batch of Rolling Stone’s 2016 list of the greatest TV shows of all time. Have I seen them? What do I think? What do YOU think? Follow the links for Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.

Vintage kids watching tv Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

20. Cheers

The original US sitcom (not really, but you know) and the show which made every child want to grow up and sit in a bar all day, drinking. Or at the very least own a bar of your own so that your loser mates have somewhere to sit and drink all day. I haven’t watched any of it in years, and while I’m sure some has dated it probably retains its charm.

19. Curb Your Enthusiasm

I haven’t seen any of it and frequently mix this up with Arrested Development

18. Star Trek

Well of course. Can’t say I was ever a fan, but thank goodness it exists.

17. Twin Peaks

If Buffy isn’t the greatest show of all time, then surely Twin Peaks is.

16. MASH

I haven’t seen all of it, episodes here and there, but an important show nonetheless and one with a fantastic cast and a winning mixture of heart, laughs, and smarts.

15. The West Wing

I never got around to finishing The West Wing, but for the time that I did watch it, it somehow made US politics interesting. Tremendous cast and writing.

14. The Larry Sanders Show

It’s another one of these things. You’re right, I haven’t seen any of it.

13. Late Night With David Letterman

And another of these things.

12. Game Of Thrones

It was great for a while, it was over-rated all the way through, and it ended in a complete fuck up like we all knew it would.

11. Freaks And Geeks

A great show, no doubt, but seriously its cult nature in no way means it should be higher than Friends. Certainly not higher than Buffy. I love it, but come now – it’s not that good.

10. The Daily Show

Didn’t we cover this one already?

9. All In The Family

I hear it was influential. Haven’t seen any of it.

8. Saturday Night Live

It’s the daddy of ‘one of those things’.

7. The Twilight Zone

If it’s not Buffy or Twin Peaks, then surely, surely The Twilight Zone is the greatest TV show of all time. Utter perfection.

6. The Simpsons

I was half-expecting this to be #1, but it has lost much of its gleam in the last 20 years. If the show had ended around Season 12, it would still be heralded as the best thing ever. Hell, even Season 1 and much of 2 is tripe. But for a while there, it was one of the greatest reasons to live – to just experience the newest episode, re-watch endlessly, then requote it with friends. It went off such a steep cliff into decline like almost nothing else though, and the show it is now, is frankly embarrassing to the point that it’s disgusting it still carries the same name.

5. Seinfeld

Guess what? As much as I might like this, I haven’t seen a single episode.

4. Mad Men

I imagine this would drop much further back if the same poll were run today. I haven’t seen any of it, but it smells like one of those shows which was great at the time but will be replaced by the next hit.

3. Breaking Bad

If I’m honest, I’m still mystified by how highly regarded this show is. I watched it, I finished it, I moved on (wait a minute, does this mean fucking Hannibal is going to be number 1?). For me, it was always watchable but it was never more than fine. I never felt an urge to stick on the next episode, I wasn’t engaged by any of the characters or the plot. The humour, the darker stuff – all fine, the writing and the performances – all great. But the whole package – it just felt like another random drama to me, worth watching but perfectly forgettable.

2. The Wire

It wouldn’t exist without Buffy. FACT. Oh yeah – I have it, but haven’t watched a single episode. I’m sure it’s great.

  1. The Sopranos

Oh. I thought we’d covered The Sopranos already. Hence all my ‘check my Sopranos’ comments. It’s a show that I have (not sure I have every season, but a few at least) but I have not watched any of it. It passed me by at the time. I’m sure I’d love it and every time I plan on watching it, my wife isn’t interested. I’ll just bite the bullet and watch it myself.

Shows I’m sad to see not included:

I’m not going to list out my favourite show, but the ones I think genuinely should have been here. Mr. Bean – a worldwide phenomenon and just as hilarious now as it ever was. The Alfred Hitchcock Hour the perfect partner to The Twilight Zone. Quantum Leap – arguably the forerunner to The X-Files and later genre TV. Farscape – the next logical leap for Sci-Fi TV, sadly ignored by the masses but an absolute titan of scope, emotional, and wisdom. Fraiser – genuinely surprised this wasn’t included. Rome – I haven’t seen (much of) but I understand it influenced later violent shows. Stargate – any and all of them mix together to create one of, if not the finest TV mixed Universes ever crafted, all while being incredibly entertaining. Any Of Those Scandinavian Dramas – again, I haven’t seen any of them, but I hear they’re very popular and of high quality. The Good Place – maybe it started after 2016. Black Mirror – I haven’t seen a single episode, but I hear it’s good and the sort of thing I should be watching. Band Of Brothers – seriously?

Shows I’m glad to see not included:

Hannibal – has there ever been anything more over-hyped? Prison Break – A TV movie (with worse acting) somehow expanded to multiple seasons. Family Guy – it’s funny for a few minutes, nothing more. Other Random Late Night Talk Show/Standup comedian Oriented sitcom – because we had too many of these already. Dexter – come on, it was never as good as you think it was.

What glaring omissions are there for you? Which shows should I catch up on? Why is Empire’s Top 100 list so much better? Let us know in the comments!

The Best TV Shows Of All Time (40 – 21)!

Greetings, Glancers! Today we run down the next batch of Rolling Stone’s 2016 list of the greatest TV shows of all time. Have I seen them? What do I think? What do YOU think? Follow the links for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

Vintage kids watching tv Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

40. The Shield

See my entry for The Sopranos. TL:DR – I haven’t seen anything, it’s on my list.

39. Lost

A show which seems like it was made specifically for me – mystery, monsters, ensemble cast, cinematic scope, action, horror, comedy, adventure, romance, and all about finding a way home. Finding A Way Home stories may be my favourite of all stories. It’s one of the most influential, and best TV shows of the century.

38. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Even with all of the Joss stuff recently, this is not a show about one man with a vision, it’s a show where every cast and crew member went above and beyond to prove that horror and comedy could be smarter than anything else on screen, that protagonists could be deeply flawed, that stories aimed primarily at a teenage audience could pull a devoted fanbase of all ages, that no character was safe, and that long and emotional story arcs could be written with intelligence and planning and encompass years of small beats for maximum pay off. We knew all this already, but Buffy encapsulated it all like nothing else. It’s the best show of all time. Without Buffy, none of the remaining genre based shows on this list would exist in their current form.

37. Orange Is The New Black

This is where I start to get annoyed because I ask if any shows higher ranked than Buffy should be stated as better than Buffy. Orange Is The New Black is objectively not better than Buffy – not even close. The fact that OITNB is a great show only shows how good Buffy is. While the show would become overly preachy and on the nose in later seasons, its heart remained in the right place. Characters would increasingly behave not like themselves purely to solve the plot, but it succeeds in making Prison Dramas enjoyable by focusing on snark and humour even as it struggles to avoid the beat by beat tropes inherent in the genre.

36. Law And Order

I don’t think I’ve seen a single episode – it always seemed too procedural, too episodic, and although I’m unaware if there are any long-character or story arcs, from my extremely limited outsider knowledge I never believed there were.

35. My So Called Life

I mean, is it better than Buffy? It’s certainly too short lived to be so high on the list so nostalgie is playing a major factor in how high on the list this is. But it’s a great show, even now, and I loved it back then too. It deserved better, who knows what it could have become?

34. 30 Rock

I watched the first season. It managed to get a few chuckles out of me. Most of the humour fell flat and it was too self-aware to really be meaningful. I’m sure I’d get a few chuckles out of later seasons, but Top 40 shows ever? Not when you know shows like Shooting Stars, The League Of Gentlemen, Look Around You, and Bottom won’t be here.

33. South Park

It long ago overtook The Simpsons as the finest Animated show on TV – you can argue which show had the highest highs till the cows are anal probed, but both have given me hours of cramps from laughing too hard. The fact this still exists, or even exists at all, is an endless source of delight and wonder.

32. I Love Lucy

Inevitable. I’ve only seen bits here and there, but it was one of those shows which made TV worth watching.

31. Sesame Street

A rite of passage like few others.

30. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Man, you yanks really love your late night Talk Shows.

29. Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Of course – we all love it. It’s a bit of a shame that many of the British shows it influenced and which arguably bettered it, are entirely unknown by most.

28. The X Files

The daddy of them all. While it too got bogged down by complexity (I was always more of a fan of the episodic stories), it was one of the first must see shows from start to finish of my life. As a kid with an obsession with all things scary, this was not a gateway as much as a loving party invitation to me – to know that there were other weirdos out there who loved monsters, mysteries, conspiracies and telling those kinds of stories, made me feel less of a loner.

27. Arrested Development

I haven’t seen any of it, but it always seemed like the sort of show I would enjoy.

26. Friends

Few shows become a cultural phenomenon quite like Friends. That alone secures its place on a list like this forever, but it’s also genuinely great too. Sure it also fell into being too self-aware and self-obsessed later, but it always managed to turn it around and more than anything it always managed to be funny.

25. Veep

Another political satire I believe. I haven’t seen a single second of it.

24. Friday Night Lights

I believe I ‘acquired’ a few seasons of this, but I haven’t watched any of it.

23. Deadwood

See The Sopranos

22. Louie

I’ve never even heard of this. Now I see it’s another sort of sitcom/stand-up vehicle.

21. The Office (UK)

Fuck all the way off. Shamelessly steels from other, better shows and criminally makes something worse from a format so pure.

Let me know in the comments which of the above shows you enjoy, and which I should give a chance!

The Greatest TV Shows Of All Time (60 – 41)!

Greetings, Glancers! Today we run down the next batch of Rolling Stone’s 2016 list of the greatest TV shows of all time. Have I seen them? What do I think? What do YOU think? Follow the links for Part 1 and Part 2.

Vintage kids watching tv Stock Photos - Page 1 : Masterfile

60. Beavis And Butthead

They added Ren And Stimpy, so they had to have Beavis And Butthead too, and have it higher on the list. In some ways I’m surprised it’s here – it was a seminal snapshot moment in time, the peak of 90s counter culture, but it’s never talked about these days and hasn’t gained that nostalgic power which shows of the same time or later have achieved. Still, the slacker humour, the satire, the juvenile spirit, the metal, and the mayhem ensured that it was and remains one of my all time favourite shows.

59. Hill Street Blues

Cop dramas were never my thing, but there was something more appealing about Hill Street Blues. I never saw more than a few scenes, but it at least felt like something I could half-watch.

58. Roots

Roots was a show I knew about long before I ever saw it. An older brother of a school friend had a poster of it, that iconic image of Kunta Kinte in chains. I had no idea what it was, but I loved the poster. It wasn’t until well over a decade later that I actually watched it for myself, and it (and its sequel) is one of the greatest pieces of television ever. Not ony because of its subject matter and cast, but because of its cinematic treatment. It wasn’t some cheap piece of fluff, it was loaded with stars, was well acted, written, directed, it was smart, cultured, epic in scope yet brilliantly handled, and it marked a turning point in Television while revealing to millions one of the nation’s most horrible truths.

57. Fawlty Towers

Interesting, because I’m sceptical that many in the US have actually seen it, or that it would translate well now, or back when it was made. It’s a very English sitcom – naturally it’s another personal favourite, but it’s certainly not Universal. If there are going to be any British comedy shows to make this list, you would put money on this, Monty Python, and Little Britain to be the ones. Maybe Mr Bean, Blackadder, and The Office. 

56. 24

That’s the Kiefer Sutherland show, 24, not just another random number. You know, I haven’t seen a single second of this either. It was always on my radar, I’ve always loved Kiefer, just for unknown reasons I never got around to it. Who knows, maybe some day.

55. Six Feet Under

There’s a fine line somewhere in humour, between sophistication and pissing me off snobbery/knowing snark. This to me always felt closer to the latter. A diehard fan put on an episode for me once to hopefully get me to join the fan club, but I was off my face and the touch of his living room carpet was much more interesting. I haven’t seen another second of it.

54. The Muppet Show

I’m just going to group all the various Muppet incarnations into one here, because I was too young for the original run but absolutely loved some of the later editions. It’s just a bizarrely human thing – to have a bunch of puppets telling stories, doing sketches, and roping in the legitimately biggest stars on the planet for it – and it actually being funny. I could of course do with less of the show tunes, but the mixture of legendary guests being shown up by the even more legendary muppets means this is a classic.

53. The Bob Newhart Show

Was this another talk show or a stand up show, or Newhart’s own variety comedy kind of thing? I never saw it.

52. The Colbert Report

I’ve seen snippets on Youtube which always seem to pop up into my feed, no idea why. Seems okay.

51. Fargo

I like the movie – don’t love it. But then I don’t love the Coens as much as I like them. Were they even involved in the show? I watched about half of the first season, but my wife wasn’t into it and we stopped there. I thought it was fine, but have never felt the urge to return to it. I’m sure I’d like it.

50. ER

If I’m not a fan of Police dramas, then Hospital dramas are an extra step down the ladder. Whatever was so interesting about ER – presumably the hot actors – was lost on me and I could not have cared less.

49. Taxi

What a cast. This is more my speed of sitcom – a weird idea on paper, propped up by some of the best American comics ever. More than a smidge of British humour in its ideas too.

48. The Office

It’s the US version. I haven’t seen a single episode, nor have I watched the English one. Not properly, again it’s been on in the background at house parties and such, and the pieces I’ve seen – while everyone else was roaring with laughter – had me doing the whole Principal Skinner ‘no, it’s the children who are wrong’ shtick.

47. The Rockford Files

While I’m no fan of Cop Dramas, the PI TV shows are something different. Something about the lone wolf out on his own, struggling to keep his head above water but still being better than the regular detectives… that dynamic made all the difference. Plus, James Garner was always cool as fuck. I never watched much of this, but out of all the PI shows from the 70s onwards, this is one I had an affinity for.

46. The Mary Tyler Moore Show

See The Bob Newhart Show

45. Battlestar Galactica

I loved the original show, and was sceptical about this when it was announced. I never loved it as much as others – my brother is obsessed with both – and I never watched the whole thing, but it’s a good show. Outside of all the annoying sudden camera zooms into spacecraft which was all the rage at the time – I hate that. The original was… more pure? Less complex? It felt more like The Odyssey – one of my favourite stories and a template I always enjoy seeing revamped.

44. Columbo

Another PI show, though arguably the most iconic. It’s one I dipped into if there was nothing else on and while I’d never call myself a fan, I would always get sucked in to whatever the crime of the week was and enjoy Falk outsmartarsing everyone.

43. The Americans

Seems high. Never seen it. My mum watches it.

42. NYPD Blue

One of the only cop dramas I did watch and enjoy. I liked the cast, I liked the characters, and it felt more real than other shows. Plus it was always on late at night so it felt like the sort of thing I wasn’t supposed to be watching.

41. The Honeymooners

I know of it, never seen it. Way beyond my time and I don’t recall it ever being shown over here in syndication. No desire to see it beyond a general desire to see EVERYTHING.

Getting close to the top now – which shows above would you recommend I give a try? Which are your favourites? Let us know in the comments!