The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups – 128 – 142

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Remember this? I’ve given up on it already, but we may as well post a few more for old time’s sake.


Jimmy Nail – Ain’t No Doubt: Jimmy Nail was a thing in the 90s. Yeah, I don’t get it, but presumably the ladies liked his ‘I’m a window cleaner/plumber, but is your husband around and mind if I cum in and service you’ vibe. This is a decent song, I remember it well, and the whole ‘she’s lying’ thing became the 90s version of a meme in the playground.

Simply Red – Angel: It’s more ‘street’ than I was expecting. Seems like it was a collab with The Fugees. Seems like it’s a cover. It’s too bland for me to ever care about.

Bluetones – Slight Return: I’ll admit to not liking this at the time, but that the dislike was entirely linked to me not liking the shaky arm bravado of the video. It’s a great song.

Jamiroquai – Stillness In Time: It’s another Jamiroquai song, probably featuring cars, hats, and walking backwards. Like all their stuff, it’s light, funky, a rip of Stevie, and a precursor to Mars.

My Winner: Slight Return


Queen & Wyclef: Another Bites The Dust: It’s the same as the original, but different.

Puff Daddy & Faith Evans – I’ll Be Missing You: That rare example of a song heavily sampling another, and being better than the original. One of my favourite songs of the decade.

No Mercy – Please Don’t Go: Truly awful – worse because it takes an okay bunch of melodies and destroys them with junk music and performance.

911 – Party People Friday Night: Another dreadful 90s boyband with another dreadful 90s boyband song.

My Winner:  I’ll Be Missing You


Babyface Ft Stevie Wonder: How Come How Long: I don’t know who Babyface is, but I have a feeling he worked with MJ. Do I remember this song….? I don’t think I do, but it sounds like so much of the other pop R’n’B of the era that it could be anything. The dude’s voice is a little too nasal, Stevie does his thing. It’s what it is.

Altern8 – Activ8: I got excited because I thought this related to the old kids show called Activ8. It was all about kids doing strange new sports and exercises and was probably a lot more shit than I remember – it wasn’t even that great at the time. This is not related. Unsurprisingly, this is utter shite early rave for moronic pill heads.

The Shamen – Phorever People: Slightly better shite music for a better class of pill head. My internet died in the middle of listening – I didn’t bother listening to the rest once I reconnected.

Mel C – Going Down: Do I remember this one? Mel C was my favourite Spice Girl, given the fact that she was the one who could sing, and tended towards more edgy sounds. Yes, I remember this thanks to the chorus. I remember the video caused some sort of ruckus? It’s not her best song, but it’s different.

My Winner: Goin Down.


Gala – Freed From Desire: I hated this song at release, and I hate it even more now as every football fan ironically or unironically co-opts it into their inane chants.

Monica – The First Night: I can confidently say I’ve never heard this before. It has some sort of cool, sultry vibe, but it’s not very good.

911 – More Than A Woman: These Clampetts again. This is the group that had the one guy who looked like Dec from Ant & Dec, right? A crappy cover.

Mark Owen – Clementine: I quite liked this one at release. It was one of those songs that all us cool music kids were nervous to admit to liking, but then it turned out that everyone else did too. Hearing it again now, I’m rather confused, because it’s a bit crap. Mark’s vocals are bad and the song is dull – not at all what I remember. Oh well.

My Winner: Clementine, I guess?


Erasure – Abbaesque EP: As you can imagine, I hate everything about this.

Righteous Brothers – You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling: One of my most hated songs of all time. Everything I can’t stand about music in a single song.

Jamiroquai – Too Young To Die: As much as I make fun of Jamiroquai’s stuff all sounding the same, you have to give them credit for making music which still sounds like it could have been released today. There are few artists from the early 90s – few from the early 2000s too – who sound as fresh now as they did then. This is another one of their songs.

2Unlimited – Twilight Zone: I didn’t realise they had so many songs, never mind so many hits. Altogether now… MORTAL KOMBAT!

My Winner: Lets go with Too Young To Die.


Shakespeare’s Sister – Stay: I know they weren’t quite one hit wonders, and it’s cool that they’re back together, but lets be honest – this is what everyone knows them for. And it’s absolutely glorious.

Embrace – All You Good Good People: Embrace were huge at the time, employing this pre-Coldplay space. I quite liked this back then, but it came with the caveat of knowing it was a bit bland and that the vocals didn’t quite hit the mark. It definitely takes me back to a time and place.

Spice Girls – Too Much: Speaking of going back to a time and place, this takes me back to a group of boys arguing over which of the Spice Girls they would ride. I abstained. Bit of a meh song.

Texas – Say What You Want: I never understood why Texas were big. This was maybe their biggest hit. It’s not an ounce more than fine.

My Winner: Stay


Shawn Mullins – Lullaby: No clue what this is, never heard it. It’s very talky, and therefore very bad. It’s also very American. Oh wait, I’ve definitely heard that chorus. Still bad.

Travolta & Olivia – You’re The One That I Want: Not sure why this is here in the 90s, but sure. Cheesy as all get out, but still good.

George Michael – Star People: It’s George Michael, so it’s automatically struggling to get above meh. Funk without any edge. Pop without anything of interest. He sings well, I suppose.

Republica – Drop Dead Gorgeous: I wasn’t a huge fan of this one, what with the silly accents. It’s almost a carbon copy of Ready To Go, but not as good.

My Winner: Drop Dead Gorgeous


Blur – Stereotypes: Another jaunty Britpop song, more silly accents. I’d forgotten about this. It’s fine.

Bluetones – Cut Some Rug: I’m sure that’s a euphemism. I don’t remember this. It’s fine.

My Winner: Stereotypes.


Makaveli – To Live & Die In LA: Isn’t this Tu Pac? It’s fine. Good 90s Hip Hop just hits different from the auto tuned tripe of today.

Armand Van Helden – You Don’t Know Me: This was sadly unavoidable for a couple of years back in the day. It’s fine, very overrated, very annoying due to it being so overplayed everywhere.

My Winner: To Live & Die In LA.


Quartz Ft Dina Carroll – It’s Too Late: I like some of Dina’s songs. I don’t like this.

Embrace – My Weakness Is None Of Your Business: I don’t remember much about this one, but being a ballad it takes the voice and the band’s inherent blandness and ramps it up. It’s trying to be all epic and emotional, but it doesn’t work as much as the instrumentation pushes it. It’s fine.

Cast – Free Me: I don’t think I know this one, but it has an air of familiarity. It’s fast, fun, fine.

Simply Red – Say You Love Me: Meh.

My Winner: Free Me


Undercover – Never Let Her Slip Away: Ah yes, I remember this one. It’s a cover, right? I’m not sure which version I remember. If ever there was a song whose production and time of release let it down, it was this. It’s hilariously cheesy and cheap sounding, but there’s a good song at the core. No-one has done the song justice yet, it would seem.

Shania Twain – Man I Feel Like A Woman: I like Shania’s ballads. This… I like less. I get the whole statement thing, but it feels very much shrugworthy.

Danni Minogue – Love & Kisses: Was this a 90s song? It’s clearly 80s. I’m happy to have Danni dance in front of me all day, but the song is terrible.

Mel B Ft Missy Eliot – I Want You Back: Possibly the worst thing ever written.

My Winner: Never Slip Away.


No Doubt – Don’t Speak: Remember when No Doubt first came on the scene and this dropped, they seemed like a cute enough alternative band – an American Britpop outfit. Of course they only made two decent songs and then Gwen went and did her own thing. But this was massive at the time and holds up just as well today. Was the favourite song of my girlfriend at the time. Is that interesting?

Prince – Sexy Motherfucker: Again, wasn’t this 80s? I never cared for Prince, so I don’t know. It’s bland jazzy funky faffy bollocks.

Natalie Imbruglia – Torn: It’s a cover, fine. But for better or worse it remains Imbruglia’s signature song. I think she has done better songs – regular glancers will know that she’s one of my favourite artists and I standby my statement that she’s the best female pop person of the last twenty odd years.

Wonderstuff – Size Of A Cow: Sure.

My Winner: Torn.


Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You: A great example of that terribly overused phrase, ‘making a song your own’. Whitney absolutely tears her way through this. I’m not a huge fan of the song, but her voice and power make it iconic. It was inescapable in the 90s.

Snap – Exterminate: The first 20 seconds are good. Then it becomes generic early90s Dance fluff.

BC-52s – Meet The Flintstones: There’s a very solid case to be argued for the B-52s being the worst thing that has ever happened to the human race. This is one piece of evidence supporting the theory.

The Shamen – Boss Drum: It’s another thing by The Shamen.

My Winner: I Will Always Love You.


WWE – Slam Jam: Well, this is an amusing slice of nostalgia back from the cheesiest, most over the top, perhaps most fondly remembered era of WWE/WWF. It’s not much of tune – it’s a collection of bad rap beats with the odd wrestler promo snippet or quote thrown out. It wasn’t until a few years later that I bought my first WWE album – this was not on it.

3T – I Need You: These were the guys that sought to continue the Jackson family legacy aiming at a younger audience. Michael was going on a bit of a post-History hiatus and his three nephews had the right age, look, and sound to succeed. I think this was their biggest hit – it’s fine. Michael appears briefly, the chorus is memorable enough for me to recall it now having not heard it in 20 years, but it’s very sugary.

Stiltskin – Inside: Another song which became super popular because of its appearance in an advert. What was it – beer? Jeans? Something. I think it appeared on a bunch of TV shows too, thanks to the memorable riff. The rest of the song is fairly average heavy, fuzzy, grunge influence stuff.

Britney Spears – Hit Me Baby One More Time: The birth of a beast. I never got the hype around Britney at the time, and I still don’t know. Teenage boy me never found her attractive, and music fan me felt this was a slightly better than average throwaway pop song.

My Winner: Inside


JX – Son Of A Gun: The song which taught us that a man that’s on the run, is a dirty son of a gun. It doesn’t teach us anything else, but it does remind us why we hate 90s dance music. And why we still remember it even though we hate it.

Living Joy – Dreamer: See above, but without the first line.

MJ – Will You Be There: It takes a while to get going, but once it does it goes from being quite lovely to anthemic. It’s trying to be another Man In The Mirror, but falls short. Still, it’s Michael doing his thing and he did it better than anyone.

Catatonia – Road Rage: Catatonia seemed for a time to exclusively make these little oddities, songs which no-one else could have written, which is great. Cerys isn’t the most appealing vocalist in the world, but she’s exactly what those songs needed. It’s good.

My Winner: Will You Be There

Let us know your winners and favourites in the comments!

The Best UK Top 10 Of The 90s Chart Poll – Groups 83 – 97

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Jeepers, this was a mistake, wasn’t it?

Group 83

Depeche Mode – I Feel You: feel like with these posts I’m learning more about Depeche Mode. I didn’t know they had so many hits and I had not heard many of those hits. Solid riff and just as it merges on being annoyingly repetitive, there’s enough industrial chaos to spice things up. It’s very noisy, messy. Much of that covers up how simple and dull the key melodies are. So, I can appreciate the artistry but it doesn’t do a lot for me. I don’t think I’d ever enjoy the vocals enough to be a fan of the band. Even so… my group winner.

Sash Ft Shannon – Move Mania: This is a new one. As cheap as Sash music is, I did usually enjoy the melodies they created. This is very ‘I bet this is what computer games will sound like in the future’, and as such sounded dated a few weeks after release. Actually, I do remember this chorus. The production is decent but the sounds are ridiculous. Verses are crap, chorus is solid.

Suggs – Cecilia: I can’t stand Madness or their music, and it seems I must say the same for Suggs. This was a fairly hefty hit when it dropped, and while it’s jolly and bouncy I couldn’t stand it.

Mantronix – Take Your Time: A bit dance, a bit R’n’B, a bit girl band. None of it is very good. Vocals are fine but the music is such a non-entity.

Group 84

Finlay Quaye – Even After All: He had that one song. I can’t think of the name but I’m sure it’ll come up elsewhere. This one is completely new to me. It’s not very good, it’s just sort of… there, floating past in the background and leaving no trace.

Mr Big – To Be With You: It’s super cheesy and it’s the only song anyone will ever know by Mr Big. But, as a sucker for power ballads and as a sucker for anything with guitars when I was a lad, this has always retained a soft spot in my brains. My group winner.

U2 – Even Better Than The Real Thing: I’ve likely mentioned it before on the blog, but I’ve never listened to an entire U2 album. Growing up in a pseudo traditional Protestant house, U2 was a bit of a no-no with them coming from ‘the South’. I never really understood that given that my dad’s favourite genre of music seemed to be a mixture of fiddly-dee Irish and Country. And marching bands. On top of that, I never felt any desire (rebellious or otherwise) or seek them out. By the time I made friends who were big fans, and by the time I started hearing their songs on the radio I learned enough to assume that I would probably enjoy the band but still not to the extent of going to buy their discography. This song sparks about 2% of possible memories in my mind. It’s fine

Tori Amos – Pretty Good Year: I love Tori most when she’s either at peak emotion or peak snark. This is somewhere in between and if I’m honest it’s never a song which leaps out at me in terms of Tori’s extensive discog. But I love it every time I hear it. It just misses the peaks which I yearn for in her work.

Group 85

Ace Of The Base – The Sign: One of the two big Ace Of Base songs. They’re both fine songs, catchy pop, but there was something off-putting about them – an overly airy, tepid vocal and tone.

Pato Banton Ft UB40 – Baby Come Back: Fuck all the way off. One of the worst songs of all time, never mind the 90s. HOWEVER, I am known to frequently shout ‘buh-duh-by-by-by-by, buh-duh-by-by-BY-BY’.

Belinda Carlisle – We Want The Same Thing: Ah yes, this one. I never knew what it was called, which seems strange given the title is the chorus. Given her history before being a solo artist the verses have a bit of a rock vibe which offers something different from the standard pop of the era. It’s still a fun pop song with a big summery chorus.

MJ – Blood On The Dancefloor: A weird song for a very weird album. It’s not too different from his History dance pop output, but it felt flat set against all of the more innovative dance music of the era as well as not really being melodic enough to appeal to the pop crowd. Still, it’s MJ so it’s my group winner.

Group 86

Kylie Minogue – Step Back In Time: I thought I had no memory of this and yet it sounded so familiar, mainly because of it being a melodic pastiche of so many other songs. But once I heard the chorus those memories came flooding back. It’s remarkable how songs you were very familiar with can entirely leave your brain. That said, I don’t have any particular association with this song – I just remember hearing it around the time it was released. My group winner.

Beautiful South – Perfect 10: Ugh. I know people love them, I know they have appealing qualities, but I can’t get past the image and the twee vocals. They’re what I assume Mumford & Sons are, but I haven’t heard anything from them. They’re the sort of band who wear cardigans in the summer. It’s commercial quirky. It’s Record Execs saying ‘there’s a niche for slightly odd, slightly cutesy, slightly more intellectual than general pop so we’ll allow Beautiful South because they’re not too weird and won’t avert your more straight-laced listeners’. This is annoyingly catchy. Like COV-ID.

Chaka Demus & Pliers – She Don’t Let Nobody: As expected, any of that Jamaican nonsense instantly became a no no upon first listen. Take that out of the song and it’s less memorable, but also better. Perfectly nice pop song until the crap starts.

Blur – On Your Own: As we’ve talked about already – I wasn’t too invested in the Britpop popularity wars but would have picked Oasis over Blur any day of the week. I don’t believe I’ve heard this one, even though it was apparently a big single by one of the biggest bands of the decade right around the time I was actually listening to them. It’s a bit to yelly and talky for my tastes.

Group 87

Scum Squad – We’re Gonna Do It Again: Nope.

Paul Weller – Peacock Suit: Yet another song I don’t know. Paul Weller is any interesting one… I like some of his solo stuff, I like some of The Jam, but by the same token I can’t stand some others. Based on this first listen, this is one I could like more given time – decent song. My group winner.

Pulp – Sorted For Es And Wizz: Another one of those annoying Pulp songs which makes me think of terrible clothes and hair and singing.

Wet Wet Wet – Yesterday: Is this seriously going to be a Beatles cover? Yes. What’s the point? It’s a decent cover, but it’s basically identical, just with the singers switched out.

Group 88

Two Cowboys – Everybody Gonfi-gon: I don’t know if that violin mess is familiar to me because it’s a traditional piece I’ve heard elsewhere, or because it was written specifically for this song. In any case, it’s utter trash and represents the worst of dance music; cheap, one repetitive simple melody played over and over with the occasional drop in beat before bringing it up again. As formulaic as it is possible to be.

Soup Dragon Ft Junior Reid: I’m Free: A pill- influenced slice of Madchester guff. To its credit, it at least changes the original enough to be its own thing. The original is good, this is good, but neither are exactly to my tastes or ever going to be something I choose to listen to, especially when they chuck in the Jamaican rant.

Partners In Kryme – Turtle Power: What an awful group of songs. I’m Free is the best song here, but it’s a cover so I’m not going for it. Turtle Power is bad, but at least it reminds me of the hype all us kids felt when we heard there was going to be a Turtles movie. My group winner.

Various Artists – Brits 90 Dance Medley: Absolutely shocking stuff. Have you seen the video for this? What the absolute F?

Group 89

Will Smith – Miami: A smooth song. Can’t say I’ve ever been to Miami, but I’ve seen enough movies. It’s another song which makes you think of Summer. Yes, even Summer in Northern Ireland which is basically the same as Winter, but yer ma makes you wear shorts even though there’s icicles hanging off yer nuts.

Shaft – Roobarb & Custard: It’s the theme tune to a 70s cartoon, steeked up. Steeked, you ask? A steek is the Northern Irish word (or one of the words) for a Chav. Chav, you ask? Look, Steeks predominantly only listen to dance music – bad dance music. Clearly someone took a pile of drugs and thought this would be a good idea. I remember the show being shown in the 90s – I’m not sure if that was as a result of this song’s popularity, or if the show’s reappearance inspired the song. Either way, someone must pay.

Ride – Leave Them All Behind: I don’t remember this at all, but it has that shoegaze, washing guitar production sound that quite a few bands had back then, but it feels more Brit-pop infused. Credit for sounding huge and expansive, but like a lot of songs in this ilk it’s ultimately aimless and one-note. There’s not much crescendo of emotion or melody to go with the wall of sound – certainly not for an 8-minute song. I enjoy this stuff if I’m in the mood for it, but I’m rarely in that mood.

Opus 3 – It’s A Fine Day: No clue what this is based on the name. Once the vocals kick in… yes, I do know this. I remember mocking it when I was a child. Kids would sing like they were yawning ‘it’s going to be a fine night tonight’… etc. Even as a 10-year-old I knew it was ridiculous and was making fun of the lyrics. It’s not great but there’s a lot worse out there. Melody is fine, but after the 3rd of 4th time you’ve heard it, you never need to hear it again.

Group 90

G’n’R – Since I Don’t Have You: One of the few bright lights IMO of The Spaghetti Incident. A cover from a covers album, it was the start of the end of the road for the band in terms of chart success. My Group Winner.

Divine Comedy – National Express: Do I like The Divine Comedy? I liked this and a couple of other songs around the same time but I felt like they were a hipster band, even though that was not a term back then. They were the music snob’s band, and hearing this you could only respond with ‘it’s not that good, right?’ It’s fine. Quirky. Normally it would be interesting enough to encourage me to seek out other songs by them, except for the fact that all their fans were twats and I therefore did no further seeking.

Buffalo Tom Ft Liam Gallagher – Going Underground: As far as I can remember I had no idea this existed. This would have been around the time I was into Oasis and assume I would have known what Liam was up to, but this rings no bell. It’s a cover. Not very exciting.

Capella – Move On Baby: Another dance track, another thing I’ve never heard. It’s precisely by the numbers 90s wank – woman belting out some inane repetitive chorus, broken up by an even more repetitive synth riff, and every so often some bloke will interject with a ‘rap’. It’s exactly like the others.

Group 91

Scatman John – Scatman: A legendary dance song. My group winner.

DJ Quicksilver – Free: We all remember this one, sadly. You always had that one guy in school who would answer DJ Quicksilver, or worse, Ministry Of Sound when you asked what music they were into. Then you would never talk to them again. There’s no reason on this earth that this song needs to be longer than 30 seconds. Don’t get me wrong, that 30 seconds would be perfectly fine. But as a song, it’s so simplistic, so childlike that it’s an embarrassment on our species that this became any sort of success.

KLF Ft Tammy Wynette – Justified & Ancient: What a weird… everything. KLF and… Tammy Wynette. Sure. I don’t have any specific memories of this one – I don’t really remember the verses but the chorus was another one which I continued to song long after I’d forgotten who it was by or where I knew it from.

Ken Doh – Nagasaki: Never heard this before. More generic 90s dance, at least it has a bit more effort than others, an attempt to not be so repetitive. Then again, it features the lyrics ‘I need lover tonight/I need a lover who’s gonna treat me so right’. Sigh.

Group 92

Robert Palmer Ft UB40 – I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight: Abso-fucking-lutely not.

Mr Hankey – The Christmas Poo: A delightful festive romp.

The Grid – Swamp Thing: Until the banjo came in, I didn’t know what this was. Another song which doesn’t need to be longer than a minute long. Everything outside of the banjo is junk.

Nirvana – Come As You Are: An obvious group winner.

Group 93

Chef – Chocolate Salty Balls: A delightful culinary romp.

Erasure – Chorus: Never liked Erasure. This one sounds like the other one.

MJ – History: There was so much hype around the release of History the album, that the title track got lost in the mix. It’s not the most obvious choice for a single and it’s all a little on the nose with lyrical retreads of previous songs. But it’s still good, angry verses, neat enough chorus. My group winner.

KLF – America What Time Is Love: These guys again. A weak Ace Of Spades bit, lots of sirens, dodgy rapping, crap drums, solid chorus. Meh.

Group 94

Tom Jones & The Cardigans – Burning Down The House: Known as one of my spud-pickin’ songs. Another cover. I don’t think I’ve heard a Talking Heads song yet that I’ve liked, but I could be wrong. Spud pickin’, you say? Well, I used to work at a farm on Saturdays when I was in school. Cash in hand. Spuds in hand. Both types. For whatever reason, this song was always on the radio when had grabbed some lunch in the shed. I would also turn on the space heater and throw potatoes into it. I’m still alive.

Toni Braxton – Breathe Again: Before hitting play I was really trying to remember how this song went, because I knew I knew it, but the best I could come up with was humming that Whole Again song. Who was that? Atomic Kitten? Some shite like that. It came back when I hit play. It’s a solid ballad. I liked it then, but it ain’t no Unbreak My Heart. It’s a crap group, but this is my group winner.

Martine McCutcheon – Perfect Moment: The one Martine song everyone remembers. It’s sort of Christmasy. It’s fine.

Josh Wink – Higher State Of Consciousness 95: Didn’t we have this one already?

Group 95

Mase – Feel So Good: Completely new to me. It’s certainly funky enough. A bit too nasal.

Peter Andre – Kiss The Girl: Yes, yes it is Peter Andre singing a song from The Little Mermaid. 

The Course – Ready Or Not: The Fugees sampled The Delphonics for their chorus, and barely a year later these Clampets took one line of that chorus and made a 3 minute abomination. This is the story of that abomination. You don’t need to hear it. It’s one line and melody repeated for three minutes with some shitty drum sounds.

Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up: Dance music done right. And the video is… memorable too. An easy group winner.

Group 96

Dr Alban – It’s My Life: No.

3T ft Herbie – Gotta Be You: First time I’ve been exposed to this. It sounds like every other 90s boyband, but I guess it’s kind of funky.

Simply Red – For Your Babies: I could never stand Simply Red. I remember this one, never liked it at the time and I never understood why the band got the commercial push that they did. But, it’s a sweet, tender little song. Not for me.

Queen – A Winter’s Tale: Another crap group without a single song I’d ever choose to listen to. But I enjoy Queen ever so often and I like Christmas songs. This one isn’t very Christmasy. It’s not the best song in the world but it’s a typically strong Freddie vocal. My group winner.

Group 97

Blackstreet – Fix: Yet another completely new song for me. More utterly generic boyband R’n’B trash with nothing to recommend it unless boyband R’n’B is your thing.

Michael Bolton – Can I Touch You There: It’s the eternal question… not the question posed in the song title, but the question of why would you ever give your song this name? Bolton was always a strong singer – I’m no fan of his voice but there’s no getting away from the porno vibes of the lyrics and music.

New Kids – Hanging Tough: NKOTB have a lot to answer for, being the prototype of the modern boyband and ushering in a new era of shite which has dominated popular music ever since. Sure, there were boybands before them, but they were the first and most successful to have everything set in stone – the look (a manufactured street toughness yet feminine enough to not scare the female audience away), the sound (cheap mass-market production devoid of creativity), the dances (simplistic and easy to follow), and the gloss (throwing money at image over everything else). You see this right the way through the 90s and up until One Direction – they set a winning formula which everyone has followed since. It goes without saying that the song is trash and deservedly mocked – the irony being that many of those who will do the mocking are also lapping up their modern day counterparts with devotion.

Space Ft Cerys Matthews – The Ballad Of Tom Jones: The 90s was also a delightful time for offbeat, one of a kind nonsense. Space was one of those bands who had a lyrical flair and delivered songs which nobody else could. Every era needs bands and songs like this. My group winner.

What do you think?

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

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

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. My Winner.

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

File:Totp logo 1998.svg - Wikimedia Commons

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!