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 19 – 28

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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

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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!