Mar 1, 2024

Ultimate 90s number one: Fat Roland says uh-oh


All is woe. My 1990s number one countdown has gone horribly wrong. I flew too close to the blogging sun, and my feathery quill has burst into flames.

Let me explain.

I am judging every UK number one single of the 1990s to find the most banging and, crucially, the most bleepy chart-topper of the decade. All was going well. Fatboy Slim scored a big fat success, and Enigma chanted their way to victory.

I loaded up my third batch of contenders... and this is where things fell apart. Let's go through this latest list one by one, and you'll see what I mean.

The contenders

B*Witched: Rollercoaster  |  Charles & Eddie: Would I Lie to You?  |  Christina Aguilera: Genie in a Bottle  |  Gary Barlow: Love Won't Wait  |  George Michael: Fastlove  |  Gina G: Ooh Aah... Just a Little Bit  |  Iron Maiden: Bring Your Daughter... to the Slaughter  |  KWS: Please Don't Go  |  Pato Banton featuring Ali and Robin Campbell: Baby Come Back  |  Teletubbies: Teletubbies say Eh-oh!

Not so bewitched

Let's start with B*Witched, the double-denimed Dubliners. Rollercoaster is an insipid Marks & Spencer's Sunday shop of room-temperature pop that clearly got ejected by every act on earth before the B-star crew said "ah well, we'll give it a go".  At least the Charles & Eddie track has some songwriting oomph about itself, although if that guy squeaks "oh year" one more time, I'm going to weep.

What is Christina Aguilera waffling on about? Genies don't come in bottles. Absolute tosh. Let's skip past Gary Barlow. He was meant to be the songwriting talent in Take That, yet his solo career was so unmemorable, I've already forgotten-- oh look, a pony. Where was I? Oh yes. George Michael's Faslove is one of his better tunes, made even better by using the same Forget Me Nots inspiration as Men In Black. But none of this twiddles my tassel.

Music for babies

That Gina G song did pretty well in the Eurovision Song Contest, but let's be honest: it's a babyish tune for babies who suck at being babies. It makes the Vengaboys look like Rachmaninov. Next on the list is Iron Maiden, whose New Year 1991 chart-topper came as a surprise to everyone. A wonderfully stupid and bombastic triumph, but nothing that can be considered as a bleepy track.

This list is in alphabetical order by artist, but I really think it's trolling me. KWS's cover of KC and the Sunshine Band's Please Don't Go is one of the most soulless singles ever. It stayed at number one for a month, preventing SL2, Shut Up And Dance and Kris Kross from topping the charts. I think it may be evil.

Cheesy mediocrity

I thought I had reached rock bottom, but next comes the cheesy reggae mediocrity of Baby Come Back, with Pato Banton having any potential credibility beiged out by the UB40 guys. And then there's the Teletubbies. Four overgrown cuddly toys, who have their stomachs ripped out and replaced with televisions, talk absolute gibberish while a burning, decapitated baby's head laughs at a sentient hoover. No. Thank. You.

That's it. That's the list. Not a single song to recommend. Complete waste of time. Let's hope the next batch throws up something better.

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