Apr 16, 2024

Ultimate 90s number one: Babylon Zoo comes along and ruins everything

The competition to discover the ultimate 1990s number one single continues. There have been numerous episodes of this series so far, and there are plenty more to come. 206 number one singles to judge in all: one for every bone in the human body.

Let's take a look at the latest collection of bones-- er, I mean, number one singles.

The contenders

Babylon Zoo: Spaceman  |  Celine Dion: My Heart Will Go On  |  Cliff Richard: Saviour's Day  |  Jason Donovan: Any Dream Will Do  |  Mariah Carey: Without You  |  Melanie B featuring Missy Elliott: I Want You Back  |  Olive: You're Not Alone  |  The Prodigy: Breathe  |  Shaggy: Oh Carolina  |  Usher: You Make Me Wanna..

Giving me a haddock

Splice the mainbrace, whatever that is. Let's get rid of my least favourite songs from this batch.

Celine Dion's Titanic warble made me wish I was clinging onto a door in the icy waters of the Atlantic ocean. Pop me in a dingy and plug my ears with haddock: anything to avoid Dion's watery cheese. I have similar feelings about Mariah Carey's Without You, although I have fewer nautical metaphors for that one.

I'm not sure what's more wholesome: Cliff Richard's seasonal tribute to Jesus H Christ, or Jason Donovan's eulogy to a dreamy bible bloke in a gaudy anorak. Either way, the result is the same. Both of these saintly songs make me want to commit acts so heinous, I'd be destined straight for hell. Jumping the queue at Gregg's, popping paper in the bottle bin, still referring to X posts as tweets, that sort of thing.

Beep beep

"How can you beep beep with no keys?" mused Missy Elliott on Melanie B's I Want You Back. Deep philosophy for a track so light on melody. At least Usher's offering had a memorable melody, despite its dubious subject matter of fancying your girlfriend's best mate. Come on, Ush, mate, keep it in your trousers, at least until the end of this blog post.

Oh Carolina was a cover of an old ska hit that Shaggy used to sing rude words to^ when he was a kid. I remember its repetition being a bit annoying when it came out, although it introduced us to a genuine pop superstar. Still... not as annoying as THAT moment when we all realised that, instead of being a falsetto space jam, Babylon Zoo's chart-topper was a miserable dirge that felt like it had been scraped from the netherwheres of someone's grungey underpants. The record label sent me the Babylon Zoo album. It was all awful.

This leaves us with two top tier tracks. Firstly, it's Olive with a track co-written by a bloke from Nightmares On Wax and some fella from Simply Red. Singer Ruth-Ann Boyle went on to feature on several albums by techno-monks Enigma. Best of all, this remains a rare example of a drum 'n' bass track topping the UK charts, and it deserves to go through to this competition's final on that basis alone.

Aaaaargh. Sorry. Just having a Babylon Zoo flashback.

Meanwhile, the Prodigy's Breathe cemented their reputation as one of the biggest break-through dance acts of the decade. A second number one single for them, smashing into the top spot after just one week of record sales. It's probably the coolest track to sample a Thin Lizzy drum beat. Of course this goes through to the final. 

Aaaaaaaaargh! Seriously, I think I have BabZoo reflux. Someone call a vet.

More of the Ultimate 90s numbaaaaaaaargh one

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