Sunday, 2 March 2014

The Best Of 2001 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


2001 was another strong year for pop music, which was a good thing considering I worked for a pop music magazine. Mag sales were on the decline, however, especially in the teen press sector with the internet and mobile phones proving to be a source of competition for readers' pocket money, as well as a quicker way for them to obtain a lot of the things Smash Hits had traditionally provided.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor went pop in 2001

Still, the show wasn't over just yet, and the following songs helped keep pop fans interested in music (and music magazines) in 2001...


Number 25 "Murder On The Dancefloor" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
Mentioned below

Number 24 "Upside Down" by A*Teens
I should be embarrassed about this, but as I always say: a good pop song is a good pop song regardless of who sings it. In this case, it was the four-piece former ABBA tribute group who'd moved on to releasing original tracks with a Steps/S Club 7-style bent. Both this single and "Halfway Around The World" (number 47 on this list) were taken from their second album, Teen Spirit




Number 23 "Burn Baby Burn" by Ash
From one extreme to another, right? Well, not quite - Ash are hardly death metal, after all - but this indie classic was a rare slice of guitar rock I liked amidst a sea of pure pop. I quite developed a taste for Ash around this point thanks to the singles from their Free All Angels album. Lead single "Shining Light" (number 72 on this list) was followed by "Burn Baby Burn", which won both the Q Award and NME Award for Single of the Year - something most of the songs on this list would have no hope in hell of achieving.




Number 22 "Take Me Away" by Lash
Now this is really shocking - two rock songs in a row! Lash were a four-piece Australian girl band (not, I repeat not, a girl group) that we had a difficult time getting into Smash Hits. I thought they were a perfect fit, given the taste of our readers at the time extended to rock and pop/punk, and they were a young band who would potentially be role models to our mostly teen female audience. Lash were pretty hesitant, wanting to keep their distance from the Britneys and Christinas of the world, but I eventually won them over - although seeing them in the pages of Smash Hits didn't convince our readers to go out and buy their songs. Neither "Take Me Away" nor follow-up "Beauty Queen" (number 114 on this list) cracked the Australian top 30.




Number 21 "Come What May" by Ewan McGregor / Nicole Kidman
One of my enduring memories of Smash Hits in 2001 is myself and the editor belting this out on a pretty regular basis (occasionally alternating with "Elephant Love Medley", also from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack) to bangs on the office wall from the surf magazine next door.
If you've checked out any of my year-end charts from the '80s, you'll know I'm a sucker for a movie soundtrack hit, especially a duet - and this love song by the stars of the Baz Luhrmann film was as good as anything Jennifer Warnes or Phil Collins put their names to.
There's a link to the single remix in the song title above and the original ballad version below.
Bizarrely, "Come What May" wouldn't be the only hit record Nicole Kidman would feature on in 2001, appearing on that year's UK Christmas number 1, "Somethin' Stupid" with Robbie Williams. She also wasn't the only actor to hit the Australian charts in 2001, with Gwyneth Paltrow landing two top 5 singles from the Duets soundtrack.




Number 20 "Take Me Home" by Sophie Ellis-Bextor
In 2000, she'd gone from singer in an indie band (theaudience) to vocalist on one of the biggest club hits on the year (Spiller's "Groovejet"), and in 2001, Sophie added pop star to her CV with this Cher cover version and the equally poptastic "Murder On The Dancefloor" (number 25 on this list). Both tracks came from Sophie's excellent debut album, Read My Lips, which received a repackage the following year with new tracks added - a trend that really took off in 2001 with record companies trying to find new ways to boost albums sales in the face of Napster and LimeWire.




Number 19 "Baby Come On Over (This Is Our Night)" by Samantha Mumba
Here's another artist who'd benefit from a revamp of her debut album, with this song one of a handful of new tracks to feature on the US version of the Gotta Tell You. "Baby Come On Over" had previously been included on the original version of the album, but it received a complete overhaul, including having elements from "Ladies Night" by Kool & The Gang added to it.




Number 18 "Here And Now / You'll Be Sorry" by Steps
Mentioned below

Number 17 "Crying At The Discoteque" by Alcazar
As I write, they're still in the running to represent Sweden in 2014's Eurovision Song Contest, but back in 2001, Alcazar made their first venture onto the world stage with this song. Sampling the 1979 disco hit "Spacer" by Sheila B & Devotion, "Crying At The Discoteque" became a top 15 hit in Australia in early 2002, with the three-piece visiting Australia just in time for Mardi Gras season.




Number 16 "Run For Cover" by Sugababes
Mentioned in Part 1 and previously featured here

Number 15 "The Way To Your Heart" by Hear'Say
Australia had Scandal'us (who we saw back in Part 2) and the UK, who'd embraced the Popstars format, had Hear'Say - a boy/girl group that proved just as instantly massive and almost as short-lived. Hear'Say did manage two number 1 hits, with "The Way To Your Heart" following debut single "Pure And Simple" (number 53 on this list) to the top of the UK chart.




Number 14 "Catch" by Kosheen
Drum and bass is one of those genres that never really goes away - and just as Chase & Status brought the dance style back to my attention last year with "Lost & Not Found", so too did Kosheen in 2001 with the first two hits from their Resist album. Both "Catch" and "Hide U" were successful second time around, having originally been released in 2000.




Number 13 "Pop" by *NSYNC
Just as Backstreet Boys' Black & Blue didn't quite live up to the mammoth success of Millennium, so too did *NSYNC's 2001 album, Celebrity, fall short of the achievements of No Strings Attached. But, when that involves becoming the second-fastest selling album of all time (behind NSA) and selling five million copies (to NSA's 11 million), it's not a bad position to be in. Produced by BT, "Pop" was a bit of a change in direction for the boy band and the single's number 19 placing in the US suggested their homeland wasn't quite ready for the pop/dance/R&B blend that would dominate the charts there in years to come.




Number 12 "Crystal" by New Order
Clearly the break had done them good. Back with their first studio album since 1993's Republic, New Order were sounding not quite better than ever but certainly as good as they ever had done. Besides giving an up-and-coming band the idea to call themselves The Killers, "Crystal" was the perfect comeback song - more guitar-based than some of my favourite tracks of theirs, but every bit as immediate and catchy. Second single "60 Miles An Hour" (number 29 on this list) proved it was no one-off and the album, Get Ready, was among the band's best.




Number 11 "All Rise" by Blue
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 10 "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" by Steps
Mentioned below

Number 9 "Satisfied" by Rhona
We already had Britney, Christina, Justin and JC, and now it was time for another ex-Mouseketeer in the charts - or so I thought. When I heard this debut single, I expected it to be massive, but the Darkchild production failed to connect with the record-buying public and that was all we ended up hearing from Rhona Bennett, who ended up joining En Vogue for a few years later in the '00s.




Number 8 "Salsoul Nugget (If You Wanna)" by M&S presents The Girl Next Door
M&S were the same duo who'd been behind State Of Mind (who we saw on my top 100 for 1998) while The Girl Next Door was singer/model Natasha Brice. As for the song, "Salsoul Nugget" sampled two tracks, Loleatta Holloway's "Hit And Run" and "Everyman" by Double Exposure, from the legendary disco label after which the song was named.




Number 7 "Overprotected" by Britney Spears
For her third album, Britney, Ms Spears mixed things up a bit - working with top R&B producers and releasing the edgy "I'm A Slave 4 U" as the lead single. She also wore a lot less clothes than previously. For me, it was still her Swedish pop concoctions that did it for me - and this Max Martin and Rami production was the latest in what was becoming a long line of classic pop tracks.
Britney also ventured to Australia in 2001, stranded here for additional days due to the no-fly restrictions imposed following September 11. I got to meet and interview her as part of an "intimate" 10-person round-table session and watch the recording of her TV special, wondering just how much lower her heavy microphone pack would cause her already low-riding pants to slip.




Number 6 "Little L" by Jamiroquai
For this lead single from fifth album A Funk Odyssey, Jamiroquai had probably morphed into more of a pop act than an acid jazz band - but "Little L" and follow-up "You Give Me Something" (number 69 on this list) still felt like a natural progression from tracks like "Canned Heat". "Little L" was about Jay's failed relationship with former flame Denise van Outen, and gave the group another UK top 10 hit and their highest-charting single in Australia (it reached number 14 here).




Number 5 "Starlight" by The Supermen Lovers 
There really was something in the water in France around the turn of the millennium, with "Starlight" another perfectly formed pop/dance track to come from the country that had also spawned Daft Punk, Air, Mademoiselle, Stardust and Cassius. The Supermen Lovers was the alter ego of producer Guillaume Atlan, with vocals on "Starlight" coming from Mani Hoffman.




Number 4 "Chain Reaction" by Steps
In four short years, Steps had amassed 17 songs and music videos (including double A-sides), which was more than enough for a greatest hits album - especially since all but one of those had been UK top 10 hits and "5,6,7,8" had sold more copies than many top 10 hits manage.
This Diana Ross cover was one of three new tracks on Gold and was a rare case of a remake being almost as good as the original. The song followed the final singles from Buzz, "It's The Way You Make Me Feel" (number 10 on this list) and "Here And Now/You'll Be Sorry" (number 18), into the UK top 5 and gave the group their fifth UK number 2 hit.
By the end of 2001, one more new song from Gold, "Words Are Not Enough", was released and members H & Claire shocked their band-mates - and fans - by deciding to leave the group at the height of their fame and continue as a duo. We'll see how that panned out in my 2002 countdown.




Number 3 "Your Disco Needs You" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 1 and previously featured here

Number 2 "Don't Stop Movin'" by S Club 7
With Steps calling it a day at the end of 2001, fellow boy/girl combo S Club 7 were left as Britain's top pop act - and they released one of their best singles in "Don't Stop Movin'", which signalled a move away from the pure cheese of "Bring It All Back" and "Reach" towards a more sophisticated pop sound.




Number 1 "Just The Thing" by paulmac featuring Peta Morris
Beating out the world's biggest pop stars and groups to snag my favourite song for 2001 is this guy, one half of Itch-E & Scratch-E, who we saw back in my top 100 for 1994 with "Sweetness & Light". For his solo album, 3000 Feet High, the man born Paul McDermott (not to be confused with the TV host and comedian) adopted a more commercial pop/dance sound and even scored mainstream radio play with this single. The video, however, did cause some problems with Video Hits choosing not to play the clip due to the inclusion of same-sex couples among the pairs of kissers. Paul's guest vocalist on this track and follow-up "The Sound Of Breaking Up" (number 56 on this list) was diminutive Sydney singer Peta Morris.




My top 200 for 2001 in full:

1        JUST THE THING paulmac featuring Peta Morris
2        DON’T STOP MOVIN’ S Club 7
3        YOUR DISCO NEEDS YOU Kylie Minogue
4        CHAIN REACTION / ONE FOR SORROW (TONY MORAN MIX) Steps
5        STARLIGHT The Superman Lovers
6        LITTLE L Jamiroquai
7        OVERPROTECTED Britney Spears
8        SALSOUL NUGGET (IF YOU WANNA) M&S presents The Girl Next Door
9        SATISFIED / HEX HECTOR MIX Rhona
10      IT’S THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL / TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Steps
11      ALL RISE Blue
12      CRYSTAL New Order
13      POP *NSync
14      CATCH Kosheen
15      THE WAY TO YOUR LOVE Hear’Say
16      RUN FOR COVER Sugababes
17      CRYING AT THE DISCOTEQUE Alcazar
18      HERE AND NOW/YOU’LL BE SORRY Steps
19      BABY COME ON OVER (THIS IS YOUR NIGHT) Samantha Mumba
20      TAKE ME HOME Sophie Ellis-Bextor
21      COME WHAT MAY Ewan McGregor / Nicole Kidman
22      TAKE ME AWAY Lash
23      BURN BABY BURN Ash
24      UPSIDE DOWN A*Teens
25      MURDER ON THE DANCEFLOOR Sophie Ellis-Bextor
26      I FEEL LOVED (DANNY TENAGLIA REMIX) Depeche Mode
27      ALL I EVER WANTED The Human League
28      ONE NIGHT STAND Mis-teeq
29      60 MILES AN HOUR New Order
30      UPTOWN GIRL Westlife
31      AIRHEAD Girls@Play
32      ALL FOR YOU Janet Jackson
33      I LAY MY LOVE ON YOU Westlife
34      THE CALL Backstreet Boys
35      MY DESIRE Amira
36      YOU ARE ALIVE Fragma featuring Damae
37      GOTTA GET THRU THIS Daniel Bedingfield
38      ALL I WANT Mis-teeq
39      BUGGIN’ ME Selwyn
40      LET’S DANCE Five
41      I NEED SOMEBODY Bardot
42      JUST ANOTHER DAY Jonathan Wilkes
43      DO YOU LOVE ME? Mademoiselle
44      HE LOVES U NOT Dream
45      ALL I DO Cleptomaniacs featuring Bryan Chambers
46      MORE THAN THAT Backstreet Boys
47      HALFWAY AROUND THE WORLD A*Teens
48      EVERYTIME YOU NEED ME Fragma featuring Maria Rubia
49      FREE Mya
50      ROMEO Basement Jaxx
51      WHERE THE PARTY AT Jagged Edge featuring Nelly
52      ASAP Bardot
53      PURE & SIMPLE Hear’Say
54      BOOTYLICIOUS Destiny’s Child
55      WHY Mis-teeq
56      THE SOUND OF BREAKING UP paulmac featuring Peta Morris
57      TAKIN’ BACK WHAT’S MINE Leah Haywood
58      WHENEVER, WHEREVER Shakira
59      19/2000 (SOULCHILD MIX) Gorillaz
60      LOVE SONG Naimee Coleman
61      AM TO PM Christina Milian
62      WHOLE AGAIN Atomic Kitten
63      ME, MYSELF & I Scandal’us
64      CHILLIN’ Modjo
65      TWENTYFOURSEVEN Artful Dodger featuring Melanie Blatt
66      PLAY Jennifer Lopez
67      WHO DO YOU LOVE NOW (STRINGER) Riva featuring Dannii Minogue
68      IF YOU COME BACK Blue
69      YOU GIVE ME SOMETHING Jamiroquai
70      THINGS I’VE SEEN Spooks
71      HUNTER / TAKE MY HAND Dido
72      SHINING LIGHT Ash
73      AIN’T IT FUNNY Jennifer Lopez
74      SLEEPING Rick Astley
75      WE’RE NOT GONNA SLEEP TONIGHT Emma Bunton
76      IN THE END Linkin Park
77      YOU CAN’T CHANGE ME Roger Sanchez featuring Armand van Helden and N’Dea Davenport
78      YOU ARE MY HIGH Demon vs Heartbreaker
79      WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG? Emma Bunton
80      IN MY POCKET Mandy Moore
81      SOUL SOUND Sugababes
82      FREELOVE Depeche Mode
83      BASS HAS GOT ME MOVIN’ [Love] Tattoo
84      CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEAD Kylie Minogue
85      ANOTHER CHANCE Roger Sanchez
86      NOBODY WANTS TO BE LONELY Ricky Martin / Christina Aguilera
87      STAY Stephen Gately
88      I’M REAL / REMIX (featuring Ja Rule) Jennifer Lopez
89      U GOT IT BAD / SOULPOWER REMIX Usher
90      TOO CLOSE Blue
91      DON’T MESS WITH THE RADIO Nivea
92      NEVER ENOUGH Boris Dlugosch featuring Roisin Murphy
93      ETERNAL FLAME Atomic Kitten
94      WHAT IT FEELS LIKE FOR A GIRL Madonna
95      COME ALONG Tityo
96      IT’S RAINING MEN Geri Halliwell
97      RAPTURE Iio
98      MY FRIEND Groove Armada
99      SING Travis
100    RIDE WIT ME Nelly featuring City Spud
101    POP YA COLLAR Usher
102    WHAT U WANNA DO? Anuj
103    INNER SMILE Texas
104    MADE FOR LOVIN’ YOU Anastacia
105    CASE OF THE EX (WHATCHA GONNA DO) Mya
106    SO IN LOVE WITH TWO Mikaila
107    STRAIGHT UP Chanté Moore
108    SOMEONE TO CALL MY LOVER Janet Jackson
109    21ST CENTURY Weekend Players
110    OOH IT’S KINDA CRAZY souLDecision
111    TOUCH ME Rui De Silva
112    SUPERWOMAN PT II REMIX Lil Mo featuring Fabolous
113    WORLD LOOKING IN Morcheeba
114    BEAUTY QUEEN Lash
115    U REMIND ME Usher
116    FINE / SAME SCRIPT, DIFFERENT CAST (with Deborah Cox) Whitney Houston
117    I WANNA BE BAD Willa Ford
118    ALWAYS COME BACK TO YOUR LOVE Samantha Mumba
119    LET LOVE BE YOUR ENERGY Robbie Williams
120    DON’T COME BACK Human Nature
121    GHOSTS 10th Planet
122    EVERYBODY GOT THEIR SOMETHING Nikka Costa
123    CLOSER TO ME / ROCK THE PARTY Five
124    LOVE YOU ANYWAY De Nada
125    THINK ABOUT ME Artful Dodger featuring Michelle Escoffery
126    ANDROGYNY Garbage
127    SOMETIMES Ash
128    ISLAND IN THE SUN Weezer
129    WHERE’S YOUR HEAD AT Basement Jaxx
130    TURN OFF THE LIGHT Nelly Furtado
131    ALWAYS BE WITH YOU Human Nature
132    DADDY DJ Daddy DJ
133    WE GOT LOVE Disco Montego
134    RIGHT ON Silicone Soul
135    SIDE Travis
136    CRY Michael Jackson
137    OUT OF REACH / ALMIGHTY MIX Gabrielle
138    YOURS Lino
139    DUST ME SELECTA Gerling
140    ON THE RADIO Martine McCutcheon
141    ALL HOOKED UP All Saints
142    CHASE THE SUN Planet Funk
143    SOMEONE LIKE YOU New Order
144    ELEVATION U2
145    BEL AMOUR Bel Amour
146    REQUEST LINE The Black Eyed Peas featuring Macy Gray
147    DREAM ON Depeche Mode
148    GET UP! Beverley Knight
149    THINKING IT OVER Liberty
150    HERE WITH ME Dido
151    DROWNING Backstreet Boys
152    AMERICAN DREAM Jakatta
153    VIDEO India.Arie
154    NEEDIN’ U II David Morales presents The Face featuring Juliet Roberts
155    YOU’RE NO GOOD Ellie Campbell
156    WHEN WE WERE YOUNG Human Nature
157    YOU ARE Atomic Kitten
158    HIT EM UP STYLE (OOPS!) Blu Cantrell
159    LADY MARMALADE Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink
160    GET UR FREEK ON Missy Elliott
161    HIDE U Kosheen
162    SCREAM IF YOU WANNA GO FASTER Geri Halliwell
163    FRENZY Deni Hines
164    A LITTLE BIT Jessica Simpson
165    ABSOLUTELY NOT Deborah Cox
166    FAMILY AFFAIR Mary J Blige
167    FLAWLESS The Ones
168    WHAT WOULD YOU DO? City High
169    SOULMATE #9 Tina Arena
170    YOU ROCK MY WORLD Michael Jackson
171    MS JACKSON Outkast
172    ALL YOU WANT Dido
173    DESTINY Zero 7 featuring Sia
174    DOIN’ IT Liberty
175    DON’T NEED THE SUN TO SHINE (TO MAKE ME SMILE) Gabrielle
176    PLAYED A LIVE (THE BONGO SONG) Safri Duo
177    SAMBUCA Wideboys featuring Dennis G
178    JUS 1 KISS Basement Jaxx
179    SHINE ON Scott & Leon featuring Sylvia Mason-James
180    THIS IS ME Dream
181    WE DON’T KNOW WHAT’S COMING Solomon
182    THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT Allstars
183    I DON’T CARE Delta Goodrem
184    CANDY Ash
185    ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE Brandy & Ray J
186    1989 Titiyo
187    DARLIN’ Bob Sinclar featuring James ‘D-Train’ Williams
188    WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH / I KNOW HIM SO WELL Steps
189    WHAT I MEAN Modjo
190    WE COME 1 Faithless
191    RUN AWAY (I WANNA BE WITH U) Nivea featuring Pusha T
192    IRRESISTIBLE Jessica Simpson
193    THAT GIRL Hayley
194    ONE MINUTE MAN Missy Elliott
195    CRUSH Mandy Moore
196    HAVE YOU EVER S Club 7
197    (I WISH I KNEW HOW IT WOULD FEEL TO BE) FREE / ONE Lighthouse Family
198    LET ME BLOW YA MIND Eve featuring Gwen Stefani
199    BUTTERFLIES Michael Jackson
200    BACK 2 U Ajaqa


That brings my look back at my favourite songs from 2001 to an end. As usual, this Wednesday I'll journey back to 1989 with my regular recap of the ARIA chart from 25 years ago.


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016


No comments:

Post a Comment