|Will Young's campaigning paid off in 2002|
In the Smash Hits office, it went without saying that we'd have music on all day, every day, and sometimes playing the radio avoided the arguments that selecting CDs inevitably caused. Plus, although it meant hearing the same high-rotation songs every three hours, it was a good way of doing our jobs and keeping up with what music was popular in the land. These songs were popular with me in 2002...
Number 75 "Nasty Girl" by Destiny's Child
Yet another single from the unstoppable Survivor album (although not one that was released in the US or UK) - and another top 10 hit for the trio in Australia. But by 2002, the signs were beginning to point to an imminent solo career for Beyoncé Knowles. A couple of months after the release of "Nasty Girl", her debut solo single, "Work It Out" (from the soundtrack to Austin Powers In Goldmember), was released and Beyoncé also appeared in the film as Foxxy Cleopatra. It wasn't quite over for Destiny's Child - but the wheels were definitely in motion for Beyoncé to become the superstar she is today.
Number 74 "Put Your Arms Around Me" by Natural
Random boy band alert. Although, American five-piece Natural didn't actually satisfy my definition of a boy band since they played their own instruments and was more a case of "boys in a band". Co-written by Steve Kipner (who'd penned "Genie In A Bottle"), "Put Your Arms Around Me" was never a big hit in the States, despite all manner of promotional activity, and the band's manager, former *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys impresario Lou Pearlman, used his tried and true method to turn Natural into a success - he took them to Germany, where the song reached the top 20.
Number 73 "Say A Word" by Manuel Ortega
2002 was a particular good year for the Eurovision Song Contest, and "Say A Word" is the first of two songs from that year's competition, held in Estonia, to make my top 100. Seems I was virtually alone in liking this Austrian entry, however, since it only managed to finish 18th.
Number 72 "Gonna Miss You" by paulmac featuring Abby Dobson
Mentioned in Part 3
Number 71 "Otherwise" by Morcheeba
The first single from the trip-hop band's fourth album, Charango, "Otherwise" was another typically dreamy chill-out track featuring the vocals of Skye Edwards. But, the song wasn't as typical of the rest of the album as was normally the case. Five songs on Charango featured vocals by other performers and Skye would part company with the Godfrey brothers the following year, only to return to the fold by the end of the decade.
Number 70 "Come Into My World" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 4
Number 69 "More Than A Woman" by Aaliyah
A UK number 1 single five months after the tragic death of the R&B singer and actress in a plane accident in August 2001, "More Than A Woman" was the third release from Aaliyah's self-titled album and came at a time when it looked like she had a bright music and film career ahead of her. Posthumous singles and compilations have followed, but it will take a lot to better this and 2000 mega-hit "Try Again".
Number 68 "What You Do About Me" by M2M
Mentioned in Part 4
Number 67 "Hot In Herre" by Nelly featuring Dani Stevenson
Mentioned in Part 4
Number 66 "What's Your Flava?" by Craig David
After the runaway global success of his debut album, 2-step star Craig David returned with this initial taste of follow-up Slicker Than Your Average. The first of what seemed like a million singles from the album, "What's Your Flava?" maintained his success in the UK and Australia, but in the US, interest had already waned, with the song failing to break into the Billboard Hot 100.
Number 65 "Feel Like I Do" by Sneak
As part of the promotion for this single by short-lived Australian pop/rock band Sneak, Smash Hits was invited to dinner in Kings Cross with them - and members of another more successful band, The Androids (famous for that year's top 5 hit "Do It With Madonna"), also turned up. Although it didn't even crack the ARIA top 100, I much preferred this track by Sneak.
Number 64 "Sexual Guarantee" by Alcazar
In Australia, we skipped straight to the cover of The Human League's "Don't You Want Me", but this was the international follow-up to "Crying At The Discoteque". Like its predecessor, it sampled a well-known disco classic - in this case, Chic's "My Forbidden Lover".
Number 63 "In Your Eyes" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 4
Number 62 "Just The Way You Are" by Milky
Speaking of samples, this Italian dance track is possibly the only club record to sample both The Go-Betweens ("The Streets Of Your Town") and Paul McCartney & Wings ("Listen To What The Man Said"), but despite the unexpected source material, it went down a treat - reaching the UK top 10 and topping one of Billboard's plethora of dance charts. And, proving that some tricks never get old - the production duo that comprised Milky used Egyptian model Sabrina Elahl as the face of the song when it was actually vocalist Giuditta who could be heard on the track.
Number 61 "All Out Of Love / Beauty & The Beast" by H & Claire
Mentioned in Part 3
Number 60 "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera
Well, this is one way to shed your squeaky clean good girl image. Christina (or X-tina, as she was referred to for a brief period of time) messed up her hair, started wearing chaps, and collaborated with Method Man and Redman for "Dirrty", the lead single from second album Stripped. While the song raced to number 1 in the UK and was a number 4 hit in Australia, the Americans were far from impressed. To win the home crowd back over, emotive ballad "Beautiful" was released as the follow-up. It did the trick - restoring Christina to the US top 5 and becoming an Idol audition mainstay for years to come.
Number 59 "Don't Let Me Down / You And I" by Will Young
While we're on the topic of Idol, here's the winner of the season that started it all. In the previous two years, Popstars had been massive in both Australia and the UK, but it paled in comparison to the juggernaut that was Pop Idol (and all its regional variations). The UK show was the first in the franchise, with Will crowned winner over Gareth Gates - and both victor and runner-up dominated the top spot in Britain throughout 2002.
As these things go, Will's winner's single, the double A-side "Anything Is Possible/Evergreen" (number 138 on this list), was a huge seller but pretty average. His subsequent releases improved, and were capped off by this double A-side combining new song "Don't Let Me Down" with "You And I", one of the best tracks from his debut album, From Now On.
Between the two, Will also released a José Feliciano-style cover of "Light My Fire" (number 78), which he'd performed during the competition, and a duet remake of "The Long And Winding Road" (number 144) with Gareth Gates.
Number 58 "No Matta What (Party All Night)" by Toya
Her debut single, "I Do!!", was the bigger hit, but I preferred this poppier follow-up from LaToya Rodriguez, who became lost in the solo female R&B singer shuffle and wasn't really heard from again, with married life and motherhood beckoning instead.
Number 57 "Never Knew Love" by Stella Browne
Sharing a name with the feminist and abortion lobbyist of the early 20th Century, Stella Browne was the pop/dance alias for Danny Harrison and Julian Jonah, who had more success with their harder-edged releases as 187 Lockdown, Gant and M-Factor.
Number 56 "All My Life" by Foo Fighters
I told you there'd be some unexpected songs before the end of this batch - and I was as surprised as anyone that this Foo Fighters track became a favourite of mine in 2002. I'd previously not minded "Generator" and "Learn To Fly" from the band, but because I'd been living in the UK when they came out, they didn't make quite as big an impact on me as if I'd been here in Australia, where every single one of the band's albums have reached the top 5. The first single from the One By One album, "All My Life" might have had a bit of a scream to it, but the chorus is as anthemic as they get - and if there's one thing I love it's a huge chorus.
Number 55 "Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word" by Blue featuring Elton John
Mentioned in Part 4
Number 54 "Everywhere" by Michelle Branch
Another artist whose songs weren't typical of the music I was into in 2002 is singer/songwriter Michelle Branch - with the only thing she had in common with all the pop princesses and R&B divas-in-training I favoured was her age (she was 18 when "Everywhere" was released). Follow-up "All You Wanted" just misses out on my top 100 for the year (coming in at number 103), while she also landed a big hit in 2002 with her Santana collaboration "The Game Of Love" (number 173).
Number 53 "Bohemian Like You" by The Dandy Warhols
The second of three singles I like by the American band (the first, "Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth", featured on my top 100 for 1998), "Bohemian Like You" became a UK top 5 smash after its use in a phone commercial and is one of those songs that sound great turned up loud on the car stereo. Sunny day optional.
Number 52 "Leap Of Faith" by David Charvet
His former Baywatch co-star David Hasselhoff might have been big in Germany, but David Charvet had the French market cornered, releasing a handful of albums that performed well with his home crowd after his time on Baywatch and Melrose Place ended. "Leap Of Faith" was the title track from the middle of those three albums and reached the top 10 in France, and did approximately nothing anywhere else.
Number 51 "It Just Won't Do" by Tim Deluxe featuring Sam Obernick
We finish off with one of 2002's most infectious dance tracks, from the DJ and producer born Timothy Liken. Like the Milky song, "It Just Won't Do" is one of those tunes that borders on the annoying, but stays just the right side of the line.
In Part 3: another Neighbours star hits the charts, and two of Steps crash and burn rather spectacularly. Before that, I'll take my regular look back 25 years at the ARIA singles chart of 1989.
MY YEAR-END CHARTS