Saturday, 28 June 2014

The Best Of 2005 - part 3

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

As well as being a year of change in my personal and professional lives, 2005 was also a time when I was enjoying some unexpected music. With pop on the wane, I had to look further afield for good songs, which led me to... bands.

2005 was all about bands. Old bands, new bands, even old bands with
new singers, like INXS

And not boy bands. Proper, instrument-playing bands with The at the start of their name. In reality, the transition had started in 2004, with the advent of The Killers and Franz Ferdinand, but a lot of the music I liked in 2005 came from those two bands and other similarly pop/indie/electro groups, including some you'll see in this batch of songs...

Number 50 "Wake Me Up" by Girls Aloud
Mentioned below

Number 49 "Pretty Vegas" by INXS
Speaking of bands, here is my favourite Australian band of the '80s - although, of course, the 2005 version of INXS was quite different from the group behind "Original Sin", "Need You Tonight" and "Burn For You". Eight years after the death of former lead singer Michael Hutchence, the remaining six members of INXS joined forces with Survivor head honcho Mark Burnett to launch Rockstar: INXS, a worldwide talent search for a new vocalist. As a reality show, the series was fantastic - the contestants were all pretty talented and each week's performances blew those by most Idol finalists out of the water. Plus, by including females in the pool of contenders, there was always the possibility of INXS completely reinventing itself.
In the end, the band chose the most Michael Hutchence-y of the final three: JD Fortune, who actually slotted into the band quite well. This first single by the new-look band was the result of a challenge during the series in which two teams of four finalists were given music by Andrew Farriss to compose lyrics for. JD clashed with his group and wrote the words to "Pretty Vegas" on his own - which was a pretty good indication that he was rock star enough to front the band. We'll pick up the story of INXS 2.0 in my top 100 for 2006.

Number 48 "Smile Like You Mean It" by The Killers
Now they'd got their career off and running, the hits kept coming from Hot Fuss, with both "Smile Like You Mean It" and "All These Things That I've Done" (number 62 on this list) climbing charts around the world - albeit, not quite as high as the album's earlier two singles. The two tracks were the third and fourth singles from Hot Fuss, but the order depended on which nation you lived in. Australia followed America's lead and enjoyed "Smile..." before "All These...".

Number 47 "Seasons Of Love" by Cast of Rent
I'd seen the stage show in London back in 1999 (featuring no less a talent than Rachel McFarlane among the cast), but it wasn't until Hollywood made a movie adaptation of Rent that the show's best known tune could feature in my charts. This rendition actually featured most of the original Broadway cast like Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs (who I always forget were married at one point), as well as Rosario Dawson, who hadn't appeared in the show on stage.

Number 46 "Sunshine Eyes" by paulmac featuring Peta Morris
Mentioned below

Number 45 "Mesmerized (Freemasons mix)" by Faith Evans
Mentioned below

Number 44 "Long Hot Summer" by Girls Aloud
While Sugababes were in a state of flux by the end of 2005, their rivals for Britain's top girl group went from strength to strength that year - winding up the What Will The Neighbours Say? campaign with another UK top 5 hit in the form of "Wake Me Up" (number 50 on this list) and moving on to album number three: Chemistry.
"Long Hot Summer" launched that album, while second single "Biology" (number 2 on this list and among my Girls Aloud top 10) was their best effort since "Love Machine". The only dampener on the year was their decision to release a cover of Dee C Lee's "See The Day" in time for Christmas. Not only did the remake fall way short of the coveted UK Christmas number 1 spot, but it felt like a cynical attempt to repeat what they'd achieved the previous year with "I'll Stand By You".

Number 43 "You And Me" by Uniting Nations
After covering Hall & Oates in 2004, Paul Keenan and Daz Sampson released this original composition before returning to the remakes with "Ai No Corrida" later in 2005. For "You And Me", the duo were joined onstage by Craig Powell - but it was actually singer Jinian Wilde who provided vocals for this song. Although Uniting Nations continued to release singles in subsequent years, Daz received more attention for representing the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006 with the abysmal "Teenage Life".

Number 42 "Unconditional" by The Bravery
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 41 "Somewhere Else" by Razorlight
2005 was the year Razorlight became a big deal in the UK, with this bonus track from a re-release of debut album Up All Night reaching number 2 in Britain. Even bigger things were still to come for the band in 2006 - but so too was a massive backlash against self-aggrandising lead singer and guitarist Johnny Borrell.

Number 40 "Fearless" by The Bravery
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 39 "It's Not Me, It's You" by paulmac featuring Ngaiire
It's a shame paulmac (or Paul Mac, depending on how it was styled at any given point) hasn't released more music in his own right, because when he does - like this single from his excellent second album Panic Room - it's pretty flawless dance/pop. Guest vocalist Ngaiire Joseph was a semi-finalist from the second season of Australian Idol, while Paul also drafted in regular collaborator Peta Morris for the album's lead single, "Sunshine Eyes" (number 46 on this list).

Number 38 "Guilt Is A Useless Emotion" by New Order
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 37 "S.O.S." by A Studio featuring Polina
When I first looked up A Studio, an act I'd never bothered finding anything about before now, I discovered it was the name of a Kazakhstan pop group that'd been around since 1982. Thinking I had the wrong A Studio, I continued searching only to discover I had the correct information. Originally called Alma-Ata Studio, after the city in which the group was founded, A Studio changed vocalists in 2000 when original singer Batyrkhan Shukenov left and Polina Griffith joined. Shortly after, "S.O.S." was released in Russia, but it would take several years for it to gain exposure across Europe - and even an Australian release.

Number 36 "Love On My Mind" by Freemasons featuring Amanda Wilson
Emerging from the ashes of turn-of-the-millennium dance act Phats & Small, Russell Small and James Wiltshire launched Freemasons in 2005 with a two-prong assault on the charts. As artists themselves, they released this track, which lifts elements from both "This Time Baby" by Jackie Moore and "When The Heartache Is Over" by Tina Turner. And, as remixers, they totally reinvented Faith Evans' "Mesmerized" (number 45 on this list) - a sign of just what they had in their bag of tricks.

Number 35 "You Never Know" by Marly
Here's another slice of Eurodance with a performer I knew nothing about until now - but all I've discovered about Marly (who, don't ask me why, I always assumed was Italian) is that she is actually Danish singer Ditte-Marie Lyfeldt.

Number 34 "Call My Name" by Charlotte Church
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 33 "Better Luck" by Scissor Sisters
Although it never ended up being a single, this track from Scissor Sisters' debut self-titled album was at one point slated to be the next Australian release, was sent to radio stations accordingly and appeared in trade publication The Music Network. I assume it was felt that "Better Luck" had more chance of charting than "Mary", which had been the follow-up to "Take Your Mama" in the UK. However, plans for "Better Luck" were put on ice when "Filthy/Gorgeous" (number 77 on this list) was announced as the album's fifth single in the UK - and Australia jumped on that instead, resulting in the band's biggest hit to date locally. Despite its non-release, I decided an almost-release was good enough for me - and so here "Better Luck" is.

Number 32 "Rain / Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Anthony Callea
He may not have won Australian Idol season two, but like Shannon Noll before him, runner-up Anthony Callea was quickly snapped up by Sony BMG (the two companies having merged the previous year) and gave his season's winner, Casey Donovan, a trouncing on the ARIA chart. Unlike Shannon, Anthony didn't sing about driving a big black car or turn his hand to an Aussie rock classic like "What About Me". 
Instead, he followed up his multi-platinum debut single, the solo cover of the Celine Dion/Andrea Bocelli duet "The Prayer" he'd performed on Idol, with this double A-side release, which also topped the Australian top 50. "Rain" was a Westlife-like ballad (right down to its Scandinavian co-writers Quiz & Larossi), which suited Anthony's music-for-mums style, while "Bridge..." was another song he'd "made his own" on Idol. Anthony would release a handful more singles before settling into a career of covers albums and Carols By Candlelight appearances.

Number 31 "Bad Day" by Daniel Powter
One-hit wonder alert - although, by reaching number 43 in Australia with follow-up "Free Loop (One Night Stand)", he kind of broke that tag here. But, certainly in the US, "Bad Day" was the Canadian singer's one and only Billboard Hot 100 entry - and what an entry: topping the chart for five weeks and ending 2006 as America's number 1 single for the year. A number 3 hit in 2005 in Australia, it took a little longer for the track to break in the States, but did so with a little help from American Idol, which used "Bad Day" as the soundtrack to farewell eliminated contestants.

Number 30 "Do You Want To" by Franz Ferdinand
Like The Killers, Franz Ferdinand had made their mark in 2004, but while The Killers were still working their debut album in 2005, the Scottish band wasted no time moving swiftly on to their second album, You Could Have It So Much Better, which featured this lead single. It would be a much longer wait for the band's third album, which wouldn't arrive until 2009.

Number 29 "A Pain That I Am Used To" by Depeche Mode
Previously featured here

Number 28 "Why Do You Love Me" by Garbage
Here's another (partly) Scottish electro-rock band, but one who'd be making music for just over a decade. I'd always liked Garbage, but, given my musical tastes in 2005, their fourth studio album, Bleed Like Me, wasn't the exception to the pop rule as was usually the case for me with one of their records. The album featured some of the band's best tracks, like this lead single, "Run Baby Run" (number 56 on this list) and "Sex Is Not The Enemy" (number 78), but provided some of their most disappointing chart positions.

Number 27 "Natural" by Infusion
Like Razorlight's "Somewhere Else", "Natural" didn't originally appear on Six Feet Above Yesterday, the major label debut by Australian synthpop band Infusion - but was added onto a special edition of the album in 2005. Despite winning back-to-back ARIA Awards for Best Dance Release in 2004-05 - and having some quite good songs - Infusion never managed to turn their industry cred into chart success, with biggest hit "Natural" frustratingly peaking at number 51.

Number 26 "Breathe" by Erasure
Mentioned in Part 4

In Part 4: a solo release from the singer for one of my favourite groups of all time, and the return of three very different acts: a pop superstar, a hugely successful boy band and a couple of Russian faux-lesbians.

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Monday, 23 June 2014

The Best Of 2005 - part 2

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

2005 was the year that Australia's iTunes store finally opened. I bought my first iPod towards the end of 2005 after I dropped the MP3 player I had been using and it stopped working. Mind you, the first iPod I bought had to be returned to the store and swapped for a new one since it didn't work, either - but I got there in the end. I still have that iPod (a 60GB iPod Video, which has since been joined by a couple of iPod Touches and an iPhone) - and I'm happy to say it still does the job admirably.

Who knew Jesse McCartney would grow up to co-write "Bleeding Love"?

As happy as I was to own an MP3 player (it was the best thing to happen since I got my first Walkman in the late '80s), I was hesitant to buy MP3s and stuck with the CD format for a lot longer than most people, dutifully getting the CD version of songs or albums and ripping them into my iTunes library. Here are some more of the tracks I made sure I had on CD in 2005...

Number 75 "Don't Lie" by The Black Eyed Peas
Mentioned below

Number 74 "Jerk It Out" by Caesars
In the '80s and '90s, Levi's commercials were responsible for a surprising number of hit singles, especially in the UK, where inclusion in one of the jeans company's campaigns almost always guaranteed the artist in question a number 1 single. In the '00s, Apple took over that role - specifically with ads for its new iPod range, with this 2003 single by Swedish band Caesars being used to promote the iPod Shuffle. The result: a UK top 10 hit. 

Number 73 "Don't Phunk With My Heart" by The Black Eyed Peas
With Fergie firmly ensconced in The BEP's line-up, the group moved on to their second album as a four-piece, Monkey Business, which featured this Australian chart-topper as its lead single. Combining the hook from Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's "I Wonder If I Take You Home" with a bunch of other samples and interpolations, "Don't Phunk With My Heart" also hit the UK and US top 3. But, when second single "Don't Lie" (number 75 on this list) didn't do quite as well, especially in the US where it only reached number 14, the Peas opted for the far less subtle "My Humps" and "Pump It" as subsequent singles. That was the beginning of the end for the once-cool group as commercialism trumped artistic merit, and the band became increasingly cartoonish. They still had some good songs up their sleeve, but alongside them were some musical abominations.

Number 72 "Strange Love" by Phixx
The long-forgotten British boy band had my favourite song for 2004 and were still managing decent chart placements in the UK, but by 2005, they had lost a member (Peter Smith) and were really only still successful in South Africa. Another member (Nikk Mager) quit in the wake of this single's disappointing UK performance, and a few months later, the remaining three went their separate ways. Fun fact: this fourth and final single was written by Judie Tzuke of "Stay With Me Till Dawn" fame.

Number 71 "Lay Your Hands" by Simon Webbe
Blue band-mates Duncan James and Lee Ryan had beaten him to the punch and released their solo efforts first (and second), but Simon Webbe ended up being the most successful member of the group with back-to-back UK number 4 hits with his first two singles, "Lay Your Hand" and "No Worries" (number 93 on this list), and a double-platinum album, Sanctuary. While Duncan and Lee may have peaked slightly higher on the chart with their first offerings, they both had a rapid drop-off in sales that Simon didn't experience for a couple of years.

Number 70 "Star2Fall" by Cabin Crew
After the success of "Call On Me", "Out Of Touch" and "Stupidisco" (all of which we saw in my top 100 for 2004), choruses and hooks from the '80s were fair game - and one of my favourite songs from 1988 provided inspiration for not one but three different tracks in 2005.
The song in question was Boy Meets Girl's "Waiting For A Star To Fall" - and "Star2Fall" was produced by Australian dance act Cabin Crew following a tussle over sampling rights to the original with Sunset Strippers, who'd recorded their own take on the song, "Falling Stars". Unable to get the rights to use a sample of the Boy Meets Girls track, Cabin Crew went one better and had original vocalist George Merrill re-sing the hook.
While Cabin Crew and Sunset Strippers duked it out, Mylo quietly went about releasing his own twist on "Waiting For A Star To Fall", combining a sample of that with one from Kim Carnes' "Bette Davis Eyes" resulting in the mash-up "In My Arms"

Number 69 "Strings Of Life (Stronger On My Own)" by Soul Central featuring Kathy Brown
This song began life as the instrumental club hit "Strings Of Life" - which in turn was a cover of the late '80s classic of the same name by Rhythim Is Rhyhim (aka Derrick May) - but it crossed over from the dance floor to the chart with the addition of vocals from Kathy Brown. Kathy had previously been responsible for her own club classic in the form of Praxis' 1994 track "Turn Me Out", which was mashed up with CJ Bolland's "Sugar Is Sweeter" in 1997 to form "Turn Me Out (Turn To Sugar)" and was covered last year by Russ Chimes (making my top 100 for 2013). History lesson over.

Number 68 "Be Without You" by Mary J Blige
In a lot of ways, Mary J Blige had always been America's best kept secret, with the successor to Aretha's Queen of Soul title doing way better on the US charts than pretty much anywhere else in the world throughout the '90s (a few UK hits notwithstanding). That all changed with 2001's No More Drama album, which finally saw her land a chart hit or two in Australia. After a dip in fortunes thanks to 2003's Love & Life, Mary bounced back with this lead single from the Breakthrough album, which tied with "No More Drama" to become her second-biggest hit locally. The Grammy-winning song was co-written and produced by Bryan-Michael Cox, who'd also been behind Usher's recent hits, "Burn" and "Confessions".

Number 67 "1 Thing" by Amerie
Onto another R&B track produced by an in-demand hitmaker, in this case Rich Harrison, who'd worked on "Crazy In Love" for Beyoncé & Jay-Z and "Get Right" for Jennifer Lopez. Like those two tracks, "1 Thing" used a '70s funk sample - "Oh, Calcutta!" by The Meters - as a foundation and built a thoroughly modern R&B song on top of it, one which sounded like nothing else on the chart at the time. It's not the last we'll see of Amerie in my year-end countdowns, but "1 Thing" was her final solo appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

Number 66 "Because You Live" by Jesse McCartney
Mentioned below

Number 65 "I'll Be OK" by McFly
2005 was a great year for McFly, who released their second album, Wonderland, and racked up two more UK number 1 singles. "I'll Be OK" was one of those chart-toppers, while the other was that year's Comic Relief single - the not particularly funny double A-side "All About You / You've Got A Friend" (number 146 on this list). Two more singles were released from Wonderland, including the almost rockabilly "I Wanna Hold You" (number 95 on this list). Meanwhile, 2005 was not so great a year for Busted, the band that'd in many ways opened the door for McFly (and traded places with them on the cover of Smash Hits UK for a couple of years) - they announced their split at the start of the year.

Number 64 "Lonely No More" by Rob Thomas
I'd never been a fan of Matchbox 20 - and even now I struggle to name one of their many sound-alike radio-friendly songs - but lead singer Rob Thomas surprised me with a debut solo single I liked quite a bit. Rob was one of my last interviews for Smash Hits and at the time he had a rumoured connection with Tom Cruise you can look up online if you so wish. Turns out - not that I dared to ask him - he had quite a sense of humour about the whole thing, which of course could be the best way to get people to assume it's not true...

Number 63 "Because Of You" by Kelly Clarkson
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 62 "All These Things That I've Done" by The Killers
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 61 "Rich Girl" by Gwen Stefani featuring Eve
Mentioned below

Number 60 "They" by Jem
Dido was between albums in 2005, allowing Welsh singer Jemma Griffiths to step into the fray with a similarly chilled electronic album that featured this debut single and three more songs ("Just A Ride", "Wish I", "Flying High") that appear between numbers 101 and 200 on this list.

Number 59 "Beautiful Soul" by Jesse McCartney
Mentioned below

Number 58 "Take Me Away" by Stonebridge featuring Therese
Previous single "Put 'Em High" featured on my top 100 for 2004, and Swedish DJ/producer Sten Hallström once again teamed up with vocalist Therese Grankvist for this follow-up, which was almost as good. A third single from the Can't Get Enough album featured a name dance music fans would've been more familiar with: Ultra Naté, who sang lead on "Freak On" (number 122 on this list).

Number 57 "Do It 2Nite" by Rockefeller
Once again proving there was more to The S.O.S. Band than "Just Be Good To Me", this track by Dutch trio Rockefeller did to "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" what Richard X's "Finest Dreams" had achieved with "The Finest" - turning the funk/soul classic into a dance anthem.

Number 56 "Run Baby Run" by Garbage
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 55 "So Much Love To Give" by Freeloaders featuring The Real Thing
OK, brace yourselves for another club track history lesson - most of which I've only just learnt myself, having never bothered to look into the pedigree of this song before now. UK dance act Freeloaders was comprised of former N-Trance members Kevin O'Toole and Dale Longworth, as well as musician Vinny Burns and vocalist Jerome Stokes. "So Much Love To Give" sampled "Love's Such A Wonderful Thing", a 1977 track by The Real Thing (who'd also released the UK number 1 hit "You To Me Are Everything") - and was based on an identically named track by French duo Together. Phew!

Number 54 "Just Want You To Know" by Backstreet Boys
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 53 "Cool" by Gwen Stefani
You could group the five singles Gwen had released from Love Angel Music Baby by the end of 2005 into two groups: glossy pop - like lead single "What You Waiting For?" (which ended up in my top 10 for 2004) and the Dallas Austin-produced "Cool" - and radio-friendly R&B - like "Rich Girl" (number 61 on this list), "Hollaback GIrl" (number 138) and "Luxurious" (number 190). It doesn't take a genius to work out which type of record I preferred.

Number 52 "She's No You" by Jesse McCartney
Having had to rely on Eminem, Avril Lavigne and Australian Idol contestants almost exclusively as Smash Hits cover stars the previous few years, and just as I was getting ready to leave the teen mag, a new teen sensation emerged from the unlikeliest of places: sun and surf primetime soap Summerland. Jesse was one of two cast members who'd go on to bigger things after the show (the other: Australia's Ryan Kwanten), with the teen star's pretty boy looks and cute pop tunes making him an instant teen heartthrob and chart conqueror.
Debut single "Beautiful Soul" (number 59 on this list) hit number 1 in Australia, while follow-up "She's No You" also reached the top 10. Then, it all went a bit off the rails, with Jesse's Australian record company choosing "Get Your Shine On" instead of "Because You Live" (number 66 on this list) as his third single and local fans moving swiftly onto the next big thing. Jesse's star continued to shine in the States, with hit singles well into the second half of the decade and more regular TV work (like in Greek and Army Wives).

Number 51 "You Gonna Want Me" by Tiga
Two of his previous singles, remakes of Corey Hart's "Sunglasses At Night" and "Hot In Herre" by Nelly, had gained some attention, but it wasn't until this track that Canadian DJ/producer Tiga Sontag caught my attention. Once again, Jake Shears from Scissor Sisters (who'd guested on "Hot In Herre") supplied vocals, but despite that group's runaway success, "You Gonna Want Me" didn't set the charts alight in a similar fashion.

In Part 3: my favourite Australian band of the '80s found a new lead singer and the owner of my top single for 2001 returned. But, before then, it's back to 1989 for the latest instalment of my look back at the ARIA singles chart from 25 years ago.

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Thursday, 19 June 2014

The Best Of 2005 - part 1

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

In my household, 2005 is remember as "the year of new things" - new house, new car, new computer and new jobs. Yep, after four years working at Smash Hits, I made the move to weekly publications and started a stint at TV WEEK.

Nat Bass brought a whole new audience to Rogue Traders

The change meant giving up writing about music for the time being, but I did get to write about my second favourite subject matter: television. And 2005 was a great year for TV, with the local launches of Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy, all of which were must-watch shows at that point. Here are a few of my must-listen songs from 2005...

Number 100 "Push The Button" by Sugababes
Mentioned below

Number 99 "Caught Up" by Usher
Four singles from Usher's Confessions album had reached the top of the US chart - but this fifth release ended that run, peaking at number 8. After three slower singles - "Burn", "Confessions" and "My Boo" - "Caught Up" brought the party vibe of "Yeah!" back, and I have to say it's how I like my Usher singles, since I find his downtempo songs fade into the background a bit.

Number 98 "We Belong Together" by Mariah Carey
Mentioned below

Number 97 "Sunshine" by Ricki-Lee
The Jennifer Hudson of Australian Idol season two, Ricki-Lee Coulter was also shockingly eliminated from the reality show in seventh place - but hasn't left the public eye since thanks to a combination of music releases, radio show hosting stints and regular cover stories in the tabloid press. On the music side of things, Ricki-Lee turned down a contract with Idol label Sony BMG and went with the much smaller Shock Records, thereby retaining a level of control over her career that may not have been otherwise afforded her. Her debut single, "Hell No!", was a top 5 hit, but it was this follow-up that I preferred. The musical equivalent of cosmetics line Covergirl, "Sunshine" is as easy and breezy as pop gets.

Number 96 "Get Your Number" by Mariah Carey
After a few years in the pop wilderness (thanks to the terrible adventure in film that was Glitter and dud album Charmbracelet), Mariah was back bigger than ever with hit-laden album The Emancipation Of Mimi. It's also Mariah's first appearance in one of my year-end charts since 1998's "My All" and the first time I'd like an album of hers since 1993's Music Box.
Big ballad "We Belong Together" was the monster single from Emancipation, spending 14 weeks at number 1 in the US, but she mixed things up with this track, which, like PM Dawn's "Gotta Be... Movin' On Up", sampled Imagination's "Just An Illusion". "Get Your Number" was my favourite single from the album, with other singles like "Shake It Off", "It's Like That" and "Don't Forget About Us" landing between numbers 101 and 200 on this list.

Number 95 "I Wanna Hold You" by McFly
Mentioned in Part 2

Number 94 "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall
Scotland's KT Tunstall (real name: Kate) owes a lot of her success to her songs being licensed out for films and TV shows, especially in the US, where "Black Horse And The Cherry Tree" shot up the charts after being memorably performed by American Idol runner-up and future Smash star Katharine McPhee. In the case of "Suddenly I See", which was initially released in 2005, greater exposure came following its use in 2006 chick flick The Devil Wears Prada, and then a bunch of other movies and TV shows. As for me, I'll always associate this song with a crunch track in a Pilates class I took around the time. The opening bars always make me feel like I should be down on the ground doing sit-ups.

Number 93 "No Worries" by Simon Webbe
Mentioned in Part 2

Number 92 "Love Generation" by Bob Sinclar featuring Gary "Nesta" Pine
At the start of the decade, his songs like "I Feel For You" and "Darlin'" were part of the wave of French disco-influenced house that swept the world, although it wasn't until this Australian chart-topper from 2005 that Bob Sinclar landed the type of chart hit that Daft Punk and Modjo had when the genre took off. Owing a large part of success to its catchy whistled hook, "Love Generation" also continued the tradition of dance tracks with young kids in the video (see also: Bomfunk MC's "Freestyler", Stardust's "Music Sounds Better With You").

Number 91 "Oh My God" by Kaiser Chiefs
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 90 "I Like The Way" by BodyRockers
It'd been a few years since Madison Avenue and Josh Abrahams had taken Australian dance music internationally, but in 2005, two more singles broke through from the local scene, including this debut single by the duo comprised of Dylan Burns and Kaz James. "I Like The Way", which didn't quite reach the ARIA top 10, got all the way to number 3 in the UK - but it would be the one and only hit for the pair, who disbanded a couple of years later.

Number 89 "Voodoo Child" by Rogue Traders
Here's the other Australian dance track that broke into the UK chart in 2005, also reaching number 3 there. Although her involvement was downplayed, it was clear the song's cause was given a helping hand by the profile of the actress/singer who became the new regular vocalist for Rogue Traders. The latest star from Neighbours to make the leap into the charts, Natalie Bassingthwaighte not only had a surname that was impossible to spell but brought the feistiness of her character Izzy Hoyland to this Elvis Costello-sampling smash hit. Unlike BodyRockers, "Voodoo Child" was no one-off. Not only had Rogue Traders already registered a hit without Natalie (2003's INXS remodel "One Of My Kind"), but they would enjoy a fruitful relationship for the next few years.

Number 88 "1, 2 Step" by Ciara featuring Missy Elliott
The hottest new name in US R&B in 2005 was undoubtedly Ciara, who'd hit number 1 there with "Goodies" and followed it up with this seven-week number 2 smash. While I liked this song, I wasn't as enamoured with Ciara as the Americans, who also sent third single "Oh" to number 2. Ciara repaid the favour and appeared on Missy Elliott's "Lose Control" as well as guesting on Bow Wow's "Like You" - both of which were number 3 hits on the Billboard chart. Not bad for a year's work.

Number 87 "All The Way" by Craig David
He'd been one of the UK's most promising new talents at the start of the decade and even broken into the US market, which for a British R&B artist was kind of like selling ice to eskimos. So where did it all go wrong for Craig David? The way I see it, instead of continuing to be at the cutting edge of pop (as he was with the 2-step hits from his debut album and the inventive "What's Your Flava?"), Craig's music started to become too palatable. In place of fresh sounds were generic ballads and mid-tempo R&B songs. Some, like this lead single from third album The Story Goes..., were perfectly good tunes, the excitement just wasn't there anymore.

Number 86 "Round And Round" by Amiel
After her aforementioned collaboration with Josh Abrahams on "Addicted To Bass" and the success of the singles from her debut solo album, expectations were high for the second album by Amiel Daemion - but it never ended up seeing the light of day in Australia and was only released in Japan. Why? Well, the fact that this lead single only crept to number 64 didn't help matters, but the real problem was the fact that Amiel's record company, Festival Mushroom Records, was bought out by Warner Music in 2005 and These Ties got lost in the shuffle. I have a promo copy of the album from when it was first scheduled for release in Australia and actually think it's pretty much as good as her debut, Audio Out, but its release was pushed back and back until eventually it just fell of the schedule altogether. Amiel was released from her contract a few years later.

Number 85 "Krafty" by New Order
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 84 "Nice" by Duran Duran
Mentioned below

Number 83 "Been Good" by Deepface
More locally produced dance music now from the duo comprised of Chris Corby and Francine Power with vocals by Shirley Davis. This track was actually featured in an ABC documentary series called The Hit Game, which, in a world gone Idol crazy, aimed to show what it was really like to break into the music industry. Unlike Rogue Traders and BodyRockers, Deepface didn't land a chart hit, but did score an ARIA nomination for Best Dance Release for this song.

Number 82 "Stickwitu" by Pussycat Dolls
Since female pop stars were wearing less and dancing more provocatively than ever, it kind of made sense for America's preeminent burlesque troupe to have a stab at making music - although they needed an actual singer to do so. Enter former American Popstars contestant Nicole Scherzinger, who'd been a member of girl group Eden's Crush in the early '00s, and Pussycat Dolls went from stripper poles to pole position on global charts with debut single "Don't Cha" and this ballad follow-up.

Number 81 "Wonderful Life" by Tina Cousins
For whatever reason, Australia had always given Tina Cousins a warmer reception than back in the UK, with two of her singles, "Pray" and "Forever", becoming much more sizable hits locally. Half a decade later, her pop/dance cover of the 1987 classic from Black returned her to the ARIA top 20 for a third and final time as a solo artist.

Number 80 "What Happens Tomorrow" by Duran Duran
Interest in the reformed Duran Duran dropped off just as quickly as it had returned, with this second single from Astronaut becoming a blink-and-you-missed-it top 20 hit in the UK and third single "Nice" (number 84 on this list) not even getting a full release. As a long time Duranie, I thought the singles from Astronaut were their best tracks in well over a decade, but they'd become a band who really just catered to their existing fanbase. Coincidentally or otherwise, Andy Taylor re-abandoned Duran Duran in late 2006.

Number 79 "Modern Way" by Kaiser Chiefs
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 78 "Sex Is Not The Enemy" by Garbage
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 77 "Filthy/Gorgeous" by Scissor Sisters
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 76 "Ugly" by Sugababes
Interestingly, for me if no one else, Sugababes' fourth album, Taller In More Ways, is my favourite of all the albums released by any incarnation of the group - but it contained my least favourite selection of singles from any album they'd released until that point (and was even bettered by the singles on fifth album Change). In 2005, those singles were "Push The Button" (number 100 on this list and their biggest hit in Australia) and "Ugly". I liked them both enough for them to rank within my top 100, but much preferred album tracks like "Ace Reject" and "Bruised". Turns out I wasn't the only one feeling a bit unsure about Sugababes at this stage - with original member Mutya Buena departing at the very end of the year.

In Part 2: a former member of Blue enjoys solo success, as does the lead singer of one of my least favourite American rock bands. Plus, a new teen sensation arrives on the scene and, in Australia at least, disappears just as quickly.

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