Friday, 25 July 2014

The Best Of 2006 - part 1

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

Charts around the world were going through a massive upheaval in 2006 - and it was all because of three little characters: MP3. As CD singles were fazed out, downloads were incorporated into charts and singles started to get to number 1 without there being a physical product released.

Accidental girl group Young Divas delved into the SAW songbook

In Australia, the changeover happened in October 2006, with ARIA incorporating digital sales into their charts for the first time. For me, giving up CD singles was a big change to get used to - and it took me quite a while to accept that I didn't need a physical CD in my collection for me to "own" a song. Here are some of the songs I did own - one way or another - in 2006...

Number 100 "Dance, Dance" by Fall Out Boy
They'd made little impact with their debut album, Take This To Your Grave, but that all changed with the singles from Fall Out Boy's follow-up, From Under The Cork Tree. "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" gave them their first US and UK top 10 hit, and "Dance, Dance" repeated the feat. My introduction to Fall Out Boy came courtesy of teen soap One Tree Hill, on which bassist Pete Wentz (who wrote the lyrics to this song) made a couple of odd guest appearances in 2006.

Number 99 "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage" by Panic! At The Disco
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 98 "Tell Me Why" by Supermode
Lifting elements from Bronski Beat's first two singles, "Smalltown Boy" and "Why?", "Tell Me Why" was the handiwork of Swedish DJs/producers Axwell and Steve Angello, who'd go on to team up with Sebastian Ingrosso in Swedish House Mafia the following year. The vocals on the track weren't samples of Jimmy Somerville's original performances but were re-sung by British performer Hal Ritson.

Number 97 "U + Ur Hand" by Pink
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 96 "Unfaithful" by Rihanna
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 95 "So Under Pressure" by Dannii Minogue
After releasing the album of her career with 2003's Neon Nights, the younger Minogue lost her momentum, sputtering from one stand-alone single release to another over the next few years, while her various record companies issued more greatest hits and remix collections than any one artist required. "So Under Pressure" was a new track on one of those compilations, The Hits & Beyond, and lyrically dealt with the subject of sister Kylie's cancer diagnosis.

Number 94 "Wait A Minute" by Pussycat Dolls
The singles continued from Pussycat Dolls' debut album - as did the guest appearances, with this track featuring in-demand hitmaker Timbaland. PCD's sixth single, "Wait A Minute", was the follow-up to my favourite track by the girl group, "I Don't Need A Man", which we'll see in Part 3.

Number 93 "This Time I Know It's For Real" by Young Divas
Originally a comeback single for Donna Summer in 1989 - and one which really should have been a bigger hit in Australia (it reached number 40) - "This Time I Know It's For Real" was belatedly taken to number 2 on the ARIA chart by four ex-Australian Idol contestants. Comprised of season one's Paulini, season two's Ricki-Lee, and season three's winner Kate DeAraugo and runner-up Emily Williams, Young Divas was meant to be a one-off project to promote a joint tour.
Following the resounding success of "This Time I Know It's For Real", an album was hurriedly put together - so quickly, in fact, that I remember being asked for my opinion of what songs they should cover. Being the Stock Aitken Waterman fan I am (and since they'd already raided the Hit Factory catalogue once), I suggested tracks by Princess, Hazell Dean, Sybil and Lonnie Gordon - many of which made the album (although I'm sure the girls' team already had those tracks in mind anyway).

Number 92 "All This Love" by The Similou
Some more Swedish dance/pop now from the duo comprised of the confusingly named Joel Eriksson and Erik Niklasson. Debut single "All This Love" actually performed better in Australia and the UK than at home in Sweden, where the track had first been released back in late 2004.

Number 91 "A Public Affair" by Jessica Simpson
They were reality TV's sweethearts, but by 2006 the honeymoon was over for Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and the inevitable post-split records emerged. For Jess, that meant the carefree, girls-night-out track "A Public Affair" - she even roped in famous pals like Eva Longoria and Christina Applegate for the glossy roller-rink video. As we'll see further into this countdown, Nick didn't take the end of their marriage so well.

Number 90 "This Old Love" by Lior
Independent artist Lior Attar made a big splash in Australia in 2005 with his debut, Autumn Flow, but he didn't release any singles from the ARIA-nominated album. And, since my charts still (mostly) depended on a physical release, I had to wait until 2006 for "This Old Love" to be issued as a single in the UK for it to register. Lovely song.

Number 89 "Right Where You Want Me" by Jesse McCartney
It was time for album number two from the teen actor/singer, but the project didn't last long, with this title track ending up as the only single released from it in the States. Further singles were released internationally, but for all intents and purposes, it was back to the drawing board for Jesse, who pressed on with his third album. It wasn't all bad news, since Jesse had co-written a little song called "Bleeding Love" and was about to receive much bigger royalty cheques once it was given to the 2006 winner of the UK's version of The X-Factor.

Number 88 "Something About You" by Jamelia
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 87 "Wonderful World" by James Morrison
Mentioned below

Number 86 "After All This Time" by Simon Webbe
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 85 "Elevator Love" by Guy Sebastian
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 84 "Love It When You Call" by The Feeling
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 83 "Sorry's Not Good Enough / Friday Night" by McFly
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 82 "Fill My Little World" by The Feeling
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 81 "Watchin'" by Freemasons featuring Amanda Wilson
For their second single, increasingly in-demand remixers Freemasons once again took inspiration from a minor hit of years past when they turned a 1999 Deborah Cox ballad, "It's Over Now", into this club smash.

Number 80 "Stoned In Love" by Chicane featuring Tom Jones
Given Tom Jones's previous collaborations with Art Of Noise and Mousse T, he wasn't quite as unusual a choice of guest vocalist for dance act Chicane as Clannad's Máire Brennan or Bryan Adams. Nevertheless, the pop/trance track was another first for the Welsh performer - and another UK top 10 hit for both acts.

Number 79 "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison
Even though he's been recording for years now, I still mentally add the words "not the jazz trumpeter" after James Morrison's name whenever I see it. In the UK, where there was no similarly named artist on the scene to cause confusion, James quickly notched up two top 10 hits with this debut single and follow-up "Wonderful World" (number 87 on this list). In Australia, only this track did the business, reaching number 7.

Number 78 "Who Am I?" by Will Young
He might have kicked off his third album campaign with the turbo-charged "Switch It On", but it was back to ballads for singles number two ("All Time Love") and three ("Who Am I?"). The latter of those was accompanied by a fun music video in which Will was superimposed into scenes from British kids' TV show Blue Peter. Despite that, "Who Am I?" became the former Pop Idol champ's first single to miss the UK top 5 - landing all the way down at number 11.

Number 77 "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
What with Lior, Will Young and James Morrison in this batch of songs, it's all been a bit adult contemporary, hasn't it? Well, add to that list this breakthrough single by British soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae. After peaking at number 2 in the UK, the breezy track, while not a massive chart hit in the US, went on to be nominated for the Grammy Awards' big two: Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year.

Number 76 "You Came 2006" by Kim Wilde
Mentioned in Part 4

In Part 2: Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé Knowles solidify their positions as the hottest singers on the planet, while the first big download-only hits make their mark.

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