Friday, 1 August 2014

The Best Of 2006 - part 3

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

If you're just joining us, I'm halfway through my countdown of my favourite 100 singles for 2006. I've already talked about how downloads started to change the face of the music industry in 2006, but another new invention also had a huge impact that year: YouTube.

Over a dozen singles later and Pink finally hit my year-end top 100

When I was growing up, to hear new music I either had to hope one of the music shows on TV would play the song I wanted to hear or go into a record store and ask them to play it for me. With the advent of YouTube, you could increasingly hear any song you wanted - and watch the music video - in a matter of seconds (or minutes, depending on your internet speed). As with MP3s, it took record companies a little while to work out what to do with YouTube, but now it's an essential part of a release strategy.

Number 50 "Get Together" by Madonna

Previously featured here

Number 49 "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go

One of the first songs to really take advantage of YouTube was this track by American indie band OK Go. With its choreographed treadmill routine, the clip for "Here It Goes Again" quickly became an internet phenomenon and was one of the first YouTube clips to be described as "going viral", quickly amassing millions of views. The single itself wasn't a massive chart hit - top 40 in both the US and UK - but the previously under-the-radar band suddenly had everyone talking (and watching).

Number 48 "Coming Around Again" by Simon Webbe

Solidifying his status as the best solo artist to have emerged from boy band Blue, Simon Webbe launched his second album, Grace, with this single, which ended up as my favourite song of his. The final single from first album Sanctuary, "After All This Time", also made my chart for 2006 (at number 86).

Number 47 "Before I Fall To Pieces" by Razorlight

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 46 "Boogie 2Nite" by Booty Luv

Take two former members of UK R&B collective Big Brovaz, add a cover of a cancelled single by US singer Tweet, throw in a club remix by Seamus Haji and you have this debut single by duo Booty Luv. "Boogie 2Nite" first appeared on the debut album by Missy Elliott protégé Tweet in 2002 but despite a plethora of club remixes being commissioned - including ones by Seamus and DB Boulevard - the track was never given a commercial release. With Big Brovaz falling apart, Cherise Roberts and Nadia Shepherd were recruited to resurrect the dance floor hit and it became a number 2 smash hit in the UK - leading to a whole new business model for the pair.

Number 45 "Who Knew" by Pink
Despite her overwhelming success in Australia, I'd never been a massive fan of Pink prior to 2006 - her best showing on my year-end charts was "God Is A DJ" (number 134 in 2004) - and that didn't look like changing in 2006 since I absolutely hated "Stupid Girls", the lead single from her I'm Not Dead album. But, it's amazing what a bit of assistance from Max Martin and Dr Luke can do. "Who Knew" was co-written and produced by the power-pop maestros, and quickly became my favourite Pink single by a long shot. Follow-up "U + Ur Hand" (number 97 on this list), which utilised the same backing track as The Veronicas' "4ever", made it two in a row.

Number 44 "Follow Me Home" by Sugababes
Wasting no time moving on as version 3.0, Sugababes welcomed new member Amelle Berrabah to replace the departed Mutya Buena. Amelle's vocals were added to a handful of tracks on the girl group's Taller In More Ways album, including singles "Red Dress" (number 24 on this list) and "Follow Me Home", which I quite liked despite it being Sugababes' lowest charting single in the UK to that point. Before the year was out, Overloaded: The Singles Collection was released and featured brand new song "Easy", which not only became my number 1 single for 2006 but also my favourite Sugababes song of all time.

Number 43 "S.O.S." by Rihanna
She'd done pretty well with the singles from her debut album (although I wasn't a fan myself), but the singer born Robyn Fenty really started to make her presence felt with her first Australian and US number 1, "S.O.S.", and ballad "Unfaithful" (number 96 on this list). As well as containing an interpolation of "Tainted Love", "S.O.S." was co-produced by Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, who'd produced Rihanna's debut single, "Pon De Replay", and been members of Rythm Syndicate (who we saw on my top 100 for 1991). Despite her success in 2006, Ri-Ri wasn't quite the hit machine she'd become in subsequent years, though, with follow-ups "We Ride" and "Break It Off" performing more modestly - but that would all change in 2007.

Number 42 "Taller, Stronger, Better" by Guy Sebastian
I've always thought this was an interesting move in Guy Sebastian's career - reverting to big ballad territory, and indeed one that sounded more like a hymn than a pop song. But, what it lacked in cool factor, it made up for on the charts, returning him to the top 3. Guy kept us on our toes by choosing another musical style for the follow-up, power-pop track "Elevator Love" (number 85 on this list), which featured former Miss Universe and future Australia's Next Top Model host Jennifer Hawkins in the music video.

Number 41 "Sewn" by The Feeling
Besides The Kooks, who we saw back in Part 2, the other new British band whose singles I quite liked in 2006 was The Feeling, who had a softer, '70s-influenced sound and received a bit of a beating at the hands of UK rock critics. Admittedly, I'm not as keen on some of the songs, like "Fill My Little World" (number 82 on this list), "Never Be Lonely" (number 70) and "Love It When You Call" (number 84), as I once was - but breakthrough hit "Sewn" has held up nicely. Side point: The Feeling's bassist, Richard Jones, became Mr Sophie Ellis-Bextor in 2005.

Number 40 "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" by Andy Bell
The second of only two singles from the Erasure frontman's debut solo album was another single that surpassed most of his group's output from the previous decade - but "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" performed even more disappointingly on the UK chart than prior single "Crazy" (which we saw in my top 100 for 2005).

Number 39 "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 38 "Thunder In My Heart" by Meck featuring Leo Sayer

Back in 1977, it was the song that broke Leo Sayer's string of consecutive top 10 hits in the UK but almost three decades later it became his first chart-topper there since "When I Need You" (also from 1977) thanks to some remix magic by Meck (aka Craig Dimech). The chart return was a one-off for Leo, who now spends a lot of time in Australia - but he did pop up the following year in Britain's Celebrity Big Brother, so that's something.

Number 37 "Beware Of The Dog" by Jamelia
Maintaining a run of UK top 10 hits that stretched back to 2003's "Superstar", Jamelia scored with the first two singles from her Walk With Me album. Lead single "Something About You" (number 88 on this list) was followed by this track, which sampled the guitar riff from Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus".

Number 36 "But It's Better If You Do" by Panic! At The Disco

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 35 "We're Coming Home" by Rogue Traders

I'd found "Voodoo Child" follow-ups "Way To Go!" and "Watching You" a bit on the painful side, but the dance act's fourth single with singer Natalie Bassingthwaighte toned down the "feisty" vocals and concentrated on just being a straightforward pop song.

Number 34 "When You Were Young" by The Killers
Their first album finally behind them, The Killers returned with second helping Sam's Town and this lead single, which became their highest-charting hit in Australia and the UK. Second release "Bones" (number 53 on this list) didn't fare anywhere near as well, but it did come with a music video directed by Tim Burton. 2006 also marked the first year The Killers released a festive single - something they've done every year since.

Number 33 "Miss Murder" by AFI

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 32 "Breaking Free" by Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens

It seems like a lifetime ago that Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens became household names with a certain demographic thanks to their roles in the High School Musical series. A tween phenomenon that got so big it actually jumped from TV movies to the big screen for its third and final instalment in 2008, the squeaky clean musicals were pretty average, but this theme song was pop perfection.

Number 31 "Friend Or Foe" by t.A.T.u.
Yep, three years later and I still enjoyed songs by t.A.T.u., but what I didn't know until now is that this single from the Dangerous And Moving album was co-written by Eurythmics' Dave Stewart and Martin Kierszenbaum, whose pseudonym, Cherry Cherry Boom Boom, would soon be heard uttered by Lady Gaga on some her earliest songs. Although the Russian duo returned with a new album in 2009, this was as far as my fandom went.

Number 30 "So Sick" by Ne-Yo
After a couple of false starts to his career, Shaffer Smith would finally get to shine as solo artist Ne-Yo in 2006 when his debut album, In My Own Words, was released. The title was apt, since Ne-Yo had first made his mark as the songwriter of Mario's chart-topping "Let Me Love You" - and, as well as his own 2006 hits - "So Sick", "When You're Mad" (number 56 on this list) and "Sexy Love" (number 59 on this list), he was also partly responsible for writing Beyoncé's "Irreplaceable" and Rihanna's "Unfaithful".

Number 29 "I Don't Need A Man" by Pussycat Dolls

Mentioned in Part 3 and previously featured here

Number 28 "Nth Degree" by Morningwood

I know very little about this American synthrock band, but I did like "Nth Degree", which reminded me of Bis, and the accompanying music video, in which the band brought a bunch of different album covers to life.

Number 27 "Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)" by David Guetta vs The Egg
Before he became unbearably omnipresent, French DJ/producer David Guetta was one half of one of 2006's best dance tracks - a mash-up of his own 2002 song "Love Don't Let Me Go" (which featured Chris Willis on vocals) and "Walking Away" by The Egg. Who knew what the success of this single - David's first big international hit - would end up causing...

Number 26 "America" by Razorlight

Mentioned in Part 4

In Part 4: the return of the UK's biggest boy band, a rather unlikely singer turns to Timbaland for his magic touch, plus the highest-charting Aussie rock song in one of my year-end countdowns.

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