Friday, 24 January 2014

The Best Of 2000 - part 3

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

If you think there's been a lot of pop in my list of favourite songs from 2000, you ain't seen nothing yet. It was almost as if the '90s didn't happen, with all that grunge and indie music swept aside and more pop than there'd been since the '80s flooding out instead.

From reality fame to pop acclaim: Bardot came good in 2000

Not all the pop music around was good, however, and for every Britney, Five, Steps or Craig David there were a raft of imitators with tunes from the A-list songwriters' bottom drawer. Hopefully you won't see any of those pretenders here...

Number 50 "Don't Give Up" by Chicane featuring Bryan Adams
His duet with Melanie C had been such a success than Canadian balladeer Bryan mixed things up even more with this guest appearance with dance act Chicane, who'd previously remixed his "Cloud #9" single and were also making a bit of a name for themselves for unexpected collaborations. "Don't Give Up" was a UK chart-topper - his first since the months-long number 1 "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" in 1991 - and did pretty well in Australia, reaching number 6.

Number 49 "One More Time" by Daft Punk
They'd helped turn the world's attention to French music with their 1997 album, Homework, but that didn't mean Daft Punk was going to let the new wave of acts like Modjo and Superfunk reap all the benefits. This lead single from Discovery became the enigmatic duo's biggest hit and would remain as such until a certain mega-hit from 2013.

Number 48 "The Best Thing" by Adam Rickitt
I may well be the only person on the planet who rates all three of Adam's singles so highly - "The Best Thing" certainly didn't perform very well and it was back to the soaps for the pretty boy actor/singer. After a return stint on Coronation Street (which included his character being involved in the show's first gay kiss), it was over to the other side of the world and a role on New Zealand's Shortland Street.

Number 47 "Toca's Miracle" by Fragma
Long before Glee stumbled onto the concept of the mash-up, instrumental tracks were combined with vocal tracks to great success in the late '90s/early '00s - none more so than this combination of Fragma's "Toca Me" and Coco's "I Need A Miracle" (which just missed my top 100 for 1997). That's Coco Star in the clip, and although it was the last time we saw her on the charts, Fragma weren't quite done yet. The 2008 remix is mostly what's on YouTube, so there's an audio link in the song title above and a Top Of The Pops performance below of the original 2000 version.

Number 46 "Absolutely Everybody" by Vanessa Amorosi
The first of two acts in this batch of songs who were well on their way to stardom in Australia by the time I got back from the UK in May, Vanessa was the big-voiced teenager who'd hit the top 20 with her debut hit, "Have A Look". Although she was never completely convincing as a pop star (I always got the impression in interviews that she'd rather be a Janis Joplin-type performer), her biggest hits have come from out-and-out pop tracks like this song, which as well as hitting number 6 in Australia also reached the top 10 in the UK and across Europe.

Number 45 "Per Sempre Amore (Forever In Love)" by Lolly
Now, I know this probably falls into the questionable pop basket, what with the shouty singing and pre-teen target demo, but as I always say, "a good song is a good song, no matter who's singing it" (or, in the case of Milli Vanilli, not singing it). Trying to tap into the Latin music craze (because nothing says Latin music more than a video filmed at a bowling alley), "Per Sempre Amore" was the fourth single from the pop creation otherwise known as Anna Kumble, who'd most recently covered "Mickey" and "Rockin' Robin" in a similarly unsubtle fashion - and next remade "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" before moving on to a career in Christmas pantomimes.

Number 44 "Something Deep Inside" by Billie Piper
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 43 "Doesn't Really Matter" by Janet Jackson
A one-off single from the soundtrack to Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, in which Ms Jackson co-starred, "Doesn't Really Matter" was the first solo record we'd heard from Janet since 1998's "Every Time". Since it was a brand new track, it naturally flew to number 1 in the US, a position she'd visit on only one more occasion. There's a link to the music video in the song title above.

Number 42 "Overload" by Sugababes
I knew the minute I heard this song that Sugababes weren't your run-of-the-mill girl group and I remember insisting we cover them in TV Hits (from memory, the story had the headline "The Anti-Spice") as early as possible before. As it turned out, "Overload" was a success but not the monster smash I was hoping it would be and it'd be a couple more years (and one member change later) before things really took off. I've counted down my top 10 Sugababes songs before, and "Overload" just misses that list - but it was a fantastic start to what would be a roller-coaster career for the group.

Number 41 "Rome Wasn't Built In A Day" by Morcheeba
Morcheeba have never really been a singles act, with their laidback style more suited to the albums chart, but on "Rome Wasn't Build In A Day" the trio discovered their inner pop stars. As a result, the band ended up on Australian commercial radio and the song entered our top 30, which was higher than it managed in the UK - although its number 34 peak there is still the band's highest chart position to date.

Number 40 "Bag It Up" by Geri Halliwell
Camper than Supersister (who we saw back in Part 1), Geri Halliwell's fourth single packed a whole lot of cheese into just under four minutes - and somehow she managed to get away with it. "Bag It Up" was another number 1 in the UK and her BRITs performance (which you can watch below) was one of the highlights from that year's show.

Number 39 "Natural" by S Club 7
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 38 "These Days" by Bardot
When I arrived back in Australia, everyone was talking about Popstars, a new reality show in the days before reality shows were even a thing. "You'll love it!" my friends told me. While I only caught the very end of the series, I was here for the release of "Poison", the debut single by girl group Bardot, who'd been put together on the show.
Although "Poison" rushed to the top of the Australian chart, I was completely underwhelmed - as I was with follow-up "I Should've Never Let You Go" (side point: the word "should've" should never be used in a song title).
Then "These Days" came along and I began to think there might be something to Bardot after all. A much more sophisticated pop song, it forestalled the inevitable drop-off in interest in a reality show creation by actually being really good and, for the time being, it looked like Bardot were here to stay.

Number 37 "Sky" by Sonique
Mentioned below

Number 36 "Don't Want You Back" by Ellie Campbell
We'd had Christina, Mandy and Jessica - and in Ellie Campbell we had the British version of Britney Spears. At least that's the way the media saw it, even though Ellie had released her debut single before Britney. The fact that "Don't Want You Back" (which did come out in a post-Britney world) aped the Cheiron sound that Britney made her own didn't help Ellie's cause and, despite being a pretty great song, it tanked. A follow-up cover of Linda Ronstadt's "You're No Good" didn't improve Ellie's fortunes.

Number 35 "It Feels So Good" by Sonique
Back on my 1998 countdown, I included Sonique's cover of "I Put A Spell On You", which I bought at the time. I didn't buy this follow-up, although I remember it creeping in to the UK top 30. That might have been that, but unexpectedly, "It Feels So Good" became a hit in the US and it was only a matter of time until it was re-released in the UK. What a difference 18 months makes - on its second outing, it hit number 1 in Britain and Sonique's career was back on track. Follow-up "Sky" (number 33 on this list) peaked at number 2 in the UK and, in Australia, even outperformed "It Feels So Good".

Number 34 "Never Be The Same Again" by Melanie C featuring Lisa 'Left-eye' Lopes
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 33 "Shape Of My Heart" by Backstreet Boys
Backstreet were back... again in 2000 with a new album, Black & Blue, and a sales record to try and wrestle back from competitors *NSYNC, whose No Strings Attached had shattered the previous highest week one sales tally registered by BSB's own Millennium in 1999. Although they didn't best *NSYNC, BSB did improve on Millennium's opening figure and set a new high for global album sales, so that's something. Facts and figures aside, the album was packed with pretty standard Backstreet fare - with "Shape Of My Heart" following on nicely from the final two Millennium singles, "Show Me The Meaning Of Being Lonely" (number 67 on this list) and "The One" (number 63).

Number 32 "Girls On Top" by Girl Thing
In a move so cynical only Simon Cowell could've been behind it, Girl Thing were launched just as Spice Girls were on their way out. But, what had worked once (five girls with a cheeky attitude and distinct looks) didn't take off a second time, especially with the disappointing "Last One Standing" as the group's debut single. Follow-up "Girls On Top", however, was another matter as far as I was concerned. Although it was a much better track with a hint of disco to it, its disappointing UK chart performance sealed the girl group's fate. Unexpectedly, Girl Thing has been announced as part of the line-up for the second season of The Big Reunion - an inclusion which is puzzling to say the least.

Number 31 "I'll Never Stop" by *NSYNC
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 30 "Kids" by Robbie Williams / Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 29 "When A Woman" by Gabrielle
The title track of her 1999 album, Rise, had returned Gabrielle to the UK number 1 spot seven years after her debut with "Dreams", but it was this third, retro-flavoured single that I preferred from the year 2000. A song so infectious it's impossible not to like, "When A Woman" duly became another UK top 10 hit for Ms Bobb.

Number 28 "Bye Bye Bye" by *NSYNC
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 27 "Say My Name" by Destiny's Child
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 26 "The Best Is Yet To Come" by Scooch
Mentioned in Part 4

In Part 4: well, obviously some Scooch and *NSYNC, as you can see just above. And, if you've been wondering where Steps' singles from 2000 are... well, they're coming. All of them. Plus, the lead singer of one of my favourite ''90s groups goes solo, a teenage star grows up and a solo Spice tries a bit of everything.

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