Monday, 27 January 2014

The Best Of 2000 - part 4

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

One of the things I was saddest to leave behind in the UK when I returned to Australia in 2000 was Top Of The Pops. In the pre-download, pre-YouTube era, it wasn't always easy to keep up with the music TV institution (and therefore British pop music) in Australia and while quite a few of the pop acts made it to our shores, there were many that didn't.

No matter the music genre, Melanie C gave it a try in 2000

From memory, a friend sent a couple of care packages containing a few episodes of TOTP and CD:UK over on video. Who could've known that in just a few short years both programs would be no more and there'd be much easier ways to keep tabs on British music. 

We're up to my top 25 for 2000 - and British pop acts make up a healthy percentage of this final batch...

Number 25 "Proud" by Heather Small
I always thought this single would have been bigger - but then maybe people really were that sick of M-People, who'd been inescapable for much of the '90s, particularly in the UK. Heather, of course, was the big-voiced singer for the dance act and "Proud" was her first solo effort - a stirring, inspirational song with a soaring chorus that got nowhere near the top of the British singles chart. Although its number 16 peak might have been a disappointment, "Proud" has taken on a life of its own, being used in numerous ad campaigns and TV series ever since. The original video is above, while the clip to coincide with the song's use in the UK's 2012 Olympics bid is below.

Number 24 "Ordinary World" by Aurora featuring Naimee Coleman
They'd been in a number of groups previously - notably Dive and Think Twice (who featured on my top 100 for 1995) - but Aurora was the outfit that gave producers Sacha Collison and Simon Greenaway their first major hit. And, the song that did it was this cover version of Duran Duran's 1993 comeback song, with Aurora giving "Ordinary World" a pop/trance makeover in keeping with the sound of their previous single, "Hear You Calling" (number 75 on this list).

Number 23 "My Love" by Westlife
The Irish quintet were really on a roll, with this lead single from their second album, Coast To Coast, landing them another UK number 1 - their seventh in two years, including "Fool Again (number 98 on this list) and their duet with Mariah Carey on a cover of "Against All Odds".
Like Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, Westlife were sourcing a lot of their biggest tracks from Sweden's Cheiron hit factory, where the songwriters were positively churning out music. Miraculously, each boy band managed to sound slightly different despite many of the songs having a fairly similar structure and feel.
Westlife's run of number 1s would come to a shuddering halt by the end of 2000 when "What Makes A Man" became their first single to miss the top spot in the UK - and quite rightly so, since it wasn't one of their best and doesn't even rank on my top 200 for the year. Adding insult to injury, the track was beaten to the British Christmas number 1 by Bob The Builder's "Can You Fix It?".

Number 22 "Born To Make You Happy" by Britney Spears
Mentioned below

Number 21 "Spinning Around" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 20 "Movin' Too Fast" by Artful Dodger and Romina Johnson
It had originally been released prior to "Rewind", but "Movin' Too Fast" only became a hit the second time around once Artful Dodger had made a name for themselves (and Craig David). Romina Johnson was one of a handful of hitherto (and thereafter) unknown singers that the 2-step producers featured throughout the year - a list which also included Lifford (on "Please Don't Turn Me On") and Robbie Craig (on "Woman Trouble").

Number 19 "I'm Outta Love" by Anastacia 
The highest-selling single of 2000 in Australia, "I'm Outta Love" was the debut release for late bloomer Anastacia - her 31 years of age relatively old compared to all the 17- and 18-year-olds clogging up the charts. Of course, no one knew Anastacia was actually 31 since she lied about her age at the behest of her record label and claimed to be five years younger than she was. I doubt the subterfuge made any difference because "I'm Outta Love" would've been a hit no matter who was singing it (or how old they were) - at least in Australia and Europe, with Anastacia struggling on the charts back in her home country of America.

Number 18 "It's Gonna Be Me" by *NSYNC
Here's an act that did anything but struggle on the US charts in 2000. It was a very good year for the boy band, who dropped the apostrophe, added an asterisk and went all caps. Typographical changes aside, *NSYNC also scored the fastest-selling album of all time in America and landed a slew of hits like this track (their sole US chart-topper), "Bye Bye Bye" (their sole Australian chart-topper and number 28 on this list), UK-only single "I'll Never Stop" (number 31) and obligatory ballad "This I Promise You" (number 193).

Number 17 "I Turn To You" by Melanie C
Her first solo single, "Goin' Down", had a rock edge; follow-up "Northern Star" was a ballad; and, in 2000, Sporty Spice tried her hand at R&B with "Never Be The Same Again" (number 34 on this list) and dance with this track, remixed from her album by Hex Hector. All the genre-jumping paid off with the two singles from 2000 hitting number 1 in the UK and the parent album, Northern Star, becoming the most successful solo project by a Spice Girl - but it did also suggest that Mel didn't quite know what kind of artist she wanted to be.

Number 16 "He Don't Love You" by Human Nature
Previously featured here

Number 15 "Sweet Love 2K" by Fierce
In 1999, they'd released a trio of pop/R&B singles - two of which, "Dayz Like That" and "So Long" just missed my top 100 for the year. So, in 2000, Chantal, Aisha and Sabrina did what any girl group in search of a big hit would do and recorded a cover version. In this case, they took on Anita Baker's Grammy Award-winning single from 1986 and turned the soul ballad into more of a pop track. It worked, giving the girls their biggest hit by far in the UK - but poor albums sales led to the inevitable departure from their label.

Number 14 "On A Night Like This" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 13 "Same Old Brand New You" by a1
Previously featured here

Number 12 "For Sure" by Scooch
Mentioned below

Number 11 "Stronger" by Britney Spears
Mentioned below

Number 10 "Day And Night" by Billie Piper
Her surname was reinstated to suggest the singer of tracks like "Because We Want To" and "Girlfriend" was all grown up - and this lead single from second album Walk Of Life was certainly a world apart from those tween anthems. Now more Britney than Lolly, Billie might actually have settled into a lasting music career, but by the end of 2000 it was all over. Following the release of "Something Deep Inside" (number 44 on this list) and the album's title track, Billie, who has since written about her discomfort with her recording career, decided to give it up and focus on acting instead. It turned out to be a smart move - not only has she become one of Britain's most popular young TV stars but she quit music while she was still on top.

Number 9 "I Want Your Love" by Atomic Kitten
Sampling strings from the theme to western film The Big Country (which had also been heard in "The Only Rhyme That Bites" by MC Tunes vs 808 State in 1990), "I Want Your Love" was Atomic Kitten's third straight top 10 hit in the UK following debut single "Right Now" and "See Ya" (number 85 on this list). Why then, with such a successful start to their career, was the girl group in danger of being dropped by their label before "Whole Again" turned things around in 2001? Well, fourth single "Follow Me" tanked at number 20 and debut album Right Now only just crept into the UK top 40, and due to the costs associated with launching and maintaining pop acts, record companies had little patience with those sorts of performances.

Number 8 "Gotta Tell You" by Samantha Mumba
Like Sugababes, Samantha Mumba was an artist I first saw on one of those videos sent over to me from the UK - and as a result I also pushed TV Hits to let me cover her in the magazine ahead of this debut single being released in Australia. This time, my prediction of a major hit came true with "Gotta Tell You" peaking at number 3 in Australia, one place lower than it had in the UK and one place higher than it would in the US.

Number 7 "Rewind" by Precious
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 6 "More Than I Needed To Know" by Scooch
The poor man's Steps took advantage of the New Year lull by releasing this track and improving on their top 30 performance with "When My Baby" by scoring a UK top 5 position in January of 2000. Two more singles - "The Best Is Yet To Come" (number 26 on this list) and "For Sure" (number 12) - followed, but then it would be another seven years before the group would return to the charts with the UK's 2007 Eurovision entry, the non-Stock and Aitken camp-tacular "Flying The Flag (For You)".

Number 5 "When I Said Goodbye / Summer Of Love" by Steps
Mentioned below

Number 4 "Deeper Shade Of Blue" by Steps
Mentioned below

Number 3 "Oops!...I Did It Again" by Britney Spears
Proving she was no one-album wonder, Britney wasted no time following up ...Baby One More Time with the equally ellipsis-dependant Oops!...I Did It Again. In fact, this title track was released just two months after "Born To Make You Happy" (number 22 on this list) became the final UK single (and second number 1 there) from her debut album. 
With its Titanic-referencing spoken bit and that red catsuit in the video, "Oops!..." quickly became every bit as iconic as her first single - just the other day I stumbled across the Will & Grace episode in which Jack and Grace perform the dance routine from the clip. The track was quickly followed by "Lucky" (number 150 on this list) and "Stronger" (number 11), ensuring Britney was a chart force for the entire year.

Number 2 "Reach" by S Club 7
Album number two for S Club 7 (confusing titled 7, but since the group weren't ever likely to make it to a seventh album, it was probably going to be OK) was kicked off by this perky little number. Their third number 2 hit in a row in the UK, "Reach" was possibly too cheesy for the Australian market and the song only just dented the top 40 here. It was a pretty good year for the group in the UK, though, with subsequent singles "Natural" (number 39 on this list) and "Never Had A Dream Come True" (number 96) maintaining their top 3 strike rate.

Number 1 "Stomp" by Steps
A group who by now were definitely too cheesy for Australia (despite landing some massive hits early on in their career), Steps continued an impressive release rate in the UK with all three of their singles from 2000 hitting the top 5 and "Stomp" giving them their long-awaited second chart-topper. The single featured an homage to Chic's "Everybody Dance" and a thank you message in the CD single artwork in lieu of a writer's credit for Bernard Edwards and Nile Rodgers, since the usage was just different enough to get away with it. Steps' other tracks from 2000 can be seen just above on this list at number 5 ("When I Said Goodbye/The Summer Of Love") and number 4 ("Deeper Shade Of Blue").

My top 200 for 2000 in full:

1        STOMP Steps
2        REACH S Club 7
3        OOPS!...I DID IT AGAIN Britney Spears
7        REWIND Precious
8        GOTTA TELL YOU Samantha Mumba
9        I WANT YOUR LOVE Atomic Kitten
10      DAY AND NIGHT Billie Piper
11      STRONGER Britney Spears
12      FOR SURE Scooch
14      ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS Kylie Minogue
15      SWEET LOVE 2K Fierce
16      HE DON’T LOVE YOU Human Nature
17      I TURN TO YOU Melanie C
18      IT'S GONNA BE ME *NSync
19      I'M OUTTA LOVE Anastacia
20      MOVING TOO FAST Artful Dodger and Romina Johnson
21      SPINNING AROUND Kylie Minogue
22      BORN TO MAKE YOU HAPPY Britney Spears
23      MY LOVE Westlife
24      ORDINARY WORLD Aurora featuring Naimee Coleman
25      PROUD Heather Small
26      THE BEST IS YET TO COME Scooch
27      SAY MY NAME Destiny's Child
28      BYE BYE BYE *NSync
29      WHEN A WOMAN Gabrielle
30      KIDS Robbie Williams / Kylie Minogue
31      I'LL NEVER STOP *NSync
32      GIRLS ON TOP Girl Thing
33      SHAPE OF MY HEART Backstreet Boys
34      NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN Melanie C featuring Lisa 'Left-eye' Lopes
35      IT FEELS SO GOOD Sonique
36      DON’T WANT YOU BACK Ellie Campbell
37      SKY Sonique
38      THESE DAYS Bardot
39      NATURAL S Club 7
40      BAG IT UP Geri Halliwell
41      ROME WASN'T BUILT IN A DAY Morcheeba
42      OVERLOAD Sugababes
43      DOESN’T REALLY MATTER Janet Jackson
44      SOMETHING DEEP INSIDE Billie Piper
46      ABSOLUTELY EVERYBODY Vanessa Amorosi
47      TOCA'S MIRACLE Fragma
48      THE BEST THING Adam Rickitt
49      ONE MORE TIME Daft Punk
50      DON'T GIVE UP Chicane featuring Bryan Adams
52      FADED souLDecision featuring Thrust
53      PURE SHORES All Saints
54      THE TIME IS NOW Moloko
55      COME ON OVER BABY (ALL I WANT IS YOU) Christina Aguilera
56      WALKING AWAY Craig David
57      SHACKLES (PRAISE YOU) Mary Mary
58      CRAZY LOVE MJ Cole
59      STAND TOUGH Point Break
60      LOVE ON THE NORTHERN LINE Northern Line
61      NEW BEGINNING Precious
62      PLEASE STAY Kylie Minogue
63      THE ONE Backstreet Boys
64      DESIRE Ultra Nate
65      LADY (HEAR ME TONIGHT) Modjo
66      COULD I HAVE THIS KISS FOREVER Whitney Houston & Enrique Iglesias
68      DON’T TELL ME Madonna
70      DON’T MESS WITH MY MAN Lucy Pearl
71      INDEPENDENT WOMEN PART 1 Destiny’s Child
72      FEEL THE BEAT Darude
74      WE THINK IT'S LOVE Leah Haywood
75      HEAR YOU CALLING Aurora
76      LUCKY STAR Superfunk featuring Ron Carroll
77      COME AND GET ME Cleopatra
78      ALL AROUND THE WORLD Northern Line
79      WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO sister2sister
80      TELL ME WHY (THE RIDDLE) Paul van Dyk featuring Saint Etienne
81      JUMP DOWN B*Witched
82      NEW BEGINNING Stephen Gately
84      IT’S GONNA BE MY WAY Precious
85      SEE YA Atomic Kitten
86      BINGO BANGO Basement Jaxx
87      COFFEE Supersister
88      MUST BE THE MUSIC Joey Negro featuring Taka Boom
89      (JUST) ME & YOU New Vision
90      MUSIC Madonna
91      FREAKYTIME Point Break
92      GLORIOUS Andreas Johnson
94      WHERE IS THE LOVE Kamasutra
95      HOLLER / LET LOVE LEAD THE WAY Spice Girls
97      DON'T FALTER Mint Royale with Lauren Laverne
98      FOOL AGAIN Westlife
99      FEEL GOOD Madasun
100    BLACK COFFEE All Saints
101    FREEDOM Erasure
102    IN YOUR ARMS (RESCUE ME) Nu Generation
103    YOU USED TO HOLD ME Scott & Leon
104    FREAK LIKE ME Tru Faith & Dub Conspiracy
105    BODY GROOVE Architects featuring Nana
106    MONEY (OLD SKOOL REMIX) Jamelia featuring Beenie Man
107    THE LONELY ONE Alice Deejay
108    SANDSTORM Darude
109    HE WASN'T MAN ENOUGH Toni Braxton
110    DON’T THINK I’M NOT Kandi
111    I’M OVER YOU Martine McCutcheon
112    STOP PLAYING WITH MY MIND Darryl D’Bonneau featuring Barbara Tucker
113    SOMETHING ABOUT THE MUSIC Da Slammin Phrogz
114    HAMMER TO THE HEART Tamperer featuring Maya
115    BREATHLESS The Corrs
116    GIRLS LIKE US B-15 Project featuring Chrissy D & Lady G
117    SUMMER MOVED ON a-ha
119    TAKE ON ME a1
120    IT'S MY TURN Angelic
122    MOVE YOUR BODY Eiffel 65
123    JUST AROUND THE HILL Sash! featuring Tina Cousins
124    HOLDING ON Heather Small
125    MY FEELING Junior Jack
126    I GOT THIS FEELING Baby Bumps
127    I BELIEVE Stephen Gately
128    IRRESISTIBLE The Corrs
129    BE WITH YOU Enrique Iglesias
130    WE ARE ALIVE Paul van Dyk
131    SO REAL Mandy Moore
133    PLEASE DON’T TURN ME ON Artful Dodger featuring Lifford
134    DON'T YOU WORRY Madasun
135    PRIVATE EMOTION Ricky Martin & Meja
136    I WANNA BE WITH YOU Mandy Moore
137    JUMPIN’, JUMPIN’ Destiny’s Child
138    IT’S MY LIFE Bon Jovi
139    FEELIN’ SO GOOD Jennifer Lopez
141    WOMAN TROUBLE Artful Dodger with Robbie Craig featuring Craig David
142    BE YOURSELF Morcheeba
143    FLOWERS Sweet Female Attitude
144    BECAUSE OF YOU Scanty Sandwich
145    I SINGS Mary Mary featuring BBJ
146    WEEKENDS The Black Eyed Peas
147    SING-A-LONG Shanks & Bigfoot
148    GIVE ME YOU Mary J Blige
149    FOLLOW ME Atomic Kitten
150    LUCKY Britney Spears
151    YOU Point Break
152    THE POWER OF LOVE (ROB SEARLE REMIX) Frankie Goes To Hollywood
153    EX-GIRLFRIEND No Doubt
154    FREESTLYER Bomfunk MCs
155    CHAINED TO YOU Savage Garden
156    IF I TOLD YOU THAT Whitney Houston & George Michael
157    BODY TO BODY Samantha Mumba
159    THE FACTS OF LIFE Black Box Recorder
160    PASILDA Afro Medusa
161    SUMMER OF LOVE Lonyo aka Comme Ci Comme Ca
162    COMING AROUND Travis
163    FILL ME IN Craig David
164    DO IT TO ME AGAIN Soulsearcher
165    ACHILLES HEEL Toploader
166    GENERATOR Foo Fighters
167    O.T.B. (ON THE BEACH) York
168    (WELCOME) TO THE DANCE Des Mitchell
169    WON'T TAKE IT LYIN' DOWN Honeyz
170    MY HEART GOES BOOM (LA DI DA DA) French Affair
171    LIFE STORY Angie Stone
172    RISE Gabrielle
173    TRY AGAIN Aaliyah
174    CALL ME Jamelia
175    KILLER 2000 ATB
176    THE BAD TOUCH The Bloodhound Gang
177    LET ME BE YOUR FANTASY (REMIX) Baby D featuring MC Tails
178    I FEEL FOR YOU Bob Sinclar
179    OUT OF YOUR MIND Truesteppers and Dane Bowers featuring Victoria Beckham
180    SUNSHINE ON A RAINY DAY Christine Anu
181    SUPREME Robbie Williams
182    NOTHING TO FEAR Tina Cousins
183    DON’T THINK OF ME Dido
185    LET’S GET LOUD Jennifer Lopez
186    JUMP TO LOVE Christine Anu
187    U GOT IT Cleopatra
188    2 FACED Louise
189    IN DEMAND Texas
190    BABYLON David Gray
191    WILL I EVER Alice Deejay
192    SHOULD I STAY? Gabrielle
193    BE THERE WITH YOU Human Nature
195    I WISH Carl Thomas
197    BUGGIN True Steppers featuring Dane Bowers
198    7 DAYS Craig David
199    WHAT ABOUT US Point Break
200    I TURN TO YOU Christina Aguilera

As years go, 2000 was a pretty good one. I'll revisit 2001 some time in February and until then will continue to step back in time to 1989 and the ARIA charts from 25 years ago every Wednesday.

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