Monday, 4 August 2014

The Best Of 2006 - part 4

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

It's time to bring my journey through my favourite singles of 2006 to an end. Compared to 2005 (or, as it became known in my house, "the year of change"), 2006 was a pretty uneventful year in terms of major life events. Besides welcoming a dog into the family, things stayed pretty much as they were throughout the year.

Take That were back with a vengeance in 2006

On the work side of things, I still wasn't writing about music, so I was able to enjoy being a fan once again. I did miss being able to rely on promo CDs - although I still had ways to gain access to some - but it was kind of nice having to track down new music myself. Here are the best singles I uncovered that year...

Number 25 "Walk Away" by Kelly Clarkson
There were no shortage of hit singles from Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway album - in fact, there could have been more since there were plenty of quality album tracks. But, I was a couple of years away from including non-singles on my charts, and so "Walk Away" became the fifth and final song to feature. At the time, it seemed Kelly could do no wrong - but a year and a bit later, that would all change.

Number 24 "Red Dress" by Sugababes
Mentioned in Part 3 and previously featured here

Number 23 "Star Girl" by McFly
Although they were still regularly scoring number 1s in the UK - as they did with this cheery single and its predecessor, "Please, Please/Don't Stop Me Now" (number 10 on this list) - McFly were increasingly preaching to the choir. Their chart-toppers would quickly plummet down the UK rankings once their loyal but limited fanbase snapped them up. A third short-lived hit came in 2006 from another double A-side, "Sorry's Not Good Enough/Friday Night" (number 83 on this list).

Number 22 "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" by Panic! At The Disco
Possibly 2006's most intriguing new band was Panic! At The Disco - with everything from that exclamation mark in their name to their verbose lyrics and oddball styling contributing to distinguish them from anyone else on the scene. Then there were the lengthy song titles - and for brevity's sake, I'll just say that as well as registering here with their biggest hit for the year, they also held down numbers 36, 99 and 116 on my year-end chart. Signed by Fall Out Boy's Pete Wentz, the group were part of a wave of post-pop/punk bands that I quite liked.

Number 21 "Moodswings (To Come At Me Like That)" by Charlotte Church
The fourth and final single from Charlotte's Tissues And Issues album was a return to the rousing pop of earlier singles after the brief departure into ballad territory with "Even God". Despite the success of Charlotte's first full foray into mainstream music, it would be another four years before her next pop album, during which time she hosted a talk show and had two children with her then-boyfriend, rugby union player Gavin Henson.

Number 20 "Too Little Too Late" by JoJo
Things seemed to be going swimmingly for young Joanna Levesque, with this lead single from her second album returning her to the Australian top 10 and providing her with her first US top 10 hit - but that's where the good times ended. The follow-up to "Too Little Too Late" had the icky title "How To Touch A Girl" and after it flopped, JoJo became embroiled in seemingly endless legal disputes with her record label, resulting in no further hits to date.

Number 19 "In The Morning" by Razorlight
They'd been steadily gaining momentum the previous couple of years, and in 2006, Razorlight released their biggest and best singles to date with tracks taken from their self-titled second album. Lead single "In The Morning" was my favourite, but follow-up "America" (number 26 on this list) was even more successful, giving them their sole UK number 1. They were followed by third single "Before I Fall To Pieces" (number 47 on this list).

Number 18 "Suffer Well" by Depeche Mode
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 17 "Love Like Winter" by AFI
I wasn't the only one late to the AFI party, with it taking until their seventh album, Decemberundeground, for the band to enjoy a major Australian or US hit in the form of "Miss Murder" (number 33 on this list). No doubt, the fact that a pop fan like me had come to enjoy not only that song but follow-up "Love Like Winter" would've caused their die-hard fans to despair, but in a world where Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy and The Killers were the new pop acts, AFI and their big choruses fit right in.

Number 16 "Maneater" by Nelly Furtado
Talk about a career shift. At the start of the decade, Nelly became famous thanks to her earthy, almost folky singles like "I'm Like A Bird" and "Turn Off The Light", which served as an antidote to the pure pop of the Britneys and Christinas of the world. Then, after the relatively disappointing performance of second album Folklore, she fully embraced R&B and hip-hop, working with Timbaland on third album Loose, which yielded global hits like "Maneater", "Promiscuous" (number 39 on this list) and "Say It Right" (number 69). The change in direction was a massive success - with Loose going on to be the Canadian singer's highest-selling album to date.

Number 15 "L.O.V.E." by Ashlee Simpson
Averaging one killer single per year, Ashlee was quickly surpassing big sis Jess in my estimations - and even landed herself a music star boyfriend in the form of Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz in 2006 to complete her pop princess persona.

Number 14 "Up All Night" by Matt Willis
With Busted having, er, com-busted in 2005, the three former members moved on to new musical projects - Charlie Simpson in Fightstar, James Bourne in Son Of Dork, and Matt Willis as a solo artist and reality show contestant (he won the 2006 season of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here!). While I'd never been a fan of Busted, I did quite like this debut single by Matt, who only released one album and recently joined James in supergroup McBusted.

Number 13 "Perfect Girl" by Kim Wilde
It'd been a decade since we'd last had a new album from Kim Wilde, who'd mostly been concerned with starting a family and pursuing an alternate career as a celebrity gardener - but in 2006 she was back. Well, in Germany, anyway. Signed to EMI there, Kim released Never Say Never, which combined new tracks with revised versions of some of her biggest hits, like lead single "You Came 2006" (number 76 on this list). Original track "Perfect Girl" followed as a single, which managed to feel like classic Kim while still sounding like it came from 2006.

Number 12 "Patience" by Take That
Here's another act that'd last featured on the UK charts in 1996, but unlike Kim Wilde, Take That were welcomed back to their home country and the UK top 40. And what a welcome it was. The appropriately titled "Patience" shot to number 1 - the boy band's ninth chart-topper - and stayed there for four weeks. The accompanying album, Beautiful World, easily became the biggest of their career, selling more than 2.8 million copies in the UK alone. Now that's what I call a comeback.

Number 11 "Sorry" by Madonna
Previously featured here

Number 10 "Please Please / Don't Stop Me Now" by McFly
Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 9 "Analogue (All I Want)" by a-ha
Kim Wilde, Depeche Mode, Take That, Madonna, a-ha... was this really 2006? The Norwegian trio drafted in super-producer Max Martin to give the title track of their eighth album a poppier flavour. The result? The band's biggest global hit since 1988's "Stay On These Roads".

Number 8 "I Love It" by Sneaky Sound System
It may have only peaked at number 24 on the ARIA chart, but this first single by the trio version of Sneaky Sound System (who'd added singer Connie Mitchell to the line-up in 2004 after being a duo since 2001) did not leave the top 100 for 73 weeks. Follow-up "Pictures" (number 63 on this list) was another long-lasting hit - only reaching number 19 but spending 35 weeks in the top 50, 61 in the top 100.

Number 7 "Je T'Adore" by Kate Ryan
Time for some Eurovision - and in one of the competition's greatest travesties, this entry by Belgian singer Kate Ryan didn't even get past the semi-final stage. Of course, it wouldn't have mattered if she'd made the final - no one had any chance against Finnish rockers Lordi that year.

Number 6 "What's Left Of Me" by Nick Lachey
Back in Part 1, we saw how Jessica Simpson was dealing with her divorce. At the other end of the spectrum was this earnest ballad by former 98 Degrees member Nick Lachey. To hammer the point home that he took the whole thing rather seriously, his next single was "I Can't Hate You Anymore" (number 67 on this list). The approach worked, with "What's Left Of Me" going top 10 in Australia and the US - far and away the biggest hit of Nick's career. Incidentally, Nick released a version of Take That's "Patience" as a single in 2009.

Number 5 "No Tomorrow" by Orson
Poor Orson. Despite releasing one of 2006's best singles, the American rock band will always be remembered for achieving a UK number 1 single with the lowest weekly sales figure up until that point (just over 22,000 copies). And even though they won a BRIT Award the following year (for Best International Breakthrough Act), Orson was over and done with by the end of 2007.

Number 4 "Something Kinda Ooh" by Girls Aloud
Previously featured here

Number 3 "Black Fingernails, Red Wine" by Eskimo Joe
They'd been releasing catchy pop/rock tunes since the late '90s without ever getting higher than number 33 on the ARIA chart, but in 2006, Fremantle band Eskimo Joe changed all that with this title track from their third studio album. The song made the top 10, the album hit the top spot - and Eskimo Joe were suddenly everyone's favourite band.

Number 2 "Jump" by Madonna
Previously featured here

Number 1 "Easy" by Sugababes
Mentioned in Part 3 and previously featured here

My top 200 for 2006 in full:

1          EASY Sugababes
2          JUMP Madonna
4          SOMETHING KINDA OOH Girls Aloud
5          NO TOMORROW Orson
6          WHAT’S LEFT OF ME Nick Lachey
7          JE T’ADORE Kate Ryan
8          I LOVE IT Sneaky Sound System
9          ANALOGUE (ALL I WANT) a-ha
11        SORRY Madonna
12        PATIENCE Take That
13        PERFECT GIRL Kim Wilde
14        UP ALL NIGHT Matt Willis
15        L.O.V.E. Ashlee Simpson
16        MANEATER Nelly Furtado
18        SUFFER WELL Depeche Mode
19        IN THE MORNING Razorlight
21        MOODSWINGS (TO COME AT ME LIKE THAT) Charlotte Church
22        I WRITE SINS NOT TRAGEDIES Panic! At The Disco
23        STAR GIRL McFly
24        RED DRESS Sugababes
25        WALK AWAY Kelly Clarkson
26        AMERICA Razorlight
27        LOVE DON’T LET ME GO (WALKING AWAY) David Guetta vs The Egg
28        NTH DEGREE Morningwood
29        I DON’T NEED A MAN Pussycat Dolls
30        SO SICK Ne-Yo
31        FRIEND OR FOE t.A.T.u.
32        BREAKING FREE Zac Efron & Vanessa Hudgens
34        WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG The Killers
35        WE’RE COMING HOME Rogue Traders
36        BUT IT’S BETTER IF YOU DO Panic! At The Disco
37        BEWARE OF THE DOG Jamelia
38        THUNDER IN MY HEART Meck featuring Leo Sayer
39        PROMISCUOUS Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
41        SEWN The Feeling
42        TALLER, STRONGER, BETTER Guy Sebastian
43        S.O.S. Rihanna
44        FOLLOW ME HOME Sugababes
45        WHO KNEW Pink
46        BOOGIE 2NITE Booty Luv
47        BEFORE I FALL TO PIECES Razorlight
48        COMING AROUND AGAIN Simon Webbe
50        GET TOGETHER Madonna
51        MINIMAL Pet Shop Boys
52        CRAZY Gnarls Barkley
53        BONES The Killers
54        SHE MOVES IN HER OWN WAY The Kooks
56        WHEN YOU’RE MAD Ne-Yo
57        LOVE DECLARATION paulmac featuring Aaradhna
58        RUNAWAY Jamiroquai
59        SEXY LOVE Ne-Yo
60        ANGEL Pharrell Williams
61        MARTYR Depeche Mode
62        HORNY AS A DANDY Mousse T vs The Dandy Warhols
63        PICTURES Sneaky Sound System
64        JOHN THE REVELATOR / LILIAN Depeche Mode
65        IRREPLACEABLE Beyonce Knowles
66        NO PROMISES Shayne Ward
67        I CAN’T HATE YOU ANYMORE Nick Lachey
68        AMAZING Westlife
69        SAY IT RIGHT Nelly Furtado
70        NEVER BE LONELY The Feeling
71        NAÏVE The Kooks
72        RIDE A WHITE HORSE Goldfrapp
73        SEXYBACK Justin Timberlake
74        CRASH Gwen Stefani
75        I STILL Backstreet Boys
76        YOU CAME 2006 Kim Wilde
77        PUT YOUR RECORDS ON Corinne Bailey Rae
78        WHO AM I? Will Young
79        YOU GIVE ME SOMETHING James Morrison
80        STONED IN LOVE Chicane featuring Tom Jones
81        WATCHIN’ Freemasons featuring Amanda Wilson
82        FILL MY LITTLE WORLD The Feeling
84        LOVE IT WHEN YOU CALL The Feeling
85        ELEVATOR LOVE Guy Sebastian
86        AFTER ALL THIS TIME Simon Webbe
87        WONDERFUL WORLD James Morrison
88        SOMETHING ABOUT YOU Jamelia
89        RIGHT WHERE YOU WANT ME Jesse McCartney
90        THIS OLD LOVE Lior
91        A PUBLIC AFFAIR Jessica Simpson
92        ALL THIS LOVE The Similou
93        THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL Young Divas
94        WAIT A MINUTE Pussycat Dolls
95        SO UNDER PRESSURE Dannii Minogue
96        UNFAITHFUL Rihanna
97        U + UR HAND Pink
98        TELL ME WHY Supermode
100      DANCE, DANCE Fall Out Boy
101      OOH LA The Kooks
102      FLY ME AWAY Goldfrapp
103      SOMEBODY’S WATCHING ME Beatfreakz
105      ALL TIME LOVE Will Young
106      HYPNOTIC Craig David
107      I DON’T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU (BUT I LOVE) Brand New Heavies
108      DÉJÀ VU / FREEMASONS MIX Beyonce Knowles featuring Jay-Z
110      (FAR FROM) HOME Tiga
111      FIRE Ferry Corsten
112      EVERYTIME WE TOUCH Cascada
113      WE ARE YOUR FRIENDS Justice vs Simian
114      WE RUN THIS Missy Elliott
115      SMILEY FACES Gnarls Barkley
117      SARAH Eskimo Joe
118      I DON’T FEEL LIKE DANCIN’ Scissor Sisters
119      CALL ME WHEN YOU’RE SOBER Evanescence
121      WISEMEN James Blunt
122      HEY KID Matt Willis
123      I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW Girls Aloud
124      LOVE SENSATION 06 Loleatta Holloway
125      I’LL BE READY Sunblock
127      FROM PARIS TO BERLIN Infernal
129      AIN’T NO OTHER MAN Christina Aguilera
130      ROCK STEADY All Saints
131      SENSITIVITY Shapeshifters & Chic
132      FASTER KILL PUSSYCAT Paul Oakenfold featuring Brittany Murphy
133      TOUCH THE SKY Kanye West featuring Lupe Fiasco
134      BORDERLINE Michael Gray featuring Shelley Poole
135      LOVELIGHT Robbie Williams
136      NASTY GIRL Notorious B.I.G. featuring P.Diddy, Nelly, Jagged Edge & Avery Storm
137      INCREDIBLE Shapeshifters
138      YOU GOT THE LOVE (2006 REMIX) The Source featuring Candi Staton
139      STEADY, AS SHE GOES The Raconteurs
140      A MOMENT LIKE THIS Leona Lewis
141      YOU DON’T LOVE ME The Kooks
142      CHELSEA DAGGER The Fratellis
143      THE FALLEN Franz Ferdinand
144      YOU’RE ALL I HAVE Snow Patrol
145      BANG BANG YOU’RE DEAD Dirty Pretty Things
146      HAPPINESS Orson
147      WORLD HOLD ON Bob Sinclar featuring Steve Edwards
148      WE NEED A WAR Fischerspooner
150      MY LOVE Justin Timberlake featuring T.I.
151      IT’S NOT THAT EASY Lemar
152      ALL GOOD THINGS (COME TO AN END) Nelly Furtado
153      GONE DADDY GONE Gnarls Barkley
154      JUST SO YOU KNOW Jesse McCartney
155      SUGAR, WE’RE GOING DOWN Fall Out Boy
156      IN THE MORNING Junior Boys
157      SPEECHLESS Mish Mash
158      PLAY WITH FIRE Hilary Duff
159      IS IT ANY WONDER Keane
160      NUMBER ONE Pharrell Williams featuring Kanye West
161      SAY SOMETHIN’ Mariah Carey featuring Snoop Dogg
162      THE PIECES DON’T FIT ANYMORE James Morrison
163      SELF CONTROL Infernal
164      BRIGHT IDEA Orson
165      I’M WITH STUPID Pet Shop Boys
166      LAND OF A THOUSAND WORDS Scissor Sisters
167      THAT’S MY GOAL Shayne Ward
168      GOMENASAI t.A.T.u.
169      ONE Mary J Blige with U2
170      WHOLE LOTTA HISTORY Girls Aloud
171      NOTHING IN MY WAY Keane
172      NUMB Pet Shop Boys
173      LIVE WITH ME Massive Attack
174      DOWNTOWN Emma Bunton
175      BEEP Pussycat Dolls featuring
176      WOMAN IN LOVE Liz McClarnon
177      HURT Christina Aguilera
178      LISTEN Beyonce Knowles
179      CRYSTAL BALL Keane
180      REHAB Amy Winehouse
181      SAY I Christina Milian featuring Young Jeezy
182      TROUBLE SLEEPING Corinne Bailey Rae
183      WE RIDE (I SEE THE FUTURE) Mary J Blige
184      X Liberty X
185      BOYS WILL BE BOYS Ordinary Boys
186      WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER High School Musical Cast
187      YO (EXCUSE ME MISS) Chris Brown
188      MJB DA MVP Mary J Blige featuring 50 Cent
189      LIKE A STAR Corinne Bailey Rae
190      HOOD BOY Fantasia featuring Big Boi
191      CALL ON ME Janet Jackson featuring Nelly
192      BUTTONS Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg
193      SO EXCITED Janet Jackson featuring Khia
194      GIMME THAT Chris Brown
195      UNBELIEVEABLE Craig David
196      THE ROSE Westlife
197      BREATHE Ricki-Lee
198      THIS IS NOT REAL LOVE George Michael & Mutya Buena
199      PIECE OF MY HEART Beverley Knight
200      SMILE Lily Allen

Another year recapped, which only means one thing: 2007 is next. Watch out for my top 100 from that year towards the end of August. Otherwise, I'll see you each Wednesday for my look back at the ARIA singles chart from 25 years ago.

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  1. Some great songs in there that I have forgotten about like: Patience by Take That, Jump - Madonna (her best song of the 00's), Call On Me - Janet feat. Nelly. These few I need to purchase on iTunes! One song that I absolutely loved from 2006 was 'Opportunities' by Pete Murray. I remember John Mayer partnered up with him on this live performance at the ARIAS.

    1. Jump is so under-rated! Really should have been much bigger.