Sunday, 17 August 2014

The Best Of 2007 - part 2

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

For one reason or another, it had been a while since I'd listened to quite a lot of the songs in my top 100 for 2007 - and so it's been like catching up with some long-lost friends as I've prepared the posts for this countdown.

Fergie had nothing to cry about in 2007

Speaking of catching up, 2007 saw a spate of reunions by big-name groups - The Police, Led Zeppelin and Spice Girls, to name just three - proving my theory that if you wait long enough, every band will eventually reform. ABBA may prove to be the exception to that rule, although I wouldn't rule them out just yet. Anyway, back to the countdown...

Number 75 "4 In The Morning" by Gwen Stefani
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 74 "Love Is Gone" by David Guetta featuring Chris Willis
Before he could get, well, pretty much anyone to perform on his songs, David Guetta often relied on former gospel singer Chris Willis for vocals, including on this second hit from his third album, Pop Life. Total chart domination was still a few years away for David, and there were no further big hits from Pop Life, which included singles featuring Tara McDonald (who'd featured on Armand van Helden's "My My My"), and Swedish House Mafia's Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso.

Number 73 "I Could Fall In Love With You" by Erasure
After partially recapturing what had made them one of my favourite acts of all time with 2005's Nightbird album, Erasure lost the plot (as far as I was concerned) with the following year's Union Street, which reimagined some of their lesser known singles and album tracks as acoustic or, even worse, country songs. It was back to synthpop for album number 13, Light At The End Of The World, which was preceded by this lead single.

Number 72 "The Angry Mob" by Kaiser Chiefs
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 71 "Too Young To Fight It" by Young Love
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 70 "Lil Star" by Kelis featuring Cee-Lo
I've always preferred Kelis's more traditional songs - you know, tracks with a melody - to shouted or spoken singles like "Caught Out There" or "Milkshake". So, after enjoying "Trick Me", "Millionaire" and "In Public", I was a bit disappointed with "Bossy", the lead single from her 2006 album, Kelis Was Here. Luckily, Kelis had this gem up her sleeve - a soulful duet with the Gnarls Barkley singer that returned her to the UK top 3 (although didn't have quite the same connection in the US, where "Blindfold Me" was released instead, or Australia).

Number 69 "Bonafied Lovin'" by Chromeo
First Dragonette (who featured in Part 1) and now Chromeo proving there was more to Canadian music in the '00s than Avril Lavigne, Nelly Furtado and Simple Plan. Unfortunately, as well as sharing Dragonette's love for retro-influenced electronica, the duo of Patrick "P-Thugg" Gemayel and David "Dave 1" Macklovitch also had just about as much chart success with synth-funk tracks like this single from second album Fancy Footwork

Number 68 "What You Do (Playing With Stones)" by Big Bass featuring Michelle Narine
Originally released in 2000, it was years before this early '90s-influenced dance cut, which samples Bizarre Inc's "Playing With Knives", crossed over. And it would be just as many more years before the early '90s revival really kicked in - with the charts besieged by a slew of tracks referencing that era in the last couple of years (see: Chase & Status, Redlight, Secondcity, et al).

Number 67 "Don't Hold Back" by The Potbelleez
Before it featured in every TV show and commercial known to man, "Don't Hold Back" was the breakthrough hit for Australian-based dance act The Potbelleez, who managed to achieve what so many other local dance artists couldn't - they kept the hits coming, managing four top 20 appearances on the ARIA chart by 2011. 

Number 66 "Don't Stop The Music" by Rihanna
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 65 "It's Not Over Yet" by Klaxons
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 64 "Don't Mess With My Man" by Booty Luv
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 63 "Cuz I Can" by Pink
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 62 "Believe" by The Bravery
Their first album and a very public spat with The Killers behind them, synth-rock band The Bravery could get on with their second album, The Sun And The Moon, which upped the rock and lowered the synth component. "Believe" was the second single from the album, which failed to achieve the same impact as their debut and was reworked in its entirety for a 2008 remix project.

Number 61 "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Fergie
Like Kelis, The Black Eyed Peas' singer Stacy Ferguson opted for a couple of melody-optional tracks, the hideous "London Bridge" and "Fergalicious", to launch her solo career. And, while both those and the more hummable "Glamorous" were all massive hits, they paled in comparison to this power ballad, which became her biggest seller in the US and ended the year as Australia's number 1 single for 2007.

Number 60 "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani featuring Akon
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 59 "Moonlight Party" by Fonzerelli
Aaron McClelland doesn't have quite the same ring to it, does it? That's the name of the Irish DJ/producer using the Happy Days character as his pseudonym to release this track, yet another under-the-radar dance track from 2007.

Number 58 "Hot Stuff (I Don't Want You Back)" by Pussycat Dolls
Taking elements from both "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer and "Bitter Pill" by Shakespear's Sister, this track didn't end up being released as an official single from the girl group's debut album PCD, but it must have been slated for release at some point (although the details escape me) or it wouldn't be on my list.

Number 57 "I'm Like A Lawyer With The Way I'm Always Trying To Get You Off (Me & You)" by Fall Out Boy
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 56 "She's Madonna" by Robbie Williams with Pet Shop Boys
Throughout the '00s, it'd seemed like Robbie Williams could do no wrong. Turned out, he could: Rudebox. The 2006 electronic album was seen by many as too big a move away from Robbie's classic sound, and singles like "Lovelight" and the title track had a very mixed reception. On third single "She's Madonna", Robbie reteamed with Pet Shop Boys (Neil Tennant had provided backing vocals for 1998's "No Regrets"), who co-wrote and produced the track, said to be based on the reason Guy Ritchie gave for breaking up with his previous girlfriend and moving on with the Queen of Pop.

Number 55 "2 Hearts" by Kylie Minogue
From the Queen to the Princess of Pop, and Kylie returned in 2007 with X, her 10th studio album - and her first since her diagnosis with breast cancer in 2005. Although X was comprised mostly of the electronic pop Kylie had released since her 2000 comeback, "2 Hearts" - which was originally recorded by Kish Mauve, who produced this version - had more of a glam rock feel. The song became an instant number 1 (her 10th) in Australia, but achieved a relatively disappointing (for the lead single from a new Kylie album) number 4 in the UK.

Number 54 "Kingdom" by Dave Gahan
Given Martin Gore wrote the majority of the songs for Depeche Mode, it was understandable lead singer Dave Gahan would want to spread his musical wings from time to time. In 2007, he released his second solo album, Hourglass, which included this lead single - a track that compared favourably with his band's output in the '00s. And, starting with 2005's Playing The Angel, that output had begun to include songs written by Dave, including the singles "Suffer Well" (from PTA) and "Should Be Higher" (from 2013's Delta Machine). 

Number 53 "Misery" by Good Charlotte
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 52 "Hook Me Up" by The Veronicas
For their second album, Jess and Lisa Origliasso traded in their Max Martin-style power pop for some electronic pop - and fans didn't seem to mind one bit. The title track of their second album, "Hook Me Up" hit the top of the ARIA chart and came with a t.A.T.u.-esque music video featuring the twins in school uniform. With follow-up "Untouched" (number 90 on this list), the duo reached number 2 in Australia and finally broke through internationally, landing a UK top 10 and US top 20 hit.

Number 51 "Standing In The Way Of Control" by Gossip
It might've taken a couple of releases to reach its full potential (having first come out in 2006), but this debut single from the group fronted by Beth Ditto made quite a splash in 2007. Gossip were big news that year, with the band becoming a favourite at music festivals around the world and singer Beth Ditto emerging as an outspoken advocate on issues of sexuality and body image.

In Part 3: another former Disney star grows up, synthpop starts to gain ground on electronic rock as my genre of choice and the world's most in-demand producer becomes a chart star in his own right (with a little help from lots of guest performers). I'll post that after my usual look back at the ARIA chart from 25 years ago on Wednesday.

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