Archives – Tom  
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JENNIFER LOPEZ – “Get Right”
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There is a 2005 single, a huge hit, and many will tell you it’s producer Rich Harrison’s masterpiece. On that record, cut-ups of funk breaks are rearranged at oblique angles in a 21st century update of James Brown’s rhythmic modernism, buil[…]

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U2 – “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”
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While I’ve been writing about 2004 and 2005’s pop music I’ve also been helping my wife sort out her mother’s memorial service, so a song about a parent dying is – unfortunately – Relevant To My Interests right now. Not that I real[…]

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EMINEM – “Like Toy Soldiers”
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I’m not sure how rap grudges and running battles came to be called beef but I love it as a word for them – juicy, red meat with inescapable macho connotations. The actual minutiae of rap beefs are strictly fans-only in most cases, playing out[…]

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ELVIS PRESLEY – “It’s Now Or Never”
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It’s an American trilogy! My original plan for the Elvis entries was to do them as a high concept piece inspired by (ripping off) Borges’ “Pierre Menard, Author Of The Quixote”. Since, in their wisdom, the Official Charts Company decided thes[…]

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CIARA ft PETEY PABLO – “Goodies”
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The singles market was weakest in January even in those happy times when Number 1 hits outsold model railway magazines – it’s one reason the Presley scam was successful, letting a fanbase of a little over 20,000 push their boy to the top when[…]

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ELVIS PRESLEY – “One Night” / “I Got Stung”
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“The things I did and I saw / Would make the earth stand still” – Smiley Lewis

In the early days of Popular lack of research was part of the Method. Context was the enemy: the text was the text. My job was to see what, 50 or so years lat[…]

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ELVIS PRESLEY – “Jailhouse Rock”
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(You might also like to read Part 1 of a 3-part piece loosely about the 1000th No.1. I should probably say that piece contains SPOILERS as to the identity of the 1000th No.1, my apologies if that had been a source of pleasurable suspense for you.)

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STEVE BROOKSTEIN – “Against All Odds”
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The 24 Number 1s between Sam & Mark and Girls Aloud are the longest Popular has been Reality TV free since Hear’Say’s first hit. You might have been fooled into thinking its heyday was over. You would have been quite wrong.

The X Factor is[…]

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BAND AID 20 – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
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“The 2000s remakes all got a bit too clever”, sniffed SAW’s Mike Stock years later. A touch of bitterness there perhaps – the people involved with this were as likely to rep for Pictures Of Starving Children Sell Records as Band Aid II &#[…]

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GIRLS ALOUD – “I’ll Stand By You”
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Girls Aloud were two bands uneasily sharing one career. They were the TV competition winners who kept one foot in the light entertainment paddock, reliably putting out a cover version whenever a telethon required it. And they were the pop band &#8211[…]

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