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BLU CANTRELL ft SEAN PAUL – "Breathe"
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Dancehall stars have found many routes into the UK mainstream – cover versions and ads; tie-ups with hot producers; hardcore or controversial lyrics; or just basic novelty. Sean Paul found yet another way to make it. His thing was to strip down[…]

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TOMCRAFT – "Loneliness"
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Andrea Martin’s “Share Your Love” is an attractively crafted 1998 R&B tune about loving a philanderer. She opens with a sad idea, “Happiness seems to be loneliness, and loneliness killed my world / How could you guess, when you’re only […]

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Popular '01
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I give a mark out of 10 to every entry. These polls are your chance to say which records YOU would have given 6 or more to. Not quite as many 2001 entries as the 2000 poll but still an awful lot. My 9s this year went to Destinys Child, So Solid Crew,[…]

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VOX POPULAR: The Charts As Soapbox In A Digital Era
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This is the text of my presentation to EMP 2016, in Seattle. The theme of the conference was “voice”, thankfully this proved flexible enough for me to ride my favourite hobby horse. I gave the presentation without notes, so the text here […]

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BOYZONE – "No Matter What"
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“No Matter What” has an elevated position in Boyzone’s catalogue. It’s their big crossover hit, the one by songwriters of real mass-appeal pedigree – Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman – and the only one to have done well in the USA. Yo[…]

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BOYZONE – "All That I Need"
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This is one of the two Boyzone records I couldn’t well remember. So, it’s not the slow cover version, or the fast cover version. It’s not the one by Andrew Lloyd Webber, or the one which pretends it has something to say. It’s just Boyzone bei[…]

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MICHAEL JACKSON – "Earth Song"
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“The environment” is something of a pop graveyard, and no surprise. Beyond specific conservation efforts, the problems we’ve created seem simply too vast for us to cope with as a species. No wonder our pop singers have mostly failed[…]

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BLUR – "Country House"
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BOXING?

A “heavyweight battle”, the NME cover-billed it. And if “Country House” vs Oasis’ “Roll With It” was a title bout, the music press were desperate to play Frank Warren.

Perhaps they had most at stake. It was, in a way, thei[…]

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CELINE DION – "Think Twice"
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I should say from the outset, I’m unreasonably fond of this record. “Unreasonably” not because it’s a bad song or ‘guilty pleasure’, but because it’s not a record I want to reason with. I like it as a trip in[…]

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EAST 17 – "Stay Another Day"
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Does every Beatles need a Stones? East 17’s manager Tom Watkins may have come to think so. His group poked their noses into the charts before Take That, but found themselves defined against Gary and the boys, and showed every sign of revelling […]

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Latest comments on Popular

  1. I remember being in the queue for the Cardiff Virgin Megastore midnight opening/signing for their second album, for a friend,…