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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews)

 
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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 8/6/2012 11:18:44 AM   
Rhubarb


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I'm quite flakey with the selling out argument, for a couple of reasons, first off I really love pop music (as should be evident by the fact that I am doing this thread) and don't think broad appeal is a particularly bad thing for music. Secondly, I think its partly a generational thing - My guess would be that if you came of age, musically, somewhere between 1977 and 1993 you probably attached some value to that punky ethos of not actually selling any records but them having some kind of artistic value because of that. For me, The Offspring "selling out" was the first record I liked enough to buy as a teenager, and from then on it was headlong into pop music - not long after I bought ...Baby One More Time, and so my grounding was always in pop. When 2001 rolled around and I started getting into "credible" music off the back of The Strokes, I did turn away from the million sellers a bit briefly but I found two things - first Last Nite has no more or less credibility to me than ...Baby One More Time, both work for me as brilliant songs, and second with the advent of downloading everything in sight no-one was actually selling any records anymore, so if you wanted to be a credible band who sold no records, you would literally be that, and so inevitably, even the "cool" bands from my coming of age started chasing the dollar - Jack White did a song for Coca-Cola, Julian Casablancas for Converse, Karen O for bloomin' Adidas and I kind of had to either justify it or stop liking them. Found it easier to justify it really.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 8/6/2012 6:24:04 PM   
rawlinson

 

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I always thought Dave Foley from Kids in the Hall was an incredibly talented man, and was a bit disappointed with some of the choices he'd made over the last few years, a few days ago I found out exactly why he was doing shit like Vampires Suck. He's basically in a situation where because of some fucked up Canadian laws he has to pay 400% of his average monthly income to his ex-wife. He's doing any old shit for money, because he'll be thrown in jail if he doesn't. Kind of made me feel guilty about every time I've thought someone I liked is whoring their talents for cash.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 12/6/2012 4:10:53 PM   
Rhubarb


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016 Oh Mein Papa - Eddie Calvert (8 Jan 1954) No1 for 9 Weeks



Britain's relationship with Germany is a weird one isn't it? Always full of surprises, here we are, less than a decade after the Second World War, and we're sending a German song to the top spot for an impressive nine weeks. The kicker is that it is a largely instrumental version of the track by an English trumpeter. Still, the original title was at least maintained, unlike a later English language translation, which did that classic thing of mangling the meaning to make it fit the language. The track is a pleasant if forgettable old style humalong, as you might expect, but it made nine weeks at the top of the chart (equalling the record for straight weeks at the top) and became the first instrumental track to be awarded a Gold Record (ie it sold 100,000) copies. It is however not as good as the Krusty the Klown version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6tlYlIeWOc

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 12/6/2012 4:19:19 PM   
Rhubarb


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017 I See The Moon - The Stargazers (12 March 1954/23 April 1954)) No1 for 6 Weeks (Non consecutive, 5 weeks then 1 week)



Everyone's favourite group are back, for their biggest stay in the charts. Interestingly, they are the first act to have got to No1 with their first two charting hits - although they released a few songs between their number ones, they had missed the chart (at this stage still a measly top 12) alltogether. This is an utter campfire singalong, the kind you can imagine a family singing around the piano before they had the TV so they could ignore each other completely. For a group whose reputation was built on an ability to harmonise this all sounds a bit awry to my autotune-sensitive ears, with some noticable wobbles in the singing. Still it went to Number one for five weeks before being chucked off for a week, only to return, so I can only imagine that record buyers were a little less sensitive to that kind of thing then.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0g8b1WuNifQ

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 13/6/2012 7:30:54 AM   
tommyjarvis


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123

Fine. The Offspring changed direction, producing more mainstream singles, seemingly motivated entirely by the monetary gain of mass appeal, without doubt at the expense of musical integrity, and abandoning the punk ethic in the process. You don't have to call it "selling out", but they definitely lost credibility and ceased being punk - both in musical and (sub-)cultural terms. They moved from a punk label to a major mainstream label for the financial gain, changing their sound as they did (whether by choice, or at the insistence of the label). Though they gained many fans as a result of the change, they lost a lot of fans of their prior releases - i.e. punk fans. In short, they sold out.

You're absolutely right when you say that bands' priorities (and sounds) evolve from when they first start out, but I think that's a different point. A band can quite naturally change how it sounds due to how the members feel about the music they're creating, what's going on in their lives, advances in tech, maybe they can no longer rock as hard or play as fast, whatever, at different times over their lifespan. Fans of the band's early releases may continue to like them throughout their career, or as is often the case, the bands may lose the appeal they initially had and the audience will wane or grow and/or shift. All this is fine, natural, the way of the world, sad but true. But changing for such reasons doesn't mean a loss of integrity. There's a difference between evolving over time (even if it happens to make you richer) and changing your sound specifically to chase the almighty dollar.


You see, I think all that's irrelevant. The quality of the music is what matters, not the motivation behind its recording. I would much rather listen to a band who wrote great songs that were written for mercenary reasons than another band who maintained "integrity" (whatever that means) and wrote crap songs.

I'm also never clear why bands that change from less accessible stuff to more commercial material are slated for it (eg Metallica, Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro), while bands that go in the opposite direction are praised for it. The inference is that mainstream = worse, which is nonsense.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/6/2012 2:37:22 PM   
Rhubarb


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018 Secret Love - Doris Day (16 April 1954/7May 1954) No1 for 9 Weeks (Non consequtive, 1 then 8)



Secret Love is the big song from Calamity Jane, a film I have not seen. Anyway this is the big begining of film tie in songs getting to be number ones and huge sellers, this one in fact the biggest selling single of 1954. The song is sort of unremarkable stripped of its context, but you can imagine if it was a summer where everyone had seen the movie and everyone was coming back and buying the record and so on and so on. It has become a standard anyway and everyone from Sinead O'Conner to kd lang to Mandy Moore to George Michael has done a version.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQmwEhnX6UE

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/6/2012 2:43:37 PM   
Rhubarb


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019 Such a Night - Johnnie Ray (30 April 1954) No 1 for 1 Week



After 1 week at Number One, Doris was knocked off top spot by the Stargazers, who were briefly knocked off top spot by Johnnie Ray, sneaking a week at the top before Doris started her big stay at the top. Right here you can hear the beginings of Rock and Roll for the first time proper, its shuffling bluesish skiffle beat driving forward what clocks in at just over two minutes long. Ray still has to sort of croon his way through to get away with it, but there is a lot of breathlessness and stuff that would eventually find its way into rock n roll proper. The song was originally performed by The Drifters, which was a big hit over in the US, but here we bought Ray's cover. Elvis would later also do a cover, confirming its proto-rocknroll credentials.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7C5fIDdOQ14

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/6/2012 7:14:38 PM   
matty_b


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I'm pretty sure that's played in Frankie & Benny's non-stop.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 24/6/2012 2:26:04 AM   
Gram123

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: tommyjarvis


quote:

ORIGINAL: Gram123

Fine. The Offspring changed direction, producing more mainstream singles, seemingly motivated entirely by the monetary gain of mass appeal, without doubt at the expense of musical integrity, and abandoning the punk ethic in the process. You don't have to call it "selling out", but they definitely lost credibility and ceased being punk - both in musical and (sub-)cultural terms. They moved from a punk label to a major mainstream label for the financial gain, changing their sound as they did (whether by choice, or at the insistence of the label). Though they gained many fans as a result of the change, they lost a lot of fans of their prior releases - i.e. punk fans. In short, they sold out.

You're absolutely right when you say that bands' priorities (and sounds) evolve from when they first start out, but I think that's a different point. A band can quite naturally change how it sounds due to how the members feel about the music they're creating, what's going on in their lives, advances in tech, maybe they can no longer rock as hard or play as fast, whatever, at different times over their lifespan. Fans of the band's early releases may continue to like them throughout their career, or as is often the case, the bands may lose the appeal they initially had and the audience will wane or grow and/or shift. All this is fine, natural, the way of the world, sad but true. But changing for such reasons doesn't mean a loss of integrity. There's a difference between evolving over time (even if it happens to make you richer) and changing your sound specifically to chase the almighty dollar.


You see, I think all that's irrelevant. The quality of the music is what matters, not the motivation behind its recording. I would much rather listen to a band who wrote great songs that were written for mercenary reasons than another band who maintained "integrity" (whatever that means) and wrote crap songs.

It is true that the quality of the music is what ultimately matters, but the punk ethic is about sticking it to the man, not bending over for him. That's why, in this instance, it feels more like it matters that the band sold out / changed for money (obviously, in the scheme of things, it doesn't actually matter a shitty biscuit). And I appreciate that this is just my opinion, but The Offspring's music became substantially worse with those singles. Better produced and given much wider exposure, though, I'll grant you that.

quote:

ORIGINAL: tommyjarvis
I'm also never clear why bands that change from less accessible stuff to more commercial material are slated for it (eg Metallica, Kings of Leon, Biffy Clyro), while bands that go in the opposite direction are praised for it. The inference is that mainstream = worse, which is nonsense.

For me personally, mainstream usually does = worse, because mainstream equates to safe, boring, samey, diluted, neutered, tailored specifically to not confuse or offend the masses. It's like taking a gritty late night TV show and tempering it in order to plant it in a prime-time pre-watershed slot in the schedule. The inherent value of the thing is reduced by making it more accessible for a wider (the widest possible) audience. The raw sounds of a band before a (major) record company has started to smooth off their rough edges is often much more interesting than what they end up being.

As for your examples (and of course, IMHO), Metallica, yes, became a lot worse when they became mainstream, though I ceased listening to metal shortly after that 1991 album, so it really dun't matter to me anymore. Kings Of Leon, yes, sadly became a lot worse when they became mainstream, and my desire to pick up their last album after the mess that was Only By The Night remains somewhere around nil.
On the positive side, though, I've always thought Biffy Clyro were horrible.

All of this is a big whatever, though, you're entirely entitled to like whatever you like, even Pretty Fly For a White Guy.


< Message edited by Gram123 -- 24/6/2012 2:30:49 AM >


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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 3:31:34 PM   
Rhubarb


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020 - Cara Mia - David Whitfield (2 July 1954) No1 for 10 weeks



After Such a Night, a return for Doris Day to Number One, before the chart record got broken again - Cara Mia became the first song to spend ten consecutive weeks on top of the charts, though Doris still managed to outsell it. Backed by Mantovani's (who co-wrote it) orchestra, Cara Mia was a behemoth of a tune on both sides of the atlantic - the first Bristish singer to sell a million records "over there", the begining of a long line of british artists who would try and get a piece of that (despite selling a million, it only made #10 in the charts, which gives you an idea of the money difference involved in making it in America).
The song itself is quite hard to get excited about really, its a slow smoochy Italiano tune (Cara Mia means my beloved) and it doesn't really do anything for me and makes me feel like rock n roll needs to hurry up and be invented properly please.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGBrpcQW8wA

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 3:39:57 PM   
Rhubarb


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021 Little Things Mean A Lot - Kitty Kallen (10 Sept 1954) No1 for 1 Week



Kitty Kallen ended Cara Mia's record breaking run, and she was number one on both sides of the Atlantic for a bit. She had a fair few hit in the US, but this was her only UK Chart entry making her a proper one hit wonder over here. The song is a nice little ballad about a guy who does lots of nice little things, like say she looks nice when she is not looking nice, and calls her at six on the dot (I hope to got not 6am). It also rhymes endeavour with forever which made me nod with appriciation. Its produced as all ballads in this period, but you can imagine this song through the decades, by girl groups, or someone with a big voice, which would probably better this version itself.

I can't do it...I was going to not mention how weird looking that sleeve is, but it does freak me out a bit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkgDTs0cRXI

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 3:42:14 PM   
matty_b


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She is very freaky looking.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 3:51:02 PM   
Rhubarb


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022 Three Coins in the Fountain - Frank Sinatra (17 September 1954) No1 for 3 Weeks



Of all the pre-Rock 'n' Roll era singers, none has a legacy that has lived on like Frank Sinatra, so while we're still quite early doors, its still surprising his name hasn't popped up before now - I think sometimes I assume that basically Frank was No1 forever until Elvis came along (incidently, it also took the latter longer than you would expect to crack the top spot here). Three Coins in the Fountain of course, is the title song from Three Coins in the Fountain, the second film tie-in song to go to the top spot in 1954. The song was completely rushed in order to get it onto the film in time, which is possibly why the song isn't as well remembered as some of Sinatra's others, though it did win the Academy Award for best Original Song that year. The song is essentially a description of the films plot set to big brooding strings, three people throw a coin in the fountain and one of their wishes is going to come true, god I hope its mine. Its pretty workmanlike by Sinatra's own standards, looking back, but I don't expect he will have minded.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zte58SHBQ80

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 4:01:02 PM   
Rhubarb


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023 Hold My Hand - Don Cornell (8 Oct 1954/19 November 1954) No1 for 5 Weeks (non consecutive 4, 1)



Speaking of film songs - Hold My Hand was also nominated against Three Coins in the Fountain in that Oscar race for best original song, it didn't win the gold guy, but it did spend an extra week at No1 in the UK, so I guess we all know who won that battle, right? Don Cornell was the first of two chart topping acts signed to Vouge records, Buddy Holly would be the other, this sounds nothing really that, but Holly was apparently enough of a fan of Cornell to record his Mailman Bring Me No More Blues. Hold My Hand is essentially crooned and about how nice it is to hold a girls hand, and it is nice isn't it? But you know, its not as good as The Beatles song on a similar subject.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZqyLDTxgZA

< Message edited by Rhubarb -- 28/6/2012 4:09:01 PM >


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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 4:08:06 PM   
Rhubarb


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024 My Son, My Son - Vera Lynn (5 November 1954) No1 for 2 Weeks



Forces sweetheart Vera Lynn's recording career largely pre-dates this charts, which means despite her status in the pantheon of great British voices, this was her only UK Number One (she had spent time the previous year in the charts but had not made it to the top spot). It is, you'll be surprised to learn, a big brooding sentimental ballad (written by previous chart topper Eddie Calvart) which is frankly no "We'll Meet Again" but it is quite nice that Vera got to spend a couple of weeks on top of the charts, isn't it?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BTeKk36-Ys

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 4:32:30 PM   
Rhubarb


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025 This Ole House - Rosemary Clooney (26 November 1954) No1 for 1 Week



I grew up with a cringing hatred of the 1980s, and I have figured out why - my mum grew up in the 80s, and while there was some undoubtedly great music around, the person she was into above all, was Shakin' Stevens. No wonder for awhile I (wrongly) wrote off the entire decade. My mum was some kind of hipster nostalgistic looking back - the other artists she liked as a teenager were apparently Elvis, The Hollies, The Kinks, The Walker Brothers. Shakin Stevens did a cover of This Ole House (Which we'll come to later) which is probably the most nostalgic song of all time - a cover version of an old time nostalgia song in the first place. I would like to say I like Clooney's original just to annoy my mum, but this is a bit rubbish as well, a knee slapping knockabout about how she doesn't have time to fix the house up because she doesn't really need it anymore. It really doesn't capture that feeling you have when you move out of a place to be honest, but it is almost obnoxiously catchy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khfr1aZzhAw&feature=fvst

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 28/6/2012 4:40:44 PM   
Rhubarb


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026 Lets Have Another Party - Winfred Atwell (3 Dec 1954) No1 for 5 Weeks



The first black artist to have a No1 single, and the only female instrumentalist to have a number one single to date, Winfred Atwell's Let's Have Another Party is a sequel of sorts to Let's Have Another Party from the previous year. Its a medley of other songs, played by Atwell on the piano in a ragtime "stylee". To me it sounds a biiiit like the kind of stereotypical silent movie music - all plinky plonk piano and so on, which sounds a bit churlish of me, but you try having a listen and not thinking the same. It saw out the year at top spot, making it Christmas Number One, and I suppose its quite jaunty if nothing else.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umJxL4Gmx3Y

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 9/7/2012 1:38:51 PM   
Gram123

 

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quote:





quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b
She is very freaky looking.


Yeah, she is a bit.


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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 21/8/2012 3:08:16 PM   
Rhubarb


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027 The Finger of Suspicion - Dickie Valentine (7 Jan 1955/21st Jan) No1 for 3 Weeks

[image]http://cps-static.rovicorp.com/3/JPG_250/MI0001/802/MI0001802796.jpg?partner=allrovi.com[/image]

Not the same Dick Valentine as would go on to front Electric Six, the original was another smootie crooner, who just two months before his first Number One Single, had gotten married, which had been expected to basically kill his career and hearthrob status. But no, 1955 was his most successful year, just to prove that critics had no idea what was about to happen in 1955 either. Despite the title suggesting murder or intrigue, or maybe even heartbreak, its a short sweet smoochie love long about a guy pretending to wonder who has stolen his heart, when really he knows all along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz_F1OVKk1Y

< Message edited by Rhubarb -- 21/8/2012 3:10:51 PM >


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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 21/8/2012 3:17:43 PM   
Rhubarb


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028 Mambo Italiano - Rosemary Clooney (14th Jan/4th Feb) No1 for 3 weeks



Trading places with The Finger of Suspicion at the start of 1955 was Mambo Italiano, possibly the first really great Number One. Knocked out to a deadline by Bob Merrill while in a Frankie and Benny's (possibly somewhere more authentic than that) it is utter froth, but utter irresistable froth, as pop music often is. Rosemary Clooney's version was the hit, but the staying power of the song is notable from the fact that in 2000 Shaft redid a dance version, and various electronic versions have been done, and just last year Lady Gaga nicked/sampled the melody for her own Americano. I've no idea if it is about anything or anything, but I know I like it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bzUfmh3G9AE

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 21/8/2012 3:24:18 PM   
Rhubarb


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029 Softly Softly - Ruby Murray (18th Feb 1955) No1 for 3 Week



Knocking the dancable Mambo Italiano from the top spot was...a ballad. Ruby Murray was in her pomp here - having five hits in the top 20 in the same week, which wouldn't be replicated for a few years yet. I'm not really sure to say about the song itself, except "Imagine a postwar ballad sung by a softly sung female star of the day and you basically have already imagined the song in your head, now go back to 1954 and write a few and you'll make millions"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EOA3xyWoD4

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/8/2012 8:08:21 AM   
matty_b


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My father-in-law used to know Ruby Murray.

Fact.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/8/2012 8:50:53 AM   
Gimli The Dwarf


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I need to catch up and listen to a few of these that I don't recognise, but I love Mambo Italiano, Almost made my top 100 for the song poll.

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RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/8/2012 6:12:40 PM   
jonson


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quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

My father-in-law used to know Ruby Murray.

Fact.


Cool. After a heavy night on the beer I used to quite fancy her.

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I've got all the Barbie ones!!!

Yeah but you're old. Really old. Old. Old. Old. Old.

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 84
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 22/8/2012 6:37:07 PM   
directorscut


Posts: 10881
Joined: 30/9/2005

quote:

ORIGINAL: jonson


quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

My father-in-law used to know Ruby Murray.

Fact.


Cool. After a heavy night on the beer I used to quite fancy her.


Weren't you a bit too old for "young people music" back then?

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Member of the TMNT 1000 Club.

(in reply to jonson)
Post #: 85
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 25/8/2012 9:37:38 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range
quote:

ORIGINAL: Rhubarb

006 She Wears Red Feathers - Guy Mitchell (13 March 1953) No1 for 4 weeks



Ending Como's reign comes Guy Mitchell with his story* of an English banker who falls in love with a hawaiian hula-hula girl. To me that synopsis sounds like it could easily find itself on the weirder end of the britpop scale, maybe on The Great Escape in fact. Inevitably its actually a crooner novelty hit, somewhere between swing and music hall. At best you can say its the sort of say its part of that comedy tradition of sending up the middle class, at worst you will be hoping rock and roll hurries up and gets invented. Mitchell himself incidently was actually American, but is using the form of the pop song to pretend he's an English banker.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gI6V83fofQ


*not his in the literal sense, so far none of the No1s have been written by the performer


My Nan used to have a cassette of this in her car. She wears red feathers and a hula-hula skirt...


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Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 86
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 26/8/2012 2:26:27 PM   
matty_b


Posts: 14550
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
FINISH YOUR SMITHS LIST, PILES.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Rhubarb)
Post #: 87
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 26/8/2012 10:45:08 PM   
Piles


Posts: 5545
Joined: 6/8/2007
From: Whalley Range

quote:

ORIGINAL: matty_b

FINISH YOUR SMITHS LIST, PILES.


Haha, I've been computerless for SO long. I'll start it up again tomorrow (maybe).

_____________________________

Top 100 Moz Songs / Top 100 Films

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 88
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 27/8/2012 10:12:13 AM   
matty_b


Posts: 14550
Joined: 19/10/2005
From: Outpost 31 calling McMurtle.
Aha, an explanation!

WE WILL HOLD YOU TO THIS PROMISE.

_____________________________

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cool Breeze
Mattyb is a shining example of what the perfect Empire Forum member is.


(in reply to Piles)
Post #: 89
RE: Rhubarb's List of Every Number 1 EVER (With Reviews) - 27/8/2012 10:27:30 AM   
rawlinson

 

Posts: 45002
Joined: 13/6/2008
From: Timbuktu. Chinese or Fictional.
Yay Piles is back! Matty, when you doing a new list?

(in reply to matty_b)
Post #: 90
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