Feels So Good
Nice to see Mel B return to the UK charts with a song closer to her Spice Girls roots.
Feels So Good, more pop than r&b, is the opposite mood of
the previous release from solo album Hot, the acidic Tell Me. With all present and former Spicies having
released solo projects and no plans to promote any further singles from group-project Forever
it's strange that the girls still insist the band has not split. Incidently Mel B admitted in a
recent interview that she has made it up with Geri... pity that didn't happen while they were
making Forever, it could have done with a bit of Ginger's end-of-pier humour... While her pop career
might not be as hot as it once was, Mel B recently did a fine job of hosting British TV talent show
This Is My Moment.
More Than That
The Shape Of My Heart
Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely
Drowning by the Backstreet Boys is
the only new track on their Hits-Chapter One album. Kevin Richardson, Nicholas Carter, Brian Littrell, Alexander McLean and Howie Dorough, all
US lads from the states of New York, Kentucky and Miami had their first big break in Germany
before conquering the rest of Europe. Success in the States didn't occur until Everybody became
a major hit in June 1998. A compilation of their European releases then became the biggest US
album of 1998.
Badly Drawn Boy
Spitting In The Wind
Who Let The Dogs Out
You All Dat
The Baha Men are dismissed as a novelty act and while there's no doubt that Who
Let The Dogs Out is a comic record the group have been making more serious work for
Group founder Isiah Taylor began experimenting with blending the festival sounds
of Junkanoo with the pop industry bass, drums and guitar in the late 70s. In the 90s
the Baha Men have had many international platinum albums especially in Japan where they have
become a well-loved live act. The addition of a new generation of lead singers has lead to a
breakthrough in the american and european markets...
I Need Somebody
Manufactured for TV girl group Bardot were chosen
from thousands of hopefuls in the original series of Popstars, and are now a foursome with the
recent departure of the maverick Katie Underwood. The remaining group are Tiffany, Sally, Sophie
and Belinda. Their debut single and album Poison was no 1 in Australia in 2000.
Where's Your Head At
Basement Jaxx most inventive release of 2001 was Where's Your Head At. Vocals are provided by Damien
Peachy and the track is promoted via what must be one of the most entertaining
videos of the year in which mad scientists experiment on monkeys to produce the latest thing
in pop music. The duo behind the group are Simon Ratcliffe and Felix Burton.
Their debut album Remedy in 1997 produced two Top 10s in Red Alert and Rendez-Vu. The current
album Rooty also features the hit track Romeo.
Still On Your Side
A British success in the states has been BBMak. The boys spent a year across the pond in the US, recording
some tracks as well as touring with Britney Spears. Their name comes from the group's surnames - Christian Burns,
Mark Berry and Ste McNally - and all three have a hand in writing their own material. Incidently Ste, who comes from the
North of England as do the others, is an excellent piper and accompanied Rod Stewart on the bagpipes at Wembley...
A Mind Of Its Own
Not Such An Innocent Girl
Out Of Your Mind
The press may squeal that the debut of Not Such An Innocent Girl by Victoria
Beckham was a bit of a failure, but even the former Ms Posh Spice was
admitting that the song was no major challenge in such a strong chart week. The video is
extremely well-made and features two Victorias, one dark one light, representing conflicting
sides of the singer's nature. The last of the Spice Girls to release a solo-album, Victoria
remains the member most in the public spotlight, thanks to her marriage to England footballer
Gotta Get Thru This
Daniel Bedingfield is a 21-year-old from South London who is alleged to have been the focus of a bidding war
between record companies earlier in 2001 who were all desperate to release his debut garage track
after its success in the clubs. Gotta Get Thru This was recorded in Daniel's bedroom
using basic equipment which proves that talent, rather than expensive marketing, can still
do well in the charts. He's currently working on songs for his first album.
Bell and Spurling
Sven Sven Sven
Sven Sven Sven by Bell and Spurling is a comedy football song, the lyrics praising the haircuts of
England players as well as
Swedish-born manager Sven Goran Eriksson. Martin Bell and Johnny Spurling are established
song-writers and session musicians and have worked with Go West, Tony Hadley and Rick Astley
amongst others. They perform at many celebrity parties including footballers. They are also
currently working on a comedy show for television.
Work It Out
See The Trouble With Me
A number that had been doing a storm in UK clubs during early summer 2000 was You See The Trouble
With Me by Black Legend. Created by Italian Djs
Ciro Sassi and Enrico Ferrari, the original cut of the track featured a live recording of the
man who had a hit with the song first time around in 1976, Barry White. However negotiations
with the soul legend broke down over a British release and so the vocals were re-recorded with
White impersonator Elroy "Spoonface" Powell...
Mama - Who Da Man?
1, 2, 3, 4 Get With The Wicked
Someone There For Me
The most popular man on British MTV, Richard Blackwood, had a debut hit in 2000 with
Mama - Who Da Man?. A combination of Blackwood's catch phrase Who Da
Man? and his uncle Junior's hit of April 1982, Mama Used To Say, the track
is a Will Smith style rap. The video shows Blackwood surrounded by a posse of beauties further
enhancing his reputation as a ladies' man. But as ever there's a bit of wit and self-mockery
too. Let's just hope success doesn't go to his head (not!...)
Mary J Blige
No More Drama
Family Affair by Mary J Blige comes from her latest album No More Drama on which she
works with a variety of
producers and writers. Born in the Bronx in January 1971, Mary was signed to Uptown Records
by Sean "Puffy" Combs and sold over two million copies of her debut album. Over the years she
has collaborated with many major artists, the most recent being the dramatic ballad 911
with Wyclef Jean.
All The Small Things
The Rock Show
With a video that sends up everyone from the Backstreet Boys to Britney Spears, the wild
rock band Blink 182 made a surprising hit in the UK with All The Small Things.
Well-known for taking their clothes off, the band are almost the opposite of the boyband
movement, accentuating their ugly tattooed pierced sides rather than simpering sweetly for the
cameras. They also believe in keeping their musical integrity and offending fans of other acts
rather than being popular. Looks like the honesty has paid off... and all the girls love them...
The Bloodhound Gang
The Bad Touch (Discovery Channel)
Hated by critics The Bloodhound Gang first hit with their Discovery Channel song
around Europe before becoming one of the biggest hits of 2000 in the UK. The US gang
were a bit surprised by this, mistakenly thinking the British market too sophisticated for
The Bad Touch. The video, which showed the guys
in monkey suits capturing chefs, gay men, girls in black skirts and a vertically challenged
mime artist on the streets of Paris, was criticised for being anti-gay...
If You Come Back
The latest boyband on the block, Blue are Duncan James, Anthony Costa, Lee Ryan and Simon
Webbe, all from London. Their third single was a massive UK hit as was
their cover of the Next song Too Close. Their debut single All Rise was
also a hit in Australia
and New Zealand. That video featured the boys sitting in a
row of chairs, or standing waving their arms which suggested they were more singers than
dancers, but nevertheless the track has a punchy vibe which
lifts it above the mainstream boyband fodder...
Music Is My Radar
A new track released for the Best of Blur album Music Is My Radar was difficult to work out
the lyrics for and comes with a
video which features dancers in bike-helmets performing in a TV-studio while the band watch
from a interview pit. All very confusing. The album features the majority of Blur's single
releases, including 1990's debut She's So High, the number ones Beetlebum and
Country House and the anthems Girls and Boys and Song 2.
Bob The Builder
Can We Fix It?
Mambo No 5
star of the animated series that bears his name outsold not just Westlife but every other song
in 2000 staying at the top with the rocky
Can We Fix It. Bob the Builder
is voiced in the TV series and sung on record by Men Behaving Badly and Boon actor
Neil Morrissey. Bob has recently extended the success of his debut hit by climbing to no
1 in Australia.
Despite sounding slightly old-fashioned, Freestyler by Finnish group Bomfunk MCs,
is an energetic blast of techno funk with (almost) indecipherable
lyrics. The video gives the impression that everyone in Finland dances to their walkmans in the
streets and that all the girls are Davina McCall look-a-likes... Bomfunk MCs are BOW
aka Raymond Ebanks born in London but living in Finland and DJ Gismo aka Ismo Lappalainen.
Their album In Stereo has been around on the continent for almost a year and Freestyler has already
been number one in at least nine other countries. If you listen very carefully you'll hear
they curse a little but most radio stations don't seem to have noticed...
It's My Life
One Wild Night
Say It Isn't So
Thank You For Loving Me
Bon Jovi's resurgence began with It's My Life. The song was classic Bon Jovi complete with
talk box, a device we all thought was long gone, and an exciting video full of stunts and live
action. One of the biggest commercial "heavy metal" bands of the eighties their reputation more
than output helped fans keep the faith during the last decade. Solo projects and a film career
for singer Jon Bon Jovi made it look as if the band was a thing of the past... until now. Bon
Jovi consolidated their comeback success with a more hits from the album Crush.
Out Of Your Mind
Shut Up And Forget About It
Dane Bowers who graduated from boyband member (the now defunct
Another Level) to True Stepper
collaborator, Dane has recently released his debut album and
has been busy compering popshows on Sky TV. His Truestepper collaborations Buggin' and Out of
Your Mind were top 10 UK hits in 2000.
All You Wanted
Another Day In Paradise with Ray J
What About Us
Brandy and her brother Ray J debut got together to make a cover of the Phil Collins'
charity song Another Day In Paradise. The original was a no 2 hit for Phil in November
1989. The new version, mixed by the Stargate boys, was taken from the tribute album to the ex-Genesis
frontman, Urban Renewal.
He Wasn't Man Enough
Toni Braxton's return to the charts must in part be due to the rather Carey-like video with
a cartoon intro. A very sexy Toni pouts, kicks and shimmies in a more than fetching manner in
an expensive looking set. The song He Wasn't Man Enough was produced by Rodney Jerkins.
Much has been written about Ms Braxton's former financial worries but this single and the
new album The Heat marks a new beginning. The Heat was much more uptempo than her
previous album as the singer admitted to being tired of being labelled as a ballad singer. And
another thing, during her dispute with her record company Toni took
a turn in playing Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast.
Dolphins Were Monkeys
Ian Brown, former lead vocalist with the Stone Roses, recorded his first solo
album, Unfinished Monkey Business in 1998 on primitive equipment in just three weeks but the rough sound of the recording didn't
stop it from reaching no 4 in the UK album chart. After spending a few months in jail for an
incident on a flight from Paris to Manchester he completed his second album Golden Greats.
Take My Breath Away
What Took You So Long
Emma Bunton became the fourth Spice Girl member to
grab herself a UK solo number one What Took You So Long?, which helped the Spicies beat
even the Beatles' record of successful post-band
careers as Ringo Starr had hits but no chart-toppers. Of course the Spice Girls have yet
to split but with solo success and the lack of interest in their rather appalling third album,
it seems unlikely they'll record a full set again.