... Roger Sanchez
Another Chance, a mostly instrumental dance track, by Roger Sanchez debuts at no 1
on July 9th, 2001. The superstar clubland DJ was born and raised in Queens, New York, and has
been an influential remixer for artists such as Janet Jackson and Prince. His first album as an
artist First Contact is released in July 2001 and he has one of the hottest sets in Ibiza
this summer. The video for Another Chance is shot in New York and has a touching concept of a
girl with too big a heart for the city life...
... Safri Duo
Percussion instrumental Played A Live debuts at no 6 on January 28th, 2001 in the UK.
... Santana featuring The Product G&B/Rob Thomas
The second single in the UK from all-conquering (comeback) album Supernatural, Maria Maria
debuts at no 6 on July 30th. Wyclef Jean is the main collaborator on this track although the
album is a virtual who's who of the music business. The guitar legend Santana also debuted on
26th March at no 3 with the song Smooth featuring vocals by Rob Thomas. The singles
have been less successful in Britain than the USA where Smooth seemed to be number one forever,
but the album did reach the number one spot earlier in the year.
Lyrics: Maria Maria,
... Sash! featuring Tina Cousins/Inka Auhagen
Back to the uptempo beat for Sash! who debuts at no 10 on September 17th with With My Own Eyes
featuring vocals by Finnish singer Inka Auhagen who incidently tried for Eurovision a few years ago.
Earlier in the year, Sash! followed up Adelante which peaked just behind
Gabrielle on the 6th of February, with the cool ballad Just Around The Hill. Sung by
Tina Cousins, that song has excellent lyrics and a soaring melody. Unfortunately radio and
video channels had been slow to take it up - perhaps it would have been better suited to mid-summer...
The track debuted at no 8 on 16th April and all three hits are from his latest album Trillenium. Sash! and
Tina Cousins have teamed up before, on the more uptempo Mysterious Times. That time the German
producer was kept off the top spot by Boyzone...
Lyrics: With My Own Eyes
... Savage Garden
The title track of their second album, Affirmation, takes Savage Garden into the
Top 10 for the first time in 2000 when it debuts at no 8 on July 23rd. Often incorrectly given the boyband tag (although they do have
a big fanbase of screaming girls), the australian/british
duo of singer Darren Hayes and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Jones have something
more that takes them into the soft rock bracket. Their previous UK top 10s are Truly Madly
Deeply, To the Moon and Back and the 1999 I Knew I Loved You. Also big in the
US, the boys met while playing in pub bands in Queensland in 1994.
... Scanty Sandwich
The imaginatively named Scanty Sandwich debuted at no 3 on 23rd January, 2000 with
Because of You.
... S Club 7
Jo once again takes lead (and, some might add, only) vocal for S Club 7 as they debut at no 1 with the
ballad Have You Ever on November 25th, 2001. This is their third no 1 in a row following
the discoesque Don't Stop Movin' in April and Never Had A Dream Come True in 2000.
The last track was also one of the few Top 10 hits by British in the US in recent years. Other
British hits in 2000 were the eurovision-sounding Reach and the Rachel lead vocal
Natural. The group will shortly begin shooting a movie following the success of their
Don't Stop Movin' (UK:1),
Have You Ever (UK:1),
Never Had A Dream Come True (UK:1),
Scooch score their first Top 10 hit in 2000 with More Than I Needed to Know which
debuted at no 5 on 16th January. Scooch are Natalie Powers, who starred in Annie at a young age and has worked in
Tommy and Starlight Express; David Ducasse, who was a regular extra on Byker Grove and worked
for three years at Butlins in Ayr; Caroline Barnes, who once appeared in a US Calvin Klein ad;
and Russell Spencer who made up the words to Amazing Grace when he sang the song for a live
Remembrance Day TV show.
... Shaggy featuring Rikrok/Rayvon/Samantha Cole
Shaggy doesn't make it three no 1s in a row from Hotshot in the UK but with
Luv Me Luv Me debuting at no 5 on 23rd September, 2001 it still continues an
impressive chart run for the Jamaican born artist. The first two singles It Wasn't
Me and Angel (a combination of the old country ballad Angel Of the Morning with a sample
of the bass-line from Steve Miller's The Joker) were British, American and Australian chart toppers which must
put him in line for the biggest selling artist of 2001 world-wide. Born Orville Richard Burrell
in Kingston in 1968, Shaggy moved to New York as a teenager. Having served in the Gulf War
as a member of the US Marines he had a worldwide hit with his version of New York Reggae with
Oh Carolina in 1993.
Angel (UK:1, US:1, Aus:1),
It Wasn't Me (UK:1, US:1, Aus:1)
Luv Me Luv Me (UK:5)
Shakira climbs to no 6 in the US on December 29th, 2001 with Whenever Wherever.
The track is taken from her first english language album Laundry Service although the
Columbian-raised singer has recorded five other albums. The last Donde Estan los Ladrones
was a multi-platinum seller around the world and none other than Gloria Estefan has helped
translate some of those songs into English for Shakira's latest release. Already a major star
in the Latin world, it looks as if the rest of the globe will be her's whenever and wherever she
Underneath Your Clothes,
... Tupac Shakur
Son of two black panthers members, involved in gang fights all his short life, Tupac
Shakur's posthumous hit Until The End Of Time debuts at no 4 in the UK on June 17th. Rumours
suggest that 2-Pac was gunned down in 1996 at the request of Notorious BIG,
himself a victim of a similar shooting six months later. Whatever the case, recent interest in
rap and R&B drives the song (which is based around the Mr Mister hit Broken Dreams) into
Until The End Of Time (UK:4)
Taken For Granted by Australian singer Sia debuts at no 10 on 28th May. The
24 year old from Adelaide is the niece of one of the band members of Men At Work. She was
once an eco-warrior but not for the politics, just for the man she fancied at the time. She
met her idol Stevie Wonder at age 11 and was inspired by him to keep on with her singing.
Taken for Granted samples Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet... But would he recognise it?
... Jessica Simpson
While the majority of girl soloists and bands are trading on their street credibility, lack of
clothing and chanting that they're "not that innocent", Jessica Simpson takes the opposite
stance. Sweet, innocent and, we are told, pure as the driven snow, she debuts at no 7 on 16th April with her
first single I Wanna Love You Forever. It's a nice enough ballad but I doubt her
image will leave a lasting impression on any but the youngest of music fans...
Lyrics: I Wanna Love You Forever
... Bob Sinclair
Bob Sinclair debuts at no 9 on August 13th with I Feel For You. International
spy DJ Sinclair is Yellow Records boss Chris le Friant who had the
original version of Gym Tonic in 1998. Writs by Jane Fonda delayed the release of
the Ibiza anthem as a single and Spacedust stepped in with a number one cover version.
Sinclair's album Paradise is described as "a very nineties interpretation of the
classic disco mood".
The short but perfectly formed Sisqo debuts at no 6 on the 22nd July, 2001 in the UK with The Thong
Song II or Dance For Me. Thong Song was one of the biggest worldwide hits of
2000 and while the new song is a fair attempt, it's not quite on the same par. The latest album
is called Return Of Dragon and is less ballad-heavy than his debut release. As well as his
own work Sisqo has been busy writing for Mya. The former member of Dru Hill is also about to release a new line of clothing
- hence the cool togs in the video...
Dance For Me (UK:6)
Thong Song (UK:3),
Unleash The Dragon (UK:6)
... Smash Mouth
I'm A Believer by Smash Mouth climbs to no 10 in Australia on October
14th, 2001. The track is taken from the Shrek soundtrack and is a new version of
the Neil Diamond song which made the Monkees famous in 1967. In the film the song is performed
by Eddie Murphy in the role of Donkey. Smash Mouth were formed in San Jose California and
got their big break supporting No Doubt at a local festival. The band consists of Steve Harwell
on vocals, Greg Camp on guitar, Paul De Lisle on bass and Kevin Coleman on drums. US hits have
included Walkin' On The Sun, Why Can't We Be Friends and All Star which
reached the Billboard top 5 and was a no 4 hit in Australia.
I'm A Believer
The third song from Hear My Cry, I Put A Spell On You debuts at no 8 in the UK on
December 3rd, 2000. Sonique narrowly missed making it two in a row with Sky, which debuted at no 2 on
September 10th. Her number one, It Feels So Good, went straight in at the top on May 28th
and bucked the trend of the year by staying on top for a third week into June. Sonique is well-known on the club scene where her talent as a DJ has taken her to all the
big dance events around the globe. In fact she's flirted with success many times, most notably
with S-Express in the early nineties but her love of DJing has held her back from being a
full-scale recording artist. Earlier this year a limited edition of the song was mailed to
radio stations in the United States, and caused such a stir that a full release shortly followed,
and the record became a top 10 Billboard hit. Hence the British reissue...
Lyrics: It Feels So Good,
I Put A Spell On You
... So Solid Crew
So Solid Crew debut at no 8 in the UK on January 14th, 2002 with Haterz.
Their previous hits were They Don't Know a no 3 on November 11th, 2001 and the
chart-topping 21 Seconds of August 12th. All three tracks
features rhymes from many of the garage collective's membership including MC Megaman, Ghostface
and MC Romeo. The group got together about two years ago when MC Megaman was
appearing on pirate station Supreme FM. Since then they have been credited, along with Oxide and Neutrino
who also are members of So Solid, with keeping a harder edge to the 2-step medium.
The slick video for 21 Seconds was reported to have cost £200000 to make.
They Don't Know (UK:3),
21 Seconds (UK:1)
... Southside Spinners
Dutchmen Marco Verkuylen and Benjamin are behind the Southside Spinners and their first international
hit, Luvstruck debuts at no 9 in the UK on May 21st, 2000. A techno track, the song has been playing in all
the trendier clubs...
... Britney Spears
Perhaps too raunchy for her pre-teen fans I'm A Slave For U by Britney Spears fails to hit No 1 in the
UK, debuting instead at no 4 on October 21st, 2001. The track was premiered at the recent
MTV Video Awards and with lots of jungle costumes, belly dancing and a huge yellow python the
appearance was memorable to say the least. The most successful teenager in the world in recent
years Britney Spears has tread the line between pop tart and princess with skill.
Previous hits have included the sweet Lucky, the saucy Oops I Did It Again and
the classic Baby One More Time. For more on the girl from Kentwood, Louisiana see the
A to Z of Britney Spears.
Born To Make You Happy,
Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know,
I'm A Slave For U (UK:4, Aus:7),
Oops I Did It Again,
... Spice Girls
After almost a two-year break the Spice Girls return with not one but two new songs both
from the forthcoming album Forever due in November. Holler, an R&B dance number,
and Let Love Lead The Way a classic spicy ballad, top the chart on October 29th. This is the group's ninth
number one and Mel C's 11th which takes her in front of even Madonna in the table of successful
female chart acts. The new album has amongst its guest producers Rodney Jenkins, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
and promises to be a mixture of R&B and pop.
Let Love Lead The Way
Battling it out all week with Beckham and company, Italian DJ Cristiano Spiller
beats the competition as Groovejet takes no 1 on 20th August. The track was originally an instrumental
and is named after a famous Miami night-club. Having penned the lyrics If This Ain't Love
Spiller asked ex-singer of The Audience, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, to record it. Sophie is
the daughter of Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis. Media coverage of the battle for
number one has been high with Sophie giving the impression that she doesn't like dance music
and that she's really not bothered about getting to the top. But I bet she is...
It's Been Awhile by Staind finally reaches the US Top 10 and on October 20th, 2001
climbs to no 5. The video, directed by Fred Durst, has been nominated for the Best Rock Video
award at the next VMAs. Durst invited the band to submit demos to his production company after
a tour with Limp Bizkit and this led to their multi-platinum album Break the Cycle. The
band consist of Aaron Lewis (vocals), Mike Mushok (guitar), Johnny April (bass) and
Jon Wyscoki (drums) and have been together since early 1995.
It's Been Awhile (US:5)
Heralded in the press as the next big thing Starsailor make it to the UK top 10
at 10 with their third single Alcoholic on 23rd September, 2001. Their album
Love Is Here is about to be released and will include the excellent second single
Goodsouls, which incidently had a much better video that the drab clip that
accompanies Alcoholic. The band are James Walsh on vocals, bassist James Stelfox, drummer Ben Byrne
and Barry Westhead on keyboards.
Steps debut at no 5 in the UK on December 9th, 2001 with their double "A-Side" and
farewell single Words Are Not Enough and the old Paige/Dickson duet I Know Him So
Well from the musical Chess. The video for Words shows the band in animated "Tomb
Raider" style and while the others look cool I'd sue if I were Faye... The band announced they
were splitting up on December 26th. Steps had a
busy release schedule since their debut hit 5 6 7 8 in 1997, with 13 top 5s in a row
since One For Sorrow including two number ones with Tragedy and Stomp. The group had a
broad and faithful fan-base and despite their clean and "uncool" image, sold a phenomenal amount
of records in the UK alone. Their previous hit was also a cover version,
Chain Reaction debuted at no 2 on September 30th.
Chain Reaction (UK:2),
Here and Now (UK:4),
I Know Him So Well (UK:5),
It's The Way You Make Me Feel (UK:2),
Summer of Love (UK:5),
Too Busy Thinking 'Bout My Baby (UK:2),
When I Said Goodbye (UK:5),
Words Are Not Enough (UK:5),
You'll Be Sorry (UK:4)
The Stereophonics have a third UK top 5 in 2001 as Handbags and Gladrags written by
Mike D'Abo and previously recorded by Rod Stewart, debuts at no 4 on December 9th, 2001.
The other hits were both no 5s, Have A Nice Day on 17th June and Mr Writer on
March 25th. The latter was a moody ballad performed with more than a
little of an vitriolic vocal by singer Kelly Jones. The first signing to Richard Branson's V2 Records, the Stereophonics
are three lads from the Welsh village of Cwmaman. Previous hits include Just Looking and
Pick A Part That's New while their 1999 album Performance and Cocktails sold over
2 million world-wide. The band's duet with Tom Jones on Three Dog Night's classic Mama Told Me Not To Come
was a no 4 hit in 2000.
Handbags and Gladrags (UK:4),
Have A Nice Day (UK:5),
Mama Told Me Not To Come (UK:4),
Mr Writer (UK:5)
Time To Burn by Storm debuts at no 3 on August 6th. German producers Jam El Mar
and Mark Spoon are behind the track and its their second hit under the Storm moniker.
As Jam & Spoon they had six hits between 1992 and 1997 and two more in 1995 and 1996 as Tokyo Ghetto
Overload by new girl band Sugababes debuts at no 6 on September 17th. The
girls, Keisha, Mutya and Siobhan, have been together since they were 13 and were all born in
London. The song suggests the band might have staying power with a sound that's not unlike a
young All Saints. Sugababes however are shrouded in mystery, doing little promotion and when
they do grant an interview, seem to be unwilling to answer the basic biographical questions.
An odd way to promote a new girl band but with the present glut of similar projects,
perhaps a way to keep the press interested in the long run?
... Sum 41
Fat Lip by Canadian pop punks Sum 41 debuts at no 8 on 7th October, 2001. The band
were formed on the 41st day of summer (hence their name) and comprises of Deryck Whibley on
guitar and vocals, Steve Jocz on drums, Dave Baksh on guitar and Jay McCaslin on bass. Their
second album All Killer No Filler further takes them into Blink-182/Beastie Boys
territory. The video for Fat Lip features all the middle-class rebellion trade-marks -
skate-boards, baggy shorts, tattoos - but also ends with a tongue-in-cheek 80s rock tribute.
Fat Lip (UK:8)
... Supermen Lovers
Starlight by Supermen Lovers debuts at no 2 in the UK on September 9th, 2001. The
man behind the act is Guillaume Atlan, a French producer who says he works from his
bedroom. Like Daft Punk he's rather shy about putting his face forward, hence the extremely
well-made video featuring Mr Potato-Head and Mr Rat trying to make good in show-business. The
track is from an album of songs built around the same theme of country boy going to the city
to make his fortune.
... Sweet Female Attitude
Flowers, a deceptively catchy and melodic garage ballad debuted at no 2 on 9th of April
and spent a total of five weeks in the Top 10.