In compiling this musical venture, inevitably, I had to sit through a lot of dross along the way: throwaway, once-heard-best-forgotten rubbish that somehow crept into the nation’s consciousness, tracks you can’t actually believe were committed to vinyl in the first place, shamelessly Satanic cash-ins that prove, actually, sometimes the Devil has nothing but the worst tunes. Here are the ten most egregious offenders - and I warn you you may want earplugs to hand before clicking on any links.
10. St. Winifred’s School Choir, “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma” (no.1, 1980)
Proof, if ever proof be needed, that children shouldn’t ever be let loose on the pop charts; that they should, instead, be sent to work in mines and sweatshops from a very early age. This inexplicably well-remembered track continues to recall the sounds of dying kittens and nails on a blackboard; thankfully, the choir’s burgeoning crystal meth habit stymied any chance of follow-up success.
9. Colour Girl, “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” (no.31, 2000)
Was there ever a more lumpen and artless cultural development than two-step garage? This mercifully low-ranking offering crams down a kebab before letting rip with a massive musical fart all over one of Andy Williams’ finest four minutes.
8. Su Pollard, “Starting Together” (no.2, 1986)
Because, well… JUST LOOK AT HER. An anomaly at the time of release - I simply refuse to sanction Pollard’s previous Top 75 hit “Come to Me (I Am Woman)” - “Starting Together” now seems fundamentally wrong on every level, from the cheap and tawdry use of Christmas bells to the accompanying promo video’s deployment of the 1980s’ least sexy and glamorous wedding photographs. From an album entitled “The Marriage”, you’ll note. An unhappy one, most likely.
7. Frankee, “F.U.R.B (F U Right Back)” (no.1, 2004)
One half of the R’n’B world’s most colossally tedious lovers’ tiff. Frankee’s erstwhile beau Eamon (who’d charted with “F*** It (I Don’t Want U Back)” a few months before) at least had the wherewithal to have another hit, thus excusing him from this list, but “F.U.R.B.” (basically: “You were a well rubbish boyfriend, you have a tiny manhood, I’ve got a proper man now, he’s, like, got his own car and everything blah blah blah”) stuck around in the charts for aaaaaaaaaages, like the world’s s**test answerphone message, annoying the brain off of any sane listener who simply COULDN’T HAVE CARED LESS by this point. Eventually knocked off the top spot by my own recording “B.O.Y.F.O.R.N. (Both of You F*** Off Right Now)”.
6. Sporty Thievz, “No Pigeons” (no.21, 1999)
More from the bulging “bellend R‘n‘B” file: a purported answer song to TLC’s “No Scrubs”, in which the female singers railed against hopeless, jobless blokes trying to scrounge off them. Here, in a radical reversal you could never have seen coming, a trio of hopeless, jobless blokes whine about the failings of women who won’t let them into their pants, for some reason. At the risk of setting myself up as some kind of referee in this gender war, all I’ll say is: at least pigeons can sing properly.
5. Ashley Hamilton, “Wimmin’” (no.27, 2003)
That’s right, George Hamilton’s layabout son, attempting to launch what we might call a spin-off pop career, if indeed our Ashley had a career to spin something off from in the first place. Here, in a song written by Robbie Williams at the very peak of his “complete knob” phase, Hamilton unwisely attempts to use women as a verb, and much worse besides. Gruesome, really: like watching and listening to a live satellite link-up from a serial killer’s lair.
4. Airheadz, “Stanley (Here I Am)” (no.36, 2001)
Because if Eminem’s “Stan” was crying out for something, it was, of course, to be turned into a pumping floorfiller sung by an Enya lookalike. *locks Airheadz in boot, drives car off bridge*
3. QB Finest feat. Nas and Bravehearts, “Oochie Wally” (no.30, 2001)
From the title, you know it’s going to be no good, but it’s only upon listening to the track - four minutes of hideous misogynistic braying - that you realise just how bad it is: I challenge you to get through ninety seconds of it without wanting to have a shower and remove any remaining trace of your genitalia.
2. Dorothy, “What’s That Tune? (Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo-Doo)” (no.31, 1995)
Not sure yet? Well, here’s “our Graham” with a quick reminder. “Is it answer number one: a dance version of the theme tune to Cupid-slaughtering teatime TV sinkhole Blind Date? Is it answer number two: s**t? Or is it answer number three: really, unspeakably s**t? A full seven minutes of shit, no less?” Never have the contents of a parenthesis appeared more apposite.
1. Pondlife, “Ring Ding Ding” (no.11, 2005)
As if the Crazy Frog records weren’t enough to make you want to run through the nearest shopping centre spraying bullets into everyone around, here’s the “unofficial” (i.e. completely unlicensed) cash-in rip-off, and the fact it got as high in the charts as it did is something this nation will surely have to apologise for at the European Court of Human Rights before long. (You goggle at the record-buying logic involved: “You know that Crazy Frog single? Well, have you got anything like that, only cheaper and less listenable?”) Pondlife: not so much a band name, more the target demographic.
The all-time greatest one-hit wonder will be revealed here tomorrow.