December 2009 – Gambler


t2009122

DCLXXXVI – December 2009

Running total Highest chart placing The song and who did it
7324
9
WILD HORSES
Susan Boyle
7325
2
RUSSIAN ROULETTE
Rihanna
7326
1
THE OFFICIAL B.B.C. CHILDREN IN NEED MEDLEY
Peter Kay’s Animated All Star Band
7327
6
MORNING AFTER DARK
Timbaland featuring Nelly Furtado and SoShy
7328
8
DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING
Alicia Keys
7329
7
LOOK FOR ME
Chipmunk featuring Talay Riley
7330
9
LET THE BASS KICK IN MIAMI BITCH / LET THE BASS KICK IN MIAMI GIRL
Chuckie and L.M.F.A.O.
7331
6
DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’
Journey
7332
4
3 WORDS
Cheryl Cole featuring will.i.am
7333
6
YOU KNOW ME
Robbie Williams
7334
3
STARSTRUKK
3OH!3 featuring Katy Perry
7335
1
THE CLIMB
Joe McElderry
7336
1
KILLING IN THE NAME
Rage Against The Machine

 

Susan Boyle covering the Rolling Stones. Yes, it happened. The singing’s good, but the song doesn’t half drag on a bit. Russian Roulette’s OK, but it sounds like a song t.A.T.u. would do rather than Rihanna. Now then, the problem with Peter Kay’s single is that it’s absolutely nothing without the video – it’s just a medley sung by people putting on funny voices.

If the people in charge of Morning After Dark hadn’t used half a ton of AutoTune on the vocals, this would’ve been a decent song. Sadly, they did and it isn’t. Not too keen on Doesn’t Mean Anything either, it drags along for the business end of five minutes and doesn’t do a lot.

Look For Me is a bit naff, but compared to Chuckie and L.M.F.A.O.’s offering, it’s an incredible piece of work. Again, there’s a standard version and a radio version, but neither are easy to listen to. If you like songs that sound like the keyboards are being violently assaulted, then you might get a kick out of it, but not me.

Don’t Stop Believin’ originally got to No.62 in March 1982 and then vanished, seemingly forever. No such luck. After weeks of bubbling just under the Top 75, it finally made it back into the main chart in June 2009 and from thereon in it hung around in the lower reaches for a few months before moving into the Top 60 for the first time at the beginning of November. From that point on, things went a bit mad. After taking 27 and a half years to even get within touching distance of the Top 50, it pole-vaulted up the list to No.19, whereupon it immediately started to fall again. By mid-December it had dropped back to No.52 but that wasn’t the end of it. Oh no, the bloody thing shot straight back up to No.9 in time for Christmas, didn’t it? (Yes.) Still, well done Journey. Moving on then, and 3 Words sounds like everything’s being played and sung out of time, but do you know something, it works. Besides, it’s nice to hear a pop song that’s willing to try something different; there aren’t too many of those around at the moment. Speaking of which, Robbie Williams’s You Know Me aims for an old-school pop song sound and very nearly misses. Starstrukk’d be much improved without the wolf-whistles – once is OK, but there’s hundreds of them! Next up, a very special achievement. I have nothing against Joe McElderry as a person, he was simply unlucky enough to win The X-Factor in the year that the people of Britain had finally had enough. As usual, the winner was handed a bland cover version to sing and the CDs were mass-produced and chucked into the shops for Christmas week for maximum profits, but this time there was a backlash waiting. In the summer of 2009, a very clever person started a Facebook campaign to get possibly the least X-Factory song ever written to Number One for Christmas week. It had previously only got as far as No.25 in March 1993 and wasn’t, to put it midly, particularly radio-friendly. No chance, you’d think, these campaigns always fizzle out. Yeah, except this one didn’t. This one gained more and more momentum until come Christmas week itself it had a very real chance of succeeding. It still wasn’t a done deal though, so for the first time in nearly twenty years I found myself tuning into Radio 1 to hear the announcement of the Christmas Number One and stone me, Rage Against The Machine ACTUALLY BLOODY WON! Its job done, it let Joe McElderry take the New Year honours before falling out of the chart altogether inside three weeks, but in the end the battle for the Christmas Number One was the most entertaining and unpredictable in years, so thank you Joe McElderry and Rage Against The Machine, and especially thank you to the DJs who forgot to fade out the first ever festive chart-topper to contain the jolly refrain “Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” until it was far too late.

Well, that’s the end of 2009. A better year than I remembered, but not by much. Bloody AutoTune – can nothing stop it? Let’s head into 2010 and find out…