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Chart Report - 26/11/06

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Fraser McAlpine | 16:18 UK time, Monday, 27 November 2006

  1 TAKE THAT 'PATIENCE' Official Site
  2 AKON ft. EMINEM 'SMACK THAT' Official Site
  3 EMMA BUNTON 'DOWNTOWN' Official Site
  4 JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE ft. TI 'MY LOVE' Official Site
  5 WESTLIFE 'THE ROSE' Official Site
The entire Top 40 is right here...

So, Take That are back, right, and Eminem is back. And Emma Bunton? She's back. And ooh look, Justin Timberlake is back. And so're Westlife, and Beyonce, and the All Saints, and Robbie Williams, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and U2, and Simon Webbe, and Madonna and George Michael and P Diddy and and and and...

And the interesting thing about all of this is that pretty soon you're going to need to have some kind of degree in Pop Gipper Studies before you'll be allowed to enter a CD shop or download a new song. Pop music, which has claimed to be all about 'the kids' ever since it was first minted (before your grandparents were old enough to get into it, if you're the right 'target age' to be reading this), is becoming overwhelmed by acts who only really make sense to people who're in their 20s or above.

Don't believe me? Well, you're probably not one of the people who had to ask someone who Take That were when they decided to get back together. Or one of the people who didn't know that Justin Timberlake used to be in a band called *NSYNC. A band Eminem rapped about hating, by the way, which made Justin's subsequent guest spots on Snoop records even more of a victory for pop justice (as opposed to Popjustice the website, even though they were probably very pleased too).

The Spice Girls

And you probably remember the Spice Girls - hey, maybe you're old enough to have gone to see 'Spiceworld' at the cinema - and All Saints. You might even be comparing Emma Bunton's vocals on 'Downtown' with her sterling work on such legendary pop songs as 'Spice Up Your Life' or 'Stop', or wondering if 'Rock Steady' is really up there with the best of the Saints' back catalogue, like 'Pure Shores' or 'Never Ever'.

You certainly won't need someone to explain that in the pop years before the X-Factor and Busted, there were these things called boybands, and they were a bit like McFly, only there were no instruments, and all of the band wore either a) suits or b) 'streetwear', like trainers and combats and stuff. Oh, and they either sang super-funked up 'bad boy' songs about doing rudeysex with you, a girl, or the kind of great big wet ballads Westlife would reject for being too soppy.

There were usually five of them, stood in a line, and you could always tell which ones could really sing or not. This is because all boybands were divided into two camps, the Singers (in the middle) and the Wingers (on the ends).

The Singers could get away with looking a little tubbier or shorter or weirder than you might expect, because the Wingers were the ones whose chief job was to look either very very good (Nicky Westlife, Richey 5ive) or very very 'edgy' and a bit menacing (Shane Boyzone, AJ Backstreet). And the reason they always stood stood at either end was to keep them well away from the one switched-on microphone in the middle in case anyone should ever hear them singing for real.


Once, there was even a boyband who let some girls in. They were called Steps and were unique in that they had the five-piece lineup of a classic boyband, but all of the singing was done by the three girls in the front, much like the classic three-piece lineup of a GIRL BAND - Bananarama or Destiny's Child, for example. Imagine! Two for the price of one!

This sort of 'outside the box' thinking is the kind of thing the pop world was used to dealing with on an almost daily basis at the time.

And if you didn't know any of this already, you've probably been finding the charts a slightly strange place to be, recently, what with all these rebound wrinklies still up and wriggling about when they should really have moved on to their 'jazz' and their 'folk 'n' roll' music.

No wonder they love songs called things like 'I Don't Feel Like Dancing' and 'Set The Fire To The Third Bar', eh? It's only a matter of time before there's a hit record by H from Steps called 'Thirty Is Still Young, Actually', followed by a tour of over-25 nightclubs to promote it, and then pop music as we know it is entirely doomed. DOOMED I TELL YOU!

Or it might all be OK. Who knows? Same time next week?


  1. At 09:18 AM on 28 Nov 2006, Stef wrote:

    You guys aren't trying to imitate Popjustice by anychance?

    Nope. We've been saying stuff like this on the TOTP website for the past 6 years. Popjustice is great though. - Fraser

  2. At 08:33 PM on 29 Nov 2006, Ido wrote:

    regardless of this column... where are the up and coming releases in this site ?? I can't seem to find 'em, and it makes me very sad


    Don't be sad, Ido. Next week's Sunday Shopping List will have future releases on it too. Hurrah! - Fraser

  3. At 03:00 PM on 17 Dec 2006, Mz.Kiedis wrote:

    uh... so you have to be 20 or above for RHCP to 'make sense' to you?

  4. At 06:48 PM on 03 May 2007, Sten6132 wrote:

    I haven't been up to much these days. Today was a loss. Nothing seems important. I've just been letting everything happen without me these days.

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