« Previous | Main | Next »

Duck Sauce - 'Barbra Streisand'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 11:46 UK time, Friday, 15 October 2010

Duck Sauce

I'm conducting an experiment. This is a fun song, isn't it? And that's something which pretty much everyone can agree on, right? It's close to being a universally upbeat piece of music, which has been widely praised on the internet and elsewhere for being a great tonic: a cast-iron rocket-powered lift from bad thoughts and a devastatingly effective endorphin tickler.

It's got one of those circular dumb/brilliant refrains that people just love to sing - even if they hate themselves for doing it - it's got the disco euphoria, and it's got a man saying "Barbra Streisand" in a dramatic voice at seemingly random intervals. It's basically happy in a can, assuming you've taken your mp3 player or CD, or a speaker, and, y'know, put it in a can.

Naturally, the scope of the song's potency will need to be put to the test. So what I propose is a kind of emotional barrage, where we examine whether it's possible to break a really bad mood with a really happy song. And ChartBlog being a pretty underfunded laboratory, the only subject I have to work on is myself.

Clipboards at the ready? Let's science!

(I can't show you the video cos of swears, but trust me, it's all about the universal and the happy. Apart from Kanye West's bit.)


You join me at 11:30am. A time which carries neither the optimistic glow of a new day or the excitement of the lunchtime to follow. I'm sitting in an uncomfortable chair, in a draughty room, which is slightly too warm, so I'm sleepy, but harassed. And I can't sleep because there are people talking about something they don't know enough about, in a foolish and annoying way, on the other side of the room. I'm also sleepy because I stayed up late watching a TV show that I don't really like.

Time feels like it is running slow like treacle, and also disappearing in chunks. It's hard to work out what the point of anything is. I've got the thousand-yard-stare so bad, a squirrel down the road thinks I'm giving it the evil eye. It's cloudy, it's damp, and I've managed to annoy everyone I have spoken to so far today, without really meaning to. I'm officially fed up.

Time to put this silly song on then, I suppose...


Isn't life AMAZING SOMETIMES? I mean when you get right down to it, aren't we LUCKY? The whole world is out there to explore, and then there's space and beyond, and, right, it's ALL BEAUTIFUL. So much beauty it's hard for the mind to take it all in. And it's not just the natural world either. I mean people...sheesh!...people are THE BEST. There's literally nothing that we can't achieve if we put our minds to it. And I truly believe that we will. Oh I can't WAIT! CANNOT WAIT! There's just so much joy and love in the world and it's there for each and every one of us, we just have to open our hearts and GET it. And music is the KEY! THE KEY! It's the KEY! Stuff it...I'M DANCING!

Q to the E to the D, boyeee.

Five starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

Another Dying Artform says: "I can't help it. The disco beats. The simple premise (or lack of one). The video making urban life out to be one big party. The song is unadulterated fun."

I Guess I'm Floating says: "Every single one of their songs I've heard thus far have been house-thumping tracks built with pure disco gold"


  • Comment number 1.

    I love this song! Ok it's basically a dance remix of an old song, but it's soooo catchy, and in a good way - not an 'annoyingly catchy' sort of way. Who doesn't sing along to those 'oooh-oooh-oooh' parts?!

    You summed up the universal appeal of this song exactly as I think - just in a much better way than I would be able to describe it. It's just one of those great enjoyable music moments that anyone can enjoy at any time.

  • Comment number 2.

    I wonder if Babs loves it ?

  • Comment number 3.

    Barbra Streisand?


    4 stars, it lost one for being a bit of a gimmick. :)

  • Comment number 4.


    5 STARS

  • Comment number 5.

    Who else loves the artwork?

  • Comment number 6.


  • Comment number 7.


    Simon wants Joe to go to #1 this week, yeah? So why did he give Diva fever (his own act) the song that's going to beat Joe to #1?

    AND THEN... he had the cheek to go and say "I reckon this song could be #1 tomorrow", to make himself look good; to make his predictions and "music know-how" look good.

    Ugh, he makes me sick.

  • Comment number 8.

    I also just heard on Digital Spy, to much surprise, that someone performed it on XF.

    But Oddie, I wouldn't say this song will 'beat' Joe to no.1 - he'll be lucky to be in tomorrow's top 5.

    I'm sure even Simon knows Joe won't be won't be #1, or he wouldn't of allowed someone to perform one of the songs that will be above him, if Joe had been #2 or #3 in the midweeks.

    But yeah, hilarious how Simon thinks he knows it all. He knows (as we all do) his show influences the charts because of the amount of viewers it gets, then he makes convenient 'predictions' based on that! I have more knowledge in my little finger about how music works than he does. He just has the power to influence it, to try and make himself look good. But I will still be surprised if Duck Sauce are no.1 tomorrow - I don't think they will get enough downloads tonight alone from the XF performance to overtake Cee Lo and/or Bruno Mars (whoever is currently top), unless the figures are very close. Could easily happen though, seeing as the download charts have been close all week and there was no Friday midweeks. It could help them to the top of the charts next week though, but I reckon The Wanted will have themselves another no.1 instead.

  • Comment number 9.

    Yeah right!

    In regards to The Wanted, they're really looking promising aren't they? That second #1 with 'Heart Vacancy'. Originally it was released in the same week as Ne-Yo's 'One In A Million', which is ACTUALLY R&B rather than pop, as well as the tepid new offering from Jay Sean, '2012 (It Ain't The End)'.

    But now that Ne-Yo is releasing on November 1 (against The Saturdays, Nadine Coyle, McFly, Ellie Goulding and Roll Deep), it's looking more promising for The Wanted boys, even though Jay Sean's '2012 (It Ain't The End)' has a strong attraction already.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think since the success of JLS, the big record labels have realised that there is still a huge market for good-looking (apparently) boybands to sell to young girls. That showed with The Wanted by their debut song reaching no.1 despite having no support from Radio 1, because they did run quite an extraordinary promotional campaign for the song which ran for several months leading up to the song's release. Now they've somewhat established themselves they will be looking to build on that success with their 2nd single and upcoming album.

    I don't mean to sound so cynical, and I don't begrudge them their success anyway, besides, they aren't awful. But it's obvious they are a record label product with a clear target audience. Not that that's anything new. But yes things are looking good for The Wanted. They should have another hit single next weekend and I think their album will sell reasonably well when it's out too.

  • Comment number 11.

    Entered the charts at #3. So much for the all-knowing Simon thinking it would hit #1 today.

  • Comment number 12.

    number two now.

    Should get to number one for the real chart.

  • Comment number 13.

    With the fact that Joe got nowhere near number 1 , even after a performance on X Factor , I hope this finally puts to bed the myth spread by Chart Blog regulars that X Factor winners who perform on the show will automatically have huge success . It is nearly ALWAYS about the appeal of a song in the pop world . Bad Boys had significantly more appeal than what Ambitions has . Much , much more . Is Joe the new Leon Jackson ?

  • Comment number 14.

    I guess so me and my mum where talking about music yesterday and she said she really liked that Bad Boys song, and she rarely ever watches X Factor and if she does she says they're all boring. It didn't help Joe that his single sounded dangerously close to a Same Difference song.

  • Comment number 15.

    Spirit, I'll remind you to not take the things kutox and I say out of context. Now you've made me write an essay.

    We never said that "If someone performs on X Factor they immediately get huge success", we were more inclined to say that Simon Cowell knows how big a promoting tool The X Factor is, and so will use it to promote his own acts, and acts he's become friendly with (Katy Perry, Pixie Lott & Jason Derulo (for 'Coming Home'), the acts he knows will attract a huge audience (Usher), and the acts he can use as 'examples' of how his shows 'discover great talent' to convince people he knows a molecule about the way music works outside of his shows (Diana Vickers).

    Nine times out of ten though, the acts that do perform are instantly propelled to chart-topping success (Katy Perry has jumped 101 places as of 9 o'clock this evening with 'Firework' after her performance). Granted Katy is a huge pop force right now, but the song wasn't even in the Top 100 before she performed. Look at Olly - we learnt everything there is to know about Olly during his time on The X Factor - his back-story, how he got into music, what his old occupation was etc., etc., and 'we' came to love him through that way - 'Please Don't Let Me Go' only hit #1 because he has a huge following, all thanks to the exposure The X Factor gave him.

    As for Joe's single, well: it's a cover. People were disappointed with his first "real" single being a cover of a band who's been trying to get recognition in the UK for nearly a year. People saw it as unfair and typical Syco marketing. Then it spread like a virus through the internet and to the masses that he was ripping off Donkeyboy unfairly, and that 'Ambitions' was an awful cover of a good song; people were inclined to believe this even though many of them have probably never heard the original. Joe didn't stand a chance.

    It didn't help that the song was horrifically auto-tuned and they'd completely changed the Joe we saw on The X Factor; Syco made Joe into something different and the result was the public feeling they'd been double-crossed; like Joe had turned on them. The Joe they had voted for had disappeared and what was left was an overtly hyperactive, falsetto-skrieking 'High School Musical' drop-out. He won fair and square and gathered a huge following while he did it (no difference to the rest of the winners), but the fickle public had moved on and found his return a complete change to why they voted for him in the first place, meaning he'd lost his biggest audience, and failed to win them back upon his return.

    I hate to say it, but his coming out would've played a part in the poor performance of 'Ambitions' as well, because, even though many artists get by these days whilst being openly gay, Joe chose to come out just as the whole Donkeyboy scandal arouse, and then previewed 'Ambitions' which received a horribly prejudiced reception from Digital Spy, Pop Matters and We Are Pop [Derogatory Word For Women Beginning With 'S'] to name just a few off the top of my head (I don't know where Joe claims of it getting a "hugely positive reception" came from, probably 'The Mirror').
    Many don't see the poor performance of 'Ambitions' as Simon's fault - a huge majority will just blame Joe for "trying to be Mika now that he's come out", as many of my friends have said.

    As for Alexandra and Leona, they not only had infinitely more appealing songs to start their careers with, they had a lot more promotion: both songs being A-Listed on Radio 1 and getting constant airplay from nearly every other radio station in the country. Add to that the fact that the songs 'Bleeding Love' and 'Bad Boys' were released when their respective genres in popular music were huge - Joe has released a Mika/Same Difference/Scissor Sisters-esque song and expected to be the start of a huge turn around in popular music, from R&B/Dance to a more pop-y, freidnly kind of music that was big in 2006-2007. How on Earth even Simon Cowell's big head thought that that was possible, I'll never know.

    It was never going to happen for Joe, right from the off you could tell he wasn't going to hit #1. The song was mediocre and out-dated by the modern R&B raiding the charts right now, plus, Simon gave Joe less hype than Leona or Alexandra; he even waited just TWO WEEKS before release befroe débuting the song on Radio 1! Both Leona and Alexandra had talk going around the nation two months prior to release and the singles were débuted a good month before release, so essentially, they had four week of A-List exposure for the masses, whilst Joe had two weeks of C-List exposure.

    I never thought I'd say it, but it appears that not even The X Factor could've saved Joe, and just goes to show that it is NOT the show that guarantees #1; but Radio 1, mainstream radio, TV appearances, interviews, tabloid articles, etc., ALL contribute to success. The list aforementioned was something all the previous X Factor alumni who have enjoyed success were treated to, whilst Syco left Joe stranded in the dark with a rubbish song and a cringe-wrothy performance on The X Factor.

  • Comment number 16.

    Love your passion Oddie .

    Ambitions failed to make the Top 30 Radio Airplay Chart on day of release and this was an absolute disaster .

    I know many. many people who are not aware that Joe has released his second single .

    I was talking to the bass player of a very well known band last week and I asked him why they had released a certain song , as their next single ,as I felt there were clearly stronger songs on the album .

    He told me that of the four songs that the band submitted to the Playlist Panel of the best radio station in the world , the station picked the one that they would definitely add to the playlist .

    The bands choice as the next single was passed over and they were told that if they released it , it would probably not be played , as it didn't tick all the boxes etc for the station.

    The record company have obviously released the track that is currently on the playlist , instead of the bands choice . It's airplay profile is progressing because of this.

    Coming back to Ambitions , it appears a very weak choice as a lead single , and Joe and the record company must have done all their research and realised that it would get a muted reception at radio .
    Why didn't they test the water with all the possible alternatives to score a radio airplay hit before release ?

    They are ways and means to secure radio play but you must have a two way relationship with radio stations and prepare to adapt and amend to produce a win , win situation .

  • Comment number 17.

    Whatever way you look at it , a "C" list placing and minimal plays at commercial radio , ranks as a missed opportunity , for a single as important in the foundation of Joe's career .

    The next single HAS got to be huge !!!

  • Comment number 18.

    The amount of people I heard singing this today was ridiculous, got on my nerves a bit though.

  • Comment number 19.

    Were you at a Joe concert in Nottingham Harry ? lol

  • Comment number 20.

    Ambitions looks set to have only 1 week in the top 10 and fall dramatically by Sunday . I know Joe will be disappointed but I hope he has a brilliant song up his sleeve to turn it around next time .

  • Comment number 21.

    It's heavily rumoured Syco have already selected 'Real Late Starter' as the third single.

    No dice. It's a horribly auto-tuned Nerina Pallot cover. If you find one of the snippet video floating around somewhere on t'internet, look for 'Someone Wake Me Up' - that's actually very good, and an original song.

  • Comment number 22.

    @ 15

    Tremendous work, Oddie. I was going to respond to spirit's comment yesterday but my internet cut out in the middle of it :(

    People on Digital Spy are always doing the same thing - saying I claim that being from X Factor 'guarantees success'. I have never once said that. What it can and does do is give a massive commercial advantage to people who would otherwise be unheard of. Cowell and co just aim to take someone from the show who has some marketability about them, then use the publicity from the show to launch their music career, then make a big fuss about it when they suddenly get #1 in the charts and sell records, as if it actually proves they've uncovered a 'great new talent'. And of course they spit out the ones who don't sell records (or rather 'make money') and get publicity for the puppetmaster. The show couldn't be more of a machine if it tried.

    But anyway, I was not surprised Joe's song hasn't been a huge success. Although he had quite a bit of fuss and the obligatory XF performance (both as per usual), I just had a feeling that he didn't have quite as much build-up, media discussion and airplay as previous winners and wouldn't have as much success. Think back to last year when Bad Boys was released - the song (and Alex Burke) had tons of build-up, hype, radio airplay (and still does) and you could easily tell it would be a hit in the charts. Big difference with Joe. Even Olly Murs' first single had far more of all those things than Joe did, even without the XF performance. Even though I've never heard said song, I could tell it would do well in the charts because of all the build-up. That's just a few examples, I could give loads more. What I'm saying is that 9 times out of 10 it's easy to tell how well - or not - songs by XF singers will perform, regardless of what the song is like.

  • Comment number 23.

    @ 19

    Joe had a show in Nottingham! I can't believe I missed it!


  • Comment number 24.

    Well someone DID write on the JLS "Club is Alive " thread....

    "They will probably release another single at the end of the year , which will they will get to perform on X FACTOR and then THEREFORE probably get to number 1 . "

    How much evidence do you want ? lol


  • Comment number 25.

    Now, now spirit, that's another misquote. I can tell because you leave space either side of your punctuation. :D [/slueth]

    Right, we only said that because it's what Simon's "acts" (anyone associated with The X Factor in the case) tend to do, particularly Leona Lewis, whose sales haven't yet matched that of 'Bleeding Love's or 'Spirit's.

    Also, that quote only, as I explained, shows that The X Factor is a great marketing tool, but doesn't always guarantee a #1 if an act performs their new single on it. It SURE helps, but if you consider the only acts we've ever said "They'll perform it on The X Factor and it'll go to #1" to are JLS and Cheryl Cole, it's obvious they'd go to #1 BECAUSE they have Radio support, huge exposure, tabloid coverage, interviews, HUGE fanbases (deluded, might I add?) and ALL THAT adds up to a surefire #1.

  • Comment number 26.

    @24 Definitly NOT a mis-quote Sherlock .


  • Comment number 27.

    Haha, okay then, but I still provided information to explain why it's not just The X Factor that does it for artists.

  • Comment number 28.

    Yep you certainly supply information Oddie .

    I bet there is a strange feeling of disappointment at Joe's management and record company.

    X Factor winner releases first single proper , performs it on the show , in front of over 10 million viewers and it peaks at number 6 !

    Same thing happened with Leon Jackson , his "first" proper single just brushed the top 5 .

    The similarities are both songs failed to embrace Radio , both songs seem off kilter to current trends , appear inoffensive and lacking in balls and raw sassy attitude and both lacked the "wow" factor or X FACTOR .

    And both not in the same league of appeal as "Bleeding Love" or "Bad Boys" .

    It was the WRONG single choice for Joe .

  • Comment number 29.

    But even when Joe first won the show, many people were writing him off as 'the next Leon Jackson', and here we are. He just isn't as marketable in the pop world as Leona or Alexandra - we could all see that from the start. I think whatever song he was given, he was going to struggle, to be quite honest.

  • Comment number 30.

    I feel the choice of Joe's next single is absolutely crucial to his career .

    Totally pivotal .

  • Comment number 31.

    It needs to be a massive song, with a huge hook , sang with attitude and passion .

    And his management HAVE to do the research and ensure that it is fully embraced by radio .

    It MUST already be in the top 20 airplay and TV chart , by the day it is released .

    Just winning the X FACTOR is no guarantee to success.
    That is now a memory .

    Careers stand or fall on the quality and appeal of an artists songs .

    Joe's next single has got to have huge appeal .

  • Comment number 32.

    I have been listening to disco for 35 years and been to the best of the best parties....This song is delicious disco so refreshing that Barbra herself must have a Guilty (no pun intended!) pleasure on this herself!!!

  • Comment number 33.

    ' the best of the best parties . ' Wow . What was the best party and why ?

  • Comment number 34.

    Back to Joe: I'm in agreement with spirit; it really is self-explanitary that everything in poised on the tip of a knife for Joe now.

    His new single is rumoured to be 'Real Late Starter', which is catchy, hilarious and packed with attitude. But it's still caked in auto-tune, and if you thuoght 'Ambitions' was Mika/Jake Shears-styled, 'Real Late Starter' is something else.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.