How To Have 1000 Number Ones - The Easy Way

Sunday, December 04, 2005

What Took You So Long

My brother was having a clearout and found three Number Ones to donate to the cause. I was particularly pleased to lay my hands on Stan, Eminem’s finest moment, good enough that I can even bear to listen to Dido on it. Three Lions 98 by Baddiel & Skinner & The Lightning Seeds only brings back bad memories of penalty shootouts. Why did they have to include Jonathan Pearce’s commentary reminding us of Gareth Southgate’s penalty miss? Baz Luhrmann’s Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen) is something of a strange one, if only because Mr Luhrmann doesn’t appear on the record. The voiceover is provided by a certain Lee Perry – sadly not the insane reggae producer, which would surely have made for a stunning record.

I had spotted an advertisement for a jumble sale at the Our Lady of Lourdes church, and although I didn’t really expect to find any Number Ones there, I decided to pay a visit. As I passed the New Inn I saw a group of around twenty students congregating outside the pub. This in itself was not unusual, but for the fact that every single one of them was dressed as Elvis. I took this as a good omen and moved on.

The Help the Aged shop was on my route, so it would have been foolish not to take a look inside. This brought me to tears, specifically Seven Tears by the Goombay Dance Band and Kylie Minogue’s Tears On My Pillow. This was just one of a very large number of Neighbours records in the shop – almost all of Kylie’s early singles as well as Jason Donovan’s, the Angry Anderson track ‘Suddenly’ and even ‘Don’t It Make You Feel Good’ by Stefan Dennis. Tears On My Pillow was the only one that interested me, however, and I bought it along with Cliff Richard’s Mistletoe And Wine* and the last Number One of the sixties, Two Little Boys by Rolf Harris.

When I arrived at the church it all seemed suspiciously quiet, and when I eventually found the correct entrance I was disappointed to find nothing inside but a couple of bare tables and an elderly lady. I wondered for a moment if I had missed the world’s most successful jumble sale, but the lady explained that the stock had been removed, rather than sold, and that the sale was over, the newspaper having published the wrong times. Cursing the Yorkshire Evening Post I left the church and decided to proceed to Desperate Dan’s.

Readers with sharp memories will recall that my previous assault on Desperate Dan’s had been thwarted due to the shop being closed. I reasoned that I would have more luck on a Saturday afternoon, but once again the door was locked and the shutters up. The proprietor of the bookshop next door informed me that his neighbour was not the most fastidious of shopkeepers, and generally turned up at some time around 1:00. This was only ten minutes away, so I went to buy a newspaper and two pints of milk before returning to await his arrival.

I didn’t want to wait too long, as I had to get back home before going to a football match, and I set a deadline of 1:03pm. The extra three minutes passed by without any sign of my nemesis. Enraged at his tardiness I was forced to abandon my precisely timed mission.

Two days later I found myself in Headingley and decided to nip into a couple of charity shops. In the British Heart Foundation shop I found Call On Me by Eric Prydz and the brilliant All The Things She Said by pretend Russian lesbians** t.A.T.u. I also came across a CD entitled ‘Hooked On Number Ones’ but on further investigation this turned out not to contain any of the original recordings, many of which weren’t even Number Ones anyway, so I refused to buy it.

In Oxfam Music I found 13 CD singles, including the 732nd chart-topper, George Michael’s Jesus To A Child*** and the 760th, Discotheque by U2. I was disappointed that the limited edition of Five’s Keep On Movin’ had lost its exclusive poster somewhere along the line, but at least the CD was intact. Love Don’t Cost A Thing by Jennifer Lopez is one of her better efforts, and I have a bit of a soft spot for Hanson’s Mmm Bop, even more so now that I have noticed a very shoddy edit point at 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

Sometimes I wonder if I’m becoming just a little bit too obsessed with this.

* You probably already know that there are 5 drinks mentioned in the titles of 7 Number Ones.
** I can’t wait to see how that affects my Google rankings.
*** Jesus’ only appearance in the title of a Number One – the devil has two.


  • 3 Lions is covered in the stench of failure.

    By Blogger Baz, at 12/05/2005 11:45 am  

  • Better the devil you know?

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/07/2005 4:11 am  

  • No, not a Number One by either Kylie or Sonia.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/07/2005 5:29 pm  

  • How about "Bridge over Troubled Water" and, somewhat more tenuously, "Water-loo"?

    By Anonymous Steven, at 12/08/2005 5:24 am  

  • Oh, and of course the classic, "Ernie, The Fastest Milk-man In The West"

    By Anonymous Steven, at 12/08/2005 5:25 am  

  • I assume you are not including "Gym 'n' Tonic" in that list?

    By Blogger Rish, at 12/08/2005 11:52 am  

  • Why would you assume that Rish? It was a Number One, and tonic is a drink, so a correct answer.

    As are all three of Steven's.

    Two to go.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/08/2005 1:01 pm  

  • I just confirmed that, to my surprise, "Red Red Wine" was indeed a number one for UB40.

    By Anonymous Steven, at 12/14/2005 11:59 pm  

  • I'm surprised you're surprised by that. It was Number One for 3 weeks in 1983.

    One more drink to go, and no-one has any devils yet.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/15/2005 5:30 pm  

  • Devil in disguise (Presley) - Devil Gate Drive (Quatro)

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/16/2005 12:02 am  

  • Well done Nik, even though you obviously cheated ;-)

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/16/2005 12:14 am  

  • I merely used the facilities left in the linki section of your site - you put them there, so not cheating

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/17/2005 4:23 am  

  • Just because I put them there, doesn't mean you should use them, and especially not for cheating on the quiz. Pah.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/17/2005 5:37 am  

  • What is the point of a link you don't want people to use?

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/17/2005 10:35 am  

  • I officially give up on iTunes. Looking up Voodoo Child, not only did it not come up with the Sven Vath track that I was looking for (about which I was not surprised), but it didn't even register the recent top ten it track of the same name by Rogue Traders.

    Complete crap

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/17/2005 10:41 am  

  • Doesn't have 'Voodoo Ray' by A Guy Called Gerald either.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/17/2005 2:10 pm  

  • Not surprised by Voodoo Ray, but I have that on 12" anyway. Seems that iTunes is only good if you want Green Day and Pearl Jam tracks (and I can't imagine that anyone would want either) - even The Pixies tracks on offer are pretty limited and that's a US rock band.

    Can we have a vote? Is iTunes officiallt the worlds crappest online store?

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/18/2005 8:29 am  

  • No Mighty Dub Katz or Pizzaman either. Surely Fat Boy Slim is famous enough to have his alter egos on iTunes? Not surprising given that a search on Fat Boy Slim also yields only Beastie Boy tracks. But then there is no Aphex Twin either - the most prolific artist of the 90's.

    The list of artists that I have searched for on iTunes and not got anything is longer than the list of successes. Is there anywhere I can vote to declare iTunes the crappest site ever?

    By Anonymous Nik, at 12/18/2005 12:05 pm  

  • I declare the vote open.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/18/2005 2:25 pm  

  • Much to my disappointment iTunes also failed to find any Lacuna Coil. I couldn't even locate an option to refine my search to include only Italian Gothic Rock artists. Bloody useless.

    By Anonymous Steven, at 12/19/2005 12:01 am  

  • The last drink at No1 would be Black Coffee by All Saints!

    By Anonymous Dan Webb, at 12/22/2005 7:19 pm  

  • Black Coffee it is.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 12/22/2005 7:20 pm  

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