How To Have 1000 Number Ones - The Easy Way

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Mamma Mia

I was in Hexham to celebrate my niece Rosie’s birthday, and decided it was time to launch another assault on the town’s charity outlets. My mother was driving to the supermarket so I went with her and she accompanied me on my shopping trip.

We started in the Cancer Research shop, where we found a handful of CD singles. The awful Bring It All Back completed my collection of S Club 7 Number Ones, and I found my first Ronan Keating chart-topper in Life Is A Rollercoaster, featuring a fascinating CD-ROM interview in which Ronan reveals that the most interesting person he’s ever met is George Michael. The Steps double A Heartbeat/Tragedy was an improvement on the empty box I had previously bought, and included another set of dance instructions. These were a little clearer than the others I had seen, but I lost the plot somewhere near the point where I had to step to the left and swing my left arm out with my right hand on my hip. Unfortunately this meant that I didn’t get to the part where I would have had to stop the traffic.

In Oxfam I bought the correct version of Baby D’s Let Me Be Your Fantasy and the wonderful 681st Number One, Sleeping Satellite by Tasmin Archer. Astonishingly I also found the only other satellite-related Number One, Telstar by the Tornados and another instrumental 7”, Hugo Montenegro’s The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. In terms of buying great records, this was perhaps my most successful visit to a shop so far.

In the Age Concern shop I passed a milestone, as Cliff Richard’s The Next Time/Bachelor Boy became the 400th Number One I owned in its original form. The Edge Of Heaven was the last Wham hit I needed, and my Madonna collection was boosted by True Blue and a copy of Papa Don’t Preach with the picture sleeve. The sleeve of Blue’s If You Come Back promised that Lee, Ant, Si and Dunc were waiting for my call at the end of a premium rate phone line, but sadly the number given was no longer in operation. I guess the boys must have grown bored of waiting for me and left to spend their lives more productively.

The Tynedale Community Hospice shop was virgin territory for me, as on my previous tour of Hexham I had been unaware of its existence, but my mother pointed me in the right direction. I was glad she had, as I found Craig David’s Fill Me In and I Turn To You by Melanie C. Modjo’s Lady is a record I have always hated, as is You Make Me Wanna… by Usher, the sleeve of which oddly credits the label’s A&R personnel. The elderly lady at the cash desk seemed unsure about the goods I was attempting to buy, but hazarded a guess that they might be CDs. She was delighted when I confirmed this and impressed me by knowing their correct price.

Melanie C turned up again in the Scope shop, this time as part of the Spice Girls on Say You’ll Be There, probably the worst of their Number Ones. The sleeve photo, fittingly, appeared to be deliberately over-exposed, and the case included an opportunity to send off for a free Spice Girls ID card, which I declined on the grounds that it represented an infringement of my civil liberties.

By this time the hour’s parking we had paid for was about to expire, and we were yet to get to the supermarket, presenting a tactical problem. My mother went to move the car to an alternative (and free) spot while I went to see what Save the Children had to offer.

Sporty Spice was apparently following me. I found Never Be The Same Again by Melanie C featuring Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes, and both parts of the 2-CD Spice Girls single Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?, leaving the collection short of just one of the nine Spice Girls chart-toppers. I completed my Robson & Jerome set with Unchained Melody/(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs Of Dover* and also bought Holly Valance’s Kiss Kiss and Dry Your Eyes by the Streets.

The shop assistant managed to outdo her counterpart in the Hospice shop by confidently identifying my purchases as videos. I decided not to argue and just smiled politely while she went about her business, then went to meet my mother.

* Dover is a town, and therefore not one of the two British cities which are mentioned in Number One titles.


  • Long haired lover from Liverpool is one.

    Are you going to put us out of our misery on the rivers?

    By Anonymous Nik, at 1/09/2006 2:12 am  

  • easy.
    long haired lover from liverpool and belfast child

    By Anonymous ant, at 1/09/2006 10:06 am  

  • Yeah, too easy this week.

    The rivers question, like the others, remains open for now.

    By Blogger Joe Williams, at 1/09/2006 2:27 pm  

  • Somewhat predictably, look what I found:

    By Anonymous Steven, at 1/10/2006 2:29 am  

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