How To Have 1000 Number Ones - The Easy Way

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Crashed The Wedding

Seb from the Resplendents had given me Afroman’s Because I Got High as a birthday present, and I had picked up a copy of Sailor by Petula Clark at the world’s smallest car boot sale, but my quest was progressing slowly because of other commitments.

My cousin Carolyn’s wedding provided an opportunity to put things right. I was in Elgin with a couple of hours to kill between breakfast and the ceremony, so I took to the streets in order to explore the town and dig out any chart-toppers I could lay my hands on. My Dad accompanied me, and having visited the town before he led the way to the town’s shopping area.

The trip proved to be a disappointment. We found a number of charity shops but the music selection was poor and by the time we had finished I had only two CD singles, Gabrielle’s Rise and Bag It Up by Geri Halliwell.

A couple of weeks later I was at another wedding, that of my friends Clare and Richard who were married in Maidenhead. The following day I found myself in Reading with an hour and a half to wait before I could get a train home. It was another perfect opportunity to do some shopping. I headed in an appropriate-looking direction and soon came to a busy shopping area, where most of the retailers were kind enough to open on a Sunday.

The Cancer Research shop had a chaotic music section, with records, tapes and CDs scattered around the place. I added to the mess by dropping a handful of CDs onto the floor, but after tidying up after myself I found a number of singles that were needed for the collection.

There were a pair of Donny Osmond 7” singles, Young Love and The Twelfth Of Never, which gave me a complete collection of chart-toppers by the family and its members. Young Love came with a picture sleeve which hinted that it was a double-A with ‘A Million To One’, and the label on the record corroborated this, but strangely I have never seen it listed as such elsewhere.

I was pleased to find the 90th Number One, Here Comes Summer by Jerry Keller, despite it playing rather noisily and having a spot of paint on the B-side. Distant Drums* by Jim Reeves was another fine acquisition. Among the CD singles I found David Sneddon’s Stop Living The Lie and both of the two CDs making up A Little Bit More by 911. Freak Me by Another Level came with a postcard which may not have been included with the CD, given that there was no mention of it on the sleeve.

Freak Me was knocked from the top spot by Jamiroquai’s Deeper Underground, which I located in the British Heart Foundation shop, though it had a piece cut out of the inside sleeve for a reason I could not determine. The shop was offering CD singles at four for £1, so I dug in enthusiastically, finding the first Oasis Number One, Some Might Say, Uptown Girl by Westlife and Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz.

Take That’s Babe features an awful vocal from Mark Owen, and DJ Casper’s Cha Cha Slide is just awful all round, perhaps even worse than Teletubbies Say “Eh-Oh!”, which does at least include some sage advice within its sleeve notes – ‘Enjoy yourselves…and don’t forget the Big Hugs’. Oddly there is also a ‘thanks to the Teletubbies’, perhaps the only example of a Number One artist thanking themselves.

I had spent a fair while in each shop and time was getting on. I didn’t want to stray too far away from the station so I headed back in good time for my train. On the way back to Leeds I admired my new possessions and resolved to apply myself more thoroughly to my task.

* One of only four Number Ones with a musical instrument in the title, believe it or not.