Friday, 11 December 2009

And it hurts with ev-e-ry heartbeat

15. Robyn with Kleerup - With Every Heartbeat - 2007

The summer of 2007 saw the most surprising #1 single that I can probably recall. Swedish singer Robyn had a top ten hit here in 1998 with the Britney-esque Max Martin penned pop song Show Me Love. She continued releasing music in Sweden but as far as her career in the UK was concerned she was a long gone distant memory. However, in 2007 Robyn finally released her 2005 self titled album in the UK. After a couple of buzz singles she released a glorious song which became one of the year's dance anthems with blanket support from nearly all DJ's due to the nature of Robyn's widespread appeal. Despite being a pop artist, the song was dance and she was written about in indie blogs and publications. I expected the song to be a hit because it's so stunning but I never imagined that it could top the UK charts!!! Beautiful song, easily the classiest noughties dance record to top the charts. It also gave Robyn's career a new lease of life - she has had four further top 40 hits in the two years since!!!

14. Flip 'N' Fill feat Kelly Llorenna - True Love Never Dies - 2001

In late 2001, after her success on the re-released Set You Free, Kelly Llorenna wasted no time in getting onto as many records as possible. The first to surface was True Love Never Dies. A collaboration with then upcoming dance act Flip 'N' Fill, the song seemed to be obviously based on Rank 1's 2000 instrumental trance hit Airwave. Rumours surfaced that Kylie Minogue had done vocals for a mash up of it but they proved to be false and the official version was released in early 2002. The song became a massive top ten hit in the UK, one of the great original pop-trance singles of the early noughties. The melody, as it was on Airwave, was incredible, but Kelly's vocals and Flip 'N' Fill's excellent production added an extra kick to the track. Fantastic - should have been a much bigger hit than it was!!!

13. Shakira - Underneath Your Clothes - 2002

Having heard the fantastic Whenever, Wherever, I decided that I needed to hear more of Shakira. My sister had bought her album on import and gave it to me - first track I listened to was Underneath Your Clothes. I was absolutely blown away. An absolutely gorgeous ballad, complete with Shakira's typically quirky lyrics and unique vocal style. It went top three in the UK, was huge worldwide and really helped to cement the fact that Shakira could be just as big singing in English as in Spanish. Listening back to the song seven years on, it still sounds incredibly good unlike most of the cheap sounding pop productions around in that year - she had always been ahead of her time and this was no exception.

12. Caroldene - Time Is A Healer - 2001

And now for a song that nobody will know!!! Now defunct music website was relatively popular at the beginning of the decade for championing interesting unsigned acts, some of which went one to bigger things. I found a few very good tracks on the free CD's that the company sent me every few months. By far the best song I ever discovered was a pop/gospel/religious song called Time Is A Healer by a British soul singer called Carol Black, known as Caroldene. I found her voice incredibly nice to listen to, the song was amazingly uplifting and positive and was the soundtrack to the first half of 2001 for me personally despite hardly anyone apart from probably me and Caroldene herself probably knowing the song. She had a few other good songs, all unreleased - Dream On, Hold Me Tight - but nothing came close to this. Still never fails to cheer me up when I listen to it.

11. Take That - Shine - 2006

So, onto the song that just missed the top ten of the decade. Take That, a boyband that were extremely popular in the 1990's, had one of the most incredible comebacks ever seen in the noughties. Having got back together in late 2005 after an ITV documentary, Gary Barlow, Mark Owen, Jason Orange and Howard Donald, now in their mid 30's started recording Beautiful World. I bought the album on the day of release out of sheer intrigue and due to the strength of lead single Patience but the album really stunned me. Shine sounded like an ELO-pastiche, completely unlike anything they'd ever done before, an ode to music of the past yet incredibly fresh at the same time. It seemed like the obvious second single and it was - becoming a decade defining song, a UK #1 single and the soundtrack to the Morrisons adverts in one fell swoop. An incredibly strong uptempo pop song with the brilliant Mark Owen on lead vocals, this song proved that their comeback was not a one hit wonder - it couldn't be more different to Patience. The melody was great, the video was excellent and the harmonies were as good as ever. Brilliant.

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