Five haircuts in lycra shouting “Girl Power!” into whichever microphone was closest probably wasn’t the greatest advert for the rise of the sisterhood in the 1990s. On her own, Beyonce has achieved far more, yet even she managed to shoot herself in the foot by rallying the “single ladies” with what sounded like a war cry, before demanding marriage. There really seem to be so few real renegades. And the big news today is that the Spice Girls have been spotted out having dinner together. Might a reunion be in the offing? Haven’t they reunited once before already? Were they just actually having dinner? Whatever way, they’re all mums now, apart from the one with all the tatts who used to do the roly-polies on stage, so the nation’s menfolk needn’t be quaking in their boots just yet. Plus, Posh Spice wasn’t there. She was too busy lording it up in Los Angeles. Hence, you’ll have to make do with The Saturdays if it’s a strong feminist fix you’re after.
Elsewhere in the world of famous people, the actress Katherine Heigl (below) has joined the elite group of celebrities who adopt, and Ronnie Wood has been turfed out of the sex nest he’s been sharing with that Russian girl. Such news has left the entire showbiz world agog, and a bit frightened.
We’ve reveled in Part One and Part Two of our hit parade countdown, so rather unsurprisingly today finds us enjoying Part Three, which features ten fine Number One hits that didn’t quite make it into the Top 10. But they needn’t be ashamed, as they are still great big giants amongst men. Amongst them are the Arctic Monkeys – a relatively new band – the finest Bowie single of them all, Madonna’s greatest moment, and the funkiest song about beating people up that’s ever been carved into vinyl. Plus, of course, there’s the inevitable Rod Stewart number. Hence, 11-20 reads a little something like this…
11. Joe Cocker, With a Little Help From My Friends (1968)
12. Gary Numan, Cars (1979)
13. Beyonce, Crazy In Love (2003)
14. Rod Stewart, Maggie May (1971)
15. Madonna, Into The Groove (1985)
16. The Human League, Don’t You Want Me (1981)
17. Carl Douglas, Kung Fu Fighting (1974)
18. David Bowie, Ashes to Ashes (1980)
19. Procul Harum, A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
20. Arctic Monkeys, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor (2005)
Destiny’s Child, Bug a boo
Beyonce Knowles – pronounced “beee-yon-say noles” – is just 28 today, and yet it seems like she’s be around for ever. There was that time she was in the girlband Destiny’s Child with her school friends, then she became an actress, then she did the song with Jay-Z – who’s her lover, by the way – and most recently she did that track about how cool it is being single… unless someone decides that they might want to marry you. It was a rather muddled song that one. Anyway, we decided to buy her a gift, so we all put a ring on it and sat in a jacuzzi singing ideas to one another, before it boiled down to a toss up between some moleskin note pads where she could jot down feminist slogans, or a clip of her old group performing their greatest record. In the end we got her both. Happy Birthday Beyonce!
Women who can sing the FUNK…
There is a world of difference between being a good soul singer and a good funk singer. Mariah Carey, for example, is a good sweet soul singer, but if she were to suddenly start grunting into the mic and demanding snare kicks from the drummer, her people would rush the stage within seconds to drag her off to the mad house. Presumed breakdown. She hasn’t got the funk. Sadly, neither have many of today’s fine young singers, with the possible exceptions of Beth Ditto, Mary J, Beyonce and that’s about it. Even the greatest soul singer of them all, Aretha Franklin, doesn’t quite have the funk chops to be a BOLD SOUL SISTER. Our top four female funk sensations read like this…
1. Betty Davis
One part of possibly the greatest model/musical genius combo of them all, Betty was the great Mile Davis’ second wife. Back then, in the 1960s, she was just a sexy young model who was friends with Hendrix and Sly Stone, then in the 1970s she emerged as a funk/rock force of nature, with a trio of albums brimming with sexual aggression. An amazing woman, and our top female funk singer.
2. Tina Turner
Before she became Tina Turner with the feathery Rod Stewart hair, and the enormously popular soft rock ballads, Tina Turner was a funk goddess – touring the world with angry, punchy Ike and the magnificent Ikettes. What really marks her out are her excellent dance moves, and a growling voice that sounds like Cathy Beale after a big night on the cigs.
3. Marva Whitney
Featured before as one of our favourite Underrated Soul Stars, Whitney’s piercing, raw voice was the perfect match for James Brown’s band, The JB’s. Alongside other female funk greats like Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson – both of whom just missed out on a place in the top four – she became a part of the gigantic James Brown family in the 1960s, although she only managed one solo studio album – It’s My Thing, from 1969. Great record.
4. Mary Jane Hooper
Not much is known of this funky Mary Jane Hooper woman. What we do know is that her real name was Sena Fletcher, she had gritty vocal talent that really floated the magnificent Eddie Bo‘s onions, and she churned out about three bona fide funk classics in the 1960s. We also know that she’s our fourth favourite female funk singer.
“Please stop taking your clothes off”
If you have ever been to London, chances are that you’ve already met the professional magazine editor, Peaches Geldof. She literally knows everyone. She’s really good friends with style icon Pixie Geldof, she’s always sharing milkshakes with supermodel Daisy Lowe, and we suspect that she gets along quite well with the legendary singer/songwriteress Lily Allen. All names you’ve probably heard from your Heat magazines, and your hours spent on MySpace looking for the next great band. All great women. All deep thinkers. And yet, it seems that a certain former punk rocker has forgotten what it’s like to be young and totally brilliant at everything, as Bob Geldof is – according to some very well placed showbusiness reporters – unhappy with his daughter’s unquenchable thirst for revolting whorish clothes. The word on the street is that he told her in February that enough was enough, but she was, like, “shut up Dad”, or something. Just this week she was spotted talking about herself outside one of London’s most selective wine bars.
In other womanly news, everyone is getting really excited about the Scottish guy on Britain’s Got Talent. And the showbiz world has been thrown into a stunned silence as pictures have surfaced of Beyonce on the beach wearing a gentleman’s shirt to cover up. One gossip reporter in particular is terrified that she might have lost confidence in her curves. And then what would happen? Women would literally kill themselves, that’s what. Here’s a picture of Beyonce before she shattered our dreams…
Loves long words, loves them…
Now that Britain’s Got Talent has ensured that we all know at least three famous people on a personal level, celebrites have opted to come down from Fame Mountain to mingle with the normals. People like you, who don’t demand that butter be freshly scooped from the cow, or that the road to your bedroom be paved with rose petals. Plain, normal people, who like orange squash and eat sausages. You.
This week has seen a few well known faces attempting to blend in with society. Friend of the site Bec insists that she saw Beyonce in The Gap. –“But it might not have been her, because I didn’t catch her face”. While Norm may or may not be lying when he says that he saw Elton John in the mirror. No matter though, because this week’s big spot goes to Hannah, who saw the author/celebrity Will Self – a man who adores long words like higgledy-piggledy and mucous membrane. “He was striding around in South London,” she told us, “then he turned into Starbucks, bold as brass.” Starbucks? Really? A celebrity? See, they really are just like us.
Well done Hannah, you’ve won this week’s Interestment Mix Tape, which features Joe Cocker, The Doors, and Donny Hathaway amongst others.
Email your spots to [email protected]
Strap-On Owl Beak
Shakira turns 32 today, and the woman literally has everything – DVDs, a working relationship with Beyonce, a wardrobe just for trousers. What on this white, snowy land could possibly satisfy her, present-wise? It boiled down to a toss up between a box of fresh carrots, or this excellent trailer for a magnificent short film about swinging. In the end, we got her both. Happy Birthday Shakira! Chomp chomp!