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)
And so to the second installment of our chart countdown, which features only top selling singles. The ones that smashed through the roof of the hit parade. You won’t find Pixie Lott here, sadly, because we have no idea what she/he sounds like. You will, however, be thrown into the past with some classic Beatles action. Plus Musical Youth (pictured), some melancholic folk music from Don McLean, the second greatest David Bowie single of all time, and Mark Morrison – that’s right, Mark Morrison. Often the victim of cruel jokes about being a great big lummox, let’s not forget that for a small window in 1996, he released one of the finest gangster R&B love songs ever written. Seriously, we genuinely love this record. Hence numbers 21-30 read like this…
21. The Beatles, She Loves You (1963)
22. Soft Cell, Tainted Love (1981)
23. David Bowie, Let’s Dance (1983)
24. The Jam, Going Underground (1980)
25. Gnarls Barkley, Crazy (2006)
26. Beats International, Dub Be Good To Me (1990)
27. Musical Youth, Pass The Dutchie (1982)
28. Don McLean, Vincent (1971)
29. Mark Morrison, Return of The Mack (1996)
30. Pet Shop Boys, West End Girls (1986)
David Bowie at 17
The actor Willem Defoe turns 54 today, and he’s been in a lot of great films – Platoon, The Last Temptation of Christ, Wild at Heart, Body of Evidence, Speed 2, Mr Bean’s Holiday, and, of course, Antichrist – the new one from Lars von Trier about a couple having really unpleasant sexy time. He’s an edgy actor, make no mistake about it. Hence, we decided to by him a present, so we headed into the woods to poke a dead body with a stick and discuss things, and it wasn’t long before it boiled down to a toss up between a pack of smokes or a clip of a really youthful David Bowie standing up for the rights of young hippies. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Willem Defoe!
It ain’t this guy…
It’s never anything less than a total joy to hear from a member of the growing Interestment family, and today we hear from Richard – a very clever man with a sharp wit. He likes to know what the hell is going on in the world, and then he reports back with his findings. Just this week, he arched a beautiful eyebrow, and had a look at Iran. He had this to say…
We’ve heard a great deal about Iran recently. Indeed, every time I pick up a copy of the Tehran Times it’s Iran this, Iranian that, but what exactly is Iran? I did a spot of research and found that Iran is a Somalian model, married to David Bowie.
All very well you might think, but why has she been attracting so much publicity recently? Well, after yet more research I can exclusively reveal that she is currently the subject of a power struggle, featuring a whole host of Persians – many of whom have beards.
The next point of note is that Iran has a president, something that is common across all of the modeling community; Naomi has Hugo Chavez to push her psychotic buttons, Kate is run by a chap named Robert Mugabe – with very little wastage, while it’s left to Francois Mitterrand to be in charge of Gisele – a role he performs excellently despite the subtle disadvantage of having died in 1996.
Iran’s president is a man called Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is popularly known as M’ahm. But unlike these other Presidents, M’ahm isn’t actually in charge, instead being subservient to a Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.
So he’s in charge?
Well, yes and no. As the title suggests, he’s a pretty powerful chap – who even has minions to perform such banal tasks as putting on his glasses in the morning, putting on his snood in the evening, tidying up his cuticles, and washing his car (a Saab 9000). But he in turn is constrained by an Assembly of Experts (86 Islamic Clerics), which in turn is regulated by the Guardian Council (12 Theologians), which in turn is limited by the Expediency Council (34 Beards and other demographics of facial hair such as Moustaches, Lamb Chop Sideburns and Goatees).
The chairman of this pogonotrophic cluster is Akbar Rafsanjani (a Moustache), who in a bizarre twist of fate was the beaten Presidential candidate when M’ahm came to power. Hilarious. He’s quite powerful too, but is in turn constrained by pretty much everyone else (including the snood).
With such a confused brain, it’s no wonder that poor Iran married the Thin White Duke in the first place. The very fact that she’s able to control five of her functioning limbs at all comes down to an arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard (the fifth limb) called the Basij.
The Basij is responsible for helping Iran go about her daily chores, such as getting down to the other end of the catwalk, spinning around a couple of times, standing still, and walking back into the dressing room where at the end of the day she smokes a cigarette (a Woodbine) before bed.
Made up of boys from poor, rural, religious areas, the Basij make all this happen using nothing more than axes, daggers, sticks and zeal, which is fairly impressive and not at all scary for the 70 million people that live in Iran. Because yes, despite her slender frame, Iran spends her free time lying flat to the ground as a Central Eurasian Republic!
Amazing stuff. Well done Iran!
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As of this Friday, we will be officially launching Slumming It – an area of the site that logs all of the famous people you might have wandered past during the day. They might have been sitting in a park picking at a scotch egg (pictured), or treating a bad cold in a wine bar lavatory. In fact, they might not defintely even be the celebrity at all, they might just totally look like them. Either way, we really want to hear about it, so send in your spots, and the best of the week will get an Interestment Mix Tape as a treat. This week’s features David Bowie, Fred Wesley, Main Source, and The Pasadenas. It’s a must have!
Don’t be fooled by the cover…
Whoever first coined the phrase about not judging books by covers should also have pointed out that the exact same thing applies to records. By the 70s, album covers were abiding by certain rules – funk (at that time moving towards P-Funk) must be cartoonish, serious rock albums must be straight faced, soul records should include at least one gargantuan afro. Hence, the above soul cut, from 1976, flew in the face of convention – looking more like a Black Sabbath/Spinal Tap album, with the big gothic letters and creepy dark background. But, in reality, it was Luther Vandross’ first outing as the star of the show, albeit as a member of the band, Luther. At the time, he was more of a lardy backing vocalist for people like David Bowie and Chaka Khan, and this record didn’t propel him into the limelight – probably because tattooed maniacs picked it up expecting heavy metal, and got only smooth grooves and a syrupy vocal. It was, however, his first step towards the slimline, shiny haired, smoothie that we came to adore. A confusing record.
Enjoy the opening number after the jump…
No room for Lennon, nor McCartney
At one stage The Brit Awards became ridiculous – okay, yes, more ridiculous – when no one seemed capable of finding a Best Male. Phil Collins won it perhaps fifty times, then Paul Weller took it every year for about sixteen years, then Tom Jones got it, and then Robbie Williams became a national treasure because of his cheeky grin, and that was that. They just seemed either so thin on the ground, or they were Sting. This got us to thinking, who would our four Best British Males be? We came up with this rabble…
1. Joe Cocker
Probably the best blue eyed soul voice ever to come out of Sheffield, his cover of With a Little Help From My Friends made him huge, as did his strange habit of looking like a man in the grip of a breakdown whenever he sang. Completely brilliant.
David Bowie, Young Americans
When we found out that David Bowie was turning 62 today, we totally freaked out. What can you possibly get a legendary pop star that he hasn’t already got? It became a toss up between a clip of one of his greatest ever performances – from the excellent Dick Cavett Show in 1974 – or some ugg boots. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday, David!
Soul Music gets seriously political
1975 was a great year for mainstream US rock music – Bruce Springsteen released Born To Run, Aerosmith gave the world Toys In The Attic. It was also the year that David Bowie made his best record, Young Americans. In amongst all the greats, as well, is this cracker from probably the most overtly political soul star of the time, Curtis Mayfield. The cover is a challenging stab at the American Dream, as a happy family cheerfully take a Sunday afternoon countryside drive on the billboard at top half of the sleeve. Yet the bottom half shows a much bleaker, terrifying vision of the US, as inner city residents make up a dole queue – or Welfare if you want to get all American about it – trundling alongside the massive billboard, challenging its message, saying something along the lines of “Shucks, are you KIDDING me!”. The title itself is proof enough that our stateside buddies probably do understand irony after all. A startling image, and a terrific record. In amongst the hardline political songs is the below gem – even during the tough times, people need to get laid, he’s saying.