Now, after a week of carrot-dangling, we’re finally at the summit – celebrating the greatest UK Number One singles of all time. Each one is brilliant for a reason. The Kinks make the list for introducing the world to an early incarnation of rock music with “You Really Got Me“. Sinead O’Connor’s heartfelt rendition of a song written by Prince remains one of the most angry and emotional love songs of all time. The Rolling Stones had many decent smash hits, but “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” kicks all of them right in the underpants. “Billie Jean” makes the cut for not only being one of Jackson’s finest, but also because it’s one of his WEIRDEST – that people still dance enthusiastically to a song about an insane delusional fan is completely brilliant. The Beach Boys managed two UK Number One’s, the first of which, “Good Vibrations”, is a masterpiece of musical arrangement, and possibly the electro-theremin‘s finest hour. Paul Hardcastle managed to mix the dialogue from a documentary about post-traumatic stress disorder,“Vietnam Requiem”, with serious synthesizers to make a dance record with an ideology. “Ghost Town” by The Specials also veered into the pop charts waving a political flag, this time spookily condemning Thatcher’s Britain, and creating a truly eerie pop/reggae fusion. The Jam kept “Golden Brown” by The Stranglers off the top spot with Weller’s ode to Woking, which is also a great rock record to dance to – just watch “Billy Elliot” if you don’t believe us. Althea and Donna were a shock one week/one hit wonder back in 1978, thanks to some sterling work by the late, great John Peel – if there is such thing as a cult number one, then this is it. And The Beatles were always going to be sitting somewhere near the top, and, as it is, they snatched the crown with probably the greatest A/B side combination of them all – “Paperback Writer” and (the EVEN BETTER) “Rain”. Only two other A/B combos came into contention throughout the 40 – “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields”, until we realised that it didn’t make it to the top of the charts, it peaked at Number 2. And “Start”/”Liza Radley” by The Jam. But, in the end, this one prevailed, whilst the other two didn’t. Hence, this is our best Top Ten ever. Enjoy…
1A. The Beatles, Paperback Writer (1966)
1B. The Beatles, Rain (1966)
2. Althea and Donna, Uptown Top Ranking (1978)
3. The Jam, A Town Called Malice (1982)
4. The Specials, Ghost Town (1981)
5. Paul Hardcastle, 19 (1985)
6. The Beach Boys, Good Vibrations (1966)
7. Michael Jackson, Billie Jean (1983)
8. The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction (1965)
9. Sinead O’Connor, Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)
10. The Kinks, You Really Got Me (1964)
Who are the real pop idols, Camden?
This year’s Glastonbury Festival did little but highlight a worrying dearth of modern iconic solo stars. The biggest crowd pullers were Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young – acts that could have headlined the festival thirty years ago. We don’t seem to have found an heir apparent for Prince, Madonna or Michael Jackson yet either. It’s a worrying time. Or is it? Terrified that we might be missing out on some key knowledge about musical icons, we headed up to Camden – London’s capital of drugs and bands – to see who those in the know look up to. And did we uncover anything new and exciting? Absolutely not, no.
Without him, no Ferris…
Only a few days after being officially named our Fourth Favourite Film Director of all time, John Hughes was hoiked by the cruel sherpherd’s crook of death, as he suffered a fatal heart attack whilst enjoying a morning mooch around New York. In passing away terms, this is probably a bigger cock punch than Michael Jackson’s death for the Interestment Family. Afterall, MJ embarked on a massive artistic decline throughout the 1990s – followed by all those strange allegations about wine in coke cans, and spooky sleepovers – while Hughes hung up his director spurs in 1991, having rarely made a bad film. Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off, Trains Planes and Automobiles, Uncle Buck – some of the greatest films of the 1980s. Now that he’s passed, we can even forgive him Curly Sue. Look after him, God/Buddha/Mohamed/Science, he’s one of the good guys.
Michael Jackson, Thriller
John Landis, the famous film director, turns 59 today. And what a 59 years he’s had. He’s been responsible for movies like Animal House, The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, Spies Like Us, Coming to America, and then he famously did the Thriller video for Michael Jackson. There’s a good chance that he’d make our top four directors of all time – more of that to come. Anyway, we decided to get him a gift, so we all hid behind wheelie bins in the town centre and walkie-talkie’d ideas until it boiled down to a toss up between a cap with The Boss emblazoned on it, or the entire 11-minute Thriller video, which we haven’t seen in full since Jackson got killed/had a heart attack a few weeks ago. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday John Landis!
No room for this gentleman…
In tragic music icon terms, Michael Jackson actually lived a fairly long and prosperous life. He made it to half a century, which isn’t bad at all. Elvis only got as far as 42, John Lennon made it to 40 before taking four bullets in the back, and Michael Hutchence was still a fairly youthful 37. Keith Moon and John Bonham made it fashionable for great drummers to die at 32. Then, of course, you have all of the rock stars who couldn’t make it past 27 – Brian Jones, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison. Gram Parsons was even younger at 26, as was Otis Redding when he died in a plane crash. Tupac was 25, Notorious BIG 24, Ian Curtis 23, and Sid Vicious and Eddie Cochran were barely grown ups at just 21. In fact, the list of tragic early deaths is relatively endless. So with that in mind, we thought it high time to select the four most unfortunate, as decided by us…
1. Jimi Hendrix, 27
It was a very sad day for music in 1970 when Hendrix apparently lay on his back, choking on his own sick, thanks to a few too many red wines. The whole thing still smells a little bit fishy, with rumours floating around that it might not have simply been the innocent death of a drinker. Either way, it robbed the world of a fantastic music man, who managed to mix rock, soul and psychedelic stuff really really well. He keeps the likes of Steve Marriott, Janis Joplin, Marc Bolan and Phil Lynott out of the top four, and, to really put things in perspective, without Hendrix we probably wouldn’t have Prince. What kind of rubbish world would that be?
2. Minnie Riperton, 31
One of the great female soul singers, Riperton died of the damn cancer when she was 31. But what a 31 years. She’ll always be remembered for Lovin’ You, a slightly drippy love song, but we’ll forever love her for the rock/soul numbers she did with Rotary Connection, Les Fleurs, and the rather graphic sex song, Inside My Love. With so many excellent soul singers to choose from, she has achieved the remarkable feat of keeping Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke out of the top four. That’s a very big score for the sisterhood.
3. Keith Moon, 32
There were a few decent dead drummers to choose from, but Keith Moon just beat Dennis Wilson and John Bonham to grab a place in the top four. He edged it for being more of a total maniac. Famous for driving cars into pools, flushing explosives down toilets, and for being a completely brilliant drummer in The Who, he died after taking too many anti-alcohol pills in 1978. He’d just been out for dinner with Paul and Linda McCartney, which presumably had nothing to do with the overdose.
4. Big L, 24
The rap game has seen lots of premature deaths – Easy E, Big Pun, Tupac, Scott La Rock, Jay Dee, Biggie Smalls, Jam Master Jay, Ol’ Dirty Bastard. But the one that really makes us slam our fists and weep up to the heavens screaming “why?” is Big L‘s. We honestly think he could have been the greatest rapper of all time, but instead he took seven bullets to the head and chest one evening in 1999. The murder remains unsolved, which makes it double annoying.
Is this the new Michael Jackson?
For those of you still grieving Michael Jackson, we might just be able to help. We’ve been doing odds and ends for the grown up gossip site Hecklerspray, and this week we took a long look at all of the other Jackson siblings to see if any of them could fill Michael’s shiny slip on shoes. See what conclusion we came to here.
And for those of you keen on technology, feel free to follow us around on Twitter, join our Facebook group, or even click the Facebook box to the right of this and follow our Facebook PAGE. That’s right, we have two Facebook things happening at once. Welcome to the future.
Somehow this woman is still attractive…
Of course, the last couple of weeks have been rocked by Michael Jackson suddenly clutching his chest and bidding a final whimper, which was such a surprise that certain circles seem to be questioning whether the whole thing is real or not. Pretty soon, all funerals will surely feature an open coffin and sticks lined up so that the mourning families can poke the corpse first, just to make double sure. It’s been a strange time. But one that hasn’t affected Elle McPherson, by the looks of things, as she shocked one showbusiness reporter in particular by turning up at a sexy car launch looking like she hadn’t a care in the world, as she sashayed around in a saucy gold number. She’s gorgeous, notes the journalist, and yet she’s 46 years old – doesn’t that make her an old woman? Apparently, in this day and age, not.
Elsewhere in the shiny world of beautiful celebrities, the footballer Jermain Defoe has been warming his midnight onions on the soft thighs of Imogen Thomas (below with Aisleyne) – you know, the Welsh girl off Big Brother. The pair strode down the road clutching hands like young lovers do, which has left one celebrity journalist in particular convinced that this might be the real deal.
Yes, we thought YOU might…
For those of you sitting in an air conditioned office, hungry for more words to read, we have been doing bits and pieces for the fantastic grown up gossip site Hecklerspray. This week, we turned our attention onto Michael Jackson and his incredible discography. After listening to every single song about one to one-and-a-half times, we decided that perhaps Thriller, Billie Jean and Dirty Diana aren’t his greatest hits after all. Find out what the best ones really are here.
Will one of these women win it, by any chance?
It’s always with a warm breeze of joy that we hear from another member of the growing Interestment family, and today Rory – a totally brilliant writer – returns to continue his great tennis-based observations…
Ahoy racquet pals, week two of Wimbledon is thundering towards us like a colossal Federer forehand.
As far as the ladies’ draw goes, Interestment expects only a small prize for predicting that the likelihood of someone without Williams for a surname winning is extremely remote. In fact, should either Serena or Venus not win, we will sit down and eat our old, splintery wooden racquet.
The men’s draw is a little more tasty. Monday sees the two fancied contenders in action – first Federer, then Murray.
With temperatures soaring, we can’t help wondering whether Fed will opt for the full jacket ensemble or just the waistcoat. His timing being what it is, that choice of tailoring is starting to look more and more like a perfectly-executed Jacko tribute, isn’t it? Sadly, probably no glove or chimpanzee (pictured), but you can’t have it all.
A quick mention for Federer’s beaten third round German opponent, Philipp Kohlschreiber. If you’re anything like us here at Interestment, you’ll be the type of person who is easily diverted by a comedy Tuetonic accent. If so then you’re in for a treat. Make sure the audio on your computer is on, and have a look at his official website. Be sure to hover over the mouse links.
As for Murray, today he’ll be facing Stanislas Wawrinka, and he’ll be taking into the match the best wishes of legendary compatriot, Sean Connery. The laconic Scotsman dealt with the big-up in typically downbeat fashion. He Twittered thus: “Had a phone call from sean connery-he called to say well done yesterday. Much nicer than someone trying to sell you a phone upgrade.”
Andy can thank him in person today, as the elderly statesman will be there to cheer on Muzzle all the way. All of which sets us up perfectly for a little topical joke to wow your colleagues and friends with:
Q What time is Sean Connery expected at Wimbledon today?
You can have that one for free.
Apparently this guy died… or something
No doubt the next seven or eight months are going to be taken up with newspapers really trying to figure out a few Jackson mysteries. How did he die? Did he really monkey around with those kids? Did he actually do it with a woman to make babies? All questions that we can’t answer, so we won’t be wasting your time by even remotely trying. When it comes to Jackson, we know two things: 1. Waking up with the man must, even just for a nanosecond, have given you a glimpse into what it’s like to be Ronald McDonald’s wife. And 2. These are the four best cover versions of MJ classics…
1. Billie Jean, Shinehead
A slower version of the classic song about a deranged stalker, this one even features a big doff of the cap to spaghetti westerns. A brilliant reggae track. Just brilliant.
2. Thriller, Ian Brown
Ian Brown has never had the most syrupy voice in the world, but his drawling monotone somehow works when singing Thriller. An unexpected masterpiece.
3. Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough, Derrick Laro and Trinity
Another reggae interpretation of a Jackson classic – this time Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough from Off The Wall. This very nearly, but not quite, improves on the original. Excellent.
4. Human Nature, Miles Davies
A few rock versions almost took fourth spot, but in the end we plumped for this Miles Davis trumpet version of Human Nature. Not because it’s particularly good, but because it’s Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. Yes, Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. That’s Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson. The legendary trumpeter Miles Davis doing Michael Jackson…
James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince
Much is going to be written about Michael Jackson for the coming weeks, after he finally lost out to a bastard heart attack or some such. He was only 50. And what a life. Brilliant Jackson Five records, often overlooked but completely fantastic tracks during the band’s young-adult incarnation as The Jacksons, and then all of the solo magic – particularly Off The Wall. Obviously the whole thing was slightly marred by his weird monkey, the melty-face stuff, and the eyebrow-raising sleepovers. Still, we thought we’d get him a couple of gifts as a thank you for the music, so we drank heavily until we became forgetful, and it soon boiled down to a toss up between a James Brown gig clip in which Michael is invited on stage, shortly followed by a far more overconfident Prince, or a dodgy recording of Rock With You… ahhh, or the James Brown clip! In the end we got him both. RIP Michael Jackson!
Michael Jackson, Rock With You
Wings, Maybe I’m Amazed
Paul McCartney turns 67 today, and if anyone is walking proof that the lord giveth with one hand, and punches you in the stomach with the other, it’s Macca. The ups have included enormous success with his pop groups The Beatles and Wings. Massive downers have included frog choruses, bereavement, and a very bizarre one-legged nutcase, who took him to the cleaners. Hence, this year, we thought we’d get him a present, so we hit KFC for three boneless banquets, and we talked hard, before it boiled down to a toss up between one of those toy skateboards that you use with just your fingers, or a clip of one of the McCartney UP moments. In the end we got him both. Happy Birthday Macca!
Um, okay, coming right up…
For those of you sick to death with our constant gazing into the past, there is a morsel of good news. We’ve been doing bits and pieces for the wonderful grown up gossip site Hecklerspray – this week focusing on Celebrity Lazaruses, like Barry from Eastenders, Mickey Rourke and Michael Jackson. It’s a great read, even if we do say so. Go and have a butchers here.
Oh, quite a few of you then…
Should your eyes still be hungry for more words, we have been doing odds and ends for the grown up gossip site, Hecklerspray. This week, we decided to shine a spotlight on a fistful of celebrities who look absolutely wonderful, but sound completely awful. You can read all about that here.
And for those totally sick of listening to Chris Moyles explaining how far he can jog, feel free to traipse along beside us on Twitter.
Hey, check out Mr Relaxed!
It must have been hard being Lionel Richie in the early 1980s – he’d gone from being a sax player/singer with The Commodores to becoming probably second only to Michael Jackson in terms of solo superstar status. It was presumably impossible to relax with the limelight glaring so hard into your face. And yet, to glance at his album covers would be to witness the face and body of a man content, happy with his lot. His first album – cleverly titled Lionel Richie – found him dressed down in his most casual sweater/chino combo, and then this one took his cool demenour all the way up to warp factor nine. Seemingly in an unfurnished mansion – possibly with an ocean view – Lionel has decided to thumb his nose at convention with a deft chair rotation, which finds him sitting backwards in his seat. Again, the outfit is casual beyond belief, as if he’s just returned from buying the papers and a croissant. If record sleeves could speak, this one is saying: “heeeeey, come on in, relax, let’s have a snog.”
Here’s the great man singing to the entire planet during the 1984 Olympics.
Nothing weird about this guy
Even on his fearsome Thriller album cover, Michael Jackson had the look of a young lothario attempting to woo a bedmate. Lying back in a shiny white suit, flashing those “come to Neverland” eyes. But Bad saw him embrace the inner rebel. Gone were the well-cut suits, replaced by the kind of all-leather outfit that you’d probably find worn by terrifying gangs of ballerinas prowling around underground carparks. The cover is also startling for two more reasons – Jacko’s skin had decided to take on a more pallid tone, whilst the name of the album is scrawled upon the cover graffiti-style, in red spray paint. This was Michael’s way of letting the punks on the streets know that he was down with them. He had their backs. It was also around this time that he took persistant pelvic thrusting to a whole different level. Great days.
See him in action after the jump…
Believe in it
Michael Jackson joins the party… with hilarious results etc…