11 Songs That Were Perfectly Appropriate to Have Been #1 on Valentine’s Day

My colon is clean. I don’t have two-shits to give about Valentine’s Day but since I woke up this morning with a sudden, uncontrollable desire to revisit Celine Dion‘s love songs compilation (and have been merrily screeching along to all the top notes), I started to wonder what songs happened to have been #1 on Valentine’s Day over last 30 years or so.

February 14th is such a major date in the marketing calendar and no “””holiday””” has been better constructed with the sole purpose of exploiting romance and loneliness quite like this one, so it actually made sense to look back on what records were being pushed to death around this time of the year.

For every strategically timed single release that failed to top the charts, (Hi ya, Victoria Beckham ‘A Mind of Its Own’ circa 2002!) there were plenty who hit the mark and either had us all giddy with euphoria or weeping into a tub of Häagen-Dazs.

Here are 11 perfectly spot on Valentine’s Day chart-toppers:

Whitney Houston ‘How Will I Know’ (1986, US)

Believe it or not Whitney‘s first banger was actually a Janet Jackson reject. This joyous, fluorescent pop tune brings all my favourite elements of 80s pop, yearning and sentimental lyrics with really vibrant synths, big drums and big vocals. It doesn’t matter where in the world I am, I’ll feel instantly at home at any gay dive bar that plays this.

Cher ‘Believe’ (1999, Australia)

Speaking of gay dive bars! I guess we are where we are. I’m picturing a sea of blonde highlights in cargo pants in a heaving nightclub, green laser lights catching the sweat on heavily plucked brows. Everybody here is picturing someone they’d love to sing these words to. A survivalist dance anthem like ‘Believe’ and ‘I Will Survive’ really only comes around once every 10, 20 years or so – if we’re lucky. It took less than two months for this to become the biggest-selling hit of 1998 in the UK, and the excitement soon poured over internationally the following year when Australia made ‘Believe’ it’s Valentine’s Day anthem of 1999.

No Doubt ‘Don’t Speak’ (1997, Australia)

A gut-wrenching and quintessentially 90s rock break-up classic. I’m surprised to learn that despite this being the most played song on radio in 1996 in America, it never charted on the Billboard Hot 100 because ‘Don’t Speak’ was not released as an actual commercial single there. The single did however hit #1 in several international charts including Australia when we were all nursing heartbreaks that year to Gwen Stefani‘s aching tones.

George Michael ‘Careless Whisper’ (1985, US)

I get chills every time I hear that sax intro. Seriously, what a bloody god-sent masterpiece. ‘Careless Whisper’ topped the US charts in February 1985, six months after it was already a huge #1 hit in the UK. George would go on to have another Valentine’s Day #1 two years later with Aretha Franklin in ‘I Knew You Were Waiting For Me’.

Kylie ‘I Should Be So Lucky’ (1988, UK)

We all know the story behind this career-launching hit that almost wasn’t to be. But all I can say is thank god for Kylie sticking around the Stock Aitken and Waterman lobby and not storming out in a huff when those guys completely forgot she was scheduled to work with them, because the few minutes they had to scramble something together for her became ‘I Should Be So Lucky’. Who knew 30 years later it’d remain such a bittersweet and persistent metaphor for our perpetually unlucky in love pop princess?

Toni Braxton ‘Un-Break My Heart’ (1997, US)

Did I ever tell you guys that my father was obsessed with this song? Like capital ‘O’ obsessed. Like, Beyoncé playing a woman dressed by Target Obsessed. He had the Secrets album on cassette and would literally only rewind back to this song every single time. Then when CDs became popular, I think he went out and bought the album on CD because it was easier to keep the track on repeat in this format.

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert ‘Same Love’ (2013, Australia)

A beautiful and political declaration of equal love that very much reflected the cultural shift of the time. It’s so beautiful to see that this was #1 in Australia where sadly, the fight for marriage equality still continues. It’s actually odd looking back and seeing how much Macklemore was killing it at the time. Through all the years I’ve looked back on Valentine’s Day #1s, I’ve not come across one artist who had total dominance on US, UK and Australian charts like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis did in 2013 (‘Thrift Shop’ was #1 in US and UK that week).

Atomic Kitten ‘Whole Again’ (2001, UK)

I will never not have time for Atomic Kitten. It’s just one of those things. I won’t even call it a guilty pleasure because I don’t feel any way guilty for liking it, and neither should you. I literally screamed when I found out ‘Whole Again’ was #1 this week… 16 years ago! To think these girls were hanging onto their record deal barely by the tips of their acrylic nails before the label agreed to release ‘Whole Again’ is ludicrous. They had ‘Whole Again’ the whole time but chose to release four other tracks, which got virtually zero-cares from everyone. Thank god common sense prevailed!

Sinead O’Connor ‘Nothing Compares 2 U (1990, UK)

It’s been seven hours and fifteeeeeeen days… DEAD. I am dead. I forgot Prince actually wrote this one. This is may be a Prince song but it is a Sinead O’Connor classic, you feel me? The super chilling and despondent ballad was a massive fuck-off global hit for the Irish singer, shifting platinum sales in the UK and becoming the biggest selling single of 1990 in Australia. Part of me wishes Prince had written more break up songs for other people.

Jennifer Lopez ‘All I Have’ (2003, US)

That scene in the video where J.Lo is wiping her nose and lugging all her shit through the snow is literally what comes to mind every time I picture myself in post-break up glamour!     2002-2003 was the era where J.Lo was literally killing everybody in the game. She was dominating the box office with films like Maid in Manhattan, she had launched a successful fragrance collection, the tabloids were lapping up her Hollywood fairytale romance with Ben Affleck, she was massive on the radio with hits like ‘Jenny From The Block’ and this one… we didn’t quite catch it at the time but we were witnessing the building of one of America’s most enduring pop entertainers and media moguls with an empire that would keep expanding 15 years on. I’m literally too embarrassed to ask myself what I’ve done with my life in that time.

Whitney ‘I Will Always Love  You’ (1993, US and Australia) 

An appropriate and painfully obvious Valentine’s Day chart-topper. It spent a mind-blowing 14 weeks at #1 on the US Billboard chart. Oh yes… all through Christmas, Boxing Day sales, Hanukkah, NYE messiness and New Year’s resolutions that were broken before she came back for the big final chorus. The iconic song made a return on sadder terms this time five years ago after Whitney’s death. The surge of emotional purchases saw ‘I Will Always Love You’ top the iTunes charts and return to the US Billboard Hot 100 for the first time in 20 years.

Here is a playlist of 40* best Valentine’s Day #1 hits. All in one convenient music streaming receptacle. *’Nothing Compares 2 U’ is not on Spotify though….  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Carelessly whispering on Twitter as always – @feedlimmy.

 

 

 

Chart Feed – 06.08.12

A whole season must’ve passed beneath our feet, moons come and gone, colours of the wind changed, since our last Chart Feed – but I’m now ready to immerse myself back into a regime of tireless research on Monday nights.

Chart Feed

Perhaps once the choir of angels performing their celebratory rendition of ‘You Bring Me Joy’ has ascended back to heaven, we can begin this week’s pickings of the ARIA, UK Official and US Billboard charts.

This was a particularly rosy week for Justice Crew and Conor Maynard, featuring new entries also from The Veronicas, Kelendria Trene Rowland and Scissor Sisters.

Continue reading

Headlines – 04.09.10

Making headlines in pop music this week…

A snippet of Cheryl Cole‘s new single ‘Promise This’ leaked yesterday. I’m sorry Nadine – I’mma let chu finish hyping your first single – but Chezza is dangling a fresh piece and we urgently need to attend to this.

The track is produced by Wayne Wilkins (the man behind her debut single ‘Fight For This Love’ and Michelle Williams‘ mighty ‘We Break The Dawn’) and the 50-second teaser hears Cheryl channeling a very sellable style of urban dance. Sonically, it sounds like someone had rendered wispy synths over the beats on Kristinia DeBarge‘s ‘Sabotage’.

Links to the leak were promptly taken down several hours later. I bet Cheryl was behind this. You know, just firing a warning shot to get Nadine shaking in her boots?

Nadine Coyle – yes, darl, it’s your turn now – broke news of her debut solo single this week. ‘Insatiable’ is a throw back to an 80s Bangles style and there’s no release date set yet but it’ll be out sometime this year.

Nadine has also recorded a track originally sung by the latest Sugababes recruit, Jade Ewen. I love how karmically aware Jade is.

She told The Sun, “I don’t know how I’ll feel when I hear it. It will be weird but I guess it will be like when Keisha would have listened to the stuff I re-recorded.”

But the golden quote goes to Heidi Sugababe who when asked to comment on Nadine‘s rumoured ousting from Girls Aloud said, “I don’t think we’re the ones to dish out advice on whether they should replace Nadine or carry on as a foursome.”

Diplomatic but wicked delicious if you read between the lines.

Rihanna will premiere her new single ‘Only Girl (In The World)’ on Ryan Seacrest‘s radio show next Tuesday, a week before its scheduled radio release. The track is written by her regular hit wordsmith Ne-Yo, so get excited.

Shakira unveils her new album and single covers. Hark! Sale El Sol, her forthcoming bilingual album, and its lead single ‘Loca’.

Fame whore Melanie B is premiering her new reality show It’s A Scary World in the US on Sunday.

I’ve always said that Mel B‘s larger-than-life personality and infectious laugh deserved a place on TV but peddling a reality show and thrusting your family into the limelight? Please. Where’s that line, Scary? Check out the first episode here:

The show is rumoured to have been picked up in the UK (airing October) and Australia (probably to air on a cable network in November).

Entrepreneur Scary is also rolling out her fitness video game this month. It’s reportedly been two years in the making but so is that third studio album of her’s and I honestly can’t say which will give me a bigger LOL to find in the bargain bins.

The Saturdays have roped Flo Rida in for a remix of their next single, ‘Higher’. Listen, if you’re resorting to this level of try-hard fuckery at least do it right? Flo Rida is so last year’s rent-a-rapper. Most folks are booking Pitbull these days.

Alesha Dixon has gone back to rapping. The former Mis-Teeq MC who found solo success with ‘The Boy Does Nothing’ last year haven’t rapped on a track since she left the band, so this’ll be a welcome return of “tha Mis-Teeq flow”, if you will. Alesha‘s forthcoming album The Entertainer is due later this year.

Sign of the apocalypse #27: Mama Celine braves a magazine cover sans make up. While I wish for world peace and for pregnancies to flatter all womankind, there’s no denying that ballooning with a child fucks with your hormones and better judgement.

There was no way in Hades’ lair the real Celine Dion would ever let a tabloid run untouched photos of her. God bless the twins she’s carrying but please, restore our lady to her proper diva mode.

Chart Feed – 17.05.10

Not that Mothers’ Day presents should be about what I want, but I wish I had picked Tina Arena’s Live: The Onstage Collection over Celine Dion’s concert DVD now. I’m sure mum would’ve preferred an intimate and engaged performance over a grand stage with travelators. Mama Tina’s live CD/DVD combo debuted at #22 in Australia this week while Mama Celine’s package entered the UK charts at #11.

It’s clear no one’s buying this shit. Brian McFadden’s Wall of Soundz is set to drop out of our Top 50 after just three weeks on the shelves. The album slipped from a barely adequate debut of #27 to #45 this week. Brian recently tweeted that he’s threatening a Wall of Soundz 2Landfill department, you have been warned.

If no one’s downloading Christina Aguilera’s new single, they’re certainly buying them in stores. ‘Not Myself Tonight’ has finally charted in Australia, entering at #22 this week and we can probably attribute sales to physical copies. It is the sixth best selling single in stores this week. ‘Not Myself Tonight’ also debuted at #12 in the UK this week.

Rihanna‘s ‘Te Amo’ debuts at #35 in Australia this week. The video was reportedly shot in France last month featuring French supermodel Laetitia Casta. Is it too much to ask for a lesbian scene?

It’s been a 10-week long crescendo but Alexandra Burke’s ‘All Night Long’ has finally cracked the UK Top 10 this week. The single currently sits at #8, matching the peak of ‘Broken Heels’. I wonder if Simon Cowell’s noticed. Probably not. Between his multi-million dollar cash cow SuBo and world domination with X Factor, he hasn’t got time for the likes of ABurke.

I’ve got a horrible sinking feeling about this. Much like the feeling you get when your favourite goldfish goes belly up on you. Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s ‘Bittersweet’ is floundering on the UK charts – and you know to admit defeat when your single tumbles from a feeble debut of #25 to #54 in a week.

Lady Gaga‘s The Remix compilation debuts at #3 in the UK this week. While I love knowing there’s two different tracklistings out there, it’s annoying that two of my favourite remixes on the Japanese edition – Crookers‘ ‘Telephone’ remix and Skrillex‘s ‘Bad Romance’ mix – have been omitted from the international version. The Remix sits at #13 in Australia this week.

Keane’s Night Train EP has debuted at #1 this week, making it the band’s fourth consecutive chart topper on the UK album charts.

Toni Braxton‘s Pulse didn’t do so bad after all, selling over 54,000 copies in its first week to debut at #9 in the US. She must be jizzing herself because all three singles have pretty much tanked in the States. Pulse debuts at #28 in the UK this week.

I don’t know a thing about Josh Turner but judging by his hunky smile on the album cover, I think I’d like to know more. His album Haywire (see above) leapt from #94 to #74 on the US charts this week. I’m gonna say looks had nothing to do with it.

Eminem’s ‘Not Afraid’ has debuted on top of the US charts this week. Believe it or not, this is only Slim’s third US #1 single ever. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve heard an Eminem song since ‘Mockingbird’ and ‘Ass Like That’ – I’ve booty bounced to the latter on numerous occasions at Heaven’s Door.

LaRoux is at the cusp of cracking the US Top 20 – ‘Bulletproof’ rose to #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week. Elsewhere, Macy Gray‘s comeback single ‘Beauty In The World’ moved up to #7 on the US Dance charts.

Feedlimmy’s Top 20 Most Played:

#1 Madonna – Revolver (David Guetta One Love Edit)*
#2 Kylie Minogue – All The Lovers*
#3 Kimberly Wyatt – Candy (feat. Aggro Santos)
#4 Kelis – Brave*
#5 Lady Gaga – Alejandro (Electrolightz Remix)
#6 Robyn – Fembot
#7 Wonder Girls – 2 Different Tears*
#8 Mark Sholtez – We Could Get Lost*
#9 Robyn – None of Dem
#10 Kelis – Scream*
#11 Kelis – Home*
#12 Kelis – Acapella
#13 Gabriella Cilmi – Superhot
#14 Cheryl Cole – Fight For This Love
#15 Gabriella Cilmi – Robots
#16 Kelis – Emancipate*
#17 Kelly Rowland – Commander
#18 Yolanda Adams – I Gotta Believe
#19 Christina Aguilera – Not Myself Tonight
#20 Kelis – 22nd Century*
* = Added to playlist this week

Celine Dion – Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert.

I’m going to say this once. If you’re looking for a Celine does Vegas-style bonanza, skip this concert and backtrack to her ‘Live in Vegas’ disc.

After hearing all the hype around Celine‘s roof-raising Vegas performances, I had naively assumed that she was channeling the same extravaganza for her ‘Taking Chances’ world tour.

On top of that, we’ve been told that acclaimed pop concert director Jamie King (who was behind Madonna‘s ‘Sticky & Sweet’ and Britney‘s ‘Circus’ tours) was masterminding this show – therefore, this simply couldn’t have been ordinary.

But it sadly was for Celine’s standards.

Celine Dion may be a vibrant performer with an undeniable stage presence, but no amount of vocal dynamite and jazz hands could hide the lack of connection felt in this show.

Having forged a long career with wall-to-wall ballads, it’s strange to see Celine mindlessly warble these emotive numbers without much conviction in her eyes or in her delivery.

The one exception to the case was when she broke down during ‘My Love’, a “special track” penned by Linda Perry for her Taking Chances LP.

The concert setlist is another issue in itself. For someone who has seen his share of pop concerts, I understand the logic behind alternating your new material with well-loved classics. It’s recognised as an inclusive way to structure your show so fans of both your old and new material don’t get bored when you’re off doing a string of songs from a particular era.

The problem with the ‘Taking Chances’ concert was that the said formula was too obvious. It was too cut and dry, with no recognisable underlying theme or narrative connecting the songs in the show.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about watching Celine, it is that she is one incredibly leggy woman and the outfits here barely do her justice.

Most of the time, the garments look almost right. For instance, the embellished silver vest and black flared slacks she dons for most of the show would’ve been OK if not for the sequined front that looked like a glorified outline of her reproductive system.

The ethereal maxi dress she wears in the ‘My Heart Will Go On’ encore would’ve looked glorious if they had turned on the wind machine from the start, and if the front of her dress hadn’t been cut just above the ankle.

An overall average concert in a sense that there’s nothing to intensely dislike about it – if you ignored some of her outfits and odd fist pumps – but there’s also nothing to love about it.

2.5/5

Taking Chances World Tour: The Concert CD/DVD (Sony Music)
Out now.