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 – 20.08.12

Remember back when it was kinda uncool to be “launched from a reality TV show”?

CHART

Well, it would seem that if you can escape that stigma with class and some bloody awesome creative ventures, you’re guaranteed to be embraced by the masses in the way Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy were this week.

Elsewhere on this Chart Feed, it has also been a good week for the Spice Girls, Emeli Sande, Rita Ora and Flo Rida.

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Chart Feed – 24.01.11

Wynter Gordon holds on to her #1 reign here in Australia. Shame I wasn’t present last Monday to pop the metaphorical bottle of bubbly when ‘Dirty Talk’ climbed to the top but get this, we are the first country to give Wynter a #1 record on a main singles charts. Back in the States, ‘Dirty Talk’ managed to top the Billboard Dance/Club charts.

Enrique‘s filthy fantastic ‘Tonight (I’m Fuckin’ You)’ stays at #2 this week, making it his third consecutive Top 5 single in Australia. The Euphoria era is working some kind of magic for the Latin heartthrob – the album has been certified gold sales here and the first single ‘I Like It’ has gone double platinum. Australia, do yourselves a favour now and revisit his 2009 mega RedOne single ‘Takin’ Back My Love’, which failed to launch here.

Alexis Jordan‘s breezy ‘Happiness’ soared to #3 here this week. Justice has been served. The single has been certified gold sales in Australia – shipping over 35,000 copies – and word is, her next single ‘Good Girl’ will get a UK release on 20 February. Will lightning strike twice for the former America’s Got Talent contestant?

Britney‘s ‘Hold It Against Me’ debuts straight in at #1 in the US and moves up to #4 on our Aussie singles charts after entering at #10 last week. We’re getting a better idea of how the nation feels about the song now that it’s had a full week and a half of strong radio rotation. Ask a work friend or cousin what they think. I’m still reeling from the hysteria of Saturday night when the track was unleashed on a packed dance floor full of gays. Screams, hands fanning and ostentatious miming – you know, the works.

The video – directed by Jonas Akerlund, the man behind Gaga and Beyonce‘s ‘Telephone’ mini-epic – will drop soon. They just wrapped day #2 of the shoot and BritBrit tweeted this teaser shot. After the first day of filming she tweeted: “such an incredible experience. I think this will be one of the best videos I have ever done.” ‘Hold It Against Me’ debuts at #6 in the UK this week, making it her 21st UK Top 10 single.

Avril Lavigne‘s ‘What The Hell’ is highest charting new single in Australia this week, entering at #9. Other worthy new entries include Usher‘s ‘More’ (#23) and Christina Aguilera‘s ‘Show Me How To Burlesque’ (#29) – the soundtrack is the highest selling new album here this week, debuting at #5. Thanks, gays.

Rihanna‘s ‘S&M’ debuts at #27 here and was the most added new song on Aussie radios last week. Check out three sinister official remixes here:

S&M (Remixes) by PopMusicUniverse

I’ll find out for ya’ll if and when Universal Music Australia will release an ‘S&M’ remix bundle.

The Naked and Famous has finally cracked our Aussie Top 50 this week with their album Passive Me Aggressive You rising to #47 and its first single ‘Young Blood’ (which made #1 in New Zealand last year) debuting at #49. The Kiwi band is set to rock the Big Day Out festival in Sydney on Australia Day and Melbournites, you can still grab tickets to their gig at the Corner Hotel on 28 January here.

Bruno Mars has bagged the #1 album and single position in the UK this week, making him the first solo male artist to have done so since Mika‘s Life In Cartoon Motion and ‘Grace Kelly’ simulateously topped the charts in 2007. The ‘Grenade’ singer is set to bring his Doo-Wops & Hooligans tour to Australia in April. Check out the dates and venues here via Auspop. Tickets will be available on 1 February.

Adele‘s bluesy disco noir ‘Rolling In The Deep’ enters at #2 on the UK charts this week. I won’t be surprised if she pulls a double appearance in the Top 20 next week when her 21 album starts to chart. Her 2008 debut 19 is enjoying some kind of resurgence now, charting at #8 this week.

Aggro Santos and curvacious Girls Aloud siren Kimberley Walsh scores a hit with their collabo ‘Like U Like’ entering at #8 this week. Alright, bitches. We’ve heard enough. This solo career fuckery is making me gag hardcore now. Ya’ll need to sit down, shut the fuck up, get Nicola Roberts to do her thang, then regroup. Pronto.

Far East Movement and Ryan Tedder‘s ‘Rocketeer’ rose to #17 in the US this week and was the third most added new song on Aussie radios last week. I’m actually downloading their album now. Seriously, the six days of consuming Malaysian commercial radio had me reluctantly pried open to a load of American hits I was too proud to check on. I found myself hearing for the first time and actually liking tracks like Nelly‘s ‘Just A Dream’, Selena Gomez‘s ‘A Year Without Rain’ and ‘Rocketeer’. Elsewhere on the US charts, Pink‘s ‘Fuckin’ Perfect’ blazes from #57 to #30 and Kanye West and Jay Z‘s ‘H.A.M.’ debuts at #23. Both are also good in my books.

Cher has made history as the only artist to have a US #1 record in every one of the last six decades. Her latest track ‘You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me’ just topped the Billboard Dance/Club charts this week, making it her first #1 of the new decade. And of course, in true Cher cheek, she tells Billboard: “How can it be six decades when I’m only four decades?” Love you, drag glammother!

 

“Burlesque” Soundtrack Album Details

I’m shitting glitter as I type this.

Every gay in the village has the forthcoming Cher and Christina Aguilera movie musical – Burlesque – etched on their calendars but before we flutter to the cinemas next month, Sony‘s dropping the soundtrack early to tide us over the festive season.

Get this. Here on record we have the first Cher original in over seven years: ‘You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me’ – a sopping wet ballad written by serial emotive pop merchant Dianne Warren.

Burlesque also features brand new recordings penned by acclaimed hit makers – Claude Kelly (Whitney), Tricky Stewart (Mariah) and Sia – as well as production from Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera) and Ron Fair (Pussycat Dolls).

Here’s the final tracklisting for your fangurling pleasure:

1 – Christina Aguilera – Something’s Got A Hold On Me
2 – Cher – Welcome To Burlesque
3 – Christina Aguilera – Tough Lover
4 – Christina Aguilera – But I Am A Good Girl
5 – Christina Aguilera – A Guy What Takes His Time
6 – Christina Aguilera – Express
7 – Cher – You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me
8 – Christina Aguilera – Bound To You
9 – Christina Aguilera – Show Me How You Burlesque
10 – Christina Aguilera – The Beautiful People

This soundtrack has just gone #1 on the US iTunes chart. Yeah, what Bionic?

Footnote:

Burlesque the movie hits Aussie screens on 13 January. The soundtrack will precede it, dropping here this Friday.