With apologies for the continued delay. We were out looking at prize poultry at the Manifold Valley Agricultural Show – don’t scoff, the poultry was STUNNING – and then Clare Boob Pencil popped round for tea (and stayed for sardines). You know how it goes.
Equal 4th place – The 1990s. (21 points)
2005: 5th place, 26 points.
2004: 4th place, 27 points.
2003: 5th place, 25 points.
9: Slight Return – The Bluetones. 1st place, most popular.
8: Children – Robert Miles. 3rd place.
7: Do U Still – East 17. 5th place.
6: Open Arms – Mariah Carey. 5th place, least popular.
5: One Of Us – Joan Osborne. 4th place.
4: Lifted – The Lighthouse Family. 3rd place.
3: I Got 5 On It – Luniz. 5th place.
2: Anything – 3T. 5th place.
1: Spaceman – Babylon Zoo. 4th place.
Sharing its disgrace with the 2000s, this year sees the overall lowest scores awarded to any of our decades to date – and by quite some distance at that. (Previously, the lowest score ever awarded was 25 points.)
Despite a promising start, with decent placings for The Bluetones and Robert Miles, the 1990s quickly tanked, with 50% of our selection finishing in last place. And yet, running my eye down the 1996 top ten, it looks on the face of it like a perfectly reasonable, diverse and representative selection, with Britpop, dance, soul, hip-hop, rock and pure pop all rubbing shoulders.
Maybe 1996 just got unlucky, slammed into the lower positions by an unusually strong showing from the earlier decades. In particular, Robert Miles, Joan Osborne and Luniz seem to have suffered from this, with all three picking up plenty of favourable comments along the way. And I’d also put a good word in for Technohead’s novelty toytown rave, and the Lighthouse Family’s thoroughly pleasant MOR soul. In fact, I own a whopping 60% of the 1996 top ten on CD single, and have happy memories and associations with all of them.
Nevertheless, this is a truly dismal result for the 1990s, which opens up an unprecedented 12 point gap between third and fourth places – a gap which has always existed between the oldest three and the youngest two decades, but which this year has become a yawning chasm.