Swear I'm not Paul: The 00s: A Decade in Irish Music

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Monday, November 30, 2009

The 00s: A Decade in Irish Music

Post 1,000 was a fairly special post for my on Swear I'm Not Paul, and as I haven't quite made it to 1,500, post 1,400 is also going to be pretty special. Here it is.

Reeling in the Years

You know how you love watching Reeling in the Years on a Sunday evening? Everyone must be watching them as they're still in the TAM Ratings ever week (are they still called the TAM Ratings? I remember them as that from the RTE Guide; nothing ever had more viewers than The Late Late Toy Show!)

Well, this is like a Reeling in the Years for the Irish single chart this decade. Here we go...


The decade started as the last one finished. With Westlife atop the singles chart. The chart topper was not just one song, but a double A side which was the 1999 Christmas number 1 on both sides of the Irish Sea. It contained covers of ABBA's 'I Have a Dream' and Terry Jacks/Jacques Brel's 'Seasons in the Sun', and remained at number one for most of January 2000. Was this the decade where Irish boybands would dominate once more?

This was what kick started the noughties:

In 2000, Britney Spears was still a credible pop star (not the looney toon queen of comebacks that she is now), and knocked the Irish fivesome (yes, Brian was still there back then) with the incredibly cheesy 'Born to Make You Happy'.

The next few weeks were a bit hectic as number ones were replaced by new songs every week in February. 'Silence' by Delerium was followed by Oasis's 'Go Let It Out', 'Rise' by Gabrielle and then All Saints' wonderful 'Pure Shores' from the movie The Beach.

March and April, however, were dominated by one song. A 2fm DJ spent ten weeks at number one on the Irish Singles Chart with his remix of Michael Sembello's 'Maniac'. Now there's no way you won't be able to get Mark McCabe's 'Maniac 2000' out of your head for the rest of the day.

May and June were similar. Thankfully, Mark McCabe was long gone, but what replaced him was not a lot better. First up was 'Bad Touch' by the Bloodhound Gang. Yeah, you remember it, the one about "Doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel". Then it was the turn of Samantha Mumba to dominate the airwaves with 'Gotta Tell You' from the album of the same name announcing her arrival on the scene. The song also hit #2 in the UK and #4 in the US. See, not only SuBo can break America!

Boyzone's Ronan Keating's solo career was really kicking off, and 'Life is a Rollercoaster' was at number one for a single week before being knocked off by Irish flavour of the month Eminem. Everyone I knew had his albums and loved his gritty persona. Not me, I always thought he was a dolt. He was on top for two weeks with 'The Real Slim Shady'. It was knocked off by another former boyband member, Robbie Williams with the fantastic 'Rock DJ'.

That was number one for four weeks before being replaced by Sophie Ellis Bextor's vocals on Spiller's 'Groovejet'. That was there for two weeks before Modjo's 'Lady (Hear Me Tonight)' knocked it off. Those two songs sound almost identical though. It was then time for Westlife to return with the lead single from their second album Coast to Coast, a duet with Mariah Carey on Phil Collins' 'Against All Odds'. That was number one for three weeks.

Another Irish institution was re-established in October 2000, as U2 released 'Beautiful Day' from their excellent All That You Can't Leave Behind. This stuck around for three weeks, before Westlife returned with 'My Love', itself a three weeker.

The Christmas number one was not to be a boyband hit. Well, not in Ireland anyway. LeeAn Rimes' 'Can't Fight the Moonlight' knocked them off in late November, and then Eminem's 'Stan' took up residence for December. It was the song that really introduced the world to Dido, and is probably the only Eminem song still worth listening to. The last four weeks of 2000 belonged to Marshall Bruce Mathers III and Dido Florian Cloud de Bounevialle O'Malley Armstrong. What names!


Those two remained at number one for the first two weeks of the new year before being kicked off by Rui da Silva featuring Cassandra with 'Touch Me'. Remember it? Me either. I wonder who bought it?

That was number one for two weeks, then a hazy period which had U2's 'Stuck in a Moment', Limp Bizkit's 'Rollin', Atomic Kitten's 'Whole Again', Samantha Mumba's 'Always Come Back To Your Love', and Shaggy's 'It Wasn't Me' all just staying around for a week at a time. Westlife settled things down again with Billy Joel's 'Uptown Girl' staying around for six weeks.

'Survivor' was Beyonce's first Irish number one with her group Destiny's Child. Yes, at this stage you'd kind of forget that she once was in a band at all. It was there for a week, as was S Club 7's 'Don't Stop Movin', before Geri Halliwell decided to own the entire month of May with 'It's Raining Men'. Shaggy was once again number one in June, 'Angel' held on for four weeks before being replaced by 'Lady Marmalade' sung by the ensemble crew of Pink, Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya and Missy Elliott.

U2's 'Elevation' was number one for a solitary week, before the worst song of the decade was on top for six horrible weeks. That was DJ Otzi's massacre of 'Hey Baby'. It's so bad, I'm not going to put up a video of it. One week was enough time for Eve and Gwen Stefani's 'Let Me Blow Ya Mind' and Uncle Kracker's 'Follow Me'. In the case of the second one, more than enough time. Then we had the dominance of Kylie's 'Can't Get You Out Of My Head' and Afroman's 'Beacuse I Got High'. Four and three weeks at the top, respectively.

Westlife's third album World Of Our Own ushered in more number ones, with 'Queen of My Heart' taking the top spot for a fortnight. They were replaced by Ireland's favourite turkey taking on 'Sweet Caroline'. No, not Ronan Keating, Dustin! Then December was Kate Winslet's month, as she sold bucketloads of copies of 'What If' in the run up to Christmas. It was the centrepiece of that year's film version of A Christmas Carol.


Another three weeks in January Kate stayed around for, making her one of the best selling artists of the decade on our fair isle. Pink got 'The Party Started' for a whole week, and Enrique Iglesias's 'Hero' held on for two. Irish relaity TV popstars then chimed in with the nation's best selling single ever. 'There's a Whole Loy of Loving Going On'. Remember these verses?

Shakira's small but humble breasts stuck up for a week on 'Wherever, Whenever' or 'Whenever, Wherever' or whatever. Then Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates killed our eardrums with his take on 'Unchained Melody'. That was on top for three weeks before the song of the summer became 'How You Remind Me' by Nickelback.

2002 was one of those rare occasions where we had a World Cup to look forward to. Saipan anyone? For one week only, 'Here Come the Good Times' was number one. A horrendous tune, like all soccer songs. Apart from 'Put 'Em Under Pressure'! Eminem just wouldn't go away, and in 02 returned with 'Without Me' from The Eminem Show. That was number one for three weeks. As was Elvis Vs JXL's 'A Little Less Conversation' from this phenomenal advert:

No matter what you may think, Six were not one hit wonders, and were number one for two more weeks with 'Let Me Be the One'. Scooter's 'Logical Song' was there for a week, before Shakira came back with the question many men have been asking 'Underneath Your Clothes'. That was number one for three weeks before Mad'house squeaked in with 'Like a Prayer' for one week. I don't remember it either.

Kerry Katona and Atomic Kitten were number one for four weeks with 'The Tide is High' before Avril Lavigne launched herself with 'Complicated' (a two-weeker). Strangely, a europop song 'Asereje' was number one for a week, before coming back a month later to do the same again, except for two more weeks. You may remember it better as 'The Ketchup Song' by Las Ketchup. In between its summits were Nelly's 'Dilemma' (3 weeks) and Westlife's 'Unbreakable' (1).

Christina Aguilera's 'Dirrty' only stayed for a week at the end of December before Irish idiots went out and bought yet another Eminem single, making 'Lose Yourself' from the film 8 Mile number one for December and Christmas. Oh and he's not a good actor. He was playing himself for God's sake!


It was number one for just the first week of 2003 too, before the Popstars: The Rivals girlband Girls Aloud (featuring the liar from the Irish version, no less) dominated with their splendid 'Sound of the Underground'. More great girl pop was on top in February as faux-lesbian teens Tatu spent all of February at number one with 'All the Things She Said'.

March was Christina Aguilera' month with 'Beautiful' also spending four weeks on top. Westlife's 'Tonight' dethroned her, before another reality TV popstar took over. Simon Casey's 'A Better Plan' was number one for three weeks. Not bad at all son.

50 Cent's 'In Da Club' was number one for a week, before Simon Casey's rival on You're a Star and eventual Eurovision entrant Mickey Joe Harte's 'We've Got the World Tonight' made residence for five long weeks.

R. Kelly's 'Ignition' was the song of June before being replaced by a proper song: Ronan Tynan and Rita Connolly's 'May We Never Have to Say Goodbye', the theme from the 2003 Special Olympics, which was held in Ireland. What a marvellous occasion that was. For everyone. Beyonce and her (now) hubby Jay-Z spent four weeks atop the chart with her solo 'Crazy in Love', and launched her as a megastar.

XTM (I wouldn't have remembered their name) were number one for two weeks with their remix of Eurovision winner 'Fly on the Wings of Love' (us Irish do love the Eurovision), before being replaced by former pornstar Blu Cantrell's 'Breathe' (also 2 weeks). The next nine weeks all belonged to the Black Eyed Peas, and their breakout tune 'Where is the Love?'.

Fatman Scoop's 'Be Faithful' was a travesty to music, and luckily only lasted a week. Then Britney teamed up with Madonna on the so-so 'Me Against the Music', also for one week. Westlife's 'Mandy' (yet another cover) was number one for three weeks, then the Black Eyed Peas returned for one with 'Shut Up'. The year ended with Pop Idol winner Will Young at number one for Christmas with the absolutely gorgeous 'Leave Right Now'.


'Leave Right Now' also spent the first four weeks of 04 at number one, before Kelis dominated for five with the awful 'Milkshake'. Next up was Britney Spears' 'Toxic' for four weeks, meaning that in the first three months of 2004, there was only three different number ones.

Usher's 'Yeah!' was everywhere in the clubs in 04, and was on top of the charts for two weeks too. As was the horrible Eamon with 'Fuck It (I Don't Want You Back)', he also popped up for an additional week after You're A Star winner Chris Doran had held on for two with 'If My World Stopped Turning'.

The rest of May, June and July only had three number ones as well. July's month was Mike Skinner and The Streets with chavtastic 'Dry Your Eyes', Britney once again owned June with 'Everytime', but May's was purely down to Tim O'Riordan and Natural Gas with 'The Langer'.

O-Zone's nonsense song 'Dragostea Din Tea' was around for a brief week, but was in our heads all summer. Then Natasha (brother of Daniel) Bedingfield spent three weeks at number one with the beautiful 'These Words'. Next up was Westlife dropout Brian McFadden with 'Real to Me' for four weeks, and Steve Winwood sampling Eric Prydz for four as well with 'Call on Me'.

Britney was once again our number one with 'My Prerogative', then U2's 'Vertigo' from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb - both one week. Destiny's Child had a last hurrah before Beyonce totally went solo with 'Lose My Breath' before the 20th anniversary of 'Do They Know It's Christmas' put Band Aid at number one for five weeks. Remember the Dizzee Rascal furore?


Linkin Park teamed up with Jay-Z to reignite their career (and resell songs that they had already sold to their few adoring fans), and 'Numb/Encore' topped the charts for four weeks. Next up was long-gone pop band Zoo with their cover of 'Poison'. 'Almost Here' signalled the end of Kerry Katona's marriage as Brian McFadden teamed up with former Neighbours star Delta Goodrem, and were number one for a week.

Jennifer Lopez (or JLo to her...uhm...friends?) annoyed us for a week with a repeating sax on 'Get Right', before hip-hop star Nelly teamed up with country music's Tim McGraw for the strangely addictive 'Over and Over'. McFly's charity single 'All About You' was number one for a fortnight, before being knocked off by another charity tune: 'Amarillo' by Tony Christie and the unfunniest man in the world Peter Kay. That song was number one for five weeks. Worse was to come with Akon's eunuchlike 'Lonely' for the month of May, and then ringtone 'Axel F' by Crazy Frog for another four weeks in June.

2Pac returned from the dead for four weeks with 'Ghetto Gospel' (Elton John was on board too). Boring pop was the order of the day in July and August when James Blunt and Daniel Powter were on top with 'You're Beautiful' and 'Bad Day' resepectively. (4 weeks each) The Pussycat Dolls had three weeks in the sun with their debut 'Don't Cha' before the Sugababes had a hat-trick themselves with 'Push the Button'.

Westlife dominated once again with 'You Raise Me Up' topping the charts for six weeks. They couldn't hold on for Christmas though, with Black Eyed Peas' 'My Humps', Nizlopi's 'JCB Song' and Mario Rosenstock's 'Leave Right Now' all topping the charts in December. Mario was the eventual Christmas number one. Barely.


Had even less number ones than 2004. The first three months had only two. One was the X Factor winner Shayne Ward. He was number one for seven weeks with 'That's My Goal'. The other, for six weeks, was comedian and actor Pat Shortt with his 'Jumbo Breakfast Roll'.

Gnarls Barkley were number one for a week with 'Crazy', then Shayne Ward's 'No Promises' for a week, before Gnarls returned to the top to spend seven more weeks there. Sandi Thom's horrible 'I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker' thankfully was a one week wonder too. Shakira and Wycleff John had much more staying power and were at the top of the chart for nine whole weeks with 'Hips Don't Lie'.

Cascada were new on the scene (and are still on it now) with 'Everytime We Touch' filling dancefloors in Ireland and staying number one for two weeks, before Justin Timberlake did the same with the incredibly catchy 'SexyBack'. He was number one for four weeks before Cascada returned for four more weeks themselves.

Beyonce was 'Irreplacable' for only two weeks until U2 and Green Day replaced her with the shocking 'The Saints are Coming' and then Westlife with 'The Rose' (both for one week). Akon's 'Smack That' featuring Eminem was number one for four weeks before X Factor winner Leona Lewis chimed in for Christmas with 'A Moment Like This'.


Leona stuck around for another four weeks in 2007 (six in all), before being knocked off by one of BBC's Sounds of 2007, the overly camp Mika and his great 'Grace Kelly'. He was number one for seven weeks.

Another song I don't remember is 21 Demands' 'Give Me a Minute' which was number one on downloads alone. And they didn't even have a record contract. Sounds to me like they got all their mates to download it! The Fray cashed in on their Scrubs success with a week at the top for 'How to Save a Life'. Avril Lavigne was number one with 'Girlfriend' for a fortnight before my brother's favourite video was on top for a week. Shakira and Beyonce's 'Beautiful Liar'.

Brian McFadden's turgid 'Like Only a Woman Can' was number one for a week, then 'Beautiful Liar' again, and then Avril Lavigne again. How does this kind of thing happen? Akon's less screechy 'Don't Matter' (more like 'Barely Remember') was another one week thing, which didn't prepare us at all for Rihanna's eight week stint with 'Umbrella'.

Black Eyed Peas' main lady Fergie had one week at the top with 'Big Girls Don't Cry' before uber-producer Timbaland hooked up with Keri Hilson for five weeks of grammatical nightmare 'The Way I Are'. Sean Kingston's horrid 'Beautiful Girls' and Shayne Ward's 'If That's OK With You' were at the top for four weeks each. Shayne actually started the domination of the X Factor winners, as he was followed by Leona Lewis's 'Bleeding Love' for 8 weeks and then Leon Jackson's 'When You Believe' for two.


Leon was number one for the first week of 08, but was knocked off his perch by yet another Britney comeback. This time it was 'Piece of Me' for two weeks. Basshunter spent five weeks on top with 'Now That You're Gone' before another BBC pick, the sound of 08, Duffy chimed in with 'Mercy'. It was also back at number one for a week at the end of March. In between was the touching tribute 'The Ballad of Ronnie Drew'.

'Low' by Flo-Rida and T'Pain spent a week at the top, as did 'The Munster Song' by Glen Keating and Greg Ryan, which celebrated their Heinken Cup victory. Five weeks of April and May were taken up by Mundy and Sharon Shannon with their 'Galway Girl'. Please note: the original Steve Earle version is a million times better than this load of waffle.

Madonna and Justin Timberlake had only '4 Minutes' to save the world and only seven days at the top, as they were quickly replaced by Rihanna's 'Take a Bow' (for four weeks), and then Chris Brown's 'Forever'. Homegrown hero Leanne Moore was another You're a Star winner (the last I think) and was on top for a week with 'On Wings', before Brown went back for a week himself.

Basshunter were again number one with 'All I Ever Wanted' for a fortnight. Then Kid Rock singlehandedly murdered two classics (one more classic than the other - 'Werewolves of London' is so fantastic) with his 'All Summer Long' thankfully not living up to its promise and only sticking around for four weeks. Then saw the launch of Katy Perry and her fantastic 'I Kissed a Girl'. It was a four week hero also.

There was some rock to be found in 08 as Kings of Leon's 'Sex on Fire' topped the charts for two weeks. Pink's 'So What' was number one for three weeks, with the Saw Doctors' cover of the Sugababes 'About You Now' sneaking in midway through. Then, once again, it was X Factor time. First came the twelve 2008 finalists with their cover of Mariah Carey's 'Hero' for three weeks, then Leona's cover of Snow Patrol's 'Run' for four, and Alexandra Burke's massacre of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah'.


Like a bad smell, Alexandra hung around for another two weeks in 2009. She was still there even after the last of the turkey sandwiches had been polished off. 2009's breakout star Lady Gaga replaced her on top with 'Just Dance', but I wish she never entered the charts either with her stupid music and even stupider (more stupid) persona. Five weeks we had to put up with that before U2's return with the stagnant 'Get on Your Boots' was number one for a single week.

She was back at it with 'Poker Face' at the end of February (two weeks) and again at the end of April (same song for another week). In between we had Julieanne Dineen with 'Do You Believe' (1 week), Flo Rida's Pete Burns love-in 'Right Round' (3 weeks), AR Rahman/The Pussycat Dolls 'Jai Ho' (2 weeks), and Eminem's 'We Made You' for 1 week. There's just no getting rid of Eminem unfortunately.

Tinchy Stryder and N-Dubz were 'Number 1' for five weeks (couldn't resist, it was too easy) with the first ever song called number one to chart at number one in either the Uk or Ireland! Aussie sisters The Veronicas were around for a week with 'Untouched', as was David Guetta's 'When Love Takes Over' and Industry's 'My Baby's Waiting', before David Guetta and Kelly Rowland returned to the top for another solitary week.

Six weeks were taken up by Black Eyed Peas' 'I Got a Feeling' from their album The E.N.D., before locals Industry went to number one again with 'Burn'. Amazingly, the Peas came back for another six weeks with the same song, before it became X Factor time once again. Last night's winner Alexandra Burke's 'Bad Boys' spent a week at number one, then judge (and Girls Aloud member) Cheryl Cole launched her solo career with 'Fight For This Love' for four weeks. Currently, this year's finalists are number one with a cover of the late Michael Jackson's 'You are Not Alone', and no doubt Leona and the eventual winner will be #1 from here til year end.


Sweary said...

Right, first off, how can you not remember Rui Da Silva's "Touch Me"? It was a huge vocal house track and one that all of us clubbers out there remember ... maybe not fondly, but definitely remember. It's still pretty much a fixture on dance compilations and remix offerings.

Second, Eminem's Lose Yourself was easily his best track.

And thirdly, how in God's name can you praise Girls Aloud's AWFUL "Sound Of The Underground", considering the blight upon the earth they've been ever since? For Christ's sake, the clueless saps know less about the underground than the aviation industry.

I have to go now and do a bit of work, but I'll be back to give out a bit more to you later on!! :-)

Anonymous said...

Wowza. That's pretty thorough!

I'm with Sweary on the Rui Da Silva business - great great dance track that very oddly samples Spandau Ballet.

But I'm with you on Sound Of The Underground - great single and what a way to kickstart a career.

Again, wowza...

Michael said...

Six? What ever happened to them. Lol. And where's Richie Kavanagh? No sign of him?