09 February, 2005

mindlessmunkey's top 5 pop songs of all time

Est Possible?! The word "pop" and my good name being used in the same sentence?! Do not fear, dear readers, you're not about to find Kylie in my CD collection, and I would still like to slap most teeny-boppers with a large, smelly fish... but even I'll admit it: Pop has it's place. So here are mindlessmunkey's picks as the best pop-tunes ever:


1961 ~ "Stand By Me" - Ben E. King
If you've never heard this song, you must live at the bottom of a tar pit on the far side of Europa. It is entirely constructed on the most common, basic chord-progression in all popular music, and has simple repetitive lyrics. Yet this campfire-singalong staple has stood the test of time. It reached #4 in the charts upon its first release, packed an emotional punch when covered by John Lennon in 1970, and climbed back to #9 in 1986 on the back of the quintessential coming-of-age movie which borrowed its name. A true classic.

1963 ~ "I Want To Hold Your Hand" - The Beatles
The world changed forever when this infectious single hit American shelves the day after Christmas in 1963; for musicians and music fans alike, nothing would ever be the same. The joyously soulful harmonies, the unconventional changes in the middle-8, the pure charisma when the fab four grinned and shook their mop-tops. It all set The Beatles on their path to being the biggest band in the world for years to come, and the most influential to this day.

1989 ~ "Like A Prayer" - Madonna
What pop-list would be complete without an appearance by the Chameleon-Queen? And for my money, this is her best song. With a funky bass-driven accompaniment, slightly risqué lyrics and appropriately gospel-style backing vocals, the song is endlessly memorable without a hint of manufactured catchiness. Throw in a dirty video-clip involving the Material Girl making out with a brought-to-life statue of a Saint, and you have the recipe for pop-music legend. The Catholic Church were horrified, Pepsi and Madonna raked in the cash, and the public lapped it up.

1995 ~ "MMMBOP" - Hanson
Okay this is getting embarassing. But the reason I love this song can be summed up in three letters: F - U - N. This is simply the FUNnest song ever! The sunny prepubescent harmonies, the delightfully indecipherable lyrics (I think there's something about growing flowers in there?) and the gloriously cheap video of the boys just running around being stupid boys, all get under your skin. The Hanson brothers might have faded back into southern-American obscurity, and the song might be irreversibly associated with the 90s, but I still can't listen to this tune without breaking into a smile.

1998 ~ "Baby One More Time" - Britney Spears
Yup this is about as low as I go. But let's face it, before she went all soft-porn, before she was married for forty minutes, before she was in movies or writing books with her Mum, Britney was the perfect pop princess. Pigtailed and bopping her way through junior-highschool corridors in her just-revealing-enough-to-get-the-paedophiles'-attention uniform, Britney boldly shimmied onto the world stage with this breakout single. And don't kid yourself, as pop goes the song is genius. Covered by acts like Travis and Bowling For Soup, this teeny-lust anthem will be seared in the collective consciousness for a long time to come.

Well I think I'd better put a stop to all that, before I lose whatever indie-boi cred I had, once and for all.




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