Page 1 of 1

Strange hits

Posted: 06 May 2017, 11:54
by AdvertBreak
Songs that don't or didn't sound like they'd be hits by themselves but they were (UK anyway)

Napoleon XIV - They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa! (#4, 1966)
Hotlegs - Neanderthal Man (#2, 1970)
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk (#6, 1979)
Public Image Ltd - Death Disco (#20, 1979)
Public Image Ltd - The Flowers of Romance (#24, 1981)
Japan - Ghosts (#5, 1981)
Laurie Anderson - O Superman (#2, 1981)
The Stranglers - Golden Brown (#2, 1982)
My Bloody Valentine - To Here Knows When (#29, 1991)
The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu - It's Grim Up North (#10, 1991)
Carter USM - Lenny and Bruce (#40, 1993)
Josh Wink - Higher State of Consciousness (Tweekin' Acid Funk Mix) (#8, 1995)
Underworld - Born Sippy .NUXX (#2, 1996)
The Chemical Brothers - Setting Sun (#1, 1996)
Oxide & Neutrino - Bound 4 Da Reload (Casualty) (#1, 2000)
Primal Scream - Accelerator (#34, 2000)
The Simpsons - Spider Pig (#33, 2007)
John Trunk and Wisbey - The Ladies' Bras (#27, 2007)

Obviously there are clear reasons why a lot of these songs were hits, whether that's because their 'fanbase' singles by big names or whatever, but still

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 06 May 2017, 12:16
by TripleJay97
D.A. - Ready 'N' Steady (1979)

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 06 May 2017, 14:02
by Forever Low Man
i think they actually found the song

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 31 May 2017, 16:29
by AdvertBreak
Lil Louis - French Kiss (#2, 1989)
Mr Oizo - Flat Beat (#1, 1999)
Aphex Twin - Windowlicker (#14, 1999)

I was hoping this thread would incite conversation like that of the old strange performances on TOTP thread.

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 05 Jun 2017, 06:11
by Mallard No. 22
Some of them were fanbase hits e.g. Public Image Ltd, Japan, My Bloody Valentine, Justified Ancients of Mu Mu (i.e. KLF), Carter USM.

Others I suspect were merely good singles that went from pluggers to airplay to the buyers. E.g. 'Neanderthal Man' (by the guys who were to be 10cc, though they weren't known at the time) and 'Golden Brown' which was a change in style for The Stranglers but a catchy song to old and new fans.

Some were club hits - e.g. Lil Louis, Josh Wink. Also, Underworld and the Chemical Brothers probably touched several bases - clubs, film soundtrack, associations with Britpop/Noel Gallagher.

Not sure why the Napoleon XIV and Laurie Anderson records became hits - though again they must have attracted the interest from the radio stations - I understand John Peel picked up on 'O Superman' and played it on Radio One.

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 15 Jun 2017, 14:09
by AdvertBreak
Turned this into a list on RateYourMusic (and extended it a lot).

Let me know what you think.

https://rateyourmusic.com/list/chemical ... uk-top-40/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 17 Jun 2017, 23:28
by guidedbyvoices
This thread deserves a playlist on spotify,

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 19 Jun 2017, 13:37
by guidedbyvoices
Oh Sorry I did not notice there was already a list.

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 20 Jun 2017, 03:48
by Mallard No. 22
It can be hard to tell why some records become hits, and others don't.

It was interesting reading the list - several of those records became all-time classics (e.g. Good Vibrations, PL/SFF, Bohemian Rhapsody), yet at the time the audience may have wondered what they were all about. Though they were also by established artists - had those artists not come up with something new, they may have declined in popularity.

I personally found several big singles of the late 80s-early 90s baffling at the time (e.g. Pump Up The Volume, Theme From S'Express) - thirty years later, they sound good and have stood the test of time well. I think they would be candidates for the list - as per e.g. Its Grim Up North, The Blue Room which you have included.

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 30 Jun 2017, 18:17
by AdvertBreak
Mallard No. 22 wrote:It can be hard to tell why some records become hits, and others don't.

It was interesting reading the list - several of those records became all-time classics (e.g. Good Vibrations, PL/SFF, Bohemian Rhapsody), yet at the time the audience may have wondered what they were all about. Though they were also by established artists - had those artists not come up with something new, they may have declined in popularity.

I personally found several big singles of the late 80s-early 90s baffling at the time (e.g. Pump Up The Volume, Theme From S'Express) - thirty years later, they sound good and have stood the test of time well. I think they would be candidates for the list - as per e.g. Its Grim Up North, The Blue Room which you have included.
Thanks. I was considering adding some of those later day 80s house songs (especially Jack Your Body, one of the most radical and surprising No. 1s ever, and Stakker Humanoid), but I decided to make the list more about strange sounding hits that maybe don't have other similar-styled hits, and there was a lot of house hits in the late 80s. I included Fine Time for its anything-goes randomness and French Kiss for its unconventional structure and so on.

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 01 Jul 2017, 16:22
by aldamasta
I always thought it was odd that Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Now was sooooo big a few years ago. Not sure if that's relevant, but that's the first song that popped into my head when I saw this thread!

Re: Strange hits

Posted: 02 Jul 2017, 14:46
by AdvertBreak
aldamasta wrote:I always thought it was odd that Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Now was sooooo big a few years ago. Not sure if that's relevant, but that's the first song that popped into my head when I saw this thread!
Yeah its relevant. :) I don't consider it that strange but I can see that its a bit unconventional