I like what Word Magazine has done this month. The august publication – my favourite journal – always presents a 20 Best… and 20 Worst… list with a new theme each month. Previous ideas have been super heroes, cartoon characters and situation comedies but this month the best and worst number one hits have been discussed. As ever, it’s a very arbitrary list, full of fascinating opinions. There are a few obvious choices in the best list (
Unable to resist, I present my ten favourite number ones:
Paperback Writer - The Beatles
I know dear S loves this song too. A really unusual subject matter and a most invigorating riff. Hurrah.
All or Nothing – The Small Faces
Steve Marriott at his urgent and soulful best. The most underrated British band ever?
The Name of the Game – Abba
Haunting, melodic and, er, profound.
Uptown Top Ranking – Althia and Donna
A soaring riddim.
Are ‘Friends’ Electric? – Tubeway Army
I was never sure why ‘Friends’ needed the inverted commas but it added to the mystery of an already atmospheric number from the Numanoid. Electronica.
Ashes to Ashes – David Bowie
Major Tom was real, wasn’t he? Unselfconsciously references Space Oddity and includes the line, ‘The shrieking of nothing is killing’ - two excellent reasons for its inclusion.
Ghost Town - The Specials
A chilling political statement. The scariest number one ever?
Tainted Love - Soft Cell
The perfect pop song with undercurrents of pure menace. Such a staple of sixth form discos at Gloucester Leisure Centre’s Cambridge Suite that I can almost taste cider and blackcurrant every time I hear it.
An original and compelling urban soundscape. Is this what London is like? I must ask D.
Pure Shores - All Saints
A taste of paradise. A fabulous, fabulous record.
It’s a shame that Petula Clark’s