Monday, February 9, 2009

One hit wonder

I'm just listening to Chesney Hawkes.

If you're not familiar with our Chesney, he's pretty much the ultimate 80's one hit wonder. Where Rick Astley had at least two hits, Chesney's one hit was one of the biggest hits of that decade but for some reason he never managed to repeat it's success.

Maybe the fact that the song was called "The one and only" shows it was meant to be that way, although I'm sure he didn't intend it to be. Listening to it again, 20 years later it's still a great feel good song.

Maybe it reminds me of more innocent times and the good feeling is more to do with happy memories than a good melody but it certainly did the job of putting a smile on my face.

I'm not sure I was really a big fan of it when it was first released. I remember it being all over the TV and radio so it was probably one of those cases where the over exposure leads you to ignore it as much as possible, but then when you revisit it years later it holds a whole new appeal. See also Wet, Wet, Wet "Love is all around" and Bryan Adams "Everything I do" who both seemed to spend an entire year at number 1 in the UK charts in the early to mid 90's.

Maybe it's a sign of the times, or I'm just getting old but it's funny how I can remember songs from two decades ago and their exact chart placing, but these days I have no idea who is number 1, or even if the charts still exist!

When I was younger I was so into keeping up with the hits of the day that I even had my own chart known as "The TV & Radio Top 30".

The basic idea was that I would keep track of all songs I heard either on the TV or the radio and every Friday night at 9pm I would compile the weekly chart, even capturing the movement from previous weeks and keeping a record of each artists past hits and chart position. Thankfully I now have more interesting, and sociable, things to do on a Friday night!

I still listen to the radio occasionally but most of the time it will be talk radio, or more likely a podcast. I remember listening to BBC Radio 1 when I was younger and turning my back on it because there was too much talking. These days I listen to their excellent podcasts because all they contain is the talking between the songs.

If you're not familiar with BBC Radio, there are a number of stations all dedicated to a different genre. Radio 1 is generally the hits of the day. I would recommend the Chris Moyles show podcast, or the Scott Mills Daily. Radio 2 tends to be slightly older music from the past 20 years with features aimed at the 30-45 age range. The Jonathan Ross show is definitely worth a listen, as is the Chris Evans show with more obscure cultural features and interviews.

Radio 2 was also the home of the excellent Russell Brand show until recently, but unfortunately, the call of a glittering film career in Hollywood, not to mention a rather unfortunate reaction to a call of a different kind to the star of Fawlty Towers means that there will be no new podcasts from Russell Brand.

There are many BBC podcasts available at or itunes.

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