Ranking #5 singles, UK edition: 2000-2001

Few songs as mild and mildly titled as “Babylon” provoke such a homicidal reaction from yours truly. Listening to David Gray’s signature hit is like confronting malevolent arugula. I hear what he wants to do with his strummy Van Morrison-meets-Dave-Matthews approach to acoustic hoochie-coochie, and I’d rather any Death Row artist for sensitivity. To blame him for The Fray, Snow Patrol, and, eventually, Ed Sheeran is unfair, so I blame aging marrieds embrace of “Babylon” as a relief from the horrors of vulgarity — maybe the vulgarity of Vengaboys, who recorded crap but at least is danceable after a couple gin and tonics.

The first of my surveys in which the Yanks dominate the greats, 2000 brought Danude horrors, Ian Brown treating New Age as if it were a Verve ballad, and Samantha Mumba sampling “Ashes to Ashes.” No one knew what the future looked like in these times when Radiohead and, to a lesser degree, Sleater-Kinney, sucked the rockcrit air.

The Hague

David Gray – Babylon
Vengaboys – Shalala Lala


Darude – Feel the Beat
Tweenies – Number One
Jamelia featuring Beenie Man – Money
Des Mitchell – Welcome to the Dance
DJ Luck & MC Neat – Masterblaster 2000
Travis – Coming Around

Sound, Solid

Ian Brown – Dolphins Were Monkeys
Mary Mary – Shackles (Praise You)
Britney Spears – Lucky
U2 – Walk On
Samantha Mumba – Body II Body
Public Domain – Operation Blade (Bass in the Place)
Scooch – More Than I Needed to Know
Lene Marlin – Sitting Down Here

Good to Great

Aaliyah – Try Again
Pink – Most Girls
Toni Braxton – He Wasn’t Man Enough
Moby – Porcelain
Destiny’s Child – Jumpin’ Jumpin’
Janet Jackson – Doesn’t Really Matter
Shania Twain – Don’t Be Stupid (You Know I Love You)

One thought on “Ranking #5 singles, UK edition: 2000-2001

  1. Lene Marlin, proof positive (along with “Hey Brother”) of country’s surprising appeal in Scandinavia: when that song came out I was convinced it was Shania Twain, benefiting as it obviously did from the “Shania all over the radio” moment and desire for soundalikes.

    This isn’t the best DJ Luck & MC Neat single.

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