Ever notice how watching the pop music charts starts to feel same-y after a while? As in, after only ten or fifteen minutes? It's always the same ubiquitous pabulum, tarted up in different flashy packaging. Swap Britney for Christina, retire her in favour of Rihanna, then close the umbrella on her and open it over Taylor Swift, and at the end of the day you feel like you spent the last ten years eating from the same jar of paste.
But every once in a while something a bit different squeaks by the Higher Ups and appears on the charts – and like the sore thumb, draws attention to itself just by being different. Here are 5 OBSCURE POP SONGS THAT SOMEHOW MADE THE CHARTS:
1) THE WALKER BROTHERS – THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE (1966)
Originally written by Jersey Boy Frankie Valli, this showtune-esque ditty topped the UK singles charts a short three years before the Summer of Love would banish this schlocky crooning to Las Vegas and cramped elevators, where it probably always belonged.
2) PRIMUS - WYNONA'S BIG BROWN BEAVER (1995)
In a year dominated by cookie-cutter “alternative” bands vying for the heavyweight title left vacant by Kurt Cobain's suicide the year before, along came Primus with this bizarre rockabilly-punk song about a woman and her beaver. And yeah, it was really a beaver, so don't start.
3) BARNES & BARNES - FISH HEADS (1980)
Long before Michael Jackson's “Thriller” forever changed the way music videos would be made, bizarro duo Barnes & Barnes gave us quite possibly the most unsettling mini-movie ever shown on MTV. Before Enrique, anyway. And look! It's directed by Bill “Game Over Man” Paxton! No wonder it was a hit.
4) EDWYN COLLINS - A GIRL LIKE YOU (1994)
A tribute by an ugly rocker for another ugly rocker, Edwyn Collins called this track a “tribute to Iggy Pop”, though it sounds more like a tribute to your creepy neighbour you sometimes catch watching you through the curtains as you're trying to get changed. This one topped the charts thanks to its inclusion on the soundtrack to “Empire Records”. In a scene featuring Liv Tyler stripping. Yeah, you're welcome.
5) ENIGMA - RETURN TO INNOCENCE (1995)
You'd think the weird Aboriginal yodeling at the beginning would have turned people off back in '95, when the only yodeling they'd accept was the Manc-stank of Noel and Liam Gallagher, but you'd be wrong. This runaway hit from Enigma's second album was huge with the alterna- club crowd, not to mention future fans of Enya.
So yeah.... don't ask how, but they made it.
Van Der Sweet, signing off.
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