TV Cream

100 Greatest Singles Ever

100 Greatest Singles Ever: 100-91

It’s the UK’s hottest chart countdown! Compiled from votes both around the TVC office and through the auspices of our ’emag’ Creamguide and social media, we present the top ton of hits of all time, the kind that are driven by memory rather than press guidance or handed-down opinion. House rules: nothing that’s heavily overplayed because that would make things too obviously led, nothing that didn’t chart in the top 40, and one entry per act. That latter rule led to some interesting over/underachievers, as we’ll point out along the way.

Stand by for the only chart that counts…

100) Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine – Sheriff Fatman

Big shorted, Pip-baiting drum machine-powered slovenly satirists bait slum landords with power chords and Nicholas Van Hoogstraten namechecks.

99) J Geils Band – Centerfold

“Of its time” lyrically, maybe, but then there’s the classic na-na-na bit and the bit with the drum full of milk in the video. Shame that singer Peter Wolf’s later solo single Come As You Are failed to turn practically weekly No Limits Powerplays into chart success.

98) Kissing The Pink – The Last Film

They really only did this that anyone noticed, but hugely memorable for the doomy existentialism, martial drumming and multitracked whistling solos, not to mention that one of them looked like Moray Hunter in Absolutely’s Mr Don & Mr George sketches.

97) Captain Sensible – Glad It’s All Over

Wherein the good Captain and Dolly Mixture puts the knowing novelty and attempts to rap to one side in favour of droning synths and apocalyptic Cold War musings. B-side Damned On 45 made up the outre quota.

96) Red Box – Lean On Me (ah-li-ayo)

“Everybody now say aye!” A strange, semi-forgotten corner of mid-80s pop wherein a politically and spiritually minded trio have a number two fusing world music and oddball New Pop, have another top ten hit a year later, then disappear. They’re actually still together in name but never get invited to play those 80s Rewind festivals, likely because they’d bring the mood down.

95) Womack & Womack – Teardrops

Cecil (Bobby’s brother) and Linda (Sam Cooke’s daughter) by name, all lyric structure repetition and glossy heartbreak.

94) The Style Council – Shout To The Top

To hear it told these days you’d think Paul Weller hung around doing nothing worth talking about between 1982 and 1993, as if he hadn’t produced some of his best, most cutting material having broadened into socio-political blue-eyed soul for hanging around Parisian pavement cafes in cycling caps.

93) Fine Young Cannibals – She Drives Me Crazy

Falsetto art-funk from Two Men, A Drum Machine And A Trumpet side project.

92) Phil Lynott – Yellow Pearl

Electro to throw coloured vinyl at a camera lens to. “We are now living in a situation where that self same situation…” Isn’t there an easier way of wording that?

91) The KLF – 3am Eternal

Featuring The Children Of The Revolution, of course, but not the Extreme Noise Terror Brits version. Easy to be conceptual after the fact, but at their Stadium House height Bill’n’Jimmy threw so much into the whole KLF package that it was hard not to read symbolism and mythology into something. You also get the feeling Ricardo da Force was never really told what was going on.

See you next Thursday for that all-important 90-89!



  1. Richard Davies

    January 12, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Nice to see you’re doing another one of these after enjoying the one (now lost but I have a text copy) on the original site.

    Last year I made a You Tube playlist of all the songs on the original I didn’t already have in my collection.

  2. Palitoy

    January 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    Humming the Red Box theme is like the Brotherhood of Megiddo’s code between UK pop culture Prousts. Even if the prize always goes to the girl with the biggest tits.

  3. Glenn A

    January 15, 2017 at 10:27 pm

    Red Box, two singles, then nothing and both good, in particular their ironic For America single that Radio Hallam in Sheffield seemed to like a lot. Interesting groups called Box, there was a group of non football fans called Colourbox who released a song about the 1986 World Cup and, of course, Sheffield’s own Living In a Box whose titular single was a big hit in 1987, then a fallow period until they re emerged in 1989 with Room In Your Heart before vanishing totally again.
    Whither Black Box, Italian House act, and who really sang on Ride On Time, was it the “model” who was the stage presence, Lolleata Holloway whose minor hit it sampled, or Martha Wash who backed up said model as she couldn’t sing for toffee.I doubt whoever made this record cared as it was the biggest selling single of 1989 and made its producers very rich and the act had a few more reasonable sized hits before disappearing.

    • Richardpd

      November 7, 2022 at 2:22 pm

      I heard a pre-M People Heather Small was roped in to re-record the vocals for Right On Time when the rights owners of Lolleata Holloway’s Love Sensation threatened to sue.

  4. David Smith

    February 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Wasn’t the Captain’s Glad It’s All Over used for a Radio 1 jingle? “Let’s listen to four-eyes…Simon Bates…let’s listen to four-eyes…” Not that “glasses” is particularly the first association you make with Simes.

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