TV Cream

100 Greatest Singles Ever

100 Greatest Singles Ever: 50-41

Halfway there, as our Thursday night countdown continues. And at number 50, it’s…

50) Grace Jones – Slave To The Rhythm

It was the Harty set designers’ fault anyway, he has to turn away from her to talk to the other guests! Anyway, this is barely even a song, just a rhythm, some tones and Grace at her octave-leaping menacing best, and counterintuitively she gets to introduce herself at the end.

49) A-Ha – Hunting High And Low

Surprisingly low for Norway’s pin-up kings of wistfulness, but that vocal soars, Take On Me rated surprisingly low and The Sun Always Shines On TV is too bombastic for its own good.

48) Yazoo – Don’t Go

Vince Clarke picks up where he left off with ver Mode in crafting indelible melodies with two fingers, Alf (as was) helps them soar, they both pretend not to hate each other.

47) Adam And The Ants – Antmusic

The timespan for an ant to start treading on us has kind of passed by now.

46) Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy – Kiss Me

Duran Duran emigre finds a sequencer and produces indelible Song of Solomon-quoting synthpop with a lover’s kick and a hell of a key change at the end. Performed in front of paintings of musical instruments on TOTP.

45) Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy

Our introduction to Jimmy Somerville’s falsetto, to his brave lyrical approach, and to

44) Roxy Music – Virginia Plain

Gloriously opaque, Ferry culture riffing, Phil Manzanera and Brian Eno having a guitar/electronics pitched battle in place of a middle eight. Big Train redeployment has only bolstered its otherness.

43) Pet Shop Boys – Left To My Own Devices

Only 43? Controversial! But then PSBs’ appeal is all over the shop in polls such as this, and with West End Girls falling victim to the “not too obvious” rule anything could have won out. It just happened to be this one, a decent choice given its mix of the magnificently widescreen backing and the lyrical ennui build to that Che Guevara and Debussy line, we reckon.

42) Furniture – Brilliant Mind

A gloriously detached one hit wonder of the type you can’t imagine them following, even though they were together for 12 years and singer Jim Irvin became both a prolific writer and music journalist. Even the sax solo passes muster.

41) Martha And The Muffins – Echo Beach

From one coolly taken solitary chartbuster to another. New wave in excelsis, right down to the keyboard sound and another sax solo. There were two Marthas in the band, of course. And one later joined the Associates.

“And far away in time” is how next Thursday feels right now, but we’ll see you again then!



  1. Glenn Aylett

    June 15, 2019 at 11:01 am

    Underrated compared with other female singers of this era, Grace Jones was massive in the mid eighties, and her mixture of funk, dance and soul was just right for the times. Also she really divided people, which is good, some people, like me, thinking she was unconventially beautiful, others thinking she looked like a robot. Then, of course, there was A View To A Kill, which would have been rubbish without Grace as Mayday, as Roger Moore was well past his best and Tanya Roberts as the good Bond girl was wooden.

  2. richardpd

    June 15, 2019 at 1:25 pm

    Certainly more to her than the Russell Harty slap incident.

    She was good in Conan The Destroyer.

    Adam & Joe did a wonderful parody of Darth Vader being Grace on Star Wars In Their Eyes

    “Kill Kanobi, Main My Son, Dress In Kinky Costumes, It’s So Much Fun, Kill For The Darkside, Ha ha ha!”

    I drove my old girlfriend nuts by singing this & some other songs from the skit.

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