TV Cream

100 Greatest Singles Ever

100 Greatest Singles Ever: 90-81

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… And welcome to this week’s 10.

90) Lene Lovich – Lucky Number

Bewitched, idiosyncratic Detroit-via-Hull pigtails enthusiast finds the joy in replacing a chorus hook with some kind of wild bird call impersonation. Great ghostly backing vocals too.

89) The Housemartins – Happy Hour

The first of quite a few acts appearing lower than you might reasonably have expected, the Fourth Best Band In Hull split the difference between piano-led disenchantment, faux-Christian acapella and socialist jangle, with the Jupitus-cameoing big hit getting the nod.

88) The Lotus Eaters – The First Picture Of You

Sophisticated electropop from Liverpool scenesters, romantic jangle that bridges the gap between China Crisis and the Lightning Seeds.

87) The Motors – Airport

Forget About You may have been the one that sounded like the Grandstand theme, but Airport was the one with the soaring keyboards, the staccato backing vocals and the giving a runaway personification.

86) Slade – Mama Weer All Crazee Now

If you weren’t on the floor of the school disco/boozy club/wedding reception by the third “BAAAAY-BE!” you were nothing.

85) David Essex – Rock On

Danny Baker’s brother’s extraordinary debut single – dub echo bass, minimalist percussion, atonal violin solo and lots of 1950s rock’n’roll references for a Jeff Wayne production that was anything but. Sold a million off the back of the That’ll Be The Day film. Heady days.

84) Tenpole Tudor – Swords Of A Thousand Men

Ooh-ra-ooh-ra-ooh-ra-ay! Eddie, Old Bob, Dick and Gary send glam over the top and onto the battlefield.

83) Talk Talk – Life’s What You Make It

The band that hired Tight Fit’s producer and then became far less commercial, the pounding-the-keys-at-the-far-end-of-the-piano mini-epic came at their intersection of synth-pop glory and the experimental introspective later albums Elbow and Sigur Ros ripped off.

82) Peter Gabriel – Sledgehammer

Games Without Frontiers had its fans, but who remembers the video to that?

81) T Rex – Ride A White Swan

Like Rock On, an ostensibly proto-glam record which barely has anything to it, just a guitar riff, tambourine, background strings and the force of Bolan’s personality. Here performed on Supersonic six years later within a giant model swan, which even by his standards was overdoing it.

That’s it for this week. See you next…




  1. George White

    January 19, 2017 at 8:56 pm

    The “ride a white swan literally” thing was also used in the Harry Hill Show too, IIRC.

  2. Glenn A

    January 21, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Good choice, but for me, Jeux Sans Frontieres slightly surpasses Sledgehammer in the Gabriel stakes, as it features an uncredited Kate Bush( far better than their duet Don’t Give Up) and had some video featuring sport in totalitarian countries.
    As for The Housemartins, it’s odd while Paul Heaton has kept the band’s spirit going with The Beautiful South, Norman Cook totally turned his back on that style of music to make his name in dance music. Wonder if he speaks to Heaton.

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