The results are in. Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has been named as the UK’s favourite Number One single, with Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’ edging in at a close second. But what about the number ones that should never have been? The ones that, through novelty value, or a charity hook, managed to weasel their way to the top of the charts?
10Blazin’ Squad – ‘Crossroads’ (2002)
Based on the more credible ‘Tha Crossroads’ by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, ‘Crossroads’ managed to go to number one in August 2002. It’s hard to begin to discern the naffest part of ‘Crossroads’, but perhaps the best part of the track is in fact, the video. The ten-boy-strong squad seemed to have some excess, as several members spend the video looking for something to do aside from mug for the camera. A quick test, can you name more than two members of the Squad? No. Didn’t think so.
Pub banter, taken too far. Nobody needed this. Not so much phoned in, as transmitted using Morse Code by a pecking chicken, ‘Shout’ could possibly be the most soul-destroying sports anthem ever created. A combination of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ and Tears for Fears’ ‘Shout’, plus Dizzee spitting about score lines and Cordon acting like a reluctant PE teacher. Keep them away from the Olympics at all costs.
8DJ Otzi – ‘Hey Baby’ (2001)
‘Hey Baby’ reached number one in four different countries. The likelihood of four different nations having the same coincidental lapse of judgment is so far-fetched that we’re more inclined to say that there were some more underhand tactics at play. ‘Hey Baby’, a pulsing, Lynx-fuelled euro-club banger comes complete with audience noises, spoken word segments and a bass line that’s about as elegant as Amy Childs leaving the Sugarhut at 3am.
7Doop – ‘Doop’ (1994)
Like some awful form of waking sleep paralysis, ‘Doop’ consists of one word repeated over and over and OVER again. That word is ‘doop’, in case you were unsure. The backing track runs around and around, its jaunty refrain gradually wearing down your ear until, as the three minute mark comes in, you find yourself singing along to the high-pitched final loop. And that’s how they get you.
6Frankee – ‘F.U.R.B’ (2004)
‘FURB’, or ‘Fuck You Right Back’, to give the track its full title, is awful on two levels. Not only is the track itself monotonous, spiteful and lyrically bereft (Sample: “Now you want me to come back? You must be smoking crack”), but it’s a reply to Eamon’s ‘Fuck It: I Don’t Want You Back’. The latter holds the dubious world record for the most expletives in a #1 song. Well done everyone.
Sign up for the newsletter
5Crazy Frog – ‘Axel F’ (2005)
Let’s never forget this moment. A song based on a ringtone went to number one. But not just that. Its follow-up ‘Popcorn’, went Top Twenty. But not just that! There was then an entire album of Crazy Frog ‘hits’. Enjoy explaining that to your grandchildren.
4Dappy – ‘No Regrets’ (2011)
The title says it all. From the cheesy opening lines of “This is my king’s speech, I’m nowhere near the end”, to the grandiose gospel choir at the end, ‘No Regrets’ is 3:49 of crap. A man who’s made a living from being a piece of gravel in the shoe of pop releases a single titled ‘No Regrets’, just a month ahead of being arrested on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend. Na-na-nii? Na-na-na-ninny.
3Bombalurina – ‘Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ (1990)
The more one thinks about the merits of a track devoted to a miniscule piece of swimwear, the less savoury it begins to feel. From the repeated “I like it”s to the voyeuristic “1,2,3,4, tell the people what she wore”, combined with Timmy Mallet’s supply teacher outfit, the track begins to feel more and more like pop’s creepy uncle.
2Afroman -‘Because I Got High'(2001)
The fact that this track about the benefits (or is it the pitfalls?) of smoking spliff went to number one should be confusing enough. But no, we won’t stop there. Because someone decided to nominate this track for a sodding Grammy. We hope you’re all very proud of yourselves.
1The Wurzels – ‘Combine Harvester’ (1976)
We admire the Wurzels’ commitment to a joke. Really we do. With twenty-odd singles, twenty albums, and even their own genre (‘Scrumpy and Western’), they’ve put the time in. And we laughed. But not any more. You’ve had your number one. Well done. Time’s up.