Talent in a Previous Life

Because It's Never Just About the Music

Friday, May 12, 2006

The 90th Actual Worst Record, Ever 

Oh it's such a perfect day, we don't like this song, nor should you

Like listening to Simply Red albums, watching footage of Chico stripping or going to the clinic with an STD, paying the license fee is a largely unpopular pastime which has failed to endear itself to the nation, who tend to do so in a largely begrudged manner. To this end the BBC regularly produces short commercials to encourage us to do so, happily ignoring the irony that one of the benefits of paying the license fee should be that we aren't subjected to commercials every 30 minutes. These generally have about as much effect as breathing hot air onto an iceberg, as few people who have been happily dodging the £100 or so tax for the last few years are unlikely to be suddenly spurred into action by seeing David Walliams and Matt Lucas arsing around dressed as various popstars. Indeed, many good, honest, license fee payers who saw David Walliams and Matt Lucas arsing around on the last series of Little Britain may well be considering withholding their contribution until the BBC stop wasting it on lazy turn up, do the catchphrase, then bugger off and count your money 'comedy', but we digress. While most of these have stuck in the mind like your average bus journey into work, one of them became so potent and powerful that it was eventually released as a spin-off single in its own right. We are, of course, talking about Perfect Day.

It was 1997 and at the time the BBC was attempting to convince everyone that they were just great at covering music, an argument which was perhaps more convincing back then, with Mark and Lard and John Peel still working at Radio One, while Colin and Edith and their clear hatred for music being nothing more than a glint in Satan's eyes. The best way to do this, reckoned some big high up guy who probably gets paid a lot of money, was to get a selection of top recording artists into the studio to each record a line of a song about heroin. We're not sure if the idea genuinely was to liken the concept of a public service network to that of a highly addictive drug were dealers generally jack up the price to obscene levels just as you begin to realise that the alternatives - read ITV - just can't give you the hit you crave, but it's certainly a good analogy.

Now, had the brief to get "A selection of top recording artists into the studio" been fulfilled, this might have actually been 'quite good'. A quick scan through the list of number ones for 1997 reveals that they should have been looking at getting acts like The Spice Girls, Hanson, Aqua and White Town involved. So did they? What do you think? This is the BBC we're talking about! An organisation that genuinely believed that the grating voices of Zoe Ball and Sara Cox were what the nation wanted to wake up to in the morning. Instead, they decided to get the following artists on board:-So, as you can see, not exactly a roster to strike excitement into the hearts of anyone with a pulse. Despite this it still took the nation by storm, even having it's own dedicated page on Ceefax to tell you when it would next be shown. Inevitably it was released as the single for that year's Children in Need appeal - S Club 7 didn't begin their dominance of the format until 1999 - and the whole sorry affair eventually culminated in a live performance of the track for BBC Music Live 2000, an ill conceived affair in which the Beeb attempted to broadcast live music for 24 full hours on its various channels and stations, failing to realise that it's quality that counts, not quantity, which featured acts up and down the country desperately hoping that the click track coming through was timed properly and they weren't about to make arses of themselves on national TV. Many did, though not for that exact reason.