Chart Music #61: July 25th 2003 – The Arsethropocene

The latest episode of the podcast which asks; has Al ever been tossed off by a robot?

Yes, Pop-Crazed Youngsters; after putting it off for ages, it’s finally time for another rare excursion into The Most Rubbish Century We’ve Ever Lived Through. It’s 2003, and your panel is currently 1) Doing a Sex in the Daily Mirror, 2) Baiting David Blaine with a Whopper, and 3) getting their head together in Lancaster by burying their face into a load of dogs. Top Of The Pops, on the other hand, is faring less well; we are in the Poochie Era of TOTP.

Pulling down the kind of ratings that would have ill-befitted a repeat of Top Cat on a Tuesday afternoon in 1978, being absolutely kicked to buggery every Friday night by Gail Platt and Vera Duckworth, being stalked by CD:UK and Popworld, and being threatened with permanent exile to BBC3, it’s a grim, grim time for our fave weekly Pop treat.  But in this episode we finally get stuck into the tenure of Chris Cowey as Boss Of The Pops – an era which brought a shiny new studio, a spurning of videos and a modular, bolt-on, Ikea-like approach to scheduling which ensured that anyone who came remotely near the charts at the turn of the century has to pass through the TOTP studio.

Musicwise, it turns out that 2003 was possibly the last golden age of Pop, but this episode is a proper Lucky Bag of Randomness. Wayne Wonder is slight, and a bit rammel. Murderdolls have decided to employ a manky potato as their lead singer, who hairballs his way through White Wedding. D-Side get ambushed by the Mrs McClusky of reality shows. Super Furry Animals are dead good. Benny Benassi pitches up with some Oven Ready Women for some Ladisfaction. And Beyoncé crushes everything we’ve seen into dust with one mighty shake of her arse and the best single of this century. And possibly the next one.   

Sarah Bee and Simon Price join Al Needham for a through evisceration of 2003, veering off on such tangents as how to create half a johnny, people trying to be erotic with  lathes, the perils of running a club night in a venue owned by Sex Nazis, getting a love bite off The Strokes, James Brown’s opinions on fish supper accoutrements, Rock Star Death Fashion Shoots, and working with the Jimmy Savile Tweenie. Come for the discourse, stay for the swearing…

Part One: Preamble

Part Two: Chris Cowie, Liz Bonnin, Fearne Cotton, Wayne Wonder, Murderdolls

Part Three: D-Side, The Star Bar, Fame Academy, Super Furry Animals

Part Four: Benny Benassi, The Coral, Beyoncé,

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