Virgin – 2001 – 157 minutes
Released to accompany the trainspotter antics of Channel 4's 'The 100 Greatest No.1 Singles', this collection should guarantee as many down the pub arguments and record shop rucks as the TV show did a few weeks back. Here 100 has been culled to 42, with the survivors ranging from the great to the good to the downright disposable. Clearly compiled as the instant solution to any DJ crisis at a wedding reception, classic songs are ditched in favour of crowd pleasers - how else do you explain the inclusion of Boyzone's 'No Matter What', Dexy's 'Come On Eileen' and the sonic apocalypse of Wet Wet Wet's 'Love Is All Around' at the expense of The Beatles' 'Hey Jude', Donna Summer's 'I Feel Love' and The Pretenders' 'Brass In Pocket'?
And like the chart itself, the CD seems to highlight the tastes of people who were young in oh, 1982 as The Police, The Human League, Soft Cell and Frankie Goes To Hollywood make up the numbers with songs you're bound to own already - twice. Long on formula, short on imagination, 'The Greatest No.1 Singles' forgets that Number 1's should be a reason to dream, not a license to yawn. Oh, and whoever reckoned that Coolio's 'Gangsta's Paradise' was more than just a moment in pop music should be marooned on a desert island with just the single and a wind up record player for company.
Tracklisting CD 1: Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody - Procol Harum: A Whiter Shade Of Pale - Ben E King: Stand By Me - Marvin Gaye: I Heard It Through The Grapevine - David Bowie: Space Oddity - The Animals: House Of The Rising Sun - The Righteous Brothers: You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive - Abba: Dancing Queen - Blondie: Heart Of Glass - The Buggles: Video Killed The Radio Star - The Monkees: I'm A Believer - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles: The Tears Of A Clown - The Supremes: Baby Love - Roy Orbison: Oh Pretty Woman - The Kinks: You Really Got Me - T-Rex: Get It On - Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel - Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me) - The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations - The Byrds: Mr Tambourine Man - Simon And Garfunkel: Bridge Over Troubled Water - Louis Armstrong: Wonderful World
Tracklisting CD 2: The Police: Every Breath You Take - Sinead O'Connor: Nothing Compares To You - The Verve: The Drugs Don't Work - Robbie Williams: Millennium - Oasis: Don't Look Back In Anger - Manic Street Preachers - If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next - Fatboy Slim: Praise You - Prodigy: Firestarter - The Clash - Should I Stay Or Should I Go - The Jam: Going Underground - Madness: House Of Fun - Dexy's Midnight Runners: Come On Eileen - The Human League: Don't You Want Me - Frankie Goes To Hollywood: Relax - Soft Cell: Tainted Love - The Specials: Ghost Town - Coolio Feat LV: Gangsta's Paradise - Boyzone - No Matter What - Wet Wet Wet: Love Is All Around - Spiller: Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)