Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Confessions of a DJ: Or, Why The BBC3 Top 100 Annoying Songs Missed The Target

Stop the madness, I tells ya! This obsession with List-O-Chronic shows providing a top 100 of this and that is deracinating our culture, dammit! How can you appreciate the essential, teeth-grinding awfulness of one particular chart-topping gallon of ear-drivel unless you know what its context was?

But then – THEN – the mediocre munchkins of BBC3 offer up The Annoying Pop Songs You Love To Hate (which I know was compiled for Crimbocast back in 2007 but just bear with me, will you!). And yes, I know BBC3 only got it from a production company called Shine, who seemed to offer no clue as to who or how or why certain songs were included and others were excluded. I’m banging on about this because, you see…I was there! Yup, I was a DJ at a students union in Glasgow between 1979 and 1983, part of a valiant gang of musical desperadoes known as the Ents Crew of Strathclyde Uni. In my personal historical lexicon of glory, such names as 15p, Ally the Arm, Scotty, Haircut, the 2 Andys, Donzo, and the four-fisted Party Machine known as Matt & Craig, (as well as many others), will live forever – I mean, we practically ran the place…well, after 8pm and at weekends. But anyway, during those years I did innumerable discos for uncountable parties and functions, and the question that bursts screaming from my lips is – “Why isn’t the sodding Birdie Song on the feggin list? And where’s Agadoo? In fact, anything by Black Lace?”

Truly, these and other ‘acts’ inflicted untold harm on the brain cells of DJs up and down the land, yet SHINE in their microscopic wisdom decided that they’d choose songs and (it seemed) mainly ballads which were turned into over familiar cultural backdrop by endless radio rotation.

What about Lena Martell’s One Day At A Time? Or Paul McCartney and the Frog Chorus with All Stand Together (which outdoes Mull of Kintyre for me)? Seriously, if Shine or any other production company wants to find out the real story, the authentic skinny on chart hits of the postpunk/new wave era, speak to the experts.

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