Top 100 Favourite Movies – Coming Soon!

Yes, listing with brief reviews will pop onto here soon! These won’t be the BEST movies ever made, just the ones I most enjoy rewatching. I’m happy to agree that 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gone With The End are classics – but I don’t enjoy watching them as much as some lesser films. So…. not quite making the 100, but almost, are the likes of The Raven, Predator, Monty Python & The Holy Grail, Carry On…Follow That camel, Red, True Lies, Revenge Of The Sith, Star Trek: Wrath Of Khan, Twister, The dark Knight, Avatar, West Side Story, The Searchers, The Road To Singapore, Son Of Paleface, Memento, Duel and The Pink Panther…

Maybe that will give clues to those that DID make it. Hint: I’ve allowed sequels to be listed in their own right, trilogies do not get to be one big bumper package. They are either good enough to rank on their own merits or they aren’t in there…

ooh, exciting!

100. 2010 (1984)

2001: A Space Odyssey is a recognised classic, and director Stanley Kubrick a great. That said, I can’t get over the confusion it caused to me as a child when I first saw it. I admire it but it leaves me cold. Science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke remains my favourite writer and no-one presents a greater sense of awe in the universe (based on reality not fantasy), and this sequel captures the Clarke spirit better: the plot and characters are better-presented, albeit in a less arty more straightforward fashion. Plus it’s got John Lithgow, some years before the fabulous Third Rock From The Sun, and future movie treasure Helen Mirren, and a brilliant finale that speaks to me and my interest in the exploration of the universe. What’s not to like?!

99. Blade Runner (1981)

Two cinema icons in Ridley Scott directing, Harrison Ford starring, a beautifully dystopian backdrop, and a touching ending. Ford is a rogue Replicant chaser, better known as androids doing short-term dangerous work, and programmed to terminate after a few years. Some understandably object to that, but less understandably have a tendancy to kill people. A little slow-paced, but the visuals and cast alone would make it worthwhile: Sean Young, Daryl Hannah and Rutger Hauer all give brilliant performances, but even if you go to the more minor parts there are gems to be found from William Sanderson (future Newhart TV support actor: “Hi I’m Larry. This is my brother daryl and this is my other brother daryl”) and James Hong (from loads of TV and movies, most famously now as Kung Fu Panda’s dad).

98. Speed (1994)

This is a piece of 90’s action hokum, with a ludicrous plot (a bomb on a bus set to go off if the speed drops), but I’m fond of it thanks to the pace and the cast: Keanu Reeves impressed for the first time as an action hero (Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure just missed the 100 list, his Californian airhead engaging), Dennis Hopper got a career boost as movie villain, and most of all Sandra Bullock bounced in as top light comedy actress of the decade, she more-or-less made the movie great fun and sparked a run of engaging movie comedy/thrillers.

 97. True Grit (1969)

John Wayne’s Oscar-winning performance as Rooster Cogburn, recently re-made in a better but less engaging fashion, this childhood cowboy favourite still looks great. John Wayne was great, even if he starred in other Western classic movies like The Searchers, this was his most memorable performance. Glen Campbell, one of my pop star heroes of the time (and since) was likeable even if not really an actor, and that head-turning starring role from the young Kim Darby is awesome. Already notable as Miri (Star Trek), she never achieved the stardom she deserved, and shines as the vengeful determined 14-year-old hiring Cogburn to get the murderers of her father. Great plotting, great dialogue, and a great supporting cast in Dennis Hopper, Strother Martin, Robert Duvall and best of all Jeff Corey. You might not know some of the names but the faces should be familiar to movie and TV fans of the time.

96. Night At The Museum: Battle For The Smithsonian (2009)

A good sequel to a good modern comedy, the first film had the bonus of veterans Dick Van Dyke and Mickey Rooney as baddies, but this has a better villain in The Simpson’s Hank Azaria beautifully hamming it up Boris Karloff style, and great new character Amelia Earhart (Amy Adams), along with returning waxworks-brought-to-life Steve Coogan, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson and Ricky Gervais who all give great support to star Ben Stiller. It’s refreshing to see old-fashioned all-star casts in light comedies. OK it’s fluffy and feel-good, but it’s fun! As a minor aside it’s also great to see Clint Howard (Ron’s brother) popping up as space controller or alien in bit parts in my favourite films and TV shows (from Star Trek as a kiddie to this via Austin Powers)!

95. Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers (1956)

The 1978 remake was scarier, but the original has period charm and McCarthyism as a more relevant backdrop to the best “aliens take over your body” film. Black and white actually adds to the dark mood of the film, and it uses the fear of being taken over while you’re asleep and helpless as it’s the disturbing premise, along with not being believed and not knowing who to trust. Paranoia! Kevin McCarthy is great in the central role (and reprises it in the remake and other affectionate mickey-takes), while Carolyn Jones became a 60’s TV icon as Morticia in The Addams Family, one of the great television performances’ and characters’. Fab!

94. Goldfinger (1964)

Still the biggest bums-on-seats Bond movie, and the most iconic. Sean Connery was the first James Bond, and probably will always be my favourite, and Gert Frobe as the OTT Goldfinger is the best Bond villain: Do you expect me talk? No Mr Bond I expect you to die! Honour Blackman is one of the best love interests and certainly the most ridiculously named (Pussy Galore) while Oddjob makes for good karate-chopping baddie support. The plot doesn’t really matter THAT much in Bond movies, it’s how fun the journey is, and this one is full of 60’s charm. Oh, and theme songs are SO important to Bond movies, this one is the most famous (probably) even if not the best one (that’s You Only Live Twice and Live And Let Die).

93. The Cabin In The Woods (2012)

I’m not generally a fan of slash horror movies, often they are cliched and use gore for gore’s sake. Joss Whedon, though, I’m a massive fan of. Not only has he produced 3 of the best ever drama/comedy/sci fi/horror TV shows in Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel and Firefly, but he has 2 major movie favourites still to come. He can write great drama, comedy, characters, songs and is a genius of plotting and direction, preferring to turn around conventions and cliches into something new and exciting. That’s what he’s done here: cleverly used a million ropey slash plots and turned them into something wonderful. The cast is good, notably Chris Hemsworth one of the current action superhero stars, and it’s great having old TV favourites appear, like Amy Acker (from Angel) and Tom Lenk (Buffy), and most of all of course, a name that’s going to keep on cropping up in my list: the faaabulous Sigourney Weaver as bad-ass baddie.

92. Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Walt Disney built an empire, for good and sometimes not so good, on this classic movie. The first-ever properly animated groundbreaking colour feature movie, and one of the biggest films ever, it was already 25 years old when it became one of my earliest childhood memories, along with a stack of 78’s of songs from the soundtrack that gradually got broken. It’s hard not to feel pangs of nostalgia on hearing I’m Wishing, Whistle While You Work, Someday My Prince Will Come and the rest, cos, yes it’s a musical as well as a fantasy fairytale. 75 years on, it’s as timeless an example of popular cinema as can be seen so far: in an age where the satellite and cable TV generation have channels galore to choose from, they choose not to watch black and white oldies, a concept they can’t cope with (unlike those of us brought up on it) – but this one lives on from generation to generation.

91. 2012 (2009)

Roland Emmerich is a modern action-disaster director specialising in apocalyptic plots. Better than his previous The Day After Tomorrow, this is essentially hokum, and scientifically about as realistic as Snow White, but it’s a fun roller-coaster ride that is relentless, as John Cusack survives one world-ripping disaster after another by the skin of his teeth. As ever casting of minor roles can sway me: Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson (longtime fave Woody from Cheers) giving a gloriously OTT performance, and Stephen McHattie (once upon a time great in TV series Centennial and oodles of others) help tip it over the edge from cheese into guilty pleasure. It’s a romp!

90. Batman Returns (1992)

Cards on table, I’m a fan both of the dark Batman DC comics and the camp 60‘s TV (and Movie) version. The first Tim Burton Batman film, like most of his movies, impressed me in a grim and inventive fantasy fashion but didn’t warm the cockles of my heart. This follow-up has a better plot and two great villains in Danny Devito’s warped Penguin and Michelle Pfieffer’s sultry Catwoman. Michael Keaton gives his most memorable film performances as Bruce Wayne/ Batman, but I think he bowed out at the right time as they went downhill after this one.

89. Jason And The Argonauts (1963)

Ray Harryhausen was a stop-motion animation genius to kids of my generation. Movies featuring his work were wild fantasy rides, and the Greek epics were best of all, and this was the best movie of all. It’s basically a Greek Odyssey, starring Todd Armstrong as Jason on a quest for the Golden Fleece. The supporting cast, largely British, is also great. From an American point of view, the hero always has to be American, and usually the heroine too (Nancy Kovack here, a fave of mid 60’s TV episodes of Star Trek, Batman, Bewitched and the like) but at least they employ British actors in period dramas to give it that classy epic feel. Other than that they are always the villains. If a Hollywood movie has a British actor in the cast, he’s the baddie nine times out ten. Cliche! Fab actors here, the marvellous Patrick “Dr Who” Troughton and Honor “Avengers” Blackman. That said, though, it’s those Harryhausen monsters, and most of all the fighting skeletons that remain as classic movie moments, well ahead of their time.

88. The X Files (1998)

One of those rare things – a TV spin-off movie that’s as good as the TV series. I can’t say whether it works independent of the series, because I loved the show, it’s one of the 90’s defining series’ and a worldwide success. Chris Carter created a monster/sci-fi classic and mixed it with the FBI and a large dose of paranoia, and the characters of Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) in sort of ongoing plot-threads that reach a climax of sorts in the movie. I would imagine anyone who hasnt seen the TV show might find the cast of characters from the show confusing, and the plot bewildering, but if you have, it’s a grand surprise movie present, with a great snowy alien spaceship of a climax to thrill. Duchovny and Anderson are always witty and effective, and their characters’ will-they-won’t-they (get together) relationship is always engaging, and the great Martin Landau (of many a TV show and movie) supports well too. You really should watch the first 5 seasons of the show first though…!

87. Revenge Of The Pink Panther (1978)

Peter Sellers Inspector Clouseau is one of the great cinematic idiots, triumphing regardless of inability, usually down to pure luck or perseverance. Blake Edwards series of Pink Panther films got increasingly daft as they progressed, the early David Niven-co-starring original looking like a charming period piece in comparison. Sellers was a comic genius, with an uncanny morphing ability to become a character, and the former Goon Show actor was a great crack-up in out-takes, often more entertaining than the finished product. I’m not saying this is the best Sellers film, or even the best Panther film, but it’s my favourite. It’s got Prof. August Balls (Graham Stark), the wonderful Burt Kwouk as nutty manservant Cato, Dyan Cannon having a right old laugh and joining in with aplomb, and most of all Herbert Lom, his homicidal Chief Inspector Dreyfuss having been through insanity and beyond in his attempts to kill Clouseau is even funnier than Sellers, because he’s playing it straight. Great fun.

86. X-Men (2000)

The film of the Marvel comic, and although I was firmly a DC Comics fan, and X-Men were a sort of contemporary version of DC’s earlier futuristic Legion Of Super Heroes, I couldn’t help loving the film. It had a great cast (Patrick ‘Star Trek’ Stewart as Professor X, Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, James Marsden as Cyclops, and Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Ian McKellan). It’s a good plot, a good pace, a well-produced Bryan Singer super-hero adventure movie, and the 2003 X-2 sequel was almost as good. Not so the third one, sadly, best skip to the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class. Not much else to say, it’s a good romp, and better-constructed than missing-from-the-list superhero movies like the more sprawling 1978 Christopher Reeves Superman, the engaging Toby Maguire’s Spiderman and likeable Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern (all of which I like a lot)…

85. Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971)

The third in the Apes series, this sequel to a classic movie works because of the plot and the central performance from Kim Hunter as Zira and Roddy McDowell as Cornelius, the two starring “apes” from the previous films. Thrown back in time after the future-Earth is blown-up, it’s more of a “o the inhumanity of man” comment on the1970’s intolerance and fear of the different (or indeed any age, it just happens to be set in 1971). Hunter and McDowell are magnificent, with great support from Sal Mineo, Bradford Dillman and the great Ricardo Montalban – who almost made it into the list as Khan (Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan). At first engaging, amusing, watch out for that Shakespearean Tragedy-ish ending and keep a hanky handy.

84. The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

The ultimate all-star spectacular disaster movie, an ocean-liner turns upside down and the stars have to struggle through to the upturned hull. It may be a tad dated now, but this Irwin Allen blockbuster was my all-time favourite movie of my teen years, I bought the book, I idolised the stars, and it inspired even bigger (but less good) disaster movies of the mid-70’s. Roddy McDowell (yes, two entries in a row), Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielson, Carol Lynley, Jack Albertson all good, but dominating the film are Stella Stevens as an ex-hooker, Shelley Winters all Jewish-mama, and Gene Hackman as the trendy aggressive preacher. I’m not spoiling the plot by saying they annoyingly are the ones that get killed off! Irwin Allen was a hero (of sorts) to 60’s kids with his appealing sci-fi TV shows like The Time Tunnel, Land Of The Giants and Lost In Space. He tried one more good blockbuster (The Towering Inferno) before it all started to wear a bit thin after another type of blockbuster movie debuted in 1977.

83. The Pelican Brief (1993)

John Grisham novels and films are enormously popular, but this is the only one that really connected with me. A great cast in Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington, and supporting dependables like James B Sikking, Sam Shepherd and John Lithgow, a great plot whodunnit plot (Roberts is the target of baddies, political intrigue at the highest levels, and has multiple attempts against her life supported only by reporter Washington). You may be surprised, looking at some of my other faves, that there are no aliens in it. Or are there!? No, there aren’t:)

82. The Great Race (1965)

A trifle overlong, but this Blake Edwards period slapstick comedy (set in the 1900’s comfortably then within living memory) has so much going for it, it’s just so damn loveable. It’s got the marvellous and beautiful Natalie Wood as an independent woman ahead of her time, the marvellous and handsome Tony Curtis in full-engaging mode, Jack Lemmon hamming it up villainous Dick Dastardly-style, and Peter Falk as put-upon sidekick. Not to mention the Vintage car-race setting (always works for me!), and cameos from Vivian (I Love Lucy) Vance, Larry Storch, Dorothy Provine and Keenan Wynne. The critics weren’t very kind, and I’m alone in rating this one, but it’s a feelgood film to me, loved it as I entered my teens and still do.

81. The Incredibles (2004)

It’s hard to believe this Pixar Studios gem is nearly a decade old, it seems recent. Cards on table, the greatest family animated movies of all-time are made by Pixar, which is why Disney (previous owner of the title) bought them out. I love super-hero comics, and this uses some of the staple comics cliches as entry to a charming family (super-hero) story, from the point of view of growing-up former super-powered team-members and their super-powered kids. Well-written, well-made, amusing, great fun. All the leads (Craig T Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson etc) are great but Edna (Brad Bird) fashion-designer for the super-powered steals the show, and long-time faves Wallace (Deep Space 9) Shawn and Pixar regular John (Cheers) Ratzenberger add familiar joy, too. Great stuff.

80. Grease (1978)

The first time I saw the film, because the hit singles were great fun, I thought it was cheesy fun. I’ve since amended that to tongue-in-cheek cheesy fun. Everyone is having a good old nostalgic laugh, the cast is superb, the songs are wonderful, the plot is high school cliche with the big turnaround: sweet world-successful 70’s popstar Olivia Newton-John (Sandy) has a go at looking like all leather-clad to get the naughty (but not really naughty) boy John Travolta. OK, so most of the cast hadn’t seen high school days in years, and the supporting cast were all 50’s veterans, but it works. It’s amusing, the characters (and cast) fun, and it threw Travolta into mega-stardom, the album and singles sales into the stratosphere, and several of the cast into TV success in sitcoms and sci-fi shows. Personal faves, Stockard Channing as bad girl Rizzo, Frankie Avalon doing a pastiche 50’s song, Livvy’s ballad Hopelessly Devoted To You and Travolta’s ballad Sandy, Dinah Manoff as pouty Marty, Eve Arden (veteran of Marx Brothers movies, and TV sitcoms of the 50’s and 60’s) as the Principal, not to mention cameos from old TV faves like Alice (Bewitched) Ghostley… It captures the spirit of the fun rose-tinted side of the 50’s, even if not the reality. As cheese goes, it’s pure gourmet!

79. The Abyss (1989)

James Cameron movies may crop up again in this list, though not the all-time moneymaking blockbusters Avatar and Titanic – there, I’ve given it away, they only just missed the list! I prefer this one, a tense, dramatic and exciting underwater battle against the elements and with a bonus sci-fi deus-ex-machina climax. The cast and characters are more engaging than later movies, and the plot appeals to the scifi fanboy in me more. Ed Harris is always good, Michael Biehn made a great pyschotic baddie, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio was very good, and the computer-generated special effects were state of the art at the time, with the underwater-liquid-alien-effects striking. Not his most famous movie, and like most of his movies, it might benefit from some editing – bladder-busters are a pet peeve of mine, so if you hope to see much longer movies in the list like Gone With The Wind, or any of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, well, spoiler alert! You may be disappointed….

78. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

Has anybody not seen this TV perennial? Almost 75 years on, regarded as a classic fantasy family fave, critically and commercially (eventually), it made a star of Judy Garland and gave pop culture references galore and singalong songs like “Over The Rainbow” and “Yellow Brick Road”. I’m old enough to have my earliest memory of the film a cinema moment: it was being shown at RAF Swinderby’s family cinema in 1968, a Saturday morning kid’s treat I think, there weren’t many in there, but there were plenty of groans when the film started and it was in black & white! Yes, even then kids preferred colour movies… It was a treat when the technicolor started, though, and who wouldnt love the cowardly lion and the nasty wicked witch, thanks to a great performance from Margaret Hamilton. Oh, I must mention Judy Garland, too – she was never so charming (if a bit old for Dorothy), and while I was never a fan of her adult movies or music, it was perfect casting here. I was sorely tempted to replace this with the prequel Oz The Great And Powerful, a sort of modern version of events leading up to the Wizard Of Oz, charming and sympathetic in style, and immensely watchable. As the years pass I may well do that…!

77. The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)

Not most people’s idea of the best Bond movie, and I wouldn’t claim that, but it’s the one I enjoy most. Why? I actually enjoyed Roger Moore’s tongue-in-cheek Bond, at least in the early films, and it suited the times as spy movies looked a bit campy anyway by the mid-70’s. The theme song by Lulu (John Barry of course) is also not rated highly, but I liked it, hey ho! The scenery in this one, in the far east, was stunning, the stunts great fun, the plot coherent and the villain (the great Christopher Lee) made a change from the usual megalomaniacs. Herve Villechaise (diminutive Tatoo from Fantasy Island) was amusing, Britt Ekland was never better (funny and engaging), and the cameos from the sherriff (Live and Let Die) was a nice touch. After this one I grew less and less bothered by Bond movies until the Daniel Craig era re-invented them (and all three of which didn’t quite make the list).

76. The Apartment (1960)

Billy Wilder’s follow-up to an absolute timeless classic, and it’s a great movie in it’s own right. At times, mildly amusing, mildly-disturbing, touching, heart-warming and ultimately feel-good, it’s never less than beautifully made and performed. Shirley MacLaine is brilliant, Jack Lemmon is more restrained than in most of his comedies of the time, childhood TV faves Ray Walston (My Favorite Martian) and Fred MacMurray are both playing against Uncle/dad type, Fred especially shaking off his Disney 60’s movie dad image. He’s a rotter, actually, in this. I first saw it as 1974 moved into 1975, New Year’s Eve late on (I think) and was charmed and moved, and still am. The critics loved it, and it deservedly won Best Picture and Director oscars. It’s not often I agree with the winners…!

75. Peter Pan (1953)

Probably my favourite early childhood Disney movie, at least until The Jungle Book came out (I loved the songs), and certainly the most fun and the one with the best characters. Early memories of Peter’s shadow, Hook & the obsessive crocodile trying to eat him, floating Nana the dog, sulky Tinkerbell and cool Tiger-Lily, bumbling Mr Smee, and of course hero and heroine Peter Pan and Wendy, loomed large through various Disney clips that abounded on TV shows in those days as well as the cinema. There aren’t too many making my list, though, as they lack the adult cool of modern PIxar and other animated companies, but still have a period charm to them, and the animation in all cases is still beautiful to look at, art by any name. Sadly, after Walt Disney moved into the refrigerator, the movies stopped being that good for 20 years or so.

74. Cowboys & Aliens (2011)

A recent surprise entry, and not one terribly highly regarded critically (so far), well I think they have it wrong. It’s basically (as it sounds) a western romp and a sci-fi romp bundled into one great romp. The cast is marvellous, it’s got Daniel “Bond” Craig and Harrison “Indiana” Ford for starters, and good cameo support from the likes of Sam “Galaxyquest” Rockwell, Clancy “Earth2” Brown, and Keith Carradine, as well as a memorable female lead in Olivia Wilde. The script manages to combine the best elements of the western (characters, soap, townspeople, goodies n baddies) with the novelty of alien invasion in the Wild West. It works, honest! Chuck in Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard working in the background, and that’s not so surprising. It’s a film that improves with re-watching, and in my book that’s the mark of a great movie.

73. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Frank Capra’s feel-good classic is a perfect example of how critics often miss the point at the time of release. It wasn’t regarded quite as highly as it today, but decades of holiday TV showings have given it an ongoing lease of life and critical reverence. Quite right too. James Stewart is always watchable, and he’s perfect here, as he finds out what the world would have been like if he’d never been born – and he finds out he made it a better place. Sentimental overload, maybe but life-affirming too, and just because something is sentimental doesn’t mean it’s not true. The FBI apparently found the anti-selfish-bankers sentiment anti-American. As we all now know, they were in fact ahead of their time and entirely accurate as global investment bankers have been the ruin of so many thanks to their lies, greed and selfishly-motivated manipulations with no concern for the consequences as long as they got massive bonuses. Just an opinion….(albeit one very difficult to refute). So Capra, he was right, the film is a timeless classic and continues to be relevant and oozes period charm.

72. Pleasantville (1998)

A beautiful pseudo-fifties period-piece fantasy morality tale, the movie is original, nostalgic for old-time television but also shows that the idealised American family TV world was never really anything more than that. Two great early performances from young Tobey Macguire and Reese Witherspoon as two 90’s kids mis-placed into 50’s TV show Pleasantville. As they affect the characters inhabiting the world, with their modern attitudes, the black-and-white world and characters turn technicolour and deeper. It’s a touching movie, clever script and refers to sitcoms past (veteran actor Don Knotts) and future (the wonderful Malcolm In The Middle’s Jane Kaczmarek), but ultimately it’s a very “human” film dealing with oppression and consequences, and a non-blame attitude towards human failings. Sentimental and sweet.

71. Enemy Of The State (1998)

Essentially a thriller based around that peculiarly-American paranoid fascination with the interference of the state, loss of freedom in the modern world with the expansion of the internet and surveillance instruments. Taking it to a fantastical extreme, perhaps, but it’s romping fun with a great cast. Will Smith (who keeps cropping up in this list) is always immensely likeable everyman in these sort of big movies, and Gene Hackman is his usual grumpy anti-hero as a good contrast. The pace never lets up, add in baddie Jon Voight, and small roles from Jack Black and Seth Green, and you have a great modern action thriller. It won’t make many “Best Ever” lists, but it’s very re-watchable.

70. Independence Day (1996)

Talking of Will Smith, this was the one that changed him from the Fresh Prince to movie megastar. It might be blockbuster sci-fi cheese, but it’s well-made, good-humoured, fast-paced, and has a great cast: great fun, all-in-all. It’s never going to win awards for script-writing genius, but it’s a spectacle that is rewatchable, thanks to fave actors like Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Adam Baldwin and of course Director Roland Emmerich. Roswell, punching aliens, saving the world and iconic images like the blowing up of the Whitehouse (and everywhere else!). What’s not to like…?!

69. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

There aren’t that many musicals in my list, perhaps because the golden age of musicals had ended by the time I was a teenager, and I was much more obsessed by pop music (in it’s most broad “popular” music sense, I liked and still like everything current and recent as well as old). Tim Rice wrote great lyrics and was a popchart singles and albums afficianado (and therefore a hero to me) and Andrew Lloyd-Webber had one of the great gifts for melody and drama. Put them together on one of the most important stories in human history, and in a rock setting, some incredible songs, and some stunning performances from Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman and Josh Mostel and I was bound to love the film. It has it’s flaws, a bit slow at times, and an oddly off-putting 1973 “re-telling/acting” basis for the story rather than setting it as if it were historical (to avoid upsetting religious groups I would imagine), but I still get shivers during Superstar, I Don’t Know How To Love Him and Could We Start Again. That’s good enough for me, Hosannah and King Herod’s Song are just icing on the cake.

68. Toy Story 3 (2010)

A re-uniting of cast and characters and also a proper end to the Toy Story series, like all Pixar films there is nothing much not to love. Clever, human, exciting, witty, loveable and much much more – even if I rate the most recent the lowest (doh! There’s a clue!) it’s still great. Tom Hanks, Wallace Shawn, Laurie Metcalfe, Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger & plenty of other great character actors supply the voices, the story is ultimately sad, the passing of childhood, but also survival through the passing of childhood to new generations. Grown men have cried at the scenes where Andy gives away his childhood toys. I can empathise (even though I clung on to a lot of mine!).. Fabulous stuff.

67. I Married A Witch (1942)

Veronica Lake is mostly remembered these days as the inspiration for Phil Oakey’s Human League variation on her Peek-A-Boo haircut, but she really ought to be better known for this early example of a fantasy rom-com. She’s  engaging and beguiling as a witch executed at Salem, who pops back into modern-day America after a spell stuck as a spirit in a tree, and as vapour. It’s all very whimsical and likeable, and very much the blueprint for TV show Bewitched. Co-star Fredric March called Lake a “brainless little blonde sexpot, devoid of any acting ability”, which is ironic as he’s largely forgettable and she’s entirely memorable. Under-rated, albeit never one to win any awards, it’s a good film for a rainy day when you fancy getting cheered up!

66. Help! (1965)

Richard Lester’s follow-up to the critically-acclaimed and influential A Hard Days’s Night, The Beatles first movie, Help! has more childhood memories attached to it for me. I went to see it at the cinema when it came out, I was living in Liverpool, home of the Fabs, and it was colourful and packed with loveable moptop scenes and wonderful songs. The plot, such as it, is a bit dodgy in these politically-correct times (Ringo has a ring, the wearer of which gets to be sacrificed by a whacky eastern cult) and is largely a chase movie with quips. John, Paul, George & Ringo are great personalities, albeit not really actors. Ah, but those early-pop-videos contained in the movie are just wonderful: Ticket To Ride in the snow, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, and a few great tracks mucking around in the tropics. Fun, and pure 60’s.

65. Star Trek VIII: First Contact (1996)

Not the original Star Trek cast, this is the cast of the Next Generation in their best movie outing. Much as I loved the TV series at the time, in retrospect the engaging cast never really excites like the original characters and cast did, but this is a good old try at a time-travelling adventure romp with the debut of a great villain in the Borg Queen. In one respect the uniqueness of the Borg was their very lack of individuality, and that’s what made them The Next Gen’s greatest villains. Having a Queen kind of waters that down, but accepting that, it’s a brilliant performance from sensuous baddie Alice Krige, who has one of the great movie arrival scenes. The usual cast are always good, Patrick Stewart is always reliably formal and commanding as Captain Picard, and Brent Spiner effectively restrained as android Data, and of course I’m a fan of the rest of the cast. Jonathan Frakes also directs well enough while starring as Commander Riker, and having James Cromwell in a movie never hurts. The role might not be as meaty as LA Confidential, but he’s always reliably good.

64. Carry On Screaming (1966)

Oh so British saucy seaside humour that doesn’t really translate worldwide, the long-running Carry On films remain well-known in the UK only, really, but this Hammer Horror spoof is delightful in it’s own right. Harry H Corbett and Fenella Fielding step in amongst the usual gang of great character actors, Kenneth Williams, Peter Butterworth, Joan Sims and Bernard Bresslaw with aplomb. Owing more than a bit to the recent Addams Family & Munsters TV shows, the gags and puns fly fast and hard, and so many of them are pure genius! Harry H stepped into Sid James usual leading man role with gusto (here as police sergeant), and Fenella Fieldings Vamp is delicious. A sample quote following Slobotham’s encounter with a giant lurch-like werewolf:

Constable Slobotham: Sorry, Sergeant ! I thought it was that horrible thing again.

Det Sgt. Bung: What horrible thing ?

Constable Slobotham: I don’t know. It was something unspeakable.

Det Sgt. Bung: Unspeakable ?

Constable Slobotham: Yes. Never said a word.

bad jokes that great deserve prizes!

63. The Terminator (1984)

James Cameron’s debut movie, a low-budget sci-fi blockbuster that made Arnold Schwarzenegger a big name. The cast is great, even Arnie (mostly because he doesn’t have to try and act much) and the suspense and tenseness of the “how can you kill a killing machine that just comes back again” plot has been copied endlessly since. The direction is sharp, Linda Hamilton and Michael Biehn are fab, and the End Of The World We’re All Doomed (Maybe) plotline hangs heavy over the film throughout. Very famous now, spawning sequels, TV series and a 3D movie/live stage action combination at Universal Studios (seen it dozens of times), not to mention starting James Cameron’s cinematic empire, one might say it exceeded it’s modest aims. A great movie.

62. Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013)

Follow-up to the rejuvenated Classic Trek franchise, with an all-new cast (plus original Spock Leonard Nimoy, and Doctor Who’s Noel Clarke in cameo) J.J.Abrams (future Star Wars final trilogy director) does a marvellous job in updating Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan. The original had Ricardo Montalban as villain Khan, and the original TV cast, as major bonuses, but had some structural flaws in it’s climax, notably fighting by video screen. This version fleshes out the plot more, adds in some great Trek history nods for the fans, and is out and out good-natured, fast-paced action. The new cast is every bit as good as the originals, every single one of them, especially the core three characters Kirk (Chris Pine), Spock (Zachary Quinto) and McCoy (Karl Urban), not to mention Simon Pegg as Scotty. Genius casting, and man of the moment Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan is a great choice too. I could nitpick about the interplanetary-beaming escape being a very bad plot device (why have spaceships if you can do that!) but it’s nonetheless a great romp.

61. The Mummy Returns (2001)

A quick follow-up to the fabulous The Mummy, this sequel had the advantage of the original cast (albeit with a surprisingly not-annoying young son for Brendon Fraser and Rachel Weisz), a bigger budget and non-stop engaging adventure. Not as satisfying as the original, but enough of a spectacle and fun romp that I still enjoy re-watching it. Fraser and Weisz, and John Hannah are still engaging and the baddies Arnold Vosloo and Patricia Velasquez deliciously naughty. The main annoyance continues to be the extended advert for The Scorpion King movie, Dwayne The Rock Johnson’s stepping stone to stardom, and any real sense of danger (having seen the original movie), but as a good-natured bit of fun there are plenty of amusing set pieces, the double-decker bus chase, the balloon-boat quest and the niggling banter between Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and his brattish British captive boy.

60. A Night At The Opera (1935)

The Marx Brothers, especially Groucho, had become cult heroes by the 70’s to a new generation of fans raised on their movies from TV (like me). The cynicism, anarchy and energy of the trio had aged quite well compared to other stars of the early 20th century. Sadly, in these “colour movies only” days, they seem to be a minority interest which is a great shame because some of the greatest moments of cinema are the verbal sparring matches between Chico and Groucho, and Groucho’s one-liner put-downs of the rich, the powerful, the pompous, or the ridiculous. Historic translation of 19th century vaudeville over to cinema, their early films were just TOO anarchic for mainstream media, so this was the first (and best) attempt to widen the appeal via adding a love story couple and song and dance numbers. To be honest the terribly dated saccharine non-Marx add-ons were made for fast-forwarding, but it’s worth persevering for the gags. Harpo, the silent movie left-over, tends to be more annoying than amusing, but Chico and Groucho’s timing is just sooo good for the wisecracks. This is the best of their MGM movies, taking the piss out of the sniffy Opera-crowd. Worth it for the “There ain’t no Sanity Clause” bad pun alone.

59. Apollo 13 (1995)

Ron Howard’s project to remind everyone of the achievements of the Moon Landing and the heroic astronauts of those days. It’s a great film with Tom Hanks fitting the part of Jim Lovell perfectly, in fact the whole cast is fab, Kevin bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Bill Paxton and even Ron’s brother Clint yet again stuck in Mission Control in a movie. It’s easy with historical hindsight to take events for granted, but when I was 12 the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission gripped the news media for days, we had no idea whether they would get back alive from cutting edge frontier exploration-gone-wrong. The film beautifully captures 1970 and the events, I lived in Singapore at the time, all technicolour tropical delight and the fashions are those in the film, the talking point at home with the neighbours was whether they would survive (it didn’t look good) and the miracle was that they did with sticky tape and pencils and a lot of good luck. It’s an example to anyone taking on historical events to be largely faithful, scientifically accurate, have a great script and cast, and the drama will unfold itself without need to resort to fantasy and nonsense masquerading as history. Brilliant, award-winning stuff.

58. The Thin Man (1934)

The oldest film in my 100 (there I’ve given it away, no silent movies!), William Powell and the fab Myrna Loy starred in a whole series of romantic detective comedies, and pretty much set the template for Romcom, for smart, witty dialogue, on-screen banter, playfulness and murder mysteries as a fun puzzle to be solved while having a laugh and a dash of drama (see most TV series based on cops and detectives!). A married, well-to-do couple with bags of leisure time and cash, it was something to aspire to in the desperate 30’s, and this debut film remains the best of the bunch, with Aster the dog, and a guest actor (Cesar Romero) who later popped up as his own latin romantic leads before morphing into the 60’s Joker in Batman. The on-screen chemistry is fab between Powell & Loy, and Myrna was still cropping up well into the 70’s on TV and in movies, still dignified, classy and witty. Charming, always, The Thin Man movies.

57. Monte Carlo Or Bust! (1969)

Follow up to the slightly more famous Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, there’s more to love in this period car rally race comedy: most of all Peter Cook and Dudley Moore as upper-class British Empire delusions-of-grandeur (but loveable) types. They have some great scenes together, though the films main stars are Tony Curtis, still one of the great easygoing leading men in movies at that time, and Susan Hampshire, fresh out of The Forsyte Saga on TV and slap bang into family-oriented movies. I was a huge fan of both, and still am. Toss in double-act Eric Sykes and Terry-Thomas, the greatest comic villain actor in cinema history – he’s despicable and yet appealing, always playing the same unscrupulous cad with gusto – and there’s enough to love to get over the odd over-long more European OTT scenes. Bonus villain Gert “Goldfinger” Frobe is funny, Hattie Jacques, always endearing, cameos along with other Sykes regulars, and the plot jaunts along nicely enough. Movies these days are so engrossed with spectacle they forget the joy of the character actor at the top of their game, and this movie has that aplenty. Fun.

56. The Matrix (1999)

The Wachowski Brothers hugely original and stylishly influential sci-fi blockbuster is a visual treat, and the cast uniformly perfect in their roles. Largely humourless and ponderous, full of self-import, and, let’s be honest, a very silly plot (humans used as living batteries for powering machines, living a virtual life, doesn’t really bear come over as remotely likely) but the style and mood of the movie just carries it brilliantly. Keanu Reeves is great as the lead, minimal emoting as ever, Carrie Ann Moss is cool, Laurence Fishburne is great, Hugo Weaving is astoundingly charismatic for a computer-generated baddie, and Joe Pantoliano is beautifully sleazy as the treacherous Cypher. I grew up seeing Eastern action movies in Singapore, and some of their vigour and style is sort-of incorporated and updated with computer state-of-the-art effects to give a visual Kap-pow! Neither of the sequels comes close to the cohesiveness plot-wise of the original, and it remains fresh and just plain fabulous to watch.

55. Casablanca (1942)

One of the greatest and most famed movies of all-time, I also love it. These days it’s a period movie, stylish, romantic, dramatic and dashing, but in 1942 it was a modern anti-nazi war movie and love story. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman gained screen immortality, quite rightly, and the supporting cast is also excellent, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet, Claude Rains especially. Given the chaos the script and production was in during filming, it’s a major triumph of turning mess into a shining jewell. Maybe that’s why it seems so alive as a film. Or maybe it’s Bogart, cynical and hurt, an actor ahead of his time – by the 70’s he had become much bigger in death than he was in life, a cult hero for cynical times, so much so that the gorgeous Dooley Wilson song As Time Goes By (as featured in the film) became a chart hit mixed with great quotes taken from the film. And there are so many: Of all the gin-joints…, Play it! Play As Time Goes By…, and many many more. The dialogue is genius. The film is brilliant.

54. Aliens (1986)

James Cameron’s unlikely sequel to Ridley Scott’s superb Alien, this is pure roller-coaster action from start to end. Sigourney Weaver proves herself to be one of the great assertive female actors – worth mentioning that, because before she came along women were not action heroes – and a treasure of sci-fi/fantasy genres films that is still ongoing. Fanboys worship at her feet. At least this one does, anyway! The plot is fine, the action brilliant, the effects horrific (in a good way), and the cast are really good too, albeit as cannon-fodder, especially Bill “Twister/Apollo 13” Paxton and Michael “Terminator” Biehn, and Lance Henriksen as the android sets himself up nicely for X-Files/Millennium-type TV roles. James Cameron showed what he could do with a decent budget, and the movie showed that sequels don’t have to be carbon-copies of the original, Aliens being a very different movie to Alien in tone and pace and style.

53. It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

If ever there was the perfect all-star comic cast it’s this one. A blockbuster comedy tour-de-force from Stanley Kramer, if anything it’s got too much going on and needed editing down – it was, at the cinema from 210 minutes to 161. The script is fine, a manic chase movie looking for buried treasure, but the main appeal is the sheer number of beloved comic actors doing what they do best, and headed by the non-comic-actor Spencer Tracey. A huge, huge box-office hit at the time, I guess the appeal passes subsequent generations by as each of the stars (many of them TV stars) become less known. However, every generation really needs to acquaint itself with any film that has Phil “Bilko” Silvers in all his conniving, charming glory, Terry-Thomas sniffily doing battle with battle-axe musical superstar Ethel Merman and dumb psycho Jonathan Winters. Pretty much the entire (huge) cast were well-known in the 60’s, it would be the equivalent of taking all current American TV comics and comic-actors and putting them in one huge movie, but that’s not enough – no, there are cameos from superstars Jack Benny, Buster Keaton, Jerry Lewis and dozens of others. The interplay and ruthless competing between the main cast, is the joy, the set-piece visual (silent-movie-inspired) scenes a bit more hit & miss.

52. The Simpsons Movie (2007)

A great shame this movie just missed the Top 50, it’s a gem, and a return to the great days of The Simpsons TV series, seasons 3 to 10 or so rating among the best 7 or 8 years of TV comedy of all-time, if not the very top. In the years since the late 90’s the scripts weren’t as sharp or original (the baton for that had passed firmly to Futurama), so it was marvellous to get this gift reminding us just how good The Simpsons could be when the scripts are there. Homer Simpson (Doh!) is one of the great comic characters of all-time, and his scenes with the wrecking ball, Spider-pig, lost in the wilderness, and motorbike ride round the bomb-blasting dome around Springfield memorable. Matt Groening, to me, is a TV great for creating Simpsons and Futurama, and the actors, there from day 1 voicing the large cast of characters, brilliant and pop up in other movies in person, notably Hank Azaria and Harry Shearer.

51. Move Over Darling (1963)

The one that just misses out on the 50? Doris Day. Oldest woman to make the album chart with new material in 2013 or so, Doris is not just a great singer with a voice to melt the heart, she was the world’s premiere light comic actor, male or female, for 10 years or so in the 50’s and 60’s. Box office gold, the Rom-coms churned out at a goodly pace, most of them fair to good, and occasionally great, notably with Rock Hudson or, as in this case, the great genial TV actor from cowboy series Maverick who transferred later success to the fabulous Rockford Files. In the interim he was a great leading man, essentially playing the same cowardly, cynical, wisecracking, loveable, exasperated and good-hearted role in most of them. I love Doris, I love James, and I love this film and the then-familiar supporting cast of great character actors like Thelma Ritter, Don Knotts and the fabulous John “Gomez Addams” Astin. The plot? James thinks he’s widowed but Doris instead turns up on the day she’s declared legally dead having marooned on a tropical island for 5 years. As you do. It’s fluffy nonsense, and it’s all about the larks and quips and sparks flying, but it’s such fun what’s not to love. It’s also got that great theme tune, sung by Doris and a hit again 20 years later. Yay!

Top 100 of 2012

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Tenerife holiday 2012

I’ve not included records that peaked before Jan 2012, nor oldies (whether new to the charts or not), they have to be less than 2 years old and peak during 2012, but it’s total sales including 2011 sales except for 2 records that hit number one in both 2011 and 2012 – and Ive felt it only fair to just show their sales for each year (as technically they first peaked in 2011 and wouldn’t otherwise show in 2012 charts – Princess Of China and Titanium therefore have more total sales than shown here, while hits like Turn Me On (David Guetta) feature only in 2011 Top 100 as it hit number 1 in 2011 but not in 2012 (even though it’s chart peak in the real world was 2012). Phew!

A few stats:

Princess Of China has one of the largest ever calendar year totals. Train, fun. and Rihanna have 2 in the Top 20. The longest year-end run of hits are The Beach Boys (1969) Glen Campbell (1969) Elton John (1971) Sparks (1974) Poly Styrene (1978) Bananarama (1982) Madonna (1984) and Pet Shop Boys (1985) and mention to Engelbert Humperdinck who first charted in 1968 but didnt quite hit the qualifying 250000 chart points. So lots of veterans with new stuff in there with the newer acts, hits and non-hits.

Top acts in the Top 100 are:

Coldplay (2) Rihanna (3) David Guetta/SIA (2) Train (3) fun. (2) Pink (2) Elton John vs Pnau (2) Katy Perry (2) Gemma Ray (2) Florence & The Machine (3) Labrinth (2) Carly Rae Jepson (2) Maroon 5 (2) Muse (2) Emeli Sande (3) Lana Del Ray (4 and Top current act of the year) and Nicki Minaj (2). Clear of the pack though are my perennial favourites Pet Shop Boys – they had another half dozen B sides from the double album of gems dating back to the mid-90’s chart high, but Ive excluded them and just included stuff released during 2012 – and they still have 6. I must be a fan….

1 1 52 PRINCESS OF CHINA Coldplay/ Rihanna 3029200
2 1 15 DISCONNECTED Keane 1835000
3 1 49 SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW Gotye/Kimbra 1707100
4 1 22 LITTLE TALKS Of Monsters And Men 1453250
5 1 23 SOME NIGHTS fun. 1406550
6 1 12 RUN BOY RUN Woodkid 935000
7 1 46 TITANIUM David Guetta/ SIA 915350
8 1 20 SAD Elton John vs Pnau 910800
9 1 24 THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY Katy Perry 858250
10 3 17 RESCUE ME Gemma Ray 837600

11 3 28 DRIVE BY Train 786350
12 2 18 50 WAYS TO SAY GOODBYE Train 781500
13 2 19 WE ARE YOUNG fun./Janelle Monae 752600
14 3 21 NO LIGHTS, NO LIGHTS Florence + The Machine 745350
15 3 18 BLOW ME (ONE LAST KISS) P!nk 704750
16 4 24 WHEN THEY FIGHT, THEY FIGHT The Generationals 699900
17 1 13 I STARTED A JOKE Pet Shop Boys 632500
18 3 23 EARTHQUAKE Labrinth/ Tinie Tempah 621900
19 3 14 BORN TO DIE Lana Del Ray 601600
20 4 27 TAKE CARE Drake/ Rihanna 596400

21 4 19 GOOD TIMES Owl City/ Carly Rae Jepson 585550
22 3 13 HOW DO I GET TO CARNEGIE HALL? Gemma Ray/ Sparks 565250
23 1 14 UNDER THE WESTWAY Blur 556950
24 1 8 DARK BLACK Kristina Train 545000
25 2 15 DEDICATION TO MY EX (MISS THAT) Lloyd/ Andre 3000/ Lil Wayne 544250
26 3 15 FOREIGN FIELDS Elton John vs Pnau 543000
27 1 8 RADIOACTIVE Imagine Dragons 518750
28 5 19 CALL ME MAYBE Carly Rae Jepson 509100
29 3 11 BRUISES Train/ Ashley Monroe 508100
30 4 21 TOO CLOSE Alex Clare 468400

31 2 9 SOMETHING NEW Girls Aloud 466600
32 5 13 BABY COME HOME Scissor Sisters 465700
33 2 11 DON’T YOU WORRY CHILD Swedish House Mafia/ John Martin 450950
34 1 15 A CERTAIN “JE NE SAIS QUOI” Pet Shop Boys 443100
35 3 11 STUPID MISTAKE Darren Hayes 442400
36 8 18 UNDERCOVER MARTYN Two Door Cinema Club 434100
37 3 14 RUNAWAYS The Killers 419050
38 5 13 SKYFALL Adele 417150
39 4 10 THE HIPSTERS Deacon Blue 416000
40 5 10 EUPHORIA (Sweden) Loreen 407550

41 6 16 PAYPHONE Maroon 5/ Wiz Khalifa 396000
42 5 12 THAT GIRL Noisettes 387300
43 7 15 SILHOUETTES Avicii/ Salem Al Fakir 384200
44 6 15 NEXT TO ME Emile Sande 375500
45 3 9 I FOUND YOU The Wanted 373250
46 4 14 BLACK HEART StooShe 364500
47 5 12 LOVE WILL SET YOU FREE Engelbert Humperdinck 341300
48 6 12 CELEBRATE Mika/Pharrell Williams 332750
49 6 14 CANDY Robbie Williams 332650
50 7 11 MADNESS Muse 319200

51 3 10 GIVE ME ALL YOUR LUVIN’ Madonna/ Nicki Minaj/ MIA 317250
52 4 13 WINNER Pet Shop Boys 316900
53 8 14 ONE MORE NIGHT Maroon 5 314750
54 4 14 PRIMADONNA Marina & The Diamonds 314650
55 7 12 CHARLIE BROWN Coldplay 311050
56 8 10 SHE WOLF (FALLING TO PIECES) David Guetta/ SIA 304150
57 6 8 TRY P!nk 300800
58 8 11 MOVES LIKE JAGGER Bananarama 295500
59 8 14 GOOD FEELING Flo-Rida/ Etta James 293650
60 7 15 IT WILL RAIN Bruno Mars 290150

61 9 13 SAY GOODBYE Norah Jones 288650
62 12 15 THE KEEPERS Santigold 281900
63 7 11 SURVIVAL Muse 278950
64 9 12 SEVEN NATION ARMY Marcus Collins 276500
65 9 10 SPECTRUM (SAY MY NAME) Florence & The Machine 271800
66 7 10 WIDE AWAKE Katy Perry 266300
67 5 7 SING Gary Barlow & The Commonwealth Band 257550
68 10 13 LEAVING Pet Shop Boys 256000
69 7 9 PLEASE FORGIVE MY HEART Bobby Womack 254650
70 9 15 GANGNAM STYLE PSY 252700

71 10 12 TAKING OVER ME Lawson 252400
72 9 10 BENEATH YOUR BEAUTIFUL Labrinth/ Emili Sande 251700
73 10 15 ANYWAY Cee Lo Green 251050
74 8 11 WONDER Naughty Boy/ Emeli Sande 250750
75 9 10 REQUIEM IN DENIM AND LEOPARDSKIN Pet Shop Boys 241250
76 10 11 BLUE JEANS Lana Del Ray 237550
77 9 10 LONELY BOY The Black Keys 229100
78 8 10 ALL BETS ARE OFF Nerina Pallot 227950
79 13 13 CHASING THE SUN The Wanted 227050
80 10 9 LATCH Disclosure/Sam Smith 226150

81 12 11 WE ARE NEVER EVER GETTING BACK TOGETHER Taylor Swift 223050
82 9 8 BIG CITY M83 222450
83 9 9 BREAKING DOWN Florence & The Machine 220200
84 10 11 FIRST STEPS Elbow 218750
85 10 12 THAT’S WHY GOD MADE THE RADIO The Beach Boys 211250
86 7 9 YOU DA ONE Rihanna 210500
87 16 12 HANG IT UP The Ting Tings 209200
88 16 11 PUSH AND SHOVE No Doubt/Busy Signal/Major Lazer 207350
89 7 10 BLUE VELVET Lana Del Ray 205900
90 29 13 IN MY ARMS Glen Campbell 205150

91 10 15 SIMPLE SONG The Shins 204250
92 7 8 LIGHT UP THE WORLD Steps 202600
93 17 11 STARSHIPS Nicky Minaj 202300
94 12 13 PICKING UP THE PIECES Paloma Faith 202300
95 12 9 TIMEBOMB Kylie Minogue 202100
96 7 9 THE WAY THROUGH THE WOODS Pet Shop Boys 201350
97 10 8 BLACK CHRISTMAS Poly Styrene 199250
98 8 8 OH MY GOODNESS Olly Murs 193900
99 10 10 RIDE Lana Del Ray 191850
100 10 8 BACKTRACK Rebecca Ferguson 185850

Top 100 of 1997

These are the top hits of 1997, 15 years ago, based on total chart points in my charts. One day I’ll update to show how I rate them now, some records would now be higher, some lower, some missing would be in…

I think, blowing my own trumpet, I can’t be accused of preferring any one style of music, just of preferring some artists. In this list there is bhangra, opera, rock, pop, country, ballads, indie, r’n’b, rave, rap, MOR, latino, dance. I don’t care as long as it’s got something great about it. 1997 was a good year.

I thank you.

1 YOU GOT THE LOVE 97 Source/ Candi Staton
2 BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY Verve
3 TIME TO SAY GOODBYE Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
4 SAY WHAT YOU WANT Texas
5 SUNNY CAME HOME Shawn Colvin
6 HALO Texas
7 TORN Natalie Imbruglia
8 EVERYBODY (BACKSTREET’S BACK) Backstreet Boys
9 ANGELS Robbie Williams
10 PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND ME TexasImage

11 ALONE Bee Gees
12 I WANT YOU Savage Garden
13 WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME Monaco
14 PERFECT DAY Lou Reed & friends
15 LUCKY MAN Verve
16 WHERE DO YOU GO No Mercy
17 TUBTHUMPING Chumbawamba
18 BLACK EYED BOY Texas
19 WHERE HAVE ALL THE COWBOYS GONE? Paula Cole
20 DISCOTHEQUE U2

 
21 A RED LETTER DAY Pet Shop Boys
22 SPICE UP YOUR LIFE Spice Girls
23 WHERE’S THE LOVE Hanson
24 THE DRUGS DON’T WORK Verve
25 STARING AT THE SUN U2
26 DON’T LET GO En Vogue
27 DO YOU KNOW (WHAT IT TAKES) Robyn
28 LOVE IS ALL WE NEED Mary J. Blige
29 YOU WERE MEANT FOR ME Jewel
30 LAZY DAYS Robbie Williams

31 SHOUT Ant & Dec
32 EVERYTHING Mary J Blige
33 SALVA MEA Faithless
34 AVENGING ANGELS Space
35 ALL I WANNA DO Dannii
36 C U WHEN U GET THERE Coolio
37 YOU SHOWED ME Lightning Seeds
38 WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE Spice Girls
39 YOU’RE THE ONE I LOVE Shola Ama
40 PLEASE (Live EP: With or Without/Streets..) U2

41 A PRISONER OF THE PAST Prefab Sprout
42 DON’T SPEAK No Doubt
43 WALK ON BY Gabrielle
44 ELEGANTLY WASTED INXS
45 JUST FOR YOU M People
46 MMMBOP Hanson
47 WALTZING ALONG James
48 I WILL COME TO YOU Hanson
49 ASCENSION DON’T EVER WONDER Maxwell
50 TUM BIN JIYA Bally Sagoo

51 REMEMBER ME The Blue Boy
52 RAINCLOUD Lighthouse Family
53 SUSANS HOUSE Eels
54 TAXLOSS Mansun
55 NIGHT NURSE Sly & Robbie/Simply Red
56 IT’S NO GOOD Depeche Mode
57 FREE Ultra Nate
58 TOGETHER AGAIN Janet Jackson
59 ONE HEADLIGHT Wallflowers
60 PONY Ginuwine

61 MOUTH Merril Bainbridge
62 YOUR WOMAN White Town
63 SONG 2 Blur
64 WALKING ON THE SUN Smash Mouth
65 NEVER EVER All Saints
66 I FEEL YOU Peter Andre
67 SWEET LIPS Monaco
68 SUGAR HONEY ICE TEA Goodfellaz
69 LIVE THE DREAM Cast
70 LOVEFOOL Cardigans

71 RICHARD III Supergrass
72 SUMMERTIME Sundays
73 BABY CAN I HOLD YOU Boyzone
74 2 BECOME 1 Spice Girls
75 INTO MY ARMS Erasure
76 SHE’S A STAR James
77 MEN IN BLACK Will Smith
78 DROP DEAD GORGEOUS Republica
79 LOVING EVERY MINUTE Lighthouse Family
80 STILL WATERS RUN DEEP Bee Gees

81 UNDERWATER LOVE Smoke City
82 RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE Fugees
83 BITCH Meredith Brooks
84 D’YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN/STAY YOUNG Oasis
85 I’M SO LONELY Cast
86 NO MORE TALK Dubstar
87 IN THE MEANTIME Spacehog
88 (UN DOS TRES) MARIA Ricky Martin
89 HORNY Mark Morrison
90 I’LL BE MISSING YOU Puff Daddy, Faith Evans

91 YOUR LUCKY DAY IN HELL Eels
92 BLOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR Michael Jackson
93 INDESTRUCTIBLE Alisha’s Attic
94 STARPEOPLE 97 George Michael
95 A CHANGE WOULD DO YOU GOOD Sheryl Crow
96 REVIVAL Martine Girault
97 STAY Sash!/ La Trec
98 SUGAR COATED ICEBERG Lightning Seeds
99 DEADWEIGHT Beck
100 HUSH Kula Shaker

The Best 100 of 1995

number 81

We went back to Singapore in 1995 after a 24-year-gap, and it was in the process of wiping out the (much more charming and pretty) old colonial/Chinese/Malay buldings in favour of (much-more comfortable) clean modern high-rise. Both our old houses were still standing at that time, though one has since gone. Jalan Limau Perut still stands though.

meanwhile, many of the songs I heard on the Round The World tour featrure in this list of the songs I liked at the time – this based on chart-points, and my tastes have changed a bit, some wouldn’t now feature, and others would, but it’s largely a good summary of the year…

1 EARTH SONG Michael Jackson
2 BACK FOR GOOD Take That
3 A GIRL LIKE YOU Edwyn Collins
4 YES McAlmont & Butler
5 WHATEVER Oasis
6 NO MORE ‘I LOVE YOU’S Annie Lennox
7 TELL ME WHEN Human League
8 GANGSTA’S PARADISE Coolio/LV
9 FAIRGROUND Simply Red
10 WATERFALLS TLC


11 THAT LOOK IN YOUR EYE Ali Campbell/Pam Starks
12 FREE AS A BIRD Beatles
13 COMMON PEOPLE Pulp
14 SCREAM Michael/Janet Jackson
15 ON THE BIBLE Deuce
16 FANTASY Mariah Carey
17 MISSING Everything But The Girl
18 LOVE CITY GROOVE Love City Groove
19 GLORY BOX Portishead
20 ONE MAN IN MY HEART Human League


21 GOD SHUFFLED HIS FEET/PETER PUMP.. Crash Test Dummies
22 ’74 -’75 Connells
23 LET IT RAIN East 17
24 SHE’S A RIVER Simple Minds
25 I’VE GOT A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR YOU MN8
26 HAPPY JUST TO BE WITH YOU Michelle Gayle
27 HYPNOTISED Simple Minds
28 TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME Bobby Brown
29 HOLD ME THRILL ME KISS ME KILL ME U2
30 THE UNIVERSAL Blur


31 BEST IN ME Let Loose
32 HUMAN NATURE Madonna
33 A KIND OF XMAS CARD/A CHANGE IS GONNA COME…EP Morten Harket
34 ALRIGHT Cast
35 REACH UP (PAPA’S GOT A BRAND NEW..) Perfecto Allstarz/Pigbag
36 COTTON EYE JOE Rednex
37 IL ADORE Boy George
38 RUNAWAY Janet Jackson
39 WHITE LINES Duran Duran
40 RIVERDANCE Bill Whelan


41 INDEPENDANT LOVE SONG Scarlet
42 UP ON THE ROOF Robson Jerome
43 I KNOW Dionne Farris
44 DISCO 2000 Pulp
45 TURN ON TUNE IN COP OUT Freak Power
46 BAD TIME Jayhawks
47 ALRIGHT Supergrass
48 YOU’LL SEE Madonna
49 THIS COWBOY SONG Sting & Pato Banton
50 HE’S ON THE PHONE Saint Etienne


51 LUCKY LOVE Ace Of Base
52 THE FIRST THE LAST ETERNITY Snap & Summer
53 SKY HIGH Newton
54 WHEN LOVE AND HATE COLLIDE Def Leppard
55 CAN I TOUCH YOU THERE Michael Bolton
56 WAKE UP BOO Boo Radleys
57 THEME FROM “PEOPLE’S CENTURY” Zbigniew Preisner
58 STAYIN’ ALIVE N Trance/Ricardo DaForce
59 NEVER FORGET Take That
60 WHOOPS NOW Janet Jackson


61 SORTED FOR E’S & WHIZZ/ MIS-SHAPES Pulp
62 PASS THE VIBES Definition Of Sound
63 STUCK ON U PJ & Duncan
64 BELIEVE Elton john
65 DREAMER Livin’ Joy
66 ONE NIGHT STAND Let Loose
67 PERFECT Lightning Seeds
68 MY LOVE IS FOR REAL Paula Abdul
69 WHERE THE WILD ROSES GROW Nick Cave/Kylie Minogue
70 CHANGE Lightning Seeds


71 PANINARO ’95 Pet Shop Boys
72 HAND IN MY POCKET Alanis Morissette
73 CRUSH WITH EYELINER REM
74 CHAINS Tina Arena
75 BABY NOW THAT I’VE FOUND YOU Alison Krauss
76 ANYWHERE IS Enya
77 RIGHT IN THE NIGHT Jam & Spoon
78 NOT OVER YET Grace
79 SCATMAN Scatman John
80 I’D LIE FOR YOU AND THAT’S THE TRUTH Meatloaf


81 GOLD Prince
82 FILLING UP WITH HEAVEN Human League
83 ORIGINAL Leftfield
84 IT’S OH SO QUIET Bjork
85 EVERYBODY SAY EVERYBODY DO Let Loose
86 COUNTRY HOUSE Blur
87 COWBOY DREAMS Jimmy Nail
88 WONDERWALL Mike Flowers Pops
89 IF YOU LOVE ME Brownstone
90 YOU OUGHTA KNOW Alanis Morissette


91 GOLDENEYE Tina Turner
92 BUDDY HOLLY Weezer
93 LOVE AND DEVOTION Real McCoy
94 HIDEAWAY DeLacy
95 HOLD MY HAND Hootie & Blowfish
96 GIMME LITTLE SIGN Danielle Brisbois
97 FIND ME Jam & Spoon/Plavka
98 MARVELLOUS Lightning Seeds
99 YOU MAKE ME FEEL ( NATURAL WOMAN) Mary J.Blige
100 SHY GUY Diana King

The Best 100 of 2000

Wondered if anyone else periodically compares what they liked waybackwhen with what they like now? My tastes change over the years and records fall in and out of favour and back again, so it’s in a state of flux. Some records and artists seem better with hindsight, others you wonder what you saw in them at the time! The second number after the position is how they finished up in my year-end-chart of 2000. Sandstorm, for instance, has improved vastly after the event…..!

2000 was a better year than 1999, but both years were low points in the history of pop. While there were some great records around, there were few acts firing on all cylinders with quality material, bar Robbie, Pet Shop Boys, Shelby Lynn and it turns out Kylie. Kylie’s comeback I liked at the time, but I’d never been what you call a fan prior to that, the records had to win me over on merit. I saw her in concert and I became a fan, with many album tracks off Light Years proving to be much better than the singles chosen at the time. Kylie has made a consistent habit of choosing the wrong tracks for singles….MInd you, Pet Shop Boys do that too, maybe they just have several potential singles per album so some get lost..

1 1 INNER SMILE Texas
2 8 YOU ONLY TELL ME YOU LOVE ME WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK Pet Shop Boys
3 2 IT FEELS SO GOOD Sonique
4 128 SANDSTORM Darude
5 4 LIFE IS A ROLLERCOASTER Ronan Keating
6 11 SKY Sonique
7 24 GROOVEJET (IF THIS AIN’T LOVE) Spiller/ Sophie Ellis-Bextor
8 5 RISE Gabrielle
9 14 PURE SHORES All Saints
10 28 KIDS Robbie Williams/ Kylie Minogue

11 52 FOR YOUR OWN GOOD Pet Shop Boys
12 new YOUR DISCO NEEDS YOU Kylie Minogue
13 18 BEAUTIFUL DAY U2
14 10 IF I TOLD YOU THAT George Michael/ Whitney Houston
15 69 WHY DOES MY HEART FEEL SO BAD (REMIX) Moby
16 15 ROCK DJ Robbie Williams
17 16 GLORIOUS Andreas Johnson
18 3 SMOOTH Santana/Rob Thomas
19 32 THE TIME IS NOW Moloko
20 118 SPINNING AROUND Kylie Minogue

21 56 I HOPE YOU DANCE Lee Ann Womack
22 31 SAD EYES Enrique Iglesias
23 37 YELLOW Coldplay
24 33 TRY AGAIN Aaliyah
25 39 STAN Eminem/ Dido
26 169 ON A NIGHT LIKE THIS Kylie Minogue
27 38 I TURN TO YOU Melanie C
28 20 ACHILLE’S HEEL Toploader
29 34 TOCA’S MIRACLE Fragma
30 19 OOPS I DID IT AGAIN Britney Spears

31 6 BE WITH YOU Enrique Iglesias
32 66 SILENCE Delirium/ Sarah MacLachlan
33 26 WALKING AWAY Craig David
34 135 UTOPIA Goldfrapp
35 9 SUPREME Robbie Williams
36 new LIGHT YEARS Kylie Minogue
37 40 OVERLOAD Sugababes
38 29 I’M OUTTA LOVE Anastacia
39 53 IT’S MY LIFE Bon Jovi
40 81 CARTOON HEROES Aqua

41 35 BYE BYE BYE ‘NSync
42 63 PROUD Heather Small
43 7 DANCING IN THE MOONLIGHT (REMIX) Toploader
44 17 NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN Melanie C/ Lisa Lefteye Lopez
45 127 MR E’S BEAUTIFUL BLUES The Eels
46 46 A SONG FOR LOVERS Richard Ashcroft
47 42 SEXBOMB Tom Jones vs Mousse T
48 36 SHACKLES (PRAISE YOU) Mary Mary
49 12 DON’T TELL ME Madonna
50 148 BULLET IN THE GUN Planet Perfecto

51 21 LUCKY Britney Spears
52 120 THE REAL SLIM SHADY Eminem
53 96 DESIRE Ultra Nate
54 23 BENT Matchbox 20
55 13 IT’S GONNA BE ME ‘NSync
56 27 CRUISIN’ Huey Lewis & Gwyneth Paltrow
57 94 WHERE I’M FROM Shelby Lynne
58 184 SO IN LOVE WITH YOU Duke
59 179 THEME FOR BIG BROTHER Element 4
60 54 WONDERFUL Everclear

61 71 SITTING DOWN HERE Lene Marlin
62 90 THE MASSES AGAINST THE CLASSES Manic Street Preachers
63 178 GRACEADELICA Dark Star
64 22 THONG SONG Sisqo
65 191 LADY Modjo
66 47 TAKE A LOOK AROUND Limp Bizkit
67 30 MUSIC Madonna
68 99 ONE MORE TIME Daft Punk
69 163 STAND TOUGH Point Break
70 78 AISHA Death In Vegas/Iggy Pop

71 82 RAINBOW COUNTRY Bob Marley
72 119 I THANKU The High Fidelity
73 172 THANK YOU Dido
74 197 DON’T FALTER Mint Royale
75 58 TAKEN FOR GRANTED SIA
76 126 AMERICAN PIE Madonna
77 156 NEW BEGINNING Stephen Gately
78 157 PURE PLEASURE SEEKER Moloko
79 41 INDEPENDANT WOMEN PART 1 Destiny’s Child
80 73 PLEASE STAY Kylie Minogue

81 195 AM RADIO Everclear
82 25 BORN TO MAKE YOU HAPPY Britney Spears
83 62 DESERT ROSE Sting
84 112 NATURAL BLUES Moby
85 new GIVING UP GIVING IN Sheena Easton
86 new FLYSWATTER Eels
87 93 I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Marc Et Claude/ Korgis
88 80 PORCELAIN Moby
89 74 SHE BANGS Ricky Martin
90 50 SUMMERFLING kd Lang

91 48 LEAVIN’ Shelby Lynne
92 88 ONE Johnny Cash
93 85 ANORAK LOU Genelab
94 113 WHERE THE POOR BOYS DANCE Lulu
95 105 WHO FEELS LOVE Oasis
96 160 REACH S Club 7
97 162 IN THESE SHOES Kirsty Maccoll
98 117 BAG IT UP Geri Halliwell
99 new BEAUTIFUL INSIDE Louise
100 187 YOU NEED LOVE LIKE I DO DONT YOU Tom Jones/ Heather SmallImage