The most irritating pop music crazes of all time
As Gangnam Style creator Psy unleashes a follow up single, Tom Cole raids YouTube to find the bottom of the barrel for irksome novelty chart hits...
Sick of bellowing “heeeeeeeeeeey, sexy lady!” along with Gangnam Style every Friday night at your local discotheque? Then good news: South Korean singing sensation Psy’s just released a new song containing another gimmicky vocal hook for us all to enjoy.
It’s called Gentleman and boasts a chorus that will doubtless be acclaimed by his fans as 'genius.' It runs – wait for it – “I’m a maddah faddah gentleman!”
(Though this recently-issued poster shows what he really means:)
Is it any good? Well...if nothing else, it has to be said that Gentleman’s very catchy. The call-and-response verses are especially memorable. Have a listen:
Los del Rio – Macarena
The dance crazy that defined the mid-1990s. Gyrated to in its video by a bevy of nubile young beauties, but sung by two men who looked like the manager and maître d' of a low-rent Majorcan tapas bar, the Macarena needs little introduction or analysis. We’ve all been abroad and done the dance, half-insensible with sunstroke and sangria. Have another listen and wince:
Whigfield – Saturday Night
Who’d have thought that a banal 4/4 pop song about the delights of the weekend with a quacking duck on its backing track would’ve become such a huge hit? Maybe it had something to do with the dance, which legions of pre-teens aped with abandon in the playgrounds of the 1994. Astonishingly, Whiggers released a new version of Saturday Night earlier this year – the cunningly titled Saturday Night 2013 – which made it to the dizzying heights of number 83 in the German charts. Fancy that.
Axel F - The Crazy Frog
Thank goodness this dreadful little chap’s freewheeled off the scene. He was everywhere about ten years ago, on t-shirts, ringtones, stuffed toys...
He even a novelty single out, which saw the unhinged amphibian ruining the theme from Beverly Hills Cop. And this 'choon' made it to number one in the charts in Britain. I’ve just put it on to test the video out and endured all of 44 seconds before tearing the headphones from my bonce. Can you do better?
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Black Lace – Agadoo
Another track with an easily imitable novelty dance routine, Agadoo was inescapable in the nightspots of continental Europe (and Great Britain too; we’re not that cool) back in the early 80s. It’s hard to know which routine is sillier - this or the Birdie Song. Which is presumably why Spitting Image parodied them both in one single track.
The Harlem Shake
One of the more inexplicable crazes of the modern age has been this weird novelty single/social ritual, which is always, always, ALWAYS accompanied by video footage of a prosaic scene that changes in the blink of an eye into a writhing, undulating mass of dancing bodies.
But seeing as the Britain's Got Talent judges are now ripping this off, surely it's time for us all to stop 'doing' the Harlem Shake?
You know it. I know it. We all know it. But here it is again. Good luck with the new single, Psy.