Friday, May 10, 2002

BISMILLAH! NO!: Another poll, another "best single ever" victory for Bohemian Rhapsody in an all-time chart - this one is to promote the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles. (You might have thought that after the error-riddled travesty of the last edition, they'd put a bit more effort into proofreading, a little less into pointless promotional stunts, but there you go...). Brian May affects to be worried, lamenting that "people will never let us forget it" - pity the poor man, whose early morning slumbers in the arms of Anita Dobson are often disturbed by the thud of a wodge of royalty cheques landing on the doormat. Many is the time he's sat, in the Breakfast bar, hand paused as he fills in a paying-in slip, when he looks up and asks Anita: "Why is it always Bohemian Rhapsody? Why can't, just once, one of these polls offer praise for that tune which I made-up from the Ford advertising jingle I wrote?"
(Talking of Queen, how come when people attack Ben Elton for writing that godawful Queen musical, its always on the grounds that Queen were crap - which, really, they weren't, all the time, rather than asking him quite what he thinks he's doing helping further line the pockets of a bunch of bastards who broke the UN sanctions against South Africa during the aparthied era by playing Sun City?)
Anyway, to save time in future, we proudly present The All Time Singles of All Time, ever, ever, a cut out and keep list which will allow you, at any time, to publish a definitive list of the greatest singles of all time without needing to go to all the trouble of actually organising a poll:
1. Bohemian Rhapsody
2. Twist and Shout (may be replaced by Hey Jude for publications which feature adverts for musical instruments)
3. Imagine
(Number 2 and 3 should be reversed if near a major anniversary of John Lennon's death)
4. Whatever the best selling single of last year was (May be replaced by White Man In Hammersmith Palais if average age of your readership is above 15, or Anarchy In The UK if average age of children of your readership is above 15)
5. Sympathy for the Devil (or something by Whitney Houston if your readership is predominantly female)
6. Like A Virgin (or Ray of Light if your art director wears sunglasses)
7. Wonderful World (Reet Petite or Sexual Healing or Dock of the Bay will do; it's just tokenism, after all)
8. Wannabe (That'll get the letters pages buzzing, you'll see...)
9. The record your editorial director lost his virginity to, or Lay Lady Lay if he's still a virgin)
10. Something off a compilation about to be released by your largest advertiser
- and that's it. Run every six months for a vaguely-considered reason (50th anniversary, 100 years of the gramophone needle, whatever).

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