The Top 11 Singles of 2007 was the list that, for some reason, was missing from my collection. Compiling it retrospectively was actually pretty easy – there were lots of big, highly memorable number ones that year, plus a few personal favourites that have held a place in my head/heart/mp3 player ever since. Even more amazing – it includes the only time that Jessica Simpson has seemed even vaguely a decent proposition as a pop star.
So without any further ado, let’s count this mother down!
1. Bleeding Love – Leona (1)
The song that sparked a thousand imitators (many by its own writer/producer, Ryan Tedder) but has yet to be bettered, Bleeding Love showed the world just what Lewis was capable of – namely, the best lovelorn warbling seen since Whitney Houston reckoned she would always love you. Rippling beats, throbbing rhythms and undulating vocals combine to create a true colossus in the temple of pop balladry. Is it too early to declare it timeless?!
2. Potential Break-Up Song – Aly & AJ (22)
Dismiss the conveyor-belt of Disney dollies at your peril; Potential Break-Up Song shows just what sort of brilliance the Mouseketeers are capable of producing when your back’s turned for too long. Aly & AJ, previous minor gems in the Disney firmament, created this skittish electro blizzard, capturing the exact moment where lousy boyfriend is set to because lousy ex. The venomous lyrics (‘Now all I want is just my stuff back/Do you get that?/Let me repeat that/I want my stuff back!) are spun to the listener in feather-light form whilst staccato stutters run riot over a tango-infused sonic snowstorm. Pure perfect electropop.
3. Sexy! No No No – Girls Aloud (5)
First listen? A mess. Second listen? A mess… with potential. Third listen? Xenomania are geniuses. A crashing, thrashing dancefloor opera, complete with overblown vocoder-ed intro, a snappy strident call and response section, deliciously d-d-dirty stutters and euphoric wailing, it’s a club-tinged experiment that saw Xenomania continue their bid to get the strangest song structures ever into the upper echelons of the UK Charts. Sexy! No No No announced that Girls Aloud were here to rave. Loudly. There may even be glowsticks involved. Inventive, ambitious, awesome.
4. A Public Affair – Jessica Simpson (20)
If you’re going to rip off not one but two songs, you couldn’t choose much better than two Teflon-coated classics – Madonna’s Holiday and Marvin Gaye’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough. A gloriously infectious summer smash in waiting, A Public Affair dared you to listen without breaking into a big grin and having a surreptitious boogie on the side.
5. Umbrella – Rihanna (1)
If Bleeding Love was 2007’s contribution to making ballad history, than Umbrella was its lightning-bolt strike at an accessible highly-successful pop/R n B crossover. Turning an innocuous household object into a symbol of undying devotion and the most memorable hook in history, Umbrella takes towering clanging percussion, inescapable beats, a rap including the word ‘precipitation’ (aren’t you glad you took your Biology GCSE now?!) and Rihanna’s robotic tones to create a zeitgeist moment of the highest order. ELLA-ELLA-ELLA-EH-EH-EH.
6. The Sweet Escape – Gwen Stefani (2)
Any song that turns professional irritant Akon into a first-class attribute is a winner in my book. A doo-wop saunter capitalising on Stefani’s poppier inclinations, The Sweet Escape has more bounce than a Jack-in-the-box on a pogo stick with springs in his heels. A shiny sun-kissed jaunt with a typically brilliant video to boot that sees a glossy Gwen let down her Rapunzel hair and escape from jail (Harajuku Girls in tow), The Sweet Escape wriggled its way into your head with ease, making it clear it had absolutely no intention of ever leaving again. Akon bits included.
7. About You Now – Sugababes (1)
A sterling pop song designed to survive world wars, zombie infestations or, even worse, indie takeovers, About You Now couldn’t have been more radio-friendly had it tried. Perfectly-constructed by some of pop’s finest engineers (Cathy Dennis, Dr Luke), About You Now explodes into a chorus like no other – instantly catchy, forever unforgettable. Resistance is futile; the sooner you get sucked into this veritable pop hurricane better. The acoustic version is rather lovely too.
8. Rule The World – Take That (1)
In any other year, Rule The World would be talked-up as being a future classic. However, it had the misfortune of being released in the same year as Bleeding Love, making its star-studded majesty shine just a little dimmer in its wake. That doesn’t stop Rule The World from a being a heart-stoppingly beautiful love song, which will rightfully provide the soundtrack to first kisses and last dances across the universe.
9. Grace Kelly – Mika (1)
Grace Kelly marked the moment when we honestly thought Mika could be a big-haired, falsetto-swooping Freddie Mercury for the noughties. In the end, it all went a bit pear-shaped but nothing can take away from the blast of fresh air he initially provided with this invigoratingly different tune. A sparkling glass of pink champagne fizzing over with pure unadulterated pleasure.
10. Standing In The Way Of Control – Gossip (7)
The rave-up to end all rave-ups, Standing In The Way Of Control became the anthem for hedonists across the country when its thumping beats and strident synths scored the wild wasted house party advert for the first series of Skins. But I’m not going to hold that against it. Standing In The Way Of Control is a chunky beefed-up sweaty slice of party central and everyone’s invited.
11. The Way I Are – Timbaland & Keri Hilson (1)
It’s only so low because of the glaring grammatical error in the title. A track guaranteed to make me get my funk on (not as naff as it sounds, promise), featuring a pulsating bassline set against souped-up electro beats, it’s a clean and cool three minute adrenaline ride. Timbaland’s grunting never sounded so good.
Three nearly but not quites…
Tony The Beat – The Sounds, Chelsea – Stefy, Back To Black – Amy Winehouse