I know I said that I didn’t plan to feature many non-UK acts in these pop music series, but I wanted to tell the story of this singer because the song brings back memories. Just like Scent, whose single I looked back at recently, this is another one that falls into a genre I invented called “videos turning up on TMF in the afternoon”. I’m surprised they had time for any, considering how many adverts for ringtones they showed (never mind your Crazy Frog, whatever happened to Sweety The Chick?).
And well, having often done that, hoping to find something good, this one took me by surprise and stood out as a great piece of electropop. Annie is a singer from Norway, and in September 2004 “Chewing Gum” was released, which turned out to be her only Top 40 hit single in the UK. Now this was still in the pre-YouTube days, so when I wanted to discover some new songs I might like I had to take a chance on what would turn up on music channels at various times.
I just liked this one, along with the rather unusual video, for which it seems she was cloned especially. “Chewing Gum” reached no. 25, and at this time TMF seemed to have a policy of only showing videos that entered the chart in the Top Ten and stayed there for weeks on end, meaning that anything that charted any lower promptly vanished from the playlist, leaving the rather unusual situation of me never having seen the video on TV since.
Annie also namechecks herself in this one, just like in “The Look Of Love” by ABC (well any excuse to go on about that one again). And she also performed this on Popworld. I know that Top Of The Pops was still considered the main music show on TV at the time (just about), but who could miss the chance of also appearing on Channel 4 on a Sunday at about 9am whilst being mildly mocked by the hosts?
“Chewing Gum” was taken from the debut album “Annie-Mal”, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a terrific pun. She did go on to have some more hit singles in 2005 and 2008, these were great too but they didn’t make the Top 40, and she did collaborate with a few other acts, but I suppose that means that Annie can be added to the list of singers who did well but should’ve been much bigger.