What is my favourite Number One single of them all, you probably haven’t wondered? Well it’s a tough choice, but there’s a good chance that it’s this one. The story of how this came to be a success is one of the more interesting ones of its era as several unlikely things happened. Firstly, the situation on the singles chart in 2000 was rather curious. This was the year when there were 43 chart-toppers, the highest-ever turnover.
Sales were good, but the way that songs were marketed around this time meant that they were played on TV and radio far in advance of their release, and many big acts avoided each other, meaning that if you looked at the future releases list you could probably predict what would be Number One for the next six weeks. Everyone got their brief turn at the top, and it was all rather predictable.
Then someone at a record label must’ve made a miscalculation as in August 2000 two songs were released in the same week that both had the potential to be a chart-topper. Only one could succeed though, meaning that this was suddenly turned into the most intriguing chart challenge since Oasis v Blur five years earlier. But whose side would I be on?
Firstly, there was “Groovejet” by Spiller, an Italian producer. Now I really liked this, although I didn’t realise at the time that this sampled 1977 disco song “Love Is You” by Carol Williams. I thought to myself how could I possibly like this one even more, and then when I discovered who the vocalist was, I did like this one even more! Critics were impressed by this one too.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor was the vocalist with indie band theaudience, who released some singles and an album in 1998. I do remember them, and Sophie even appeared on the cover of Melody Maker as they were tipped for big things. But then they split in 1999, and I was disappointed as I thought that Sophie had missed her chance to be a big pop star, so it was great to discover that she was back on the scene, although this was a genre change.
Then there was Garage group True Steppers with “Out Of Your Mind”, featuring guest vocals by Dane Bowers from Another Level, and Victoria Beckham, which was notable as this was Posh’s first non-Spice Girls single. As the race got closer, promotion for this single was described as “desperate”, as Victoria visited a Woolworths in Oldham (although I don’t know if they thought the desperation came from the Woolworths or the being in Oldham).
When the chart was finally announced, “Groovejet” had triumphed, I was so pleased for Sophie, and Spiller must be the tallest person to have ever had a UK Number One single. There was only one week at the top, but at least this got there, and I have the maxisingle. Sophie went on to launch her successful solo career in 2001, although Spiller would go on to have only one more minor Top 40 hit.