I shall begin by explaining why there haven’t been that many blog pieces lately. This is because after about 2½ years, I have finally had the virus. I never really thought that it would happen to me, and although it wasn’t a very pleasant experience, it turned out to be not as horrible as I thought it would either, and I am feeling much better now.
But I took some time to think about what pop music piece I would like to do next, and I thought that I should reveal the answer to the question – what was the first single that I bought? Well the answer to this is… none really. It might seem odd, but as much as I enjoyed songs on the radio and TV when I was younger, it never really occurred to me to visit the nearby Woolworths and buy anything like that, maybe it’s an experience that I’ve missed out on.
However, I do remember being given a cassette of a song one Christmas, so maybe that is the first song that I had, even if I didn’t buy it myself. I know that plenty of people will definitely not consider this one to be a “great moment”, and the fact that this played such an important part in increasing my interest in pop music might come across as mildly ridiculous, but here’s the story.
In the 90s there was Noel’s House Party, the popular Saturday Night TV show. One of the features was the Gotchas, where a prank was played on an unsuspecting celebrity, and then they would receive an award for their trouble. In the second series, the idea was to base some of these pranks around a fake children’s TV show, and a character was created to feature in these.
Mr Blobby looked rather horrible, being rather big, with pink with yellow spots, and said nothing but “blobby”, nobody would enjoy this for real would they? But when he started to make further appearances on this show, and came across as amusingly accident-prone, there was much surprise at the realisation of the potential of turning this into a proper TV character.
This reached a peak in December 1993 when “Mr Blobby” was released, a single that celebrated the achievements of this character, and it was hoped that this could even be the Christmas Number One. Helping was the rather amusing video, which featured parodies of other famous music videos including “I Can’t Dance” by Genesis. This actually did reach Number One, but was then replaced by Take That, the biggest band on the scene at the time.
But then “Mr Blobby” went back up to Number One, the first time that this had happened on the chart for 24 years. People were stunned, nobody outsells Take That! Well that was a memorable Christmas, I don’t think I still have the cassette though. The follow-up “Christmas In Blobbyland” was released in December 1995, and reached no. 36. His influence will last long after we’ve all gone I’m sure.