Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Solid Gold Chartbusters

I’m afraid I am about to post a music video which ranks as one of the most annoying songs of all time:

Once you have watched it, and presumably received relevant counselling, I’ll explain myself.
The song is called “I want a 1-2-1 with You”, unsurprisingly, by a band calling themselves the Solid Gold Chartbusters, but who are actually better known as The KLF. It wasn’t a very big hit, being released in the run-up to Christmas in 1999 along with other novelty songs.
But it’s notable for being one of the first songs to use a ringtone as part of the main melody, in this case the default tone used by Nokia phones. Of course, in 1999 we didn’t even have polyphonic ringtones, never mind MP3s, so it was a series of beeps. And the “1-2-1 with you” idea was almost certainly inspired by the UK mobile network One2One, originally part of Cable & Wireless and since bought out by Deutsche Telekom and re-branded T-Mobile.
Why am I mentioning this? In 2005, some marketer who probably deserves a rather painful death came up with the idea of combining the Crazy Frog ringtone with the song Axel F, in this instance covered by the Bass Bumpers. This song, rather unfortunately, went on to be UK number 1 and spawned a whole album of songs which were mercilessly destroyed by El Frog. At the time, it was claimed that this particular cover of Axel F was the first time that a ringtone had been made into a single, as opposed to the other way around which is what normally happens. While it was the first ringtone-based song ever to be number 1, it certainly wasn’t the first song to be released.
It also happened to one of those random songs that I vaguely remember seeing on MTV 10 years ago that for some reason surfaced in my mind, and so I decided to share it. You’re probably wishing I hadn’t, though.

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