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September 7, 2004

London,.A panel ~f judges picks its way through the previous yea,r s twelve best British pop singles The act responsible for the most popular single . pockets twenty quid in cash,


The 2003 judging process was rather lively. Tempers flared as singles by Amy Studt and Lisa Scott-Lee were jettisoned early on. while some judges argued their point through the medium of dance. Other Judges discussed Daisy S Club's ascent into womanhood with alarming conviction. Later on Mls-teeq's 'Scandalous' made it through to the final three, then got kicked out when someone attempted an Alesha rap. 'What I Go To School For' and 'No Good Advice' went head to head In the final round. during which one judge stormed out, branding the evening a farce. And then 'No Good Advice' won. (Just forthe record, we didn't fix it, although if 'No Good Advice' wasn't winning we probably would have intervened, so hurrah for the veneer of democracy.) One year on, the 2004 shortlist is full of exciting smgtes- and Keane'swhich continue to keep pop alive. Singles are still the songs we hear on the radio and see on the TV, unless we watch later With Jools Holland. in which case we're basically asking for trouble. The 're the songs good enough to make us buy albums and the songs we skip through those albums to hear. When our iPods are full the singles remain, gloriousl undeleted, Most importantly, bnlliant, if only for are triumphs over careers of current Over the next few singles permit even the ropiest of talents to be 100'16 210 seconds. Maybe some of the shortlisted singles talentlessness: others are landmark momen!s In the and future pop superstars. But they're all bnllianL pages, the people who made them will tell you why.


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No guitars! Indie comes of age. Tim's on the phone.,
Have we nominated the right Keane single? Well there was the Fierce Panda one, 'ThiS Is The Last Time', but that was a bit rough and ready, wasn't it? No, I think you should go with this one. I think 'Somewhere Only We Know' IS my tavounte because it conjures a particular atmosphere. I find 'Everybody's Changing' a bit d pressing. to be honest. It reminds me of weird things and less happy times. It'll be a bawllng-ln·the-corrldors freshers anthem this autumn, won't It? Yeah, that's very tru . I hope It makes them feel happier rather than even worse. Wh n I went to Unl I spent the first two we ks talking to nobody, and everyon else seemed Ilk they'd known each other forever. I think I so nt the whole of th first year listening to 'Parklife'. Let's have a look elsewhere on the shortlist. What's tickling your fancy? I really liked th Jamella single· she's been domg rather well, hasn't she? 'Sweet Dreams My LA Ex' was a good one too. And the Will Young song, which probably Isn't a very cool thing to say, but there you go. That one had a good vrd 0, too, Plea e explain the ghoulish ghosty things In the video. Well, there's a hne In the song- 'slmple thing. Where have you . and that aspect was something we tgone?' pick up We came up With these cr ated to With our friend who directed the vid ures There's a Japanese animation adve~~~re Is It like Caspar The Friendly Ghost? Well I'm sure it's a Similar sort of VIbe W just liked the Idea of kind of hiding a";a e a particularly remote part of the world ~ In from the weirdness, When we PlaYthe'so~ay their hearts light up and start beating andg they have th confidence to come out: It did rather seem: 'We've finished the video, we've got five grand left, let's Whack In some ghosts In post-production'. Haha, yes, maybe it does look a bit like that But It was all pre-planned. Does this nomination mean more than your Mercury nomination? (Diplomatically) Well obviously It's a huge honour to be nominated for the Popjustice Prize, and good luck to all the other nominees. In the band we get excited in a very childish way about any sort of nomination. I haven't won anything for ages, apart from the high jump at school at th age of eleven, How high did you jump? God. I vaguely remember It being one metre forty, Does that sound likely? It depends how short or tall you were, I suppose. But anyway, I haven't achieved much in the Intervening seventeen

(Will Young)

Leave Right Now

A video at a snootsome art 'opening'. It could only be ... Well, In the pop arena, it could only be Will Young ...
I behave sligh ty more bon gr, do for someone of 24. Bu S·e-.e !old me I have a young VOice. so I don· _now where I am I have a spilt ide1r.r. Igpt a 3m off the back of RadiO 1hstene Bu1 I\oe only been dOing tms for two tears SO dOn have a clue how It works on ba5Ica " that If you were to sta ta ng pIayIJSts :00 seriously you'd never g an album !Shed because your busmess is also)'OUr a 'IOU see. Hm'M That sounded rather pretenuoos, dodn do apologise Speaking of pretentious, we noted wl Interest your On Camera Off Ou 'art' book ... Art? Well (laughs), It was really more the case tha I thought, 'Let's spare he words and JUst hrow some PI ures In' And there It was. Was It The Real You, or [u t some staged pies of you brushing your teeth? Well, y s, It's me, in PolarOlds, ISn't I 1 Mile a hmg about books I find them a bit funrry. Why is my face on he cov r of a boo ? But had ttus collection of PolarOids. so I thoug)n I'd carry on taking them and do a boo of them, It's ruce In that respect because 'Ou can see how much uglier I've become over he past two years. You chose to promote the single wit an Attitude cover In which you were In the bath. Why were you In the bath? I did ask myself he same cues Ion as I was actually steppmg In 0 he bath. t res a laugh. though A laugh In a bath, If you wllI,WIII. Hm .. And yet In a the picture showed both sides of our character ou were wearing a suit, and therefore erlou But you were also In the bath amu Ing You are a man of man face W II yes. I suppose that's on way of looking at It. notner t ' III Young. He's dirty, and a bit we' Hal·

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Why are we doing this on the phone? I don't know I hougnt we wer domg It In person We wanted to do It In person. So did I I'm only at home. I could have made you tea and cast. I've already b en up since 7am. (Thinks) You see, once you get Into a routine you can't get out of It. I like to do things, I'm not very good at JUs sitting around. I've already been to Boots trus morning, which of course was very glamorous. 00 you have an Advantage card? I don't I used to, when I was at university, but I lost It. And now I think that however many cards you have, you'll only get five POints on them and you'll get a miniature tube of toothpaste and thaI's about It, and It seems a waste of time. 'Leave Right Now' spearheaded your serious 'n' Jazzy new musical direction, As we now know It had a happy endIng, but were you worried that nobody was going to be Interested? Er, yes. I Just thought: 'Hopefully people will enjoy this', I certainly didn't want to get too selt-mdulgent . I wrote some songs last year which were just so wanky that I couldn't believe it. Sometimes people love that kind of thing, though, It's a bit of a balance, Isn't it? We've actually lost our copy of your album, so It's difficult to remember. Oh. Hahahal (?)


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(Girls AloUd)

The Show
It entered the NUmber Two slot. But It's not about bumming. Or IS It? Let's ask Cheryl...
Non. 0( 1151 I llouldn let ~m' I dOO thin" any 0( WI would for "ent'! pound Nobody In their (lgIlt mind llould do th3t rlgIlt? Madness If you only had £20 left In he wOf1d. what would you spend It on? y dogll've gpt twO dogs. yrrth the 1st one I bumped into a gang 0( young lack one' nigJ1t and they were going to dra,m rtf I rescued It. But my family already had a dog. so I had to tell them that I'd found It outsKle Kwtksave. We ended up keeprng hel, and then she had a PUPil)' means Ihave a rrttle daughter. Idon get to see them much 00", it's very sad. You ca n WI all SOftS of things Of dogs these dl¥. you knc",. Iwas in a shop recently and they had little dog tan" tops WIth uffy hoods. rd buy them one 0( those, each
If you saw a flat for rent at £20 per week, In wha sort of 'ordel' would you expect to lind It? Oott, twen quid? That would be ruce. wouldn it. I'll tell you What, If I paid twenty quid a week I bet' would suD be in the same condition as the one Ilrve in now and whICh I pay a hell of a lot more for. I s a total sta el Takeaway cartons evesywhere. dirty dIShes... But that's just because I live WIth

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If you bought £20 worth of toilet roll and put It on the pavement, what level of window could you Jump out of and not get hurt? I tnm possibly, if you piled It carefuly enough you could easily Jus walk ou of a first floor window, rather than jump. At the very worst it would be a small hop. You need to be safe when you do that sort of thing. I suppose if you could walk from a first floor window, you could probably Jump from the second floor.
What, In your pop song, Is 'the show'? It depends how you Interpret it, I guess. On the Video we took it to mean a show as in a TV show, playing characters. Lyncally though I'd take the show to mean that nobody sees what I've got to give onut,., I'm ready. Some people have mentioned (Splutters) Ohhhil anal sex.

The £20 note also features a nice picture of the west face of Worcester Cathedral. What's your favourite thing about Worcester? Worcester sauce. You knew I was going to say that, didn't you? I don't know very much about Worcester, you see. I wonder why they chose the west face? Which Is your best face? hi I don't particularly have one. Althoug suppose some days I look better on o~~a~ side than the other. NOb~d~S.:~~:n~ got I've Just decided it. I deci e I when my second set of teeth. You knoW g? Oh you're younger, and they're groWln ' never mind, Who out of Girls Aloud would to sell their soul for £20?

later on In this publication, Shaznay promises to spent her £20 on lottery tickets. Ahl Good womanl Clever woman. Yes. If you were to do the same, would you go for scratchcards or the weekend draw? I'd probably select them all separately. I'd do £5 on numbers I'd picked myself, £10 on lucky dip, and another £5 on scratchcards. Although I'll be honest, I've never had any success at all with lottery tickets. Hang on . what day is it? Mondayll'm going to put one on for Wednesday. Why don't we both do the lottery on Wednesday and If either of us wins, we have to split the cash?

b most likely

(Shaznay Lewis)

Never felt Like This Before

There's a ball in the tree! Shaznay's trying to get It out! How strange!

It's the album of the year!

say the tune of 'Never Felt Uk have to say a ten, wouldn't I, r ally? I'd hav to have belief m It And I did And I do And It does ound precl ely like failing love Well, that's how I f It that d y. In


This Before' I'm Mark Goodl r- h VOIce of compilation Iliterall shn platinum discs! Anyway. h re's how you can make a POPJus ce £20 Music Prize CD

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Old you see It as something of a miracle that you managed to get any solo material out at all, conSidering mo t london artists were either dropped or lost down the back of a filing cabinet? Not r ally. I Just had to g t my head around recording th nght songs Ther w r a coupl I'd wntten rrght at th start which I Just went In a re loo] d a bit. 'N ver Felt, .. ' was one of the first ongs I wrot ,about a year and a half ago, and I wrot the rest of the album around It. As was obvious to all but the wildly stupid. ",'m I~to you like a badass tune was the best line on your song. Thank you. That's alright. Were you cock-a-hoop when you wrote than line? I don't even know why I salel III But people keep say,ng how much they like that line, so I'm glad I thougnt 0 f

During the single campaign It was nice to , see you looking happy on CD:UK, after you d quite obvlou Iy spent a few year In All Saint being utterly bored. Oh y ahl Yeah. Totally It felt like I was start d It I;t over agam, In the best posstbte way. And It ~idn't feci like ( was coming off the back of anything, and It was 0 refre hrng and great nd ( loved it Plus, It was gr at not .to have big expectations trns tnne around It mans that anything that happens makes me feel really chufted. Okay. But some people were talking about the Single as a potential Number One. Why didn't It do better? Well there was a lot of stuff around In the Top 10 from the pr vious week, and I think If we were talking now about my s cone or third srngle then, yes, II would hav; be~n a disappointing position. But I don t thrnk ev ryon knew I was back, simply becau~e I hadn't been plastered everywhere on radio and TV and that's the way I wanted It. Now ('m mo~e careful about what I do and don't do. I know I don't have to do everything. And when It comes down to it, I was hoomg for Top 10, and I got that, and now I've got somewhere else to go. So I'm cool With it. Would the single have done better or worse If you hadn'l been In All Saints? Ooh, Oh. I don't know. I couldn't even answer that. That's a difficult one. Only becau~e of the time pan and the age I'm at now. I m lucky though because, inevitably, you write for your p ers, so I'm Writing for my generation a lot, and p ople seem to have IIke~ that. Actually, I've never wntten for a partlclar type of person.

Burn th Singles of th y ar onto a CD R.

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If you end up laking home the amazing Popjustlce £20 prize fund, what will you spend It on?



A dnnk. A really expenSive drink. No _wait _ III Spend it on twenty lottery tickets. So It COuld get up to £20,000. It's time to leI you retrieve your dog's ball. Thank youl l'rn waving a broom around now, trying to get it out of the tree. Byel •

On a scale of one to ten, how badass would you

(Rachel stevens)

Some Girls
Well. It was a Rachel record before it was a charity record. Then one day, Fuller goes, 'It's a charity Single', I'm like, 'Cheers mate'. But I like the perversity of it. I love the fact that I've accidentally done a charity Single. I'll stand behind it. And I'll stand behind Rachel. Nobody's ever made a good charity record, have they? 'Do They Know It's Christmas' was brilliant! I preferred the o-slde even worth sending 0 Girls Aloud because Brian HigginS was doing the whole n w album. Old the song work so well with Rachel because she didn't have a huge personality to get In the way of things? I don't think Rachel does have a personality problem, actually. The problem with wntlng snappy pop songs is that there aren't many people who can sing them- and Rachel's one of the few Who can It's not about her being in the papers or on FHM lists, there's just something very modern about 1Il~ ,"'IS,,,!>, !\!J1l.t1 f4t(,fi her She is a modem pop Icon. Of-"CIlei!N rq' (ruff', JIM 01) I can't explain my tastes when _________ ~ it comes to pop mUSIC. I like some things, and don't like other things. And Rachel's one of the things I like. How many other songs like 'Some Girls' do you have In your big secret cupboard of pop? Who's getting them? There's a few things I've done recently on my own or With Hannah and I've JUst done some stuff with Karen Poole. I find it hard to work within the world of pitching songs to artists, which is mostly how pop works. You'll get a sheet through WIth stuff like, 'Adam Rlckltt· looking for song lil<e Will Young', or, 'We need Beyonce/Brandy/Bananarama megahit for awkward young untalented pop child' And then I listen to my distorted tracks with me Singing on them, and I look at all my broken synthesizers, and I realise there's not really that many artists that could do them. Having said that we are working on something I think Kylie will like. It's sort of like Airwolf ... God, I bet she can't wait Who would win In a fight between you and Alison Goldfrapp? Physically or legally? I Imagine Alison could batter me to a pulp. I hope this doesn't happen. Finally, If 'Some Girls' wins the twenty quid, who gets the cash? In theory, shouldn't trus be RaChel's. money? Although, obVIOusly, With thIS single she's been extremel chantable so I should go to into Mr Fuller's big chaf_lty hat If I'm given the mone I Will buy a gumea pig and call it Rachel. '

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Was this actually a Rachel single, or Is It just a Richard X single with a girl singing on top? That's a difficult one. 19 will ha e my bollocks on a plate If I say the wrong thing here. Well, naturally, the record belongs to both of us. Was anyone remotely bothered about the nature of the lyrics? No 1 saw Rachel at TOrp (see Richard's Star Bar P'C nght) and she didnt scratch my eyes out. In fact she seemed to like it. Well suppose she has to now. I think people would be more bothered if they found out who It was about. Is this song better than 'Sweet Dreams M LA Ex', Which Is also In the shortlist? I0 • that' difficult. Yes and no 0 and yes. haven' real!) hstend 0 'LA EX' much hiS year, but I trun In he context of What pop

records were last year It was incredible.

It was one of those tracks that insplfed you to think, 'Yes, you can stili get away with something popular and futuristic'. That hasn't really answered the ouesnon. has it? I think it's as good, but in another way. God, I'm useless. My money ISon 'Superstar'. Was It a total disaster and crushing disappointment that 'Some Girls' 'only' got to Number Two - do you now wish you'd held the song until they were putting together the next Brltney album? Personally I wasnt expecting it to go so high. I probably shouldn't say that, but it's true. After seeing the video I really thoUg~t It was all over bar the chanty shouting, It s strange that we live in a popworld where only Number One singles seem to count, As far as I'm concerned, the only problem With getting to Number Two is people bnng up the old Ultravox/Joe Dolce thing continually. "m the only one allowed to for dredge up the pop past round here. As Bntney I don't think it would have sUlte~ her a~d she didn't call. So who knoWS When did you know single? that It was going to

Old Simon Fuller want anything about the song changed? I did assume it was going to be, like, 'Oh, can you turn down that synthesizer a bit?'. As it happened, the only thing he wanted was for me to turn up my own backing vocals. Simon has obviously seen some talent In my vocal ability. I Imagine he wants me for the next Will Young. Virgin didn't see that potential. They saw me as a knob pusher. Simon's seen the inner me. Well, not literally. He's feeling me. Again, not literally.


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Isn't It quite encouraging that an electro glam stomper can be deemed appropriate both to relaunch a popstar's career and to front a BBC charity? Yeah. A couple of years ago it was really difficult to make people understand that modern pop records didn't have to be made a certain way, or to sound a certain way, whereas now I think people have realised that things have to stand out. To start with I was a bit concerned about the tokenism of them getting me involved, as if it was some attempt to throw Rachel into the mythical world of credibility where you get played down at Trash as well as on Radio One. Then it struck me that nobody cares who I am, People planning BBC Sport Relief don't care that I've done a track With Tlga. literally, no-one gives a shit. 'Some Girts' wasn't written for Rachel, What was the Inspiration? The Inspiration was actually this: 'Imagine how good a modern pop song can be'. It was actually written With Girls Aloud in mind, but we ('Some Glris' was co-written With Hannah Robinson] knew it wasn't

be a charity

surrender (Your Love)

See It for what It IS, right? Hang on, you're confusmg me. What IS what? What's what Is. I don't know. Tell us, then, In the context of 'Surrender', what Is what Is what Is. Well In the song It'S about a girl who's With a guy and the guy is basrcauy Just wamng for something better to come along. And she lost her virginity to him, too, but he's just playing around. She's fallen head over heels, he's Just broken her virginity ... Broken? That sounds rather painful. Oh, sorryl Well. Erm, he has 'taken' her virginity. Let's move on. Who do you like on the Popjustlce Music Prize shortlist, and who do you think will win? They're all great songs. My favourite has to be the Shaznay track, and obviously 'Leave Right Now' is brilliant. And 'Superstar', I don't like the Bunton one. I'm not a fan. MUSically I guess I can see why Busted and McFly are popular - and they're talented mussctans - but they're not what I'd choose to listen to, m a million years. The prize fund Is £20. What will you spend your cash on? I'll take some friends for a dnnk. I'll get the round in.

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The whole 'Surrender".flopplng business. AnnOying? It was very disappointing, that whole time. I thought It was such a strong song. And the thing is that I fought With my record company to release that one. And then when it didn't do well, I Just felt so stupid. I'd fought so hard. Maybe It was JUst the wrong lime. Nobody will ever know. We there a post-mortem? Not really 81It you see the thing that stops me feeling bad about It IS that I stili rcally believe In the song, even now It stili sounds fresh.

It's the towest-charting song on the shortlist. Does that mean It's the least brilliant? No. I think In music It'S difficult to define what's good and what's crap, and basing It on chart POSitions is the least reliable way of domg It. People, I suspect, are often hypnotised. Are you finding things a bit of an uphill struggle at the moment. A little. But sometimes it's good to get a bloody knock in the face. I'm going to come back up a lot stronger. No·one can take my talent from me, It's always going to be there and I'm always going to be doing sometmng with It Well, it Is what It Is what It Is. Exactlyl Tell me about itl What Is It? What's what? Whatever Is what Is what Is.

Is £20 more or less than you'll end up making on royalties? Yeah, probablyl Haha ha. Oh, don't, you're making me all depressed now and I'm so not. My single's Number One in Japan light nowl Was Garfield: The Movie better to be associated with than Coca-Cola's comedy bottled water fiasco? on, completely. (Laughs) That was Just one of them things, wasn't it? Fortunately I don't think anyone related me to the oesarn thing, so people weren't on my case. If you don't have a big hit at some point, is that basically it for your record deal? I haven't spoken about that with Innocent but a lot of people are thinking that. It's a business, isn't It? I see reality. If that happens It happens. I will still make another album. I Know hundreds of producers. I was working on my own tracks before Poostars. I couid make a Wicked album and put It out myself. I'll be fine ••

0 When It's worth a trip to Woolworths 0 When it makes you feel like oancmg 0 When It makes you wet 0 When you pay £1.99 for the CD 0 When you pay £3.99 for the nngtone 0 When you risk a lawsuit to download it 0 When you'd play it If you were sad 0 When you'd play it if you were happy 0 When you never want it to end 0 When It'S for weddings, and a funeral 0 When It'S on your desert Island CD·R 0 When It makes you laugh 0 When it helps you fall In love 0 When you Wish you'd written It yourself 0 When It'S your karaoke anthem 0 When it's your most played rlunes song 0 When It stili surprises you after a year 0 When It makes you feel mighty real 0 When It'S worth a row In a pub 0 When it features neither Sam or Mark 0 When you can't Imagine how it was made 0 When you call The Box to see the Video 0 When the key change makes you smile 0 When It sounds like nothing else

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Five Colours In Her Hair

tncldent. I think he's set the example. (?I) It all depends on what you're cooking, too. Microwave goods are best to cook In the nude. Would you like to Issue a statement now, warning fans of the dangers of nude cookery? Yes: don't do it. Wear a dressmg gown. And make sure it's a non-flammable one. On the single you changed ·"d I/ke to bone her" to "I'd I/ke to phone her". Was that also for the beneflt of your young and cherubic audience? It was mainly for my mum's benefit, because to her I'm stili a virgin and she'd kill me for saying that I'd like to bone a glfl. At what age should kids learn about the facts of boning? Children already know. When we do TV shows they're always, like, 'You can't say shag', or whatever, but It's the parents who get offended. People absolutely underestimate kids' Intelligence. Although to be fatr I was Quite naive when I was younger it wasn't until I moved rnto the McFly house that I started to learn ... Stuff. The single was Number One for two weeks. Which Number Ones from the last year deserve to have been Number One for zero weeks or less? That Frankee song certainly got on my nerves. Last week on the chart countdown they played Eamon. then literally skipped ten songs Just so they could play the Frankee Single straight afterl Like, why would you want to play the same song twice? It should be illegal. Worst Radio. Ever. I should get someone to do a response song to something I've written, and milk the song for all It'S worth. Us a nd Busted should do response songs to each other. They could ~e, like, 'We've had a bust-up!' and I'll go, I don't know. who they are, I've never met them In my hfe'. That's what I'U do. Popstars say they'll keep their feet on the ground. Next thing, they're eating crack for breakfast. How will you keep It real? Weill do think we're down to earth ... And fortunately Harry's always been an arsehole so people can't accuse him of changing. ' !:t's, talk about the 'she' out of the song. he Is based on matey boy from popular :f slightly ropey T4 teen drama As If. Which s fine. But do you think As If has had a negative effect on more serious dramas like Hol/yoaks? ' The thing is, I never really got Into Hollyoaks but I do like As It. Harry likes Hollyoaks but • I've never understood it. So I don't know. How many colours do you think 'she' has In her pubic hair? Well that:~ a very soectai region a nd maybe too sensiuvs to dye too often. so unless she was born With a hair colour deficiency I'd say It's Just one colour. Her natural half Colour IS blonde, incidentally. 'She' has got a liprlng and five colours In her hair. Why does she have a liprlng In her hair? (Groans) Well, er, we thought It would be a cool twist on a Itp ring. To have It In her hair. At the end 'she' shaves her hair off. How dramatic! Which famous bald celebrities do you think could play her In the film of the song? Demi Moore, I think, In her GI Jane garb, would be best. You can tell a girl's gorgeous when she's still amazmg looking even without hair. What about Sigourney Weaver? Not so much, no It would actually be Quite a good 'Sk8er Bol' type movie, WOUldn't It? That would be brilliant! I would like that. As long as I'm not in It But - the joys of being a songwriter stili get loads of cash! Exactly. - you'd

R.I. 50 date. Man:h 29. 200A HlgbHI UK Chari potftlon NumbcrOrwr WritOti Tom fletch.r, Oonny Jo .... ,

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The single McFlew in at umber One. And then stayed there! Tom talks ...
Tom. Imagine, just for one second, that you had twenty pounds In the bank. What would you spend It on? I'd spend It on a Pizza. That, Tom, would be an expensive pizza. Alright then . A pIZZa and some SPICY chicken wmgs It would be a medium sized pizza, A Meaty One from Przza-go-gc. Looking down the SCientifically devised POpjustfce shortlist, who do you think shOUld win the prIze? They'll all beat us hands down, won't they? They're massrve songs. I'd probably go for 'Some Girls' by Rachel Stevens. because she's very very hot 10 the video and it's a really cool song.

You're up against Busted. Are you scared? Oh yeah. I'm crapping myself. (Laughs) And anyway, I wrote some of 'Crashed The Wedding' and James wrote some of 'Five Colours In Her Hair', so we both win either way. Matt and Charlte might care ... When you're 40 and a twat greets you In the street with "Do do do do • DO!", will you want to wrap a bin round his head? I'm pretty sure I'll want to do that, yes. The funny thing is that nobody's done that to us yet I remember when the first Busted single came out they used to have people going 'Oillil WHAT I GO TO SCHOOL FOR' In literally every shopping centre they'd go Into. But with us - nothing. Maybe It will start now. Maybe It will. Thanks for that.

'She' goes Insane because she can't take the fame. Do you have a favourite Insane pop personality? Yes: Peter Andre. Because he is msanta, We're not going to accept that flImsy answer, Tom. James Brown. thenl We met James Brownl At the Olympic Torch event. I can't even remember what I said to him - I would unagme it was something along the lines of, 'Your performance was really good' How horribly lame. Do you think he was excited to meet you? • Oh I'm sure he was over the moon I m sure it certamly wasn't a case of 'Who the hell are these Idiots?' .•

I!I'IIII!~ Have

your fans suffered any burns after copying your song's evil lyrics about a girl cookIng In the nude? No I would certainly hope not. Not after Danny's httle

(Rachel Stevens)

Sweet Dreams My LA Ex
The greatest solo S Club single of them all! Here's Rachel. ..
Why dId the 'Funky Dory' follow·up single bomb so badly? It Just didn't work, I know why It didn't work Well, I know some of the reasons why It didn't work, For a start, It was released too arly - 'LA Ex' was sun massive 'Funky Dory' got lost. DUring that week I was, like, 'Shit, This IS reaUy bad' Afterwards I knew I needed to make sure it didn't happen again, We had meetings, What was said? I spoke to Simon, my manager, and to the record label. They all said, 'It was released too early and that's It' Did anyone get a bollocklng? (Ignoring the quesnon) It was such a different ype of song from 'LA Ex' I don't think It was a bad song .., Both your nomInated sIngles are pretty modern pop songs, Could S Club 7 ever happen again? I don't know, It's all changed so much now, hasn't It? I suppose if we released 'Bring It All Back' In 2004, I'm not sure how well It'd do, I guess ther 's S Club 8 now, and they've released some really poppy songs, but they haven't done amezmgiy well, Acts hke Busted and Avril Lavigne changed a lot. But I'm still really proud of haVing those S Club wedding diSCO ffoorfillers like 'Reach' and 'Don't Stop Movin" I love having a few ftoorfillers under my belt. Are other artists Jealous that songs like 'Some GIrls' and 'LA Ex' have gone to you? Maybe, and that's a shame, But, y'know, 'TOXIC'went to Bmney, and I'm fine With that, That'S Just how It goes Were 'LA Ex' or 'Some Girls' any better fronted by you, Rachel Stevens, than If they'd been fronted by anyone else? I don't know, A good song IS a good song, and oeoole Will either like It or they won t. And that's it. And lot of the time I don't think It m~tters who's smging something, as long as It'S a good song, •

(Emma Bunton)
The most bonkers solo Spice single of them all! Here's
Emma ...
Nowadays they re a bit more SerIOUS These days I prefer It If people Just al~ about my mUSIC,which a lot Of thp Irrn' people do, • Do you get a larger pile of cash now "ou., on 19 Records? 1 e Well, I ge a bigger percentage. yeah I want to be able to lOok after myself when I'm older - you can't Just stop worrying about money When you're 27, Did the SpIce GIrls ever actually bother splitting up, or are you a bIt like Abba? Hm. Well, we all Just started to do our solo careers - there was none of the moodiness or arguments you aSSOCiate With a 'normal' sph We stili laugll about how funny I 'd be to do a gig together in a Couple of years Rodney Jerkins hasn't done much since both the SpIce Girls' and Michael Jackson's last albums both bombed, has he? I'm not sure what he's been up to, Bu I stili think that album was he right thing for us to do, I understand now that I was a quick change - even a the time my bro her was, like, 'Why are you doing n?' In ten years, If everyone stopped doIng the AtkIns diet, would the sudden expansIon In body mass would cause space problems on public transport? I suppose that might happen The whole Atkrns thing went a bit far I think - I agree with bread and potatoes, but I don't understand not haVing fruil Finally, do you agree that the best bit In your 'Free Me' video was when you were on the boat and looked like you were on your back throwIng your legs In the aIr? YESI I can't believe so many people think that! When It was on TV my fnend phoned me: 'EMMAI Have you JUs flung your legs behind your head? ' Hitanousl Bu It's only my arms, honestJ •


R"ea •• d.te~ Sept mber 15


Hlgh•• 1 UK Chort posh Ion Num~rTwo

Wlnnbe'll/H Jonback
VIdeo Rachel

Wrilor. C 0<>00.. C Kansson P

'LA Ex' wasn't wrItten for you, How dId you make It your own? I went In and vocalled It. That's how anyone makes a song their own, The same with 'Some Girls' I sat In when that was being mixed, too. It's Important to me now to get Involved more, creatively, When you recorded 'LA Ex', dId you know Brltney had already knocked It back? I knew hat 'To IC' and 'LA Ex' had b en written at the same time, and I knew that Bntney had knocked It back, which I thought was fantastic, Cathy Writes stan king pop tracks GIven that you're singIng about Brltney and JustIn's relationshIp, how would you feel If Brltney decided to release a single about you and Jeremy Edwards? Hal That would be greatll would love that. I think though, to be honest. that It's fairly unlikely,

~::7;OO3 f9.

Emma, do you really smoke B&H? Off the record? No. Yes, Your 'Maybe' vIdeo was Insane, Thank you, I wanted something a bit weird It was styled on all those old musicals from the 40s • It took us a week and a half to choreograph, Were you annoyed that Beyonce released 'Crazy In Love' In 2003 and therefore blew any chance you might have had of scoopIng 'SIngle Of 2003' right out of the water? Um .., It's a great song, I don't know If It was single of the year, though, I preferred "03 Bonme & Clyde' more, PromotIng your new material now, do you ever wish you could go back to the days when you'd be front page news for failing off a pair of shoes? (LaughsJ That time was so weird, It was such weirdness - I fell over and there were press outside my door for three days, The press were sometimes cheeky but never nasty then,

Hlghelt UK Chart position: Number SIX WrHors: E BunIon/ '( Dond

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Crashed The Wedding

(asle•A fruit rainbOW.I'd pr f r just on bl bas ard cake tnstead of all hose shit on on lOPof each 0 ner- b cause hen It would be big enough for someon to hid tn and thenJumPout of £1 m nt of surprise. That s wha you ne d at a weddmg.

Squeezebox delights
artm, our residen casts his e e over




HIChHt UK Chart polftlon: NumbMOne

Br1dal howers. unpleasant, unhygienic and s perverseacts? (SighS) ell, I've only ever se n one, and W that was on somethmg like Friends But on that baSIS and that baSISalan they s m pretty pathetiC, Areyou of the opinion that brides should wear knickers underneath their wedding dresses? I think you'd have to take It on a bnde by bride basis but I'd like my particular bnde not to. Bear In mind that's just my opinion. Should non-virgins be banned from having a white wedding? NOIWeddings are brilliant for a day out. You see the wedding, then go to the party, have a fusktng laugh. It's great. Weddings are just bad and very, very funny. I love them. If your wedding DJtumed up without either 'Dancing Queen' or 'YMCA' In his box, would you have him taken outside and shot In the face? No, I would pat the man on the back and chuck out any shit he did have. They do play some awful records at weddings, don't they? Dreadful business.

Writ rs; James Bourne / Tom Fletch r

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It's unbelievable, we know, but when Busted returned in October they did so with a concept smgle. Matt sheds some ngnt..
Crashing 8 wedding Is rude. But what's the rudest wedding thing you could do? It's be something to do with getting off With the bride, If you weren't the groom. We were thinking more along the lines of spltroastlng the bride's mother with the best man. That is a step too far. But that would be very rude, you're nght, SoundS good. (?I) Where would you say Is the best place Is to get a wedding ring? I you wan quahty, go to Elizabeth Duke at

Argos. I once got a big fat sliver ring from Elizabeth Duke. They're not just beautiful pieces of Jewelry - they're afforable too. I would Imagine that you could easily get a ring out of the Argos catalogue for a hundred nicker. The marriage vow Is very sacred ... Exactly - and you can't say It better than with a nice big box from Argos. can you? That's how you say. 'I love you'. (Pause) Just Imagine if you proposed to your girlfriend With an Argos ring .. Wedding cakes are Just a load of cakes on top of each other. Nobody goes, 'Ooh. a block of flats, that's so much better than a bungalow'. Are weddIng cakes, then, Just a big can? Absolutelyl It's ridiculous. They're not even different ftavours, it's Just like different bits of the same cake. If the flavours were different, it would be like a spectrum of

Best celebwed: Charles 'n' DI or lIza 'n° Dave? I onlysaw little smppets of the uza one- but that kiss. The most revolting thing I've ever 5ee~1 You never see your parents snog, and that's th~ reason. People like that snogglng ISrepulsive. So L1zaand David is best for comedyvalue. :J:t~~OUld mldarry one other person from ' wou you choose Charlie or James? Oh god I'm not gomg to choose either of . hem

Jam~ o~~e,;, Wellhast'.s choice - spaced-out the y Impson? And also nelth Well, q UI e. t er of them are virgins . Haveyou ever h d ~nger In a ring? a trouble getting your 1m notanswe fuc (Hangs flng that question. You filthy
up) •

Hole In The Head

d' hit' stayed In 'Hole In The Head', The wor smoved from 'No Good Advice', but was re WhY? that when Girls Aloud sell as many I'm sure sugababes have, their work a: readily edited, Sugababes reco,rdse o won \b,y have a lot of adult buyers, which d :~r edit to them - and hopefully Girls Is d Will get those same people over time. T~~record company would have made the decISion to delete the word. You've told us in the past that, currently, op groups aren't getting a second chance rn terms 01 making a big impact. You worked with V on their second single. Was that their second chance? The story started year when Is~and asked us to work With V. We were right In the middle of Mania's album so we were unable to do I In April they asked me again, as they still felt that they didn't have an Ideal second single, and we agreed to meet the band. We thought they were grea Bright and motivated, with a lot of chansma, We've done four tracks With them and we're very happy With of all of them. I hmk V have the potential to be very big. When we decide to work With an artist it IS normally a decision based on personality and the challenge we feel it holds for us. I think V's first chart entry of Number Six wasn t bad, How much cash do labels spend marketing duff tracks Into the charts, blind to the fact that a decent song does a lot of the legwork Itself? Marketing IS a murky world - one in which music, great or poor, definitely takes a back seat, and money spent seems to start at SIX ~gures, although I think the general public IS more discerning than it was three years ago And don't forget that good pop records are as hard to come by as good records by traditional bands, You wrote Cher's 'Believe'. What's Xenomanla's next global hit? I ~ave genUinely no Idea. We're working With some very big international artists at the '!I0ment so I Would say the chance to do well Internationally over the next 12 months IS definitely there - we Just have to be as ;~~d as we can pOSSibly be, and make I a e we stay fresh and don't get too tired, so m not Sure at all if we Would ever do bu~,e~hlng on the sheer scale of 'Believe', the Sta~~d love to have another big hit In Is the pop Single ever likely to die out completely? In the case of hard copy CDs, I suppose the answ~r IS yes, Over time, methods of dehvery Will become easier and everyone Will have downloadable rnusrc at their fingertips, In terms of the pop Single as a PI ce of music disappear, I think not. Pop music Just goes through phases. At the moment, It has become very trendy to slag it off as a genre and the word 'manufactured' is pulled out at every opportunity. But over time a new se of producers and wnters Will emerge - these people Will be Influenced by the great pop writing of the last ten years and that Will be an influence for a high quality modern sound, Bands had it all gomg on In the mid 90s and then, a couple of years later with Spice Girls, modern pop dominated, In the last couple of years we've seen the resurgence of those bands, which IS the legacy of Britpop. The same will happen With pop music over the next few years as the bands start to fade creatively. I think It'S mevnable. What role have the Sugababes played in Xenomania's road to success? A crucial role. We first met them m October 2001 and we'd spent the prevrous twelve months working on our own musical direction, We were getting quite desperate as we were strugghng to connect With the predominantly R&B artists we'd get sen Our ideas seemed a bit out of place, and for that reason we connected With the Sugababes as I felt they too were a little out on a limb from the pop mainstream at the time. To me they represented something superior to what was out there. As a result, the Sugababes undoubtedly brought the best out of us as we always felt under pressure to produce results that would do Justice to their voices and overall talent. As it happens it was the pressure to match 'Round Round' that led directly to 'Sound of the Underground'. What role have Xenomanla played In the Sugababes' road to success? We found a way to make their songs more accessible without removing too much from their characters, ThiS crossed them over to a larger audience which helped them sell loads of albums. 'Overload', 'Freak. 'and 'Stronger' have also been crucial songs too - we're just very, very happy to have played a role, •

R.'Da .. d.te. o->m r 2. 2003 Hlthut UK Chor1 pooJtJon ~.Jrn~O BoanHr



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This single is one of two MUSIC Prize nominations for the xenornarua hitrnakrng collective, Brian Higgins was at the controls ..,
Is Rick' lake often 'on play' down at Xenomanla towers? Onl~ when Sugababes are In attendance They tend to watch a lot of the American shows like that when they re not smgmg, If 'Hole In The Head' wins the Twenty Quid Mu Ie Prize, who gets the money - your lot, or the band? The band Which hortllsted Ingles are your favourites? 'Leav Rtght 'ow', 'Sweet Dreams My LA Ex', 'scm GirlS' and 'Superstar' HalilOg discussed It with the team, we think for ov rail Ineertty and delivery, WIll'S record Wins, I there nythlng that the shortll ted Ingle all have In common? Th majority sound Ilk BntlSh records

they're not attempting 0 ape the huge volume of American product we're being served, And the majonty are sincerely trymg to give the artist a definite indiVidual Identity, which IS wha I '5 all about Why did 'Hole In The Head' get to Number One and 'The Show' Number Two? Was 'Hole In The Head' better? There are two contribu ing factors: firstly, Sugababes have the full support of all UK pop radro and Girls Aloud do not. Secondly, 'The Show' IS a qUirkier record and less easy to get your head around Why was 'Hole In The Head' eventually a Sugababes song rather than, say, a Girls Aloud song? The music was pretty much there before the song vas written, We'd gone away to write for three days Just to focus on Sugababes - I brought all of th backing tracks we'd mad over the last SIX months and as soon as the 'Hole In The Head' track came on I Instantly knew It was the single. Wrtting the melody and lyrics was asy, so sur were we about the music. Those moments of clarity are the best bit about th music busmess. We try to find p rf ct match S unique to the artist we are working with. It do sn' always work, but that's the aim.


She was teetering on the edge of the dumper! And then thanks to this song, Jamelia became the princess of R&Britpop ...
Forget about your Mercury nomination for a minute: how do you feel about recognttlon from Popjustlce? o be honest I hmk It'S made me the mos exerted rve ever been. About any award. las chance' And we Just wanted to make sure that the next song was a big hit. Although, to be fair, you must be sick to the back teeth of 'Superstar' now, Well, there was a pornt about four months ago where I jus didn't wan to hear hat song ever again, but when It started to become so successful around the world I enabled me to travel to so many brilhant places. It opened almost all the doors I've been through recently. so how can I hate It? Out of 'Superstar' by Jamella, 'Superstar' by The Carpenters, 'Supersta by Sonic Youth, 'Supersta by Usher and 'Superstar' by l dla Murdoch. which Is he best? IRe! 's definitely best. I don' even know who Somc Youth are! Basically if I haven' heard 0 somethlOg it can't be good. I only lISten 0 Qual' music. The Lydia Murdoch one was a response to to 'Billie Jean'ln the 80s, and was basically along the lines of, 'Yes the kid Is your son, you fool'. What would a manly response 10 your 'Superstar' be like? I'd like Usher's 'Superstar' 0 be a response 10 mine. In fact I'm going 0 stan a rumour that tha song was dedicated to me, H you were to wash yourseH with a famous dead dancer from the olden days, would It be some kind of soap Astalre? What? VVha the hell? Okay, that makes no sense. I understand tha n was meant to be a joke, but it was a rubbish one. Where do you buy your dinner? I like to cook my dinner. But if I buy it, I like to go to a place on Wardour Street In london called Mr Jerk, which sells wicked Jamaican food. I That's so wlckedl He said he wanted rk with me actually. That would be an '. if h IOterestlOg collaboration ever t ere was


onel He's worked with Holly Valance and she got out alive, so you mlg~t be alrlgh~ Oh I rove him, he's Wicked. I don t fancy hi~ hough. He's Quite a charmmg man, but charm doesn't get you everywhere. Nobody seems to have a bad word to say about you. Where's nasty Jamella? You knOw what? I'm not really a nasty person. Isuppose. Ican be a bit of a_ bitCh. I'd like to thlOk people appreciate my honesty. The sexual tension In the 'See It In A Bo(s Eyes' video was magnificent. Old you spend a bit longer filmIng the shower


Youre taking the piss, Jamella. Yes. tnm am sIlghtly. But It's alngh



will you spend the money on? If wen m 0 ootv.-or.hs I mtgh be able 10 pICk UD two COI>te:S of my album. 'Than You' wlllch IS Out no . (Guffaws) 000. and rs the speoat editJon. 00. "s ."nat would bu). do the ill Young and Emma Bunton singles. although 10 be honest I do deserve 0 Wha Did you hear the Chris ne Milton (of 'Danish popstrel' fame) version of "Superstar before you recorded your own version? '0 - dldn and I'm glad I dido because I' had don't thmk I would have recorded It' Because I must say, she did an awful job. wtry was It so bad? Because she's not mel It s just as well you did cover It, considering that your comeback single had gone In at Number 37. Exactl~' That's no one to be masstvely proud of. Hahal Do you knov. what? There's a nght lime for e,erythlng. And, a hough It's a cuche, everything happens for a reason, If I hadn't released 'Bout'. and If 'Bout' hadn't nopped 'wouldn have released 'Superstar'. So was 'Superstar' pulled out of the hat simply because 'Bout' had ftopped? Yes, that's exactly what happened. De nnely.VVhen 'Bout' did what It did, I did think to myself' 'The next Single IS my

on god!

scene than

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Here's a tip: penis. OIl my godl You can't say tha OIl goshl FJnally, was the ftngercllcklng In the 'Superstar' video a conscious attempt to revive the ancient art of the pop ftngercllcl<? Well ~f course. I thought it was only ngllt that it returned to ~e mUSIc scene. It's a very I POrtant part of music and was very glad that I there for it IJust wanted :ryo~e cllckin'. And now ry time I walk past



~ £



So you don't go to some kind of supper store, then, Oh my god. Please. Please, I think you need some help in the Joke department
Are you aware that Har Mar Superstar Is a bIg fan of your record? Oh really? I met him the other day. He was really


~~~el~ow I hear these

PrOUd I m ~remely That's wfeel like a pioneer. POPJustlhy I should Win the

baCk Cli;~~~:d

- I brought

some bad, arse, tunes

And finally ...

d travelling satesm en -MUSIC" rn ~Iera ed." (Oavld Har ) should nO!t~e girls'? Are we requlr d -Who are f hem se'f"/? Chari y I no to find ALL 0 r r rna se Band Aid xcuse for poo II.' (Mon)

Praise for SonlqUIt 'I 's unfaIr to bl'.lrne any r,;;jlity rneatpupprn.a tor the drO$S they r',I,!Similarly, UB40 canno be blllrned for accurately aiming for th average IQ of a rugby fan, and th Girls of FHM. let's face I , already IIv In th "own per onal h II Ther fore by iii process of elimination I ha to be Soruqu ,who pretends she's musical, 'real' and a OJ, d prte displaying none of th s skills on thrs pisspoor single' (Jenny C)

1 Sam &: M8rk 'The Sun ~s Come Vourway"

2 Tho Idolt 'HlIppy XlNI 1s()v<O~ 3. Foot Food


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In July, Pcpjustice viewers voted for the worst single of the last twelve months. Here's what you had to say...
Praise for Twen2y4Se7en: " cnnged and own .'0 lolly albums." anc so devoid of any men they must r be be Je'o'eO The Fast Food rs by companson. are amateurs. ';he sta a 'a'<e a" g)r. pea ng their IS • bad • " ISnotarest

PraIse for Boysterous: "The tmn backing rack, the awful vocals, the cheap comedy video, he outfits hey forgot 0 remove a er their OSS Interview ... Even he act hat they're nice lads isn enough 0 convince me hat this ISn the work of the devil.' (Stormy) 'I have no heard the song bu surely tha must be he very wors band name ever." IAnon) Pralse for Fast Food Rockers: • lo ve Chnstmas 00 but tms song makes me wan 0 ha e • (Becky) "Some JO es are tunny hen ey go on or too long. Some are not.' (Anon) " ':00 pop rnusrc 0 an all me 10 • :reaung young muse buyers e same a 0 respect as e people a come up 1/ :h Su ny Deligh acr.oe • (Anon)

Praise lor MIchelle McManus: 'She thinks she's great just because she doesn'llook/sound/act like any other popstar, Well, hello, Mlchellel Could that be why nobody likes you?' (lOl B) 'She has ruined the Pop Idol franchise not by being fat but by being fat and haVIng the nerve to be so unbelievably smug about it.' (Anon) 'Pros - thiS record makes the short time we have on earth seem so much longer. Cons I 's three and a half minutes of my life that I won ge back.' (Scott Curne) Praise lor Phlxx: 'Was the Video abou vampires? Why would vampires like PhlXX?' (Anon) 'Un" e the other nominees, Phixx knew better, but sull released this osh. (S eveweiser) 'They contJnually msi on ha ing pig ugly faces, but also ha e pa enlly buff bodies tha they (thus far) have not revealed In a PhllO(·styte homoero c nudey-fes .'

Praise for UB40; 'I hate Rugby Union,' (Anon) 'The only things that swing lower than this are Ali Campbell's balls.' (Zaftra) 'All the other singles made SOME attempt to be either fun or cool, which was kind of admirable (ie not really).' (Tom) •

be heard


Praise for Sam & Mark: • ~nd n be)Iond ot ensrve tha people so RIBlY BlA] 0 are allowed to use up valuable space on he music channels.' ( Ilena

.... go as far as 5ay1ng tha they have ,oukl ~' ed my year so far. James) "'?S a mUSIC nex sucking In all good m:::_c near and lea\o,ng nothing but
..... u: u

noISe.' (Anon)

oet the shortlist in order

1. 2,
Unlocky 13 ttf'Ore are some treat Bn sh pop In(Ie$ 'llat the onortJ s1'( 'IrItIl8iood, En nih Heart'



3, 4,

flIImboyant' Pot SIIop ao,~ 'Mixed Up World' $oonle Ell($. Bextor 'Hooked On 'R.dlation' AtDmtler 'RlpRe ...... Bfazln" SQuad "Take Me Ou1' F",nl nalltl


7. 8.
.. .~.'





'Hold On Me'

lCo.,.rod In Punk'


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'f'rt8Il1Y .. KnowW Tl\eSlte"",

10. 11, 12.

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"Oesttoy ROCk 'N'

'f1nM1 Dr.. ma'



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Badge it up
find d ' f~~ s~~;one once yelled, drop the baby, Youggta nav ' t be With ttu mag. but you can never 00 many. so why not get the lilt 'range'?