One Hit Wonderland: Whigfield
Long before fellow one-hit wonder ‘Macarena’ got people doing an even more ridiculous dance, Whigfield‘s 1994 hit ‘Saturday Night’ managed to get people on the dance floor – for four weeks, at least.
While it would never measure up to the 15 weeks that the record-setting ‘Love is All Around’ by Wet Wet Wet managed at number one – not to be closed in on until yet another one-hit wonder with ‘Crazy’ from Gnarls Barkley (nine weeks at the top) – ‘Saturday Night’ was still the second-best selling record of 1994. Of course, it came after the aforementioned song from Marti Pellow and the gang, but it’s an impressive record nonetheless.
Whigfield’s hit was bubblegum pop at its finest. It was simple yet effective, even managing to push me onto the school disco’s main floor at the age of eight, when I tried my best to bust out the moves. Instead of doing what everyone else did – missing out one of the steps so it fit into the 4/4 timing (confirmed by Wikipedia as more common than I thought! Thanks, peer-reviewed encyclopaedias!) – I did the robot. It was brilliant.
Still, ‘Saturday Night’ was a record-setter in itself – it was the first debut song to hit number one in the history of the UK charts. It’s a weird concept, given how many artists have triumphed in this regard since (Britney Spears, anyone?); it’s even stranger to realise that every one-hit wonder that achieved success prior to this one either didn’t reach the top spot, or followed a poorly-received tune from the same band.
Naturally, the sexy Dane’s song would attract a number of detractors. Among then were The Equals and, more famously, Lindisfarne, who unsuccessfully claimed that the ditty plagiarised their songs. Lindisfarne were definitely onto something, though it could have been that they were a bit jealous of the fact that ‘Fog on the Tyne’ only managed number two, despite being a re-release and featuring none other than Paul Gascoigne. It’s proof that you can’t win them all, even when odds of success are high.
So, enjoy this song and its terrible music video, where Whigfield manages to have perfect make-up after a shower before putting even more on. Sorry for making this tune stick in your head, by the way.
By Matt Gardner