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Top 10 Cheesiest British Pop Songs

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Written by Sean Harris From ‘80s neon, to ‘90s nostalgia. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 cheesiest British pop songs! For this list, we’ve scoured British pop music history, and selected the cheesiest records ever released. All of today’s entries enjoyed massive chart success, and many are regarded as prime pop hits – but a large chunk of their charm lies in just how kitsch and corny they are. Set your speakers to high. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Cheesiest British Pop Songs


From ‘80s neon, to ‘90s nostalgia. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 cheesiest British pop songs!

For this list, we’ve scoured British pop music history, and selected the cheesiest records ever released. All of today’s entries enjoyed massive chart success, and many are regarded as prime pop hits – but a large chunk of their charm lies in just how kitsch and corny they are. Set your speakers to high.

#10: “I’m Too Sexy” (1991)
Right Said Fred

We start with brothers Fred and Richard Fairbrass, and a song which was kept from the top of the charts only by the record-breaking (and probably just as tacky) “Everything I Do”, by Bryan Adams. “I’m Too Sexy” was originally penned as an Indie rock track, with lyrics inspired by Fred and Richard’s time as managers of a gym. But what started as a playful poke at self-centred gym-goers, became an international hit. The record won an Ivor Novello award, but it has also featured on Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Smurfs – need we say more?

#9: “Never Gonna Give You Up” (1987)
Rick Astley

The ‘80s are a goldmine for gloriously cheesy anthems, but few will fill the dancefloor quite as quickly as this one. Before it became an internet phenomenon, “Never Gonna Give You Up” was Rick Astley’s debut single and the UK’s best-selling record of 1987. It bagged the Brit Award for Best Single in ’88, and ultimately topped the charts in over 20 countries. With lyrics that are seared into popular consciousness – whether you like it or not – it gets in your head, and it stays there.

#8: “Pure and Simple” (2001)
Hear’Say

In a time before “The X Factor” or even “Pop Idol”, TV talent search “Popstars” had the nation hooked in 2001 – and this was the end result. Kym, Myleene, Suzanne, Noel and Danny were eventually crowned winners of the show, forming Hear’Say and scoring the then-fastest-selling debut record in UK music history. But while they seemed the best of buds in the music video, Hear’Say’s time in the sun was short-lived, and the band broke up after less than two years – leaving their signature tune to curdle into a classic.

#7: “Bring It All Back” (1999)
S Club 7

As if Hear’Say hadn’t already got you feeling nostalgic, S Club 7 proved quite the pop super-group when they debuted in the late-90s. “Bring It All Back” was the band’s first single, but we might’ve included a host of other titles here, including their eternally upbeat fifth release, “Reach”. “Bring It All Back” also provided the theme tune for “Miami 7” of course, the group’s internationally successful CBBC show. Backed up by a sunny, beach-bound music video, it’ll either have you singing along or pulling your hair out.

#6: “What I Go to School For” (2002)
Busted

Another band who might’ve had multiple entries today, the Busted back catalogue is crammed with corniness. But we’ve homed in on “What I Go to School For”, the trio’s take on a classroom crush. The song, which was based on one of Matt Willis’ real life schoolteachers, peaked at number 3 in 2002, but has since become the seminal Busted hit. Made even cheesier by Charlie Simpson’s attempts to distance himself from it in the mid-2000s, it also gave opportunity for classic cringe TV on “The Frank Skinner Show”.

#5: “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” (1984)
Wham!

As possibly the definitive act for ‘80s pop music, Wham! are responsible for some of the era’s catchiest numbers. “Club Tropicana” almost made it onto this list, but nothing says ‘let your hair down’ like “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”. A toe-tapper if ever we’ve heard one, the video saw George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley sport a sensational ‘80s look – with slogan shirts and lots of neon. A must-have on playlists for weddings, anniversaries and at kids’ parties – it’s cheesy, but it’s brilliant.

#4: “Come On Eileen” (1982)
Dexys Midnight Runners

Released in the summer of ’82, this record hit number one in the UK, the US, Australia, New Zealand and all across Europe. While Dexys Midnight Runners aren’t especially remembered for anything else, “Come On Eileen” is still instantly recognisable – and so is the video. Featuring Dexys frontman Kevin Rowland, the eponymous Eileen is played by Màire Fahey – whose sister was in Bananarama, who are themselves responsible for some first-rate cheese. But back to Dexys, we reckon it’s a good time to dust down those dungarees, because this is feel good music at its finest.

#3: “Agadoo” (1984)
Black Lace

Like it or loathe it, no cheesy playlist is complete without it. “Agadoo” annoyed its way to number two in the UK charts in 1984, where it was mercifully kept from top spot by George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”. The novelty record caused such a ruckus with listeners, that Radio One actually refused to play the track, claiming it wasn’t a credible song. But while general opinion hasn’t particularly improved over time, “Agadoo” still has its fans. Thankfully, the Hawaiian shirt, highlights and tight leather look quickly fell out of fashion, though.

#2: “Back for Good” (1995)
Take That

The ‘90s are a treasure trove for brilliant boy band records, with the US and Ireland contributing some classic love ballads. But Manchester’s Take That ruled the romantic roost, and this was their intense, emotional and impassioned high point. “Back for Good” is too loved up for some, but we’re betting even its critics know the chorus word for word. And let’s take a minute to appreciate that video; it’s an effective blueprint for every boyband shoot ever since. All together now…

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Making Your Mind Up” (1981)
Bucks Fizz

“2 Become 1” (1996)
The Spice Girls

“You’re Beautiful” (2005)
James Blunt

#1: “The One and Only” (1991)
Chesney Hawkes

Chesney Hawkes may be remembered as the archetypal one-hit wonder, but what a hit it was. “The One and Only” spent five weeks at number one in 1991, enjoying much more success than the movie which it featured on the soundtrack to, “Buddy’s Song”. With a catchy chorus, a shout-along hook, a floppy-haired frontman and Chesney’s life-affirming lyrics – it promptly etched a unique spot in pop music folklore. Inspiring two music videos, including one with the Who’s Roger Daltrey, nothing else comes close – Chesney is the champion of cheese.
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