You Brits Should Be Ashamed of Yourselves: Kid Rock No. 1 in the UK

We U.S. Americans have been over Kid Rock for a while, even before he married the Pams. (His last major hit here was that duet with Sheryl Crow back in 2002.) The Brits, for some reason, still can’t get enough of the rapper/singer. His latest single, the “Werewolves of London”-sampling “All Summer Long,” has soared to the top of the UK pop chart, dethroning Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris.

What is it about this completely irritating track that has made it such a big hit over there? Is the British love of earthy Americana (i.e. Kings of Leon and Elvis?) Maybe they really admire all things Michigan (see the equally annoying Eminem and Madonna). Did his Waffle House brawl up his cool factor abroad? Even some Brits are appalled: Metal Hammer says, “The world has officially gone bonkers. It’s almost ridiculous to be typing the next part of this sentence, but Kid Rock has topped the UK singles chart for the first time with his song ‘All Summer Long’. Nickelback and Kid Rock in a year that isn’t 2001? It’s mental, isn’t it?” Playlouder.com says, simply, “This is a terrible, terrible song.”

This week’s chart contains some interesting debuts. Leaping to No. 3 is an Irish band called The Script, who kinda sound like The Fray if they had a white John Legend as a frontman. If they could break America, they’d be HUGE. (I said the same thing about Newton Faulkner, too, and he hasn’t exactly set the nation ablaze – so what do I know?)

At No. 8 is the new girl group The Saturdays, who are basically a watered-down, multiracial version of Girls Aloud. Why hasn’t the far superior American band, Danity Kane, caught on in the UK? It sucks when we’re actually putting out better pop groups than the Brits.

London-based band Noah & the Whale have Wes Anderson‘d their way into the UK Top 10. Indie songs this quirky don’t usually rise so high on the pop charts, but maybe that’s a good thing: I don’t like this song. Sue me, hipsters.

And it was gonna happen sooner or later, but Katy Perry‘s “I Kissed a Girl” has made the UK’s top five.

1. Kid Rock – All Summer Long
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2. Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris – Dance Wiv Me
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Dizzee Rascal - Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome) - Single - Dance Wiv Me (feat. Calvin Harris & Chrome) [Radio Version]Download Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris’ “Dance Wiv Me”

3. The Script – The Man Who Can’t Be Moved
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4. Katy Perry – I Kissed a Girl
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Katy Perry - I Kissed a Girl - Single - I Kissed a Girl Download Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”

5. Jordin Sparks ft. Chris Brown – No Air
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Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown - Jordin Sparks - No Air Download Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown’s “No Air”

6. Ne-Yo – Closer
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Ne-Yo - Closer - Single - Closer Download Ne-Yo’s “Closer”

7. Basshunter – All I Ever Wanted
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8. The Saturdays – If This Is Love
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9. The Ting Tings – Shut Up And Let Me Go
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The Ting Tings - Shut Up and Let Me Go - Single - Shut Up and Let Me Go Download The Ting Tings’ “Shut Up and Let Me Go”

10. Noah & the Whale – 5 Years Time
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Noah and the Whale - 5 Years Time (Sun Sun Sun) - Single - 5 Years Time (Sun Sun Sun) Download Noah & the Whale’s “5 Years Time”

In other news:

  • British chef Antony Worrall Thompson told a magazine that the weed “henbane” is “great in salads.” Turns out “henbane” is “a very toxic plant” that can result in “loss of consciousness, seizures, trembling of the limbs, and, in extreme cases, death” if ingested in large quantities. Thompson says he’d meant to say “fat hen,” a considerably less deadly wild herb. In other news, I hear arsenic is great in coffee. Oh shite, I meant “amaretto.” See how easy it is to slip up like that?(BBC)
  • One of Jamie Oliver‘s chefs could face prison for participating in a jewelry robbery. At least he didn’t suggest that the dining public scarf down toxic tea leaves.(Telegraph)

  • Richard Hammond and James May have officially re-signed to Top Gear.(Telegraph)
  • Will Amy Winehouse display her domestic side on her new album? The Mirror‘s 3am girls claim to have seen leaked lyrics that include yummy bits like “I can cook, chicken soup, meatballs, a good chicken – jerk and fried.”
  • Eight mistakes people make on Dragons’ Den.
  • Actress Julie Walters recalls being molested at age 10.(Mirror)
  • Little Cruz Beckham breakdanced on stage as his father David won his Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice award.(The Sun)
  • Is Sir Salman Rushdie really a little bitch, or does he just play one in his former guard’s new tell-all book? The author is threatening a lawsuit against Roy Evans, one of the officers hired to protect him during his fatwa. In the book, Evans claims Rushdie “so exasperated his guards that they shut him in a cupboard while they went to the pub.”(Guardian)
  • What makes a great Bond theme? One should look to the original Bond composer, John Barry. The TimesBob Stanley says, “The classic moves that make up the James Bond noise are all Barry’s: the frisson of woodwind as Bond moves with silent stealth of a black cat in carpet slippers; the shattered glass of a brass stab; the sweep of strings as a helicopter swoops over the Alps, followed by a brief flash of garter and a wry, raised eyebrow.”
  • Until August 11th, you can download a free mp3 of Keane‘s new single, “Spiralling,” at the band’s website.
  • The Daily Telegraph opens the private letters of the late matinee idol (and closet homosexual), actor Dirk Bogarde.
  • Terry Gilliam hopes to finally make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the aborted project he was to make with Johnny Depp.(Metro)
  • Michael Palin, Monty Python member-turned-travel documentarian, has been censured for an episode of a TV series he did on Eastern Europe. “A viewer complained that the episode, entitled War And Peace, was a political commentary rather than a travel program and an inaccurate account of the wars in former Yugoslavia. The BBC Trust partially upheld the complaint in relation to accuracy and impartiality.”(UK Press)
Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded BBCAmerica.com's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself - he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri - he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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