The UK pop charts might be more forgiving than ours when it comes to inane novelty hits (two words: Crazy Frog), but by and large, the Brits have maintained their affection for melody. Most of the plastic American pop stars are eaten alive on their charts – they love American rock bands though, embracing the Pixies well before we did – while the ones who embrace the Beatles’ affinity for songwriting are handsomely rewarded. Who knows, maybe the real reason is more nationalist than this, that the UK population simply likes UK acts, but you have to admit that the Brits have a much greater love affair with pop in the classic sense of the word than we Yanks do, particularly today.
Which is why our video of the day has reached #17 on the UK pop charts, and doesn’t have a prayer of being a hit here. But that doesn’t make it any less awesome.
If you had told us that “The Bike Song,” from UK It Boy producer Mark Ronson, was a long-lost cover from some Nuggets-era band (think “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers), we would totally have believed you. (It was actually written by a Zuton and two members of the Dap Kings.) The song has an effortless sunniness to it and one of those instantly memorable choruses, marvelously sung by the View’s front man Kyle Falconer. Who are the View, you ask? They’re a Scottish band who were poised to ride the UK wave of the mid-’00s along with Hard Fi, Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys, but Falconer was busted for possession, their US tour was canceled, and that was that. If you’re an Anglophile, though, go hunt down their song “Street Lights.” Good tune. Not as good as this one, but good just the same.
The video for this is a throwback, consisting mostly of Falconer and Ronson (that is Ronson with the blonde hair, right?), you guessed it, riding their bicycles. Spank Rock, who looks a bit like Mos Def’s geeky little brother, joins the fun, and then boom, three gorgeous girls on bicycles. That whole ’60s look…it makes us tingly. Have Friday, everyone. Good luck getting this one out of your head.