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> Chart Replay: Westlife vs. Alice Deejay
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Westlife vs. Alice Deejay
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Medellíam
post Aug 20 2019, 10:13 AM
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It's 20 years since Westlife beat Alice Deejay to number one by less than 500 copies.

'If I Let You Go' was the second single by Irish boyband Westlife and 'Better Off Alone' was the lead from Dutch trance group Alice Deejay. The latter had spent 3 weeks in the chart prior to Westlife debuting, reaching #2 the previous week on sales of 93k, behind Ronan Keating's 'When You Say Nothing At All'.

It was a close race, but 'If I Let You Go' managed to out-do 'Better Off Alone' by sales of 470 copies, debuting with 90,491 to Alice Deejay's 90,021. It meant that Westlife had become the first boyband to start their career with consecutive number ones. 'Better Off Alone' would spend a further week at #2, this time behind Geri Halliwell's 'Mi Chico Latino'.

'Better Off Alone' would prove to win the war after completing 1999 as the 12th best seller on sales of 606k, over double the total of 'If I Let You Go' (296k). It in fact outsold all three of the songs that kept it at #2 in the charts and it's gone on to be one of the most notable trance hits.

20 years on, which do you prefer?
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Medellíam
post Aug 20 2019, 10:13 AM
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Top 10
01 (NE) Westlife - If I Let You Go
02 (02) Alice Deejay - Better Off Alone
03 (NE) Bran Van 3000 - Drinkin' in L.A.
04 (01) Ronan Keating - When You Say Nothing At All
05 (03) Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca
06 (08) Will Smith - Wild Wild West
07 (05) Eminem feat. Dr. Dre - Guilty Conscience
08 (04) Basement Jaxx - Rendez-Vu
09 (06) Five - If Ya Gettin' Down
10 (11) Whitney Houston - My Love is Your Love

Top 40 New Entries
13 (NE) Puff Daddy feat. Hurricane G - P.E. 2000
17 (NE) The Divine Comedy - The Pop Singer's Fear of the Pollen...
20 (NE) Feeder - Yesterday Went Too Soon
25 (NE) Super Fury Animals - Fire in My Heart
29 (NE) Mary J Blige - All That I Can Say
32 (NE) TQ - Better Days
39 (NE) Sneaker Pimps - Low Five

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Usher - 'Burn' vs. Girls Aloud - 'The Show' (2004)
Cascada - 'Evacuate the Dancefloor' vs. Michael Jackson - 'Man in the Mirror' (2009)
Shapeshifters - 'Lola's Theme' vs. Rachel Stevens - 'Some Girls' (2004)
Cheryl - 'Crazy Stupid Love' vs. MAGIC! - 'Rude' (2014)
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ElectroBoy
post Aug 20 2019, 10:15 AM
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I'm sure this poll will be close laugh.gif
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Cqmerqn
post Aug 20 2019, 10:16 AM
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Better Off Alone by faarrr
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dobbo
post Aug 20 2019, 10:21 AM
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The Westlife track isn't bad at least but yeah this is like choosing between a Lamborghini & a Ford Fiesta.
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T Boy
post Aug 20 2019, 10:24 AM
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Ready for the most one sided of these polls yet.

Seriously, I’ve known of the Westlife song but can anyone truly remember it? So forgettable.

I still love Better Off Alone. Sound of that summer.
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gooddelta
post Aug 20 2019, 10:26 AM
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Heartbreaking week, SO close. I was so willing Better Off Alone to continue its upward trajectory and it would have been such a worthy UK No.1 single.

Not that If I Let You Go is bad, in fact it's one of Westlife's better singles, but it doesn't even come close to the majesty of Better Off Alone, still one of my all-time top five songs.

I remember the following week Mi Chico Latino had been pegged by Woolies to debut at No.2, with Better Off Alone predicted to finally climb to No.1. Sadly that didn't happen either...

I actually think it's wildly impressive Better Off Alone managed to do SO well without having the radio edit on the CD single. The 'UK short cut' was available on the cassette single and the mix played in the chart and on the radio could be found on Now 43 towards the end of Disc 2 (I don't think anybody expected this track to do SO well), but the CD only featured a few club mixes.

As I mentioned somewhere else the other day, it's also interesting to note that Westlife's start of seven consecutive number ones almost never got off the ground at all.
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coi
post Aug 20 2019, 10:29 AM
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I do like them both actually, but it's pretty easy to decide, Better Off Alone is going to run away with this!
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Doctor Blind
post Aug 20 2019, 10:31 AM
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A frankly depressing time for the singles chart - 14 number 1s for Westlife remains the biggest chart manipulation that ever happened. You think Drake being at number 1 for weeks by default was annoying, try living through this era.

That is why it was so deeply satisfying when their run was broken by Bob The Builder. Literally a hero.
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ElectroBoy
post Aug 20 2019, 10:34 AM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Aug 20 2019, 11:31 AM) *
A frankly depressing time for the singles chart - 14 number 1s for Westlife remains the biggest chart manipulation that ever happened. You think Drake being at number 1 for weeks by default was annoying, try living through this era.

That is why it was so deeply satisfying when their run was broken by Bob The Builder. Literally a hero.


Without wanting to touch a raw nerve; how did Westlife 'manipulate' the charts by getting people to go out and actually buy their single. Its not like they even did individual covers etc back then, it was literally just promotion (wasn't it?).


This post has been edited by ElectroBoy: Aug 20 2019, 10:36 AM
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Jade
post Aug 20 2019, 10:34 AM
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'Better Off Alone' by miles! I actually can remember how the Westlife song goes but it's nothing special.
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Doctor Blind
post Aug 20 2019, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE(ElectroBoy @ Aug 20 2019, 11:34 AM) *
Without wanting to touch a raw nerve; how did Westlife 'manipulate' the charts by getting people go out and actually buy their single. Its not like they even did individual covers etc back then, it was literally just promotion (wasn't it?).


They deliberately chose weeks when sales were low and moved their release around to always debut at #1.
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ElectroBoy
post Aug 20 2019, 10:37 AM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Aug 20 2019, 11:36 AM) *
They deliberately chose weeks when sales were low and moved their release around to always debut at #1.


Oh right - so basically they just had a good team around them, who wanted them to be a success. Also given the actual sales figues being fairly high, wouldn't they have debuted at number 1 most weeks anyway


This post has been edited by ElectroBoy: Aug 20 2019, 10:38 AM
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Bjork
post Aug 20 2019, 10:37 AM
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too easy with the Westlife track being a 0/10 and Better off alone being a 10/10
actually the song at #3 is even better, Drinking in LA is an 11/10 of a song!

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Doctor Blind
post Aug 20 2019, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE(ElectroBoy @ Aug 20 2019, 11:37 AM) *
Oh right - so basically they just had a good team around them, who wanted them to be a success. Also given the actual sales figues being fairly high, wouldn't they have debuted at number 1 most weeks anyway


No, there was incredible luck there because the average sale for a number 1 in the 1999-2003 era was north of 100K and yet most of their one week at number 1s were below that threshold.
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ElectroBoy
post Aug 20 2019, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Aug 20 2019, 11:40 AM) *
No, there was incredible luck there because the average sale for a number 1 in the 1999-2003 era was north of 100K and yet most of their one week at number 1s were below that threshold.


Or good management/ PR wink.gif
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BillyH
post Aug 20 2019, 10:46 AM
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Better Off Alone is also one of my all-time top ten songs, and when I worked at a cinema it always got an great reaction from customers whenever it played on the foyer playlist I created. Sadly it didn't quite get as good a reaction when I sneaked it onto a house party playlist a few years ago that was 99% gangster rap tongue.gif

What really astonished me was years later when I realised that the UK was by far its most successful audience - I always assumed it was a big, Europe-wide summer hit reaching #1 everywhere, but in fact in most places it was lower top 40! It reached #4 in Australia and and #27 in the United States (incredible for a Eurodance song of the time), both in February/March 2000 long after its UK success. Ian Van Dahl's 'Castles In The Sky' a few years later is another example of a minor Europe hit being randomly colossal and well-remembered to this day in the UK, both that and Better Off Alone pleasingly being #1 hits in Scotland too!
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Doctor Blind
post Aug 20 2019, 10:49 AM
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Here's what Colm said about Better Off Alone in the 1990s Dance #1s thread- http://www.buzzjack.com/forums/index.php?s...t&p=5416414
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gooddelta
post Aug 20 2019, 11:00 AM
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QUOTE(BillyH @ Aug 20 2019, 11:46 AM) *
Better Off Alone is also one of my all-time top ten songs, and when I worked at a cinema it always got an great reaction from customers whenever it played on the foyer playlist I created. Sadly it didn't quite get as good a reaction when I sneaked it onto a house party playlist a few years ago that was 99% gangster rap tongue.gif

What really astonished me was years later when I realised that the UK was by far its most successful audience - I always assumed it was a big, Europe-wide summer hit reaching #1 everywhere, but in fact in most places it was lower top 40! It reached #4 in Australia and and #27 in the United States (incredible for a Eurodance song of the time), both in February/March 2000 long after its UK success. Ian Van Dahl's 'Castles In The Sky' a few years later is another example of a minor Europe hit being randomly colossal and well-remembered to this day in the UK, both that and Better Off Alone pleasingly being #1 hits in Scotland too!


Curiously Back In My Life (No.11 in my all-time rank, funnily enough) was bigger in many countries. I guess it was slightly more poppy, and then Will I Ever was even moreso and actually quite cheesy. The Lonely One was much more moody and trancey again and deserved better than its No.16 peak.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Aug 20 2019, 11:08 AM
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I don't think that Wasteoflife song is as bad as a lot of theirs, but Alice Deejay was cruelly and totally unfairly robbed here!

I'd even say the same the following week too, although I don't know by how much 'Mi Chico Latino' beat it by.
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