Chart for stowaways – April 2021

Some very old oldies clogged up the chart in April – here are the singles from midway through the month:

  1. Tiësto – The Business
  2. Riton/Nightcrawlers/Mufasa – Friday
  3. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
  4. Morrissey & David Bowie – Cosmic Dancer
  5. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Enola Gay
  6. William Orbit – Barber’s Adagio for Strings
  7. Alesso & Armin Van Buuren – Leave A Little Love
  8. White Town – Wanted
  9. New Order – Blue Monday
  10. Moby – Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
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Stowaway World Cup – Week 4

Well, what a week that was. If you cared, which you probably didn’t.

Throughout May, we’ve been playing the Stowaways World Cup, an entirely pointless contest in which we pitted 32 of the most-mentioned artists on this blog against one another, based on a mixture of randomness and their past credentials, with a very unhealthy dose of biased refereeing.

There were disappointments right from the start – Sparks could have easily progressed to the latter stages, but never managed to win a single game. The Beloved repeatedly lost their only player due to fouls (that was, in retrospect, a little unfair, so the rules were changed for later rounds). Even Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark failed to progress beyond the group stages due to performing slightly less well than Röyksopp.

The group of 16 saw surprises too, with two group winners and blog stalwarts being knocked out by group runners-up. By the last few matches, the finalists were increasingly closely matched. Erasure suffered a run of games ending with penalty shootouts, Pet Shop Boys, who had had a fairly clear run to the final, snuck an extra goal in at the end of extra time, and won the final, taking away the not-coveted Stowaway Cup. For the record, these were our final top four:

  1. Pet Shop Boys
  2. Erasure
  3. Depeche Mode
  4. New Order

Which is a pretty respectable result. We’ll take a short break on this blog now, but we’ll be back in a week or so with the regular schedule of posts.

Stowaway World Cup – Week 2

So, we reach the end of the group stages, in this entirely pointless competition. There were a few surprises. Group A saw Jean-Michel Jarre and Madonna and Yazoo advance. Group B was led by Kylie Minogue and Depeche Mode, while Sparks crashed out without a single win. Group C was led by Erasure and Massive Attack, and Group D by Kraftwerk and Goldfrapp. Group E saw The Beloved knocked out, with Pet Shop Boys and I Monster leading the pack. Group F was led by Air and Röyksopp, with OMD and Enigma knocked out. Group G was led by David Bowie and The Human League, and Group H by New Order and The Future Sound of London.

So those are the Group of 16, with some tricky games coming up this week, and at the end of this week we’ll also enter the all-unexciting quarter finals. So it’s a good time for some tweaks to the rules for the remainder of the competition.

Going forward:

  1. You need an outright win – no more draws. We’ll have 4 throws of extra time, followed by penalties.
  2. 6+6 is no longer a foul. Instead, a repeated throw is a foul, but only if it was going to be a goal attempt. If it’s a pair, we’ll ignore it, but if not, the foul was committed by the higher-scoring side (left = left team, right = right team). If the sum of the dice is even, it’s a scored penalty.
  3. To reduce the number of goal chances, any double throws are no goal from now on.
  4. Most of the goal-scoring categories will change to a new set of spurious deciders.

Stowaway World Cup – Group Stages – Games 45-48

Game 45: The Beloved versus Client

  1. 1+6. No goal.
  2. 4+1. Goal for highest debut position on UK singles chart. This is tricky, as the archives now list the full chart as being 100 positions, whereas it was really 75 at the time both artists debuted. So I’m going to rule this one for The Beloved. 1-0.
  3. 4+4. Goal for number of UK top ten hits. 2-0.
  4. 1+1. No goal.
  5. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. One each, so no goal. 2-0.
  6. 5+1. No goal.
  7. 1+3. No goal.
  8. 2+2. Goal for number of studio albums to date. 2-1.
  9. 1+6. No goal.
  10. 2+1. Goal for most charismatic performer(s). I’ll award this to Client for a controversial 2-2 draw.

Game 46: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark versus Enigma

  1. 6+1. Goal for number of BRIT Award wins. 0-0.
  2. 5+6. No goal.
  3. 4+3. Goal for highest number of remixes of another artist. OMD have one, so 1-0.
  4. 4+3. Re-roll. 5+5. No goal.
  5. 2+4. Goal for quality of last album. OMD‘s was pretty good. 2-0.
  6. 6+5. Goal for funniest band picture. 2-1.
  7. 3+5. No goal.
  8. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. No goal. 2-1.
  9. 1+6. No goal.
  10. 1+5. No goal. OMD win 2-1.

Game 47: The Human League versus Ladytron

  1. 2+4. Goal for quality of last album. Easy goal for Ladytron. 0-1.
  2. 5+5. No goal.
  3. 3+4. No goal.
  4. 6+5. Goal for funniest band picture. 1-1.
  5. 4+2. Goal for most years between first and last hit. 2-1.
  6. 3+6. No goal.
  7. 1+5. No goal.
  8. 3+4. No goal.
  9. 2+5. Goal for best artwork. 3-1.
  10. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. 3-2.

Game 48: The Future Sound of London versus William Orbit

  1. 1+1. No goal.
  2. 1+5. No goal.
  3. 3+3. No goal.
  4. 6+2. Goal for highest estimated total sales. Difficult to tell for sure, so no goal.
  5. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. 1-0.
  6. 6+5. Goal for funniest band picture. There aren’t a lot of either, but Orbit can have this one 1-1.
  7. 4+1. Goal for highest debut position on UK singles chart. 2-1.
  8. 4+1. Re-roll. 1+2. No goal.
  9. 6+2. Re-roll. 6+2. Re-roll. 1+6. No goal.
  10. 1+4. No goal, so a win for FSOL, 2-1.

Stowaway World Cup – Week 1

So we reach the half way point of the group stages, and we’ve already had a lot of surprises. I’m sure you won’t have missed them in all the excitement, but just in case, here’s a recap.

Group A

The group is currently firmly led by Jean-Michel Jarre, with the Delerium / Front Line Assembly / Conjure One supergroup as runners-up, but any of the teams could still qualify.

Group B

Depeche Mode are well ahead, and after two disappointing losses for Sparks and a surprise win for Kylie Minogue, the latter currently looks likely to sneak into the group of sixteen.

Group C

Erasure have a strong lead, with Saint Etienne just holding onto second place, but with a game in hand.

Group D

Kraftwerk lead with two strong wins, and Hot Chip are currently holding onto second place after drawing against Goldfrapp in their first game.

Group E

Pet Shop Boys are leading, and after two dirty games from The Beloved, I Monster currently hold the runner-up spot.

Group F

Big surprises here. The favourites are currently right at the bottom of the table, with Enigma in first place, Air in second, and Röyksopp and OMD in third and fourth.

Group G

David Bowie is comfortably leading, with The Human League in second place.

Group H

New Order lead, with The Future Sound of London in second.

Stowaway World Cup – Group Stages – Games 21-24

Game 21: Pet Shop Boys versus The Beloved

  1. 2+5. Goal for best artwork. Happiness is particularly good, but it’s not Mark Farrow. 1-0.
  2. 5+3. No goal.
  3. 4+2. Goal for most years between first and last hit. 2-0.
  4. 3+1. No goal.
  5. 6+6. That’s a foul. 2+5. Would be a penalty, but we’ve had that throw before, so one of the right-hand team is sent off. That’s Jon Marsh from The Beloved. As we mentioned last time he was sent off, he’s currently the only member, so the game is a win for Pet Shop Boys. 2-0.

Game 22: Röyksopp versus Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

  1. 3+6. No goal.
  2. 2+1. Goal for most charismatic performer(s). Interesting call. Slight goal for OMD. 0-1.
  3. 5+2. No goal.
  4. 1+3. No goal.
  5. 6+2. Goal for highest estimated total sales. 0-2.
  6. 2+3. Goal for quality of first album. That would probably be Melody AM, by a slight margin. 1-2.
  7. 6+3. Goal for highest number of mentions on blog. 2-2.
  8. 3+5. No goal.
  9. 1+4. No goal.
  10. 3+6. No goal. That’s a 2-2 draw.

Game 23: David Bowie versus The Human League

  1. 4+4. Goal for number of UK top ten hits. Easy goal for Bowie. 1-0.
  2. 6+1. Goal for number of BRIT Award wins. Also Bowie. 2-0.
  3. 3+1. No goal.
  4. 1+5. No goal.
  5. 6+5. Goal for funniest band picture. Has to just be Bowie. 3-0.
  6. 1+5. No goal.
  7. 5+1. No goal.
  8. 4+3. Goal for highest number of remixes of another artist. I’m going to say no goal. 3-0.
  9. 4+1. Goal for highest debut position on UK singles chart. That’s Bowie again. 4-0.
  10. 2+2. Goal for number of studio albums to date. Huge, easy win for Bowie. 5-0.

Game 24: New Order versus The Future Sound of London

  1. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. New Order have held on to two, while FSOL have only ever had two. No goal.
  2. 1+5. No goal.
  3. 6+4. Goal for highest number of search engine results. New Order score. 1-0.
  4. 2+6. Re-roll. 5+3. No goal.
  5. 5+3. No goal.
  6. 6+1. Goal for number of BRIT Award wins. New Order have just one. 2-0.
  7. 6+2. Goal for highest estimated total sales. 3-0.
  8. 1+4. No goal.
  9. 1+6. No goal.
  10. 2+3. Goal for quality of first album. Slight goal, but much too late in the game, for The Future Sound of London. 3-1.

Stowaway World Cup – Group Stages – Games 13-16

Game 13: The Beloved versus I Monster

  1. 1+4. No goal.
  2. 1+2. No goal.
  3. 3+3. No goal.
  4. 2+2. Goal for number of studio albums to date. Neither has many, but I Monster clinch it. 0-1.
  5. 5+1. No goal.
  6. 2+6. Goal for number of permanent members. Another goal for I Monster, who have held on to both of their members. 0-2.
  7. 6+6. Foul. 5+1. The higher number on the left means that one of The Beloved gets sent off, and since they only officially have Jon Marsh at the moment, that means the game is over. 0-2.

Game 14: Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark versus Air

  1. 5+6. No goal.
  2. 3+5. No goal.
  3. 2+3. Goal for quality of first album. OK, that’s OMD‘s flawed but lovely eponymous album, or Moon Safari. Both great candidates, but I think that’s Air edging ahead. 0-1.
  4. 1+6. No goal.
  5. 3+4. No goal.
  6. 1+4. No goal.
  7. 4+3. Goal for highest number of remixes of another artist. Clear win for Air. 0-2.
  8. 5+2. No goal.
  9. 5+3. No goal.
  10. 3+5. No goal. Surprise win for Air there – 0-2.

Game 15: The Human League versus Leftfield

  1. 5+3. No goal.
  2. 2+4. Goal for quality of last album. Well, The Human League‘s Credo wasn’t great, while Leftfield‘s last release was. 0-1.
  3. 1+4. No goal.
  4. 1+1. No goal.
  5. 4+6. Goal for total weeks on UK album chart. Closer than I’d have thought, but that sees The Human League equalise. 1-1.
  6. 4+6 again, so let’s re-roll (the rules aren’t entirely clear about this, but referee’s decision is final). 2+5. Goal for best artwork. Both have had some great moments, but Dare is the most iconic. 2-1.
  7. 6+2. Goal for highest estimated total sales. Hard to be certain, but it seems likely The Human League. 3-1.
  8. 4+4. Goal for number of UK top ten hits. Easy win for The Human League. 4-1.
  9. 5+2. No goal.
  10. 2+5. Let’s give Leftfield a go, since Leftism is great too. 4-2.

Game 16: The Future Sound of London versus The Radiophonic Workshop

  1. 4+3. Goal for highest number of remixes of another artist. Easy goal for FSOL. 1-0.
  2. 3+5. No goal.
  3. 5+2. No goal.
  4. 3+1. No goal.
  5. 5+1. No goal.
  6. 3+2. No goal.
  7. 5+3. No goal.
  8. 4+2. Goal for most years between first and last hit. Tricky. FSOL have a range of 1992-2001. The Radiophonic Workshop have probably had hits – I just couldn’t find any. We’ll call it no goal.
  9. 3+3. No goal.
  10. 5+2. No goal. So a low scoring game, but FSOL win 1-0.

Stowaway World Cup – Start of Play

So, as of yesterday’s post, we know how the groups are looking. The upcoming week will see four games per day, so in a week’s time we should be starting to have a feel for how the results are starting to shape up.

As a reminder, we’re about to start the group stages, with eight groups:

  • Group A, with Jean-Michel Jarre as favourite, but any of the other three could qualify
  • Group B, a competitive group containing Depeche Mode, Sparks, and Kylie Minogue
  • Group C, another competitive group with Erasure, Saint Etienne, and Massive Attack
  • Group D, with Goldfrapp, Kraftwerk, and Hot Chip
  • Group E, with Pet Shop Boys and three other strong contenders
  • Group F, with Röyksopp, OMD, Air, and Enigma
  • Group G, with David Bowie and The Human League
  • Group H, with New Order and three other strong teams

The excitement begins (and potentially also ends) tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Stowaway World Cup – The Draw

OK, time for the all-important draw. Pot A consists of the top 8 artists by mentions on this blog:

  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Depeche Mode
  • Jean-Michel Jarre
  • Röyksopp
  • Erasure
  • New Order
  • David Bowie
  • Goldfrapp

Pot B consists of the next eight, except that Moby is busy getting vegan tattoos, so won’t be taking part this year. Delerium, Front Line Assembly, and Conjure One are pretty much the same people anyway, so they have formed a single team together.

  • Saint Etienne
  • Kraftwerk
  • Sparks
  • Delerium / Front Line Assembly / Conjure One
  • The Human League
  • Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
  • The Future Sound of London
  • The Beloved

Pot C sees a few disqualifications, with Vince Clarke taking part as part of Erasure, and Martin L. Gore playing for Depeche Mode:

  • Air
  • Little Boots
  • Massive Attack
  • Kylie Minogue
  • I Monster
  • William Orbit
  • Ladytron
  • Hot Chip

Finally, Pot D sees Dave Gahan disqualified for being part of Depeche Mode, plus U2 and Coldplay disqualified for not being very good. Yazoo formed a team with Madonna, for no particularly good reason.

  • Madonna and Yazoo
  • The Radiophonic Workshop
  • Leftfield
  • Everything But The Girl
  • Shit Robot
  • Client
  • Enigma
  • Bent

After the draw, the eight groups look like this:

  • Group A: Jean-Michel Jarre, Delerium / Front Line Assembly / Conjure One, Little Boots, Madonna and Yazoo
  • Group B: Depeche Mode, Sparks, Kylie Minogue, Everything But The Girl
  • Group C: Erasure, Saint Etienne, Massive Attack, Shit Robot
  • Group D: Goldfrapp, Kraftwerk, Hot Chip, Bent
  • Group E: Pet Shop Boys, The Beloved, I Monster, Client
  • Group F: Röyksopp, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Air, Enigma
  • Group G: David Bowie, The Human League, Ladytron, Leftfield
  • Group H: New Order, The Future Sound of London, William Orbit, The Radiophonic Workshop

So the first game will be Jean-Michel Jarre versus Madonna and Yazoo, in a couple of days’ time.

Chart for stowaways – February 2021

The singles have barely changed since Christmas, except for a slight peppering of oldies, but here they go anyway:

  1. Tiësto – The Business
  2. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Enola Gay
  3. Riton/Nightcrawlers/Mufasa – Friday
  4. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
  5. The Future Sound of London – Cascade
  6. David Bowie – Mother
  7. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène (Part 10)
  8. Grace – Not Over Yet
  9. Depeche Mode – Master and Servant
  10. Sparks – The Number One Song in Heaven