Thursday, 6 June 2013

Mister Oizo 'Flat Beat'

Chart Peak: 1 [2 weeks]

This quirky dance tune was plugged into the brains of the nation after it featured in the new Levis commercial... The song is identified with the star of the ad - the cheeky yellow puppet Flat Eric
Indeed, the track was seemingly created specifically for the commercial, which was also directed by Quentin Dupiuex (AKA Mr. Oizo) - he got the job off the back of an early video with a proto-Flat Eric character. A single release swiftly followed, making the Top 5 in many European countries and becoming the UK's last instrumental chart-topper to date (ignoring the spoken intro which is oddly moved to the end of the video).

It's fair to say that this isn't a track that it sounds like it would have been a Number One single under any other circumstances, a very minimal electronic track. That's not to say it isn't good, in fact I've always liked it and rather assumed it would have been considered much cooler had it come from an avant-garde composer or even from a dance artist who hadn't had a hit with it. Seen by some as a precursor to electro-house or even dubstep, it's not a record I would know how to dance to but I don't really care. I've never bought a pair of expensive jeans but I'm glad I got to hear this. Also, Flat Eric is cute, especially in the still they used in the CD booklet.

This is possibly the only Now album to feature two tracks by people called Quentin (Norman Cook was born Quentin Leo Cook, though he later changed the name officially) and it's also worth noting that whilst somebody on a message board recently suggested that Now 42 was relatively light on big hits, this is the  fourth consecutive Number One single on the album. Of course the turnover at the top of the chart was very high in early 1999, though as previously noted '...Baby One More Time' had to wait for Now 44 and big hits by B*Witched and the Offspring never showed up at all.

Available on: Flat Beat


  1. This was also number one the one time to date Pick Of The Pops went as late as 1999, and if that seems an odd week to pick at number two was My Name Is, which they dealt with by not playing it at all.

  2. For an early 1999 Number One, 'Praise You' is probably one of the more R2-friendly ones, but the rest of the chart maybe not so much. I wonder if it was a significant date for somebody in the production team?

    I remember when they did a chart from early 1993 and they had to play Alice In Chains; they played Belly as well but that was Dale's choice.