London-based Charlie Simpson, James Bourne and Mattie Jay grabbed their second big hit with the single that saw them fast-forward 997 years... The follow-up to 'What I Go To School For', 'Year 3000' saw them race to No. 2 in January 2003.Last week when I realised when I was going to get to this post, I thought I'd missed a trick. If only I'd started a couple of weeks earlier, I could have been publishing a post about a song that mentions a "flux capacitor" on the very day when the "future" sections of Back To The Future 2 are set. Turns out this post is even more topical than I thought, because just yesterday the three original members of Busted announced a reunion tour, starting six months today just down the road at Wembley Arena. It's a safe bet that this will be on the setlist, especially given the small catalogue they have to work from. At least the promise that "everyone bought our seventh album" seems slightly less impossible now.
As a second single, 'Year 3000' is a canny way for the band to set out their stall, offering a sort of playground-friendly bad-boy image. It's cheeky enough to appeal to the rebellious kind of tween and distinguish itself from more traditional boybands of the time who tended to go for RnB sounds or the full-blown MOR of Westfield. I can imagine how girls could identify with this, although I don't remember ever hearing about any boys who admitted to liking Busted, their lack of rock credibility making them officially unpalatable to a status-conscious male demographic. It lacks the creepy lyrical overtones of their first hit and is also one of their stronger singles musically, albeit mainly for that electric piano riff that presumably wasn't the work of any of the official band members.
So catchy was it indeed that in the USA, where Busted weren't really a thing, a cover of the song became the first Top 40 hit for the Jonas Brothers, though with a slightly sanitised lyric. In their version, the slightly leery report that "Your great-great-great granddaughter is pretty fine," is subtly changed to claim that she's "doing fine". As some wags pointed out at the time,at least that suggests some impressive improvements in life expectancy. In an odd diminution of ambition the Jonas Bros only expected to outsell Kelly Clarkson rather than Michael Jackson. Mind you, seeing how the music industry has changed even in 12 years, maybe they were more prescient than we realised.
Also appearing on: 53, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59
Available on: The Party Album