Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!"

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"Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!""
Single by Teletubbies
from the album Teletubbies – The Album
Released 1 December 1997
Format Single EP
Genre Pop, television theme song
Length 3:34
Label BBC Worldwide Music[1]
Writer(s) Andrew McCrorie-Shand,[2] Andrew Davenport[3]
Producer(s) Andrew McCrorie-Shand[2] and Steve James[4]

'Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!"' is a hit single which was number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in December 1997. It remained in the Top 75 for 29 weeks after its first release and three weeks more after two re-releases and sold well enough to be certified as double-platinum.[1][5] It is mostly a remix of the theme song from the hit BBC TV show, Teletubbies.[6] It was also a massive hit in the Republic of Ireland, peaking at number two. The Teletubbies have not had another such hit, making them a one-hit wonder. The song also reached #13 in The Netherlands, remaining in the Dutch Singles Chart for 13 weeks.[7] The song contains two nursery rhymes, the Teletubbies hum along to Baa, Baa, Black Sheep and the flowers from Teletubbyland sing Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.

Christmas race

There was considerable anticipation that it would be the Christmas number one in 1997 and it was the betting favorite at William Hill at odds of 6–4.[8] This race was said to have been decided by the under-10 age group as the rival Spice Girls were popular with seven-year old girls while the Teletubbies were more popular with younger children.[9] Siobhan Ennis, the singles manager at Tower Records' flagship store in Piccadilly Circus said, "The race for the Christmas No 1 is really exciting. At this time of year, people aren't being so serious about their purchasing. We've taken a hell of a lot of the Teletubbies record. The singles market is driven by children, and not just at Christmas."[10]

The Teletubbies were beaten by the Spice Girls' "Too Much" and so were just the Christmas number two.[11] The outcome of this close race may be incorrectly recalled, however. For example, a year later, the BBC was embarrassed when its answer to a pop quiz had the Teletubbies as the Christmas number one.[12]

Marketing

BMG marketed the single in the UK while EMI managed it for the rest of Europe.[13] A&R executive Simon Cowell made this deal with the BBC saying, "I heard another record label were about to sign the Teletubbies, so I got the BBC in my office and told them I would give them £500,000 in advance. We knew a record like that would make over £2 million."[14] It then sold 317,000 copies in its first week to debut at number one; 1,103,000 copies by the end of the year and total UK sales were 1.3 million.[15][16][17]

A rival single, "Tubby Anthem", was made by Yorkshire musician Vince Brown for the charity ChildLine. The BBC threatened legal action and so it was withdrawn.[18]

Reception

'Teletubbies say "Eh-oh!"' was number one on the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in December 1997.[19] It remained in the Top 75 for 29 weeks after its first release and 3 weeks more after two re-releases.[1] The single was shortlisted for the Novello songwriting award[20] but others consider it to be an annoying tune—sickly and irritating.[21] It has repeatedly placed high in polls of awful songs, such as that run by VH1 in which it placed third to "The Millennium Prayer" and "Mr Blobby".[22] As of November 2012, the song is currently the 83rd biggest selling single in UK chart history.

Charts

Chart Peak
position
Dutch Singles Chart[23] 13
Irish Singles Chart 2
UK Singles Chart 1
Preceded by
"Perfect Day" by Various artists
UK Singles Chart number-one single
7 December 1997 – 21 December 1997
Succeeded by
"Too Much" by Spice Girls

References

  1. ^ a b c Neil Warwick, Tony Brown, Jon Kutner (2004), The Complete Book of the British Charts, ISBN 978-1-84449-058-5 
  2. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Woods, Judith (17 January 2008), Andrew Davenport, The Daily Telegraph 
  4. ^ "The Gold Coast Bulletin". News Limited Australia. 16 May 2002. 
  5. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc (16 December 2000), "Novelty Tunes Have Good Shot at Top Spot on Brit Christmas List", Billboard 112 (51): 15 
  6. ^ "Teletubbies top the charts". BBC. 7 December 1997. 
  7. ^ Steffen Hung. "Teletubbies - Teletubbies Say "Eh-Oh!"". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  8. ^ Andrew Smith (21 December 1997), The race for No 1, The Sunday Times, pp. Culture 
  9. ^ Matthew Wright (22 December 1997), Top of the Tots, The Daily Mirror, p. 15 
  10. ^ Paul Sexton (3 December 1997), Yes, it's barmy time again (66063), The Times, p. 34 
  11. ^ All the Festive Hits and Near Misses, Scottish Daily Record, 22 December 2006, p. 8 
  12. ^ Eh-Oh! Beeb's blunder over Christmas No 1, Scottish Daily Record, 16 December 1998 
  13. ^ "BBC strikes deal with Universal to promote children's TV music". Music Week. 31 March 2001. 
  14. ^ Grant Rollings (5 December 2001), "So what has Simon Cowell ever given us?", The Sun: 28 
  15. ^ David Rowan (10 December 1997), Analysis: Music charts: A plea by these fine musicians . . . we want you to buy our Christmas single. A chart-topper now can make careers and fortunes: so how can they ensure a hit?, The Guardian, p. 17 
  16. ^ Alexandra Johnson (18 March 2007), Teletubbies by Numbers - Ten years in Laa-Laa land, The Sunday Telegraph, p. 15 
  17. ^ Georgina Reid (19 July 2007), "Many Tubby returns", The Sun: 39 
  18. ^ "The Teletubbies are aiming for the Christmas pop charts", The Times (66027), 22 October 1997: 1 
  19. ^ Jonathan Crowther, Kathryn Kavanagh, Oxford guide to British and American culture, Oxford University Press 
  20. ^ "Eh-Oh in line for a Novello". Daily Record. Trinity Mirror. 1 April 1998. 
  21. ^ Shannon Kyle (29 May 2005), Aaaargh Tunes!, The Sunday People, p. 6 
  22. ^ Sean Hamilton (14 August 2004), "Music fans' horror list", The Sun: 6 
  23. ^ Steffen Hung. "Teletubbies - Teletubbies Say "Eh-Oh!"". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-31.