Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors” Tops UK Chart: Revisit 6 Other Mirror-Themed Pop Songs
Justin Timberlake‘s second single off The 20/20 Experience, “Mirrors,” has managed to become his second chart-topper as a solo artist in the UK this week. JT recently performed the song at the BRIT Awards, and has been in England doing promo for his upcoming third LP. Prior to “Mirrors,” the onetime *NSYNC member hit the top across the pond with “SexyBack” — though, curiously, none of his singles with his former boy band ever made it to #1. (Timberlake also landed at the top in the UK by featuring on both Timbaland‘s “Give It To Me” in 2007 and Madonna‘s “4 Minutes” in 2008).
All of this is fine and dandy, but it’s got us reflecting, as it were, on numerous other “mirror”-related songs that have been hits over the years, particularly in England. And would you look at that — we just happened to round up six of them! Head below to stare into their shiny surfaces (and to hear them, of course)!
Sally Oldfield — “Mirrors”
This pleasant curiosity featuring bells and bongos (and is that a fife we hear?) has no relation to Justin Timberlake’s “Mirrors.” And, alas, when it reached #19 in the UK in 1978, it wound up being the only hit for Dublin-born Sally Oldfield. Still, the singer herself is notable for being the sister of Mike Oldfield, composer of “Tubular Bells” (which is widely known as being the “theme” for 1973 horror film The Exorcist).
The English Beat — “Mirror In The Bathroom”
No Doubt owes much of their sound to UK ska-pop act The Beat (known for legal reasons in the States as The English Beat). The band itself disbanded in 1983, and its members went on to form many other successful acts: Dave Wakeling and Ranking Roger made up duo General Public, who crossed over in the States with “Tenderness” in the ’80s and a cover of “I’ll Take You There” in 1994; both Wakeling and Roger also released solo material (most notably, Wakeling recorded the theme song to 1988 Kevin Bacon film “She’s Having A Baby”); and guitarists David Steele and Andy Cox were two-thirds of Fine Young Cannibals.
At any rate, during the Beat’s heyday, they made it all the way to #4 on the UK chart in 1980 with “Mirror In The Bathroom,” a catchy groove from their debut album.
Diana Ross — “Mirror Mirror”
Diana Ross paired up with songwriter Michael Sembello (of Flashdance/”Maniac” fame) for her 1981 disco-rock jam “Mirror Mirror.” Despite its funky leanings, the track displayed a harder edge for Ross, who was transitioning out of her late-’70s glitterball phase. “Mirror Mirror” was a minor UK hit (it peaked at #36), but landed in the Top 10 stateside.
The Human League — “Mirror Man”
The only thing better than the haircuts New Wave icons The Human League sported in the 1980s were their addictive pop songs. The synthy crew paid homage to Motown with retro-sounding 1982 single “Mirror Man,” which made it all the way to #2 in the UK, and cracked the Top 40 in the US, as well.
Michael Jackson — “Man In The Mirror”
This 1987 single is a benchmark for introspective pop balladry. Strangely, while we consider the song a classic (it was one of Michael Jackson‘s five chart-topping singles off Bad), it only made it to #21 in the UK upon its initial release. Downloads of “Man In The Mirror” surged following MJ’s death in 2009, and the Grammy-nominated tune eventually climbed to #2 on the British chart year, over two decades after its original outing.
The Cribs — “Mirror Kissers”
Three years before legendary Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr joined British indie rockers The Cribs, the band operated as a trio, and released noisy alt pop like “Mirror Kissers.” This song and “Hey Scenesters!” both peaked at #27 in the UK in 2005 and helped the band break through to the mainstream. “Mirror Kissers” appeared on the Cribs’ sophomore LP The New Fellas, which was produced by “A Girl Like You” crooner/former Orange Juice frontman Edwyn Collins.