Recently, I’ve developed a habit of listening to songs that I once loved on YouTube and it’s proving to be quite interesting. I’m re-discovering the cheesiest pop songs ever and loving it. I can’t believe how much my tastes have changed but I’ve put together 10 of the songs that I’ve been listening to for you all to laugh at.
1. POP!, HEAVEN AND EARTH
Pop! were put together by Pete Waterman and were active between 2003-2005. Their biggest hit was this song and it was followed up by Can’t Say Goodbye and Serious, neither of which received much critical acclaim. None of the band members did much after Pop! disbanded, although Jamie (blonde guy) went on to join Avenue, a boyband from the third series of X Factor, who were disqualified for already having a record deal.
2. SCOOCH, MORE THAN I NEEDED TO KNOW
Scooch were dubbed the “new Steps” back in the early noughties but unfortunately their success never reached the heights of their earlier counterparts. Bands with both guys and girls appear to have been a trend in this period of pop history but unfortunately there are very few that had success. Scooch weren’t one of them and this song was never really a big hit, neither was its follow-up The Best Is Yet To Come. However, the band did return in 2007 to enter Eurovision for the UK with the rather hilariously cheesy Flying The Flag For You.
3. SAMANTHA MUMBA, ALWAYS COME BACK TO YOUR LOVE
This Irish beauty was a Louis Walsh signing of the early noughties and her debut Gotta Tell You got to number two but this was unfortunately the biggest success she ever had in the UK. She did better in the Irish charts, as Irish musicians tend to do. The follow-up Baby Come On Over was played a lot on radio but still only reached number five in the UK charts. This song is one of her later tracks and I think she did become a stronger artist, as she grew. However after several failed stints on talent shows in an attempt to revive her music career, she eventually retired from music in 2010 and announced that she would be going into acting.
4. EMMA BUNTON, TAKE MY BREATH AWAY
The ex Spice Girl had a few solo singles and this one is definitely my favourite. However, it wasn’t the best received and What Took You So Long? in 2001 was her number one hit. This song and her version of What I Am, originally by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, both reached the top five. She went on to release a second album, which reached the top ten, although her third didn’t. In 2008, Emma moved into TV and radio work and has guest-presented on HeartFM, as well as taking a seat on the judging panel of Dancing on Ice in 2010
5. ATOMIC KITTEN, IT’S OK
The Scouse girlband were active between 1997-2008 and had a fairly successful career. Their first and second albums both reached number one and their biggest hit was Whole Again, which originally featured Kerry Katona but was later changed to include her replacement Jenny Frost. I was a big fan of Atomic Kitten and I really liked this song in particular. Whole Again and Eternal Flame are still songs that creep into my head every now and then, so I couldn’t include them on this list of “forgotten” songs but I think I love them just as much. There is talk of an Atomic Kitten reunion on the cards but I’d rather they didn’t come back, if I’m honest. Just leave it in the past, girls!
6. HILARY DUFF, WAKE UP
Well, I never really watched Lizzie McGuire so I only really got to know who Hilary Duff when she stepped into music. This song is definitely the best of hers and it was actually written by Benji and Joel Madden of Good Charlotte, which explains the rocky edge to it. Hilary described the track as “very dancey, kind of pop- not 80s but kind of with that in it”. So, I guess it’s a little bit of everything then! It did the best in the UK out of all her singles, which also included So Yesterday and Come Clean. As late as last October, she tweeted that she was planning a new album, so I guess we can expect something new from her very soon.
7. ONE TRUE VOICE, SACRED TRUST
These boys were created on Popstars: The Rivals and lost out to Girls Aloud in the race to Christmas number one 2002. They did have another top 10 hit, Shakespeare’s Way With Words but then subsequently disappeared off the face of the planet. None of the members had any further musical success, although Daniel Pearce auditioned for X Factor in 2009 and made it through to Simon’s house in LA but wasn’t picked for the live shows. It seems you can find solo efforts by a few other members on MySpace including Jamie Shaw, Anton Gordon and Keith Semple. It’s a shame really because they came just a little too early for the mad rush of boybands between 2003-2004 and they do seem to have a certain talent, no?
8. LEMAR, LULLABY
This is the only song on this list that never got released and I will never know why. I still maintain to this day that Lullaby is an amazing song and I really think it could have now been a classic pop track, had it been allowed to get some air. I think it does feature on Lemar’s debut album but he never released it as a single. The song was written during his time in BBC’s Fame Academy in 2002 and features fellow contestants Ainslie Henderson and David Sneddon. Lemar went on to have medium success with several albums and is a regular in Radio 1’s Live Lounge, recording versions of U2’s Vertigo, Alicia Keys’ Empire State of Mind and Beyonce’s Sweet Dreams. He’s also sung with JLS and toured with Mary J Blige. He’s apparently hoping to release another album this year, although he really should release Lullaby one day…
9. BACKSTREET BOYS, THE ONE
It’s not one of their best known tracks but it’s an awesome song all the same. I was always a massive fan of Backstreet Boys and they had a massive career, spanning 1993-2002. After a hiatus, they returned in 2005 and released three more albums, the latest in 2009. They have now teamed up with 80s boyband New Kids On The Block, without Kevin, to form supergroup NKOTBSB, who are now touring together. The One was released on the album Millenium in May 2000 and I think it really shows why they were so successful. Many of their bigger hits such as Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) and I Want It That Way are still played at cheese-fests everywhere but I wanted to remind myself of an awesome Backstreet Boys song that we never hear.
10. D-SIDE, REAL WORLD
Another Irish boyband after Boyzone’s and during Westlife’s hey-day were D-Side. Real World was their fourth single and it reached number nine in the UK and number one in Ireland, (do my words from earlier come back to you at all?!). It is a beautiful ballad though and as an Irish boyband, ballads performed by perfect voices are vital! The vocals are a bit squeaky in places and I did actually listen to this and think “ouch, did I really listen to this?!” D-Side were part of a flurry of boybands, who appeared during 2002-2004 and they were probably one of the more successful groups. They split in 2008 and no members went on to have any further musical successes.