Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Best of Girls Aloud

They're the exception to the girl group rule. By remaining intact from beginning to end (admittedly, with a rather large gap in there), Girls Aloud have achieved what so many other female groups have not. And, for an act formed by a reality TV show, it's especially surprising they lasted this long.
Perfect pop stars: Kimberley, Cheryl, Nicola, Nadine, Sarah

Plus, they've released some of the best pop singles of the last decade while they were at it. To mark the end of Girls Aloud, here are my top 10 GA singles...

1. "Love Machine"

Album: What Will The Neighbours Say?
Year: 2004
The second single from Girls Aloud's second album remains my favourite track of theirs - and proved the Xenomania production team really knew what they were doing with the group. Thank goodness no one connected to the project decided to stop working with the pop dream team.

2. "Biology"

Album: Chemistry
Year: 2005
The only song from GA's third album to make my top 10, "Biology" made up for the girls' other lacklustre releases ("See The Day", especially) during that period.

3. "The Show"

Album: What Will The Neighbours Say?
Year: 2004
I was in London when this single came out and rushed back with the CD single in my luggage to play it to the Smash Hits Australia team only to find it was being played by a local radio station despite there being no plans at that stage to release it. It didn't end up charting in Australia until June 2006, when it was released as a follow-up to "Biology", which had reached number 26. "The Show" got to number 67.

4. "Something Kinda Ooh"

Album: The Sound Of Girls Aloud
Year: 2006
The best new track from the group's first greatest hits release. I didn't think that much of the other previously unreleased songs, especially the seemingly pointless cover of "I Think We're Alone Now".

5. "Something New"

Album: 2012
Year: Ten
And here's the best new track from their second greatest hits album. At first, I wasn't that enamoured with "Something New" (although I did like its literal title) and rated it about as highly as, say, "Sexy! No No No...". Clearly, it grew on me.

6. "The Loving Kind"

Album: Out Of Control 
Year: 2009
What more perfect pop collaboration could there be than Girls Aloud and Pet Shop Boys, who co-wrote this tune with the Xenomania team?

7. "No Good Advice"

Album: Sound Of The Underground
Year: 2003
The surf guitars were back for GA's second single - with this the first indication that there might be some longevity to these Popstars: The Rivals winners.

8. "Sound Of The Underground"

Album: Sound Of The Underground
Year: 2002
The song that started it all - and blew away Popstars rivals One True Voice. "Sound Of The Underground" even made number 31 in Australia in early 2003 and it was around that time I conducted my only interview with one of the group's members. I had a phoner with Cheryl (still Tweedy at the time) and may have just been a little bit tipsy when I did it, since I'd popped out of a Universal function to take the call.

9. "Call The Shots"

Album: Tangled Up
Year: 2007
Rated by some as Girls Aloud's best song, "Call The Shots" was certainly the best of the three singles chosen from Tangled Up. As you'll see from my non-singles top 10 below, there were a few better candidates for singles selection than "Sexy! No No No..." and "Can't Speak French".

10. "The Promise"

Album: Out Of Control
Year: 2008
The first single released from my favourite Girls Aloud album was an instant UK number 1 (one of four they scored) and a BRIT Award winner.

And, since it wasn't always just about the hits for Girls Aloud, here are my top 10 non-singles:

1. "Girl Overboard" from Tangled Up
2. "Every Now And Then" from Ten
3. "Miss You Bow Wow" from Out Of Control
4. "Memory Of You" - B-side to "The Loving Kind"
5. "White Lies" from Sound Of The Underground
6. "On The Metro" from Ten
7. "Black Jacks" from Tangled Up
8. "Close To Love" from Tangled Up
9. "Love Is Pain" from Out Of Control
10. "Stop" from Sound Of The Underground

Farewell, Girls Aloud. See you in five years?


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