In this irregular series we will be looking at some of those, ahem, “lost classics”, which we have recently found as a result of taking the cushions off the sofa. Ground rules are that the song in question must be over ten years old. We are not aiming to pick ‘cheesy’ songs from your youth and ours, but rather remind you of a time when pop music meant much, much more than Nicki Minaj and LMFAO. We also wish to remind you of some pop acts whom were actually pretty decent, but of whom you may have forgotten.
A1. That long-forgotten half-Norwegian 90s boyband with an impressive string of UK top ten singles, best known for their dodgy haircuts, dodgy matching vests and their dodgy cover version of A-Ha’s ‘Take On Me.’ But one of our favourite songs of theirs was the Europop-friendly ‘Ready Or Not’. Released in November 1999 as a Double A Side (remember when the industry did that?) with the much more boring ‘Everytime’ [cue serious face and stools] and with a UK peak of #3, sonically the song brings to mind images of fun in the sun with friends and more-than-friends. Lyrically it is basic, with a simple tale of jealousy (‘I’m jealous of every guy that looks at you’) underpinning the song. However it is enhanced with much potential for stalkery (‘Ready or not here I come / You can’t hide from me, hide and seek’) which we appreciate because we like our popstars deranged. The rhyme of ‘run away now / or stay now’ is genuinely so lovely to hear, half because of the accompanying melody, and half because of the inspiration of rhyming now with…. now.
Sounding extremely of it’s time, in the best possible way, we wish we could go out and dance to this in ‘the club’. The video really is an ode to dodgy haircuts with too much gel, and shockingly-awful hand-based choreography, although bonus-points are given for the girls in the video (for the crowd watching A1 perform is ALL female, naturally) dancing more stupidly than A1 themselves. ‘Doo-wop-wop’ chants are present and correct at 2:50, whilst we adore the dodgy vocoder-effect used for the intro along with the dated synths. So basically, this song is still pretty awesome nowadays. Well done A1.