Getting us in the mood for Girls Aloud next week, for it is then that we will be seeing them on tour, in concert, in actual real life (!), we decided to compile a Girls Aloud top 10 in a similar fashion to the Britney top 10 which popfools started life with. Rules of eligibility for the list are that we are only allowing singles, purely for the reason that we don’t own over half of the Girls Aloud discography, and therefore it would be unfair to count album tracks. One more thing we’d like to say, and that’s a big (small) sorry to our friend Buddy for not including Love Machine on the list. What can we say – this is our list! So without further ado…
10. Whole Lotta History
(2006, UK peak #6)
Two things which make us adore this song. One is Nicola’s vocal contribution. She shows us the very meaning of the word flawless. The second is the video. Yes, we know it’s just Girls Aloud being pretty in Paris and along the Seine, and that is why we love it. We think we remember it being ‘premiered’ on CD:UK back in the day, although maybe that is a false memory. Anyway, this track has some personal resonance with us and for that reason we love it.
09. The Promise
(2008, UK peak #1)
We take a few issues with The Promise. Unforgettably released to coincide with Cheryl Cole’s ‘golden girl’ shtick on X Factor UK, to this day for some people it defines Girls Aloud. And that is wrong. Whilst it may be one of their biggest tracks, it is doing the girls a big disservice to consider this as ‘typical’ Girls Aloud fare. It’s a bit safe and a bit (dare we say it) BORING to be considered as such. We also dislike the handography that came with The Promise. We want to see the girls with a full-on dance routine, not some half-assed attempt at mimicking Britney. We didn’t like the girls’ hair or style for this release either. In fact, it was shit. Especially Nicola’s hair.
As for things we like about this song: the video. Also; ‘HERE I AM, WALKING PRIMROSE.’ Sarah Harding we salute you. This song would be nothing without your belting. Legend.
08. Sound Of The Underground
(2002, UK peak #1)
Yes, we have thought long and hard about the inclusion of this song on the list. On the one hand, it implies that the singles churned out by TV talent shows are actually decent. This is of course completely false, and this along with Will Young’s ‘Evergreen’ and Liberty X’s ‘Just A Little’ are the ONLY exceptions to the rule. On the other hand, the fact that this song was so good kind of set the tone for the rest of Aloud’s career, and yes, it set the stone for them working with Xenomania. Had they chucked out something shit, yes, they probably still would have gotten a number one, and “beaten” One True Voice. However, it wouldn’t have provided them with a quality base upon which to build a career on. It would have lead them down a path of saying ‘yes’ to any old shit. And that would have been dangerous. But instead, this song, is so incredibly catchy, with the walking-round-the-mike-stand-like-you’re-a-Sugababe-in-Round-Round choreography sticking in our brains to this day. So many things are so amazing about this song really.
(2005, UK peak #4)
What is so amazing about this song is its non-conformity to anything that could be described as a typical structure. Also the tempo changes. It is so frantic, frenetic, energetic and so hard to dance to!
06. Long Hot Summer
(2005, UK peak #7)
We think this song basically sorts out the real Girls Aloud fans from the imposters. Although it saddens us to see that brain of Xenomania, Brian Higgins has since called this a disaster, the production on this song is so Xenomania it’s unreal. For example, it reminds of Annie songs ‘Your Love Is Better’ and ‘Loco.’ We really like it. We like the personality the girls give the lyrics, we like the ‘uh-hur-HUR’ that constitute part of the chorus. We also like the ‘Ie-ie’ and ‘whye-whye.’ We just think it is a good Girls Aloud record. We really do.
(2009, UK peak #11)
For a long long time, we wanted this (along with Kylie’s ‘The One’) to be played at our funeral. We haven’t completely gone off the idea, but we are perhaps not as in love with this song as we once were. The Dancing On Ice performance of the song really was a treat. The album version is the definitive version of the song.
This song was infamously the first Girls Aloud single to miss the UK top ten, and we remember fans going a little crazy over that statistic. Lyric-wise, we guess there are some touching moments of vulnerability, from ‘You light up everywhere I go’ and ‘You light up and keep me out the cold’ to the divine ‘We’re beautiful robots dancing alone’ line. That one gets us every single time. Nowadays, a couple of years on, we do feel the song generally is a bit MORish for our usual tastes.
04. The Loving Kind
(2009, UK peak #10)
We have a soft spot for this song. When it first came out we used to imagine ourselves filming an epic storyline-led video for it. Half the video is set in a flat, probably a grimy little bedsit, and it is set in the late evening time. It focuses on the girls sharing a bed with ‘him’; he is sound asleep but they can’t sleep. There are also shots of the girls arranging flowers in vases, cooking a 3-course dinner and opening a (corked) bottle of fancy wine, but these should be done in a similar light to indicate it is midnight and the girls are a little bit crazy. These shots are spread throughout the rest of the action, which takes place at Ipswich train station. This would largely involve the girls standing on the bridge at rush hour, getting in the way of everyone, sadly gazing down at the train disappear into the distance with ‘him’ on it. As they finally admit defeat and go home, he fights his way through the commuters and amidst a foggy, commuter-full platform, he emerges to find the girls. Their hands linger but then the girls proceed to leave anyway. What can we say, we are creative(!!!)
We like the actual video they did too. Around this time we got a massive TV and Freeview so this was one of the first videos we remember seeing on ‘The Music Channels’ on our new TV. We love the infamous GMTV performance which spawned the epic ‘Sarah Harding bum note’ Youtube clip; one which all our housemates are overly familiar with as it’s probably our favourite Youtube clip ever.
We appreciate the Pet Shop Boys involvement in the song. We LOVE the ‘I’d do ANYTHING’ melody and vocals. So clever. Probably our best bit of the song. We especially like the lyrics of ‘I’ll buy you flowers / I’ll pour your wine’ because it is like the gender roles of traditional relationships have been reversed. We like the ‘watch you while you’re sleeping’ line, because who actually admits to doing that? It’s a bit creepy to admit doing so, yet so perfectly encapsulates that moment when you’re lying in bed with your lover and you can’t sleep and you see them soundly asleep and it makes your heart beat faster. We like how the song is one massive apology for not being a romantic. Essentially it lays bare the girls’ shortcomings, and says take us or leave us. And we are TAKING you girls!!!
03. The Show
(2004, UK peak #2)
So now we’re getting to songs which eat, sleep and breathe Girls Aloud. We love how packed The Show is. Sonically it is an absolute workout for the ears. This song is just so yes in so many ways. It gives us life.
02. Something New
(2012, UK peak #2)
When this song first came out we thought it was an abomination. Now, we think it is the best (OK, second best) thing the girls have ever done. We can’t explain how much euphoria and delight this song gives us. Highlights are hard to pick but obviously include Nadine’s crazy eyes in the video, and Sarah’s ‘TAKE A WALK ON THE WILLLLLD SIIIIIIIIDE.’ But the whole goddamn song is so amazing. This much amazingness in one song must surely mean an implosion somewhere in the universe?
01. Sexy? No No No…
(2007, UK peak #5)
The intro, complete with ‘phoned in’ vocal effect. The EXPLOSION. All the nos! There are SO many nos! Try and count them all. We dare you. Try. It will send you bloody crazy. The ‘oooh-ooohs’. D-D-Dirty. SEXY! SEXY! The ‘yeah, YEAH’s.
This song is typically Girls Aloud. This song should be whatever anyone thinks of when they think Girls Aloud. Not bloody Love Machine or shitting The Promise. It goes to the very core and essence of what Girls Aloud means. What Girls Aloud sounds like. One of the best British pop songs of the last 20 years, ladies and gentlemen.