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.
Beverley Knight – Shoulda Woulda Coulda
Original release: 2002
UK chart #10
Although only our third favourite BK initialled celebrity, after the talent that is Barbara Knox and some superstar named Beyoncé, nonetheless it is impossible to ignore this amazing singalong anthem from 2002. Whilst thinking of Beverley Knight we tend to gravitate towards her agreeable cover of ‘Piece of My Heart‘ and regard her primarily as a soul singer. Thus it is easy to forget her more R&B tinged tunes, such as her instantly recognisable version of the Robyn song ‘Keep This Fire Burning‘, and dismiss her material as not popfoolish enough for us. For a singer with a career as lengthy and distinguished as Beverley she has arguably not reached the levels of commercial success she has fully deserved.
However with ‘Shoulda Woulda Coulda’ she not only achieved her first UK top 10 single but also perfectly encapsulated one of the defining trends of the early noughties with her own take on poppy lite-R&B. It remains to this day a must-hear, era-defining tune and Beverley should be proud that such a great song will for many remain the obvious highlight of her career. The chorus is an extremely intelligently written earworm; we truly appreciate the triplet of ‘shoulda woulda coulda’ being used three times as thus:
‘shoulda wolulda coulda means I’m out of time /
shoulda woulda coulda can’t change your mind’
and to finish the chorus ‘shoulda woulda coulda are the last words of a fool’.
It’s a simply produced song with little instrumentation along the way but with this song less is definitely more. Beverley’s vocals are rightly allowed to take centre-stage and it is exactly that approach which makes it so catchy. They definitely don’t make them like this any more.