1. True Bliss (New Zealand)
Naturally it actually seems only right to begin this adventure with this particular band from New Zealand. If it wasn't for True Bliss one might argue that much loved/hated staples of the music industry and history, such as Kelly Clarkson, Girls Aloud, Darin, Sita & Will Young, would never be. Syco would be nothing but a dream and 19M would still be promoting its "normal" brands such as S Club. True Bliss were of course the first ever band created through the PopStars Tv show that went on to spawn Pop Idol, Popstars:The Rivals and Star Academy. The importance of this band should not be understated: they've shaped the music scene we live in and continues to shape our tastes. Their one and only album pop-dance LP contains covers of ultra rare Kylie tracks and George Michael anthems and is a must for anyone interested in wanting a slice of pop music history.
Track: Number One [mp3]
Video: Number One [link]
2. Lemonescent (UK)
These girls can claim to be first and only girlband that came from Scotland. They consisted of five girls that didnt quite make Hear'Say. Consider them the LibertyX of LibertyX. Their sound was a cross between trance, anthemic guitar-pop and Spice Girls-lite. As such the public couldnt quite slot them. One moment the girls released stunning etheral chants, such as Beautiful, and next they were went all Ibeefah. If you ever wanted a band that consisted of Pop!, The Corrs, Steps and Spice Girls you'll love Lemonescent. They sliced through genres like a posessed knife in a cake shop and thus very hard to catagorise. But, this makes Lemonescent far more interesting than your usual pop product...
Tracks: Help Me Mama [mp3], Beautiful [mp3], All Right Now [mp3]
Video: Help Me Mama [link]
3. L5 (France)
Now ladies and gentlemen, this band is is nothing pure pop class! L5 are probably my all time favourite girlband. Listen to the track A Ta Liberte you can't not but fall for its sharp beat lines, hardcore churchbells and Max Martin-ilk strings. If Solid HarmoniE were still around today they'd be releasing material like L5. They managed to juice out all that was good about Destiny's Child, Britney Spears and their German sisterband No Angels(which we will cover later), and produce four excellent albums, no.1's and over three million records sold in France. They are one of only three bands to come from a TV show that has ever achieved in releasing a greatest hits package. You've got the aforementioned German winners of PopStars, No Angels, and Britains very own Girls Aloud who like L5 dropped their Greatest Hits cd for this Christmas. They also were given much of the unused back-catalog of Made In London which makes them very special to me. Whereas Girls Aloud covered I Think Were Alone Now, their French sisters went for The Bangles. See the new video here. Useless fact: their track Deconnecter was originally a solo single for one of German No Angel sister, Sandy, but it was then called Unexpected. The original is more rnb whilst L5's is a throbbing electric love song. I like...
Tracks: A La Liberte [mp3], Maniac [mp3], Deconnecter [mp3]
Video: Maniac [link]
4. Gayle & Gillian (Australia)
Following in the footsteps of Kylie, Gayle & Gillian jumped from Ramsey Street and into the hands of Stock/Aitken/Waterman. The results were brilliantly shocking. The twins produced just one album that was last seen on ebay going for over 300 big ones. Thats not mention their cover of the Prince track I Want To Be Your Lover. The general sound was drenched in instruments, a crazed raveKylie circa 1990 and Rupaul when she still made pretty good records. Pure pop gold. It was probably when I brought the cassingle home of Mad if Ya Don't that my mum started to think I might be gay.
Track: Mad If Ya Don't [mp3]
Video: Nobody Told Me [Link], Singing in the 80's [Link], All Mixed Up [Link]
5. Solid HarmoniE/She (UK)
Solid HarmoniE had a pretty rough time in music world. Clearly defined as a female Backstreet Boys from the get-go they were put on the defensive from the start. Despite being a Britain band (only Elisa was not British), Solid HarmoniE worked with a Swedish sound after flopping around as a threesome in 1996. A year later they regrouped as a foursome and worked with Max Martin. From those sesssions they produced the poptastic I'll Be there For You which was nothing but a brilliant update of some of ABBA's greatest moments. Sadly, the song bombed in the UK but not in The Netherlands who clearly took to them and the album went to no.1. The album was released in the UK but it came in at no.111. Mariama then left the band to join The Honeyz only to rejoin Solid HarmoniE months later but by then Jive was more concerned with the US and they disbanded. Sadly theres a whole second album they recorded as a threesome that remains unreleased which is a shame as If Your Daddy Knew sounds brilliant!
Track: You Got The Flava [mp3], 2nd unreleased album preview [mp3]
Video: I'll Be There For You [link]
6. Toto Coelo (UK)
The bad ass-trash-handbags-strutting attitude of Girls Aloud/Spice Girls can geneologically referenced back to two 1980's girlbands. Bananarama? Naw! The Flirts and Toto Coelo! We'll come to The Flirts later but its now time for Toto Coelo to shine. They were one of the first popbands to wear critically different dresses while still establishing all important pout and finger pointing that we've all come to expect from girlbands. This band boasted five distinct girls with differing popstar hair. Even their records projected 5ive different girls that all wanted often opposite strands of the one pop song. As for the music itself, Toto Coelo took pop music to that very dangerous place of comic self-referential deconstruction. Just listen to the lyrics of say, Draculas Tango, you know the girls loved the punchline of pop and just played along with the joke. Toto Coelo didnt need to intellectualise it with politics like U2, they were far too clever for that.
Tracks: I Eat Cannibals [mp3], Draculas Tango [mp3]
Video: Mucho Macho [link], I Eat Cannibals [link]
7. Hi-5 (Greece)
Not to be confused with the Australian band of the same name this Hi-5 recorded some of the best popcamp records that you'd usually expect to come out of Eurovision or Sweden(or both). Their debut record for example is, gulp, camper than ABBA! Originally written for Kylie Xero ti Zitao sold over 30, 000 singles. For the U.K thats huge, for Greece thats iconic. The song was written by the same guy behind Madonna's Like A Virgin as was most of their debut album, Hi-5, which sold about 92, 000 units which makes it one of the biggest Greek albums of all time. The quality of their albums certainly deserved the record-breaking sales. Hi-5 consist of Marlen, Froso, Shaya and Nansy. Although they were the winners of the Greek PopStars show, Shaya is actually Danish/Swedish, Marlen is half-Scottish and Nansy is more American than European. Its a shame they fell apart-they all hate each other-because the material they released is some of the best pop out there.
Track: Xero Ti Zitao [mp3]
Video: Xero Ti Zitao [link]
8. The Dixie Chicks (US)
What! A country band on DontStopthePop! We won't go on about the Dixie Chicks other than they they've rocked half of one nation musically and the other politically. They've aroused the White House, questioned the limits of the "freedom of speech" and have had a movie made about them that got a round of applause at Cannes. Something Spiceworld probably never did. Sadly. Anyway, the current Dixie Chicks comprise of Emily, Natalie and Martie and have sold quite a bit since landing on the scene back in the dirty days of 1998. Back then they consisted of the two sisters, Laura and Robin; the latter two of which departed before the band hit the big time. Laura was at first very bitter about being kicked out of the band but when her hubby won millions in the lottery she soon saw the brighter side. Goodbye Earl is one of my favourite tracks to come out of a American girlband mainly cos its a brilliant "adult" version of Wannabe. It also reminds me of that wonderful chickflick Fried Green Tomatoes.
Track: Goodbye Earl [mp3]
Video: Goodbye Earl [link]
9. N-Tyce (UK)
N-Tyce were a combination of Eternal, All Saints and Spice Girls yet very different from all those previously mentioned bands. Sadly they came out before their time and after releasing just one album they vanished. Years later another girlband on the same label as their own(TelStar) ended up releasing music very close to N-Tyce: Mis-Teeq. As you'll hear tracks like We Come to Party would still work today just with a little bit 2006 botox. N-Tyce were very much a London girlband that with a bit of artist development could have gone international. They consisted of Ario, Chantal, Donna and M'Chelle. The band had been in the works as early as 1995 but by the time of their debute, the UK music industry was awash with fellow girlbands and they got lost in the melle. The spirit of the All Saints first, and probably most poptastic single, I Know Where Its At was clearly evident on most of N-Tyce's records but as you can't have too much of a similar thing in the music industry one band had to face the chop. Sadly it was N-Tyce. But their record company did try and support the girls. Not only did they release an album on the back of singles that had flopped but pushed out four singles despite poor chart placings. N-Tyce should be remembered for paving the way for Mis-Teeq and releasing singles about telephone wanking, Telefunkin', which tastes rather like All Saints no.1 Bootie Call which released 1 year later...As you can see N-Tyce were just before their time
Tracks: We Come To Party [mp3]
Video: Telefunkin' [link]
10. 3rd Party (US)
3rd Party recently returned to the word of blogs thanks to PopEatsPop. They were the original singers/writers of J.Lo's smash hit Waiting For Tonight. Consisting of two American singers(Karmine and Elaine) and one Swedish(Maria) they produced only one album but boy was it dancetastic and like N-Tyce before its time. To quote PopEatsPop, their LP Alive 'preempted the rebirth of pop' and to me remains to be one of the best girlband albums to date. Vocally its faultless while musically it bounces between europop, disco, rnb and electronica. Maria's lungs rival that of Christina Aguilera and she remains to be one of the music industry's best kept secret. Record companies if you want a talented songwriter with excellent vocals and on a beautiful body snap her up, she's a class act.
Track: Listening To The Rain [mp3]
Video: Love Is Alive [link]
11. Bubbles/Bless (Sweden)
Break open the Dimebars, its our first Swedish pop band! Bubbles are also known as Bless and you might remember them from their attempt to represent Sweden in 2004 at Eurovision with their S Club-like track Blow The Spot which sounds so much like Don't Stop Movin' it hurts. Their first single Happy Girl peaked at no.6 in the Swedish charts while the second, Rock The World, went in at no.2. Their singles remained in the charts longer than any other Swedish single that year and they've sold quite a few albums to boot too. Despite releasing a new single this year, the wonderfully titled You Dog Me Out, there are sadly rumours the band have split as Carro is rumoured to have pulled a Geri and sealed a deal with a London-based record company. Still, they've just updated their myspace which would suggest they are still around. Originally their sound was a bit like Danish bands ToyBox and Aqua and now it seems they've attempted to "mature" themselves by working with the same people behind S Club 7. Either way, they are yet another brilliant pop band to come out of Sweden.
Tracks: Rock The World [mp3], Blow the Spot [mp3]
Video: Blow the Spot(Live) [link]
12. Tommi (UK)
Tommi were the worlds first chavgirlband long before Lily Allen ever dreamt of becoming a popstar. Their icons were probably Jay, Abs and Scott of 5ive and Betty Boo rather than Bananarama or Spice Girls. These girls made a philosophy out of trackies and put it to song. Like What is an anthem for the happy-slapping/ASBO generation and for this alone needs to be like, totally, celebrated. These girls were so street the charts didnt know what to do when Like What! came out in 2003. In fact they were formed not by some ad in a music newspaper or tv show but simply because of the attitude whilst walking/strutting around their respective hoods. There were rumours that they would be the next Spice Girls but they vanished without a trace. They did go for a second single, What Part Of No, but that also flopped even though it received heavy rotation from The Box.
Track: Like What! [mp3]
Video: What Part Of No [Link]
13. BellePop (Spain)
Bellepop were a very fun Spanish girlgroup who failed to ignite the charts in Spain despite being the winning product of its first Popstars show. Sadly they were just before their time as acts that have followed them since have had huge careers. Me thinks that the first series/season of Popstars in Spain just went unnoticed and slipped under the rader. Also, Spain is more of a Star Academy/Operacion Triufo nation as it continues to produce acts that gone on to sell millions with some acts even making waves in the U.S. Their music can be put into the Bewitched/S Club 8 box even tho much of their first album was originally slated for Atomic Kittens 2nd album.
Track: Chicas al Poder [mp3]
Video: La Vida Que Va [link]
14. Touch/Spice Girls (UK)
Touch were the band that came before the Spice Girls. They consisted of Michelle Stephenson, Mel C, Mel B, Vicky A and Geri. They recorded a number of pop tracks before Michelle left Touch for a uni course and was replaced by Abigail Kis who jumped the boat because she wanted to spend more time with her boyfriend. The two tracks on offer today should be seen as bookends in Spice Girl history. You've got Do You Think About Me by Touch and Can't Stay Tonight which was an unused track from the 3rd Spice Girl album that never came to be. Initially album no.3 was planned to to consist of five solo tracks(with the other girls doing backing vocals) and five collective traditional Spice Girls songs. The album was produced by Biffco, recorded in-between touring, babies and Virgin were much pleased. Until the girls dropped the Britishpop producers, most of the songs recorded in Britain and fatally hooked up with Darkchild. What made Spice Girls so successful was the messy presentation of pop but by moving with an American sound they suddenly appeared sleek, severe and disconnected with a huge bulk of their audience. Simply put: girls from Leeds(Mel B) and Liverpool(Mel C) don't Holla they shout, eat scampi n' chips and drink Barcardi Breezers.
Tracks: Do You Think About Me-unreleased [mp3], Can't Stay Tonight-unreleased [mp3]
Video: Woman(Live) [Link]
15. Tatu (Australia)
Tatu(meaning three in Swahili) were shortlived Australian girlgroup consisting of three girls who didnt make it into the Aussie Popstars band Bardot. They are the Australian LibertyX/Clea if you wish. Not to be confused with the Russian band with a similar name, the name was chosen as one of the members was born in Kenya. They only released one single, Imperfect Girl, but as it completely missed the Australian top 40 no singles/albums came out. One of its members, Dorothy, tried and missed out when Australia searched for its second Popstars band, Scandal'us whose lifetime was equally short.
Track: Imperfect Girl [mp3]
-One of DSTP's favourite girlbands has lost a member! Yes, the L in Clea has left after four years of touring, releasing two pretty good albums and becoming quite established in Hong Kong. The E and the A remain positive and have decided to get a new member for album no.3.
-Thanks to Alex, Matti aka the Wannabe Swede, New Zealand Glamboy & Adam....
-The tracks will be loaded for a very limited time..
-16 to 30 soon! They will mostly consist of Swedish, Italian, Dutch and Polish girlbands!
-The music presented above are for primarily for promotion/research use! Please support each of the acts mentioned by buying their cd's through music sites some of which are linked up on this very website.
1. True Bliss (New Zealand)
Posted by Robpop at Tuesday, November 21, 2006