47. Passion Fruit (Germany/Netherlands)
Get out ya tissues its crying time! Passion Fruit consisted of three young happy-go lucky girls-Maria, Debby and Nathaly. They released the poptastic album Spanglish Love Affairs and they absolutely loved bubblegum pop music. Their single Sun Fun Baby was just the start of great things for the band. Their debut single Ringy Ding Dong Song had charted very well and after 2 years of touring they were establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. However on November 21st, 2001 they boarded a plane to Zurich from Berlin that smashed into the forests of Basserdorf just a few minutes short of the runway. The CrossAir aircraft came down due to human error and poor facilities at the airport. Despite landing the plane broke up and eventually burst into flames. Maria and Nathaly were two of the 24 people dead with Debby consisting of the 8 surviving passangers and crew. Also killed in the same air crash was singer Melanie Thornton of La Bouche and Wonderful Dream fame. Despite their tragic deaths the story went pretty much unnoticed because of the closeness to the date of the crash to "9.11". Passion Fruit were about euroPOP with a ! and for this we celebrate them here today.
Tracks: Sun Fun Baby [mp3]
48. Those 2 Girls (UK)
The most interesting thing about this girlband was that it included one Denise van Outen. They released 2 poptastic singles with equally cheesy cd sleeves but again this was 1995 pre-Spice Girls and so on. While Those2Girls flopped(I don't think their singles actually charted) Denise V.O would later take hold of British newspapers when she dominated early morning TV shows and saw her star shine bright in her one-woman musical Lloyd-Webber production Tell Me On A Sunday. To those who have no idea as to what D.V.O is about she's made her reputation from saying naughty words and becoming the working-mans crumpet. She's also a bit of a gay icon. This hetero/homo duel-status was solidified when she covered ABBA's Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie(A Man After Midnight) yonks before that yank thought of ripping it shreds. She's also even covered a Kylie song in past. Wanna Make You Go...Uuh is a bit of a forgotten gem and looking back I'm surprised it didnt take off when compared to the pop records that did. The track sounds 2 years ahead of its time and is rather too sophisticated for its own boots. This probably explains why Mr.Todd Terry can be seen on remixing duties.
Tracks: Wanna Make You Go..Uuh![mp3], Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (Denise Van Outen) [mp3]
49. Girls@Play (UK)
This was Pete Watermans attempt to grab some of that money produced by the successes of Spice Girls, All Saints and Bewitched. It didnt work. However the album that they demo'd, or rather worked towards, has gone down as the second most sought after collection of songs for any pop loverrrr(the first being the second Deuce LP). The girls were constructed as the female Village People but such obvious labeling failed to get but a whimper out of the pop industry let alone the great masses. The problem was that after such a dirge of girlbands the public faced a tsunami of boob-tubes, silly dance routines and platforms and so many ended up sinking in the rush. Girls@Play were the one of the bands that didnt make it to the beach let alone the palm trees. Their back catalog consists of two singles and one track that appeared on a Smash Hits collection of songs. Oddly the song has been 'covered' by Swedish act Ann Winsborn. Maybe I should say ripped off instead but I'll let the lawyers argue over semantics. But judge for yourself...
Tracks: Respectable [mp3], Outta My Head [mp3], Ann Winsborn rip off [mp3]
50. Clea (UK)
Clea need no introduction here. Their albums contain some excellent anthems that due to their lack of record company support remain hidden gems. Oddly enough German super-girlband Monrose have ripped off one of their staple songs, The Lie, to lead them to the no.1 position in both Austria and Germany with their debut single. Last month Lindsay left the group leaving Aimee and Emma to search for a new member, which if rumors are to be believed, has resulted in a girl called Ashlee stepping into the gap. Despite low sales in the UK the band are huge in, er, parts of east Europe and Hong Kong. So far they've released two albums-Identity Crisis and Trinity-which are polar opposites sound-wise. The former is more orchestral and serious whilst the new one recalls bubblegum bomps, PWL pumps and disco polemics. Sadly Trinity doesnt include one of their best ever songs recorded: Kick Back Relax but it did save the career of Agnes Carlsson so theres a silver-lining in there somewhere.
Track: A Guy Like You [mp3]
Video: Clea Live in Bulgaria which could be their last ever performance as a band :( [link]
51. Cookie (UK)
If you thought the ever evolving mutating frontline of Sugababes was bad Cookie take the biscuit. Ahem. Originally consisting of Nicola, Marianne, Tahnee & Montana the girls were set to rival Girls Aloud and the hype was pretty huge around their debut single Do It Again. However just as they'd filmed the video Nicola left the group and was replaced with Aimee. Nicola has a bit of history of doing such things as she'd pulled out of Popstars: The Rivals allowing for another Nicola to join Girls Aloud. Do It Again was delayed and a new version recorded with much stronger vocals. However the line-up change meant scrapping tons of expensive promotion and starting all over again which naturally damaged their chances of success. On the week of release of the Do It Again Montana was already fronting a new girlband and the single evaporated. The band can claim to have flopped without ever properly releasing one track. Cookie regrouped with new members and started touting Do It Again once more but by this time key members had formed a new girlband called Stiletto which also consisted of Caroline of 411. This band has yet to appear but their myspace was championed on popjustice. Despite losing all of its members Cookie restarted with a track quite sardonically called Don't Even Go There. Alas by this time the world had moved on. Which is a shame as they recorded some brilliant tracks. Take Advice for example...it contains some of the best killer lyrics about cheating with rent girls ever put to music. Advice sounds like the perfect reply to PussyCat Dolls' Don't Cha-I mean take the middle 8 line for example "caught you red-handed, you've dropped your standards, back street for your thrills, paying for each fill, cheat on her indoors, when I could loved you more, buy one get one free, you just disgust me..."
Track: Advice-previously unreleased track [mp3]
Videos: Do It Again-second version [link]
52. Girl Thing (UK)
In many ways Girl Thing can be seen as the beginning of the end of girlbands in the UK. Not only were they hyped up beyond all reasonable expectations but they were dubbed as the band to reckon the achievements of the Spice Girls. Same producers, similar sounds, same writers and they even had their own 'Ginger Spice' to boot. Their first single Last one Standing was released in the same week as the Kylie comeback track Spinning Around in 2000. Talk about cocksure! The most tragic facet of the whole affair was not merely the dashed dreams and tears of Girl Thing but rather that the hype and expense of Girl Thing led to the faltering of other bands who saw their promotion and releases consequently pulled back and withdrawn. Two key casualties were Made in London who saw their release of their album Perfect Storm cancelled by their record company who saw Girl Thing as the more viable act over and above the trio. The other girlband was Precious whose record company got cold feet due to the huge hype surrounding Girl Thing at the time. As result their singles were pulled, remixed and delayed. So as you can see the flop of Girl Thing brought a lot of other girlbands down with them....Still what is even more tragic is that they'd recorded a song called Pure & Simple which had been put aside as their 'Whole Again'. But then.. Hear'say grabbed the track for themselves. Their version remains far better and without the straining voices of Noel and Danny....
Tracks: Pure & Simple [mp3], Don't Look Down [mp3], Sometimes You Hit Sometimes You Miss [mp3]
53. SuperSister (UK)
In following the disco hotpants of Atomic Kitten, SuperSister recorded one of the campest songs ever by a girlband, the poptastic anthem Coffee. They managed two singles: the craptastic Shopping & Summer's Gonna Come Around Again which has recently been covered by the Icelandic girlband Nylon. There is an album recorded but sadly(and rather fabtastically) it remains in the very same vaults where Verve demo's gain dust for they shared the same record company.
Tracks: Boyz In The Back Seat [mp3], Coffee [mp3]
54. Made In London (UK)
Following Kylie and Robyn Made in London are one of my favourite all time acts. Sadly their star was destined to remain clouded by record company budgets, errors and misgivings (see girlband no.52 above). Their excellent unreleased RCA/Island album Perfect Storm pre-empted the current shift in pop music from bubblegum to pubrockpop. Indeed, tracks such as 24 Hours and I'm Not wouldnt be out of place on the recent output by McFly, Busted and Kelly Clarkson. Sadly after two singles the album was shelved but that hasnt stopped Cookie, Monrose and Bardot covering them.....
Tracks: Dirty Water-Original version [mp3], Satisfaction [mp3], Shut Your Mouth[mp3], Pull Up To the Bumper [mp3], I'm Not-unreleased [mp3]
55. Precious (UK)
And to the second girlband caught in the crossfire caused by the implosion of Girl Thing. Precious sounded like Britney Spears and looked ever so like they'd make it however so did Solid HarmoniE and we know how that turned out. Despite issues with record companies and volatile friendships within the group Precious achieved great coverage representing the UK for Eurovision, a heady batch of singles with expensive videos, an album release and U.S releases. Still, it didnt work by the fourth single(yes 4th!) and they separated. One of the girls joined some other band and hasnt looked back. Well sort of. Their only album Rewind is pretty ok but does contain some filler. Only the tracks done with Cutfather/Joe in Denmark stand out and the disco anthem Stand Up screams out as the critical tune. If they'd only done this track at Eurovision they might have faired far better....
Track: Stand Up [mp3]
Videos: Rewind [link], Say It Again-US version [link], New Beginning-Live [link], New Beginning [link], Say It Again-Eurovision [link], Its Gonna Be My Way [link]
56. Soluna (US)
Other than band no.47 it would seem that today's batch of girlbands originate out of the UK. Not so. Soluna met at the California Institute of Arts and were signed up by Dreamworks. They consisted of Aurora, America, Jessica and Christina. Recording with club maestro ThunderPuss they set out to be capitalise on the pop waves formed by their Hispanic sister Jennifer Lopez. However much like Atomic Kitten, when the poptastic route failed to deliver they slowed the beats down and released ballads as singles. The result of which meant they only picked up fans when their singles were ironically remixed up and to date they've only ever truly made a dent on that wilderness zone of U.S Dance charts. Tracks like Monday Mi Amor will get any dying party back up and dancing and its a shame the record company pushed the slowies over such brilliant disco extravaganzas.
Tracks: Monday Mi Amor [mp3]
Video: For All Time [link]
57. TSD (UK)
Two years before the British band Steps launched one of their members, Claire Richards, belonged to an equally camp girlgroup TSD. They toured gay clubs, schools, released two singles(that crashed somewhere beyond the lower echelons of the singles chart) and even supported Boyzone & PJ&Duncan. With severe flops behind them they decided to split & Claire returned to her job as a secretary. Their sound was PWL, ABBA on Ice and with little winks to Take That. Shame about the name really...for with a slight of a hand you'd think they were dedicating themselves to the sort of things you'd find in clap clinics.
Tracks: Baby I Love You [mp3], Heart & Soul [mp3]
58. Girls Aloud (UK)
BlogWorld adores Girls Aloud. In fact if it wasnt for the internet the bands' success might have never achieved its post-ironic status that it enjoys today. So I wont bore you with the details, drama, history and so on. They are one of a short number of girlbands who've reached the Greatest Hits stage not to mention that they are, as of yet, one of only 4 "PopStars-products" to have survived beyond such expectations (L5, No Angels and Rouge are the other bands). Well done girls!
Track: Why Do It-new b-side [mp3]
Places of interest:
TipTopPop is back and looking mighty fine!
Catchy Tunes of Sweden do Christmas!
PosterGirl goes all eclectic...
PaulZapping predicts the future...
PopTrashAddicts justs gets better and better(check out supreme OzPop girl band TeenQueens)
Spark*Pop flashes us with his back....
InternationalHouseofPussy invite you to lick their baubles...
47. Passion Fruit (Germany/Netherlands)
Posted by Robpop at Saturday, December 16, 2006