GIRLBAND LEGEND: No Angels



At the start of 2001, no one would have been able to envision the impact No Angels would have on the European pop scene. As winners of season one of PopStars in Germany, one would expect a big hit single and album a few flops and then a quick descent into obscurity along the lines of Excellence, TrueBliss, Hear'Say, Eden's Crush etc. However the girls (Vany, Nadja, Sandy, Lucy and Jess) defied all that and ended up raking up a dozen top 20 hits (4 of which hit #1) and three #1 albums before going on a break in 2003. Well they’re back in the charts again (minus one member) with single Goodbye To Yesterday and the album Destiny, both of which have stormed the German top 5.

What makes them legends though? Hard to pinpoint really, but while other girlbands have come and gone, No Angels have stayed at the top of their game in the German-speaking world – despite no German language tracks. In fact they’re the most successful girlband on Germany’s chart ever. They've seen their material released throughout the world with Daylight In Your Eyes making the US top 20 singles sales chart (admittedly you only need to sell 5 copies for that!). And just a couple of years ago the divine extended version of their hit Let's Go To Bed was a regular feature of gay clubs in New Zealand — a place where it was never even released.

What makes them even more legendary, is that unlike the Spice Girls, No Angels realised quickly that people weren’t overly interested in their solo careers (Sandy being the only one to score a solo top 10 hit) and so with only Vany pulling a Melanie C, they regrouped and made more hits. Interestingly Jess left for third album Pure to have a baby and returned for The Best Of No Angels and Reason, (a reworking of That's The Reason from the debut album) and ultimately Destiny, while Vany hasn't returned for Destiny apparently over wrangling due to unpaid royalties for their #1 hit Something About Us. Given her solo album made #135 in Germany, perhaps this wasn't a smart move...




They’re also legendary for their shameless covering of other tracks. From the obvious like There Must Be An Angel and All Cried Out to covers of previously little known tracks like Daylight In Your Eyes (which sold over a million copies). Latest album Destiny features covers of Agnes (who also covered No Angels on her first album), Dana Glover and L5. Now this is where the covering gets complex as L5’s Deconnecter is in fact a francophone cover of Unexpected, the title track and third single for Sandy’s first solo album. Phew!

They also gave great singles packages, pretty much always including a B side, like What Am I Supposed To Do? and cheesy remixes! What more could you want? (Well aside from full-length mixes and an Almighty mix, although their is a WIP mix of Daylight In Your Eyes!)

At the end of the day though, No Angels made some of the best pop music this decade. Prime example being the stunning Still In Love With You (presented here in extended form) which even had a camp as Latin remix . Even their ill-fated solo attempts had golden moments – like Jess’ power bitch anthem 10 Steps Back, Nadja’s sublime Ich Hab Dich. Even Vany's flop album Mamma Lila Would contained some gems like the nasty B.B.B which was rumoured (but never confirmed) to be directed at either Sandy or some TV reporter.

Videos were another area they excelled in. Still In Love With You is just stunning, while No Angel (All In Your Mind) is hot and Rivers Of Joy is high-camp.

The new album can be purchased at amazon as can their entire back catalogue — both solo and together. So while Germany will never live down their embracing of the Hoff, we can at least forgive them since they gave us No Angels!

4 comments:

Aaryn said...

I <3 "Feelgood Lies"

PinkieDust said...

Me too Aaryn. This post is amazing. I am loving all the girlband legends posts and can't wait for more! Its amazing that a band that i saw at G-a-y are still around and selling quite a lot.

I know the DSTP boys will know this-did no angels have their Clea/Phixx?

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