Monday, 26 November 2007

The hits that missed

What makes an also-ran? It's easier to explain when the song is crap (Kelly C, Spice Girls). But for a song that had 'hit' written in 200 foot letters in the sky it's an eternal puzzle as to why it doesn't connect. Here are a few that not only missed but either damaged or killed off careers.

Young, Fresh N' New (Timo Maas Mix) - Kelis (zShare)

Kelis underwent major career resuscitation after the abject failure of this track. The so-so album Wanderlust went on walkabout and disappeared. The States didn't even get a chance to make it a flop. It wasn't released there. But this is a brilliant mix by Timo Maas of a solid song. This should have been the main radio version and maybe then it would have gone higher than 32 in November 2001.

21st Century - Weekend Players

All the stars were in alignment with this track: radio had it on a permanent loop; one half of the duo was Groove Armada's Andy Cato and DJs loved it because everyone went mental. But the Weekend Players were destined to remain a Capital Radio favourite and no more when it stalled at 22 in September 2001.

Much Love (Marco's Soul Sisstah Mix) - Shola Ama

This fabulosa title track from Shola Ama's million-selling album was that one single too far. If your name's not Jackson, don't release more than three singles from a hit album. Although it wasn't exactly career damaging, as the fourth song it did signal a turning point in the London singer/songwriter's fortunes. Her expensive follow-up album In Return failed to make any chart returns in the UK. Massive success in France ended up being really annoying because everyone spoke French. She couldn't understand the plaudits "Vous etes incroyable" etc. and so hit the bottle. If only we had known how it would all turn out when Much Love finished up at 17 in February 1998.

Telefunkin' - N-TYCE (zShare)

It's not just the backing track that has dated with this N-TYCE flop, lyrics like "tied to my telephone line" and the title itself place it firmly outside the noughties. But it's still funkin' great! The best track from Chanta, Ario, Donna and M'chelle's album All Day Every Day gave up the ghost at 16 in February 1998.

A really expensive looking cheap video from N-Tyce.

Dirty Water - Made In London

Time and again Made in London (bloody AWFUL name) pop up in girl band lists. They're probably more famous for never making it. But this track should have been a big fat hit. And they seemed like such nice girls too, definitely not the "sisters in crime" portrayed in the urban spoken intro. At least they'll have made their mums proud even though the song floundered at 15 in May 2000.

A Smash Hits photoshoot. Ah, thems were the days.


Adem With An E said...

Have you heard the Bardot version of Dirty Water? I always thought both versions were incredibly classy, but preferred the Bardot version a little bit more due to my insane obsession with them during their (very short) time on Aussie charts.

Phil said...

Adem: I haven't heard it! I want it!