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]
16. Rouge (Brazil)
You know I said only three bands from the PopStars fleet had produced Greatest Hits packages (No Angels, Girls Aloud and this week L5)... well I was wrong. There's 1 more and thats the delightful Brazilian band Rouge. They were the most fun of the PopStars' Girlband regime because they managed to, somehow, bring back the vibe of the Spice Girls. Indeed they became the most successful girlband in South American history sale-wise. Which is pretty impressive considering the pop industry is so big there. They even recorded a number of their songs in Spanish at the height of their success. They produced dolls, toys, merchandise, food and a very lucrative fashion line. In 2002 they released their version of Asereje which was later covered in Spanish by Las Ketchup(whose version actually includes the Rouge girls on backing vocals). Rouge themselves were not prone to covers as they re-did the B*witched debut and some Hear'Say album tracks. Despite huge success right up till their last release they've called it a day but I don't think its the last Brazil will see/hear of Rouge.
Tracks: Popstar [mp3], C'est La Vie(Spanish version) [mp3], Ragatanga [mp3]
17. Miio (Sweden)
Miio have managed to do something quite shocking; they've actually made Girls Wanna Have Fun even more poptastic than the original. Hailing from Sweden, Miio are Josepfine and Mia and have so far released two albums with their latest Fever causing a commotion on my Ipod. If you like Ace Of Base you'll like Miio!
Tracks: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun [mp3], Fantasi [mp3], Once [mp3]
18. Monrose (Germany)
Monrose are the latest girlband from Germany following in the stiletto glories of No Angels and Preluders where the PopStars franchise looks as robust as it did back in the TrueBliss days. The three are just about to release their new album and Shame enters the German charts this week. You can buy their album here and check out their simple but effective official website here for more information. Notice that Shame appears to be a cover of one my all time girlband tracks, The Lie by Clea!
Track: Shame(Radio Edit) [mp3], Work It(B-side) [mp3]
Video: Shame [link]
19. Milk&Honey (Germany)
Milk and Honey just entered the charts this week with this rather brilliant ode to international pop music. Despite being German, the only languages you'll hear on this are Arabic, English and French. Totally camp. So who are they? Anne Ross was from the girlband Preluders (see below) and her bandmate Maneli Falei is a well established world-music singer. They've joined forces to make the some of the most interesting pop music coming out Europe this year.
Track: Habibi [mp3]
Video: Habibi [link]
20. Cosmo4 (Sweden)
So we've returned to Sweden(get use to it!). Cosmo4 have yet to release their album but their singles have all been fabbubbletastic and well worth the shipping costs. I'm not sure whether they've called it a day but we hope not as their music fell on this side of 60's bubblegum pop that we rarely hear around these woods these days. Edit: I said wasnt sure whether Cosmo4 had split up because they havent! They are trying out to represent Sweden this year at Eurovision (thanks Alex). Yay!
Track: Adios Amigos [mp3]
Videos: Peek-a-Boo [link], Mexico [link]
21. EyeQ (Denmark)
DontStopThePop covered EyeQ during our DanskePop season but they were so classy we thought it only right to return to them. Tracks like Be Okay sound ever so close to Kelly Clarkson's move into indiePop that worked so well for her. Sadly EyeQ were before their time and they disbanded. However they did release a brilliant second album from which Be Okay was the title track and needs as much attention as they truly deserve. As girlbands go, EyeQ's kinky lyrics and excellent melodies make them very special. Check out their interesting take on their "girlband-grannies" key track We Are Family for proof of their rather leftfield (for a PopStars group) attitude. No cut-run disco cover for EyeQ....
Tracks: We Are Family(bonus Track) [mp3], Be Okay [mp3], Let The Record Spin [mp3]
22. Caracola (Sweden)
Now to a Swedish girlband that hasn't disbanded! Caracola are very now and doing rather well in their native country. I hope and pray they secure some kind of English album. Hell, if Miio can record an English album on the back of their monster of chart history then Caracola can! Thanks to some very cute special fairies we've had a little listen to a track they've done in English and, despite being work in progress, I hope they throw caution to the wind and follow their hearts cos what I heard was magic! Bring on summer 07!
Track: Summarnatt [mp3]
23. Samajona (Germany)
It would seem that todays journey into girlband zips from Stockholm to Berlin. Thats because Sweden-Germany love their girlbands and for this we love 'em! Samajona, like Caracola, have no TV show to support them which could explain why the band have sadly come stuck. Still, they released two excellent pop albums that can be placed somewhere in-between Solid HarmoniE and No Angels. The English lyrics to Take Me To The Top are so dirty they make me either think of a male pornstar or a BratWurst.
Track: Take Me To The Top [mp3]
Video: Wird Es Heute Passieren [link]
24. NG3 (Sweden)
Cutting back to Sweden, if you got hot under your cover over Samajona's lyrics prepare to get all sexually educated with this rather fantastic girlband. NG3 push aside the red-faced double meanings and go straight to the point. Holler contains the timeless lyric "don't be silly put a condom on ya willy" and for this alone NG3 have gone into DontStopthePop Hall of Fame. However as you'll hear on Holler, which is no relation to the Spice Girl song, they then have that high pitched "heeeee" that we most know as Bo Selecta's tribute to Michael Jackson. Well this band did it first. The girls released one brilliant album, As Nasty As We Wanna Be, which was the album that the Spice Girls should have released instead of Forever. This was the first 'adult' girlband aimed not to teenage girls but to 23 year olds who knew about Bombay rolls and remembered Kylie when she was Neighbours and a world without reality TV.
Track: Holler [mp3]
Videos: Tell Me [link], The Anthem [link]
25. YooMii (Germany)
From an adult girlband to Yoomii who probably recall Atomic Kitten before they got all boring (when Kerry was still in the band basically). Or, alternatively you could say Yoomii are related to Aqua or are the little sisters of Caracola. Their album, Here We Are, is a database of poptastic Euromusic and, as such, a perfect 'getting-ready-to-go-out' soundtrack. YooMii are pretty big in their native Germany where they've just released a DVD-movie to cash-in on the christmas market.
Track: Party Girl [mp3]
26. Girlband (Australia)
So to our second stray out of Europe. Girlband can be described as the book-end to a, er, girlband history in Australia that started from GirlFriend to Bardot to Young Divas—we could have made an issue of the aforementioned band but seeing as they are all over the internet DontStopthePop felt it better to cover the real last chapter of girlbands in Australia: Girlband. Check out their NZ brotherband, er, Boyband. Unlike Boyband (our favourite has to be the "gay boi") however there isn't an ounce of irony in the Girlband machine. They are serious about being a girlband. Which is good. But will it work? Girlband have only completed one song and appear to be testing the waters before they embark on releasing an album. Time will tell but their British sisterband, Frank, failed to get beyond the release of their sole album. Hopefully the future for Girlband shines brighter...
Track: Party Girl [mp3]
Excellent Essay on the Genealogy of Girlbands on Australia & beyond [link]
27. Soccx (Germany)
Flying back to Europe, Soccx are yet another up n coming pop group. So far the music is very strong. Two nights ago they previewed some of their material and tracks such as Scream Out Loud and Bye Bye Baby demand to be released. If you want to place them put them in-between the PussyCat Dolls, P!nk and Dannii Minogue. They are on the cuff of releasing a new album which is pretty exciting as the five look like the poppiest act since Spice Girls.
Track: Get The Party Started(from dusk till dawn) [mp3]
Video: Get The Party Started(from dusk till dawn) [link]
Graaf are a sister-band who released lots of europop music that was sadly lost amongst the ATC's, Milk Inc's and Aqua's. Some said the music was out of place while others argued the level of incest simply crossed that "moral line". Indeed FHM many a time included naked images of the girls spraying each other with garden tools and in "arty-farty" shoots that just happened have them both in that erotic-but-dead-inside look we all attribute to PlayBoy and Hustler. Whatever. Their videos generally included soldiers and men being dominated which makes Graaf a very special girlband. One of the sisters recently tried out for Eurovision but was sadly rebuffed as the entry stage. Funnily enough, Hannah Graaf's appearance and presentation of her song, Naughty Boy, preempted the current 1930's/40's love-in heralded by diva's Amy WineSoaked and Christina Aguilera. This just goes to show that those Swedish are always ahead of the game. Unlike their Nordic cousins......
Track: Give It Up [mp3]
Video: Naughty Boy-Live(Hannah Graaf) [link], Never Never [link], You Got [link]
29. NyLon (Iceland)
NyLon could be the one and only girlband to hail from the country that was named after a cheapo food store that is currently promoted by, amazingly, Kerry Katona of Atomic Kitten. Nylon are huge in Iceland but sadly their attempts of U.K success fell this side of Clea, Jenny Frost and Lisa Scott-Lee. This is probably because they sounded like the female Westlife and so became stuck. In a last, but rather botched, plan to retrieve something out of their U.K soirée Nylon released their version of Sweet Dreams. Thing is it sounded like an Almighty cover and radio ignored it. The album has been shelved (for Feb 2007) but not in their native Iceland where the four have received a hero's welcome-home. Odd Fact: the album includes a cover of SuperSister's last single Summer's Gonna Come Again.
Track: Sweet Dreams [mp3]
Videos: Losing A Friend [link], Summer's Gonna Come Again(Supersister original) [link]
30. Nylon Beat (Finland)
Not to be confused with their Icelandic sisters, this band of two were a result of a TV show somewhat like Popstars but circa 1995. They started out pretty pop when they were just 16 and by 2006 they'd released over 30 singles and over ten albums (two of which are in English). Their videos included Finnish Eurovision winners Lordi and excellent parodies of American soap operas. As you will see one of their first hits includes them playing around in toilets ala Sugababes in Easy. Also note in that particular video they snap the hand of one of their suitors. Moreover check out the young mans erection, the camptastic dancing and the blonde boy who sleeps with his dolly. Girlband gold.
Tracks: Syyton [mp3],Teflon Love [mp3]
Videos: Teflon Love [link], Anna Mule [link]
31. Queens (Poland)
Going south of Finland we find ourselves in Poland with the very camptastic girlband Queens. Despite having spots of success with their debut album, Made For Dancing, the girls recently lost two of their members, Pat & Agnies, and have lost the rights to release a track that was supposedly going to break them in the international market (it's now been given to, gulp, Danity Kane). Still, Queens are set to release their second album, We Are The Queens, with two new members Julia and Sylvia. This means that Monika remains to be the only original member. Sugababes anyone?
Tracks: Everybody Loves The Sunshine [mp3], Od-A-Do-Zet [mp3]
Video: Everybody Loves The Sunshine [link]
32. Popsie (Sweden)
In 1996 Popsie formed however Zandra, Angelica, Kat and Cecilia only secured a record deal a whole year later. In a short space of 12 months the girls released a number of singles and one excellent album that has pretty much gone down in girlband history as pop history gold. Sadly however, despite such classics as Single, Rough Enough and the Spice Girls-anthem-that-never-was I'm Not Your Property they vanished without a trace.
Tracks: Dump the Zero(Get A Hero) [mp3], Latin Lover [mp3]
Video: Rough Enough [link]
33. Via Gra (Ukraine)
Not to be confused with the erection drug of the similar spelling, Via Gra have swept through their home country and are making waves in Russia. In a similar Sugababes/Queens fare Via Gra, despite excellent sales, constantly swap and change their frontline. They now perform with only one original member(Vera) but all those who've since gone solo have all had great careers out of the band. As you will see if you check out the video for Brillianti Via Gra are camp as a make-up artist backstage at Eurovision..
Track: Biology [mp3]
Video: Brillianti [link]
34. Preluders (Germany)
The Preluders were the girlband to improve on the mighty mighty No Angels but sadly it t'was a mountain too high to climb and they fell apart at the seams (indeed, they lost member after member from quintet to trio to duo in two short years), and it had started ever so well. Their first single was a cover of Losing My Religion sold exclusively at McDonald's. Following on from that, their stunning 'proper' debut single Everyday Girl landed in at no.1 in Germany which is a huge achievement seeing as the country is the biggest market music-wise in Europe. Their album, Girls in The House obtained platinum status, however second single, Bal Privee, limped to number 24 and future single releases from the album were canned. Perhaps they peaked too fast and too early as their follow-up singles and album (an ill-informed covers collection) all flopped. At the moment of breach they lost a member, ala Kym Marsh you might argue, but Tertia had to leave the band after a car accident. Then both Rebecca & Anne left the group leaving the remaining duo to wrangle out of record company conflicts and emotional issues. However by June 2006 things were on the up and the Preluders were back with a new deal and a new girl. I Want Your T.I.M.E suddenly became a girlband classic and a true return to form. However, the German people made sure the girls were shown the door when it entered the charts at a hefty no.91. However this hasn't stopped the band and they plan to release their 3rd album for 2007.
Tracks: I Want Your T.I.M.E [mp3], Last Christmas [mp3], Losing My Religion [mp3]
Video: Everyday Girl [link]
35. Smoke2Seven (UK)
This rather brilliant trio had tons of money thrown at them. Their videos rivaled the quality of American acts but the charts refused to take yet another girlband. The UK charts have never truly been kind to girlbands. Yes you might argue that we've got Sugababes, Girls Aloud, Spice Girls, All Saints, Atomic Kitten and so on. However both All Saints and Sugababes flopped first time round, Girls Aloud have poor chart placings with excellent tracks and Atomic Kitten were saved by a malty ballad. For every Spice Girls you've also got Smoke2Seven and what separates flop and success isnt always clear as you'll hear Smoke2Seven pisses all over some of the turds released by Spice Girls and All Saints(Mama anyone?). Don't ya think the one at the bottom of the picture looks like a young Amy Winehouse.........??!!
Track: Been There Done That [mp3]
Video: Envy [link]
36. Lollipop (Italy)
Lollipop were the product of the Italian season of PopStars in 2001 and they were absolutely huge. Their first album spawned a remix album that received equal gigantic sales. After touring and breaking the girls dusted themselves off and released Together in 2004. However this was three years later and the album barely dented the Italian charts. In fact it didnt even enter the top 75 (it charted at no.80 which probably means it sold about 2 records). As such its very rare these days. Interestedly it steals original idea of the 3rd Spice Girls album by splitting the album between solo material and group work. Thus, its probably the most versatile album to be released by PopStar act. Not only does each girl write her song, but no female dominates on vocals which makes Together a very special girlband album. As you'll hear on the two tracks presented today they couldnt be more opposed to each other in style and feel...The group fell apart and Dominque is now in the finals of the French Pop Idol.
Tracks: Sunshine [mp3], Love Is Gonna Change [mp3]
Videos: Batte Forte [link], Down Down Down [link]
37. Antilook (Portugal)
Antilook were basically a sophisticated take on Spice Girls before the Spice Girls came to be. They were signed as early as 1996 but they wouldnt launch until 1997 but boy did they "go large" when their debut single, Refugio, came out in 1998. There were rumours that they would release their very successful album in the U.S and Brazil but sadly the hybrid album of Portugese-English was delayed and eventually shelved after Sony got cold feet.
Track: Refugio [mp3]
38. Reflex (Russia)
Although Reflex might not the best name for a girlband, they are the best thing to come out of Russia since vodka. It certainly helps that they've grabbed some of the finest Dj's/producers that Sweden has to offer. Despite losing a bandmember, this girlband have money behind it and some of their videos have the kind of special effects that rivals movies like The Matrix. Some of their performances also include a certain sappho-chic to it, like Tatu, which I've always seen as odd because of Russia's ardent criminalisation of homosexuality. Again, another girlband that hasnt disbanded and going stronger and stronger. They've left the bubblegum europop and have entered into a rather interesting realm of serious-pop which has taken their sales into multi-million territory. Its no wonder then as to why the sales of Clea-when-they-were-serious were so huge in Russia....I highly recommend you listen to the stunning ballad Ye Nabo Razbila
Track: I Can't Live Without You, [mp3], Ye Nabo Razbila [mp3]
39. LilyJets (Norway)
LilyJets can rightfully state to be be the first band since A-Ha to break out of the domestic market and into the rest of world. They consist of three; Lis, Kine & Tinki who holds the award for having the best name in girlbands, like, Ever! LilyJets released their first single this year after 5 years of rehearsing, testing and working with ideas and sounds. The result has resulted in some rip-roaring rockpop material that has led them to success in Sweden and Germany. There are rumors that after they are done with touring Europe they will return to the U.S and release something there.
Track: Going Blind [mp3]
40. SheBang (Sweden)
Staying in the same region and sound, She-Bang are more pop than a can of BubbleGum(remember they used to sell that?). Do not confuse them with that other rocky girlband, SheDaisy(even tho they've both released 1 album with the same name..). The bands' sound is bright, fun and made for getting you to move regardless of your ability to dance. Their attitude recalls some early Shampoo and if you liked 21st Century Girls you'll love SheBang.
Track: Temple Of Love [mp3]
41. Blog27 (Poland)
So I only found out about this particular girlband through the Jessica's excellent blogs DirrtyPop/IntoTheGroove and ever since, I've been following the duo ever so closely. Not only did they cover (and improve) Italian europop hits but also brought the music of TeddyBears to a much younger audience than one would expect. Sadly, Ala left the band only last month and joined a more gothpunk outfit ready to conquer Poland early next year. She cited the reason for leaving was because of the attention the record company and media gave her fellow bandmember. The remaining member, one Tula Sziagowska, is due to release the next Blog27 record early next year too and certain industry insiders believe that the single will be released simultaneously in true pop-clash-war-conflict style. I want to say "hurrah!" here but I've got a feeling that this will all end in tears.
Track: Uh La La La [mp3]
42. Afro-Dite (Sweden)
Afro-Dite are Swedens excellent answer to Destiny's Child. Their Never Let It go (originally given to Alcazar) was a highlight of Eurovision in Tallinn and I was quite surprised when Sweden came in so badly. Many have said if an all white Alcazar had performed it Sweden would have won. As you can see for yourself the Afro-Dite girls completely out-class the others there. More, when you see what actually won you can understand why many felt something illegitimate was going on. Wikipedia states that they went their separate ways but nothing could be further from the truth. The girls released probably the disco album of 2002 and tried once again to enter Eurovision with yet another discotastic track Aqua Playa. The girls then shelved the band and pursued their careers in TV and music with variable success. They are planning to return with a new album for 2007.
Tracks: Back On My Feet [mp3], Aqua Playa [mp3]
Videos: Bang-a-Boomerang Live (Shirley Clamp & Blosssom) [link], Never Let it Go Live [link]
43. Excellence (Sweden)
Staying in Sweden, we come to their version of No Angels and because they are Swedish the level of poptasticivity is taken to a level not seen since in PopStars/PopIdol history. They released five top 10 singles and the ultra boogielicious Region of Excellence album which sold enough to to secure a future in the music industry (it went to no.1). However rather than following their European PopStars sisters (L5, No Angels and Girls Aloud) Excellence went down the TrueBliss/Hear'Say trajectory and cut loose once the album was released. Well not really. They lost 1 member, Joanna, and regrouped to release the brilliant We Can Dance that would be later "covered" by the British rapper Verbalicious on her unreleased epic album Verbal Issues. You might not know this but one member, Ana, secured global success with her rock anthem We Are which was the theme to the second outing of the Spider-Man movie franchise.
Track: We Can Dance [mp3]
Video: Need To Know [link]
Video: Need To Know (drag performance from New Zealand, 2006) [link]
44. Mach4 (Netherlands)
This poptastic Dutch band were dubbed as the next big Spice Girls. Vocally and soundwise you can clearly hear the reasons for such conclusions. One Step sounds like a sublime hybrid of Wannabe and Say You'll Be There. Theres even a lil' Mel B-ilk rap in the middle of the affair.
The intimacy between the two bands can be traced back to the fact Sony had Mach4 primed to rival the Spice Girls who came from the world of EMI/Virgin. Sadly, the plan was foiled by the release of Spice Up Your Life which was yet another resetting of the lines and made One Step sound very dated. One could make a point of the repeated lyric "one step back" but I wont. Neither will I jest about the title of the follow-up single Beginning of The End. Tails tucked between the legs Sony moved on and forgot Mach4 ever existed which explains the utter dearth of information on the group online.
Track: One Step [mp3]
45. Feminnem (Bosnia & Herzegovina/Croatia)
This band are off the richter scale of camp! Seriously, no girlband does camp pop like Feminnem. Feminnem are the Yugoslavian equivalent to Clea/LibertyX as they consist of members who didnt the make the final band. Yet, as you'll hear on the epic pop classic Klasika they're the ones with the career. Last year they caused quite a frenzy when they represented their country at the European Song Contest with their ABBA-tastic Call Me which as in fact about life in, er, Eurovision/ABBA-Land! Despite having one of the best pop videos of any Eurovision-check out the "hallo Copenhagen" bit-act they crashed in at no.14. Klasika was one of the best songs we heard last year. And IT IS CAMP. REALLY CAMP! If you thought Your Disco Needs You/Go West were camp this discostruts them into oblivion. The second track on offer today is just as discoTastic and will get fans of BwO/Alcazar sweating into their hotpants and fake Farrah bangs. The Feminnem Show was probably the disco album of 2005 and so I highly recommend you track it down.
Tracks: Klasika [mp3], 2 Scra 1 Ljubav [mp3]
Video: Call Me [link]
46. Tears (Switzerland)
The Swiss music industry is generally quite small and eclipsed by the mighty German music scene. However now and then it will surprise you and the girlband Tears sole album is much better than their Germanic sisters No Angels debut. They were the product of the Swiss attempt of PopStars and they swept through the nation of three languages like wildFire. They consisted of Evelyn, Tiffany, Romina and Amanda. Despite such classics as M.u.s.i.c and Dreamin' the girls seperated only weeks after releasing their 3rd single Ca Plane Pour Moi which was used in many a car advert. I highly recommend their debut(and only) album En Rouge...
Track: Ca Plane Pour Moi [mp3]
Videos: M.U.S.I.C [link], Ca Plane Pour Moi [link]
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 ubertastic 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]
59. Katene Sisters (NZ)
Rewind to 1993 to the legendary Katene Sisters who were featured on trashy New Zealand soap Shortland Street. It may be old, but it’s still good and was Shortland Street’s first attempt at following the Neighbours mould of making soap stars into pop stars. I can’t remember the storyline, but it was something to do with a talent quest at Kennedy's bar and restaurant, but the sisters were made up of nurse Jaki Manu (Nancy Brunning) and her cousin played by Cook Island singer Annie Crummer (a legend in NZ music) and Carrie Burton (Lisa Crittenden) who was a last minute addition when the other actual sister was ill (Oh how we love hospital dramas!). Although they lost the talent quest to Chris and Carmen's disco number — as Carmen was the Levin disco champion — the song, Keeping Up The Love Thing, peaked at #3 in New Zealand and that was the end of them. Jaki Manu now wanders around barefoot and drunk in the Wellington suburb of Newtown sometimes she hangs out with the prostitutes outside Real Groovy Records when she's not directing independent Maori theatre! Lisa is now living better thanks to glad wrap... "Better living everyone!" Annie Crummer has recently been seen as Killer Queen in the Australian production of We Will Rock You, and released a greatest hits a few years ago featuring this, and many other gems.
Keeping Up The Love Thing mp3
60. When The Cat’s Away (NZ)
Keeping up with the Annie Crummer theme we have When The Cat’s Away. During the late 80s minor Kiwi stars Dianne Swan, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby, Margaret Urlich and Annie formed a band and toured a lot. Formed in 1986, the group was awarded Listener Film and Television Awards for Entertainers of the Year in 1988 and Group of the Year in 1989. They topped the charts with Melting Pot and had another hit with Free Ride. Then they went their separate ways with varying degrees of success. Margaret scored a couple of platinum albums in Australia and New Zealand and Annie went on to score enough hits to put out a stunning Greatest Hits. Debbie also stopped being a lesbian and married Kiwi singer Rikki Morris who managed two number one hits. In 2001 the girls (minus Swann) reunited for a tour joined by 80s poppette Sharon O’Neill. They also covered Sharon’s song Asian Paradise and took it to the top 20 for the first time ever. The album of the tour was another platinum success and then the girls disappeared again. Here we’ve included their two biggest hits – an amazing 12 years apart – plus the simple but beautiful Asian Paradise video.
Asian Paradise mp3
Melting Pot mp3
Asian Paradise video
61. Deep Obsession (NZ)
Where did it all go wrong for Deep Obsession? Their first three songs hit #1 in New Zealand and then they never troubled the top 10 again. The fact that they fired third member Christopher Banks (the Kiwi one-man SAW) because he was gay and lead singer Zara developed a problem with that probably didn’t help — he did after all write all the music. The marketing as an almost lesbionic sisterly duo was a bit tacky too. Despite five hit singles and a platinum-selling top 10 album, Universal wouldn’t fund a second album without Chris’ input. Zara then got rid of Vanessa and recruited Charley who looked very transgendered and their one single as Deep Obsession, Miracles, spent a solitary week in the top 40 spot and then that was it… Billboard gave them a great review, and they released in Japan, Australia and parts of Europe (the UK release was pulled last minute). The sad thing is Chris has produced 8 top 40 hits (including 3 #1s) but was ignored by NZ’s small industry because they refuse to recognise and support pop.
One & Only, Falling Out Of Love, I Surrender
62. Purrr (NZ)
Purrr were a 3 piece girlband from New Zealand who released two singles at the start of the millennium. Despite playing to crowds of over 200,000 at the Christmas In The Park concerts and supporting the Vengaboys’ two New Zealand concerts and extensive video and club play, radio ignored both singles Workout and Can’t Stop (Thinking About You), and neither hit the top 40 and so Mel, Nikki and Viv went their separate ways. A shame it ended so quickly as these girls had so much potential!
Workout mp3, Can't Stop video
63. Pepsi & Shirlie (UK/NZ)
While this posting is all about girlbands from down under, I figured I’ll chuck Pepsi and Shirlie in because Pepsi now lives in Wellington, New Zealand, and has done for sometime now. I know this because a mate of mine stalked her for ages. I could tell you where she lives, works and even the bus she catches home. But I won’t. Instead let’s have a bit of 80s nostalgia with Wham’s back-up singers. Heartache and Goodbye Stranger were top 10 hits, then it all went a bit wrong. Their biggest claim to fame of late is being in Geri’s Bag It Up video and doign the back up vocals… Pepsi's recent musical output includes a song called Infatuation with some Wellington drum'n'bass band and Shirley married Martin Kemp, from Spandau Ballet (they sand that "Uh uh uh uh uh I know this much is true")
Can't Give me love mp3
64. Sister2Sister (s2s) (Aus)
These two, Sharon and Christine Muscat, were born in New Zealand but brought up in Australia and looked like they were gonna be huge. First single Sister hit the top 20 in the UK as well as the Australian top 3, yet follow-up, the fabulous What’s A Girl To Do? stalled in the UK (despite being on the Bring It On soundtrack) and that was pretty much the end of s2s’s recording career. They now running a singing school, but here for your enjoyment is one of the finest pop singles from Australia.
What's A Girl To Do? mp3, video
65. Bardot (Aus)
Often mis-credited as the original PopStars band, Bardot were the Aussie popstars who had to cancel their New Zealand tour after only 2 tickets sold in one venue (despite a platinum-selling #1 single and album) and hit #45 in the UK, but retained a strong following in their native Australia, resulting in all six of their singles hitting the top 20 and amassing gold sales. The first album is a little shit barring Poison and These Days (which was also recorded by Jennifer “Crush” Paige). However second album Play It Like That, recorded after the loss of Katie Underwood (last seen judging Miss Drag Melbourne) was a bit of a gem, with the fabulous I Need Somebody as well as a cover of Made In London’s Dirty Water. Sophie Monk has recently become a great B grade actress in Hollywood and got engaged to the fat twin in Good Charlotte, whereas Tiffani recently offered people a private audience if they bought 15 copies of her album...
Empty Room mp3
Dirty Water mp3
Love Will Find A Way video
66. Cherry (Aus)
All I know about Australian girlband Cherry is that they released at least two singles and had a red-headed member called Gerri. Finding anything about them online is near impossible as is a picture, but this poptastic song SOS must be enjoyed by all!
67. Girlfriend (Aus)
These girls were huge in the early 90s in Australia and Japan but I’ve never seen why. Their outfits were even too hideous for my tastes although their obsession with hats is semi-amusing and their music is, well aside from Take It From Me, just ok. I’d personally ignore them, however no history of Australian girlbands is complete without these girls. They lost a member and became GF4 but the success stopped and one of them works in a shoe shop now.
Take It From Me mp3, video
68. Jackson Mendoza (Aus)
Yet another sisterly Australian duo, Rebecca and Natalie, who had two minor hit singles before splitting up ad achieving success on the stage and screen. Rebecca starred alongside Katene Sister Annie Crummer in We Will Rock You and is sadly more famous for being stabbed by her estranged husband. Natalie was in Moulin Rouge and is now a regular in the BBC’s Hotel Babylon. While their music didn’t set the charts a lit, Venus or Mars was a camp song that deserves a revival.
Venus or Mars
69. Marcia & Deni Hines (Aus)
Ok, not strictly a girlband, but Aussie Idol judge and 70s superstar Marcia has finally teamed up with her trashy daughter Deni, who enjoyed a run of hits in the early/mid 90s, for a cover of Stomp on her new album Discotheque. Her album is full of disco covers and would’ve been the gayest album of the year if it weren’t for those Young Divas. Check out the video, clearly made on a budget of $1... maybe even less!
Stomp mp3, video
70. Young Divas (Aus/NZ/Fiji)
Ok we said we would avoid them, because they’re easily found everywhere but the beavers are just too poptastically gay to be ignored! And with the news that they’re going to play Sydney’s Mardi Gras next year we had to make mention of these four Aussie Idol wannabes. Ok, so Kate won her season (but no one bought her album), Emily came second and Ricky-Lee and Paulini (whose second album bombed horribly but was fab!) have both achieved some success as solo artists, however together they are a musical force to be reckoned with! Their album is made up primarily of 80s covers (including four Stock Aitken Waterman numbers!) and choosing the best songs is just too difficult—although they’ll never top Sonia’s pop perfection on You’ll Never Stop From Loving You — so here are couple of random songs from the album for your enjoyment!
Let's hear it For the Boy, She Works Hard For the Money
Happening All Over Again video, This Time I Know It's For Real video
71. TrueBliss (NZ)
Ok so they kicked this whole girlband post off but they are so legendary that they deserve another post since we’re down under. Here we have the unreleased and very rare radio edit of cancelled fourth single Don’t Turn Your Back — which was the most poptastic moment on the album — as well as two short videos from the very first series of PopStars with those lovely lasses, as well as a safe sex advertisement that former Blisster Carly Binding donated to the NZ AIDS Foundation to use.
Don't Turn Your Back (radio edit)
PopStars vocal coaching video, Carly's legendary "shoes" incident on PopStars and her song in a safe sex campaign advert.
72. Shakaya (Australia)
Consisting of Simone and Naoimi Shakaya toured with Kylie, Human Nature, Ja Rule and Bardot. They had quite a succesful time in the charts with their singles Sublime and Cinderella however when it was time to do another album Australia didnt seem interested. It could have been the fact that the second album was launched with a cover of a Michael Jackson song in a time when MJ was not a name you mentioned.
The Way You Make Me Feel(mp3)
73. Slinkee Minx (Australia)
So Slinkee Minx are the future of girlbands from Down under! Deciding to drop the credentials of artistic acceptence Slinkee Minx have taken Clea's and Young Divas bubblegum lead and gone beyond in the name of trashtastic pop music. For this we love them. Their music can only be described with one word and that is 'anthemic'. Giving the Swedish trio Caracola a run for their trance-pop crown Slinkee Minx have had hits in Australia with their dancefloor monsters Someday and Summer Rain. If you thought Dannii Minogue was the Australian icon of Wigan Pier and Clubland compilations you'd be wrong for its the girls of Slinkee Minx.
Careless Whisper (mp3)
Summer Rain-Single Mix
Summer Rain-Wigan Pier mix (mp3)
74. The Veronicas (Australia)
This new pop band are pretty unpop if you think about it. Far too much guitars and not enough disco for my liking but alas they are doing quite well so its my duty to talk about them. Following in the footsteps of S2S and Gayle&Gillian The Veronicas are sisters and are of Italian heritage. They've earned their songwriting brownie points and its those that we'll cover today. They were the original singers of Tatu's hit single All About Us and wrote Casey Donovans Whats Going On. They also provided Faded for Katie DeAraugo the winner of Australian Idol and were behind the brilliant song probably dedicated to the long defunct boyband Worlds Apart which was utilised by the Dutch girlband Bad Candy. DSTP will cover Bad Candy later on but if you want to hear them and their version of Worlds Apart go over to Tip Top Pop but you wanna hear the original then its available below.
All About Us-used by Tatu
Whats Going On-used by Casey Donovan
Faded-used by Katie DeAraugo
Worlds Apart-used by Bad Candy
75. NonStop (Portugal)
NonStop will go down in history for releasing the tracks that Spice Girls rejected when they recorded their 3rd album in the US. They've also recorded Billie, Girl Thing and Gary Barlow cast-offs. Most will remember the girls as a foursome for their Abbatastic performance at Eurovision last year but I'll always hold their 00 albums as hints to the albums we never got from Spice Girls, Girl Things and Billie. Take for example their Ao Limite Eu Vou hit single. Not only is it just poptastic but it was written by Ms. Piper who for some weird reason felt it shouldn't be on her albums. Thankfully NonStop realised it was brilliant and recorded their version!
Ao Limite En Vou/Misbehavin'-written by Billie Piper! [mp3]
English version [mp3]
76. TikTak (Finland)
Crossing in-between rock and disco the Finnish girlband release some of the greatest electro-rock to come out of Scandanavia. Their sales are huge. Bigger than huge. When you listen to Sankaritar (Heroine in English) you can understand why. The hard electro rifts wouldn't go amiss on a Blondie album whilst the soft lyrics somehow transcend the need to actually understand language. Poppostergirl loves the band...
Kids In America [mp3]
77. Jane (Finland)
Staying in Finland Janes' VIP was one of my overplayed songs of 2006. It nearly made the selections for Eurovision but sadly the result of the Popstars tv show never passed the semi-finals. Its very hard to place Jane. Is it rock? Is it disco? Is that an eighties keyboard? Is that an sitar?
78. DiaDems (France)
Heading over to France yet staying in Popstar-land DSTP reveals the sublime girlband that was Diadems. If Diadems were to L5 what the Preluders were to No Angels you kinda get the short history of Diadems without me actually having to write about them. All I'll say is they released one album and failed to reach the high positions of their big sister band L5. Encore however was a brilliant poprock single and they really deserved to do a bit better. Perhaps the rock was to heavy seeing as L5 were too pop. Maybe they should have involved a bit more dance to their sound like Girls Aloud did...Oh and Broke Hogan covered one of their better album tracks.
79. Boy Krazy (US)
When Bananarama, Sonia and Kylie left PWL the record company probably thought of creating a product that combined all of the aforementioned acts in one poptastic girlband. Oddly they never released their strongest track On A Wing A Prayer and it remains one of those unreleased gems. Oh well. Their one and only album is a must for anyone with an interest in owning slice of pop bliss.
On A Wing And A Prayer [mp3]
80. The Whyte Boots (US)
"GET HER GET HER!! PUSH HER TO THE GROUND!"...Lets head over to the 1960s now. The three girls - Rhonda Copland, Page Miller and Kathy Francis might have fronted the band...but the Whyte Boots did not exist! Well they did and yet they didn't. They were a construct of the Brill Building hit girls Lori Burton and Pam Sawyer - writers of hits for the likes of The YoungRascals and a slew of Motown acts. They were among the few female writers who produced and arranged their own acts. In the wake of their having written some chartbusters and the newsworthy scandal over "Nightmare", Mercury decided to give Lori and Pam a chance. And boy was it fabulous. Check out the bitchslapping on Nightmare. This is a girlband must. Forget Wannabe and No Scrubs: its all about the Whyte Boots.
81. 3rd Faze (US)
Who? Sounding like Wild Orchid and Britneys first album 3rd Faze located their sound in-between pop and rnb. There is very little online about the group but they are pleasant, sweet and cute.
Go Slow [mp3]
82. Gimmel (Finland)
Now to the Finnish group Gimmel. If you liked TikTake and Jane you'll absolutely adore Gimmel. They were the product of the Popstars show and their sales throughout their career were huge. Bouncing between bubblegum rock and Gary Numan Gimmel are DSTP favourites. Formed out of Popstars the band originally had a 4th member, Jonna, but Jonna left the band almost right away because there were some disagreement between girls.
Oit Jonkin Toison [mp3]
83. Nobody's Angel (US)
From wikipedia: Nobody's Angel were an American pop girl group of the late 1990's. The group consisted of members Ali Navarro, Stacey Harper, Amy Sue Hardy and Sarah Smith.
Let's Get Together [mp3]
84. InDica (Finland)
It would seem we're bouncing between the U.S and Finland today! Indica are a five-piece girlband hailing from Finland and are snuggled in-between rock and pop. They've even covered The Bangles (legend girlband!) huge hit single Eternal Flame with a batch of other Finnish girlbands and a few male acts too.
Pidä Kädestä [mp3]
Vuorien Taa [mp3]
Eternal Flame-Charity single with other Finnish girlbands and boybands [mp3]
85. S.H.E (Taiwan)
Much has been made of the many covers of the pop track Cinderella by Play, Tata Young, I5, and of course The Cheetah Girls but you can add another version by another girlband to that list. S.H.E hail from Taiwan and are huge in China.
Ban Tang Zhu Yi/Cinderella [mp3]
86. Innosense (US)
This is the girlband that Britney Spears was in before heading off to Sweden to record Baby One More Time. This group initially started with a casting call headed by manager, Ms.Lynn and Transcon CEO and founder Louis J. Pearlman. Nikki Deloach and ex-mmc member Britney Spears were first casted. As a recommendation from NSYNC's Lance Bass and Joey Fatone, Mandy Ashford and Danay Ferrer soon joined the group along with former member Amanda Latona. Just before recording began Britney decided to venture off into a solo career. To scramble to find a 5th member the girls ran into Veronica Finn who had been a friend of Justin Timberlake. For the next year and half Innosense began to rehearse, record and tour. Their first single Wherever You Are was released while the girls were opening up for DJ BoBo in Germany. Then in December of that same year, Amanda announced that she would leave the group with no explanation made to the public. After a series of spats and more departures the band called it a day. I absolutely love This is It! Pure pop bliss!
This Is It [mp3]
87. Mary Jane Girls (US)
With song titles as LeatherQueen, Mary Jane Girls will go down in girlband infamy! This band really should be in the girlband legend section but their Candy Man track is playing non-stop in my ipod at the moment so I wanted to deal with them now. They were formed from the brains of funk legend Rick James and hit the big times with their single In My House. However songs like Boys and All Night Long have become classics in their own right. In fact the latter track has been heavily sampled mainly by rnb acts with Mary J Blige being the most famous fan. Trivia: Kylie "covered" Candy Man on her Rhythm of Love LP but renamed it Always Find The Time.
Candy Man [mp3]
Leather Queen [mp3]
88. Vanity6 (US)
Now to their rival girlband! Vanity6 were formed under the auspices of Prince! Being a super trio they only managed one album but what an album! It included titled Wet Dream and He's So Dull! Their key-note single Nasty Girl has been covered a number of times and has even be "interpolated" by Beyonce on her tour. Their bitchfest that is If the Girl Answers needs to be heard to be believed! To me it sounds like huge telephone argument between a gay boy and a girl whose man has drifted into the hands of the former.
If The Girl Answers (Don't Hang Up!) [mp3]
Nasty Girl [mp3]
89. Wild Orchid (US)
Sounding very much like an American take on Eternal who themselves were a British take on En Vogue, Wild Orchid were four girls with big big voices. One of those included a rather pure, innocent and clean Stacy Ferguson (who later redubbed herself Fergie when she joined Black Eyed Peas). Wild Orchid were brilliant! Originating out of Kids Incorporated they lasted for 14 years releasing four albums. They also recorded a huge number of tracks that will never see the of day. Apparently Stacy left Wild Orchid because of the heavy drug abuse she endured during her time within the band. The record company are planning to release a batch of cds to cash-in on Fergie's huge success while with BEP and as a solo star.
Talk To Me [mp3]
Our Lips Our Sealed [mp3]
90. Melodi Brown (UK)
Melodi Brown recorded a number of pop songs that later became hit songs for other acts. Do Something and DJ by Britney and Jamelia are two respective examples. Somewhat like Orchid this girlband didnt actually get to release anything other than some club tracks on 12". Polydor does love to spend a lot of money and then piss it away on shelving projects.
91. Kick Angel (UK)
Another British girlband that barely made a blip in pop world but our huge DSTP favourites! Sounding like an acoustic Sugababes the trio came from the label that brought us Eternal and the Honeyz. They released but two singles (I Don't Care and Misunderstood) but they were expected to be the next big thing. Articles in trendy mags such as Dazed and Confused hailed them as the future of pop! Sadly it wasn't to be...
92. Hepsi (Turkey)
Hepsi mark our first Turkish girlband and in fact the first act to come from Turkey to feature on this blog. Since arriving only two years ago they've released two studio albums and huge cd sales. Their brilliant first English-language single Bad Penny is ready to be released outside of Turkey and is getting very good airplay in Germany. "Here's my greedy kitten" indeed!
A Bad Penny [mp3]
93. Personelle (UK)
Another failed British failed pop band! Again its another trio! Personelle hold a very special place in my heart for they interrupted double science when they visited my school. I was 13 and fell in love with the girls. I even pinched their bottoms and for that I was one of 52 who bought their poptastic first single Nearly Missed Your Love. Sadly this flopped but they regrouped and ended up in spandex with their sexed-up single On The Rebound. Which also sank without a trace. The video saw them jumping up and down somewhere outside LA.
Good Together [mp3]
94. Belle Stars (UK)
Sounding somewhat like a bubbegum take on Grace Jones The Belle Stars were an London-based girlband formed in 1980. My mum loved them. In the month I was born, January 1983, the Belle Stars released what would be their signature single, Sign Of The Times that peaked at number three. It would take some six years later until they hit the U.S charts with Iko Iko. They were Dustin Hoffmans favourite band and were even included one of their singles on his soundtracks. It is their cover of Shirley Ellis' The Clapping Song that I absolutely adore. They've only released three L.P's and two of those were greatest hits collections. Tis a shame as they are pretty damn poptastic!
Sign Of The Times [mp3]
95. Honey Couture (UK)
And to brand new British girlband. Honey Couture mark our first of two new bands in this collection of groups with tits. I'm sure I've read Paul of The Zapping talk about this band but the blog is currently giving me 502 Server Error so i can't sure about that. Coming from my home city of Liverpool (yes) Honey Couture are one of many exciting bands that just could make it in 2007. With beautiful harmonies and an excellent production its the ode about Myspace and online dating that is getting all the attention. Yes it sounds very similar to the modus operandi of Download It by Clea but that necessarily aint a bad thang is it now!
To Your Place [mp3]
95. Amazulu (UK)
Amazulu were a British ska band of the 1980's who were the rivals of The Belle Stars. Originally starting off as a bunch of girls+1 boy the band were moved from record company to record company. With the departure of the male element they were signed and released their classic track Too Good To Be Forgotten which went to no.5 in the UK. In the US it was another track taken from their one and only album that made the charts (Montego Bay). Island Music were pleased about the success of the girlband but things seemed to have fizzled out and they vanished without a trace.
Too Good To Be Forgotten [mp3]
96. Choice (US)
Choice was the girlband the star P!NK cut her mustard before reaching superstar status as the solo star that she is now. It was during the promotion of the one and only single Key To My Heart that Alecia Moore (P!NK) was noticed and the rest is history. Choice recorded a number of faux-Mary J Blige rejects before separating and going to pastures anew. Everyone knows about their most famous former bandmember but another singer from the group, Chrissy, joined ZoeGirl (see below) and achieved success in her own right.
Key To My Heart [mp3]
97. ZoeGirl (US)
Er. Consisting of one member who used to sing with Pink, ZoeGirl released some great pop music in their six years of existing as a band (they split up last year). Concentrating mainly on the Christian demographic the band did very well. Whatever your opinion on religion, the music they recorded was actually above par compared to a lot of theological-tinted music out there. Highly recommended if your a fan of Kelly Clarkson, Eye-Q and The Veronicas.
98. Bad Candy (The Netherlands)
Talking of which, Bad Candy have worked with The Veronicas but don't hold that against them. Coming from The Netherlands Bad Candy were stunning and had some excellent lyrics. Soundwise they were very similar to girlband icons Shampoo. This band were well aware that poprock could also be incredibly catchy when it could be. Their track Girlfriend is a testament to that fact. I'm also sure they were the first band to record/release That's What Girls Do but if your a No Secrets fan just get in touch and rectify the error.
That's What Girls Do [mp3]
99. Centerfold (The Netherlands)
As you can see from the above picture CenterFold were three sluts with a capital pop! Released in 1987 their one and only single sounds very fresh considering what else was being put out the same time. To me this sounds somewhat similar to an eighties disco mix of Kylies Slow. Playing on the dirty similarity to the male sexual organ DICTator was a huge hit in Europe and too right! Its literally pining for one of those Eric Prydz type remixes...
100. Dolly Dots (The Netherlands)
The Netherlands have produced a number of great girlbands and it all seems to start with the Dolly Dots. Modeled on the cartoon-pop idol band Jem and the Holograms Dolly Dots released some of the best European pop music since ABBA. Songs like Radio and What A Night! are up there with Gimmie Gimmie A Man After Midnight, Winner Takes It All and Dancing Queen. Love Me Just A Little More is a must to anyone who loves great pop music. It references Motown, ABBA and Northern Soul so what else could one ask for? One of the best girlbands the world has seen!
Love Me Just A little More [mp3]
101. Viva! (India)
Viva! are the result of the PopStars when the New Zealand show arrived in India. Consisting of Pratichee Mohapatra, Neha Bhasin, Anushka Manchanda and Mahua Kamat Viva! had absolutely huge sales in India. Although the figures are pretty rough to confirm it is implied on their fansites that Viva! have outsold Spice Girls and Destinys Child put together! This is only because of immense domestic market that is the Indian music industry. Jaa Sakhte Ho deserves its own exclamation mark! It is something that Max Martin would be proud of. Once you get over the sublime prose the song is energetic, bouncy and somewhat like Mel B singing her wild rants on Wannabe. Don't ever say DontStopthePop isn't international in its look at pop music.
Jaa Sakhte Ho [mp3]
102. Juice (Denmark)
From India we now turn to Denmark. For some reason Denmark hasn't really produced that many girlbands. I can count 4 (Juice, Soap, Me/My, EyeQ). The reason could be Sweden and Finland and their huge multitude of girlbands. Juice sounded more American than American bands. Vocally beautifully Juice tipped off the Spice Girls, big bands and early soul. Just sublime...
103. 3G (US?)
I know very little about 3G. I couldn't even find a picture of what they look like online. The internet is pretty dead about 3G. Their name doesnt really help things. They provided one track for the Princess Diaries OST but they never reached the album stage. However I have it and its brilliant. Their songs talked about Britney's virginity, Kobi's rape case and Janets weight loss. Gossip is a must for any girlband fan!
Gossip-VERY rare! [mp3]
104. V*enna (US/UK)
And so to another girlband that made absolutely no impact in the charts. As you've probably guessed though...charts matter very little to us at DontStopthePop towers. Anyone who looks that good in a pink jumper deserves a mention! Vienna must have loved Britneys first album because every song sounded very much like You Drive Me Crazy-The Stop Mix! And they should be rather proud of this fact!
Do You Wanna Know [mp3]
105. Mania (UK)
On paper this should have worked. Not only did it include hit songwriters but the vocalists themselves had notched up many a no.1 single for other acts. However Giselle and Niara flopped after just one single. But what a good single! Looking For A Place To Go is one of my favourites of that particular year. Don't get me started on the AMAZING mixes by Mr.Sleaze. A promo eventually found itself on the web and how pop sluts like myself cried injustice. Sadly we haven't got enough money to bring the case to the European Humans Rights Court but I think most of us settled for the Frank album (see below) which was really the Mania LP just re-worded and re-recorded.
DeepSomething/Rising-previously unreleased [mp3]
If You Need A Good Girl-B Side [mp3]
106. i5 (the World!/US)
The idea behind I5 was great. Five girls from different countries and backgrounds. Perfect! They sung pretty well and wrote excellent pop rifts. It didnt work. Its a real shame as their single Distracted is so 'like totally' about me! Who else watched hours of TRL when they shoulda been cramming for an exam? Me! Who else been standing in the line of the ATM? I totally related! Like totally! Fact: original singers of Cinderella
Ladidi Ladada [mp3]
107. Frank (UK)
Everyone knows about this band. I won't add anything more. They grabbed a lot of the unused Mania tracks. Nuff said and nuff respect.
108. Masai (UK)
This band released 3 singles in the UK. Although the blurb on the above cd states "Top Hit-British Charts" nothing could be further from the truth. They first released their debut single Kick Back which flopped. Another single followed but was eventually shelved. Then three years later Do That Thing appeared and then cancelled at the last second. When it finally reached the shelves of HMV the single barely blipped on cash-registers.
Do That Thing [mp3]
109. The Braxtons (US)
Originally consisting of the five Braxtons sisters (including Toni) this family girlband flustered for some years before the three set hit the charts with their anthemic cover of The Boss. The song entered the charts at no.1 in the Billboard Dance charts mainly because of the brilliant vocal mixes by Masters At Work and TommyBoy graduates. Sadly the album faltered at no.116 mainly because they downgraded the pop sound for rnb which was a ridiculous move seeing as their success had only come about because of their disco single. Oh well.
The Boss [mp3]
110. SOAP (Denmark)
Soap are legends here at DontStopthePop and not because they are Danish. Their nationality does help however. They were the original singers of Ladidi LaDida which I think is about oral sex and foreplay. Their cover of Holiday is one of my IPOD favourites. Personally I think its far better than the original.
Ladidi Ladida [mp3]
111. Cleopatra (UK)
Cleopatra had huge vocal abilities. Shirley Bassey would say "they got the range!". They suffered from second album issues when their record company thought it would be so clever to drop the pop sound of their roots and go with an semi-Darkchild sound. The band were from Birmingham and not the East Side. We're waiting for the 3rd album girls!
I Want You Back [mp3]
112. Mrs.Robinson (UK)
I loved this band last year. I even went out with one of their pink promo t-shirts. Sadly my t-shirting didnt help the band, nor did a TV show that featured the girls on BBC. Their second single was for the lives lost in the British Army but that didnt help either. The album flopped harder than Clea's effort. Its a shame as their some really good tracks that would get the popjustice crowd flapping at the wings if produced by Sugababes/Girls Aloud. Its not often a girlband sings about the lies of a president, wars and include bridges performed in Slovenian.
Beautiful World [mp3]
113. Madasun (UK)
Madasun featured the sister of Tina Barrett of S Club! They also sounded a lot like Made In London and as we know that band vanished after single no.2. Madasun did much better than that! They managed to get their album out and is now currently going for 50p at your nearest HMV. Their only problen: being slightly boring....
Don't Hate Me [mp3]
114. Pandoras Box (US)
This band were great. As you see from the picture above they included boys in chaps with bare bottoms and were altogether extremely camp. Sadly however their Steinman produced album flopped and the girls returned to making milk, providing backing vocals and so on. Nearly every one of their songs has been covered by the likes of Celine Dion, Bonnie Tyler, Taylor Dane and of course MeatLoaf. The most famous is of course Its All Coming Back To Me Now which demands a Pinkie/PopEatsPop treatment!
Its All Coming Back To Me Now [mp3]
Good Girls Go To Heaven (But The Bad Girls Go Everywhere) [mp3]
115. Jade (China)
No not Jade of Don't Walk Away. No not the UK folk band of the same name. This Jade come from China and are quite big in Germany. They've had a sold out tour of Germany and are promising to make it to the US in 2007. When you hear Finally you'll understand why. This band are so camp it hurts. They are the result of, gulp, China's version of PopStars which, second gulp, included over one million contestants! They've even made a movie out of the whole experience. Anyway, if you like your I Will Survives and Your Disco Needs you you'll adore Finally. Its soooo camp you can almost see a drag queen lost for words, hairspray and wigs...
116. SunTribe (Estonia)
SunTribe are a five-piece girlband from Estonia you might remember when they represented their country a few years ago at Eurovision. Back then they were four but unlike most girlbands they've actually increased their line-up. According to Wikipedia their flop at the song contest led to their eventual break-up. Tis a shame as Lets Get Loud is like Girls Alouds' Love Machine but better!
Lets Get Loud [mp3]
117. Orchid (UK)
Orchid were the original girlband who sung The Sound Of The Underground which was later covered by Girls Aloud. According to one of its members, Sarah Harding, Orchid actually sing the verses. Not to be confused with the American girlband of the similar name, very little is known about Orchid. What can be confirmed is one its members Louise ended up on Fame Academy. Their version of Sound Of The Underground has never been leaked but today DSTP offers one very rough but very rare tracks. This tracks have never released nor will they ever will be. The quality is poor but you can see how similar their vocals sound to Girls Aloud. I cannot overstate how bad this recording is but I've included it purely for archive purposes. This girlband could have been huge and its time DSTP recognised that fact.
Slide-demo p.a [wma]
118. Raffish (The Netherlands)
Hailing from The Netherlands Raffish were the product of their Popstar tv show. There is very little online about the girls so I'll just refer you to Jessica/PurePop who stated that "the five women were Esri, Eva, Lianne, Nora and Sharon. Similarly to Girls Aloud, Raffish had to battle the men, Men2B for the top spot. If I translated this correctly, Men2B won the top spot as their single "Bigger Than That" debuted higher than Raffish's "Plaything". However, one week later, "Plaything" came out on top." So there you go.
When I'm Near You [mp3]
119. Sugar Jones (Canada)
And now to yet another PopStar girlband! This lot came from Canada. If you thought Raffish was an odd name for a girlband Sugar Jones take the biscuit. To me it sounds like a Porn Star who is famous for double penetration. They covered the British girlband Fierce and went their separate ways after one of the girls left the group for a man. Now head over to 2007 and the girls are all releasing solo work so all is not lost.
Days Like That [mp3]
Baby Boo [mp3]
This girlband are so camp I don't know where to begin. Coming from Spain they are actually two airline stewardesses who worked for SpanAir. Their lyrics are absolutely hilarious. Each track is different from the last. No boy meets girl and they live happily ever after for Nadia&Bea. They sing about a boyfriend who blames his erectile problems on his pot smoking but is actually having sex with another man. Their huge hit Salides de Emergencia is about flying, sex in the toilets and all the lovely drama of flying in planes. The track we have today actually features The President of the United States: George Bush! Yes! B&N are the only girlband in history to have included backing vocals of a current American president. Whats the song about? Its about weapons of mass destruction, Guantanamo, Iraq and the loss of lives around the world. And the hook? It translates as "This American is mad". And all to a wonderful flamenco disco beat! If you look at their video for the Salides you'll see where Britney got her ideas for Toxic promo...even the damn uniform is similar!
Bush Bush! Rebushca! [mp3]
121. Me&My (Denmark)
This group were probably the first people to work with the writers behind Jamelia's Superstar and Kylie's Good Like That and for this you gotta pay tribute to the Danish Sisters. Despite big success with their first album in Europe the girls were upstaged by the mighty Aqua when it was time to release a follow up. They remain huge in Japan where they continue to battle it out with Shampoo for good chart positions. They are currently representing Denmark in this years Eurovision and are mastering their 4th studio album. YES!
I Belong To You [mp3]
122. Dream (US)
You'll notice absolutely no Danity Kane here. Why? I loved Dream and I still see no reason why Danity Kane should come about when P.Diddy/MTV already has an established girlband probably with better vocals and much better music. When I heard about the Danity Kane project I was like "You have a band waiting for direction...priorities boy!". Then I read wikipedia and realised two things. Dream had nothing to do with MTV and there are some legal issues with the bandmembers and P.Diddy. The latter explains the need for Danity Kane. Oh well. I only really liked their This Is Me track...(sob!)
This Is Me [mp3]
123. Wink (Japan)
Wink were huge in Japan. They had their own chain of shops selling their merchandise and cds. They covered and vastly improved upon many a PWL hit including Bananarama and Jason Donovan. Their biggest hit was of course their take on the Kylie track Turn It Into Love which had run a ground in the UK as a album track and flop single for Hazel Dean. In Japan however the record company released the track giving Kylies biggest no.1 in the world to date (it was no.1 for 10 weeks). Minogue has since reintroduced the song back into her tours despite never being released in her biggest markets. This might be because the song has become iconic in Japan. Not only was it a monster hit for Kylie but when the superGroup Wink recorded it the song went into the stratosphere. In its original form Turn It Into Love already sounded like Abba met PetShopBoys It’s a Sin in an dirty Soho street but when Wink covered it they sprinkled some wonderful fairy dust over the song and delivered wads of pure thick pop bliss. Wink took the song to no.1 once again making itt an J-POP classic. The Kylie-Hazel versions are wiped form the horizon and Wink totally own the song. As such it is their version that has now been covered countless of times and is pretty much a pop standard in Japan.
Turn it Into Love [mp3]
124. Fierce (UK)
Where did Fierce go? They released four singles and one album. They were also covered by Sugar Jones (see above). According to a BBC website things fell apart after the lead singler left. Girls pick it up and return now!
Sweet Love 2k [mp3]
Dayz Like That [mp3]
125. No Secrets
This band were great. Better than great! They kicked off with a cover of the Kim Wilde classic Kids In America off the back of Jimmy Neutron flick. It seemed that America might have finally got its first poptastic girlband that had the potential to reach the dizzy heights of mainstream radio. However after their first album bombed Angel left to pretty reasonable solo career. Some sites states this was due to Angel not having lead vocals on new material which included Whole Again. Yes that Whole Again!
Thats What Girls Do! [mp3]
Kids In America [mp3]
126. Electric Dolls (UK)
Ending this rather huge journey into girlband-land is a band that hasn’t even released its first single yet but we’re all very excited about them. They are sharing the stage with Switch22 and Beyond next month at PopShow and we can’t wait to see them do their thing. Their new single called Baps R Bakin’ is so uberfab its beyond cool. In British slang baps can either mean sandwiches as in “I’ll have a chicken bap” or denotes tits as in “I jizzed on her baps”. The latter of which I’d always hear in the changing rooms after P.E. So the most exciting thing about Electric Dolls is that it includes, gulp, the ultra divine Lindsay Shaw! Know her? Of course you do! She used to be in the poptastic girlband Girls@Play (girlband no.49).
Baps R Bakin' [myspace link]