Lame. David is stranded at his hotel for Riverfest (boo!) and I have nothing to do all day, so I figured I'd throw out a little extra blog action. Not sure what sparked this, but yesterday I thought of doing a spotlight on some mostly forgotten late 90s/early 00s pop music. It was only going to be like five... then it turned into ten... then while looking up videos, I kept coming across some I'd forgotten about, so that's why I ended up with thirteen. Hope you can enjoy this as much as I did making it!
13. Love Sensation - 911
These pint-size cuties were popular in their native England, but I remember they were MASSIVE in Asia. I saw a video of them over there and it was like Godzilla was in town, only the opposite. They had a string of hits, including a homogenized but not UN-catchy cover of Shalimar's "Night To Remember" but in the US, their label only released one single, "Love Sensation" featured as the theme song to the live-action Casper movie. It was catchy as hell, but even in the pop boom of the late 90s/early 00s, I think it was TOO poppy for US listeners. And seriously, this video is so adorable, it's like getting whacked in the face by a puppy THEN a kitty!
12. Blame It On The Weatherman - B*Witched
B*Witched first two singles, the almost maliciously perky "C'Est La Vie" and "Roller Coaster" were heavily pushed in the US, but after they failed to connect, their label stopped pushing them here, which is too bad. "Blame It On The Weatherman" released as their fourth single in the UK differed vastly from the rest of their sugary debut album by being... y'know good. It hinted at actual artistry not found elsewhere on the disc.
11. M.F.E.O. - Kavana
This wasn't released in the US at all. Richard got it on a business trip to England and we both ended up really liking it. I remember we spent a long time figuring out what M.F.E.O. stood for... turned out it was Made For Each Other. So, yeah...
10. She Wants You - Billie
Better known nowadays as actress Billie Piper, just plain Billie was Britain's Britney. She never made any waves here, despite this lovely disco-infused single and an hour-long TV special introducing her to US audiences. (I watched the whooooole thing.) This song was on every mix tape I made for like two years. (Ha ha! Mix tape!)
9. No More (Baby, I'ma Do Right) - 3LW
Move over, Brits! The first Americans on the list are these three little women mostly remembered for the DRAMA that broke them up, than their actual musical career. Basically, Naturi, the cute dark skinned girl with short hair was the target in a fried chicken food fight and quit. No seriously! They all went onto better things though. The other two formed half of the Cheetah Girls and had much more success there than they had as 3LW. Naturi starred in the movie Fame. That only took 10 years! You go, girl! Highlights from the video are where she throws the stuffed animals in the trash... UGH! I AM THROUGH! And then, of course where the sidewalk drawings come to life... so are these now like parallel universe duplicates of 3LW running around? These are things people need to ask themselves when making these sorts of music videos!
8. Candy - Mandy Moore
I will always like Mandy Moore JUST for this song! It's so poppy and fun. That whole first album was... you know the album she now hates and disses every chance she gets. Boo, serious artistry. She's still making GOOD music, but there's nothing wrong with stupid, fun pop, Mandy! Also, am I the only one getting car sick from all the driving around that goes on in these videos?
7. He Loves U Not - Dream
Man, someone needs to explain that flinging your hands with attitude does not equal dancing! This song still kicks ass! You can't NOT dance to it upon hearing it! I think they had additional hits, but I don't think I liked them. Then the pretty blonde girl quit to pursue her acting career.... that went well. Done.
6. The Hardest Part of Breaking Up (Is Getting Back Your Stuff) - 2Ge+her
The funny part is that 2ge+her wasn't even a real group... well, I mean, most of the groups on this list weren't real, but they were extra not real, being made up for an MTV movie. The problem with that movie (and the ensuing series) was that it was supposed to be a parody of boybands, but MTV couldn't bite the hand that fed it, so it ended up being a weak ribbing when there was SO MUCH fertile territory that could have been used to REALLY skewer them. Also, one problem I had with 2ge+her was that half their songs were hilarious but half were like REAL pop songs, so... were they a parody or a real group? Sadly, they ended when the youngest member, Michael Cuccione (a.k.a. QT, the young one) died of respiratory failure following a car accident, compounded by his body's weakened state following cancer treatment.
It was a tough call, choosing between this song or their first single "U+Me=Us (Calculus)" because both are great, but I think in the end, I like this one better:
BONUS: Here's Evan Farmer in a cheesy/hot pin up shot from the glory days:
5. When The Lights Go Out - Five
Secret confession? Five were actually my favorite boyband. They kicked *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys' asses. They seemed a little edgier, to be honest. They only had this one hit in the US, but they were massive in England. They also had the distinction of being the one group where I couldn't figure out which one I thought was the cutest. I'm glad this was 10+ years ago, because watching all these videos now makes me REALLY uncomfortable. Like, "Woah... they were YOUNG!"
4. Back Here - BBMak
I know a LOT of pop groups lied about their ages (COUGH98DegreesCOUGH!), but with these guys, I remember thinking, "Who do you think you're fooling, old men?" (Meaning, they were like my age and not 17.) This also makes them the one group, whose video I can watch now and feel comfortable thinking, "They were really cute!" They harmonized great and played instruments, so that gives them an edge over the just singing and dancing type pop groups. And this song is GREAT! I love when I'm at like Kroger and I hear it on Muzak! It puts a smile on my face! (They had another excellent song, a ballad called The Ghost of You and Me, which you should also check out.)
3. Gotta Tell You - Samantha Mumba
Okay, WHY isn't the full-length video on Youtube? Isn't that random? Ah well. I'll have to make due with this performance video. Anyway, I EFFEN LOVE THIS SONG!!! It's one I can put on repeat and listen to for an hour! I L-O-V-E IT! By the way... did you know she was Irish?
2. Never Had A Dream Come True - S Club 7
PS, why is the blond guy always the gay one? There was the blond guy in this group, the one in Steps and Lance from *NSYNC. Just a pattern. S Club 7 fall into the same category as 2ge+her, being extra made-up for a TV show, but in this case, not a parody. And like B*Witched, most of their songs were super sugary sweet, but they SCORED with this KILLER ballad! It's one of the best sing-along-to-and-really-SELL-IT songs! It's the best British bubble gum pop ballad since Take That's "Back For Good" (which I deemed too old to make this list, btw).
But... SEVEN? Why do they need SEVEN people in the group? That's just madness... quality not quantity! And, the girl in the mesh tank top's gotta be freezing her ballz off!
Are you excited? This may come as a shock but...
1. Faded - soulDecision
Yes, really! I know it was one of the more minor and in general, probably most forgotten of the hits from this era, but I still love it! It's kinda groovy and funky but still uptempo. What's funny is, I totally did NOT like it when it first came out! I thought it was uber generic sounding! It was a slow burn. Now, it's my number one pop song from the Millenium! I also loved their second single "Oooh, It's Kinda Crazy" but sadly, did not enjoy any other songs on their one and only album. But I like these two enough to make up for that!
Another BONUS: The cute blond lead singer shirtless! God bless Tiger Beat!
EXTRA BONUS: Since they won, I'm going to post their second hit video, "Ooh, It's Kinda Crazy." The video blows, but I enjoy the song!