Sugababes Retrospective: Top Ten

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The Sugababes were not only one of the UK’s most successful ever girlbands, and I mean ever, they were also the musical equivalent of a snake, shedding their old skin for a new one on a seasonal basis (or so it felt). Queue a mental image of Siobhan rubbing herself against rocks in her back garden, until eventually her skin falls off and voila, Heidi pops up and just in time for the girls to go insane with their chart dominating antics. The group went through four lineup variations in their ten years at the top and it wasn’t until the very last one that people lost interest. Last remaining origibabe Keisha got a kick up the arse and away she went, leaving Heidi and the other two. The Sugababes were/are no more, I don’t think? Or maybe you’re about to hear the perfect harmonies of the original trio once more, as they are rumoured to have secured the name to overwrite the unimaginative MKS (MutyaKeishaSiobhan) flop. I say flop because by chart standards they did, but if you could measure chart success on quality then they’d probably still be in the top five, three years on from 2013’s incredible ‘Flatline’.

In the hope that 2016, or the first half of 2017 will see the release of that MKS album, the one that’s dripping in absolute fucking pop gold, here’s a flashback to their ten best moments. I’ve ranked  them 10-1, 10 being the worst of the best (so really just the 10th best?) and 1 being immense, life changing, pop landscape shaping etc… I’ve also gone full pop blogging geek and shoved in the chart peak and the year, the latter to make you feel as old as I feel right now on this sweet sweet musical nostalgia ride. Oh and there’s a playlist at the end with all the songs so you can kick back, open some red and sob about how life is escaping you:

10
Soul Sound

#30 / 2001

This was the last single from their album One Touch and the last we’d hear from Siobhan as part of the Sugababes until 2013’s reformation as MKS. Oh and they were like 15 here. WHAT?

9
Stronger
#7 / 2002

The third single from Angels With Dirty Faces has become a fan favourite and when performed live it’s a stunner. It was a double A-Side with the title track which featured on the PowerPuff Girls movie soundtrack. The movie was probably shit.

8
About You Now
#1 / 2007

This behemoth, Cathy Dennis penned, hit marked the first single from Change, their second consecutive number one album and the first album to be recorded post Mutya packing her desk. It’s a fan favourite and some say their best song. I think it’s their eighth best song because the production is a bit weak / cheap / could be better. It’s damn catchy though. Heidi looks smoking hot on that album cover.

7
Run For Cover
#13 / 2001

The Sugababes were very young when they emerged from the shadows back in 2000 and understandably they had a lot of angst to express. This song is a perfect example of that heartbreak angst fuelled musical passion the girls showcased on their debut.

6
Flatline
#50 / 2013

It’s a travesty, an incomprehensible injustice, that ‘Flatline’ didn’t even crack the top 50. A combination of poor marketing, limited TV exposure and radio play made this one live up to its name. It’s a stunning track though and it showed so much promise for what was to come from MKS’ debut.

5
Round Round
#1 / 2002

This is still brilliant 14 years on. It was the second single from Angels With Dirty Faces and their second consecutive number one single. It was also their first song to crack the Australian top 20.

4
Hole In The Head
#1 / 2003

A third single climbing to the top of the UK charts and the lead single from Three, one of the group’s best albums to date. If I could have been bothered I’d have made an album track chart too and two of Three’s songs would have come in on top. (Situation’s Heavy & More Than a Million Miles) It’s also the only Sugababes song to crack the US Hot 100, peaking at 96.

3
Push The Button
#1/ 2005

This song caused pop hysteria when it hit number one in 2005, because it’s genius. The arrangement is almost iconic in the pop world, instantly identifiable and is the only song where the lyric “my sexy ass has got him in a new dimension” is cool.

2
Overload
#6 / 2001

One of the best songs by a girlband, ever, period. This restrained, subtle, R&B soul monster has one of the best arrangements of the past 20 years. To think that three 15 year olds wrote and sang this after school is outrageous. A true pop moment of the 00s.

1
Freak Like Me
#1 / 2002

The Sugababes have arrived. Although not an original, this cover of Adina Howard’s hit of the same name, is absolute perfection. The girls (now without Siobhan and with Heidi) exploded into the charts with this semi-comeback assault on the senses and with the help of Richard X, it became a dance floor dominatrix. As if the song itself couldn’t sound any better, the video is brilliantly dark and sees Mutya and Keisha initiate Heidi into their vampire gang, whilst they all feed on guys in an underground club. Amazing.

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