Friday, October 24, 2008

The B(right)-Side Factor

If they have to be praised for anything else than being awesome popstars, Girls Aloud have to be aknowledged for one particular fact : their B-Sides are (most of the time) really great material. Dare I say on some occasions they even outshine some of the albums tracks.
Although they give any of their singles an undeniable added value, they have one major drawback : they never get to be performed.

The reason songs like Dog Without A Bone (on the Sexy...No! No! No! single), Blow Your Cover (on the Call The Shots single) or Hoxton Heroes (on the Can't Speak French single) didn't get the chance to make an impact on a wider audience than those who bought the actual CD or "digital bundle" is a really too bad. I can clearly imagine one of the 3 songs above being part of the 19 top 10 singles the band has had since their 2002 debut single Sound Of The Underground. Their latest single is no exception, since alongside The Promise (clearly not their best release to date, but more on that when the new album is released), you get a very enjoyable track named She. It makes the purchase of the single worthy and so, deserving of a top 10 entry (but I'd rather bet on a number 1 -the fourth of their carrer- on next Sunday's UK charts, given their performance on The X Factor last weekend)...

Apart from lovely leftovers from their albums recording sessions, the girls have often treated their fans with great covers and other surprises. On the third and final release off last year's album Tangled Up, the sweet Can't Speak French, you could find an even more adorable French version of the track... how clever and cheeky of them ! Anyway Fling should have been a single instead of CSF... As far as covers are concerned that precise single contained the Girls' take on Robyn's superhit With Every Heartbeat, turning it into a mid-tempo number with crazy harmonies. Their cover of Amy Winehouse's Rehab was also a great one which found its way on the Call The Shots single. Their recent appearance in BBC 1's Live Lounge resulted in a surprisingly cool cover of One Republic's hit Apologize. Fortunately their covers aren't limited to a visit to Jo Wiley (the Live Lounge host)... On the re-issue of their first album was their version of Duran Duran's hit Girls On Film which was rather good. They also released several covers as proper singles, such as I'll Stand By You (The Pretenders), I Think We're Alone Now (Tiffany), Walk This Way (originally performed by Aerosmith & Run DMC, and covered for charity with the Sugababes). But overall they've proved that their original material is much more powerful and that there now is a "Girls Aloud sound".

Can't wait to hear what they have for us on the new album Out Of Control, released on Nov 3rd !

Below is a little selection of the tracks I mentioned in this post, hope you'll enjoy them !

Girls Aloud covering One Republic's Apologize at BBC1's Live Lounge

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