This isn’t what I had intended to post this week, but as one of my goals for this year is to blog once a week regardless of how much of a garbage fire my health is at any given point, I decided to pull from my list of cop-out topics. Deal with it. 😎
Fun fact about me: I’m a screaming, crying, dance routine copying, “no, he’s MINE”, “no, I’M Ginger!” teenybopper from way back. My poison of choice was (mostly British) boy bands and girl groups, and as I circle deeper into nostalgic hell with every re-listen, I realise that so many good jams by my faves that SHOULD have been released as singles never were.
So, here’s a list of my top 10 boy band and girl group songs that should have been singles but weren’t.
Little Mix – Lightning
Okay, so this one isn’t that nostalgic being that the album it was on (Get Weird) was only released in 2015, but it needed to be on this list because every time I hear it, I’m like “Little Mix’s management are on some serious bullshit!” for not releasing this track as a single. Don’t get me started on adding rappers to their recent singles…
a1 – Make It Through the Night
Like a lot of the stuff that ends up being my favourite, a1 were criminally underrated. Especially with the release of their third album, Make it Good (2002), which was written almost entirely by them and they played their own instruments. This was back when it was strange for boy bands to have input in their own music. This track is my absolute favourite of theirs and actually one of my favourite songs of all time. OF ALL TIME!!!
Girls Aloud – On the Metro
At first I understood why this one wasn’t a single because it was just a bonus track on their Greatest Hits album (TEN, 2012), but they released ‘Something New’ (meh) and ‘Beautiful Because You Love Me’ (*facepalm*) from that album, so… EXPLAIN THAT! But I also LOVED Untouchable which was their first single not to make the top 10 in the UK, so what the hell do I know?
Five – Don’t Fight It Baby
This track was on the US release of Invincible (2000). I believe the intention was to make it a single there, because it does have more of a Backstreet Boys/NSYNC vibe that an American audience would appreciate, but I don’t see why it wasn’t given to the rest of us! If you’ve seen the movie Loser, this will sound familiar. It was used in the scene where Paul is dancing with his sister’s friends.
Girl Thing – Pure and Simple
This one is likely familiar to most readers from the Commonwealth because it was the winner’s single for Hear’Say from the first season of the UK Popstars. For whatever reason, their self-titled album (2000) was only released in Australia and New Zealand, so I knew of this version of the song for a fair few months before Hear’Say released their version. I was a hardcore Girl Thing stan and I was FURIOUS that their song was poached which may have influenced how I felt about it, but I still think their version is better today.
Blue – Like a Friend
Listening to these lyrics now that I’ve been exposed to the concepts of “nice guys” and the “friendzone” makes me giggle a little, but this song from their second album, One Love (2002), was one of my favourites for a loooong time. Considering how bloody fickle I was at that point, that says a lot. I’m not actually too sure it would have done so well as a single, but I would have love to have seen a music video for it!
Sugababes – Who
Sugababes actually have a TON of non-single songs that I could have put on this list, because again, underrated popular music seems to be my jam, but this one wasn’t even on an album. It was a b-side (lol!) to their single ‘Hole in the Head’, which was from their album Three (2003). I think the reason I thought this would have done well as a single is because a few years earlier, Mr Oizo’s Flat Beat was big and it has a similar sound to it.
Hanson – Yearbook
Because I wanted to know where the fuck Johnny went, TBH. A music video may have helped with that. But more seriously, this is actually an amazing song. It’s really dark for the band that also brought us MMMBop, and now that I’m all growed up and into the metulz, darkness appeals to me. It was released on their album Middle of Nowhere in 1997.
Spice Girls – Never Give Up on the Good Times
Did you really think I was going to make this list without a Spice Girls song?! This would have been released if Geri hadn’t left, so it’s pleasing to know I wasn’t alone in my thoughts about this song. It’s just super fun and would have done just as well as the rest of the singles up until that point. For anyone who doesn’t know (wat?!), it was released on Spiceworld in 1997.
O-Town – From the Damage
Although ‘These Are the Days’ is my all-time favourite O-Town song and they did the right thing by releasing it as a single, they fucked up releasing ‘I Showed Her’ from O2 (2002) over this. I’m convinced that decision killed their career. Ignoring Hanson because they were a special type of boy band, O-Town were my favourite stereotypical American boy band. BSB and NSYNC were always ‘meh’ for me.