Saturday, 22 December 2012

Scooch 'For Sure'

Chart Peak: 15


Catchy new tune from Scooch, 'For Sure' is scheduled to hit the shops in late July 2000... The video for the new track sees the band carry-out a week-long romance complete with fun office scenes in an Ally McBeal style, packed dance-floor scenarios and a visit from a passing break-dancer!
Taken from the album For Sure.

Actually, the album was called Four Sure. See what they did there? Though not the most successful group of this era, I remember Scooch fairly clearly, not least because they were so transparently Mike Stock and Matt Aitken's attempt at a knock-off of their friend-turned-enemy Pete Waterman's success with Steps. The band members even looked similar (at least after the attentions of a stylist) although the fact that there were only four of them did rather seem to heighten the appearance of a cheapo own-brand substitute. It's presumably through Stock and Aitken's determination that they weren't dropped after the first single only scraped the Top 30, particularly in the knowledge that Steps' first hit was their smallest. But whilst they scored a Top 5 hit with the hopefully-titled 'The Best Is Yet To Come' they didn't make the Top 10 again until they entered Eurovision in 2007. 'For Sure' proved to be the last hit of their original career and was probably their strongest recording - certainly their catchiest number although a bit heavy on the Autotune for my taste.

The track's notable for the use of Latin-style beats that were really fashionable a year or two earlier, which might be another reason why they weren't more successful; they seemed a bit behind the times. Obviously 1999 is a bit late to show up with a pseudo-Steps, and whilst Ally McBeal was apparently still in production until 2002 it seemed to peak in pop-culture recognition. Personally I never saw an entire episode of the show (I have some vague memory of there being a unisex toilet involved?) but I'd like to think their set design was a bit more convincing, and I'd hope that they didn't suffer from that effect you see in the close-up dancefloor shots where it looks like a widescreen picture compressed into traditional aspect ratio. Even Jamelia's office scenes were more convincing. Also the other three members are so peripheral that if you didn't know otherwise you could be forgiven for thinking that Scooch was the name of the blonde woman (who actually seems to have been called Caroline Barnes) rather than a group; in the event it was the other woman Natalie Powers who had the solo career, though not to the extent of actually charting. Thanks to YouTube I can confirm the claim on Wikipedia that Russ Spencer (the blond man) did indeed take part in Boys Will Be Girls, a "reality" TV show in which former boy band "stars" pretended to be a girl group. I think the bit about them playing a gig with the Mission and Fields Of The Nephilim might not be true though.

Available on: Four Sure

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