Wednesday, 25 November 2015

S Club 'Alive'

Chart Peak: 5

YouTube
Rachel, Jo, Hannah, Tina, Jon and Bradley tamed up for another Top 5 hit in late 2002 with 'Alive'... 2003 will see the long-awaited release of their film Seeing Double in which they try to stop a wicked scientist from cloning them!
There's a connection here, as a young(er) Zoe Birkett had failed the audition for S Club 7 - apparently she was in the final 12, which seems quite close and in hindsight makes me wonder whether she was "encouraged" onto Pop Idol, given Simon Fuller's involvement in both projects. As that description implies, S Club 7 were seven no more, this being their first release as a sextet after the departure of Paul Cattermole to revive his teenage metal band. With hindsight and possibly even without it, it was clear that they were at the beginning of the end of their career and this ended up as their penultimate single, with the band officially over by the middle of 2003 after the film and soundtrack album failed to do good business, whilst Jo O'Meara suffered a back injury that reduced the act to S Club 5 for much of this single's promotion - Rachel Stevens had to re-record O'Meara's vocal parts in order to mime them. By this point a single only going in at 5 was considered a failure and the writing on the wall.

Although as a tail-end-of-their-career single 'Alive' doesn't get much mentioned it's actually one of their better ones. I was about to call it a good of-its-time pop song but actually it sounds more modern than I expected, with traces of the Scandinavian/American pop sound that has dominated this century. In fact its main flaw is that it sounds so much like an attempt to repeat the success of 'Don't Stop Movin' with even the same pseudo-vocoder effect at the end. But 'Don't Stop Movin' was a good song so I don't mind a second helping.

Also appearing on: Now 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52 [all as S Club 7], 55
Available on: Seeing Double

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