Friday, July 10, 2009

Whole Lotta History... in a box

My limited edition Girls Aloud singles box set arrived in the post yesterday, and it is genuinely stupendous.

Listening back to the singles in chronological order (why have I never done this before?) paints a vivid picture of just how much this plucky, reality-show-band-that-could has achieved. They've been going for seven years now, you know. That's as long as the Beatles.

Okay... that's a ridiculous comparison, but Girls Aloud genuinely did smash the golden pop formula of the 1990s into tiny pieces. Then they gathered up the dust and used it to dot the "i" above their name.

In the process, they finally threw off pop's twin obsessions with Carnaby Street and US R&B to come up with something unique - a culture clash of every amazing sound ever committed to record, from the surf'n'bass of Sound Of The Underground to the cappucino heartbreak of The Loving Kind.

I'm choosing to ignore I Think We're Alone Now, obviously.

The box set's liner notes (by Popjustice guru Peter Robinson) are note-perfect, too, giving full credit to the dark artists of the band's songwriting team at Xenomania.

Chief among the team, it transpires, is Miranda Cooper. It is she who managed to lyrically transcribe the exuberant hedonism of five freshly mojito-minted superstars, in a way the Spice Girls always aspired to, but only ever achieved on Wannabe.

Sitting absorbing all of this pop history, I suddenly realised that I'd never seen the moment when Girls Aloud came into existence, live in front of an audience of millions. Luckily, Youtube has captured it for posterity.

Awwww, bless.

PS: If you want to give the box set a try, there are still a few left.

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