Sunday, December 25, 2005

Sarah Whatmore - Don't Let Me Go

Sarah Whatmore was born in 1980 and hails from Manchester. She first appeared on our screens in 2001, when she took part in the talent show Pop Idol. She made it to the top 40, but fell short of making the final. Nevertheless, she was one of Simon Cowell's favourites, and she was given a recording contract by BMG, releasing her first single "When I Lost You" (originally meant for Kylie's "Fever" project) in September 2002, making #6. Her follow up "Automatic" stalled at #11 in February 2003, and the planned debut album "Living Proof" was postponed so that Sarah could work on some more material. "Don't Let Me Go" was planned as the third single from the album, and like her previous singles, sounds similar to Kylie...

Since then things have been very quiet for Sarah, with only a writing credit on Zoe Birkett's "Treat Me Like A Lady", and an apperaance on the Greasemania soundtrack singing "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee" since the release of "Automatic" almost 3 years ago. Sarah's website is still live, and she is still signed to her record label, with rumours of a release sometime in 2006. Whether that happens remains to be seen, but hopefully we've not seen the last of Sarah....

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Melodi Brown - Skin

Melodi Brown go down in history as a group who never actually released anything. The 4 piece all girl group promoed their debut single "Naked" back in 2003, with the video receiving play on The Box, but ultimately the single was sadly never released. The only music released by the girls was on a CD sampler of their debut album, including "Naked", "Never Knew My Baby", "Spin The Record", and the chosen track "Skin" - which is my favourite track from them, sounding a little like Blu Cantrell's "Hit 'Em Up Style (Oops!)" from 2001.

Three other Melodi Brown songs have ended up being recorded by other people - "DJ" by Samantha Mumba which was never released either, covered later by Jamelia. "Spin That Bottle" was a B-Side on Rachel Stevens' "Some Girls", and "Do Somethin'" was a single for none other than Britney Spears herself!

I wonder if any other Melodi Brown songs will turn up somewhere?...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Girls Aloud - Lights Music Camera Action

Girls Aloud - arguably one of today's finest girl bands. We all know the history of how Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts, Cheryl Tweedy and Kimberley Walsh got together, and we all know of their impressive chart statistics - 10 top 10 singles in 3 years with a new single released in a few weeks.

To celebrate the release of their third album "Chemistry" - out tomorrow, I've posted one of their rarer tracks for you to enjoy. "Lights Music Camera Action" was recorded for their debut album "Sound Of The Underground" - but only appeared as a B-Side, and even then only on the "Life Got Cold" cassette single (remember them?) back in August 2003. However, the track did make an appearance on the Dutch CD single of "Life Got Cold" - which is where this version is taken from. Many of you will have heard the track, but many of you will have the inferior cassette version - this one's in full digital! So if you already have it, here's the proper version!

It's a pretty nice track with some good lyrics back in the days when the girls worked with other artists than Xenomania. You can really tell how the girls have changed their musical style over the few years since, but it doesn't take away the fact that this is a great song!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Hazell Dean - Love Pains

Hazell Dean has often been hailed as the "Queen of NRG" and this claim may have some grounding. Born in Essex on October 27, 1958, Hazell had hits all over the world with her brand of pop music throughout the 80s, , and it was especially popular in the gay clubs, not least because much of it was written and produced by the dynamite trio Stock, Aitken and Waterman.

Hazell started her career back in the 1970s. Then known as Hazel Dean (with only one L), she released a few singles which didn't manage to chart, including "I Couldn't Live Without You For A Day" (Which competed in A Song For Europe in 1976) and "Look What I've Found At The End Of A Rainbow", but it wasn't until 1984 when Hazell stuck gold.

Hazell (now with 2 L's - seemingly the change in name was due to Hazell's belief in numerology - the number 10 being lucky) had her first chart hit in 1984 with "Jealous Love/Evergreen" which reached the dizzy heights of #63, but it was her next single that propelled her to stardom. "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" became a massive hit, and a gay anthem, and reached #6 in April 1984. She then teamed up with SAW on her next release "Whatever I Do (Wherever I Go)" which made #4 in July of the same year. An album, "Heart First" was released in 1984.

She continued to release singles over the years, including "Back In My Arms (Once Again)", "No Fool (For Love)" and "They Say It's Gonna Rain", but it wasn't until 1988 when Hazell would grace the top 40 again. "Who's Leaving Who" started a trio of hits in 1988 when it peaked at #4 in April 1988, followed by "Maybe (We Should Call It A Day)" (#15 in June 1988) and "Turn It Into Love" (a cover of the Kylie Minogue track - #21 in September 88). All these tracks appeared on Hazell's second album "Always" in 1988.

After this, Hazell left EMI records and signed with Lisson Records, and released a further 2 singles "Love Pains" and "Better Off Without You". Since then, Hazell hasn;t had a chart hit, but has written tracks for the likes of Bad Boys Inc. and Sinitta's mum, Miquel Brown.

Hazell continues to perform all accross Europe, and still has a bug following on the gay scene!

"Love Pains" made #47 in August 1990, and is a cover of the 70s track by Yvonne Elliman (of "I Can't Have You" fame. It was also covered around the same time by Liza Minelli. Hazell's version of the track is an uplifiting typical late 80s/early 90s sound, which was produced by Harding & Curnow, from the PWL stable. I regard it as one of my favourite tracks from that era, and I hope you enjoy it too!