Perhaps one of the more welcome news of a pop comeback for me in recent times is for that of Dundalk family band The Corrs. If, like me, at the end of the late 90s and early 00s, you were growing up in a part Celtic family there’s a chance your household owned a copy, as my parents did, of their multi million selling albums ‘Talk On Corners’, ‘Forgiven Not Forgotten’ or ‘In Blue’, and that you remember their many hits including ‘So Young’, ‘Breathless’ and ‘Runaway’ to name but several.
Now, following a successful comeback performance for Radio 2’s Live in Hyde Park event a few weeks ago, Andrea, Jim, Sharon and Caroline are back next month with a brand new album, ‘White Light’, and a brilliant new single ‘Bring on the Night’, and will tour for the first time in 10 years in January, playing a wealth of arena dates. With this in mind, I sat down recently to compile my very own Spotify playlist for you of what I think are their most (said in SMTV sketch voice) beeauutiful moments as a band…
1. DREAMS (TEE’S RADIO MIX)
From the album ‘Talk on Corners (Special Edition)’
Aka the single that gave them their big break. Although they’d released one studio album to immediate success in Australia, New Zealand (and of course, their native Ireland) in 1995, the UK remained stubbornly immune to the charms of The Corrs. That is, until March 1998, when, combined with a terrestrial airing of their St Patrick’s Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall on the BBC and an appearance on a Fleetwood Mac tribute album with this cover of their classic hit, they roared into the top 10 and thus saw sales of their newly reissued ‘Talk on Corners’ album soar through the roof.
From the album ‘Borrowed Heaven’
One of the band’s later hits towards the end of their first run of success, this single was a deeply personal tribute,to their late mother Jean, who had passed away at the height of their success in 1999. But it’s a rousing and spirited number, particularly on the chorus lines: ‘Angel, I hope they love you like we do, forever / Angel, I’ll be proud to be like you’. The band have often said this is one of their favourites to perform live and it’s not hard to see why.
3. ONLY WHEN I SLEEP
From the album ‘Talk On Corners’
The introductory single from their breakthrough album, ‘Only When I Sleep’ is a stirring, sensual power ballad with flawless production from Glen Ballard, the man who was of course behind one of the 90’s other big selling albums, Alanis Morissette’s ‘Jagged Little Pill’. It combines the radio friendly sensibilities of their music with an ever present nod to their Irish roots, whilst doing it in a classy, understated manner.
4. NO FRONTIERS
From the album ‘The Corrs Unplugged’
A bit of a personal favourite for me this one. Recorded exclusively for their MTV Unplugged show in 1999, Caroline and Sharon duet on this cover of the firstly Jimmy McCarthy, then more famously Mary Black number. Simply orchestrated with just a piano, and a spell binding vocal turn from both the girls. My mum was a big Mary Black fan (and still is) and so I remember her version well, but this is an equal pegging with it for delivery alone.
5. LOUGH ERIN SHORE
From the album ‘Forgiven Not Forgotten’
Perhaps explored in a bit more depth on their last studio album, 2005’s ‘Home’, one charming aspect of The Corrs’ studio albums was their own unique takes on traditional Irish instrumental pieces. Among them, were ‘Toss the Feathers’, ‘Haste to the Wedding’, and this one from their very first album in 1995. Stirring and beautifully arranged, ‘Lough Erin Shore’ is one of the best numbers you can hear them do live – hence why I’ve included the version from MTV Unplugged on my playlist for you.