#ThrowbackTunesday: Episode 19

Hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend people! Time to ease into your second four day week of the month with #ThrowbackTunesday. Before we bring you your retro musical delight for Tuesday, let’s see what former UK chart hits from this exact week in the last 25 years are on the playlist this week…

  • 1993: Sade – No Ordinary Love
  • 1998: B*Witched – C’est La Vie
  • 2003: S Club – Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You
  • 2008: Alphabeat – 10,000 Nights
  • 2013: Of Monsters & Men – Little Talks

    And our favourite song from this week’s #ThrowbackTunesday playlist is…

    • ARTIST: B*Witched
    • SONG: C’est La Vie
    • ALBUM: B*Witched

    1998 was a good year for a couple of things in pop. It was firstly a good year if you were Irish – see the phenomenal success of The Corrs, U2 and Boyzone with chart topping albums and singles aplenty. The UK was wholly enamoured with the Emerald isle’s music, as well as its comedy, drink and dancing. 

    1998 was also a very good year if you were a girl group. In the year and a bit immediately following the Spice Girls’ colossal breakthrough, record companies breathlessly played catch up, as girl power was taking grip of the top of the chart – from All Saints to Cleopatra. But 20 years ago this year, four girls from Ireland arrived from nowhere and became an absolute smash hit to rival their British peers.

    Founded at the famous Digges Lane dance studio in Dublin, twin sisters Edele and Keavy Lynch (related to Boyzone’s own Shane Lynch), teamed up with friends Sinead O’Carroll and Lindsay Armaou to form the double denim toting, trad Irish meets girl power pop juggernaut B*Witched.

    The then teen quartet moved over to the UK, and were initially just signed to a development deal with Epic Records, after securing the management services of one Kim Glover, who’d previously looked after New Kids on the Block and Ant and Dec. But it was only once they’d recorded one song in particular, that Epic were confident they had a hit in waiting and signed them up for a record deal proper.

    Initially, like many 90s pop acts, trailed around a schools and under-18s nightclub tour for the best part of two months, when the girls finally released the day-glo, harum scarum Riverdance meets Europop rush of ‘C’est La Vie’ as their debut single on 25th May 1998, they were modestly hopeful about it’s chances.

    Speaking in an interview in 2013, Keavy said: ‘We were just hoping for a top 20, we thought ‘Yeah, top 20, that’d be grand’. And we were at a radio station [the week of release] when they told us ‘We are serious, you know you’re looking to be number one on Sunday?’ And we just couldn’t believe it!’

    In fact, with mammoth first week sales of over 150,000 copies, ‘C’est La Vie’ made them the first girl group to debut in at number one with their first release, as well as becoming the youngest girl group to achieve a number one record, and becoming the first of four consecutive chart toppers.

    A mainstay of the UK top 10 all summer, it set B*Witched up on the path to pop legend status – and even became a top 10 hit in America to boot. And as the ladies are now gearing up to celebrate their 20th anniversary with new material, here’s to ‘C’est La Vie’, the single that started it all for them. 

    Check out the full playlist here, and let us know what your favourite hit from the past is this week on our Twitter with the hashtag #ThrowbackTunesday!

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