#ThrowbackTunesday: Episode 34

It’s Tuesday, and thus time for us to hop aboard our pop time machine that is #ThrowbackTunesday, where we flash back to five UK chart hits from this exact week in the past twenty-five years. As always, let’s have a look at who’s on the playlist before we get to our featured hit…

  • 1993: Pet Shop Boys – ‘Go West’
  • 1998: Robbie Williams – ‘Millennium’
  • 2003: Dido – ‘White Flag’
  • 2008: Kings of Leon – ‘Sex on Fire’
  • 2013: Drake – ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’

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

      • ARTIST: Dido
      • SONG: White Flag
      • ALBUM: Life For Rent

      If there is one thing that has been tricky for any pop artist to surmount throughout the years, it’s been the second album. Sure, your debut was an incredible chart topping, million selling success with awards aplenty heaped on it. But it’s only if your second follows the same success that you can be assured of a career that’s in it for the long run. 

      Alas, the pressure to follow it up has often got the better of lesser artists – just ask the likes of Duffy or Sonique. And it was Dido who had this pressure exactly 15 years ago this week. Her 1999 debut album ‘No Angel’ had had a strange traction to success. Originally only released in America, arguably it’s most recognizable song, ‘Thank You’, was used on the soundtrack of Gwyneth Paltrow flick Sliding Doors.

      It was the song’s hook that got to the ears of one Eminem, who then duly sampled on it his classic December 2000 chart topper ‘Stan’, with Dido herself playing the role of his crazed fan’s pregnant girlfriend referred to in the song. A year later, ‘No Angel’, with four top 20 hits to its name, had sold over a million copies and was the best selling album of 2001 in the UK.

      Big things were naturally expected for its follow up, ‘Life For Rent’, which landed in record shops in September 2003. Preceding it was ‘White Flag’, the first single. Written with Rick Nowels and Ash Howes about the break-up of Dido’s long term relationship, it was a pleasing earworm with a rawly defiant lyric: ‘There will be no white flag above my door / I’m in love, and always will be’.

      Coupled with a memorable video starring David Boreanaz of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, upon its release it became another radio staple like ‘Here With Me’ and ‘Thank You’ before it, and gave Dido her biggest hit to date, zooming into the chart at #2, as well as going onto win a BRIT Award for Best British Single in 2004.

      And as for ‘Life For Rent’? Well, unsurprisingly, with over 400,000 copies sold on its first week, on its way to being another million seller (and 2003’s biggest selling album in the UK), it gave Dido the unique distinction of being the only female solo artist to have two of Britain’s biggest selling albums of the Noughties. She is set to return with her fifth album in March next year, but for now, here’s to ‘White Flag’, a hallmark of the now two decade long career of Dido.

      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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