#ThrowbackTunesday: Episode 39

If you’re wondering just exactly what was hitting the top of the UK charts on this week in the last 25 years, then you need our weekly retro pop blog juggernaut that is #ThrowbackTunesday. So without any ado, let’s see who we’ve got on our marvellous playlist this week before we get to our featured classic hit…

  • 1993: Dina Carroll – Don’t Be A Stranger
  • 1998: Alanis Morissette – Thank U
  • 2003: Blue – Guilty
  • 2008: Girls Aloud – The Promise
  • 2013: Lorde – Royals

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

    • ARTIST: Girls Aloud
    • SONG: The Promise
    • ALBUM: Out Of Control

    Six years on from winning Popstars: The Rivals, with the most consecutive UK top 10 hits ever for a girl group to their name (20, in case you’re wondering) and millions of albums and tour tickets sold, 2008 was the year that Girls Aloud more or less ascended to national treasure status. Even the TV advert for ‘Out of Control’, their fifth studio album in as many years, declared that everyone loved them.

    Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper, the leading lights at their songwriting and production team Xenomania, understood this, and in their words, needed the ‘theme tune to the biggest girl group on the planet’. In other words, the girls needed a song for which they’d finally announce their arrival to the big leagues of universal commercial and critical respect that they’d been slowly building to achieve. And the way forward was via a rousing number evoking memories of that golden girl group era: the 60s.

    But it was almost the case that it didn’t happen how history now records it. Speaking in 2012, flame haired bandmate Nicola Roberts said: ‘We had to fight for ‘The Promise’ to be the first single from that album … The record company [Polydor] wanted it to be something else.’ ‘We just knew when we heard that track it would be huge,’ added Cheryl Cole, ‘my Spidey sense was going crazy.’

    Things almost broke down between the girls and Polydor, to the point where Nadine Coyle, by now living in Los Angeles, threatened to walk out the photoshoot for the album cover if they didn’t make a decision there and then about what single was going first. Fortunately, Polydor finally relented and agreed that ‘The Promise’ would be the first single off ‘Out of Control’, and the photoshoot continued as if nothing of event had passed.

    Because of the indecision over the choice of single, it meant the now famous video for the song, featuring the girls performing with big beehive hairdos, thick lashes and shimmering gold dresses in an homage to The Supremes, whilst watching themselves on a drive-in cinema screen (how meta) was made with half the time their videos were usually made.

    Coupled with Cheryl’s well recieved first series as a judge on The X Factor (which they premiered their first performance of on the show), ‘The Promise’ vindicated the girls’ choice to go with it as their first single in style, shooting straight in at number one 10 years ago this very week. And better still came for them, when the ‘Out Of Control’ album also went to number one a week later, followed by their first ever BRIT award win for ‘Best Single’ at the 2009 ceremony. Nice one ladies.

    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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