The Story of Pop: 2000 (Chapter 13)

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It’s Thursday, and it’s just gone midday. Meaning it’s time to look back at another UK chart smash from two whole decades ago with The Story of Pop: 2000. This week: two legends of 90s girl groups unite for one epic chart topper…

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As we touched on last week, Geri Halliwell had stolen the show at the 2000 BRIT Awards. And that same night, the rest of the Spice Girls were picking up a Lifetime Achievement award and closing the show with a medley of their hits.

However, Melanie C was, by her own admission, not really wanting to be Sporty Spice at that point. Particularly as her solo career was starting to move places, with the third single from her debut album ‘Northern Star’.

And compared to the first two singles that had gone before it, it was indeed a bit of a gear shift. No snarling attempts at hanging with the grungers here. ‘Never Be The Same Again’ was produced by Rhett Lawrence, the American songwriter and producer who had provided ‘I Wanna Be The Only One’ – a 1997 chart topper – for Eternal.

A sweet, melodic, slightly brushed with R&B pop number, about turning a friendship into something more, Mel sensed the song needed an additional boost in the form of a rap. Lucky for her then, that a member of one of the 90s other big girl groups was at hand for such a need.

TLC’s Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes – who we met earlier in the series on the Donell Jones hit we covered – duly stepped up to the fore, and the result was a winning combination of pop magic. It was all but inevitable that she was about to grab her biggest solo hit to date.

And grab it she did – knocking Geri’s ‘Bag It Up’ off the top, ‘Never Be The Same Again’ gave Mel her first solo number one, to add to the eight she achieved with the Spice Girls. And as we’ll see later in the series, it was by no means her last in 2000…

Don’t forget to follow our brand new playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 2000. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop2000.

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