The Story of Pop: 2000 (Chapter 23)

Always here every Thursday at midday to revisit the sights and sounds of the UK chart as it looked two whole decades ago, this is The Story of Pop: 2000. Onto this week’s entry then – and by my reckoning, it’s time for a bit of an S Club party…

The new millennium had undoubtedly got off to a pretty spiffing start for S Club 7. Not content with their debut BBC TV series Miami 7 being sold for broadcast rights to over 100 countries worldwide, their self titled debut album had spun off a number one – ‘Bring It All Back’ – and two top 3 follow ups (‘S Club Party’, ‘Two In A Million / You’re My Number One’), with their single sales topping 1m in the UK alone. Add a BRIT Award win that March for Best British Breakthrough to the mix, and it’s fair to say they were riding the crest of a wave.

And no less than six months after their debut album had appeared, they were ready to go again with the second, simply titled ‘7’, and a new series of their TV show, L.A. 7, had begun airing on CBBC, which switched the action from Florida to the west coast of America, as their fictitious antics saw them seeking fame and fortune in Tinseltown.

Just as ‘Bring It All Back’ had provided the show’s theme tune for their first series and their first single, so too, for the second series and album, was the case with the sunshine and candy floss bright, 50s pop groover ‘Reach’, a song that has proved to be one of the most enduring classics in their singles canon. It’s message of positivity, striving for your dreams and well, reaching for the stars struck a chord with fans young and old alike.

Released on 22nd May 2000, just as L.A. 7 was drawing to the close of its initial broadcast, many had it tipped as a potential number one; in fact many people still erroneously think to this day that it did go all the way. Alas, their plan had reckoned on the top spot without the Sonique track we met last week, which it spent three weeks locked behind at #2. With hindsight – and no offence to ‘It Feels So Good’ – it has undoubtedly become the more remembered and loved of both tracks in the long run.

Indeed, ‘Reach’ went onto become one of 2000’s biggest selling singles, spending 15 weeks on the chart, selling over 400,000 copies and gaining school, birthday and wedding disco ubiquity forever more, immediately establishing S Club 7 as one of the biggest British pop groups of the 21st century.

And in light of recent events in this country, it’s gained newfound popularity on streaming services again, offering the same hope and optimism to listeners it did two decades ago. We’ll be hearing from Tina, Jon, Paul, Hannah, Bradley, Rachel and Jo again later in the series, but to this week, it’s all about ‘Reach’, a song that made all the S Clubbers’ dreams come true.

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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