The Story of Pop: 2000. It’s our weekly retelling of all the stars, hits and happenings of the UK singles chart from exactly two whole decades ago, packaged up in blog, video and Spotify playlist form. This week: our second appearance of the series from a newly solo Sporty Spice…
Not many are the artists we can think of who’ve made the amount of left-of-centre turns that Melanie C did on her first solo album. In the space of its first three singles, she’d gone from snarling grunger rock to ambient ballads via R&B pop. And her fourth solo single release was about to take her in another direction altogether.
In its original form on the Northern Star album, ‘I Turn To You’ was a 6 minute long, epic, slightly pacified trip hop number she’d written about her mum, under the productive hands of Rick Nowels and Billy Steinberg, who between them had been behind hits for The Bangles, Madonna and Stevie Nicks.
Remixed by top dance producer Hex Hector for its single release, it was transformed into the kind of trance-y floorfiller that the singles chart and clubs were full and plenty of at the start of the 21st century, and especially that summer, from York to Darude.
Melanie sensed there and then it was an obvious summer single, so promptly donned her glad rags as she headed out to the Mecca of dance music, Ibiza, to film its sun-kissed video. Suddenly the shouty punk Mel of ‘Goin’ Down’ that had launched the album seemed like a very distant memory.
With effortless ease, ‘I Turn To You’ gave her her second UK chart topper as a solo artist, to add to both ‘Never Be The Same Again‘ with Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes that we met earlier in the series, plus the eight she had achieved as a Spice Girl, giving her a total of 10 number ones as a female performer – a record she (reluctantly) shared with Geri Halliwell.
One record that Melanie does uniquely hold though, is to be the only female performer to have had UK number ones as a solo artist, as well as part of a duet, quartet, quintet and charity ensemble. But as we’ll see next week, her time at the top with ‘I Turn To You’ was short lived. And that’s another story altogether…
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.