With more sights and sounds from the UK charts of Y2K than you can shake a stick at, this is The Story of Pop: 2000. This week: a second chart topper for pop’s best loved club – raising money for charity to boot too…
When we last left S Club 7 on the series back in June, ‘Reach‘ had, despite being a massive seller and one of their biggest hits to that point in their career, been denied giving them another number one at the hands of Sonique. The fact it sold more copies than all but nine of the year’s chart toppers tells its own story.
But when the follow up to that single, the genuinely brilliant, Rachel Stevens-led R&B pop slow jam ‘Natural’ only made #3 in September, spending half the time on the chart and selling notably less than its successor did, many were wondering if S Club may have shot their bolt to top the charts again where singles from their second album, 7, were concerned.
After all, that had also become their first number one album over the summer, so the likelihood of any further singles from it doing the business seemed optimistic at best, when most of their fans had likely already invested in a copy of the album. And so, just two singles into the campaign, they were moving – music wise – onto pastures new.
Originally just demoed for use as a theme to S Club 7 Go Wild, a seven part BBC documentary series the band filmed in conjunction with wildlife charity WWF, ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ had the early hallmarks of a Jo O’Meara fronted ballad, up there if not bettering ‘Two In A Million’ from the first album. The two songs also shared a writer in 90s pop goddess turned songwriter for hire, Cathy Dennis.
But there was another vital roll of the dice waiting to be made before it was chosen to be their snowflake encrusted wintertime single release, that would ensure the band were about to have their biggest hit since their chart topping debut ‘Bring It All Back‘. The BBC’s annual Children In Need appeal earmarked the song as the official release for the charity that year.
The band were thus all over it’s telethon evening the weekend before the single release, performing three numbers (including the girls performing a song called ‘Boy Like You’, which would eventually be included on their third album Sunshine, whilst serenading Dirty Den from EastEnders that we would really rather forget in a hurry), giving them maximum exposure.
‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ thus became S Club 7’s second UK number one, staying inside the top 5 for all of the Christmas period, and with sales of over 600,000 copies, it eventually even outsold ‘Reach’ to be the year’s 9th biggest selling single in the UK for 2000.
And the story doesn’t end there, as six months later, with their TV show now screening to over 100 countries, most notably Stateside on Fox Family, it also became a huge top 10 hit on the Billboard chart in America, thus making S Club one of the few British pop acts to do well in the US at the turn of the millennium.
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.