The Sugababes: Top 10

10 of Sugababes biggest single release hits, in my opinion, as compiled by myself judging on personal taste, and maybe somewhat chart success, critics’ picks and what-nots, in the memory of the departure of the original Sugababes (unless they do what most then-bands are doing now as though it is an another of those fleeting trends of pop – reformation).

*10

Shape (featuring Sting)

Probably the only single to really feature another artiste’s work, or just in general, featuring the vocals of another artiste (exclusive of “Walk This Way” to be with Girls Aloud – charity single; so, bopian). Sting never really appears in the video, just approves of using his song as sample, but there was the moment when this track was used in another release altogether, almost at the same time – “Rise And Fall” by Craig David. Sugababes’s version were good; it was just that Craig David’s version was better and contains more originality to it to win the hearts of the mainstream, and myself as well. Still, the single barely miss out on the top 10 when it was released on 2003, marking the last single to be officially released from Angels With Dirty Faces (2002).

*09

Hole In The Head

Their third number one single in the UK, as well as the only single to chart on the boring, too Hip-Hop shores of America (*yawn*) at #96, as the Sugababes, as much as they are one big feat of a UK pop act, never really did have much success in the US of A. The video sees the lady dolled up in more garage rock & roll style, yet the single is more directed to be pop; they thrashed out an underground gig done by their onscreen boyfriends after discovering that they were having intimate moments with other girls. You don’t even wanna know what the management did to the video in the US release – it’s like destroying pop’s respect. Managements are always fucked, unless one is MGMT.

*08

New Year

For me, even for a mainstream act, there will be a secret track that I will like that didn’t perform over-the-top well on the charts; yet it somehow grabs hold of me – it could be due to the fact that the mindset is set that not a lot of people will remember the track, and I am given the life’s job to remember it myself. This is by far my most favourite Sugababes real-slow track, and maybe due to the fact that it was released around Christmas of 2000 (I feel so old all of a sudden AGAIN), and besides being all chirpy and merry and bright in Christmas and all, I still think a little bit of sadness in everything doesn’t really hurt, and this perfectly suits my kinda mood. Yet, it isn’t just another over-the-top Christmas track, and yet it perfectly fits the whiteness in it all.

*07

Freak Like Me

Truly marking their position in the pop world, this is the first official #1 for the ladies, and also marked the first single since Siobhan Donaghy’s departure, and Heidi Range inclusion into the band. The video and lyrical contents break grounds too, promoting the strong mindsets that women can do what men too, and at any point no worse [female empowerment]. Particularly like the women catfight scene of Heidi VS Keisha and Mutya, as though she was on the outside looking in before the acceptance of the group as a threesome in the video’s end. It seemed that the rumoured catfights could be that real within the band and not on the outside public surface of the world. Also particularly like the darkness in this video; the other side of the world at night, where the wolves and other non-daytime sides appear.

*06

Too Lost In You

British love flicks may still pretty much rock, but there was a period it rocked my socks and jocks off (jocks are yummy). Remember Notting Hill? East meets West! Bridget Jones’s Diary? I laughed my shit off the first! This was actually taken off Love Actually, and if I did not recall wrongly (please testify so if I’m so wrong), this song came at the crucial scene where the guy displayed a series of flashcards to Claire Danes, in a really rather romantic (not trying to be new age sensitive raunchy gentleman here, so I shall just say the word ‘fuck’ now. Fuck) cinematic moment. The video proves erotic with the ladies casually walking down an airport background (me hearts airports), seeing very sexy males, and having wild intimate fantasies with them. I love it even more.

*05

Overload

Every end has its start, and this is Sugababes’s start – their first official single. I recall back when I heard it for the first time – when faithfully listening to a radio station and recording music uninterrupted by them damned DJs into cassettes (got tons of those in the past, rewriteable and awesome; now, really, moving on and whatever happens to the good old technology times), and how I got a fit of mixture of feelings for this track – it was somewhat unlike anything I heard of, it wasn’t purely pop, and yet it is; fragments of R&B and maybe somewhat street style got mixed in, and it was just a case of “this is not my kinda style, yet I don’t know whether I like it or not”. For a newcomer to stir that much up, I think it is pretty good already – considering I was still at a trashy stage back then liking “Kiss Kiss” by Holly Valance, which, by the way, was a very catchy tune. Back on track, this was the most successful charted single by all 3 original members.

*04

Round Round

Correct me if I’m wrong, for most people, this was when the Sugababes fever caught on. This is pure pop, yet pure attitude, groove. It is like if one’s anti-pop, the person may just be changed because of this (on the contrary, it may be a little too exaggerating on actual). The video has nothing much – just the girls in leather, singing around musical instruments, and going round (round) in a circling platform; so for it to peak in at #4, it has gotten be the music and chart success that pull strings at it.

*03

About You Now

In terms of chart success, this is the best for Sugababes, as the single stayed on the number 1 spot for four consecutive weeks before getting the bump from Pink’s “So What”. Dedicating their pretty-much-to-nothing-but-pointless video to Tim Royes, a then 42-year-old director who was “struck by a vehicle in Manhattan in the early hours of the morning”, who also directed their videos for “Red Dress” (narrowly missing out on the Top 10) and “Easy”, as well as editing for Green Day’s “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”, Guns N Roses’s “November Rain”, and a whole string of British artistes, inclusive of Rachel Stevens, Emma Bunton, Melanie C, Will Young, just to name a few, and not forgetting the controversy “Kiss Kiss” video by Holly Valance, thus making the video not that much pointless afterall. Meanwhile, Nokia handphone marketing can’t get any more goddamned obvious, seriously.

*02

Push The Button

Talking about love at first sight, I like things that are fast and catchy. I may be talking about romance here, but really, I am basically referring to music. And this single is just another pure example – I fell in love with the infectious pop groove, entangled with the 3 ladies’ voices. The video does magic too – the multi-coloured lift background is props, and the very skanky dance moves and girl-boy boogie oogie is just kinky and managed to pass through mainstream censors. Yes, suck on it, you uptight bookers! (whatever that means) And if one asks me for the best infectious pop Sugababes track, yes, this will be it. Now just striptease away…

*01

Ugly

Every artiste should at least have a song that makes one feels good about oneself in one’s own skin – Christina Aguilera probably has hers at “Beautiful”, and so did Eminem; and this is the one for Sugababes. This song just makes the UK based act feel so big in such major ways, and for me shine so much that it seems so on an international basis. It makes me believe that there really is peace and inner peace in the world, and all I need to believe in is, ironically, belief. On the contrary, this is the last official single that Mutya Buena appears on, and for all due respect, all 3 ladies are equally unique in the group, but Mutya just seems to shine that extra light/star a little bit more, and I just feel so “what-the-blah” when she left in 2005. But now, since Keisha, too, had left…

the original Sugababes.
(1998 – 2009)

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