Tuesday, 4 August 2009

87: Girls Aloud - Call The Shots

In terms of chart success during the Noughties, Kimberley, Nadine, Nicola, Cheryl and Sarah are second to none. Twenty consecutive singles entered the UK Top 10 from their breakthrough 'Sound of the Underground' in 2002 up to this year's 'The Loving Kind' - a run that was only broken when 'Untouchable' peaked at #11 in April 2009. Two albums hit top spot in the charts, and they are probably the most successful reality TV stars ever. £25m of career earnings, six platinum albums, a Brit award, and countless TV spin-offs would certainly suggest so.

Popjustice founder and NME journalist Peter Robinson, in the liner notes for the Girls Aloud singles boxset described 'Call The Shots' as "the greatest pop song of the 21st century". His website also awarded the song with the Popjustice £20 Music Prize. What's interesting, at least from where I'm sitting, is that it's probably the most conventional sounding single that GA released this decade. The Xenomania-Girls Aloud partnership has been massively successful, and yet that success has been built on an unorthodox style of pop song, from the drum'n'bass of 'Sound Of The Underground', to the audacity of 'Biology' (no chorus until a minute from the end of the song). Yet 'Call The Shots' is straight-ahead, old-fashioned pop, crafted to perfection and maximising the vocal talents of the girls.

Here's a live performance of the song from their spring gigs at the O2.

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