Playlist: Girl band glory
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1. The Chantels – He’s Gone‘He’s Gone’ was The Chantels’ first single released in 1957, leading to them becoming one of the first girl groups with nationwide breakout success. ‘He’s Gone’ embodies a beautifully authentic 50s sound - a slower track led by its heavier percussive beats and brass embellishment, it's an absolute winner. At both the beginning and the end of the song are impressive layered harmonies, showing off an incredible range. It's the perfect start to a playlist celebrating girl power.
2. The Supremes – You Can’t Hurry LoveReleased on the Motown label, ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ is one of the most iconic songs of the Motown era, topping the Billboard Singles Chart in America. The song has an upbeat feel with its catchy chorus, canonical female lead in the form of Diana Ross, and reinforced by bass and layered tambourine percussion. The track was later covered by Phil Collins in 1983, bringing it back to the top of the UK Singles Chart. 3. The Marvelettes – Please Mr Postman Gladys Horton's hopes for a letter from her boyfriend at War landed The Marvelettes the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961 - the first Motown single to do so. The song’s body is composed of 60s-swing style piano chords and drums courtesy of Marvin Gaye. It has since been covered by several artists, including The Beatles and The Carpenters, and most recently, sampled by Portugal The Man in ‘Feel It Still’, giving an entirely different feel to its meaning and lyrics.
4. The Emotions – Best of my Love‘Best of My Love’ is one of the best feel-good tracks from the 1970s, even landing itself a Grammy Award. It is innately funky with its syncopated guitar rhythms, layered vocals and brass. The influence of Earth Wind and Fire’s Al Mckay and Maurice White can certainly be heard in the composition of the song. The upbeat backing vocals enhance the song’s unapologetic lyrics, “I like the way you make me feel about you, baby / Want the whole wide world to see / You’ve got the best of my love”.
5. Sister Sledge - We Are FamilyAnother shining symbol of 70s funk, ‘We Are Family’ is one of the most-loved disco tracks of all time with its wonderfully catchy girl-power chorus, “We are family / I got all my sisters with me / Get up everybody, sing!” The piano chords are fortified with strings and wiggly bassline riffs, and really, it is absolutely impossible not to dance to. The four Sledge sisters have a seemingly endless reel of disco classics, including ‘Hes the Greatest Dancer’ and the magnificent ‘Lost in Music’.
6. The Nolans – I’m in the Mood for DancingAnother sister-group, The Nolans released ‘I’m in the Mood for Dancing’ in 1979, fusing the best and favourite elements of pop and disco for which they'd later become synonymous for. Abundant with feminine harmonies and powerful backing vocals, the song is congruent with its infectious lyrics, “I’m in the mood for dancing, romancing”.
7. The Pointer Sisters – Jump (For My Love)Grammy-winning ‘Jump (For My Love)’ is a synth-soaked 80s disco and pop classic, with irresistibly catchy syncopated lyrical melodies and choruses. Girls Aloud covered the track for Love Actually, but ultimately, it’s nowhere near as good as the original.
8. The Bangles – Walk Like An EgyptianThe million-selling single is one of The Bangles’ best-known songs, with its heavily percussive, upbeat backing and rock-tinged distorted guitar hooks. It began a dance epidemic in the form of Egyptian-like moves, which people most probably look back on in horror. It’s a banger, nonetheless, even if its brought about some seriously bad dad-dancing.
9. Bananarama – VenusBananarama earned a
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13. TLC – No Scrubs TLC had four major number one hits, ‘Creep’, ‘Waterfalls’, ‘Unpretty’ and ‘No Scrubs’. ‘No Scrubs' is another iconic girl-power fuelled R&B classic, teeming with self-respect over ‘scrubs’ in its lyrics, “I don’t want no scrub / A scrub is a guy that can’t get no love from me”. It has a similar feel the synth-soaked strings and percussion used in Destiny’s Child’s ‘Say My Name’.
14. Girls Aloud – The PromiseGirls Aloud are a product of reality TV, created on ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. They have had 20 consecutive singles in the UK Top 10
17. Sugababes – ‘Push The Button’ The Sugababes were known for their ever-changing band members, which were completely different by the time the band finished. Over their career, the Sugababes collectively had six number one singles, including ‘About You Now’, ‘Round Round’, ‘Hole in the Head’ and ‘Push the Button’. ‘Push the Button’ is a catchy combination of electropop beats and R&B style melody and harmonies. The iconic music video turned heads for its provocativeness; the 3 members flirted with men in lifts, taking ‘push the button’ quite literally. 18. Atomic Kitten – The Tide Is High Atomic Kitten
20. Fifth Harmony – Work From Home Fifth Harmony finished third in the 2012 series of The X Factor with then-member Camillo Cabello, who later quit, and has since had a huge solo career. ‘Work From Home’ is an annoyingly repetitive, but unavoidably a massive pop hit. The song’s music video is entirely euphemistic, showing the progression of girl groups styles, looks and song-subject matter from the 1950s to