Whole Lotta History – Girls Aloud


Girls Aloud.

The best British band of the noughties?

I don’t see how it could be any other band.

A well oiled, super slick, highly tuned, polished, relentless, pop monster of a group.

Shifting records like the internet had never happened and dominating the charts for a decade they were something special, something fantastic and something absolutely guaranteed to get a certain type of man ranting, raving and roaring into the abyss of Twitter.


They didn’t write their own songs…although those same blokes seem utterly unfazed by the fact that Liam Gallagher relies on a team of songwriters.

Funny that.

They didn’t play instruments…although those same blokes seem utterly unfazed by the fact that Liam Gallagher can just about make it through “Happy Birthday” on one.

The truth is that there are a lot of male “rock” stars who don’t play instruments or write their own songs but they are never subjected to the same sort of bile, vitriol and abuse that the likes of Girls Aloud are.

Funny that.

I can’t imagine what it is about a gaggle of young women singing songs that so enrages them.

Let me think for a minute.


Nope, I can’t think.

Let’s ignore them for a second.

Think about this…

Their first 20 singles went top ten.


The twenty-first made it to number eleven and then the penultimate single went to number two.

Ten of those records went silver or platinum in the UK.

Five albums, four of which went top ten and all of which went platinum (two of them went double platinum).

It is difficult to think of another band who have enjoyed that sort of success since the end of the eighties and certainly one would struggle to find a band from the same period who came anywhere close.

They were, frankly, a phenomenon.

“Yeah, but they were put together on a talent show.”


Before Suede got into a position where they were releasing records they advertised for a drummer in the pages of the music press…I’m not really sure how placing your own ad for a band member is all that different to other people responding to an ad for people to be in a band.

There are a lot of bands who are put together by some manipulative force…like Oasis.  How many people came and went from that band?  How many of them were brought into the fold, or forced out of the fold, by a certain N. Gallagher of Manchester?  It isn’t a bad thing.  The idea that bands are all childhood friends who love one another and who through some cosmic force are able to produce incredible music is, to be blunt with you, bullshit.

Girls Aloud drew on a wide range of musical influences from rockabilly, electropop, dance, soul, glam and more to produce a run of singles that, as I have already pointed out, sold in huge numbers but which were also near perfect pop nuggets.  The money they generated for their label would have allowed them to invest in new acts too…without the success of bands like them there would be very little chance of some of the bands you, and I, love ever being given any time in a studio let alone being given deals.

Lots of people…actually that’s not accurate, let’s do that again…

Lots of the men who will turn scarlet with rage at some of the things I have written here will also delight in cover versions of “Love Machine” by the Arctic Monkeys or “Baby One More Time” by Travis.  A display of hypocrisy and double-think that even the inhabitants of Westminster would find brazen.  The reason people like those covers are because the songs are fantastic…and, whether you want to admit it or not fellas, the likes of Alex Turner and Fran Healy know it.

Had The Supremes released “The Promise” back in 1966 it would, rightly, be hailed as a classic…one of the greatest pop songs of all time.  It wasn’t of course, it was released in 2008…but it is still one of the greatest pop songs of all time.

The thing is, “The Promise” isn’t even the best single they released.

What kind of band can release a single as good as that and it not be their finest moment?

I’ll tell you what sort of band does a thing like that…a great one.

I know.

You don’t agree.

You think that a B-Side by Razorlight is better than “Biology”.

That’s fine.

It’s wrong.

But it’s fine.