Two almighty Girl Groups, two classic Xenomania productions... but which will triumph? Sugababes - Hole in the Head (2004) Average Score: 9.58 Highest Score: 10x21 (@soratami, @Phonetics Girl, @Uno, @-SNS-, @BubblegumBoy, @Sprockrooster, @DJHazey, @berserkboi, @Conan, @marie_05, @Untouchable Ace, @Robsolete, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Someboy, @Kyle., @FINISH LINE, @Hurricane Drunk, @Remorque, @MilesAngel, @K94) Lowest Score: 7.5x2 (@WowWowWowWow, @Epic Chocolat) My Score: 10 Seven hours since you went away Eleven coffees, Ricki Lake on play But late at night when I’m feeling blue I’d sell my ass before I think of you Truly, WHO was doing it like Mutya Buena in 2003? After the success of Angels With Dirty Faces, the Sugababes re-teamed with Xenomania, producers of ‘Round Round’, for the lead single to their third album, the aptly named Three. Interviewed for the 2004 Twenty Quid Prize zine, Brian Higgins reflected on the “crucial role” the Sugababes had played in the success of Xenomania at the time: ‘Hole in the Head’ was co-written by the Sugababes and Xenomania; the reference to RIcki Lake in the opening verse comes from the Babes’ habit of watching American daytime TV shows at Xenomania Towers when they weren’t in the recording studio. Compared to some other Xenomania tracks, including ‘Biology’ and our winner, ‘Hole in the Head’ sticks more rigidly to the verse-chorus structure. But when the verses and choruses are THAT good, who is complaining? Mutya is all over this song for me, but Heidi holds her own on the second verse and the switch-up for Keisha’s middle-8/third verse is brilliant. ‘Hole in the Head’ became a third #1 single for the Sugababes, and also a third #1 for Xenomania, debuting at the #1 spot and knocking off the reign of the Black Eyed Peas with 'Where is the Love?’. ‘Hole in the Head’ also holds the distinction of being the only Sugababes song to chart on the US Hot 100; when the track was released in America in June 2004, it peaked at #96 and spent two weeks on the chart. Maybe it was the Ricki Lake reference! As mentioned, ‘Hole in the Head’ was the lead single to the Sugababes’ third album Three. I have to take a moment to appreciate what is, to me, easily their best singles run, and probably their best album too. ‘Hole in the Head’ was followed up by the majestic ‘Too Lost in You’ in December 2003, taken from the Love Actually soundtrack and written by the legendarry Diane Warren (a top 5 Sugababes song). A second Xenomania banger followed, with ‘In the Middle' being released in March 2004 and nabbing a nomination for Best British Single at the 2005 BRIT Awards. The final single from the album is the (also top 5 Sugababes song) ‘Caught in a Moment’, which Mutya Keisha and Siobhan brought back for a goregous stripped rendition in 2013 (and I lost my MIND when they pulled this one out at Hoopla). The album also featured a solo song for each of the girls, including the single-worthy ‘Whatever Makes You Happy’ and the gorgeous ‘Maya’. Three charted at, appropriately, #3 on release. Although ‘Hole in the Head’ didn’t receive any 11s, it manages to make the top two by being remarkably non-controversial, only receiving three scores below a 9. It ends up as the highest rated song from the 2004 Twenty Quid shortlist. Back in 2004, ‘Hole in the Head’ lost out in the first round of voting, against Will Young’s ‘Leave Right Now’. Looking at how those songs fared in this rate… I think this would have been controversial nn. Although Brian Higgins did pick that one out as his favourite of the nominees! It also ends up as the highest rated song across the whole rate from the second line-up of the Sugababes (v1.0 and v3.0 are both still to come). And it is exactly them: dripping with cool, bringing out the best of producers on the edges of 00s pop, some of the best to ever do it. Commentary: @Sally_Harper (9): A classic bop. @saviodxl (9.5): Spontaneously catchy and cool. @berserkboi (10): Yes babe! @DJHazey (10): Peter’s questionable taste has been on display thus far, but for the most part he is picking the correct Sugababes songs! Easily in my Babes Top 5. @Phonetics Girl (10): Serious 11 contender dripping in iconic moments.