#soon! Part Un - The 60s-00s Girl Band Debut Breakthrough Rate

@ohnoitisnathan - thoughts on this one, please! Have you encountered any of these ladies? :)



Peaches – Substitute

Average Score: 7.248
Highest Score: 10 x 2 (@unnameable, @Trouble in Paradise)
Lowest Score: 2 x 1 (@kermit_the_frog)
And the overperformer award goes to…. Peaches!!!! If you had told me when I began this rate that a little band from Australia with only one true hit behind them would not only reach the top half of the list but would beat icons like The Supremes, The Pointer Sisters or Bananarama – I would have laughed in your face! This is indeed just what Peaches ended up doing to the Nay-Sayers (namely our resident Cher - @Baby Clyde). With each low score thrown its way at the beginning, Substitute was really struggling to break the top 50, but then the late voters just (en masse) decided Peaches were worth at least a 7.5 and its average continued to soar and this is where we are now!

Unlike most of the girl bands selected for the list here, there isn’t really a rich history behind Peaches as they were really only active for a couple of years (from 1977-1980). Substitute (another cover on the song list [original by The Righteous Brothers, made famous by Clout], the best performing cover here?) was their highest peaking entry in the Australian Chart at its #15 reach. One of the reasons I wanted to include these girls (beyond the 70s list looking bare) was that Peaches is credited as Australia’s first all female band (giving you a taste of what we are capable of beyond the Bardot and Veronicas we are most famous for)! And they truly were a gifted band as the ladies also played instruments and more than held their own vocally. Margaret Kirk (nee Britt, lead vocalist) was thought to be ‘world class, better than Suzi Quatro’ by Atlantic Records’ then owner Peter Hood.

The girls were ‘pioneered’ by record producer Gene Pierson and he thought the timing was perfect for them, as so many boy bands were popular at the time, and Peaches would be a great alternative to that saturation. Margaret initially started Peaches out under the band name ‘The Vamps’ during the 60s and toured extensively in military bases in the late 60s. From then they went to the US and performed for most of the early 70s, returned to Australia and upon Pierson’s suggestion changed the name to Peaches to make them more accessible, and probably not be tied to all that history.

The group’s efforts after Substitute didn’t end up doing very well commercially so they disbanded in 1980. Their take on Substitute I must say is incredibly lovely. There is a nice homeliness to the sound, the kind you get with a garage/jam session as opposed to a big production. Maybe that’s where a lot of voters found the track so charming – the authenticity and lack of artifice certainly played well with me!

What does PopJustice have to say for itself with this cut?

Zar-Unity (7) uses a mighty amount of superlatives for a 7 but here goes! - Nice, uplifting melody and lavish instrumentation and vocals. Kermit_The_Frog (2) does not hear charm, just noise - Clearly my 70s knowledge is terrible as I’d never encountered Peaches before. Really not my cup of tea - a collision of some of my least-favourite song traits (not entirely pleasant vocal, repetitive lyrics, sub-ABBA musicality). Against this competition it doesn’t stand a chance. Spillett (7) is back to the @Mina-isms - (catchy)

Filippa (8) likes but does not find it adequate substitute for another - The song is huge, I love it. But I like Clout’s version better. Trouble In Paradise (10) is flabbergasted at the quality! - Where did this ABBA bop come from?! Empty Shoebox (6) also compares to Clout and finds this lacking - Just not as good as the Clout version. I still like the song, but when I'm listening to this, I'd rather be listening to the other recording. Baby Clyde (4) is still a bitter betty! - (How did they qualify???)

DominoDancing (7.5) has caught feelings for this one! - A bit ABBA-lite, but that is one hell of a catchy chorus. Iheartpoptarts (7) dislikes what I love most - Massive potential, but the production’s not the greatest here. Ufint (8) may have a bit of a lisp - Totally ABBA-esque with just a dash REM’s “Man On The Moon” and Tinta Turnters’ “Simply The Best”, and it totally works. Unnameable (10) is back to more fond memories (and potentially Australian?) – I loved hearing this on the wireless as a kid. DJHazey (8) was more impressed than anticipated! - Okay this somehow WOOO WOOO'd its way into a high score.

I only 'know' it through compiling this video last December:

It's at #80, at 5:41.

I actually kind of prefer the Clout version at #77 (6:30) though.

I have now listened to both and although the Clout version no contest has the better production - there is something charming about the Peaches one I seem to respond to more...
I have now also listened to the version by Clout, and there's no clear winner for me. The production for Peaches is much more flat and tinny, but I prefer the voice, especially during the chorus. And the cymbal sounds on Clout's version are so loud in the mix, it's driving me insane.

Deleted member 26234

Oh I listened to the Righteous Brothers and I liked this version as well. It's just so slow ...

But Clout was so successful here, their best known songs (Substitute and Save Me) still got played on theme parties ... So maybe I was biased but I think the drummer (who has apparently the lead) is maybe a bit over challenged with this song?
Forgot to give you all hints for the next 3 cuts I extracted for this weekend's eliminations!

There will be a tie I am breaking not with high scores (they got the same amount of 10s) but with which one got the lowest score. One of these tracks was sure would make the top 10 when we started! We also say goodbye to our first 11 in the next three cuts! Watch out for it!
Just caught up with the rate. I seriously can't believe B*Witched are still here. I really should have given it a 0. That aside, I only lost a couple of 10s in the last few eliminations so I suppose it could be worse.

Thanks for coming back! :)

Here's another one for you, love!


Pussycat Dolls - Don't Cha

Average Score: 7.336
Highest Score: 10 x 4 (@soratami, @ufint, @Conan, @ohnostalgia [?????])
Lowest Score: 2.5 x 1 (@Russron)

Well! Isn’t this cut a surprise? I fully expected we would be seeing the Pussycat Dolls all the way into the top 10 when I started this rate. I am impressed with your taste PopJustice! This is my lowest score in the rate by far at 3.9 (and I still got outdone by @Russron!). I will not dispute with anybody that this track is indeed an undeniable bop, nor that it is one of the most commercially successful tracks of the list. What I have always disliked here is Don’t Cha’s message.

Presenting (introducing) Nicole as the other woman has legs I suppose, and when we look at songs like Unfaithful by Rihanna there is definitely potential for an interesting take on the subject too; however the writing in Don’t Cha is so unsettling to me. Dismissing someone’s girlfriend because she is not hot nor fun (which the infliction on Nicole’s vocal delivery has always infuriated me due to how she objectifies herself too) like you is so childish and problematic to begin with. There is not even an indication that the guy may be as responsible for the relationship being in turmoil, instead he is glorified and without fault by both having an unreasonable partner and a hot chick after him! If this isn’t (still) representative of the problems we still face today in the gender gap issues, I don’t know what is!

The last verse goes into the ‘not breaking a happy home if it ain’t love’ territory to try to do some damage control but fails miserably as far as I am concerned, since Nicole has been dismissing the other woman the whole time and objectifying herself for the sake of the male gaze, failing until then to give a compelling reason to be with her other than lust. I started having this conversation with some of you on the PCD rate in that I could never get into this song as at that point in time, I was all for the empowerment of the Sugababes’ take of Heidi putting her clothes back on when she plays an exotic dancer in Stronger and dismissing the patriarchy in the audience. This resonated to me so much that to find PCD hitting the charts around the same time with this message was so jarring!! Especially when Don’t Cha ended up performing so much better on the charts!

It should also come as no surprise to you all that the three writers credited for Don’t Cha are indeed men, painting an even more problematic picture in my books about this message. I would also like to say I am fully aware many other songs in this rate are male dominated in that aspect (especially the early eras) but none seem to paint the women so poorly to me, either as protagonist or antagonist. Furthermore, another aspect of this song as a Girl Band Debut I dislike is how inconsequential the other members beyond Nicole are! You hardly hear them, even in the chorus! I realise this debut was always to showcase Nicole but even in the other songs we rate here with an obvious lead singer, the other members have something to do??

Don’t Cha was a huge commercial success for the girls and would rank as one of the most impressive debuts with reaching the top 3 position in all three charts that qualify this song for the rate and many many others. Don’t Cha also has quite an interesting story behind it. It was originally released by Tori Alamaze, a backing vocalist for OutKast to some minor success (#53 on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop chart) but when she became disillusioned with a music career and wanted out of her contract, she gave away the song. Don’t Cha was apparently offered to Sugababes (gaaaaa!! Not suitable til version 3.0 or 4.0 - thank you very much!) and Paris Hilton (hahaha) who both declined it and ended up in the Pussycat Dolls’ corner.

Despite my reservations with the song, music critics were very favourable towards it, seeing it as sassy and brassy, with lots of high energy (all true but the message isnt any less problematic). VH1 ranks this at #96 of the 100 greatest songs of the 2000s and it is the 29th most successful song by a girl group on the Billboard Chart. Well done for that, girls! PCD have plenty of other hits in their repertoire but not many connect well with me due to their underlining message which objectifies the girls. It’s bad enough when men do it so to hear girls doing it themselves, especially in this genre saddens me. I would say When I Grow Up would be my top pick if I had to pick something.

Were the voters as divided on this as I was?

DJHazey (5) surprises me and many with this score! - I love a handful of their singles and not much else, which doesn't include this one. Most of their debut album has a very dated sound to my ears and this a huge example of that. Unnameable (8) remembers the influence – launched a thousand dirty dance moves across cheaper nightclubs across Britain. Iheartpoptarts (5) bought into the commercial appeal - Don't love the song, still bought the hoodie.

DominoDancing (6.5) is the shady beast I have come to love - Kinda saved by a surprisingly moody production, but let's face it. There was never any talent here. Empty Shoebox (3) is our other low scorer - 'I know you like me' No Nicole, I don't. I don't like this man on the song either. The intro takes far too long and I'm just shouting 'GET ON WITH IT' at the screen. Okay, the choreo's pretty good, but I'm not scoring it based on that. I remember a version without the man, but it wasn't much better. I can't score it based on that however, because I might have imagined it.

Trouble In Paradise (9.5) is our first lover - I can still remember the first time I heard this song, my closeted little high school self was doing his homework and listening to Top 40 radio when it came on. I stopped doing my homework, got up and started dancing. By the second chorus, I was singing along. And honestly, the song still makes me wanna drop everything and bop. Filippa (3) is back to her villainous ways and picked the perfect song for it - No fan of Nicole Scherzinger and her star allures. The song is good but the rap spoils it for me.

Saviodxl (7.6) sees the bravery - I just think it was very brave of them to come wth a song about stealing boyfriends, specially if you want girls to like you and trust you. But circa 2005 pop music was so sexualized, it fit them well. Girls Aloud and Sugababes were never promoted in America, so they filled the gap pretty well. ComeOnGloria (5) is my twin again! - The lyrics annoy me.

Riiiiiiiii (9.4) is still favouring songs that don’t make it as far as he’d like - My inner slut made me rate this song so high. And my inner drag queen too. Kermit_The_Frog (9) may not know how shady this sounds to me - Their finest moment and one never surpassed by them or by Nicole as a solo “star”… Zar-Unity (8.5) sees unique here, hmmmmm - These girls are not only sexy, they have unique style! Tech: 5 Taste: 3 +.5 = 8.5 points​

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Now I feel guilty for scoring them so high after reading that write-up. Nicole was just so charismatic on The X-Factor back in the days...

To be really honest I doesn't really bother me that they're out before the top 20.
No need to feel bad! This is just my take, yours is different. If I were rating and not paying attention to the lyrics, it would score higher with me too!
I'm actually not that bothered about Don't Cha going, more about the fact that it's not C'est La Vie...

Don't Cha is actually a song I kept changing the score to. It is a bop, iconic, etc, but I wouldn't say it's quite on the same level as my other 10s (or as several other PCD singles). It's probably more of a 9.5 but I can't really be bothered with half points.