Well, I was sitting here not sure how to even start this write-up. What can I possibly say about Overload
that wasn’t masterfully expressed by @beyoncésweave
at its elimination during the Sugababes Discography Rate
? Maybe let’s go with its performance in this rate first! Overload
was, during the entirety of the rate always in the top 2. Whether they were runner up to Baccara
, Spice Girls
, Girls Aloud
or The Ronettes
were always also at 9-ish average. I definitely call that PopJustice!
Truth time - the reason I even wanted to run this rate was due to Overload
’s abysmal 9th
place finish in the Sugababes
Discography rate. So if you have enjoyed this Girl Band Debut rate, you can thank the Sugababes’ discography rate for bringing it to my mind, if you didn’t – well you can also blame it for that! I just wanted my adored Sugababes
’ début to win something and before I worked with @londonrain
on the song list, I did not even consider they’d have any competition! Then I realised Spice Girls
were here and I started feeling less and less easy about a landslide win. The Sugababes
held their own incredibly well and if they had to fall, I am glad they fell to a stellar 60s track!
Let’s talk Overload
for a bit. It was my 11 going into the rate and I was due to give it to Overload for much of the voting period as I absolutely adore the track and wanted it to do well. However the incredibly tasteful voters ensured it was doing amazingly so a few days before closing, I bestowed it upon The Shirelles
as my connection to Will You Love Me Tomorrow
had even more nostalgia tied to it, and it more than needed my help after @saviodxl
tried to kill it with fire (that 2!!).
Everything about Overload
is so uniquely put together, with inspiration from so many genres and combining so many different instruments that don’t even come close to sounding like they belong together (electric guitar, horns, bass, keyboard, drum, bass –what???) and yet it just works like no other clash I have ever experienced in my life. The glue is of course our three amazingly talented girls in the middle of the whole thing – Siobhan Donaghy
, Mutya Buena
and Keisha Buchanan
! The girls don’t only sound so individual, fantastic, emotive and effortless cool – they also even contribute in writing the iconic lyrics to the track.
Despite the countless amazing tracks they would produce after Overload
– I am not even sure I can say this particular line-up (or any other) ever surpassed it. Sure, I may have other favourites but everything to do with Overload
is so fresh and timeless even 18 years after its release – it is simply put, a masterpiece! The critics seem to agree too as it is easily the most decorated song in their entire discography – ‘disarmingly sophisticated’ ‘brilliant hit with unexpected class’ ‘hauntingly infectious’ were just some of the sound bites thrown around at its time of release and it was also included on many best of lists, including a #493 finish in NME’s 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time and Pitchfork placing it at #432 of the top 500 Tracks of The Decade among many others.
Our lovely ladies were also only around 15 years old during their first album’s era and showed they truly were ‘older than their years
’ numerous time on the stellar One Touch
album. Following that début, Siobhan
unfortunately departed the band, but more commercial success came the way of the band when Heidi Range
beginning their imperial phase with Freak Like Me
. A mainstay of the UK Charts from then on til more line-up drama emerged, eventually leading to none of the original members in the band - this has put the act on some sort of bizarre hiatus across the originals trying to reclaim the name and the most current line-up not being properly active, leaving a huge question mark on what the future may bring (at this stage, nothing is probably the safest bet). Of course, this paragraph says nothing of the full story – so please check out the numerous threads around the forum about Sugababes
when you have a spare second (or few weeks). A bit more in Part 2?
PopJustice – what are you all thinking about this one?
(10) has this full score almost make the top spot!
- Awesome debut single by one of the most talented pop groups ever! Tech: 5 Taste: 5 = 10 points. Kermit_The_Frog
(10) may be as heartbroken as I was if he looks into that discography rate
- One of the rare cases where an act’s debut is possibly their finest moment. What a song. Best line-up, best song. ComeOnGloria
(7) has a lot of things to say about the line-ups, though maybe now being familiar with Three Degrees he may not?
- Ah, Sugababes... More regenerations than Dr Who. I liked their later stuff better. Never thought this song was a particularly easy listen
(7) would probably have preferred my inclusion of Flatline?
- Heart MKS! Spillett
(9.5) is still impressed with Overload
- (classy. still sounds fresh today.) Trouble In Paradise
(8) appreciates this too!
- There’s such a nice flow to this song. It keeps moving forward without the sugar rush feel of other songs in this rate. The production has some nice touches, like the off kilter piano line underneath the bridge. Empty Shoebox
(6) is not making many friends towards the pointy end, hey?
- I'm not entirely sure what's going on with the production, but that 'one way ticket to a madman situation' line sounds really off. Credit to the girls for writing it themselves at a young age, but I'm not in love with the arrangement, and there's a few too many repeats of the chorus for me. Sorry.
(10) agrees with timeless
- Even 18 years after its release, this song still sounds absolutely unique. It's mysterious and catchy and wonderfully produced. Iheartpoptarts
(5) is ‘Hey Look! A villain!!'
- I remember way back in the day when they were that girl group on the Hit List with the weird train song. Ufint
(10) tells the age old tale of things aging like wine
- I absolutely loathed this when it came out and could not for the life of me fathom why everyone around me was living while I was dying. After their magnum opus “Angels With Dirty Faces” I decided to revisit their first album and absolutely fell in love.
(10) has a favourite line-up it seems!
– The babes v 1.0 were awesome, thought not quite as poptastic as 2.0. Siobhan’s contribution to pop music will live forever as long as this song is remembered. DJHazey
(7) calls in Cat Power for back-up!
- Yeah so we all saw what mine (and @Mina
's) average was for their debut. Yes, this is one of the better tracks on the album but as you can see I still don't understand the hype.
(11) starts off the 11 parade with a gorgeous personal story
- I have such a strong connection to this song. I remember dressing up as a little Sugababe when I was a 12 year old gay boy, and reenact the video in my room (all dressed up). Just lip-syncing to imaginary camera’s pretending I was standing on a rotating platform. Way back then the song made a big impact on me and it never lost that. And although they released plenty other amazing song after that, Overload always stayed my favorite. Something about that song was so groundbreaking and I still consider it one of the greatest pop songs ever made. Filippa
(11) proves she was a villain but was working towards the same result as everyone else all along
- I love this song. This is a girl group right to my heart (musical taste). I would have loved them to stay together because initially I thought of them as a real band. But still I seemed to like their songs better than the songs of the average girl band …
(11) name checks a star
- Overtime and with @beyoncésweaves help this song has been proven to be important for pop, so understated that it transcends genre. Ironheade
(11) was kind enough to leave words just for this track! <3
- What can be said, really, other than that “Overload” is a masterpiece? The personalities of all three members – Siobhan's girlish vulnerability, Keisha's smooth and assured soulfulness, Mutya's deceptively chilly and aloof vocal tone giving way to more eagerness and emotive power than seems apparent at first – shine through beautifully. The percussion is so smooth yet lively and groovy, the bassline's an instant earworm, the guitar solo is cool as hell, that middle-8 breakdown with the clanky piano is incredible... I could go on, but I won't, except to pray that this isn't done wrong even when it's up against so much distinguished competition.