HELLO, welcome to an attempt at a new regular-ish feature!
I’ll be looking at 12 magnificent non-singles from various popstars, starting now with The Saturdays – the uncomplicated girlband who did nothing more and nothing less than keep us topped-up with enjoyable pop music from their arrival in 2008 to their ‘lol it’s not the end, don’t be daft!’ departure six years later.
Their career spanned four studio albums, one ‘mini album’, one Greatest Hits retrospective, and one absolutely killer megamix which, no, will not be included in this collection.
Below I present the very finest of all the songs that were never made proper singles; and ‘please note’ they are in no particular order. Let me know on the Electric Angels Twitter/Insta/whatever if I missed any corkers.
It’s totally ridiculous, this, isn’t it? Wordshaker is not a word, and when you think about it, it’s a really daft invention considering this song is all sass and fire. And yet!!! What an enormous song for us then-younger gays to get our basique lives to. Chromatica II into 911 wishes it could be as powerful as the transition from One Shot into Wordshaker!
The title track from the first album is a real beaut, and I know the other gals got to share the solos when they performed it live, but on record it works so well as a showcase for Vanessa. Her vocals are the perfect mix of powerful and affected; the lead-in to the second chorus the absolute stand-out moment in terms of sheer ~feels.
Leave A Light On
For a few, I know that Living For The Weekend is a contender for The Sats’ best album, but I… am not one of those people. This could’ve-been-a-single torch song, though? Stunning! I’m seeing a music video in golden hotel rooms, lots of glamour lighting, lots of satin.
Get Ready, Get Set
This is a perfect example of a chaotic Xenomania poppersfest; a song that’s all giant synths, multiple hooks and kinda daft lyrics. Mollie has the two best bits, in my opinion: the seductive first chunk of the second verse, and the super-processed calm-before-the-finale middle-8.
This is just classic, straightforward pop: I can see the 90s-esque music video in my head, I can SEE it!!! On an under-rated album that flits mainly between epic ballads and fiery uptempos, this stands out for just being a wholesome “awww, c’mon, I said I’m sorry 🥺” type of bop.
One Shot (Starsmith Mix)
I loved this in its original form on Wordshaker, but the reswizzle for the Headlines EP was a real level-up. Rochelle is perfect as she takes charge of the verses, and in hindsight this is such a quintessential turn-of-the-decade electro-pop stiletto-stomper.
On Your Radar opens extremely loudly and extremely powerfully, then sags a bit in the second half… then punches you right in the mouth with this late-album racket of a homobanger. There’s a lot of ‘should’ve been a single!!!’ talk around this, and it’s always hard to know in those situations if ‘the gays like it’ would’ve been enough on its own to make it a hit. But fuck it! It should’ve been a single.
This Ego B-side passed me by at the time, and it definitely sounds like it’d be finessed a bit more production/vocals-wise if it was actually popped on an album. But hearing it in more recent years, it’s such a great example of late-00s female-led British pop. Like, I’m mentally filing it alongside the likes of Daisy Dares You and Girls Can’t Catch, you know?
That first album was a really slick, neat introduction for the girls, and Keep Her was one of its absolute high points: the well-mixed harmonies on the chorus sound ace, that low synth riff that forms the backbone of the whole song is delicious, and Rochelle and Vanessa in particular drive the whole ~mood with ease.
A little on the basic side? Of course!! But 808 still goes right off. One of three new songs released with the Greatest Hits package in 2014 (single What Are You Waiting For? and the Sandé-lite Walking Through The Desert being the other two), it recalls the fizzy sugar-rush of the On Your Radar era and would have sounded electric in any mainland European gay bar. (Side-note: does anyone know why it has 8 million streams on Spotify – more than some of their singles?)
Remember when this song was trending on Twitter because it was used in a contestant’s intro VT on Celebrity Big Brother? Obviously you don’t, but I do, because I am A) that sad, and B) fascinated by that moment in time at which a Sats album track could trend on the bird app. A purer time.
Wordshaker is rammed with gargantuan fist-clenchy ballads so it’d be remiss of me not to mention at least one. No One wins it for me: dramatic vocals, Vanessa letting rip in the choruses, excellent synth-work in the background… ugh!!!
Honourable mentions: Move On U, Died In Your Eyes, Lose Control, Denial, Lies, Fall, Lease My Love, When Love Takes Over, Wildfire