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SING IT SIS­TER!

We rate the girl bands

- CAMERON ADAMS Entertainment · Musicians · Celebrities · Music · Rock and Roll · Spice Girls · Diana Ross · Patti LaBelle · Bananarama · Motown · Robert De Niro · United Kingdom · The Bronx · George Harrison · Bruce Springsteen · MTV · Prince · Marvin Gaye · Nicole Scherzinger · Britney Spears · Wings · Spice Girls · Lisa Lopes · Stock Aitken Waterman · William Orbit · Black Coffee · Marmalade · Rick James · Mary Jane Girls · Dean Corll · Heatwave · Nile Rodgers · Chic · Phil Spector · Arctic Monkeys · Arctic Monkeys · Fifth Harmony · Trevor Horn · Frankie Goes to Hollywood · Seal · Betty Boo · The Bronx · Quicksand

GIRL bands stretch back to the start of rock and roll and have given us some of the best pop songs of all time. Here's 20 of the finest girl band hits.

1. WANNABE SPICE GIRLS, 1996

The beauty of Wannabe wasn’t just that it launched the Spice Girls per­fectly, it was also their man­i­festo buried in Tur­ducken pop song — soul in­side Brit pop with rap on top. An in­cred­i­ble first im­pres­sion, even if Posh didn’t get one line. No won­der Vic­to­ria is still bitter. Other

gems: Say You’ll Be There, Too Much, Holler, Who Do You Think You Are?

2. WHERE DID OUR LOVE GO?

THE SUPREMES, 1964

The girl band blue print: built on a fault line (Diana Ross seiz­ing lead vo­cals, shad­ing her band­mates) it served re­gret, heart­break, hor­mones and har­monies — singing through the pain. Other

gems: You Can’t Hurry Love, Baby Love, Stop in the Name of Love, You Keep Me Han­gin’ On.

3. NO SCRUBS TLC, 1999

There is a version of No Scrubs with­out Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’ s rap. That version should be erased. Rhyming spec­tac­u­lar with ver­nac­u­lar, her skills el­e­vate their sly groove that calls out leeches (or scrubs) in a break-up banger from ar­guably the bad­dest girl band.

Other gems: Creep, Water­falls, Un­pretty, Silly Ho.

4. LADY MARMALADE LABELLE, 1974

Fronted by Patti Labelle, this helped usher in the disco era de­tail­ing night shifters in New Or­leans, clev­erly hid­ing the racy cho­rus “would you like to sleep with me tonight” by singing it in French, and pil­ing on the sass and soul soul. Other gems: What Can I Do For You, Over the Rain­bow, It Took a Long Time.

5. OVERLOAD SUGABABES, 2000

Just like Wannabe, Overload sounded like noth­ing else. Im­pec­ca­bly con­structed, the mo­men­tum keeps build­ing, there’s a wild gui­tar solo, then it un­rav­els be­fore your ears and goes full kitchen sink for the last minute.

Other gems: Push the Button, Freak Like Me, Round Round, Too Lost in You.

6. SUR­VIVOR DES­TINY’S CHILD, 2001

How do you stop peo­ple jok­ing about your re­volv­ing door line-up be­ing like TV show Sur­vivor? You write this tri­umphant an­them where you ca­su­ally drop your record sales at the time (nine mil­lion) while tak­ing the high road.

Other gems: In­de­pen­dent Women, Say My Name, Lose My Breath, Bills Bills Bills.

7. LOVE IN THE FIRST DE­GREE BANANARAMA, 1987

Start­ing as a punky trio, Bananarama plugged into the Stock Aitken Water­man ma­chine and rode the wave. Their Venus is ar­guably bet­ter than the orig­i­nal, but Love In The First De­gree is synth-led mock Mo­town bril­liance.

Other gems: I Heard a Ru­mour, Cruel Sum­mer, Robert De Niro’s Wait­ing, I Want You Back.

8. NEVER EVER ALL SAINTS, 1997

If you’re go­ing to bor­row a melody, it may as well be Amaz­ing Grace. The UK four­some freeze-frame

that point of a break-up and lay on funk, gospel and har­monies. Their Wil­liam Or­bit elec­tro-fan­tasy Pure Shores is a close sec­ond. Other

gems: Black Cof­fee, Lady Marmalade, Chick Fit, Bootie Call.

9. HE’S SO FINE

THE CHIFFONS, 1963

Straight outta The Bronx, this clas­sic is two songs in one — the lead vo­cal and that con­sis­tent back­ing vo­cal “doo-lang doo-lang doo-lang”. Ge­orge Har­ri­son would sub­con­sciously heist it for My

Sweet Lord. Other gems: One Fine Day, Sweet Talk­ing Guy, Lucky Me.

10. I’M SO EX­CITED POINTER SIS­TERS, 1982

The sis­ters had cov­ered Bruce Spring­steen (Fire) and had classy hits with Slow Hand and He’s So Shy. But in the MTV era they re­ally hit the pop button. I’m So Ex­cited is all you want from a pop song, put it on and within 10 sec­onds it starts the party. And that pi­ano solo.

Other gems: Jump, Dare Me, Au­to­matic, Fire.

11. ALL NIGHT LONG MARY JANE GIRLS, 1983

Prince had Van­ity 6; Rick James had Mary Jane Girls. The base­line, hook and cho­rus has been end­lessly sam­pled (“you got me shook up, shook down, shook out on your lovin’”) and where this sim­mered, In My House was an in­ferno. Other gems: In My House, Candy Man, Wild and Crazy Love, Walk Like a Man.

12. DANC­ING IN THE STREET

MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS, 1964

Writ­ten by Marvin Gaye, girl band songs are al­most al­ways about love. Danc­ing is an­other pop­u­lar theme and this in­stant shot of en­ergy mixes dance with an­other pop­u­lar trick – ge­o­graph­i­cal shout outs. In­cred­i­ble pro­duc­tion. Other

gems: Heat Wave, Jimmy Mack, Nowhere to Run, Quick­sand.

13. HE’S THE GREAT­EST DANCER

SIS­TER SLEDGE, 1979

Nile Rodgers sprin­kled the Chic magic on these soul­ful sib­lings at the peak of his disco pow­ers. They had a killer run of sin­gles, but there’s some­thing about this one — a bassline that won’t quit, soar­ing strings plus it’s a love song and dance song all in one. Other gems: We Are Fam­ily, Lost in Mu­sic, Think­ing of You, Got to Love Some­body.

14. LOVE MA­CHINE GIRLS ALOUD, 2004

The UK girl band formed on TV but went on to have 20 British Top 20 hits in a row. With pop factory Xeno­pho­nia (Phil Spec­tor meets Stock Aitken Water­man) be­hind them, Love Ma­chine is part rock­a­billy (Arctic Monkeys would uld cover er it), part t rol­lick­ing pop. p. Like all good girl bands, they had d such h strong per­son­al­i­ties li i they h came with an in-built im­plo­sion date. Other gems: The Prom­ise, Bi­ol­ogy, The Show, No Good Ad­vice.

15. NASTY GIRL VAN­ITY 6, 1982

Back when Prince was still filthy he cre­ated his own girl band, with girl­friend Apol­lo­nia in the Diana Ross role, and gave them this soft­porn car­nal pop with his dirty fin­ger­prints all over it. This makes Fifth Har­mony’s 2016 girl band up­date Work From Home (which just missed this list) look frigid. Other gems: Drive Me Wild, He’s So Dull, Make Up.

16. ALL THE THINGS SHE SAID t.A. T.u, 2002

Neve Never count out a mu­si­cal ge­nius. Trevo Trevor Horn’s bom­bas­tic pop worked k for ev­ery­one from Frankie Goes to Hol­ly­wood to Seal, and for 3 ½ min­utes he turned two Russian gay-for-play faux les­bians into chart top­pers with this mu­si­cal thun­der­clap. Other gems: Not Gonna Get Us, All About Us, How Soon Is Now?

17. DON’T CHA PUSSYCAT DOLLS, 2005

Poor Tori Ala­maze had been the first to record this sul­try track, be­fore it was re­claimed to launch Ni­cole Scherzinge­r in the clas­sic Diana Ross-like role in the Dolls. Other gems: I Hate This Part, When I Grow Up, But­tons, Hush Hush.

18. VENUS OR MARS JACK­SON MENDOZA (1999)

The great lost Aus­tralian girl duo – this song was a Betty Boo goes Manga Betty shot of pure joy. Other gems: Or­di­nary Girl.

19. BLACK MAGIC – LIT­TLE MIX (2015)

The UK four­some can be hit and miss, but this gem chan­nels Whit­ney, Brit­ney and Cyndi with not so veiled metaphors about se­cret po­tions get­ting boyfriends on their knees. Other gems: Shout Out To My Ex, Wings, Love Me Like You.

20. HOLD ON

WIL­SON PHILLIPS (1990)

The ul­ti­mate three-part karaoke song, de­spite high de­gree of dif­fi­culty. Other gems: Re­lease Me.

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