Popjustice http://www.popjustice.com 100% Solid Pop Music Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:14:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 There’s a new song by Rita Ora on the world wide web http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/theres-a-new-song-by-rita-ora-on-the-world-wide-web/131918/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/theres-a-new-song-by-rita-ora-on-the-world-wide-web/131918/#comments Thu, 23 Oct 2014 08:07:34 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131918 Rita ora

Rita Ora’s recorded a song called ‘Grateful’ for a forthcoming film soundtrack and that’s now on the internet.

Right here in fact:

According to Billboard, who ‘premiered’ the ballad, ‘Grateful’ was written by Diane Warren and will be on the soundtrack to the film Beyond The Lights.

But what does Diane Warren think about it all?

“Gina Prince-Bythewood [Beyond the Lights director] made an amazing movie that shows what really goes on beyond the lights of fame. I am so happy she had me write this song. I’m so proud of it and Rita Ora did an amazing vocal. I think it can be a career song for her. It shows a whole different side to her and I’m hoping we get to hear it all over the radio and see her sing it on the Oscars next year!”

Imagine.

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Q4 Possible Bollocks update: Rihanna’s album might be called ‘Lost Files’ and might be out next month http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-possible-bollocks-update-rihannas-album-might-be-called-lost-files-and-might-be-out-next-month/131912/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-possible-bollocks-update-rihannas-album-might-be-called-lost-files-and-might-be-out-next-month/131912/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131912 Rihanna thing

RING THE Q4 ALARM: Look this might be spurious bollocks that you and we have collectively willed into existence BUT what is apparently a leaked internal memo from Roc Nation has appeared online and it shows what may or may not be an official Rihanna album tracklisting.

(We thought she’d left Def Jam in May this year and their logo appears on this so we have no idea what’s going on to be honest, but it’s Q4 and we’re desperate so let’s run with it for now.)

According to that above image (as reported by The Fader so it’s not just us running with this), the album is called ‘Lost Files’ and will be released on November 24/25.

It’s a pretty blurry picture but basically this is the tracklisting:

1. Bold
2. Trouble
3. Ain’t No Drama
4. Barz (featuring Nicki Minaj)
5. A Drug & A Dream
6. All Night
7. Lovin, Fallin, Dyin
8. Tattered Heart
9. Real Talk (featuring Drake)
10. Hall of Fames /Flames?
11. Pray 4 Me (featuring Big Sean)
12. Oceans
13. Veins
14. Lost Files (featuring Eminem)

There are some deluxe editions tracks, obviously, but we’re buggered if we can make head nor tail of them.

EXCITING. OR NOT. LET’S NOT ASK QUESTIONS AND LET’S JUST ENJOY THE MOMENT.

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Sia – ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile’ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/sia-youre-never-fully-dressed-without-a-smile/131909/ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/sia-youre-never-fully-dressed-without-a-smile/131909/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:00:50 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131909 http://www.popjustice.com/videos/sia-youre-never-fully-dressed-without-a-smile/131909/feed/ 0 Sia’s song from the Annie remake is now all over the world wide web http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/sias-song-from-the-annie-remake-is-now-all-over-the-world-wide-web/131904/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/sias-song-from-the-annie-remake-is-now-all-over-the-world-wide-web/131904/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:36:37 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131904 Sia

Sia’s updated version of ‘You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile’, taken from the Annie remake, is now online.

In fact, if you live in specific parts of the world, it’s also available to purchase on iTunes. (It looks like it’s out in the UK on December 14, CHEERS!)

Here’s a LQ version of it though:

Rihanna doing ‘I Think I’m Going To Like It Here’ next please.

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S Club 7: BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK BACK (but who were they?) http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/s-club-7-back-back-back-back-back-back-back-but-who-were-they/131887/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/s-club-7-back-back-back-back-back-back-back-but-who-were-they/131887/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 11:58:46 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131887 s-club-back-back-back

That picture above is the first one we ever saw of S Club 7.

A lady from their management company came to see us and brought the photograph with her. She also brought a 21st Century Girls VHS but let’s not dwell on that because the exciting thing about that day back in the late 1990s was that mysterious photo of seven popstars.

There wasn’t much extra information given at the time, other than some names on the back of the photograph.

s-club-caption

We don’t know when ‘John’ decided to be Jon but we do know that over the next few years S Club refined and redefined the pop-as-a-brand malarkey and made some amazing songs.

Here’s how it all happened.

S Club was a second attempt at the Spice Girls

spice-girls

Two of the biggest pop acts at the end of the 90s were actually previous pop acts done properly. With Westlife, Louis Walsh figured out what all the shit bits had been about Boyzone, and created a far better group.

With S Club, Simon Fuller had a look at his success with the Spice Girls and perfected the formula.

That’s not to say S Club were a better act than the Spice Girls, but they were a more efficient and well-rounded pop entity. Most importantly, while the Spice Girls were simply a pop group that ended up being a brand, S Club was a brand with a pop group at its heart. Over the years that followed, this allowed S Club to become a range of merchandise, a TV programme… Even another pop group.

S Club launched off the back of a BBC TV programme

The first sight of S Club 7 was actually on Miami 7, a ‘dramedy’ effort shown on CBBC or whatever CBBC was called in 1999.

While not groundbreaking as a way of introducing a pop band (North & South had attempted something similar a couple of years earlier), Miami 7 was a stroke of genius in one important respect: its worldwide syndication was an extraordinarily clever way of shoehorning a new pop band into the consciousness of the entire planet. Miami 7 was seen by 90m people in over 100 countries.

They released some very good pop singles

‘Reach': amazing. ‘S Club Party': amazing. ‘You’re My Number One': amazing. ‘Never Had A Dream Come True': amazing. ‘Don’t Stop Movin”: amazing. ‘Have You Ever': amazing. ‘Alive': amazing even though it was just trying to be ‘Don’t Stop Movin’ 2′. ‘Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You': we’re still fuming this was relegated to AA-side status.

Most of the best S Club songs were written by Cathy Dennis, who seemed to find that the band provided a good clearing house for her INCREDIBLE POP STUFF. In 2014, ‘Reach’ and ‘Don’t Stop Movin” are both solid gold wedding disco bangers that every DJ should have somewhere in their box.

Then S Club TV happened

S Club TV was an attempt at a TV programme. (It wasn’t very good.)

Here the hosts are, plugging it on a better TV programme.

Excellent cross-promotion with the ‘Reach For The Stars’ segment though, right?

(Holly from S Club TV went on to be Holly Willoughby, while Ben had a picture of S Club in his attic or something.)

Then S Club Juniors happened

S Club Juniors were like S Club, but smaller. However, because there was one extra member in S Club Juniors, the two bands were actually exactly the same weight.

As well as nicking S Club’s logo and songwriter (Cathy Dennis wrote their first single), S Club Juniors even appeared with a familiar first photo.

s-club-juniors

Ta-DA!

s-club-juniors-2

S Club Juniors ended up rebranding as S Club 8 and they knocked out some good songs (AND SOME SHIT ONES) during their time together. Among the best were ‘Fool No More’ and ‘New Direction’, the latter of which sounded a bit like ‘nude erection’ which as you can imagine was incredibly funny in 2005 and remains fairly amusing today.

(At the end of 2002 we joined S Club Juniors for two days for a piece for The Guardian, which is quite funny.)

When S Club 8 went tits up Simon Fuller invented a fame school-centred kids TV drama called I Dream, which featured Frankie and Calvin from S Club 8. That didn’t go very well.

As you well know, Frankie and Rochelle from S Club 8 ended up in The Saturdays, and one of S Club Juniors’ songs ended up being released in the US by American Juniors, who were a band formed by a reality show, but that’s just adding an extra layer of complication to the whole thing so let’s not get bogged down.

S Club 7 became S Club

In 2002, Paul from S Club 7 cleared off in order to be in some sort of bloody awful nu-metal outfit. He stayed with S Club for a few months – with hindsight he was basically working his notice period – before disappearing for good.

S Club 7 renamed themselves S Club and made an astonishingly shit film called ‘Seeing Double’.

It was written by Simon Fuller’s brother Kim, and directed by Nigel Dick, then man who’d also directed Britney’s ‘…Baby One More Time’ video. It didn’t do very well at the Oscars.

S Club and S Club 8 all went off on tour together

The S Club United tour was supposed to be a joyous coming together of 14 pop behemoths.

Sadly it turned out to be more of an elaborate attempt at handing over the S Club baton, and it ended quite badly.

That’s a fairly epic interpretation of “we’ve got good news and bad news”, isn’t it?

S Club eventually said goodbye for good

S Club’s final single was ‘Say Goodbye’.

The song was sent out to the media with promotional handkerchiefs, which seemed to be making light of an incredibly sad moment in the history of pop, but we all deal with grief in different ways and over the intervening years we’ve found a way to forgive S Club’s label for their terrible lapse in judgement.

‘Say Goodbye’ and its accompanying video remain one of pop’s best “it’s all over let’s just put everything in a box and have a cry” farewell moments.

Classic Cathy Dennis. Classic Dennis. CLASSY DENNIS.

Then Rachel Stevens was briefly responsible for a load of tremendous tunes

When the S Club party was in its ‘putting out the bins and clearing up the wine stains’ stage, Rachel Stevens decided to be a solo artist.

Things kicked off extremely well with the Top 3 single ‘Sweet Dreams My LA Ex’.

The song had been written by Cathy Dennis for Britney Spears as an answer record to Justin Timberlake’s ‘Cry Me A River’, but Britney was an idiot and Rachel got the song instead.

Then Rachel released a bizarre postmodern second single called ‘Funky Dory’, which sampled David Bowie’s ‘Hunky Dory’ album track ‘Andy Warhol’, and referenced pop art in its lyrics.

THEN – this is the really good bit – Rachel accidentally released one of the greatest albums of the 21st Century in the form of ‘Come And Get It’. (It got to Number 28 because the record buying public were extremely irresponsible.) The album included the Number Two single ‘Some Girls’, which was produced and written by Richard X and Hannah Robinson.

Geri Halliwell was so furious she didn’t get this song that she locked herself in her car, an event later referenced in the X-and-Robinson-helmed Annie song ‘Me Plus One’. (‘Me Plus One’ ends with a sample of Geri Halliwell’s dog.)

Jo O’Meara released an amazing single…

…and a shit album. Then she went on Celebrity Big Brother and everything went a bit wrong.

S Club 3 became ‘a thing’

Jo, Bradley and Paul weren’t really fooling anyone with the whole ‘four backing dancers’ debacle, but they did a load of student gigs and nightclub PAs. They also appeared on Australian television. :(

You would have thought that this sort of behaviour would put S Club – or S Club 3, or S Club 4 or whoever was available – into classic Big Reunion territory. But S Club did not appear on The Big Reunion. Could it perhaps have been the case that Simon Fuller was looking at The Big Reunion – much like he’d looked at the TV programme Popstars – and thinking, “I can do that myself”? Was he DEVISING a CUNNING POP PLAN?

Look this post’s going on a bit now so let’s just cut to the chase: S Club 7 are back together.

s-club-2014

For a band that launched off the back of a BBC TV programme, it makes sense that S Club should relaunch off the back of a BBC TV programme.

This morning the BBC announced that S Club 7 – that’s all of them, even Rachel – would be performing together for the first time in however many years it’s been on this year’s Children In Need. (Last year’s Children In Need was also the location for McBusted’s first TV appearance.)

There hasn’t been an official announcement regarding new material, but if you think that’s not on the cards you’re a fool to yourself. Could there also be a tour?

Whether or not the band manage to pull off a McBusted remains to be seen; McBusted announced 13 live dates and ended up selling out over thirty – the genuine public demand and affection for that band has been extraordinary. But while McBusted benefit from Busted splitting before their time was up and McFly’s continued existence providing a clear line from the past to the present, S Club ended a few months after it should have done and the profile of S Club’s individual members has gone slightly adrift in recent years. Theirs is a proper revival in the way McBusted’s kind of wasn’t.

Anyway, the success or failure of any full S Club comeback rests on the reappearance of the most important person in S Club’s history. It’s not Rachel, and it’s not Paul. It’s not even Simon Fuller.

Five words:

1. GET.
2. DENNIS.
3. ON.
4. THE.
5. PHONE.

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Taylor Swift shat in a yellow bucket and Canada took it to Number One http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/taylor-swift-shat-in-a-yellow-bucket-and-canada-took-it-to-number-one/131865/ http://www.popjustice.com/briefing/taylor-swift-shat-in-a-yellow-bucket-and-canada-took-it-to-number-one/131865/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:50:55 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131865 yellow-bucket

Three years ago we devised an idea that we hoped would change pop forever.

We were bored by acts with millions of intensely engaged fans (and millions of pounds’ marketing budget thrown at gaining those fans) being judged in the same Top 40 as artists with modest fanbases or modest marketing budgets.

Our idea was this: every popstar should be required to record the sound of themselves shitting into a yellow a bucket; the recording would then be put on sale on iTunes and the resulting sales (or lack of sales) by each artist would be fed into a Bucket Index, which would itself then be added into an equation that could then help make more sense of music sales.

For instance, you’d expect One Direction to be somewhere near the top of the Bucket Index. That Bucket Index placing would mean that if they scored a Top 5 single, we’d know that ‘hit’ was actually worth less than if, for instance, Gorgon City – whose Bucket Index rating would be comparatively low – also scored a Top 5 hit. The point is that if an act’s fans are so engaged that they will literally buy the sound of someone shitting in a bucket, and if the quality of all that act’s musical releases is therefore irrelevant, the act is not really selling songs and music – it’s selling an opportunity to ‘vote’ in the charts for 99p, which is quite different.

Sadly for reasons we still cannot fathom, and despite presenting many artists with their first and last opportunity to claim a full writing credit and production credit on a single release, our amazing idea did not catch on.

UNTIL NOW.

This is Taylor Swift.

taylor-swift-in-the-shake-it-off-video

Taylor Swift is probably the planet’s best popstar at the moment.

Taylor’s got a new album coming out soon and, as she recently wrote on Tumblr, she’s experimenting with a couple of different release strategies as that release date approaches.

Some strategies, such as only releasing instant grat tracks to certain counties, have been controversial but not too out of the ordinary. Yesterday, however, Taylor Swift stepped things up a level or two, by releasing a rather strange piece of music. It wasn’t quite the sound of Swifto shaking it off into a bucket, but it served a similar purpose.

‘Track 3′ is eight seconds of white noise. Within hours, it was Number One on the Canadian iTunes charts.

tsyloritunes

In fact, at the time of writing, it’s still there.

Slate report that the release was due to some sort of glitch but Taylor’s Tim Berners-Lee in sheep’s clothing routine doesn’t fool us. We think this was a carefully planned step in Taylor’s ludicrously well-orchestrated album campaign and, while she’s yet to take credit for this bold move, we can only applaud the way in which Swifto has embraced not only this brave new release strategy but also, of course, our Bucket Index idea.

What can we learn from Taylor Swift’s shite bucket challenge?

Naturally, the Bucket Index will only become truly useful when other artists also start to release eight seconds of white noise and we’re able to throw the resulting data against chart performance in order to recalibrate our understanding of the Top 40.

Additionally, when you consider that ‘Track 3′ has appeared at a point in the ‘1989’ campaign when four excellent songs have already been made public, its usefulness as a proper Bucket Index entry is diminished. The success of ‘Track 3′, rather than proving that Taylor Swift fans will simply buy any old rubbish, is actually more likely to show that people liked ‘Shake It Off’, ‘Out Of The Woods’, that one off the cat advert and ‘Welcome To New York’ so much that they have complete faith in the quality of everything from this album, and will confidently download a song without listening to the music first.

In a sense, then, ‘Track 3′ goes against everything the Bucket Index stands for.

But that’s not to say Taylor’s brave experiment is without merit. She has truly pushed an important pop boundary with this eight-second, tune-free, lyrically obtuse release. But we’ll only really know how far she’s prepared to push that boundary when the ‘Track 3′ video appears on VEVO.

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Pitbull – ‘Celebrate’ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/pitbull-celebrate/131881/ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/pitbull-celebrate/131881/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:25:57 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131881 http://www.popjustice.com/videos/pitbull-celebrate/131881/feed/ 0 Q4 update: S Club 7 have properly reformed http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-s-club-7-have-reformed/131874/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-s-club-7-have-reformed/131874/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:16:19 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131874 S Club 7

Seeing Double stars S Club 7 – Rachel Stevens and the other six – have confirmed they’re reforming in aid of Children In Need.

Having signed up to Twitter about six months ago ‘they’ finally tweeted something hashtag-heavy half an hour ago before following that up with confirmation they’re ‘bringing it all back’ etc.

Here is the tweet that will go down in reunion pop history:

That Soundcloud link isn’t the new single. Instead it is some brief #audiocontent.

The ‘gang’ had this to say about it all when asked for a quote by the BBC:

“We’re massive fans of BBC Children in Need and it was great to be able to support the charity all those years ago. We’re really looking forward to bringing it all back for Pudsey, for BBC Children In Need and for all our fans who have been so great over the years. This is going to be the mega S Club party of all time!”

‘Mega S Club party’.

Children In Need takes place on November 14.

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Q4: Bastille are releasing another collaborative mixtape thing in December http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-bastille-are-releasing-another-collaborative-mixtape-thing-in-december/131870/ http://www.popjustice.com/thenews/q4-bastille-are-releasing-another-collaborative-mixtape-thing-in-december/131870/#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:09:28 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131870 Bastille-VS-2014

‘Laura Palmer’ himakers Bastille have announced details of their third mixtape thing, ‘Other People’s Heartache Vol III’.

The follow-up to ‘Other People’s Heartache’ and ‘Other People’s Heartache Vol II’ – you can probably see a pattern developing here – ‘Other People’s Heartache Vol III’ features the likes of MNEK, Angel Haze, Lizzo and, er, Skunk Anansie.

It’s out on December 8 and features a tracklisting that looks rather a lot like this:

1. Fall Into Your Arms (Bastille vs The Gemma Sharples Quartet)
2. Bite Down (Bastille vs HAIM)
3. bad_news (Bastille vs MNEK)
4. The Driver
5. Axe To Grind (Bastille vs Tyde vs. Rationale)
6. Torn Apart (Bastille vs Grades vs. Lizzo)
7. Weapon (Bastille vs Angel Haze vs. F-U-G-Z vs Braque)
8. Remains (Bastille vs Rag N Bone Man vs Skunk Anansie)

The first single ‘Torn Apart’ is online right now actually.

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Gwen Stefani – ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/gwen-stefani-baby-dont-lie/131862/ http://www.popjustice.com/videos/gwen-stefani-baby-dont-lie/131862/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 16:21:26 +0000 http://www.popjustice.com/?p=131862 http://www.popjustice.com/videos/gwen-stefani-baby-dont-lie/131862/feed/ 0