It’s hard to believe S Club 7’s debut single “Bring It All Back” just celebrated its 20th anniversary last week. Who could have predicted that just a year later the group would go on to release their second studio album “7” which shot straight to #1 on the UK Albums Chart. In between that year, the band found success with 4 top 5 UK singles, a top 5 debut album, and a successful TV show watched in over 100 different countries. They were on top of the world.
After the success of their first era, the group went on to film a second series of their TV show, “LA 7” and with it, a new album. “7” was released on June 12th 2000 in the UK. To celebrate its 19th anniversary, I’ve written a review of the album.
1.) Reach – Released as the first single from the album, if you’re an S Club (7) fan, you’ve heard it and loved it. It’s upbeat, fun, and catchy – everything we came to expect from the band. Much like their debut single “Bring It All Back”, this song is the perfect lead into the album. The single itself reached #2 in the UK and sold over 600,000 copies.
2.) Natural – This song was released as the second single (and as the first single in the US) from the album. The band began exploring different styles for this album, and this song, in particular, has an Arabian feel. It samples the classical piece of music Pavane by composer Gabriel Fauré.
3.) I’ll Keep Waiting – I may be in the minority, but this is my personal favorite on the album. Bradley takes the lead on this track and raps during the verses. The chorus is very catchy, although I prefer the demo version which is heard in LA 7.
4.) Bring The House Down – This song has always been a fan favorite. At one point it was rumored to have been a single. It eventually ended up on their greatest hits album Best. It’s the perfect club track.
5.) Best Friend – Bradley raps the verses on this song, much like in “I’ll Keep Waiting”, but it falls flat here. I’ve never cared much this track.
6.) All In Love Is Fair – This song was more mature sounding both lyrically and musically than some of the others on the album. When I was younger I didn’t really care for it, but as I’ve gotten older it’s become one of my favorites. I remember being somewhat shocked that the word “ass” was used in the lyrics, considering their young audience. Whenever they performed the song on “LA 7”, Fox Family Channel would always edit the word out.
7.) Love Train – Paul gets a chance to shine as he takes the lead on vocals. I don’t love this song. But I don’t hate it either. I think I enjoyed it better as a kid. It does sound cheesy listening to it as an adult.
8.) Cross My Heart – Another song with a bit of an R&B vibe. It definitely has that early 2000’s sound which makes the song seem dated. But then again, it has been almost 20 years. As with most S Club songs, the unmistakable voice of Jo takes the lead.
9.) The Colour Of Blue – This is a song I used to skip a lot when I was younger, but it’s not bad. Might have worked better as a B-Side. I’m running out of things to say so I’ll just leave it at that.
10.) I’ll Be There – This song was originally a B-Side on the “Reach” single and was later included on the album. And thank goodness. Tina takes the lead on this one. Every time I hear this song I think back to the premiere episode of LA 7 where the band gets lost in the woods (remember the Blair Witch spoof?) and then start jamming out to it.
11.) Stand By You – This is another one of my favorite songs on the album. I’ve never understood why it was left off of the US release. (Does anyone know?) This song is a cover of the pop duo S.O.A.P. from their album Not Like Other Girls. It’s fun, upbeat, and super catchy.
12.) Spiritual Love – This is definitely my least favorite song on the album, although it’s not terrible. It has a much more of an R&B vibe than the other songs and does stand out a bit, perhaps that is why it’s also left off of the international versions of the album, and instead, replaced with their previous single “Two in a Million.” “Spiritual Love” is a cover of British Hip-Hop band Urban Species.
The album was later re-released and included two new tracks: “Lately”, and “Never Had A Dream Come True”, which was chosen to be the official 2000 BBC Children in Need song. The single was the third and final released from the album and became their second UK #1. It also achieved success internationally where it reached top 10 in the US becoming their highest charting single here.
“7” is one of my favorite S Club 7 albums and is one I revisit from time to time. A lot of childhood memories are attached to this album, so I’m quite sentimental about it as well. It’s hard to believe next year we’ll be celebrating its 20th anniversary. What is your favorite song from the album? Let us know via twitter, facebook, or instagram!
I think it’s a solid album, although it’s a little disappointing we only got three singles. I think there should have been a single in between “Reach” and Natural.”
Obviously I give this album 5/5. If I could give it more I would.