It’s hard to believe that 20 years have passed since the release of B*Witched’s second and final album to date, Awake and Breathe, was released. Though not as successful as their debut album, it is still full of pop gold.

*FUN FACT* I remember going to Sam Goody with my brother the day it was released here in the US. Back then, our parents would have to read the lyrics before letting us listen (And if haven’t read ‘Our Top 15 Favorite Album Covers of the Late 90s / Early 2000s’, check it out as we expand on this). Lucky for us, it passed and we had the album on repeat.

By mid 1999 B*Witched were on top of the world. Their first four singles all reached #1 on the UK Singles Charts, their debut album B*Witched was certified 2× Platinum, and they were getting ready to embark on a tour across Europe and the US. The pressure was on for them to continue their success with the followup of their second album, Awake and Breathe, which was released October 18th 1999. Unfortunately, the album under performed in comparison to their debut, but still reached #5 in the UK where it was certified Platinum. Here is a look back at the 3 singles released from the album:

  • Jesse Hold On – Released on October 4th 1999, two weeks before the album, “Jesse Hold On” was chosen as the lead single. Having had their previous four singles reach #1 in the UK, all eyes were on the band to see if they could pull it off a fifth time. Unfortunately, the single ended their string of #1’s, reaching #4 in the UK. However, it was still a commercial success and was certified Silver, selling 200,000 copies. The song itself marked a slight change in sound for the band, where they explored a “country pop” sound. The single also featured a b-side, a cover of Carly Simon’s “Coming Around Again.”
  • I Shall Be There – It was rumored shortly after “Jesse Hold On” was released that the next single to follow would be “Are You A Ghost?” In fact, the hype sticker on the album mentions the song being included. However, it was later revealed that “I Shall Be There” featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo was chosen instead. Released on December 6th 1999, the single was a contender for the Christmas #1. Unfortunately, it reached #13 on the UK Singles Charts, making it the first B*Witched single not to reach the Top 10. Two b-sides were featured on the single: “Don’t Say Never”, a gorgeous ballad featuring Sinead on lead vocals, and a cover of ABBA’s “Does Your Mother Know?”
  • Jump Down – “Jump Down” was chosen as the third single from Awake and Breathe. After previously posing for FHM Magazine, the girls decided to ditch the double denim and sport a new sexier and edgier look for the single and video release. The song itself was remixed slightly for the single and was released on March 26th 2000. It became the group’s lowest charting single to date, reaching #16 on the UK Singles Charts, selling 44,000 copies.
  • If It Don’t Fit? – Had “Jump Down” and “I Shall Be There” performed better, it’s possible we would have had a fourth single from the album released. Personally I think “If It Don’t Fit” would have made a great choice. It’s an upbeat, fun, infectious pop song that’s great to dance to. Perhaps released as a double A-side, “Someday” or “It Was Our Day” would have also been great choices. What do you think? Let us know on Twitter.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, I made vinyl mock-ups of the album plus 12″ singles. Spread the word and pester Urban Outfitters to make this a reality! We are also in need of a deluxe edition CD featuring remixes and rarities.

Awake and Breathe on blue marble vinyl
Jesse Hold On” on purple and blue vinyl
B*Witched released “Jesse Hold On” as the lead single from the album on October 4th 1999, two weeks before the album dropped. The pressure was on for the band after the girls first four singles charted at #1. Unfortunately, the string of #1’s was broken with this release, however, it was still a success reaching #4 on the UK Singles Charts.
I Shall Be There” on gold vinyl
It was rumored the girls would be releasing “Are You A Ghost?” as the second official single from “Awake and Breathe”, but later it was confirmed that “I Shall Be There” featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo was chosen instead. The single was released on December 6th 1999 with tough competition for the Christmas #1 spot, with bands such as Steps, Westlife and S Club 7 also releasing singles. Unfortunately it was the first single to not reach the top 10, peaking at #13 on the UK Singles Charts.
Jump Down” on teal vinyl
“Jump Down” was released as the third and final single from the album to disappointing sales, reaching #16 on the UK Singles Charts. For the single, the girls shed their double denim look and went for more of a sexy image to sport the video. The song was remixed for its single release, and given a more edgier and dancier vibe.
B*Witched Across America 2000 on clear vinyl
In the summer of 2000, the band went on the All That Music and More Festival tour in the US. To accompany the tour, the band released “B*Witched Across America 2000” EP. Two new songs were recorded for the release, including a cover of Toni Basil’s hit single “Mickey”, which was featured in the teen film Bring It On, and a cover of Wild Cherry’s “Play That Funky Music.” Unfortunately, this was their last release as B*Witched disbanded in 2002 after being dropped from Epic Records.