The Saturdays are one of Britain’s biggest girlbands. The platinum-selling group have put out a whole bunch of catchy songs, but it can’t be denied that they’ve had some mixed fortunes over the years – for every hit to their name they’ve had an underperformance, and it sometimes seems very impressive that they’ve managed five years of almost being huge but never quite managing it. They also have issues in terms of what their actual sound is – in the past two years alone they’ve swerved from club anthem, to ballad, to generic dance-pop before making the transition to more experimental pop – we’re not too sure about this as a concept, but it’ll at least make for an interesting Greatest Hits album. So, on with the countdown…
15. Missing You (UK #3)
Missing You is by far one of the dullest songs they’ve ever put their name to. The only saving grace of the lead single to Headlines is that it contains some of their best and most profound lyrics, but even then the song feels emotionless due to their flat delivery and auto-tuned vocals.
14. 30 Days (UK #7)
Probably their most forgettable single to date, it wouldn’t be particularly surprising if it was excluded from their inevitable Greatest Hits album. Released in the immediate aftermath of On Your Radar flopping, it could have been the perfect way of securing them a career saving hit… It’s just a shame that the song itself was so throwaway.
13. If This Is Love (UK #8)
Half a decade since its release, If This Is Love has aged surprisingly well. The thing is, even in 2008 it only sounded like a decent album track, and considering how many better songs there are on Chasing Lights they probably could have launched themselves with something a little better.
12. Just Can’t Get Enough (UK #2)
A (very) cheesy Depeche Mode cover may not have been the best career move for them, but it can’t be denied that it’s an infectious and fun pop song. Hey, anything’s better than the Girls Aloud vs. Sugababes ‘cover’ of Walk This Way, right?
11. Forever Is Over (UK #2)
It’s still not especially clear how this managed to come so close to getting to #1 – its overall sales were pretty disappointing in the end, and frankly no one really seems to like it. The main issue is primarily how unsuitable it is, and how out of place it now seems in their discography considering how quickly the Kelly Clarkson sound was dropped. It’s a nice song, but it wasn’t for them.
10. My Heart Takes Over (UK #15)
Considering how they were often the only lowlights of a Girls Aloud album, it’s somewhat surprising that The Saturdays have produced quite a number of very good ballads. My Heart Takes Over is technically a prime example, but is let down by production that doesn’t feel fully completed and vocals that are just a little too screechy on occasion.
09. What About Us (UK #1)
Let’s be honest, as nice as it was for them to finally get a #1 single, it would have been nicer if it was with a better song. What About Us has a lot of the charm Disco Love contains, but it feels like nothing more than a very basic and desperate attempt to please a potential US audience. It works very well, but it lacks a lot of the charm that made a lot of their other songs more enjoyable.
08. Gentleman (UK #14)
Only The Saturdays would follow the biggest song of their career with a song that can only be described as being of an ‘acquired taste’. It’s messy, clunky and trying very hard to be quirky, but it’s so much fun. The lyrics are brilliantly ridiculous to the extent that the latter half is just them listing men they’d like to sleep with. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they disowned it, but I’m so glad this single happened.
07. Work (UK #22)
The Work single campaign was a classic example of a song sounding amazing upon the initial album release, but not so much six months later when eventually given a low-budget video and some half-hearted promotion. To this day it remains their lowest charting single, but undeservedly so – it’s still incredibly infectious.
06. Notorious (UK #8)
This was probably one of The Saturdays’ most important singles. There was an obvious change in sound here, as it became their first real foray into properly doing dance-pop. The song itself succeeds in a lot of areas that Gentleman never quite managed to in terms of being a little experimental, but frankly the lyric of ‘I’m a gangster on the dancefloor’ being sung by the very middle-class Mollie King will always be funny.
05. Issues (UK #4)
Issues rarely receives a mention when people list their favourite Saturdays singles, but it’s one of their most charming and radio friendly efforts to date, and the best example of how good they are at nailing a nice ballad when the time calls for one. A lyric is once again the highlight of this song, as we remain convinced that they’re singing ‘don’t know if I should stab you or kiss you’.
04. All Fired Up (UK #3)
A formidable pop record, All Fired Up falls at one of the last hurdles purely on the basis of how void of personality it sounds. It contains the amazing chorus and immediately quotable lyrics that all the best Saturdays songs have, and it has one of their slicker videos to its name, but there’s always a feeling that it could have been sung by just about anyone and sounded exactly the same.
03. Higher (UK #10)
The following three tracks are pretty difficult to rank alongside each other as they’re some of the best British pop songs released in recent years, and despite being a fairly simple, light song, Higher still contains an extravagant chorus that just explodes in synths and beats. Highlights would have to include Una’s powerful middle-eight and the ‘what you doing Saturday girl’, ‘I’m doing nothing’ interaction between Vanessa and Flo Rida.
02. Ego (UK #9)
The best thing about this single campaign was the fact it happened when Rochelle didn’t really have that much media training and Digital Spy contained nothing but stories about her criticising anything that moved, making the title just that little bit more enjoyable.
01. Up (UK #5)
The song that made everyone pay The Saturdays some proper attention, Up remains their best due to how it managed to capture everything that was so endearing about their first album campaign. It’s one of the few songs they’ve released where the verses are equally as enjoyable as the chorus, and it’s essentially a perfect pop song.