The Best S Club Songs: 10 Pop Classics

British pop sensations S Club (then known as S Club 7) burst onto the charts and TV screens in 1999 with the release of their worldwide hit “Bring It All Back” and their TV series Miami 7. Over the next four years, the group – Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara, Hannah Spearitt, and Rachel Stevens – became one of the biggest pop acts in the UK with 11 Top 10 singles, four hit albums, a further three TV series’ (LA 7, Hollywood 7, and Viva S Club) and the 2003 feature film, Seeing Double.

After splitting in 2003, various iterations of S Club existed until, earlier this year, the full, original line-up announced they were to reform to tour the UK. Months later, the group were rocked by the tragic death of Paul Cattermole, with Hannah Spearritt consequently pulling out of the reunion. The remaining members have pledged to continue to honor Paul’s memory. As our own tribute, here are 10 of the best S Club tracks.

Buy or stream S Club’s single “These Are The Days.”

“S Club Party” (S Club, 1999)

What better place to start than with the song that introduced each member of the group (“Tina’s doing her thing,” etc.) to pop fans the world over? Their second single was a UK No. 2 hit that took the hip-hop-inspired pop template of the Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There” and ramped up the energy, while giving the boys in the group a chance to give us their best whoops and hollers. The video was a day-glo delight, with S Club traveling back in time to the 50s where they take on The Rockets (seemingly the S Club of their day) in a Grease-style drag race, with Rachel at the wheel. Naturally, S Club are victorious, but The Rockets are gracious enough to join their rivals from the future in a mass-choreographed dance sequence. Perhaps there really is no party like an S Club party?

Click to load video

“You” (Sunshine, 2001)

The gang were transported to a 50s-styled sci-fi world for this finger-snapping retro-pop treat’s video. Despite the vintage outfits and interiors, there are hints – Paul’s jet-pack, Rachel’s remote-controlled ice bucket – of a futuristic, Jetsons-style world. “You” was chosen as the theme tune for the group’s third TV series, Hollywood 7, which followed the fictionalized version of the group attempting to make it in the States. “You” was another huge hit at home and, again, saw them reach the UK No. 2 spot for what would prove Paul’s last single with S Club.

“Have You Ever” (Sunshine, 2001)

S Club’s fourth UK chart-topper, the reflective ballad “Have You Ever,” was also a record-breaker. The song was chosen as the official single for the BBC’s annual Children In Need televised charity drive, and a new version was recorded for the occasion using vocals from children in schools across the UK. This version of “Have You Ever” is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the highest number of people’s voices recorded on a single song. “Have You Ever” has another claim to fame: It features Greg Wells, the producer who would win a Grammy in 2019 for producing and mixing The Greatest Showman soundtrack, on piano and organ.

“Alive” (Seeing Double, 2002)

The lead single from their fourth album, Seeing Double, “Alive” was the first single to be released under the name S Club following the departure of Paul Cattermole. The swooping strings, squelchy bass, vocodered vocals, and disco beat combined for a dynamic dance hit, reaching No. 5 in the UK singles chart. It was later revealed that Bradley’s lead vocal on the verse was originally recorded by Paul, but was rerecorded after the latter left the group.

“Natural” (7, 2000)

The second single from S Club’s 2000 album 7 was the group’s most mature so far, with a slinky, R&B and funk-infused groove and their lustiest lyrics to date. The song was a hit across Europe and may have seemed especially familiar to Francophone pop fans as it was an Anglicised version of French pop singer Norma Ray’s hit “Tous Les Maux D’Armour” (which translates as “every heartache”). Like Ray’s original, a production flourish added the unmistakable snaking main melody from Gabriel Fauré’s Pavane Op 50.

Click to load video

“Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You” (Seeing Double, 2002)

Released in the UK as a double A-side single with the nostalgic ballad “Say Goodbye,” “Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You” was a rocket-fuelled dancefloor filler that served as a fitting farewell to the first phase of S Club. The video would have provided some consolation for those mourning the loss of the band, with goofy behind-the-scenes footage from the TV shows, clips from their best-loved videos, and live footage reminding pop fans of the good times.

“Bring It All Back” (S Club, 1999)

The song that started it all sounds as fresh today as when it propelled S Club straight to the top of the charts on its release. It’s a supremely catchy, light-on-its-feet thrill, calling to mind an update of the soul-pop rush of early Jackson 5. It’s the only S Club song on which the vocals are shared by all four female singers, with the boys taking a back seat and providing backing vocals. The video presented the group performing the song on a Miami sound stage, liberally sprinkled with clips from Miami 7, introducing pop lovers to their new favorite group.

Click to load video

“Never Had A Dream Come True” (7, 2010)

S Club’s signature ballad was their biggest worldwide hit, not only hitting the top spot in the UK, but reaching No. 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100. Simon Ellis later recalled writing the song with Cathy Dennis in Reach For The Stars, Michael Cragg’s 2023 oral history of UK pop music from 1996-2006: “We started about 11am and by 7pm we had nothing. All I wanted to do was go home. Cathy said, ‘Look, let’s give it another 10 minutes and see what happens.’ So she went downstairs to make a coffee and while she was doing that I played the ‘Never Had A Dream Come True’ melody and Cathy shouted, ‘What’s that? That sounds great.’ By the time she’d made the coffee and walked up the stairs, she had half the lyric for the chorus, the title, and all of the melody for the chorus. We finished it in about 20 minutes.” Add a stellar lead vocal from Jo O’Meara, and pop history was made.

Click to load video

“Reach” (7, 2000)

The relentlessly optimistic “Reach” found S Club channeling the effervescent pop bounce of 60s Motown. It was another huge UK No. 1 hit written by Cathy Dennis, this time with former Republica keyboardist Andrew Todd, with the sassy brass provided by famed session group The Kick Horns (The Rolling Stones, Beyoncé, The Who). The video finds S Club riding into an everyday town on a carnival float, spreading color into otherwise humdrum lives by dispensing magical candy – a fitting metaphor for the joy-giving qualities of the song.

“Don’t Stop Movin’” (Sunshine, 2001)

S Club’s crowning glory, “Don’t Stop Movin’” was an irresistible call to the dancefloor that took its cue from Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” and gave the group a new credibility. In Reach for the Stars, lead vocalist Bradley considered its appeal, “’Don’t Stop Movin’ was the one where we moved beyond the young kid, teenybopper audience. That one made us cool all of a sudden.” The singer went on to reveal that he almost didn’t make the session. “They needed me to vocal the song, but I was at the club. I remember someone walked in and said, ‘Bradley, we need you at the studio.’ I jumped in a car.” Co-writer Simon Ellis added, “He pitches up with this carrier bag full of beer and goes into the vocal booth. He was out of there by 2 am and went back to the club.” Despite its chaotic recording, “Don’t Stop Movin’” gave S Club another UK No. 1, selling over a million in the process. It remains a stone-cold pop classic.

Click to load video

Buy or stream S Club’s single “These Are The Days.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post How ‘Reckoning’ Surpassed All Expectations For R.E.M.
Next post RIIZE’s Sungchan Claims To Have Lost Some Muscle, But Fans Beg To Differ

Goto Top