Girls Aloud EXCLUSIVE: Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts reveal moment that 'saved' group's career
Recorded for the soundtrack to romantic comedy movie Love Actually and released in November 2003, the group's club-ready cover of The Pointer Sisters classic peaked at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart.
At this point, the all-female five piece – Nicola, Kimberley, Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle and Sarah Harding – had already scored three sizeable Official Chart hits: a Number 1 with their iconic debut single Sound of the Underground, followed by a Number 2 with No Good Advice and a Number 3 with Life Got Cold.
However, according to Kimberley, it was Jump's success that persuaded their record label to invest in a second Girls Aloud album.
"It was a make-or-break song for us as a band," she recalls in the liner essay for the upcoming 20th anniversary re-release of the group’s debut album, Sound of the Underground.
"Jump saved our career," Nicola agrees in the liner essay. "It was four on the floor so it could be played in the clubs, but it was also familiar enough to be played on the radio. And at this point, it was probably our most digestible single."
Along with the group’s other early singles, Jump appears on the 20th anniversary re-release of Sound of the Underground, which drops on June 16. Elsewhere in the liner essay, Girls Aloud recall how they first felt when they heard their game-changing debut single.
"I was just glad it wasn’t an insipid ballad or something really cheesy – it was definitely a song with a cooler vibe," says Kimberley. Meanwhile, Nadine remembers hearing the intro’s distinctive surf guitar riff and thinking "I was not expecting that at all!"
However, Nicola admits she was initially apprehensive about the song's daring drum and bass beats, which made it stand out from other chart hits of the era.
"We didn’t have drum and bass up north at the time; we just had commercial radio," she says. "So I was just very aware that Sound of the Underground sounded different from the pop groups that came before us: Atomic Kitten, Spice Girls, Hear’Say."
Listen to Girls Aloud's Sound of the Underground - Alternative Vocal Mix below:
Cheryl had no such reservations, saying: "We knew the song was amazing. And if you love the song yourself, chances are that all the girls your age are also going to connect with it. It was just a really special first single."
That it certainly was – as we revealed in April, Sound of the Underground is officially Girls Aloud’s biggest ever song on the Official Chart, while Jump takes pride of place in the Top 5.
This all comes after Kimberley and Nicola recently reunited at London's Mighty Hoopla Festival; joining Years & Years star Olly Alexander to perform Girls Aloud classics The Promise and Call The Shots to a 30,000-strong crowd.
Girls Aloud's 20th anniversary reissue of Sound of the Underground is released June 16 via Universal Music.