“Dreams of Number 1 last forever…”
That lyric, from Rachel Stevens’s Some Girls, neatly summarises what happened on the Official Singles Chart 13 years ago this week, when she lost out on bagging a Number 1 single.
It was arguably Rachel’s strongest bid for the top spot; her debut single post-S Club 7, Sweet Dreams My LA Ex, also peaked at 2, but Some Girls was electro-pop in a different league.
The story behind the song is as intriguing as the song itself. Helmed by hit producer Richard X and songwriter Hannah Robinson, Some Girls was initially intended for Girls Aloud, before music mogul Simon Fuller (Spice Girls, Pop Idol) stepped in and asked if one of two acts he was looking after could record it: Rachel Stevens, or Geri Halliwell.
When Geri found out the song was to go to Rachel, she locked herself in a car in protest, and the whole ordeal became the subject of a later song by Richard X and Hannah, Me Plus One by Norwegian singer Annie.
If that wasn’t bizarre enough, Some Girls – about a vacuous aspiring singer who would do anything to get ahead ("You made a promise I'd get to the top!"), delivered impeccably by Rachel’s icy vocal – was chosen as that year’s official Sport Relief charity single. The accompanying music video sees Rachel leading a group of women around who squirt men with water bottles, which isn’t as suggestive as it’s sounds.
Rachel doing her bit for Sport Relief by sitting on a space hopper (Rex)
Some Girls debuted at Number 2 on the Official Chart this week in 2004 with first week sales of 43,000, losing out to the mighty Lola’s Theme by Shapeshifters. The British production duo debuted straight in at Number 1 with their disco house classic with opening week sales of 52,000.
Lola’s Theme logged just one week at the top, but its overall sales are significantly higher than Some Girls, 374,000 to 151,000.
As for the rest of the Top 40 this week 13 years ago, Usher’s Burn had been knocked from 1 to down to 3, and there were new entries from J-Kwon’s Tipsy (4), Jamelia’s See It In A Boy’s Eyes (5, co-written by Chris Martin!) and Morrissey’s First Of The Gang To Die (6). Eclectic.
Further down, there were also new entries from US band Counting Crows, their song for Shrek 2 Accidentally In Love was to be their last Top 40 hit, and Nelly Furtado bowed at 40 with her forgotten gem Forca.