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Why were Girls Aloud so successful?


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Old 24-09-2013, 07:29
Sweet7
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It's the typical story of talent show winners bombing after their first album/single, but why were Girls Aloud so different. There second album managed to produce a number one single and most known song 'Love Machine' and they went up and up from there.

They achieved 5 multi-platinum selling albums including their Greatest Hits which sold over 1.2 million. They managed to sell out over 120 arenas within their lifetime including the O2 8 times over.

How did a band which everyone expected to do so badly, do so well?
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Old 24-09-2013, 07:35
NicoleRich
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Sound of the Underground. That track just launched them as a band and cemented their signature sound. Also, they had no real competition other than the less sexy version on the Sugababes.
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Old 24-09-2013, 07:58
mgvsmith
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I think there are a number of reasons.
Firstly, the big talent show thing was still quite fresh and novel.
Secondly, the first single is a brilliant pop record and it has a distinctive sound and tone that could be developed.
Thirdly, GA had considerable critical acclaim for their first albums as well as considerable sales.
Fourthly, the lifestyles of the girls was the source of endless media stories which kept the group in public consciousness when they didn't have music out.
Fifthly, they caught the contemporary zeitgeist, they became representative of their era.
Sixthly, Nadine and Nicola are actually good singers/musicians.
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:00
Attia_Ash
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The Sugababes actually sold more studio albums.

The reason why GA were moderately successful in terms of album sales (bar the GH's and Out Of Control) is because they released their albums towards early December. They only managed 300k per album which at that time wasn't incredible, just modestly ok.
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Old 24-09-2013, 08:56
paltonz
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Agree with above posts. People expected both Girls Aloud to do badly because they had the Popstar/Pop reality show label with their name. So, when Sound of the Underground was released, it sounded refreshingly different to Pure and Simple from Hear'say or anything that Will Young would have released during his debut. The second album was a true test for them to see if they have what it takes to last in the pop industry. They sold well on both singles and album. What was more surprising was that critics started to embrace them as well, especially NME, where pop bands like GA would be trashed.

Their subsequent singles and albums also did well and their tours did fine. But like people said, it was also about timing and competition. GA was around the time when sales were at its low (2002-2007; decent sales started around 2008/09) and people were just starting to discover digital sales, as physical sales were virtually over with. Whole Lotta History only sold 30k copies in total and it peaked at number 6 (I think they sold less than 10k on their impact/physical release week). That was released in early 2006, when seeing 20k for a week's sales would get you to a Top 5. Moreover, the pop genre was very overshadowed by alternative such as Arctic Monkeys and Orson. The Promise only sold around 450k in total, I think. The Promise was released in late 2008, the year where we saw higher sales, but it still wasn't as high like you would see now. Also, pop started to make its comeback again and GA already cemented their place, before the wave began.
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Old 24-09-2013, 09:54
AdzPower
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Personally, I think there are three things that kept them going:

1. Xenomania
2. Drama
3. Cheryl
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Old 24-09-2013, 10:22
cnbcwatcher
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I think it was because their winners' single was anything unlike what any other reality TV show winner would have released. It still sounds good today. It showed they could last past the first album. They also didn't have much competition other than Sugababes and they were one of the few pop groups to stay around during an era when boys with guitars type bands were more popular.
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:04
Chris_Walton
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If Girls Aloud hadn't worked with Xenomania, I don't think we'd be having this conversation. Their partnership was a match made in pop heaven, and it shows in the music they put out together
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:04
O.Michel
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I honestly don't know. I've listened to their entire back catalogue to see what the fuss is all about and I only found 3 tolerable tracks. I love pop music, but none of their songs ever appealed to me that much.
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Old 24-09-2013, 11:29
Littlegreen42
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Because they released good pop music. They never followed any trend or added a guest rapper...
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Old 24-09-2013, 12:03
junnja
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Beats me.
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Old 24-09-2013, 12:41
cnbcwatcher
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Because they released good pop music. They never followed any trend or added a guest rapper...
That's definitely a good thing. They never had to resort to rent a rapper to get hits. They were pop and proud of it. Their music did become more dancey later on but those songs are still brilliant. Only album of theirs I own at the moment is Out of Control and I really like it.
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Old 24-09-2013, 13:35
aquasplash3
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Because they were the Noughties answer to the Spice Girls?
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:16
cashloot147
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Girls liked them.
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:22
chuck_wippl
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The fact that they came from TV show (and it was still new-ish back then)

Great songs (and this is the main reason for their success in my opinion)

Constant dramz surrounding Cheryl
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Old 24-09-2013, 14:55
mushymanrob
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another vote for xenomania here....
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Old 24-09-2013, 15:08
Hollie_Louise
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As others have said, Xenomania. Sound Of The Underground was a great debut single and the standard rarely dropped.

Their only competition was Sugababes in terms of girl groups for the majority of the time which helped both groups I think
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Old 24-09-2013, 15:15
ItsTimmyTime
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They had the Spice Girls element in a post-Spice Girls pop world.
They were relatable to the public, seemed edgey, but never intimidating, and really appeared to get on well!

They upped their music with every album (most of it was not made by them, of course) and evolved their sound and image. Then the tabloids hooked into them and more importantly the girls took the media for a ride!

Along came Cheryl on the X Factor and they exploded. By that point they had lasted around 5 years in the media/music world so they were national treasures instead of a silly pop band.

Xenomania too, obviously.
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:20
spaceygal
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5 likeable girls all with strong personalities who weren't just puppets. They made videos that were always fun to watch. But the number one thing is THE MUSIC. Right from Sound Of The Underground onwards their songs sounded like nothing else around. Catchy, quirky, off-the-wall, unusual song structures (every verse being different, songs sounding like 3 songs in 1, etc). Really cleverly, crafted, catchy classic pop songs that'll stand the test of time, imo. Sound Of The Underground, The Promise, Biology, Love Machine, Something Kinda Ooh, Call The Shots, No Good Advice, The Show - they all sound as fresh and great as ever, imo. Lots of great non-single album tracks too and b-sides.

So yeah, basically, I think it's mainly down to Xenomania and their brilliant songwriting/producting team.

I'm a huge fan of their music. I know Xenomania have written some good stuff for other artists over the years but, for me, they always kept their best work for Girls Aloud.

Edit: and like others have said no wretched rent-a-rappers! They kept their own distinctive sound and didn't sound a million other acts around.
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:25
Hound of Love
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If Girls Aloud hadn't worked with Xenomania, I don't think we'd be having this conversation. Their partnership was a match made in pop heaven, and it shows in the music they put out together
Agreed.
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Old 24-09-2013, 17:34
PJ1893
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Xenomania.

To me they are the reason GA were so successful. They constantly released good music each year and they had consistent success each time.

I know some won't agree, but I think that any five girls who can sing could have released the same songs and the success would have been similar *

* before the OOC explosion later due to Cheryl/X factor.
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Old 24-09-2013, 21:18
Makson
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Gays adored them.

They had a wide demographic appeal which was key to their success.
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Old 24-09-2013, 22:24
Brummy Girl
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Sound Of The Underground

Taking other winner's singles from the early days of Pop Idol/Pop Stars to the The X Factor, Sound Of The Underground is my favourite out of all of them.

It wasn't a drippy ballad or a cover version but was an instantly catchy, original song. From the first few seconds of the guitar intro it had me hooked.

It also helped that it was directly against One True Voice's dire Pete Waterman penned dirge which helped to give it that extra push to the top of the charts.

Edit: Also the 5 girls were a good mix. Considering us, the British public, put them together, the girls blended together really well.
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Old 24-09-2013, 23:04
MrMeatAndPotato
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All media hype. The record sales are not really anything to write home about. Ten years and only just over 10 million record sales is pretty poor... considering the amount of attention the press gave them.
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Old 24-09-2013, 23:07
Hollie_Louise
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All media hype. The record sales are not really anything to write home about. Ten years and only just over 10 million record sales is pretty poor... considering the amount of attention the press gave them.
10 million from seven albums isn't too shabby, especially considering they never sold outside of the UK
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