Friday, August 31, 2012

All Saints

All Saints were a female pop girl group from London, England that consisted of members Melanie Blatt (born on March 25, 1975 in Camden, England), Shaznay Lewis (born Tricia Marie Lewis on October 14, 1975 in London, England), and sisters Natalie (born on May 13, 1973 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada) and Nicole Appleton (born on December 7, 1974 in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada).

Melanie and Shaznay started their music career by singing backing vocals at the Sarm West Studios, the ZTT recording studios near All Saints Road, London.

In 1993, Melanie, Shaznay, and former member Simone Rainford were signed to ZTT records and music manager, Ron Tom decided that the trio should become a group.

All Saints performed for the first time at the "Touch" magazine stage at the Notting Hill Carnival in 1994. They released two singles together, but didn't reach a lot of success. Simone and Melanie had conflicting ideas about the group's musical direction which caused some tension.
By 1994, the complicated recording sessions had produced the group's first single, "Silver Shadow" (a cover version of Atlantic Starr's 1985 single). The single was released only in the United Kingdom and didn't make the charts at all.

By 1995, Simone left the group and the group was dropped from their record label. Despite that, Melanie and Shanzay changed their group's name to "All Saints" and they set out to find a replacement for Simone.

After various auditions, Melanie's father met Nicole Appleton, whom Melanie knew from her days at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Nicole's sister, Natalie later became the 4th member of the group.

After the new group was formed in 1996, All Saints met with former member of Outlaw Posse, Karl "K-Gee" Gordon, who recorded a demo for the song, "I Know Where It's At."

The group began looking for a new record deal, but most of the record labels wanted to model them after the Spice Girls, who had become an international success during the 90's. The demo eventually made its way to London Records and by November of that same year, All Saints were signed to the label.
All Saints' first single, "I Know Where It's At" was released in August of 1997 and became their first Top 10 hit song, peaking at #10 on the UK Singles chart.

In the United States, the single peaked at #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March of 1998, staying on the chart for 18 weeks.

The song topped the charts in Asia for 4 weeks. It was the only song by a girl group to reach the top of the charts second to the Spice Girls' song, "Wannabe" making both music acts rivals.

After the success of the single, it prompted the group to record and produce their debut album.
A promotional single, "Let's Get Started" was released in Japan only, but it's unknown how it charted. The single was originally recorded as "All Saints" without Nicole and Natalie, but with Simone before she left the band.

Even though Simone remains performing backing vocals on the song, she isn't featured on the single cover or listed as a main performer on the track due to her leaving the band before the actual single was officially released.

The song was later re-recorded when Natalie and Nicole joined the group for All Saints' debut album. On the original version of the "All Saints" album, the song was reverted back to the original title of "Let's Get Started."

But when the album was re-released, they changed the name again to "If You Want to Party (I Found Lovin')" changing the "Wanna" to "Want To" due to a legal wrangle of the uncredited use of the Fatback Band's song, "I Found Lovin'."
The second official single, "Never Ever" became a hit for All Saints, topping the charts in the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. In the United States, the song became the group's only highest chart appearance to date, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1998, staying on the chart for 19 weeks.

The song was featured in the "Guinness World Records" book for "Top British Singles." A total of 1,263,658 copies of the single were sold in the United Kingdom, 770,000 copies were sold before the song topped the charts in the UK which makes it more than any single ever before in the UK chart history. They also won two BRIT Awards for "Best Single" and "Best Video" for the song.
On November 24, 1998, All Saints released their self-titled debut album which peaked at #2 on the UK Albums chart and was certified 5x Platinum. In the United States, the album peaked at #40 on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified Platinum.
The third single, "Under the Bridge\Lady Marmalade" (which are cover versions of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song "Under the Bridge" and LaBelle's song, "Lady Marmalade" respectively) topped the charts in the UK and was moderately successful in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France, Austria, Switzerland, and Canada.

In the UK, the song sold over 424,799 singles and the proceeds went to breast cancer charities. The lyrics for "Under the Bridge" were slightly altered since it contained personal lyrics by Red Hot Chili Peppers member, Anthony Kiedis and All Saints covered the song because they liked the overall sound and feeling of the recording.

The All Saints version contains samples of the original Red Hot Chili Peppers recording, the most important sample being the guitar playing in the beginning of the song.

Both music videos cost £500,000 to make & took four months of production before the release. The girls chose to perform their own stunts in the "Under the Bridge" video and at one point, Natalie was knocked over by an explosion, but she remained unhurt.
The third single from the album, "Bootie Call" became All Saints' third #1 UK hit and was moderately successful internationally, charting in the Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, and Sweden. the song was co-written by Shaznay in collaboration with the group's producer, Karl Gordon.
The last single from the album, "Wars of Nerves" peaked at #7 on the UK Singles chart and was moderately successful in New Zealand & Ireland.

All Saints received the MTV Europe Music Award for "Best Breakthrough Artist" and performed at the ceremony in November of 1998, but Melanie was absent due to her pregnancy. Melanie gave birth to her daughter, Lilyella on November 22, 1998.
In December of 1998, All Saints' remix album was released. The album was remixed by DJ Pete Tong and features remixes of the songs from their debut album.
In February of 2000, All Saints released their newest single, "Pure Shores" became their 4th #1 UK hit and also topped the charts in Belgium, Italy, and Ireland.

It was also moderately successful internationally. The song was certified Gold in the UK, Sweden, New Zealand, France, and Belgium while in Australia, it was certified Platinum.

The song was used as the only single for the 2000 film, "The Beach" and the movie soundtrack. The song sold over 720,000 copies in the UK, becoming the 2nd most successful single in 2000. All Saints performed the song at the 2000 MTV Europe Music Awards and the World Sports Awards.

It was given the 2000 Capital FM award for "Best Song," the Ivor Novello Award for "Most Performed Work," and was nominated for two BRIT Awards for "Best British Single" and "Best British Video."

During that same year, Natalie, Nicole, and Melanie made their film debut in the film, "Honest" directed by former Eurythmics member, Dave Stewart. The movie flopped and received poor reviews from critics.
In October of 2000, the group released their second single, "Black Coffee" became All Saints' last #1 UK hit song & was certified Silver, selling over 212,707 copies to date.

The song was moderately successful and managed to chart internationally. In the United States, the song was released, but didn't chart at all.
On October 16, 2000, All Saints released their sophomore album, "Sinners & Saints" which topped the UK Albums chart and charted moderately internationally. The album was certified Platinum in the United Kingdom & Europe. In Australia, the album was certified Gold.
The last single from the album, "All Hooked Up" was released in January 2001, where it peaked at #7 on the UK Singles chart and was moderately successful in Ireland, New Zealand, and Switzerland.

In February of that same year, All Saints announced that they would be taking a break so they "could clear the air between themselves."

Later that year, Melanie said it was uncertain if All Saints would reform, citing difficulties with the financial and business aspects of the group. Shazay would later explain the reason for the breakup was a disagreement over who would wear a certain jacket for a photoshoot.
 In November of 2001, London Records released All Saints' greatest hits compliation album, "All Hits" which contains All Saints' hit singles and Melanie's first solo single, "TwentyFourSeven" featuring musician Artful Dodger.

The album peaked at #18 on the UK Albums chart and later certified Gold, selling 100,000 copies. In 2008, a slightly altered edition of the "All Hits" album was given away for free as part of a promotion with "The Mail on Sunday" newspaper.
After All Saints disbanded, Nicole and Natalie formed the duo "Appleton" and released their debut album, "Everything's Eventual" in February of 2003. They scored hits with the singles "Fantasy," "Don't Worry," and "Everything Eventually."

In July 2001, Nicole gave birth to her son, Gene Appleton-Gallagher, who is the son of Oasis member, Liam Gallagher. She even appeared on "I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here" in 2004.

In June of 2002, Natalie married DJ\music producer, Liam Howlett and in March of 2004, she gave birth to her second child, a son named Ace Howlett. Natalie has a daughter named Rachel, who was born in May of 1992.
Shaznay released her debut solo single, "Never Felt Like This Before" in July of 2004 and released her debut solo album, "Open" during that same month, both of which were moderately successful.

 In August of that same year, Shaznay married dancer Christian "Storm" Horsfall and they have two children: a son, Tyler-Xaine (born in February of 2006) and a daughter, Tigerlily (born in November of 2009).
Melanie was the first member to record after All Saints broke up. In February of 2002, Melanie replaced singer Kelis' vocals on the UK release of the track, "I'm Leaving" by Outsidaz and Rah Digga.

Her third solo single, "Do Me Wrong" peaked at #42 on the UK Singles chart in 2003. Later on, Melanie was dropped from London Records and her solo album that she was working on was never released.
In January of 2006, it was announced that All Saints reformed and signed a record deal with Parlophone Records.

They started working on their third studio album, "Studio 1" which was released on November 19, 2006. The album managed to peak at #40 on the UK Albums chart.
The first single from the album, "Rock Steady" peaked at #3 on the UK Singles chart, selling 60,000 copies and was certified Silver. The song was moderately successful internationally.
The second single, "Chick Fit" was planned for release in February of 2007, but promotional appearances and a physical single release were canceled.

After that, All Saints were no longer signed to Parlophone Records and they canceled their planned UK tour. All Saints' breakup was confirmed for the 2nd time in 2009 and Melanie has stated that the group will never reform again.
Today, the members of All Saints are focusing on their families and various projects.

In September of 2010, All Saints' second compliation album, "Pure Shores: The Very Best of All Saints" which contains their hit singles alongside a selection of album tracks & B-side songs.

To see the music video for "Silver Shadow," go to:

To see the music video for "I Know Where It's At," go to:

To see the music video for "Never Ever," go to:

To see the music video for "Under the Bridge\Lady Marmalade," go to:

To see the music video for "Bootie Call," go to:

To see the music video for "War of Nerves," go to:

To see the music video for "Pure Shores," go to:

To see the music video for "Black Coffee," go to:

To see the music video for "All Hooked Up," go to:

To see the music video for "Rock Steady," go to:

To see the music video for "Chick Fit," go to:

No comments: