Girls Aloud: the Greatest Hits

From Popstars: The Rivals to Something New here's your comprehensive guide to the girls' most memorable pop moments

Back in 2002 when five eager youngsters joined forces to perform as pop band Girls Aloud, few would have predicted the success they went on to enjoy. But ten years on, Cheryl, Kimberley, Nadine, Nicola and Sarah are back to reclaim their pop crown. In celebration of their much-anticipated reunion, RadioTimes.com are indulging in a celebration of their greatest hits…

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First up – the auditions… Back in the early days of reality television, ITV1 launched a talent contest titled Popstars: The Rivals to form a boy band and girl band pitted against one another for the coveted Christmas number one. Five nervous youngsters stepped up to audition for judges Pete Waterman, X Factor’s Louis Walsh and Geri Halliwell. Check out a fresh-faced Kimberley and Sarah sailing through to the second round:

Next stop… the debut single. Sound of the Underground was the newly-formed band’s bid for 2002’s Christmas number one and they trounced their male rivals One True Voice, spending four consecutive weeks at the top spot. There are no excuses for the matching pink and black outfits, but the grungy pop beats and catchy chorus won the girls a dedicated fan base and the tune became one of their most iconic hits.

The girls’ debut album – also titled Sound of the Underground – charted at number two and spurned top five hits No Good Advice and Life Got Cold, but it was 2004’s follow up What Will the Neighbours Say? which offered up The Show, Love Machine, Wake Me Up and their second number one I’ll Stand By You. The cover of The Pretenders’ hit was released as the official Children in Need single and featured the girls sprawled across a patch of sand, sporting ‘serious’ music faces as they belted out the mushy ballad…

Next up was third album Chemistry which produced a string of top ten hits – including Long Hot Summer, Biology, See the Day and Whole Lotta History – but no number one. A (rather premarture) Greatest Hits soon followed, but it was their 2007 charity single Walk This Way, a collaboration for Comic Relief with pop rivals The Sugababes, that carried them to the top of the charts. Here are the girls competing in a ‘sing-off’ against Keisha, Heidi and Amelle:

Their fourth studio album was Tangled Up, released in 2007 with lead single Sexy! No No No… featuring the girls dressed in black latex catsuits before changing into red dresses bearing close resemblance to giant sweet wrappers.  While the nation’s male population applauded their choice, the single only made it to number five, but it was their second release Call the Shots that went platinum, peaking at number three and spending fifteen weeks in the top 40. The only criticism of the girls’ catchy pop ditty was the Lego haircut sported by Sarah Harding in the single’s music video – check it out here…

Before embarking on their three year hiatus, Girls Aloud released their final album – Out of Control – spearheaded by their wildly successful sixties-style hit, The Promise, featuring the quintet dressed to the nines in sequined fishtail gowns. Subsequent releases The Loving Kind and Untouchable performed well, but the album’s chart-topping success belonged to its lead single.

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Girls Aloud reunited again in November 2012 with comeback single Something New – their first release in three years – which was leaked online before being made available early by the band’s label Polydor. Released on 18 November as the official charity single for Children in Need, the upbeat, catchy chorus, featuring the lyric “We girls gonna run this show”, was a return to form and generated a positive buzz amongst their expectant fanbase. Watch the video here…