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The rise and fall of 2000s supergroup S Club 7, two decades on from their start

Friday - 04/01/2019 12:15
Twenty years ago a group of young Brits got together to make music and quickly took over the world. Then it all went pear-shaped.
It’s 20 years since UK supergroup S Club 7 burst onto the world stage.Source:News Limited
It’s 20 years since UK supergroup S Club 7 burst onto the world stage.Source:News Limited

Twenty years ago, a group of young Brits got together after responding to a newspaper advertisement and began making music.

Almost immediately, S Club 7 took over the world of pop and television, with chart-topping records, merchandise lines and a small screen show viewed by 90 million people.

But almost as quickly as they arrived, the manufactured stars faded.

Two decades on from that meteoric rise, this is a look at the sudden fall, somewhat rise again and embarrassing whimpering death of S Club 7.

REACH FOR THE STARS

In the latter part of 1998, seven attractive and talented British youngsters were assembled by famed pop manufacturer Simon Fuller.

Having been sacked by the Spice Girls a year earlier, Fuller was determined to climb back to the top with a full-on assault on the western world.

He had a plan to turn the gaggle into global superstars by tackling the music charts and the small screen simultaneously. It would be that generation’s version of The Monkees.

And so, Bradley McIntosh, Hannah Spearritt, Jo O’Meara, Jon Lee, Paul Cattermole, Rachel Stevens and Tina Barrett became S Club 7 officially in early 1999.

Twenty years ago, S Club 7 burst onto the global scene.
Twenty years ago, S Club 7 burst onto the global scene.Source:News Limited

They were thrust into a television studio to film a children’s sitcom called Miami 7, which hit the UK airwaves 20 years ago and sparked the official release of its theme song — Bring It All Back — which hit number one in the UK.

The show aired in the US and eventually went all around the world, broadcast in 100 countries to a collective audience of 90 million viewers.

The group released three more singles that year — S Club Party, Two In A Million and You’re My Number One — which became hits around the globe.


Related: S Club 7’s Paul Cattermole so broke that producers had to buy him a shirt for show appearance


 


AINT NO PARTY

The seven group members made international appearances and did one-off performances, shot their show and TV specials in the United States and released their debut album S Club.

In early 2000, they won Best Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards and their show continued to gain traction.

They released one of their most popular tracks, Reach, followed by their second album 7.

Global toy manufacturer Hasbro signed an agreement to produce a fashion line for dolls, given the band’s popularity with kids, which led to several other merchandise lines.

S Club 7 took over the world very briefly about 20 years ago.
S Club 7 took over the world very briefly about 20 years ago.Source:News Limited

At the end of 2000, the song Never Had A Dream Come True debuted and was a smash hit in the US, introducing S Club 7 to an older audience via MTV.

Their third studio album Sunshine was released, containing one of their most popular tracks ever, Don’t Stop Movin’.

In mid-2001, they hit the road on their first global tour, after which they filmed another season of their TV show.

Spearritt and Cattermole began dating. A reality show to find a child version of S Club 7 was launched. They had their fourth UK number one with the song Have You Ever.

It seemed there was no stopping S Club 7.

There was even an S Club 7 video game. Seriously.
There was even an S Club 7 video game. Seriously.Source:News Limited

DON’T STOP MOVIN’?

At the beginning of 2002, the group kicked off their second tour with a carnival-inspired take on their musical styling, which was panned by critics for being juvenile.

Some even seized on Cattermole’s apparent weight issues, which they said made him a “heavy footed dancer”.

It seems he took it to heart and after the group’s single You failed to top the charts, he abruptly announced he was quitting S Club 7.

Singer Paul Cattermole quit S Club 7 and the group’s death was inevitable.
Singer Paul Cattermole quit S Club 7 and the group’s death was inevitable.Source:News Limited

 

The remaining six members pushed on and changed their name to simply S Club but the optimism was short-lived.

Their song Alive peaked at five on the UK charts and O’Meara announced she was battling a back condition that prevented her from appearing in the TV series.

In early 2003, a feature film about the group Seeing Double was the last time the six were seen on-screen together.

Just months later, S Club confirmed their split, released a final single and a greatest hits album, and parted ways. Fans were devastated but eventually moved on to other early noughties successes.

They briefly reformed in 2015 for a UK tour and a best-of album, but they would never achieve the same level of success.

THREE, SOMETIMES TWO IN A MILLION

Before and after the full group’s very brief reunion, McIntosh, O’Meara and Cattermole reformed as an outfit they rather creatively called S Club 3.

For a split second, they became four when Barrett joined them, but then Cattermole quit and avoided the need for a name change.

It was all very confusing.

The British band S Club 7 has become S Club 3.
The British band S Club 7 has become S Club 3.Source:Supplied

The three made appearances at nightclubs and nostalgia festivals around the world but it was rough going.

Due to copyright restrictions, they were only allowed to perform a percentage of each song, forcing them to do medleys that often underwhelmed fans.

Last year, S Club 3 were scheduled to appear in New Zealand and Australia but were left to take to the stage without O’Meara after she was hospitalised.

Jo O'Meara hasn’t had the easiest of runs, from the Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy to being hospitalised during S Club 3’s appearances in Australia last year.
Jo O'Meara hasn’t had the easiest of runs, from the Celebrity Big Brother racism controversy to being hospitalised during S Club 3’s appearances in Australia last year.Source:News Limited

NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE

Despite their somewhat best efforts, the few members of S Club 7 determined to cling to the group’s former fame couldn’t make a go of it.

But in our hearts and minds, Tina’s still doing her dance, Jon’s found romance, Paul’s gettin’ down on some floor and Hannah’s happily screaming for more, while Bradley’s swinging and Rachel’s doing her thing.

And in our picture-perfect daydream, Jo definitely still has the flow.

Bring it all back to you.
Bring it all back to you.Source:News Limited

 

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 Key: S Club 7

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