All Saints (group): Wikis

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All Saints
Origin London, England
Genres Pop, dance, R&B, electronic
Instruments Singing
Years active 1993–2001, 2006–2007
Labels London Records (1996–2001)
Parlophone (2006–2007)
Former members
Shaznay Lewis
Melanie Blatt
Nicole Appleton
Natalie Appleton

All Saints were an all-female English vocal group. Founded at the end of 1993 as All Saints 1.9.7.5, the group consisted of founding members Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis, and sisters Nicole Appleton and Natalie Appleton. They became one of the most successful British pop groups of the 1990s, with 9 Top 10 singles (including five number ones), two platinum albums (including a number one), two gold albums and record sales in excess of 10 million worldwide.[1]

Contents

Formation

Both Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis started their career by singing backing vocals at Sarm West Studios, the ZTT recording studios near All Saints Road, London. In 1993 Blatt, Lewis and the original third member Simone Rainford decided to record together and chose to call themselves All Saints 1.9.7.5. after the street where they met and their year of birth. They were signed to ZTT Records.

In 1994, All Saints 1.9.7.5. performed for their first time at the Touch Magazine stage at the Notting Hill Carnival.[2] They released two singles together, but they were not successful. Additionally, Rainford and Blatt had conflicting visions of the band's musical direction which caused tensions in the band.

In the summer of 1995, Rainford left the band and ZTT Records dropped the remaining duo from their label. Regardless, Blatt and Lewis set out to find a replacement for Rainford. Conducting many auditions, Blatt's father met Nicole Appleton whom she knew from her days at the Sylvia Young Theatre School. Appleton's sister Natalie subsequently became a fourth member of the group.

Subsequent career

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1997–1998: All Saints

After being united as a newly formed group in May 1996, the four met with Karl Gordon, a former band member of Outlaw Posse, who recorded a demo for "I Know Where It's At". The band began looking for a new record deal, but most record labels wanted to model them after The Spice Girls, who had become an international sensation by that time. The demo made its way to London Records, where John Benson finalised the recording deal in November 1996.[3]

In summer 1997, their debut single "I Know Where It's At" reached #4 on the UK Single Charts. The second single, "Never Ever", launched them worldwide, peaking at #1 in the UK for 2 weeks and in Australia for 7 consecutive weeks. The single sold over a million copies in the UK alone (going Double Platinum) and won the group two BRIT Awards in 1998 for Best Single and Best Video. Their debut album All Saints was released on 24 November 1997, reaching #2 on the UK Album charts and eventually went 5x Platinum in the UK for sales of over 1.5 million copies. The third single from the album was the double A-side "Under the Bridge / Lady Marmalade" which was their second UK number one single, topping the charts in May 1998. The same month the album was re-released with a slightly different tracklist and after the success of "Never Ever" its Nice Hat Remix was replaced by the All Star Remix, "Let's Get Started" renamed to "If You Want To Party (I Found Lovin')" and "Beg" and "Trapped" were re-edited and re-mastered. "Bootie Call" was released as the fourth single off the album and their third UK number one. "War Of Nerves" was chosen as the fifth and final single which peaked at #7.

In November 1998, All Saints also won as Breakthrough Artist at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Milan and were one of the live acts, performing "Lady Marmalade" but without Blatt who was close to giving birth to her daughter.

2000–2001: Saints & Sinners and cinema

All Saints returned to the charts in February 2000 with a new single called "Pure Shores", a collaboration with William Orbit taken from the soundtrack of the movie The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The single was their fourth number one in the UK and became the second best-selling single of 2000. It was also their first and only number one single in Ireland. The song was later performed at the 2000s MTV Europe Music Awards in Stockholm.

The year 2000 also marked the Appleton Sisters and Blatt's debut in film with Honest, which was directed by former Eurythmics member Dave Stewart. Honest was a black comedy set in swinging London in the late 60s with the girls playing three street-wise, saucy sisters who head 'up West' to pursue a life of crime. The film is most notable for the topless scenes by the Appleton sisters.[4] Their performance in was widely panned. One critic remarked, "It is the worst kind of rubbish, the kind that makes you angry you have wasted 105 minutes of your life watching it."[2]

In October 2000, All Saints released a new single, "Black Coffee", which became their fifth and final number one in the UK. The song was performed and premiered worldwide in September in Italy when they took part at the Festivalbar show. Also in October 2000, their long-awaited second studio album Saints & Sinners was released and went straight to #1 on the UK album chart, eventually going Double Platinum in the UK. The third and final single from the album was "All Hooked Up" released in January 2001 and which peaked at #7 on the UK singles chart.

2001: Split & All Hits

In early 2001, All Saints split up due to an increasing rivalry between band members. In November 2001, London Records released a greatest hits compilation entitled All Hits. It contained all of the hit singles released from the band's two studio albums as well as Blatt's first solo single "TwentyFourSeven". The album peaked at #18 on the UK Albums Chart and was later certified Gold. On Sunday 31 August 2008, the album was given away for free as part of a promotion with The Mail on Sunday[5] However, this version omitted TwentyFourSeven and their number one single "Under The Bridge". The songs "Dreams" and "I Feel You" which were hidden tracks on the original, were also presented as individual tracks.

2001–2005: Solo careers

Melanie Blatt

Blatt was the first member to record after the group disbanded. In September 2001, she collaborated with Artful Dodger on the track "TwentyFourSeven", which peaked at #6 on the UK singles chart.

In February 2002, Blatt replaced Kelis' vocals on the UK release of the track "I'm Leavin'" by Outsidaz and Rah Digga, which peaked at #42.

Her third single "Do Me Wrong" was released in August 2003 through London Records. It peaked at #18 in the UK. Due to this relatively poor chart performance, Blatt was dropped by the label and the album she was working on at the time never materialised.

In April 2005, Blatt returned to the music scene with a new single "See Me", which was included on the Robots film soundtrack and peaked at #78 in the UK singles chart. The single was released through Swollen Ankle Ltd, with whom Blatt began working on a new album. During Summer 2005 she played small venues in the UK which featured songs from the new album. However, Blatt's solo album was shelved when All Saints reunited in early 2006.

Nicole & Natalie Appleton

After All Saints' split, Natalie and Nicole started to write and record their own album. They went on to form duo Appleton and signed a contract with Polydor. In September 2002, the Appleton sisters launched their first single "Fantasy" written with Andy Hayman and Gareth Young which reached #2 in the UK singles chart. Their autobiography, "Together", was published in October 2002. Their second single "Don't Worry" was released in March 2003 and reached #5 in the UK before the release of their first album "Everything's Eventual" the same month. The album peaked at #9 on the UK album chart. The third and final single from the album was "Everything Eventually", which was released in July 2003 and peaked at #38 in UK. Following this release, Appleton and Polydor parted ways.

Shaznay Lewis

Lewis released her first solo single "Never Felt Like This Before" in July 2004 which peaked at #8 in the UK singles chart. Her album Open followed two weeks later and peaked at #22. The second (and final) single off the album was "You" which charted at #56.

Lewis' solo releases were through London Records.

In November 2004, Lewis was one of the artists involved in the Band Aid 20 re-recording of "Do They Know It's Christmas".

In early 2008, Lewis collaborated with Wideboys on the track "Daddy O", which peaked at #32 on the UK Singles Chart.

2006–2007: Reunion & Studio 1

After months of speculation in 2005 (due to the girls being seen together outside a restaurant in Hampstead, London), on 24 January 2006 it was announced that the band had reformed. All Saints signed a deal with Parlophone,[6] as Lewis was working as a songwriter for the label. From January to August 2006 they wrote and recorded their third studio album, titled "Studio 1.

The first single from the new album was "Rock Steady" which was released on 6 November, and shown on 3's "3FrontRoom", a series of intimate gigs with well-known bands.

Following the chart success of "Rock Steady", it was presumed that the album would be also be a great success. When it was released, the album only made it to #40 before falling to #74 the following week. A second single from the album was planned and the band shot a video for "Chick Fit" in late 2006, scheduled for release in February 2007. The appearances that the group planned to promote the single never materialised and the physical release of the single was ultimately cancelled, making only a digital release. The single failed to make the top 200. It was subsequently confirmed that All Saints and Parlophone Records had parted ways and the group cancelled their planned tour.

2007–2008: New album & Unknown record label

In January 2008, Nicole Appleton and Melanie Blatt were hijackers on E4's Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack where Blatt declared they had a record deal with an undisclosed company in a conversation with housemate Nathan Fagan-Gayle. However, the name of the record label was bleeped out during transmission for unknown reasons.

On 22 February 2008, in a press release for the Wideboys' single with Lewis posted in the official website of All Around the World it was stated that the girls were recording in the studio and they would be back with new material before the end of the year. As no record label was mentioned in the update, the fanbase thought that the girls' new label was All Around the World.[7] However, on 12 September 2008, All Around the World discredited claims that All Saints had been signed with them with a post in their official website.[8] In December 2009, a new song, written and performed by Lewis and entitled "Wicked," leaked. Lewis has also been photographed at various recording studios in London. It is unknown if this track will materialise into a formal release or not.

Discography

Albums

Compilations

Singles

See also

References

External links


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