Sunday, 8 August 2010

A pop standard...but only in Norway!

British/Norwegian boyband A1 have always had a bit of a knack with a tune. Mark and Christian are great songwriters and Ben is a very strong vocalist. Since reforming, they've had a lot of success in Norway with Comic Relief single Take Me Home, Melodi Grand Prix runner up Don't Wanna Lose You Again (which so deserved to go to Eurovision over Didrik!) and new single In Love And I Hate It, which is the most 'classic' sounding A1 of all three of their singles. They've been performing at some of the summer shows over in Norway recently, and recently sang their aformentioned new single as well as Everytime at Allsang Grensen.

For anyone who may have forgotten, Everytime was a boyband ballad of epic proportions which has been sadly forgotten in the UK despite peaking at #3 upon its release in November 1999, their biggest hit to date at that point. Unfortunately it was probably rather overshadowed by the fact that it was released the same week as Robbie Williams' classic ballad She's The One, which of course went straight to #1. In Norway however, it was a slightly different story. Everytime peaked at #3 there as well, but spent 13 weeks inside the top ten and went down as something as a pop standard, as you can see by the huge reception for it in that video. Had they been performing it to a big UK crowd, I expect barely anybody would even recall the song's existence, let alone know every word.

This all tells a very interesting story about how different countries take to different songs, which also of course can dramatically change a setlist when acts go to perform in different territories. The centrepiece of a Kylie Minogue set in the UK might well be the likes of Better The Devil You Know and Spinning Around but in the US, she'll pay more attention to The Locomotion, her first big breakthrough hit there. Similarly, Sex On Fire has just joined the elite million sellers club for Kings Of Leon in the UK, but it barely dented the charts in their native America, where Use Somebody was by far their biggest hit.

It's always interesting to see how cultural differences and promotional decisions affect what do and don't go down as 'classic singles' from one country to the next. But one thing's for sure - Everytime is far too strong to be forgotten everywhere but Norway, so can somebody resurrect it by singing it in X Factor this year please? It would surely make a nice change from hearing O-Town's All Or Nothing for the 874th time!!!

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