All Saints dropped by record label after new album flops

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The Independent Culture

Chances are they've never, ever felt so low. All Saints, the 1990s girl band that launched a comeback to much fanfare last year, have been dropped by their record label after their new-look album only just scraped into the charts.

Although the reformed group's single, "Rock Steady", released last November, reached the top three in the charts, their album, Studio 1, only made it to No 40.

Parlophone, the band's record company, made the decision to part company after the Saints' new single, "Chick Fit", failed to make an impression. But the label said group members would still continue to perform.

A statement read: "Both the label and the group are proud of the album, Studio 1. All Saints are excited about moving forwards with their career and Parlophone wishes them the best of luck."

The singers Shaznay Lewis, Melanie Blatt, and sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton, who reunited five years after they split, rode the wave of "girl power" in the 1990s with a string of hits including "Never Ever" and "Pure Shores."

Lewis and Blatt started their careers as backing vocalists at ZTT recording studios on All Saints Road in Notting Hill, west London. In 1993, the two singers along with a third, Simone Rainford, formed the band, All Saints 1.9.7.5, after the street where they met and their year of birth.

Rainford eventually left to be replaced by the Appleton sisters, after which the band's profile grew.

In 1997 they released "Never Ever", which sold a million copies in the UK. The song won two Brit Awards. A year later, their single "Pure Shores" was featured in the film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and became the second fastest-selling single in 2000.

The group notched up five No 1 hits in as many years - but in 2001, after a career of raucous backstage partying and on/off celebrity love affairs, they decided it was time to split.

The high profile reformation last year looked auspicious. Their comeback single, "Rock Steady", was given its first radio airplay on Radio 1's Chris Moyles Show, while the NME announced the band would be launching an extensive UK promotional tour.

Their reunion coincides with the relaunch of a series of bands from earlier eras including Genesis, Take That, Van Halen and The Police. Phil Alexander, editor in chief of Mojo magazine, said the popularity of reformed acts was dependent on their original reputation as a "classic" band. "If a band is a classic act, they will do well," he said. "From a reformation point of view, lots of bands are reforming. Some will be looking to get back together for posterity, to reflect they were acts that mattered, and some others will undoubtedly be doing it for the money."

Mr Alexander added that the popularity of reformed acts did not appear to be waning, but said that there were also some who were forced to play small venues.

"One of the reasons why some reunited bands don't do well is the act themselves never quite meant as much to others as they themselves feel they did," he said.

Short-lived comebacks

* US R'n'B supergroup The Fugees, superstars in the 90s, reunited in 2004. Since then the group, Lauren Hill, Pras and Wyclef Jean have released just one single, in September 2005, which crawled into the US charts at No 40. A far cry from album The Score which to date has sold 18 million copies

* Cambridge-formed group Katrina and the Waves returned to the public eye in 1997 by winning Eurovision for Britain. But they were unable to repeat the success of 80s hit "Walking on Sunshine" and a disillusioned Katrina walked out in 1999. Attempts to replace her failed

* Rick Astley, of "Never Going to Give You Up" fame in the 80s, was to return to the limelight in 2006 on BBC's celebrity pro-duet show Just The Two Of Us. He pulled out late, saying he would have missed his wife at the Oscars where she was up for best short film. A 2005 album of covers failed in the charts

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