Saturday, 16 August 2008

All Saints

All Saints were formed in 1993 by friends Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis and were named after All Saints Road in Notting Hill, where the studio they made their first recordings is located.

The duo were signed to ZTT Records in 1995 and released one single 'If You Wanna Party', which failed to chart. After leaving ZTT Blatt and Lewis recruited a mutual friend Nicole Appleton who brought with her sister, Natalie

The group found a new deal with London Records in 1996 and began working with a variety of producers. All Saint's first single for the label 'I Know Where It's At/ was released in August 1997.

It was produced by Karl 'K Gee' Gordon, a one time member of the rap group Outlaw Posse. The single reached No.4 and made the US Top 40, but was totally eclipsed by the group's follow up hit, the down tempo 'Never Ever' - produced by Neneh Cherry's husband and producer Cameron McVey.

With a video shot by fashion photographer Sean Ellis 'Never Ever' spent over two months climbing to the top of the chart, hitting No. 1 in January 1998, it was also a Top 5 hit in the US.

The follow up to one of the year's biggest hits came in the unlikely guise of 'Under The Bridge', a song written and made famous by leading American alternative rockers The Red Hot Chilli Peppers. The song was suggested and produced for the group by Nellee Hooper who is famed for his work with Soul II Soul, Massive Attack and Bjork, amongst others.

'Under The Bridge' was backed with an All Saints version of Labelle's 70's disco classic 'Lady Marmalade'. The single would give the group their second No. 1 and would soon be followed by a third, 'Bootie Call', in August 1998.

This trio of No 1. hits helped the group's self titled debut album to become one of the biggest selling releases of 1998, selling over 1.4 million copies in the UK.

The group ended the year taking a break due to Melanie Blatt's pregnancy with Jamiroquai's then bass player Stuart Zender. However, the group was rarely out of the press with the Appleton sister's string of high profile boyfriends providing the tabloids with a stream of stories.

November 1998 saw the fifth and final release from the All Saints album, 'War of Nerves', it reached No. 7.


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