This is really happening but not in the big life-changing way Steps fans were hoping for.
Something tragic must’ve happened in my childhood for me to stop caring about Steps after ‘Last Thing On My Mind’. I know what you’re thinking. I judged them too quickly after only two singles but really, I’ve spent most of my notably (still) early 20s catching up on their latter singles at gay clubs. Therefore, it has all come full circle. I still refuse to do the ‘Tragedy’ dance moves but I am now aware of it.
Steps in their prime – see: three year reign from 1998 to 2001 – chalked up 14 consecutive UK Top 10 singles and managed to sell 15 million albums. They infamously announced their split on Boxing Day 2001 after raking in the revenues of some lucrative pre-Christmas sales but here they are again 10 years on to tactfully ask for more money by releasing their second greatest hits compilation of absolutely zero new material.
Check out the official tracklisting for Steps: The Ultimate Collection:
1 – 5,6,7,8
2 – Last Thing On My Mind
3 – One For Sorrow
4 – Heartbeat
5 – Tragedy
6 – Better Best Forgotten
7 – Love’s Got A Hold On My Heart
8 – After The Love Has Gone
9 – Say You’ll Be Mine
10 – Better The Devil You Know
11 – Deeper Shade of Blue
12 – When I Said Goodbye
13 – Summer of Love
14 – Stomp
15 – It’s The Way You Make Me Feel
16 – Here and Now
17 – You’ll Be Sorry
18 – Chain Reaction
19 – I Know Him So Well
20 – Dancing Queen (Bonus Track)
This new package will drop later in the year to coincide with a brand new four-part TV documentary where all five members finally reveal the ugly truth behind their split and I’m sure with all our combined knowledge of televisual scripting, we can see that there’ll be some tender moments of reconciliation happening too.
Let’s pause for a minute to reminisce on one of their best singles ‘Last Thing On My Mind’:
What is the situation with Steps? Some folks are gagging for new material while others are just happy for them to do one or two festival appearances for old times’ sake, then bugger off. Mixed pop groups don’t really work in today’s market unless it’s a hip hop plus sung vocals situation a la Black Eyed Peas and N Dubz. Besides, if Steps were to stage a proper pop comeback, they’d never compete with current contemporary acts anyway. The big selling point with Steps and all reforming 90s – or older – pop bands is the nostalgia.
There’s actually very little hope for these old timers to be taken seriously with new material. You’ll always be compared to your prime and you’ll always be judged for trying too hard. The obvious exception to the rule is Aqua, who’s 2011 pop comeback single ‘How R U Doin?’ is still amazing. Take note.
Before we leave, I think you and I need to quickly catch up on the solo successes each member of Steps has accrued in the 10 years since they split. The pungent smell of desperation wafting from this Ultimate Collection is only getting stronger, believe me.
Lisa Scott-Lee famously launched her own MTV reality show in 2005 (Totally Scott-Lee) in which she vowed to quit the music industry if her single ‘Electric’ didn’t debut in the UK Top 10. ‘Electric’ entered the charts at #13, missing the Top 10 by reportedly 500 copies. I actually rushed out to buy a copy in Australia and let me tell you, I was living for it. I stanned so hard for ‘Electric’ that I actually took it to the streets to play people the track and vox pop their opinion for my radio show.
I’ll never forget one man commenting, “It sounds like Michael Jackson…” doing a song about vibrators. Of course, my dear.
H & Claire – this was just too much for me to handle at the time. Listening to ‘DJ’ today with grown and well-developed homosexual ears, I can share some appreciation. Truly. H and Claire forged on as a pop duo right after the band split and actually managed to score three UK Top 10 hits. It’s a shame the album flopped disastrously otherwise they would’ve never been dropped so prematurely. Fast forward to 2011, Claire competed and came third in UK’s Popstar to Operastar. Bless.
Faye Tozer ended up pursuing a career in musical theatre, while Lee Latchford-Evans left the music industry altogether to become a personal trainer and fitness entrepreneur.
Steps will release Steps: The Ultimate Collection later in the year and according to HMV, there’ll even be a CD/DVD edition. What value! The Steps documentary is set to air on the UK’s Sky Living channel. Can’t wait to see these hags dish the dirt and share the “real” tea.