On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenge of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post every day (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be… legendary!
All Saints – Never Ever (1997)
is the debut studio album by English-Canadian girl group All Saints. It was released on 15 October 1997 by London Records. All Saints worked with many producers on the album: Cameron McVey, John Benson, Johnny Douglas, Karl “K-Gee” Gordon, Magnus Fiennes, Nellee Hooper, Karen Gibbs and Neville Henry.
We’re remaining in the UK today, dear reader, and heading for London. Formed in 1993 All Saints initially struggled to find commercial success with members – Shaznay Lewis and Melanie Blatt – being the original founders in the group. Joined by sisters – Nicole and Natalie Appleton – in 1996, the group found success the following year in 1997 and that is where we join them with the release of their song – Never Ever.
Shaznay Lewis originally penned Never Ever with Robert Jazayeri and Sean Mather also contributing. Lewis wrote the song following the breakdown of her relationship with her boyfriend. In the song, the narrator’s voice is shared out between the individual members in the group and they each convey how lost this person is now they are alone. They continue to reach out to their lover and in the chorus lament the pain they are now going through in their absence.
Never Ever was a huge success on release, topping the UK charts and becoming the group’s biggest hit. It is a song full of controversy though. Blatt and the Appleton sisters recorded the track without Lewis and presented it to a record company. When asked who wrote it they had to inform Lewis who they had excluded up to this point! Lawsuits followed from Jazayeri and Mather for royalties from the song and settlements were eventually agreed. All Saints are still together though have split multiple times, the result of in-fighting. Given the gestation of Never Ever this isn’t really a surprise.
Favourite songs so far: