|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (December 2007)|
|Girlfriend / GF4|
Girlfriend left to right: Lorrinda Noble, Melanie Alexander, Jacqui Cowell, Robyn Loau and Siobhan Heidnreich.
Lorrinda (Rindy) Noble
Jacqueline (Jacqui) Cowell
Girlfriend was a five-girl pop group from Australia formed in 1991. Their debut album Make It Come True was released in 1992 and became a major hit in Australia with hit songs such as "Take It From Me" and "Without You". After the departure of member Robyn Loau, the group changed its name to GF4.
Background and history
Three of the members — Jacqueline Cowell, Siobhánn Heidenreich and Melanie Alexander — first met while taking dance lessons at the young age of three. Years later, they decided to form a pop group, and, through their dance teacher Janice Breen, met Noel MacDonald, a singer, songwriter and jingle producer who saw promise in them. Two more singers were added in – Robyn Loau, who MacDonald saw singing at Australia's Wonderland Theme Park, and Lorrinda Noble, who auditioned for the group. Singer and choreographer Kelley Abbey was also brought in to choreograph the group's dance moves. The quintet was signed to a deal with RCA Records Australia (now part of Sony Music) in 1991, after a year of self-promotion. The band were formed with the ambition of being both Australia and Asia's #1 girl band, with the band members, particularly Robyn Loau, undertaking extensive Japanese lessons.
In 1992, the group's first single, "Take It From Me", reached #1 on the ARIA chart, followed by "Girl's Life" (#15) and "Without You" (#18). In "Girl's Life", the girls sing about 'Girl Power'. This was four years before the Spice Girls used it as their slogan. The group's two studio albums, 1992's Make It Come True and the 1993 follow-up It's Up To You both became Gold certified. The group also became recognized for its fashion sense, with their flower hats becoming a symbol of the band; at one point, they had their own clothing line.
In 1994, after the group had returned from a tour of Europe and Japan, Loau announced she would be leaving the group to start a solo career. She later enjoyed minor success with the hit "Sick With Love" which peaked at #21 on the ARIA Charts, and released an album, Malaria. The four remaining members decided to ditch the clean-cut image and remake themselves into a new group, GF4. Under the new name, they released two singles, the first, a cover version of the disco classic "Sooner Or Later", reached No. 11 on the ARIA Singles Charts. That song was the only tune on a "proof of concept" version of an enhanced CD - a form of audio CD that also presents content when deployed on a computer. That CD was produced by an Australian arm of BMG Music. In addition to the audio content represented by their version of "Sooner Or Later," the computer content consisted of a video of the girl group synced to the song, as well as marketing-type content.
Sometime later, Jacqui Cowell left the band and was replaced by future Bardot member Belinda Chapple who featured in the video clip to GF4's second single "Need Love (To Make The Sex Right)", which was shot in a Sydney nightclub. The clip featured band member Siobhann Heidenrich miming to Cowell's spoken lines in the opening to the song. The song did not chart on the ARIA Singles Top 100, resulting in the debut album that GF4 had recorded in Los Angeles being shelved. GF4 did not release any further material as a band and had split up by 1996.
Reunion on Where Are They Now
On May 13, 2007, the former five members of Girlfriend appeared on Channel 7's Where Are They Now program. The five spoke about their time with Girlfriend and performed an a cappella rendition of "Take It from Me" for the live audience.
A "best-of" compilation, Essential Girlfriend, was scheduled for release in November 2010, but was postponed until 2011.
In November 2010, former member Melanie Alexander provided guest vocals on the song "Falling for the Dance Floor" with prolific Australian DJ, Stonedog. The tracks appears on the compilation album Club Anthems Asia, released through Hong Kong-based independent dance music label Volume Up Records.
- It's Up to You (1993) (#29 AUS; AUS: Gold)
- "Take It from Me" (1992) (#1 AUS, #47 UK)
- "Girl's Life" (1992) (#15 AUS, #68 UK)
- "Without You" (1992) (#18 AUS)
- "Bad Attitude" (1992) (#28 AUS)
- "Love's on My Mind" (1993) (#65 AUS)
- "Heartbeat" (1993) (#36 AUS)
- "Wishing on the Same Star" (1993) (#44 AUS)
- "Sooner or Later" (as GF4) (1994) (#11 AUS)
- "Need Love (To Make the Sex Right)" (as GF4) (1995) (did not chart)
- Girlfriend and GF4 MySpace fansite
- Fan article on the complete story of Girlfriend
- Robyn Loau's Facebook page