One for Sorrow (song)

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"One for Sorrow"
One For Sorrow.jpg
CD2 cover
Single by Steps
from the album Step One
B-side"Too Weak to Resist"
Released24 August 1998 (1998-08-24)[1]
Recorded1998
StudioPWL (Manchester, England)
GenrePop
Length4:20
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Steps singles chronology
"Last Thing on My Mind"
(1998)
"One for Sorrow"
(1998)
"Heartbeat/Tragedy"
(1998)
Music video
"One for Sorrow" on YouTube

"One for Sorrow" is a song by British pop-dance group Steps that became the quintet's first single to reach the top five on the UK Singles Chart. Debuting at number two and spending 11 weeks on the UK chart, the song established Steps's intention to revive the ABBA sound, striking a considerable resemblance to their hit "The Winner Takes It All". A remixed version of this song became their debut US single in 1999 and was featured on the Drive Me Crazy film soundtrack. It became Steps' only single to appear on any US Billboard chart, peaking at number 38 on the Hot Dance Club Play chart in October 1999.

Release[edit]

Unlike Steps' previous single, "Last Thing on My Mind", which featured solo vocals by all three girls, Claire performs lead vocals of all of the verses, which are harmonised with Faye, before the entire band join for the chorus.

On 29 July 2015, Claire Richards premiered a new solo acoustic version of the track at an event celebrating Pete Waterman's career at the Royal Festival Hall.

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic editor Jon O'Brien described the song as "melancholic dance-pop".[2] Lucas Villa from AXS noted that Richards "took the song's tragic wordplay to church in a powerhouse performance." He added that it "stands as one of Steps' finest pop moments."[3] Larry Flick from Billboard wrote, "U.K. youth quintet Steps is all about conjuring up the timeless Abba in its debut U.S. single, a joyous romp that will propel hands into the air and, with the proper push from Jive, send this song into the upper reaches of the pop charts—where it's already been across much of Europe. This U.S. mix is the tastiest kind of bubble gum, with a happy-go-lucky dance beat from production maestro Tony Moran; a solid, zippy vocal; and a sing-along chorus that sticks with maddening proficiency."[4] A reviewer from Birmingham Evening Mail commented, "The nearest thing you'll get to an Abba tribute song in the top ten. This sounds just like the Swedes around the time their complex inter-band relationships were hitting a rocky patch."[5] Can't Stop the Pop described it as a "brilliant moment in '90s pop music", adding that "this is pop music with a heart". They complimented Richard's vocals, stating that the track is "the perfect showcase for the power and range of her vocals."[6] Scottish newspaper Daily Record stated, "It sounds like Abba, but Steps prove they are the real thing with their biggest hit yet".[7] Gary James from Entertainment Focus noted that "starting with the rain effect and gentle tickle of the piano, Claire’s voice tells the tale of wanting love but getting uncertainity as it builds to a big power chorus."[8] Sunday Mirror commented, "Pop's next big things crank up the Abba again minus the beards thankfully."[9]

Chart performance[edit]

"One for Sorrow" reached number two in the United Kingdom on 30 August 1998, during its first week on the UK Singles Chart, and spent 11 weeks on the listing.[10] The song reached number one in the Flanders region of Belgium and entered the top 10 in Ireland as well as on the Eurochart Hot 100.[11][12][13] Outside Europe, "One for Sorrow" peaked at number 13 in New Zealand, number 26 on the Canadian RPM Dance 30 chart, and number 34 in Australia.[14][15][16] In the US, it peaked at number 38 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs in October 1999—Steps' only single to appear on any Billboard ranking.[17]

Music video[edit]

There were made two different music videos for the song; one for the European market and one for the US market. The first one was filmed in Italy.[18] In the beginning, Claire performs alone inside a villa, standing by a window. Later the group performs in front of a field of sunflowers. The US version was uploaded to YouTube in October 2009. By August 2020, it had more than 1 million views.[19]

Track listings[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Charts and certifications[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 22 August 1998. p. 35. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Jon. "The Ultimate Collection". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  3. ^ Villa, Lucas (19 June 2017). "Steps turns 20: Counting down the pop group's top 10 singles". AXS. Retrieved 20 April 2020.
  4. ^ Flick, Larry (31 July 1999). "Billboard: New & Noteworthy" (PDF). Billboard. p. 21). Retrieved 29 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Single of the Week". Birmingham Evening Mail. 25 August 1998. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  6. ^ "Steps – One for Sorrow". Can't Stop the Pop. 26 August 2019. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Chartslot". Daily Record. 4 September 1998. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  8. ^ James, Gary (11 September 2018). "Step's Step One: looking back at their debut album 20 years on". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  9. ^ "REVIEWS". Sunday Mirror. 23 August 1998. p. 40. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Steps – One for Sorrow" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – One for Sorrow". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 37. 12 September 2021. p. 10.
  14. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Steps – One for Sorrow". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 8441." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  16. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Steps – One for Sorrow". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Steps Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  18. ^ "Steps star Ian 'H' Watkins lifts lid on grim detail about One For Sorrow video". irishmirror.ie. 24 August 2020. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
  19. ^ "Steps - One for Sorrow". 25 October 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2020 – via YouTube.
  20. ^ One for Sorrow (UK CD1 liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. 0519092.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  21. ^ One for Sorrow (Australian CD single liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. MUSH01806.2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  22. ^ One for Sorrow (UK CD2 liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. 0519102.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  23. ^ One for Sorrow (UK cassette single sleeve). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. 0519094.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  24. ^ One for Sorrow (European CD single liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. 0589092.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  25. ^ One for Sorrow (US CD single liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1999. 01241-42590-2.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  26. ^ One for Sorrow (US 12-inch single vinyl disc). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1999. 01241-42589-1.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  27. ^ a b Step One (European CD album liner notes). Steps. Jive Records, Ebul Records. 1998. 0519112.CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Steps – One for Sorrow" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  29. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 39, 1998" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  30. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Steps – One for Sorrow" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  31. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Steps – One for Sorrow". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  33. ^ "Official Independent Singles Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 October 2018.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1998" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  35. ^ "Best Sellers of 1998 – Singles Top 100". Music Week. 16 January 1999. p. 7.
  36. ^ Copsey, Rob (14 March 2017). "Steps' Biggest Selling Singles revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  37. ^ "British single certifications – Steps – One for Sorrow". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 4 May 2021.