Overload (Sugababes song)

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"Overload"
Overload.JPG
Single by Sugababes
from the album One Touch
B-side "Lush Life"
Released 11 September 2000
Format
Recorded July 2000
Genre
Length 4:35
Label London
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
  • McVey
  • Rockstar
  • Paul Simm
Sugababes singles chronology
"Overload"
(2000)
"New Year"
(2000)
Audio sample
file info · help

"Overload" is the debut single by English girl group Sugababes. It was released on 11 September 2000 through London Records as the lead single from the group's debut studio album, One Touch (2000). At the time, the group consisted of Siobhán Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan. It was co-produced and co-written by British songwriters and producers Paul Simm, Felix Howard, Jony Rockstar and Cameron McVey. The general theme of the song involves a teenage girl's crush towards a boy and her finding the situation difficult to manage.

It received an overwhelmingly positive reception from music critics. The song features on the soundtrack to the 2001 film High Heels and Low Lifes, directed by Mel Smith, and the 2002 film 40 Days and 40 Nights, directed by Michael Lehmann. The song was nominated for "Best British Single" at the 2001 BRIT Awards and later inspired the title of the group's greatest hits compilation Overloaded: The Singles Collection. Controversy also surrounded American recording artist Christina Aguilera's song "Make Over" for "borrowing" the sound and concept of "Overload". Later pressings of Stripped included credits for Buchanan, Buena, Donaghy, Jonathan Lipsey, Felix Howard, Cameron McVey and Paul Simm.

Background[edit]

"Overload" was co-written by group members Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena, and Siobhán Donaghy together with the song's co-producers Cameron McVey, Paul Simm and long-time Sugababes contributor, Jony Rockstar. The track fuses together styles of electronica, hip-hop and R&B and features contributions of numerous instruments, including: drum, bass, keyboard, electric guitar and horns.

Composition[edit]

"Overload" is a pop and R&B song[1] with elements of soul[2] and hip hop.[3] Amy Raphael of The Observer described it as a "smoothly produced, seductive R&B track".[4] According to the digital sheet music published by EMI, the song is written in the key of F-sharp major using common time, at a tempo of 98 beats per minute.[5] The Sugababes' vocal range in the song spans from the higher note of F#3 to the lower note of G5.[5] The song's line, "Train comes, I don't know its destination", is sung in "minor key harmony".[citation needed][6] Matthew Horton of Virgin Media noted that the song contains "huffling beats, honeyed vocals and surf guitar".[7] the refrain is not sung in a minor but a major key

Critical reception[edit]

"Overload" received universal critical acclaim from music critics. NME regarded the song's quality as "hauntingly infectious", and praised the track as irresistible and radio-friendly.[8] The Portland Mercury also considered the song irresistible, and applauded its "snappy pop harmonies" and "jazzy dance beats".[9] Sydney Morning Herald called the track "disarmingly sophisticated".[10] Cameron Adams of Herald Sun wrote that "Overload" is one of the group's "finest moments", and reflected upon this as to why the song does not resemble those released by other girl groups.[11] The Observer's Kitty Empire called the song a "brilliant" hit with "unexpected class", and cited it as the starting point of the Sugababes' "course to stardom".[12][13]

Nick Levine of Digital Spy considered "Overload" one of the best debut singles by a British girl group,[14] whilst it also made NME's Year End Top 10 Singles for the year of 2000.[15] Pitchfork included it at #432 on their Top 500 Tracks of the Decade list in 2009.[16] In October 2011, NME placed it at number 51 on its list "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years".[17] In 2014 they included it at number 493 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[18]

Chart performance[edit]

"Overload" entered the UK Singles Chart at number six on 23 September 2000.[19] The following week, it dropped to number nine for two consecutive weeks, and eventually spent a further five weeks on the chart.[19] "Overload" has sold approximately 160,000 copies in the United Kingdom, ranking it as their ninth best-selling single.[20] In Ireland, "Overload" debuted at number 25[21] and reached its peak of number 15 five weeks later.[22] It was the group's only single from the One Touch era to reach the top-twenty in Ireland.[23] "Overload" entered the singles chart in Austria at number 34 on 21 January 2001, and later reached number three for two consecutive weeks, spending an additional three weeks in the chart's top-ten.[24] It became the group's second-best performing single in Austria to-date.[24]

In Germany, "Overload" debuted at number four and reached number three two weeks later.[25] The song managed to spend six weeks in the chart's top-ten, and was certified Gold by the Bundesverband Musikindustrie, denoting shipments of 250,000 copies of the single.[26] "Overload" reached number five in Switzerland and spent 29 weeks on the chart.[27] In Norway, "Overload" debuted at number 17 and held the position for three consecutive weeks; it reached a peak position of number 12 in its fourth week on the chart.[28] The single attained top-twenty in the Netherlands[29][30] and top-forty positions in the Flanders and Wallonia regions of Belgium.[31][32] The song reached number 21 in Sweden and spent 17 weeks on the chart.[33] "Overload" also became a commercial success in New Zealand, where it peaked at number two.[34] In Australia, the song peaked at number 27 for two non-consecutive weeks.[24]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Overload" was directed by Phil Poynter and filmed in London, England in August 2000. The video has no plot and is known for its fresh and simplistic style, a theme that they would continue in their early videos. It features the group in a variety of ever-changing outfits, singing the song in front of a plain white background, either by themselves or together as a group.

Track listings[edit]

CD maxi single
No. Title Length
1. "Overload" (Original Edit) 4:35
2. "Lush Life" 4:41
3. "Overload" (Capoeira Remix – Vocal Version) 8:06
4. "Overload" (Instrumental) 4:19
CD single
No. Title Length
1. "Overload" (Original Edit) 4:35
2. "Lush Life" 4:41
3. "Overload" (Instrumental) 4:19

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Germany (BVMI)[26] Gold 250,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

References[edit]

  1. ^ Salmon, Chris (17 March 2008). "'We're the biggest ... '". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "Even the rockers were ready to Rumba!". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 16 December 2002. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Sturges, Fiona (2 June 2006). "New Sugababe on the block". New Zealand Herald. APN News & Media. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Raphael, Amy (22 June 2003). "Sweetness follows". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Sugababes - Overload Sheet Music". Musicnotes.com. EMI Music Publishing. 2000. MN0076619 (Product Number). 
  6. ^ Roginski, Alex (23 January 2006). "Taller in Many Ways". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 7 August 2012. Retrieved 16 August 2012. 
  7. ^ Horton, Matthew (12 August 2011). "The changing faces of Sugababes". Virgin Media. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Overload". NME. IPC Media. 26 September 2000. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "CD Review". The Portland Mercury. Rob Crocker. 5 July 2001. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sweet as...". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 28 April 2003. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  11. ^ Adams, Cameron (14 December 2006). "Such sweet relief". Herald Sun. The Herald & Weekly Times. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  12. ^ Empire, Kitty (9 October 2005). "Pop CD of the week: Sugababes, Taller in More Ways". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Empire, Kitty (30 March 2003). "Once a kitten and now a minx". The Observer. Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  14. ^ Levine, Nick (28 July 2008). "The Saturdays: 'If This Is Love'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Archived from the original on 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Sugababes - Angels With Dirty Faces - Review - Stylus Magazine". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 11 November 2009. 
  16. ^ "Staff Lists". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 29 February 2016. 
  17. ^ NME.COM. "150 Best Tracks Of The Past 15 Years". NME.COM. 
  18. ^ "Rocklist.net....NME The 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time.. 2014". NME. 
  19. ^ a b c "Sugababes: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  20. ^ "Sugababes Official Top 20 Best Selling Singles". MTV UK. MTV Networks. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Chart Track". Irish Singles Chart. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  22. ^ a b "Chart Track: Week 40, 2001". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  23. ^ "Discography Sugababes". Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 September 2012. 
  24. ^ a b c d "Austriancharts.at – Sugababes – Overload" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  25. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline". Musicline.de. Media Control. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Sugababes; 'Overload')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  27. ^ a b "Swisscharts.com – Sugababes – Overload". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  28. ^ a b "Norwegiancharts.com – Sugababes – Overload". VG-lista. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  29. ^ a b "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 48, 2000" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  30. ^ a b "Dutchcharts.nl – Sugababes – Overload" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  31. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – Overload" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  32. ^ a b "Ultratop.be – Sugababes – Overload" (in French). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  33. ^ "Sugababes – Taller In More Ways". swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  34. ^ a b "Charts.org.nz – Sugababes – Overload". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  35. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Sugababes – Overload". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  36. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Sugababes – Overload". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  37. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Sugababes – Overload". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  38. ^ "Austriancharts.at – {{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  39. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – {{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  40. ^ "Swisscharts.com – {{{artist}}} – {{{song}}}". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 2016-10-10.

External links[edit]