Some Girls (Rachel Stevens song)
|Single by Rachel Stevens|
|from the album Funky Dory (re-issue) and Come and Get It|
|B-side||"Spin That Bottle"|
|Released||12 July 2004|
|Writer(s)||Richard X, Hannah Robinson|
|Rachel Stevens singles chronology|
"Some Girls" is a synthpop song written by Richard X and Hannah Robinson for British singer Rachel Stevens. It was included in the 2004 re-release of Stevens' debut album, Funky Dory, and her second studio album, Come and Get It. The song's music features a schaffel beat influenced by glam rock, and its lyrics describe a pop singer who performs sexual favours in her efforts to achieve stardom.
The song was released as a charity record for Sport Relief on 12 July 2004 (see 2004 in music). It received positive reviews from music critics. The single was commercially successful, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart. Paul Weiland directed the accompanying music video, in which Stevens leads a parade of women out of the sewers and down the streets of London. American dance musician Henri released a cover version of "Some Girls" as a single in 2006.
The song was recognised as the Best Pop Record of 2004 through the Popjustice £20 Music Prize.
Background and writing
"Some Girls" was written by producer Richard X and songwriter Hannah Robinson. They spent several days working on the song, with girl group Girls Aloud in mind as potential performers. Warp Records and Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment contacted Richard X by email to ask that he give the song to Geri Halliwell or Stevens, respectively, to record. He agreed to have Stevens record the song after Richard Curtis asked about using the song for Sport Relief 2004. Richard X later stated that he was surprised Sport Relief chose such a sexually suggestive song. When Halliwell found out that the writers were having Stevens record the song, she locked herself in her car in an attempt to change their minds, and she later wrote Richard X a love song. The aftermath of the decision for Stevens to record the song became the subject of another song written by Richard X and Robinson, "Me Plus One" from Annie's 2004 album Anniemal. While recording with Stevens, Richard X decided to get spoken soundbites from her to make an extended version for the single's B-side. To fit the song's glam sound, he asked her questions about the Winter of Discontent, to which Stevens reacted with "bemusement and terror."
The song uses a heavily swung electronic rhythm.
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The lyrics of "Some Girls" describe a pop singer's dreams of stardom. She performs fellatio on a man promising to make her a star. Stevens stated that she had not interpreted the lyrics to be about oral sex when she recorded the song. Richard X explained that he wanted to illustrate how the music industry treats people, so he and Robinson based some of the song's lines on anecdotes that they had heard.
The song uses Richard X's "icy" synthpop sound. The synthesizer used was a Fairlight CMI Series IIx previously owned by pop group the Thompson Twins. It also features the German schaffel beat popularized by glam rock. Reviewers compared the song's glam-influenced sound to T.Rex's 1971 single "Hot Love" and the work of Adam Ant. They also noted similarities between "Some Girls" and the more recent electronic glam music on Goldfrapp's 2003 album Black Cherry.
"Some Girls" received positive reviews from music critics. PopMatters included it in its "Best Music of 2004" selection, where Adrien Begrand commented that "Stevens might have no singing voice to speak of, but did she ever score a slice of pop genius with her single 'Some Girls', on which the ever-crafty Richard X brazenly hijacks a contagious German schaffel beat and tarts it up with a killer hook in the chorus that never, ever leaves your head". In his review for The Guardian, Alexis Petridis referred to the song as "remarkable" for turning Stevens' detached vocal delivery into a strength.
Kelefa Sanneh of The New York Times stated that Richard X's production allowed Stevens' vocals to "[melt] into the icy beat". Ranking "Some Girls" the twentieth best single of 2004, Pitchfork Media listed the song twenty-fourth on its "Top 50 Singles of 2004" & #258 on the "Top 500 songs of the 2000s", with Scott Plagenhoef praising its "sharp production" and "Adam Ant-esque 'whoa's".
"Some Girls" was commercially successful in the United Kingdom. It debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart. The Shapeshifters' "Lola's Theme" kept the song from topping the chart; noting the song's lyrics about an exasperated singer whose "dreams of number one last forever", The Guardian remarked that the song's chart performance was "as if [it were] following a script".
BBC Radio 1 and 2 added "Some Girls" to their C playlists in late June 2004, and in early July, Radio 1 moved the song to its B playlist. The song quickly picked up airplay and was the most played song for the week of 24 July. "Some Girls" remained on the UK Singles Chart for twelve weeks. The song ended the year as the fortieth best-selling single in the UK. Largely due to the success of "Some Girls", Funky Dory re-entered the UK Albums Chart at number thirteen in August 2004, selling 14,561 copies that week. The song was somewhat less successful in Ireland, where it debuted at number fifteen. It peaked at number thirteen after four weeks and remained on the chart for a total of twelve weeks.
The song's music video was written by Richard Curtis and directed by Paul Weiland. It was filmed at Borough Market in South London. Athletes Colin Jackson, Pat Cash, and Audley Harrison make appearances in the music video. The video received heavy play from MTV Hits and The Box. Richard X strongly disapproved of the music video. In an interview with the NME, he stated, "That video is crap", and he briefly commented on his official website that seeing it "made [him] want to give up [his] life".
The video opens with shots of a dank underground sewer. Stevens and a group of women walk through the sewer and put on sunglasses before climbing out of manholes and shafts. A large crowd of women, with Stevens leading them, parades down the streets as men observe the spectacle. The women begin spraying each other with bottles of water, before Stevens returns to the sewer. Throughout the video, sequences of Stevens and a group of backup dancers performing in the sewer are shown.
Tracklist and formats
- Rachel Stevens enhanced CD single
- "Some Girls" – 3:33
- "Spin That Bottle" – 3:23
- "Some Girls" (The Sharp Boys Hot Fridge vocal) – 8:35
- "Some Girls" (CD-ROM video)
- "Some Girls" (Richard X Extended Mix)
- "Some Girls" (Europa XL Dub)
- "Some Girls" (Europa XL Vocal Mix)
- Henri CD maxi single
- "Some Girls" (The Alumni Radio Mix) – 3:29
- "Some Girls" (Norty Cotto Champagne Club Mix) – 7:33
- "Some Girls" (Norty Cotto Dub Mix) – 6:35
- "Some Girls" (Norty Cotto Dance Radio Mix) – 3:40
|UK Singles Chart||2|
- In 2006, American dance vocalist Henri covered "Some Girls" as a follow-up to her 2005 debut single, a cover version of Cher's 2002 song "When You Walk Away". Her version did not achieve mainstream success. It did, however, reach number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play and remain on the chart for fifteen weeks. A club mix, dub, and radio edit by Norty Cotto are included on the CD maxi single release.
- Former Pussycat Dolls member Kaya Jones recorded a version of "Some Girls" and released it as a promotional single in March 2012. She later included it for her debut album, which was released April 3, 2012.
- Lynskey, Dorian and Simpson, Dave. "Born slippy was a greyhound we bet on". The Guardian, page 5. 24 February 2006.
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- Plagenhoef, Scott. "Top 50 Singles of 2004". Pitchfork Media. 30 December 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
- "Rach single sex secret". The Sun. 13 July 2004. Retrieved 27 August 2008.
- Hoffman, K. Ross. "Come and Get It > Overview". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
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- "It's official - Sport Relief '04 raises record £11,078,359 and stages biggest Mile ever!". BBC. 10 July 2004. Retrieved 28 August 2008.
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- "Top Music Charts - Hot 100 - Billboard 200 - Music Genre Sales". Billboard. Retrieved 28 August 2008.