Monthly Archives: October 2011

Back to the future: Return of the 90’s cheese

    The album midweek chart this week is interesting to observe. American rock band  Evanescence,  huge global album sellers are currently fighting for the number one position with 90’s pop group Steps, who have recently reunited for a documentary looking back at their formidable success. Their ‘Ultimate Collection’ record, released this week, is out-gunning even the most wild predictions. Less than 2,000 copies separate the two artists, and if Steps do indeed top the chart, it will no doubt bring upon a trend of re-introducing old pop acts to the masses. But why?

  Even at the height of their success the band were seen as little more than a thinly veiled tribute to Abba, with only two decent voices residing within the five piece band.  After a string of massive singles, and three multi platinum albums, they disbanded, leaving the members to try to establish solo careers, something which alluded every one of them. Following the nineties trend of getting the most out of flash in the pan artists, such as S-Club 7 and B*Witched, the bands entire discography was released within a short period of three years. Evanescence on the other hand have released three albums, one in 2003, the second in 2006, and their latest one this week. Bands such as Steps tend to peak early and die off soon after, whilst Evanescence and similar establish a loyal fan base which favours quality over quantity.

The group in 1998

  The four part documentary, which mostly covered the reunion of the band, as opposed to discussion of new material, ended with them all eager to carry on. The response to this greatest hits record is likely to add to their excitement and eagerness. What is questionable however, is if they can adapt to the current pop scene. Greatest Hits records sell well because the songs are either timeless, or because of the nostalgia element. Nostalgia and goodwill for their back catalogue will not help them with new material.  Nevertheless, this unexpected success shows that people genuinely did like the songs, and it would not be a surprise to see similar albums released in the near future, whether accompanying a full scale band reunion, or simply to cash in.