Foreword: This blog post is originally posted on the Blogger/Blogspot version of this blog on June 12, 2015. Today is the 17th year anniversary of the release of their third album World of Our Own.
Westlife cover is LSS of summer 2001
One of the best summer singles ever (in my list) ranking alongside “Helena” by My Chemical Romance and “Cry” by Mandy Moore (I will blog about this song some other time). This song was really in my head in the summer of 2001 until August 2001, and living through the years ahead, I have never forgotten this song.
10 summers ago, my mother bought me a book about Westlife. The book contains interesting details about the band’s beginnings up to the recording of their third magnum opus World Of Our Own. The lads were lucky to land famous supermodel Claudia Schiffer as their leading lady for the music video, and member Mark Feehily had a crush on her. And yes, ten summers ago too, he came out of the closet. Hats off to Mark, one of the gay artists that I truly respect.
Cassette tape memories
I even borrowed the cassette single from a second degree cousin, who was lucky enough to own Millennium by the Backstreet Boys and The A List by A1. It will be a year before I bought a pre-loved Coast to Coast album from a former classmate. To date, I have two Westlife cassettes given to me by my mother, two preloved cassettes I bought from my classmates, and two bootlegged ones.
Years later another old classmate gave me a bootlegged CD of their 2005 album Face to Face.
Due to the lack of access to information (or was it ignorance or people not telling me what I should know), I thought this was a Westlife original. I was wrong. I learned it was a Billy Joel hit few years later. I was not surprised. Westlife did an amazing job with other artists’ hits – they made other artists’ songs theirs. If there are any artists that can cover original hits, Westlife can do better. The Irish pop vocal band is the king of covers.
Due to the mentioning of the word “backstreet guy”, I thought Westlife was poking fun at the Backstreet Boys. I used to believe there was a sort of bitter rivalry between the two. How wrong I was! If I could still remember, Westlife thanked the Backstreet Boys in one of their albums.
Should you listen to “Uptown Girl”, Westlife version?
You should. This is a great song. Take it from me.
Westlife is now gone but their memories remain. Their songs still get airplay and are still being sung in karaoke bars.