All 23 Girls Aloud singles, ranked definitively from worst to best
Every one of these bangers is iconic and should be in a museum
Girls Aloud is my favourite girl band of all time, and I’ll tell you why. Are they close friends? Not really. Do they write all their own songs? Not slightly. Are they the best singers? Not even close. Are they absolute icons, @LoveOfHuns legends and perfect vessels for some of the most exciting pop music production to ever come out of the 00s? ABSOLUTELY. Girls Aloud have 23 singles and getting them ranked feels like trying to order your favourite family members.
One of my favourite things about Girls Aloud is that there was five of them and they never once sang any harmonies. They just all belt out the melody of the chorus like a footie chant and I LOVE IT. Cheryl – bursting with star quality, performs her arse off and is the British Britney Spears as far as I’m concerned. Nicola, the best vocalist of the group and an amazing songwriter. Nadine, great and powerful belt and the true front woman. Sarah – pure chaos and carnage but can belt her tits off when she needs to. And Kimberley? Well, I’m happy she’s there, let’s just say that! Here are all 23 Girls Aloud singles ranked from worst to best.
23. Walk This Way
An abomination from start to finish. Dreadful. Sugababes in a spectacularly bleak era after Mutya’s departure and everybody’s pretending Amelle’s fag ash breath vocals are anywhere near as good. Sarah’s spoken word bit was the death of pop music. This was for charity, but I think perhaps the most charitable thing would have been if nobody had bothered.
22. I Think We’re Alone Now
I have no clue why Girls Aloud were constantly forced to do naff karaoke covers of classic songs, but this was one of the stinkiest stinkers they ever got lumped with. And I Think We’re Alone Now is genuinely one of the best pop songs ever, so I’m not sure why this is so bad. Perhaps because it’s truly unnecessary. They literally just shout the chorus.
21. I’ll Stand By You
So dreary and sickly and syrupy that it makes me want to heave. Hate. Hate. HATE. If I was in charge of this country I would outlaw Girls Aloud singing cover songs. Everyone’s vocals except Nadine’s sound paper thin and stretched within an inch of their life and the production is so dated that it’s carbon dated.
20. Whole Lotta History
A song that just slips my mind too often for me to rank it higher. Less ballads, more bangers. But I will say I love Nicola’s vocals on verse two – the “end of story” is a vocal styling most pleasing to me.
19. Long Hot Summer
Long Hot Summer is a song everyone pretends doesn’t exist. Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper, the writing and production team behind nearly all of Girls Aloud’s singles and albums known as Xenomania, DESPISE IT. Higgins called it a “disaster record”. It was the first Girls Aloud single to not get into the top five on the UK Singles Chart and is completely absent from their greatest hits album Ten. I think it’s fine, but that much disdain for a song from the artist always leaves a bad taste in mouths.
18. See The Day
Another cursed Girls Aloud cover song that vied desperately to be Christmas number one – and one that Cheryl has stated she hates and wishes they never released. Me too, darlin!
The best of the Girls Aloud covers. It’s a decently produced Pointer Sisters attempt, and the song suits Nadine’s vocals really well. Makes me laugh a lot in the video that Nicola is lip syncing along with Nadine as if they’re both singing when it’s pretty much just Nadine’s voice in the mix. Not the worst way to spend three minutes and 26 seconds.
16. Beautiful ‘Cause You Love Me
Their last ever single, and quite a despised song in the Girls Aloud canon. Nadine in particular threatened to refuse to take part in the 10 year anniversary of Girls Aloud at all unless this song was scrapped as the lead single from Ten because she hated it that much, and said she didn’t agree with the message because all women are beautiful regardless of whether anyone loves them or not. A fair point. I do kind of… like it though? Sorry. Everyone sounds in really good voice and I don’t think it’s as hated as it should be. End of.
15. Can’t Speak French
We’ve just arrived at the good stuff. This is a really solid pop song, that just kind of drags on a little bit too much. It runs at three and a half minutes but for some reason manages to feel like five? That being said, I think the verses are absolutely delicious and that melody of “I wai-ay-it underneath the covers all ni-ay-ght” is so INVITING!
14. Sexy! No No No…
A very solid Girls Aloud banger. Does exactly what you want and expect it to. Xenomania to a tee. The slight issue with Sexy is that it’s in the exact same world as Something Kinda Ooooh and Wake Me Up, and unfortunately draws the short straw of being the worst of them three. But still a corker, and enjoy the strange, pin cushion, arthouse A24 film video.
13. Something Kinda Ooooh
Really hate that this song isn’t just called Something Kinda Ooh. The fact it has FOUR os just doesn’t sit right with me. Bit of a rammer though, isn’t it? So much so that we’ll let the lyric “something kinda ooooh, jumping on my tutu” off, because I still to this day am none the wiser as to what that means.
12. Love Machine
One for the straight boys. Honestly I can’t breathe a word of liking Girls Aloud near a heterosexual man without him INSTANTLY saying “have you heard the Arctic Monkeys version of Love Machine?“. YES WE HAVE. It is good tbf*, and so is Love Machine. But it’s the everyman Girls Aloud song, not the thinking man’s Girls Aloud song.
*Correction: I’ve just listened for the first time in years and it is not good AT ALL. What were we all thinking!?!?
11. The Promise
A stone cold classic, and their only Brit Award winner. A great song. Pride of place in the Girls Aloud history books. Might be controversial that it’s not higher, but for me I think it’s because of how much this song is recreating a music style – almost to the point of pastiche. I think Girls Aloud singles are at their best when they feel cutting edge, and the ranked list is gonna reflect that. Sue me!
10. Wake Me Up
Kicking off the top 10 Girls Aloud ranked singles is the absolute shot of adrenaline to your veins that is Wake Me Up. Whew! It’s a thrill ride, isn’t it!? Bursting with life, attitude and personality. Just adore it to be honest.
9. Life Got Cold
An understated and underrated WOW that pissed off Oasis because it pretty much rips off Wonderwall. And what! It’s better than Wonderwall actually, because it features a Nicola Roberts vocal. I’m not afraid to say it! This song is so charming to me. I really laugh at the lyric where Cheryl says “we sink another Coke” like Coca Cola is some hard ale. A very early 00s midtempo tune but one that’s aged really freshly to me. Love it.
8. Something New
Everything a Girls Aloud comeback single should have been, because it showcased everything they’re so good at and why we loved them so much in the first place. Something New is literally bursting with bombastic personality, attitude and star power. I love everything about it, and it deserves to be ranked high amongst the stellar singles of Girls Aloud. It’s got this furious anger to it that I just can’t get enough of. Particular attention goes to Sarah’s final “follow the leader” adlibs, especially when she does them live and belts them.
A Frankenstein song with a load of mashed up different sections put together that somehow works completely marvellously. Every bit of it is a hoot, and it’s just a song that never fails to thrill me with the way it’s put together. Girls Aloud at their most adventurous and most critically acclaimed.
6. Call the Shots
Absolute pop perfection. So lushly produced it’s insane. Such a delicate song that makes me feel like I’m floating on clouds. Bloody gorg. The middle eight is SO good. Full of twilight dreams that glitter INDEED! This sound suits everyone so much. It’s heavenly.
5. No Good Advice
Sound of the Underground’s brattier little sister. Such an amazing pop song with great build, the way the verses lead into the pre chorus and that final shouty line before the chorus? Perfect. I love that the lyrics were made to be “shut your mouth because it might show” but the girls wanted “your shit might show” and sang the x-rated version live. Angry queens! God, I cherish this song. Funniest and most stupid bit is the fact “no need to count those dirty sheep” is an actual lyric.
4. The Show
Honestly, probably the weirdest song Girls Aloud have ever done. And just absolutely one of their very best. The Show is just so much fun, the production is so vibrant and each of the girls has a really fun thing to do. The chorus is one of their best. I do think though that the reason I love The Show so much is because it just transports me to the chaos of the video. The Show video is basically Girls Aloud making a salon into a torture chamber for men, and I endorse that!
3. The Loving Kind
The Loving Kind is a Pet Shop Boys penned masterpiece and it’s just beautiful. Every second of it is heavenly, the girls all sound great, the production is everything you expect it to be from the standard of Pet Shops Boys AND Xenomania. It’s a really spectacular song, and it disgusts me deep in my core that Nicola hates it because it’s great and as a woman of superior scouse taste she should honestly know better.
One of the most spectacular things Girls Aloud have ever put their name to, especially the full album version that runs at nearly seven minutes and never once gets boring. It’s sprawling, dramatic, euphoric and dreamy. It’s one of them songs that could play forever and I’d be happy with it not ending – like Hung Up by Madonna. Just going to leave the lyrics to the bridge here, because they are quite frankly gorgeous: “Whenever you’re gone, they wait at the door / and everything’s hurting like before / without any meaning, we’re just skin and bone / like beautiful robots dancing alone.”
1. Sound of the Underground
Just exemplary, to be honest. A girl band created on Popstars: The Rivals beats out the expected boys group to win the competition by scoring the Christmas number one in the UK with Sound of the Underground. An absolute beast of a track in anyone’s hands, but one that in the grip of Girls Aloud’s is a monstrous force. Johnny Loftus once described Girls Aloud on this track “exploding like a five-headed Kylie Minogue”, which is a far more cinematic and apt description than I could muster and I think about it often.
The clashing of surf rock guitar with electrobeats? Amazing. The drama of this song and the fact they ran a campaign to get it to number one with the slogan “buy girls, bye boys” is incredible. Sound of the Underground quite literally shook up the British pop music scene with its weirdness, unexpected attitude and gave Xenomania a girl band to continue to work with to create cutting edge pop music. It will always be ranked top when it comes to Girls Aloud singles. Doesn’t get better than this.