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The 11 best Girls Aloud songs

Why have a top 10 when you can have one more? Here are the 11 best songs by Girls Aloud, ranked

From 00s reality TV to becoming the UK’s biggest selling girl group of the 21st century, Girls Aloud are quite simply a phenomenon.

Composed of Cheryl Tweedy, Nadine Coyle, Sarah Harding, Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh, Girls Aloud was formed on 30 November 2002 in front of millions on ITV’s Popstars: The Rivals. The concept for the show was simple: compete with a ‘rival’ newly-formed boyband to compete for the Christmas No.1. The rest, as they say, is history.

Working closely with producer Brian Higgins and his songwriting-production team Xenomania, their innovative and fresh take on contemporary pop has earned Girls Aloud worldwide acclaim. Plus, with a back catalogue that includes everything from 80s synthpop to surf rock and rockabilly, they’ve had a staggering 20 consecutive
Top-10 singles in the United Kingdom, including four No.1s. 

A lot has happened since their 2013 hiatus, the most tragic being Sarah Harding’s death from breast cancer in 2021 at 39 years of age. Now, Girls Aloud are in the middle of a 2024 reunion tour to honour their ‘irreplaceable’ friend.

To celebrate their return, and in dedication to Sarah, here are our top Girls Aloud tracks to recapture some of those happy 00s vibes. Enjoy.

11. Jump’

(Sound Of The Underground, 2003) 

A cover of the Pointer Sisters 80s classic, Girls Aloud made ‘Jump’ their own. Featuring on the soundtrack of cult Christmas movie, Love Actually (although sadly not in the movie itself), their take on this infectious pop track was enough to send 00s dancefloors into complete meltdown. Recorded at the behest of Love Actually director Richard Curtis, this single never fails to get people moving and has since been performed on all the Girls Aloud tours.

10. Untouchable’

(Out Of Control, 2008)

Girls Aloud’s final single release before their hiatus, ‘Untouchable’ is an ambitious, Balearic-inspired low-key pop hit that has subsequently become a fan favourite. Clocking in at nearly seven minutes, this track features everything from moving instrumentals to dreamy electro beats – another example of how the group would happily step away from their usual ‘sound’ to create something magnificent. Lauded by critics and Girls Aloud tribes alike, the accompanying music video inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey has also become a classic in its own right. 

9. The Show’

(What Will The Neighbours Say?, 2004)

Synthy and slick, ‘The Show’ was the lead single taken from Girls Aloud’s second studio album, What Will The Neighbours Say?, and offers a different take on their darker debut sound. Altogether more upbeat and poppy, the track debuted at No.2 on the UK Singles Chart, continuing the band’s string of hits by becoming their fifth consecutive single to chart within the top three. Arguably, ‘The Show’ acted as the precursor to how Girls Aloud tracks would sound going forward, and the themes of women empowerment within them.

8. Can’t Speak French’

(Tangled Up, 2007)

Helping every girl to embrace their Marie Antoinette/student union era, ‘Can’t Speak French’ was the final single taken from Tangled Up, and what a way to close the show. Trés sultry and a little bit naughty, there’s that wonderfully silly line: “I don’t speak French, so I let the funky music do the talking”, which had listeners across the UK styling out the track while simultaneously sniggering at the campiness of it all. Corsets were an absolute vibe, and that chorus will stick in your head until the end of time.

7. No Good Advice’

(Sound Of The Underground, 2003) 

The follow-up single to ‘Sound Of The Underground’, ‘No Good Advice’ proved that this all-girl group was more than just a debut. Peaking at No.2 in Ireland and on the UK Singles Chart, this thrashy disco track actually took a lot of influence from the indie sound taking over the UK club scene at the time. Initially, Girls Aloud didn’t like the song, reportedly telling Brian Higgins: “That’s not our sound”. Thankfully, experience won the day and ‘No Good Advice’ was released, helping Girls Aloud transition from one-hit wonders to bona fide popstars in just a few months.

6. The Promise’

(Out Of Control, 2008)

An homage to the 1960s and Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, this love song once again set Girls Aloud above their pop music peers because its composition literally sounded like nothing else in the charts. Taken from their fifth studio album, Out Of Control, producer Brian Higgins reportedly said after hearing the backing track: “we knew that was the piece of music [that] Girls Aloud needed to announce them as a supergroup in this country”. A departure from their more eccentric pop overtures, ‘The Promise’ still remains one of the group’s most played tracks.

5. ‘Call The Shots’

(Tangled Up, 2007)

Definitely a more conventional pop tune than some of their other singles, ‘Call The Shots’ was released as the second single from fourth studio album, Tangled Up. Featuring that incredibly catchy set of ‘ah ah ahhs’ in the chorus (we challenge anyone to read this and not start replicating the melody in their head), there was a distinct tenderness to this record which often got lost on the group’s more brash and spunky numbers.  

4. Love Machine

(What Will The Neighbours Say?, 2004)

An absolute left-field barnstormer of a track, ‘Love Machine’ was reportedly called a “career suicide” by Nadine Coyle who thought the song would make them look like a laughing stock if released. Luckily, the label pressed on with their decision to release it as the second single from 2004 album, What Will the Neighbours Say?. Believe it or not, the instrumental melody was inspired by The Smiths, and its spunky ditsy riff carries the whole track. Girls Aloud do rockabilly? 80s synthpop? Who cares. ‘Love Machine’ is an excellent pop record, and sounded nothing like anything else on the charts at the time.

3. Sound Of The Underground’

(Sound Of The Underground, 2003) 

The debut single that sounded so different to every other track released by ‘manufactured’ pop artists at the time, ‘Sound of The Underground’ really did set the stage for everything yet to come for Girls Aloud. Featuring punky surf guitar riffs and a thumping beat, the track was released 16 days after the group’s formation on the Popstars: The Rivals and went on to take the Christmas No.1 spot. The mainstay of every uni bar and club across the country (oh, how we girls swooned over that music video) 20 years on, it still sounds as fresh as it did in 2003. 

2. Something Kinda Ooooh

(The Sound Of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits, 2006)

The song that produced the immortal lyric: “Something kind of oooh, Jumpin’ on my tutu”, this slice of deliciously camp nonsense is everything you’d expect from a Girls Aloud track and more. Reportedly inspired by George Michael’s 1992 hit ‘Too Funky’, Xenomania producers wanted to create a track to get people moving. And they succeeded. It’s kind of ridiculous, but absolutely slays. Tutu and all. 

1. ‘Biology’

(Chemistry, 2005)

By all accounts, Biology was (and still is) a brave single for a pop group. And as a result, it’s taken top billing on this illustrious Girls Aloud playlist. Doing away with the ‘normal’ verse/chorus signature found in most modern pop music, ‘Biology’ is a song made up of weighty sections in different tempos. Introing with a cabaret-esque guitar and piano riff taken from 1965 track ‘Club a Go-Go’ by The Animals, the actual chorus doesn’t land until nearly halfway through the track. The result? A joyous and uplifting track that The Guardian actually named ‘the best pop single of the last decade’.

Girls Aloud have started their 2024 UK tour, with dates running until the end of June. Find tickets here.