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liamk97
post Mar 14 2017, 03:39 PM
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Steps' biggest selling singles revealed
14 March 2017 | By Rob Copsey

It's time to begin, now count it in...

After 16 years of hurt, Steps are officially back and armed with a (proper) new single that, by all accounts, the nation seems to be taking into their hearts. And why wouldn't they? There's a noted absence of unpretentious pop on the Top 40 and the moment; a sweet spot Steps have always managed to hit.

Official Charts is celebrating their return the only way we know how, by revealing the group's biggest selling singles. That's all 15 of their Top 40s, ranked in order of sales. We've also taken a look at their most streamed songs, which paints a very different picture of the band in the 'digital age'. More on that below.

It's time to begin now count it in...

5, 6, 7, 8
Compared to the rest of their repertoire, Steps' debut single sticks out like a sore thumb for two reasons. 1.) It's essentially a novelty techno-pop line dancing track and 2.) The boys take the lead. There's no signature belting from Claire, no 'hang on a moment, is that Lisa Scott-Lee singing?' moment and zero reference to Abba.

What's even more remarkable about 5, 6, 7, 8 is that it peaked at Number 14 on the Official Singles Chart, making it one of their lowest charting singles (yes, we're pretending 2012's Light Up The World never happened) How many pure pop bands can you think of who got a second go of the wheel after a Top 20 debut single in the past decade?

Despite its relatively low chart placing, 5, 6, 7, 8 is Steps' third best selling single with 365,000 copies sold. It's also their most streamed song at 3.44 million plays, which we're sure you'll agree is pretty surprising. Perhaps its being wheeled out as the new Cotton Eye Joe and children's parties?

One For Sorrow
Steps' third single One For Sorrow is what fully established them as a bona fide pop band. The song is essentially Abba's The Winner Takes It All for 1998, with its drama-packed intro, wistful melody and weeping-in-the-club-loos chorus; complete with big vocals from Claire and an a dance routine that even our Nan could follow.

One For Sorrow debuted at Number 2 on the Official Singles Chart, beaten to the top by Manic Street Preachers' If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next. Its total sales to date are just over 423,000 and it's their fourth most streamed song, just shy of 1 million plays. It may have lost out on the top spot, but it did finish ahead of new entries by The Honeyz, Faithless and Madonna that week, which is pretty impressive, right? Look back at the the full chart that week here.

Steps fans might remember that in addition to the original video of them moping around a house and dancing in front of sunflowers, the group also made a clip for a remixed version aimed at the US market whilst they were on tour with Britney Spears. Speaking of which, is that Britney at the 1m43s mark? 👀

Heartbeat/Tragedy
Steps' extremely well-judged cover of Bee Gees hit Tragedy - released as a double A-side (remember those?) with Christmassy ballad Heartbeat - is their biggest selling single. It was the group's fourth release and encapsulated a lot of what Steps were about: pure pop, off the wall (just watch its accompanying video) and ultimately a bit of fun.

The single was their first aimed at the busy Christmas market, and while it made the Top 10 for the Official Christmas Chart, it reached Number 1 two weeks later in January 1999. The single itself has sold a massive 1.16 million copies, while an additional 50,500 of you have downloaded the songs individually in the digital age, making its total sales 1.21 million if we combine the lot. It's also their second most-streamed track, with 2.7 million plays.

Looking at the rest of Steps' biggest sellers, special mentions go to their only other Number 1 single, 2000's Stomp, which finishes 11th with just over 181,000 sales, while their cover of Christmas classic Merry Xmas Everybody is their third most-streamed (1.85m), despite not being in their Top 15 based on pure sales.

Steps' Official Best Selling Singles:

1 HEARTBEAT/TRAGEDY STEPS 1998 1 1,210,000 (1,237,000)
2 ONE FOR SORROW STEPS 1998 2 423,000 (433,000 including streams)
3 5 6 7 8 STEPS 1997 14 365,000 (399,000 including streams)
4 BETTER BEST FORGOTTEN STEPS 1999 2
5 LAST THING ON MY MIND STEPS 1998 6
6 LOVE'S GOT A HOLD ON MY HEART STEPS 1999 2
7 SAY YOU'LL BE MINE/BETTER THE DEVIL STEPS 1999 4
8 CHAIN REACTION STEPS 2001 2
9 IT'S THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL STEPS 2001 2
10 DEEPER SHADE OF BLUE STEPS 2000 4
11 STOMP STEPS 2000 1 181,000
12 WHEN I SAID GOODBYE/SUMMER OF LOVE STEPS 2000 5
13 AFTER THE LOVE HAS GONE STEPS 1999 5
14 HERE AND NOW/YOU'LL BE SORRY STEPS 2001 4
15 WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH STEPS 2001 5

2017 Official Charts Company. All rights reserved.
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liamk97
post Mar 14 2017, 03:49 PM
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Strange that the OCC recognise 'Tragedy' as having sold 1.2m yet the BPI have not certified it 2x Platinum yet.

This was Steps' Top 15 back in June 2009. I would assume for the most part, the songs haven't added much at all:

01 1,151,951 Heartbeat / Tragedy
02 398,474 One for Sorrow
03 340,060 Better Best Forgotten
04 328,733 Last Thing On My Mind
05 315,630 5,6,7,8
06 292,414 Love's Got a Hold on My Heart
07 271,588 Say You'll Be Mine / Better the Devil You Know
08 255,914 Chain Reaction
09 176,326 It's the Way You Make Me Feel
10 170,667 Deeper Shade of Blue
11 167,951 Stomp
12 166,967 After the Love Has Gone
13 163,554 When I Said Goodbye / Summer of Love
14 113,890 Here and Now / You'll Be Sorry
15 112,664 Words Are Not Enough / I Know Him So Well
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pippa
post Mar 14 2017, 04:13 PM
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Stomp was something i believed to have been a much bigger hit in relation to sales but isnt among their top 10 best sellers.
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gooddelta
post Mar 14 2017, 04:19 PM
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Stomp was a bit of a fluke #1, only topped the chart with around 50k sales iirc which was very low for 2000, if not the lowest figure of the year.

They had a lot of near misses though with their #2 singles, One For Sorrow wasn't far away from the Manics at #1 while I believe Better Best Forgotten was a midweek #1 and Love's Got A Hold On My Heart certainly was as it was overtaken by Ricky Martin at the last moment. It's The Way You Make Me Feel was also very close to #1, and entered the previous week on 'leaked' sales, which harmed its chances, though not by enough to bridge the gap to get the #1 I don't think.
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Ne Plus Ultra
post Mar 14 2017, 04:26 PM
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5,6,7,8 was a #1 hit in Australia and used very effectively on an episode of Please Like Me (R.I.P.) biggrin.gif
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pippa
post Mar 14 2017, 05:03 PM
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QUOTE(gooddelta @ Mar 14 2017, 04:19 PM) *
Stomp was a bit of a fluke #1, only topped the chart with around 50k sales iirc which was very low for 2000, if not the lowest figure of the year.

They had a lot of near misses though with their #2 singles, One For Sorrow wasn't far away from the Manics at #1 while I believe Better Best Forgotten was a midweek #1 and Love's Got A Hold On My Heart certainly was as it was overtaken by Ricky Martin at the last moment. It's The Way You Make Me Feel was also very close to #1, and entered the previous week on 'leaked' sales, which harmed its chances, though not by enough to bridge the gap to get the #1 I don't think.


I had vague memories of them missing out on number 1 a few times and ended up with a lot of number 2 hits. Stomp would be one of own stand out moments from them.
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JCM20
post Mar 14 2017, 05:06 PM
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QUOTE(liamk97 @ Mar 14 2017, 03:49 PM) *
Strange that the OCC recognise 'Tragedy' as having sold 1.2m yet the BPI have not certified it 2x Platinum yet.


"Gangsta's Paradise" was billed at 1.45m by the OCC in June 2013, then the BPI certified it 2x Platinum a year later.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 14 2017, 05:33 PM
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'Stomp' was definitely a fluke #1, all their #2 hits at the time felt a lot bigger and like they'd impacted more than that (and all of them deserved it more too).

So many 10/10 songs there. ohmy.gif (new one is no exception of course)

QUOTE(Ne Plus Ultra @ Mar 14 2017, 04:26 PM) *
5,6,7,8 was a #1 hit in Australia and used very effectively on an episode of Please Like Me (R.I.P.) biggrin.gif


YES! wub.gif wub.gif
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PAJ88
post Mar 14 2017, 07:32 PM
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Better Best Forgotten did well to be at #4, consider it was the 5th single from the album.
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jase.
post Mar 14 2017, 07:47 PM
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Last Thing On My Mind top 5? YES! Their best song! wub.gif
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vibe
post Mar 14 2017, 08:44 PM
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What madonna song was released the same week as one for sorrow ?
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360Jupiter
post Mar 14 2017, 08:47 PM
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Stomp is such a weird one to be one of their few #1s.

Steps are pretty well remembered as an uptempo group but they actually have a strong selection of ballads there!

I'll admit listening to their Greatest Hits is pretty enjoyable as a guilty pleasure.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 14 2017, 09:10 PM
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QUOTE(vibe @ Mar 14 2017, 08:44 PM) *
What madonna song was released the same week as one for sorrow ?


Drowned World


This post has been edited by mr_pmt: Mar 14 2017, 09:11 PM
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liamk97
post Mar 14 2017, 09:11 PM
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QUOTE(vibe @ Mar 14 2017, 08:44 PM) *
What madonna song was released the same week as one for sorrow ?

'Drowned World': http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/singl.../19980830/7501/
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Feel_The_Fever
post Mar 15 2017, 01:01 AM
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QUOTE(360Jupiter @ Mar 14 2017, 08:47 PM) *
Stomp is such a weird one to be one of their few #1s.

Steps are pretty well remembered as an uptempo group but they actually have a strong selection of ballads there!

I'll admit listening to their Greatest Hits is pretty enjoyable as a guilty pleasure.



I agree on your 2nd and 3rd points, their greatest hits is a great guilty pleasure and i think most people associate them with up tempo pop but they have some strong ballads aswell. I really like Stomp though and am glad its part of their number 1's although Better Best Forgotten is my fave by them and wish it had gone number 1 as it was close at the time, it did very well as a 5th single considering the step one album it came from was a huge seller. Step One was a great album and such a strong debut album that i have always enjoyed.
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Jay ☆
post Mar 15 2017, 01:30 AM
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Heartbeat/Tragedy total sales given are a bit confusing. It sold 1,151,951 as of June 2009 (presumably that includes 4 years of download data?) yet OCC imply that 1.16 million copies were sold outside of the digital age.

~

"...an additional 50,500 of you have downloaded the songs individually in the digital age, making its total sales 1.21 million if we combine the lot." - Is this implying that downloads of Tragedy & Heartbeat separately are both being added to the overall total? If so, that goes against what the rules for Double A Sides were years ago (only one of the songs having its download sales count towards it). The fact that this single isn't certified as 2xPlatinum by BPI might be because it actually does only have one song's download data attached to it, making its overall official sales less than 1.2m? Particularly if it's Heartbeat that goes towards it, rather than Tragedy.

~

Also I'm pretty astonished that 5, 6, 7, 8 has apparently added 50k downloads to its total in the last (almost) 8 years? From June '09 to now it works out as an average of 124 downloads a week. The same as Tragedy & Heartbeat downloads combined have mustered up in the 12 years of the download era! Are we totally sure 365,000 isn't a combined figure? If it really is on 399,000 combined then we'll find out imminently if that's the case, as it would be on the verge of Gold!
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common sense
post Mar 15 2017, 08:57 AM
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I loved Steps from first hearing 5,6,7,8 and am just about to give my Gold: GH cd a spin. One For Sorrow is my favourite but such a gap between that and Heartbeat/Tragedy. Never really liked Heartbeat.
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Knightr634
post Mar 15 2017, 10:18 AM
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Oooh, hopefully 5,6,7,8 will officially be Gold imminently. Would be wonderful if they were award the Gold and 2XPlatinum awards together in time for the new album release for lovely pictures of the band to be taken with their awards.
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Robbie
post Mar 15 2017, 10:25 AM
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'5,6,7,8' has sold quite well on downloads as its physical sales in the 90s was 300,048.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 16 2017, 11:59 AM
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I'd believe that of '5, 6, 7, 8', it seems a perennial favourite for parties and novelty playlists by DJs and stuff.

Plus whenever I've mentioned Steps to most people this week, that song has been the first thing they've thought of.
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