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> The story of Strung Out...
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rowork
post Dec 23 2017, 01:10 AM
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I recently came across the (sublime) original mix of Mutya's Strung Out again, and it got me thinking about the truly messy journey this poor song endured:



Without any doubt, this should've been the third single following the release of Real Girl and Song 4 Mutya as the album lead. However, it definitely wasn't meant to be... The song leaked really early on in the campaign, which led to the remastered version we got landed with on Real Girl. In my opinion, this mix totally stripped it of its punch.

And then we had that bad press. I remember HMV listing it as the other new track for the Taller rerelease (before being withdrawn), but I don't think anyone expected it to exclusively be Amelle's song. After this interview surfaced, I think Mutya's management (and M herself) wanted to remove any connection with Amelle, and the single release was cancelled (a single mix had been listed on Jeremy Wheatley's website):



Finally, to top it all off, the original version ended up on some random German band's debut album:



And that was that. cry.gif wacko.gif
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tommie
post Dec 24 2017, 03:20 PM
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It's a shame but I've always wondered how involved Amelle really was in the creation or if it was literally a demo she just once worked on. I haven't seen any proof that she's any of the anonymous writers - I mean, had Mutya not left then she would've probably been credited on Never Gonna Dance Again and potentially My Love Is Pink since the 1.0-2.0 partnership made them all get credit even if only one or two contributed to writing. It wasn't until Amelle entered that the partnership dissolved...
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Dec 24 2017, 04:37 PM
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I’m not sure I ever truly believed that Amelie had anything to do with Strung Out.

Although I do prefer the final version to the demo mix because it really ups the ante for the second verse and I love how the song builds as a result
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tommie
post Dec 24 2017, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Dec 24 2017, 05:37 PM) *
I’m not sure I ever truly believed that Amelie had anything to do with Strung Out.

Although I do prefer the final version to the demo mix because it really ups the ante for the second verse and I love how the song builds as a result


Well, I think it's entirely possible that Amelle had the song in her possession at one point since they shared a management - I mean, we know they went back as 4.0 to old 2.0 demos at one point post-Sweet 7. I wouldn't exactly put it above them to not pull such trickery and Mutya being pissed as a result, I have however not bought that Amelle is credited under a pseudonym. Someone keeps replacing Obi Mhondera with Amelle on the Wikipedia page, but he's real producer/song writer...

If not Strung Out I think It's Not Easy or Not Your Baby would've made an ok single. I just don't get the choice of Just A Little Bit - it's a nice song, but it's very forgettablea and just ended blending in on radio in a bad way.


This post has been edited by tommie: Dec 24 2017, 08:29 PM
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Dec 24 2017, 10:32 PM
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Oh yeah it’s possible that she had an option on it at one point, that I’d believe. It’s always sold as more than that with a weird element of drama like Mutya stole it and struck Amelles name off the credits. If any of this was actually true Amelie would have sued for royalties by now. She never struck me as the type of person who wouldn’t pursue it if it was true.



Real Girls issue started the moment they dropped Addiction, Darkside, Heat, 2 The Limit et al from the album. Wonderful would have made an alright single if it was still more like the demo. It ended up so over produced
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tommie
post Dec 24 2017, 10:55 PM
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The Room2012 situation is sort of interesting though - on their album they don't only have Strung Out, but also songs called Head Bash and Naughty But Nice - two titles that were recorded by Amelle's old group Boo2 with her sister. I guess when Amelle joined Sugababes those tracks went up in the air and eventually Mutya got a hold of Strung Out and then Room2012 got given SO + a couple of other tracks:

https://www.discogs.com/Room-2012-Elevator/release/1188823


This post has been edited by tommie: Dec 24 2017, 10:57 PM
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Dec 24 2017, 11:51 PM
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I know they were attached to Boo2, and I'm sure a demo version was floating around the internet at one point, but I've never seen the credits from the Room 2012 record to see if Amelle ever actually had writing credits. We all know it's not exactly uncommon for a track to float around a few artists!
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tommie
post Dec 25 2017, 10:36 AM
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QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Dec 25 2017, 12:51 AM) *
I know they were attached to Boo2, and I'm sure a demo version was floating around the internet at one point, but I've never seen the credits from the Room 2012 record to see if Amelle ever actually had writing credits. We all know it's not exactly uncommon for a track to float around a few artists!


She doesn't have credits on Room 2012's version of Naughty But Nice at least:

https://www.discogs.com/release/1245907-Nau...But-Nice/images

Mutya is credited both on BMI and on her own album on Strung Out as a writer, but I have no idea if she ended up credited on Room 2012's version. I do kind of question her hand in that song.
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rowork
post Dec 27 2017, 04:51 PM
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QUOTE(tommie @ Dec 25 2017, 10:36 AM) *
She doesn't have credits on Room 2012's version of Naughty But Nice at least:

https://www.discogs.com/release/1245907-Nau...But-Nice/images

Mutya is credited both on BMI and on her own album on Strung Out as a writer, but I have no idea if she ended up credited on Room 2012's version. I do kind of question her hand in that song.


This. To me, Mutya's voice represents everything I love about the Sugababes, but I don't necessarily think she's ever played a major role in the writing process (and certainly not Strung Out).

Is it possible they bought Amelle's writing credit from her (however small that may have been)? Amelle did a lot of work with Pete Kirtley during Boo2/solo, as though she was his protege. The publication dates for this material are pretty old (2003/2004), so I reckon Kirtley wanted to sell the songs off, and her entrance to the Sugababes was the perfect slot. It gets even more intriguing when you see Amelle had been working with Ali Tennant (also involved in Mutya's album) prior to the band. Perhaps there was some tradeoff between management companies/publishers? Doesn't surprise me that Crown would be so lazy as to use the connections they gained from Amelle on Mutya's halfarsed album.
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5 Silas Frøkner
post Dec 27 2017, 06:03 PM
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Well no because Island A&R'd it rather than Crown. I'm fairly sure that Mutya kept the same A&R team from the Sugababes. When they went solo with MKS they made quite a big deal out of doing the A&R work themselves.

Think we all agree that Keisha was probably the main songwriter.
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tommie
post Dec 27 2017, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE(rowork @ Dec 27 2017, 05:51 PM) *
This. To me, Mutya's voice represents everything I love about the Sugababes, but I don't necessarily think she's ever played a major role in the writing process (and certainly not Strung Out).


Well, in 1.0-2.0 they pretty much split the writing credits three way no matter who did what on a song. Hence Heidi and Keisha having writing credits on Maya, but I'm sure they didn't do much. And hence them removing Mutya from Never Gonna Dance Again credits after their partnership was broken. Or it being said that Run For Cover was basically written by Siobhan etc etc. It wasn't until 3.0 where the individual writing credits started showing and... it was Keisha at that point. And then Heidi. Then Amelle.

I don't think they needed to "buy" Amelle out - she does have writing credits from that period, but yet again, she wasn't credited on "Naughty But Nice", given to Room 2012. There's also tracks where Samiya (Amelle's sister) has solo credits, so she might not have worked on some tracks beyond providing a voice. No shame in that, but I don't think they'd pay her out. Strung Out is good, but not worthy to pay someone out for.
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Spiceboy
post Dec 29 2017, 12:22 PM
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I think Strung out is brilliant and was the obvious next single! Such a shame it wasn't released as 3rd single.
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rowork
post Dec 29 2017, 02:04 PM
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QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Dec 27 2017, 06:03 PM) *
Well no because Island A&R'd it rather than Crown. I'm fairly sure that Mutya kept the same A&R team from the Sugababes. When they went solo with MKS they made quite a big deal out of doing the A&R work themselves.

Think we all agree that Keisha was probably the main songwriter.


You're right! Found this little gem of an article from 2003, and it mentions Darcus Beese is their A&R guy. He must have carried into Mutya's solo project, which would explain the Amy collab, since he was her A&R too.

Perhaps Heidi's "the song that Amelle wrote" was taken out of context. Involved in, yes. Wrote, nope. I think Heidi was still pretty bitter about the Mutya situation during the Change era, hence this flippant comment.

Anyway, Strung Out definitely should've been the third single - I agree!
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