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Long before the Sugababes seemingly had a brand new member every year, 90's girlband Eternal were also known to have member quit or sacked. Louise Redknapp (nee. Nurding) quit the band after the promotion for their their first multi-selling album "Always And Forever" was almost complete claiming Homesickness was one of the her reasons for quitting the band. She did however go on to launch a successful solo career with music and television presenting after leaving the band. Kelle Bryan claimed she was sacked by e-mail by the two remaining members, sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett in 1999 and a new member TJ was bought in but only lasted a few weeks and was never mentioned by the Bennetts when they unsuccessfully returned as a duo in late 1999.
However, in 1997 the band released their first 'Greatest Hit's album which reached #2 in the album charts. There was a lot of confusion amongst fans at the time, as they had only released their third album "Before The Rain" and it was doing very well in the album charts and the band had only released 2 singles from the album including their first (and so far only) number 1 single "I Wanna Be The Only One" so it seemed odd that they dropped the album campaign and rushed out a Greatest Hits album.
The album was accompanied by a brand new single "Angel of Mine" which opens the album, a beautiful ballard which showcases Easther Bennetts fine vocals. The song was a cover version and was released in the US but by Monica. This track reached number 4 in the singles charts in September 1997. The album then plays in chronicological order by single release. So track 2 is their debut single "Stay" which was released in 1993 and reached number 4 in the charts. The song is a typical 90's R&B/Pop number which I still play to this day! Next up is "Save Our Love" this is more pop than their previous single and I read somwhere that the fans voted this song as their favourite Eternal single ever but the band actually hate this song with a passion. The song reached number 8 in the singles chart. "Just A Step From Heaven" in my opinion was really a song ahead of its time, it did to moderatly well in America and reached number 4 in the UK charts. It's a powerful R&B flavoured song. "So Good" was the first track released by Eternal which the band had written, it is more pop and less R&B than their previous hits and one of their least memorable tracks which reached #13 in the charts. "Oh Baby I..." follows next and if you're a die hard 90's fan then you will remember this ballard it is another song that reached #4 in the charts. It's beautiful and yet again Bennett shows off her powerful voice. It is really a wonder why she never bought out any solo material once the band had split. Track 7 is "Crazy" in which all 4 members of Eternal (at the time) feature on the song, it's an average track and in 1994 closed off the Always and Forever album campaign, it became the bands second least successful single entering at #15 in the charts (When the band returned as a duo in 1999 they released their least successful single 'What'cha Gonna Do' which got to number 16 in the charts).
"Power Of A Woman" is track number 8, before the Spice Girls hit the big time Eternal released this anthemic Girl Power track, it has an 'American' feel to it and reached number 5 in the charts. "I Am Blessed" is a haunting ballard, powerful and magical and christmassy, it got to #7 in 1996. "Good Thing" is a pop/R&B urban number, I remember hearing this on the radio all the time when I was a kid, it got to number 8 in the charts. Another ballad follows, "Someday" was released as the sountrack to the Disney film "The Hunchback of Notre Damne" and is typicall a 'Disney Ballad' among core Eternal fans at the time, this track wasn't rated very much by them but I think there is something special about the song it got to #4 in the charts. Next up we have "Secrets" which for me, is the first 'weak' link on the Greatest Hits, I don't think it's a bad song, it's just not up to the standard of the previous son the album and I don't know why they chose this as a single at the time, it did reach #9 in the charts though.
"Don't You Love Me" was the first single from "Before The Rain", it has a great intro and a fantastic ending with the haunting childrens voices, tackles various issues such as homelessness and poverty. Reached #3 in the charts. Next up is their biggest hit and probably (and maybe sadly) the only song they are remembered for in 2012 "I Wannabe The Only One" which was a duet with Bebe Winanas. The song is catchy pop with a gospel vibe to it aswell. It reached number 1 in the charts in the summer of 1997. "Who Are You" is up next and this song featured on their "Power Of A Woman" album but wasn't released as a single in the UK but in Japan where the track was quite big, its a fiesty track and should have been a single in the UK instead of "Secrets". "Finally" is a brand new song for the album, for me, it's very simmilar to the previous song, this track was released in Japan but not in the UK. The closing track is "Might As Well Be Me" which is a nice beautiful ballad. Die hard fans knew something was up in the band when they started to promote this track a single by appearing on various programmes including the lottery, the song had a slight re-mix for the single version too, but the suddenly all promo was cancelled and the single release was axed.
In summery, it's a shame that Eternal seemed to have been forgotten by the British Public when they had 16 Top 20 singles which a lot of Girlbands don't get the achieve very often. I think the success of the Spice Girls put Eternal on the back bench even thought the Spice Girls often stated Eternal were one of their influences within the band. This track is a great compilation of hits if you want a trip down memory lane. The band disbanded in 1999 and with the recent surge in 90's bands reforming maybe one day in the near future we may see Eternal return to the charts with some more fantastic songs!
Listening to Eternal takes me back to the days when soulful pop was all the rage. I was delighted when they brought out a greatest hits collection; this album showcases their finest moments.
Who are they:
Sisters Easther and Vernie, Kelle and Louise. Louise left the group in 1995 to go solo. They were at their peak in the late nineties.
On this album:
'Angel Of Mine' is an odd one to start the album, a slow drippy ballad. It is not their strongest song, but is sung well and will make you feel rather slushy. 'Stay' is the next on the list, this would have been a better start. It is a funky sultry number with a chorus you could grind to. The song would have suited EnVogue down to a tee.
Eternal turn in quite a few slower songs, 'I Am Blessed' is one of those Whitney esque moments, all gospelly and stirring. 'Oh Baby' is a tearjerker and one of the best of the quieter moments.
'I Wanna Be The Only One' is an energetic soulful groove that sees them teaming up with Bebe Winans. His manly gruff vocals pin the track down briliantly and it soars. There are a few too many key changes at the end of the song though, I believe it transposes about three times before finally fading out! I also rate the mean and moody 'Don't You Love Me' which gave the girls a new more mature sound.
'Crazy' is just, well I couldn't sing it like I could some of the others. Midtempo and dull!
A classy collection, good vocals and even better songs. Recommended
Eternal were a girl group in the 1990's made up four women. But that reduced to three whenever Louise Nurding (Now Redknapp) left the group. The band had 5 albums including this greatest hits record and were pretty famous for a few years back then.
This is an excellent collection of the best songs Eternal had to offer. No doubt the biggest hit of the album is "I Wanna be the Only One" , this was huge and had constant airtime at the time. This was released in the summer of 1997 and is the song that made Eternal the short phenomonam that they were.
Of course they had many other songs from this album that are all fantastic and made it to single release previous to this collection such as "Angel of Mine" and "Power of a Woman"
1. Angel Of Mine
3. Save Our Love
4. Just A Step From Heaven
5. So Good
6. Oh Baby I
8. Power Of A Woman
9. I Am Blessed
10. Good Thing
13. Don't You Love Me
14. I Wanna Be The Only One
15. Who Are You
17. Might As Well Be Me
Overall this is a perfect compilation of all Eternals best music and a great album to listen to. It's pop but it's very smooth soulful pop and it's got a very nostalgic feel which takes you back to the mid-90's. Id recommend this to younger music fans who like soul pop like Leona Lewis and the like. Thumbs up.
Who girlband had the most Top 10 hits in the 1990’s? Spice Girls? All Saints? TLC? Nope. It was in fact Eternal, the band who went through more changes and facelifts than Joan Rivers... Originally starting out in 1993 and marketed a soul/pop crossover act, the teenage quartet consisted of the Bennett sisters, Easther and Vernie, and Italia Conti stage-school friends Kelle Bryan and Louise Nurding. After spawning 6 Top 20 hits from their debut album ‘Always and Forever’, they were rocked in 1995 by the departure of Nurding. There were rumours of possible racial issues coming to the fore, after she complained that her face was ‘blacked-up’ on the promotional material that Eternal produced in America in order to obtain play-listed status on Urban radio. Having become the most recognisable of the group thanks to the tabloid media’s interest in her, she forged a successful solo career with hits such as ‘In Walked Love’ and ‘Naked’ and never looked back after leaving the band. After Louise’s departure, and another string of Top 20 successes, they finally achieved a number one with ‘I Wanna Be The Only One’ in the late 1990’s, and then set about releasing their Greatest Hits compilation, constructed from their three studio albums. Straddling many different genres, the band are at their best when tackling funky radio-friendly songs like ‘Stay’ and ‘Good Thing’, and their only chart-topper is pure pop perfection with BeBe Winans’s gospelly assistance giving the track an extra lift. Some of their earlier hits such as ‘Just A Step From Heaven’ also demonstrate that they were one of the first pop acts of the time to successfully incorporate RnB into their music without looking completely ridiculous. However, amongst the wheat there is an awful lot of chaff. ‘So Good’ with its squea
ky samples and sax accompaniment is so cheesy it belongs on a deli, whilst ‘Power Of A Woman’ was their cynically contrived (and ultimately fruitless) attempt to crack the US market. Another downside is the quality and quantity of sludgy ballads. The pedestrian ‘Oh Baby I’ was one of their bigger hits, although even that sounds full of vitality compared to ‘Someday’, the theme music to the Notre Dame cartoon, which would surely have made Quasimodo jump from the clock tower should he have had the misfortune to hear it… Similarly, ‘I Am Blessed’ is a comatosed religious affair that sits uncomfortably with the uptempo tracks. Admittedly, the songs do show off that they were good singers, although the production is far too slick and dot-to-dot to really allow any of the songs to still sound good nowadays… Interestingly, Louise is omitted from the sleevenotes, which seems a little bit bitter considering she sings on half of the tracks. Shortly after putting their back-catalogue on this disc, they imploded in spectacular style. Kelle Bryan departed the band in an Angela Lansbury-esque ‘did she jump or was she pushed?’ mystery, whilst the Bennett sisters carried on under the Eternal banner for another stab at success. Despite lots of publicity and a move towards a slinkier RnB look, their album failed to reach the Top 100 and was one of the most spectacular pop flops ever. In the 3 years since then, they have been quieter than a deaf mute in a library. Of the others, Kelle had a brief solo hit with ‘Higher Than Heaven’, although has sadly been struck by illness and has faded out of the limelight. Louise’s limited voice has also brought diminishing returns in recent times, although the millionairess Mrs Redknapp will still go down in history as one of the most successful British female soloists of all time. Despite their tremendous s
uccesses, Eternal have become one of the largely forgotten acts of the period. Whilst one or two of the songs stand out, the majority on offer here demonstrate that much of their output hasn’t aged well and that maybe is one that should be left on the shelf by anyone except nostalgia junkies...
4-3-2 dropped from their record label. It's hard to believe/remember but they used to be a really good group. A fact which this best of reminds me of. A collection of sweet soulful ballads (a few of which with a strong Christian influence) like 'Angel of Mine', and 'I am Blessd' are all very cosy and uplifting. There are a few slightly more sassy efforts such as 'Right Thing' and 'Power of a Woman'. Then, to cap it off their is the prototype for modern R&B/Pop music with stylish tunes 'I Wanna be The Only One' and 'Just a Step From Heaven'. They weren't wonderfully looking, they certainly weren't long lasting, but their songs were well produced, and their vocal talents are indisputable. Thoroughly commendable.
Every track on this album is sensational. Seventeen tracks that blow you away and are the perfect remedy for a stressful day at work. It includes their only or at least their first number one single "I Wanna Be The Only One" recorded in duet with BeBe Williams. All of the songs on this album have been in the top fifteen. Nine of the seventeen tracks featured on the album have been in the top five. "Stay" reached number 4 in '93, "Always and Forever" reached number 2 at the end of '93, "Oh Baby I..." reached number 4 in mid '94, "Power Of A Woman" reached 5 in mid '95, "Someday" from the Hunchback Of Notre Dame reached number 4 in '96, "Don't You Love Me" reached number 3 at the start of '97, "Before The Rain" reached number 3 a month later that year, and "I Wanna Be The Only One" with BeBe Williams reached number 1 two months later in '97. Tracks from all of their albums feature. Their first UK single "Stay" is on there aswell as the most recent (at the time of production) "Angel Of Mine". The album truelly follows them all the way through their career to that point. From when there were four, to when there were three. The inside sleeve gives information on all the songs. The release date, the chart position that it reached to and the title (obviously). The usual credits and thank-yous from the band are the main part of the sleeve. This album is truelly wonderful. Every household should have one.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Angel Of Mine
3 Save Our Love
4 Just A Step From Heaven
5 So Good
6 Oh Baby I
8 Power Of A Woman
9 I Am Blessed
10 Good Thing
13 Don't You Love Me
14 I Wanna Be The Only One
15 Who Are You
17 Might As Well Be Me