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Never Ever (All Saints song)

"Never Ever" is a song by British-Canadian girl group All Saints. Written by All Saints member Shaznay Lewis along with co-writers Robert Jazayeri and Sean Mather, using the tune from the famous British folk song “Amazing Grace”, and produced by Cameron McVey and Magnus Fiennes, it was released on 17 November 1997 as the second single from their debut album, All Saints (1997). The song later appeared on their compilations All Hits (2001), Pure Shores: The Very Best of All Saints (2010) and their remix compilation The Remix Album (1998). Lyrically, the song talks about the girls feeling their first expressions after a sudden break-up, where the girls query what they did wrong in the relationship.

"Never Ever"
AllSaintsNeverEver.jpg
Single by All Saints
from the album All Saints
B-side "I Remember"
Released November 17, 1997 (1997-11-17)
Format CD single, 12", cassette
Recorded 1997
Studio Metropolis Studios
Genre
Length 6:29 (album version)
5:15 (single version)
4:54 (UK radio edit)
3:57 (US radio edit)
Label London Records
Songwriter(s) Shaznay Lewis, Robert Jazayeri, Sean Mather
Producer(s) Cameron McVey, Magnus Fiennes
All Saints UK singles chronology
"I Know Where It's At"
(1997) I Know Where It's At1997
"Never Ever"
(1997) Never Ever1997
"Under the Bridge"/"Lady Marmalade"
(1998) Under the BridgeLady Marmalade1998
All Saints Japan singles chronology
"Let's Get Started"
(1997) Let's Get Started1997
"Never Ever"
(1997) Never Ever1997
"Under the Bridge" / "Lady Marmalade"
(1998) Under the BridgeLady Marmalade1998

"Never Ever" is All Saints' highest charting single to date, peaking at the top of the charts in countries including Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, while it peaked in the top 10 in countries including Ireland, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Norway, Austria and the United States. As of March 2013, it is the second best selling single by a girl group of all time in the United Kingdom, only behind "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.[1]

Two music videos were shot for the single: the European and Australian version, and an American version, due to the mass success in those countries. The North American featured the group in a church, while the European/Australian version featured the group near a swimming pool and in their homes. At the 1998 Brit Awards, "Never Ever" won British Single of the Year and British Video of the Year.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

After the success of their debut single "I Know Where It's At", the group decided to record and produce their debut full-length studio album. "Never Ever" was released as the second single from their first album All Saints (1997). The song was written by All Saints member Shaznay Lewis along with co-writers Robert Jazayeri and S. Mather, and was produced by Cameron McVey and Magnus Fiennes. Lewis wrote the song after splitting up with a boyfriend, but the music conveyed the impression that all would be well.[2] All Saints flew to the US where the song was recorded and produced by Mather and Jazayeri. Due to control issues, London Records brought in Cameron McVey to do additional production on the track because of time/distance constraints and Cameron's relationship with Lewis. Lewis was in tears over the success of "Never Ever", since it was written about a personal broken relationship, and said, "I never believed that so much good could come out of such a bad situation."

All Saints flew to Washington, D.C. where they recorded the vocals, except for the intro, which was recorded at Battery Studios in London and was kept from the original demo. This was because the mood could not be replicated and everyone agreed to keep the demo vocals.[2]

However, the song's producing and writing caused controversy. Robert Jazayeri, who wrote the song, issued a writ against All Saints, and they were granted 40% of the publishing rights to the track.[2] After he was not satisfied, Jazayeri filed a lawsuit towards the group's record label London Records and All Saints' management, which was settled amicably by the parties.[2]

CompositionEdit

The song is set in common time at a tempo of 67 beats per minute and uses the melody from the British folk song “Amazing Grace” as its main hook.[3] The lyrics are about the girls' first expressions after a sad break-up, and the girls ask what they did wrong in the relationship.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic described the musical content as an "extraordinary gospel-tinged" song.[4] Nick Butler from Sputnikmusic described the musical content as a "power ballad".[5]

Critical receptionEdit

"Never Ever" received positive reviews from music critics. Nick Butler from Sputnikmusic stated, "'Never Ever' is a fantastic song; quite rightfully, it still gets a fair bit of airplay today, and I still enjoy it whenever it appears on one of those VH1 Power Ballad days or whatever."[5] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from AllMusic named the song as a highlight on its album, and said it "lead[s] the way" for All Saints' career.[4] He then reviewed the All Hits record and said the track was a "basic hit", but called it a standout.[6] Billboard named the song #47 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[7]

Commercial performanceEdit

"Never Ever" debuted at number three on the UK Singles Chart, before rising to number one for a sole week. The song remains the group's longest single on those charts and stayed in the top 10 for 15 weeks, but charted for 26 weeks. It has sold over 1.36 million copies in the UK as of September 2017.[8] It is also the second best selling single by a girl group of all time in the UK, only behind "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls.[1]

The song debuted at number 30 on the Australian Singles Chart and rose to number one, staying there for seven consecutive weeks and stayed in the charts for 22 weeks. It was successful in the charts and was certified 2× Platinum by Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), with sales of 140,000. The song was successful in New Zealand as well, debuting at number one and staying there for five consecutive weeks. It was the group's only number one single in that country. It stayed in the charts for 13 weeks in total.

The song was very successful in European markets. It debuted at number 10 in the Swedish Singles Chart, peaked at three for one week and stayed in the charts for 20 weeks. It was certified gold in that country. It debuted at number 27 on the French Singles Chart, and peaked at number four for one week. It stayed in the charts for 21 weeks. The song peaked at number four in the Netherlands for three consecutive weeks, and lasted 24 weeks in the chart. The song debuted at number 29 on the Austrian Singles Chart, and peaked at number seven for two consecutive weeks. It lasted for 19 weeks in the charts. The song debuted at number 15 in Norway, and peaked at number six, staying in the charts for 12 weeks. It was not as successful on the Finnish Singles Chart, peaking at number 12 and staying in the charts for two weeks.

"Never Ever" was successful in North America as well. The song debuted at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and peaked at number four on the charts, becoming the group's first top 10 and their highest peaking single on those charts. The song peaked at number four on the Canadian Singles Chart.

LegacyEdit

The song was featured on the Guinness World Records for Top British Singles.[9] A total of 1,263,658 copies[10] of the single were sold in the UK, making it All Saints' biggest hit; 770,000 copies were sold before it became #1; this is more than any single ever before in the UK chart history. At the 1998 Brit Awards, All Saints won two Brit Awards for this single: Best British Single and Best British Video, beating strong competition from the likes of "Bitter Sweet Symphony" by The Verve, "Song 2" by Blur, "Paranoid Android" by Radiohead and "Something About the Way/Candle in the Wind '97" by Elton John.

The melody of the song is based upon an overlay of the hymn tune "New Britain", the most common setting for "Amazing Grace", which according to Ger Tillekens is the reason it became so successful. Although the lyrics and music are very different, "Never Ever" is based on a familiar and popular song.[11]

Music videoEdit

When this song was first released in Europe, it featured the girls first in a swimming pool and then in a house. The video was shot by fashion photographer Sean Ellis.

For the United States, the video was re-shot and re-edited in a church. When All Saints – The Video was released, it was decided to release both versions on the video, because the European audience hadn't seen both. In Canada Much Music played both versions.

Formats and track listingsEdit

These are the formats and track listings of major single releases of "Never Ever".

CD 1 / Australian CD
1. "Never Ever" 5:15
2. "Never Ever" (Nice Hat Mix) 5:13
3. "I Remember" 4:08
CD 2
1. "Never Ever" 5:15
2. "Never Ever" (Booker T's Vocal Mix) 6:19
3. "Never Ever" (Booker T's Down South Dub) 6:28
4. "Never Ever" (Booker T's Up North Dub) 5:55
Cassette/Two track
1. "Never Ever" 5:15
2. "I Remember" 4:08
12 inch
1. "Never Ever" (All Star Remix) 3:59
2. "Never Ever" (Booker T's Vocal Mix) 6:19

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[42] 2× Platinum 140,000^
Belgium (BEA)[43] Gold 0*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[44] Gold 0*
Sweden (GLF)[45] Gold 15,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[46] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[47] 2× Platinum 1,363,504[8]
United States 470,000[48]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

RemixesEdit

  • Album version
  • All Star Remix
  • Booker T Vocal Mix
  • Booker T's Down South Dub
  • Booker T's Up North Dub
  • Nice Hat Mix
  • Rickidy Raw Urban Mix

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Lane, Daniel (27 June 2013). "Daft Punk's Get Lucky becomes one of the UK's biggest selling singles of all-time!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Never Ever by All Saints Songfacts". Songfacts.com. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Unsupported Browser or Operating System". Musicnotes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  4. ^ a b "All Saints - All Saints | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  5. ^ a b "All Saints - All Saints (album review )". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  6. ^ "All Hits - All Saints | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  7. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Copsey, Rob (September 19, 2017). "The UK's Official Chart 'millionaires' revealed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 18 July 2018. 
  9. ^ "Guinness World Records British Hit Singles - top 100 singles | Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. 2013-09-17. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  10. ^ [1] Archived May 16, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ "The amazing grace of "Never Ever"". Icce.rug.nl. 1998-04-23. Retrieved 2014-03-31. 
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – All Saints – Never Ever". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – All Saints – Never Ever" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – All Saints – Never Ever" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – All Saints – Never Ever" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 3625." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  17. ^ "Top RPM Adult Contemporary: Issue 7945." RPM. Library and Archives Canada.
  18. ^ "All Saints: Never Ever" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ "Lescharts.com – All Saints – Never Ever" (in French). Les classement single.
  20. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – All Saints – Never Ever". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  21. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Never Ever". Irish Singles Chart.
  22. ^ a b "I singoli più venduti del 1998". Hit Parade Italia (in Italian). Retrieved 30 June 2018. 
  23. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 5, 1998" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40
  24. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – All Saints – Never Ever" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  25. ^ "Charts.nz – All Saints – Never Ever". Top 40 Singles.
  26. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – All Saints – Never Ever". VG-lista.
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  28. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – All Saints – Never Ever". Singles Top 100.
  29. ^ "Swisscharts.com – All Saints – Never Ever". Swiss Singles Chart.
  30. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
  31. ^ "Official R&B Singles Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company.
  32. ^ "All Saints Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "All Saints Chart History (Pop Songs)". Billboard.
  34. ^ "All Saints Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1997". Music Week. 17 January 1998. p. 27. 
  36. ^ "1998 ARIA Singles Charts". ARIA. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  37. ^ "RPM's Top 100 Adult Contemporary Tracks of '98". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 30 June 2018. 
  38. ^ "Top 100 Single-Jahrescharts" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 18 April 2018. 
  39. ^ "End of Year Charts 1998". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 4 December 2017. 
  40. ^ "Best Sellers of 1998 – Singles Top 100". Music Week. 16 January 1999. p. 7. 
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1998". Archived from the original on 2009-03-09. Retrieved 2010-08-28. 
  42. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1998 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  43. ^ "Ultratop 50 Albums Wallonie 1998". Ultratop. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  44. ^ "Top 50 Singles Chart, 15 February 1998". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  45. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  46. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (All Saints)". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-09-28. 
  47. ^ "British single certifications – All Saints". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2011-09-28.  Select singles in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Enter All Saints in the search field and then press Enter.
  48. ^ Sexton, Paul (18 November 2006). Back for Good? Take That, All Saints Return To Records Shops. Billboard. Retrieved 5 January 2012. 

External linksEdit