Where To Start With... The Corrs
There was a time, back towards the end of the 1990s, that you could barely go anywhere without hearing The Corrs' music blaring away on a radio or a television. Beginning their careers as a band playing mostly traditional Irish and Celtic folk music, their first album Forgiven, Not Forgotten had been a bit of a sleeper, first released in 1995 and steadily gaining traction before a re-release the following year saw their debut peak at No. 2 in the UK Album Chart.
For their second album, Talk on Corners, siblings Andrea, Sharon, Caroline and Jim Corr recruited producer Glen Ballard, the man behind the phenomenal success of Alanis Morisette's Jagged Little Pill. Blending their folk roots with a more rock-orientated sound, The Corrs became a huge crossover success, suddenly finding themselves on the playlists at Radio 1 for the first time and gaining their first No.1 record in the UK. Talk on Corners became the biggest-selling album of 1998 in the UK and remains in the all-time Top 20.
Three more albums followed between then and 2005, when the siblings released their fifth studio album Home, but after an extensive world tour and some low-key solo projects, it all went quiet on the Corrs front and the band appeared to have dropped off the radar forever. Earlier this year however, lead vocalist Andrea Corr stated in an interview with Radio 2's Chris Evans that the band were back in the studio recording new material and, a full decade since their last LP, a new album White Light arrives in stores on Friday November 27th.
This time around, the band have enlisted Grammy-winning producer John Shanks, a man whose CV includes work for Sheryl Crow, Stevie Nicks, Take That and Bon Jovi. Guitarist Jim Corr has described White Light as “the best thing we've ever done” and the album's lead-off single, 'Bring on the Night', made its debut on the airwaves in October; you'd never guess this was a band that had been inactive for the last ten years, it sounds like they've never been away.
You can find the video for 'Bring on the Night' below, beneath that we've selected five key tracks from their back catalogue as an introduction to one of the most successful Irish bands of all time...
The breakout hit from their debut album that transformed The Corrs from folk music outsiders to mainstream chart contenders, 'Runaway' still retains some of the folk influence that was less prevalent on some of their later albums, teaming violins and tin whistles with the sisters' trademark harmonies and setting the stage for what would follow over the next few years.
It may be a cover version of a song by Fleetwood Mac, but we've included it on the basis that The Corrs' version of 'Dreams' meant a huge boost in popularity at a time when the band were just beginning to seep into the public consciousness. Unlike the original though, The Corrs version is an uptempo rendition squarely aimed at the dancefloor, with the obligatory violins and tin whistles, of course...
Talk on Corners was a huge success for The Corrs and 'So Young' was one of the biggest hits from their sophomore album. By this point, the band have found their groove and hit on a winning formula of big pop choruses and light, airy melodies. Catchier than a dose of the flu, this is the sound of a band really beginning to hit their stride.
'I Never Loved You Anyway'
Another cut from Talk on Corners, 'I Never Loved You Anyway' starts out with those traditional Irish vibes that The Corrs are famous for, but by the time the chorus arrives it feels like something else entirely and if there's one track on this album where producer Glen Ballard's influence is felt the most, it's this; it could have been on Jagged Little Pill and wouldn't have seemed out of place.
By the time The Corrs released their third album In Blue, the celtic vibes had taken a back seat and the band were at full rock-and-pop tilt. 'Breathless' is the opening salvo and right from the opening acapella vocal harmonies it's obvious that this is a band that knows how to write a radio-friendly hit. Big, shiny production, shimmering harmonies and a melody that'll lodge itself in your head and stay there whether you like it or not.