Swing Out Sister is a British pop group that has been around since the mid-1980s. Initially, it was a trio consisting of Andy Connell as a keyboardist, Martin Jackson as a drummer, and Corinne Drewery as a vocalist.
However, it has been a duo for a long time because Jackson left during the making of the second studio album in the late 1980s. As such, Swing Out Sister isn’t one of those groups with just a part of its original lineup still around.
Instead, it is more accurate to say that Connell and Drewery have been the group’s heart for most of its existence. After all, there are eleven studio albums bearing Swing Out Sister’s name, with the most recent release being Almost Persuaded in 2017.
Here is our opinion of the ten best Swing Out Sister songs ever released:
10. “The Windmills of Your Mind”
“The Windmills of Your Mind” is an older song than interested individuals might expect. That is because the director Norman Jewison commissioned it for The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968. It isn’t the most coherent of songs.
Still, it works well because it was always meant to reflect the somewhat mixed emotions of a character on the eve of a major undertaking. The original won an Oscar. Since then, many artists have covered it. Under these circumstances, the Swing Out Sister version is impressive for standing out from the crowd.
9. “Fooled By a Smile”
“Fooled By a Smile” was the last single from Swing Out Sister’s first album. Due to that, it has the distinction of being the group’s last single to include Jackson in the music video and the writing credits.
What makes the song special is that it touches upon a complicated topic using a soft-pop sound characteristic of the late 1980s, thus making it easy to listen to.
Jackson’s total absence meant that Swing Out Sister’s third studio album was a significant change from its predecessors. Indeed, Drewery went as far as to grow out her hair, thus doing away with the bob that had become iconic for her.
“Notgonnachange” is interesting in that context. Its title is often mentioned in the lyrics. Despite this, the song emphasizes that nothing can remain the same forever. The contrast is more intriguing than confusing because life isn’t always simple.
7. “La-La (Means I Love You)”
Swing Out Sister released a fourth studio album in 1994. At this point, the group’s sales numbers started to slip, even though the critics remained favorable for the most part.
“La La (Means I Love You)” was the most successful song from the release, as shown by how it peaked at number 37 on the UK Singles Chart. It wasn’t an original song. Instead, it was a cover of a Delfonics classic.
Once again, Drewery’s vocals enabled the song to stand out from its counterparts, thus making it more memorable than most.
6. “You on My Mind”
Kaleidoscope World came out in 1989. It was notable for being a more sophisticated release than its predecessor, which makes sense because the group was more experience despite Jackson’s mid-production departure.
“You on My Mind” was no exception to the rest of the studio album in this regard. Supposedly, it took inspiration from The Thomas Crown Affair, which would explain why its lyrics depict keen regret for a failed relationship.
5. “Waiting Game”
Speaking of which, Kaleidoscope World has four singles. “You on My Mind” was the first, while “Waiting Game” was the third. The latter was more of a dance-themed song than its counterpart.
Moreover, it was received well enough, as shown by how it peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is another not-so-happy song about romantic relationships.
In it, the viewpoint character expresses a sense of longing for someone who doesn’t seem to show the same interest. She is miserable but can’t pull herself away from the source of her fascination.
4. “Twilight World”
“Twilight World” was the last of the singles from Swing Out Sister’s debut studio album. As such, it was one of the songs all three members of the original trio helped to write. Its lyrics are ambiguous enough to support various interpretations, which isn’t necessarily bad.
After all, twilight is a liminal thing, meaning it is appropriate for anything twilight-themed to feature ambiguity plus a blurring of boundaries.
A fair number of people seemed to have agreed because “Twilight World” hit number 7 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and number 32 on the UK Singles chart.
“Surrender” had a tough job by being the follow-up to “Breakout” from the same studio album. Despite this, it managed respectable results. For instance, the song was a Top 10 hit in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands. Something that not just any song can do.
2. “Am I the Same Girl”
Swing Out Sister’s third studio album was Get in Touch with Yourself. Given the name, it shouldn’t be surprising to learn that it was a sort of self-assessment, particularly since it was the first time Jackson did not contribute to the release at all.
“Am I the Same Girl” was a cover of a song from the late 1960s. Even so, it couldn’t have been better suited for the studio album if it had been purposefully written for the latter.
“Breakout” is one of Swing Out Sister’s most famous songs. Moreover, it remains relatively well-known even beyond this context. As the story goes, Swing Out Sister had a two-song record deal.
Their first release met with lackluster results. Thanks to that, they were under enormous pressure when they wrote “Breakout,” which had a clear influence on how the song turned out.
Fortunately, Swing Out Sister rose to the occasion, thus resulting in the song that launched the group’s career. “Breakout” was a Top 10 hit in the United States, the United Kingdom, and several other countries. Something that explains much about its lasting popularity.
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