Swear I'm not Paul: Tribute: Stephen Gately 1976-2009

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tribute: Stephen Gately 1976-2009

As you've all heard by now, Boyzone singer (and solo artist in his own right) Stephen Gately sadly passed away Saturday night/Sunday morning. This was a huge shock to the music industry, as well as to his thousands of fans. Stephen was a kind, caring, gentle person, whom my girlfriend Gill had the chance to talk to on two occasions. She said that he was incredibly friendly and very patient. So in order to honour Stephen, I've decided to put up a chronology of his musical (and acting) life in video.

His first cringeworthy ever appearance on Irish television with Boyzone. Luckily it got a lot better hereafter.

'Working My Way back to You' was originally released in 1994, and although not appearing on any studio albums, made it all the way to number 3 in Ireland, and gave the band credibility after the new infamous Late Late Show appearance.

However, it was Boyzone's cover of The Osmonds' 'Love Me For A Reason' from debut album Said and Done which really catapulted the band into the limelight. It was the band's first Irish number one, and hit number two in the UK. Here's the band performing the song on UK television:

'Key to My Life' was one of the band's best songs in my opinion, and was the group's first original song. 'Working My Way Back to You' was a 60s song by the Four Seasons originally. Again, this was number one in Ireland, and #3 in the UK. Here, Stephen really showed off how great a singer he was. They performed on Top of the Pops, a highlight of any 90s artist's career:

'So Good' was the third single taken from Said and Done, and even enterted the Norweigan top ten at #6. It was another Irish number one, and peaked at number three in Britain. This version is taken from MTV:

The Boyz' cover of Cat Stevens' classic 'Father and Son' was released in November 1995, and hit number 2 in the UK (#1 here once more). More interestly, the song is the sixth best selling boyband song of the 1990s. Again, this is from Top of the Pops.

'Coming Home Now' is one of those forgotten Boyzone songs. It ended the run of successive Irish number ones (entering the chart at number two), and was #4 in the UK. It was the fifth single to be taken from Said and Done, and many fans had it already on the album itself. Here's a special version of the song done with Zig & Zag:

The lead single for A Different Beat was 'Words', and was the band's first ever UK number one. It's a cover of the Bee Gees, and was in many top tens around Europe. This is Boyzone teaming up with the Bee Gees for a TV special:

The title track from A Different Beat was #1 in the UK but not in Ireland strangely enough. All the band members had a writing credit, showing how they had started to become more involved in their song choices. Here's the proper video:

Instead of five, there were only three singles released from Boyzone's second album, with the third being 'Isn't It a Wonder'. It reached #2 in the UK and #3 in Ireland. Here's the band on TotP again:

'Picture of You' was the theme tune for Rowan Atkinson's huge 1997 movie Bean, and was the first single from Where We Belong. It reached number two on both sides of the Irish Sea. Here's the band on French show HitMachine:

In 1997, Stephen also sang 'Shooting Star' for Disney's Hercules, achieving a long-held ambition. It wasn't released as a single, but here's the video from the movie:

Tracy Champman tune 'Baby Can I Hold You' was released as a double A-Side with non-album track 'Shooting Star'. Again, the song was number two in both countries. This version is taken from Stephen Gately's Top 100 Pop Gems of the 90s which was shown on Magic, and features Stephen introducing the song:

'All That I Need' returned the band to number one - in both the UK and Ireland. It knocked Run DMC's 'It's Like That' off the top spot, and was overtaken by All Saints' 'Under the Bridge'. Now that was a fine run of number ones! This is from 2008's reunion tour, as I couldn't find an earlier version:

'No Matter What' is the song that's synonymous with Stephen Gately. Every time someone sings that intro, you know it's him, and you know it's Boyzone. The song was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and he was so impressed with Stephen's lead vocal that later he would cast him as Joseph in the West End. The song was number one if five countries, and top 5 in six others. This version is taken from an Andrew Lloyd Webber tribute:

'I Love the Way You Love Me' was the fifth single from Where We Belong and was number two in Ireland and in the UK, but number 1 in New Zealand, showing the group's worldwide appeal. This is taken from the band's show at the Point in 2000.

1999 saw the release of Boyzone's first greatest hits package, By Request, it included all their past hits as well as two new ones. One of these was 'When the Going Gets Tough', a cover of the Billy Ocean song, recorded for Comic Relief. It went Platinum in the UK and raised a lot of money for charity. This is the guys on Comic Relief 99:

'You Needed Me' was the second new single on By Request, and beat Geri Halliwell's solo debut 'Look at Me' to the number one spot in the UK by just 700 copies! Here's the Boyz with Mister Blobby on kids TV show Live & Kicking:

Another greatest hits compilation, The Singles Collection 1994-1999 contained a new song, 'Everyday I Love You', which also came out in 1999. It went to #1 in Ireland and was the band's last song before they broke-up.

'New Beginning' was Stephen's first solo song, and was released with Art Garfunkel's 'Bright Eyes' as a double A-Side. It was much more up-tempo than many of Boyzone's tunes and provided a worthy alternative to Ronan's solo career. It reached #3 in the UK.

Stephen performed 'I Believe' for the soundtrack to the runaway success Billy Elliot. The song was also released in 2000, and was number 11 in the UK.

Stephen's last solo single 'Stay' also reached number 13 in the UK, and even so he was dropped by his label. Here the song is on GMTV:

In 2008, Boyzone came back with a new greatest hits and a new tour. They also released two new songs, 'Love You Anyway' was their first single in eight years, and went to number 3 in Ireland and number 5 in the UK. Here's the boys back on GMTV:

They also released Tom Baxter's song 'Better' for Christmas 2008. Although the song appeared heavily on radio, it didn't have the chart success the band were used to in the past. As the original was only a year old, people were less inclined to purchase or download the single. It also featured Stephen embracing a man in the video - the first for a pop band. This video is from Channel 4's Paul O'Grady Show:

RIP Stephen Gately 1976-2009

1 comment:

Niall said...

Bloody hell that's comprehensive. Fair play!