Westlife returns with the new album Gravity on Nov.22. The set is preceded by the new single “Safe,” which will be released digitally on Nov.14 and physically the day after. The group hasn’t issued a single since “What About Now” last October. The Daughtry cover peaked at No.2 in the UK, eventually peaking at No.7 on the European Hot 100 singles chart. It was actually the only single to be released off Westlife’s last studio album Where We Are.
The group was formed in July 1998 and is still the only act to have their first seven (!) singles go straight to No.1 in the UK selling a total of 44m copies worldwide. Despite having enormous success, they’ve never managed to crack the US market. The debut hit “Swear It Again” was issued in April of 1999 and career spanning over more than ten years.
Westlife’s only No.1 hit in Sweden to date is “My Love.” It was the second single off the 2000 album Coast to Coast and a Swedish track written and produced by Jörgen Elofsson, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger. The single succeeded the Mariah Carey duet “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now),” which peaked at No.3 in Sweden and topped UK singles tally.
CHART REWIND. The biggest UK singles hit of the last decade, Will Young’s “Evergreen,” was performed as the winning song of Pop Idol UK back in 2002. Today, the Idol franchise produces new stars yearly around the world and was followed by X-Factor in the UK. The track was written by the Swedish songwriters Jörgen Elofsson, Per Magnusson and David Kreuger, and had already been recorded by Westlife.
It only appeared on the Westlife’s album World of Our Own, and was never issued as a single. Will Young’s version of the track immediately topped the UK singles chart, staying there for three consecutive weeks. The track was included on Will Young’s debut album From Now On. That album produced the No.1 singles “Light My Fire,” and “The Long and Winding Road” as well as “Don’t Let Me Down,” which peaked at No.2.
The second biggest hit of the ‘00s was “Unchained Melody” with Gareth Gates. He was the runner-up behind Will Young in Pop Idol, and the track succeeded “Evergreen” on the chart.
Will Young hasn’t issued any album since 2008 when Let It Go bowed. The set spawned four singles, yet only one reached the UK Top 10. “Changes” was co-written by Young himself and Eg White of James Morrison fame. In 2009, a greatest hits compilation was issued including the new track “Hopes & Fears.” It flopped as it only managed to reach No.65 in the UK.