#TBT: Louise – Naked (1996)

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Remember this classic pop album from 1996?
It’s been a very long time since I have done a #TBT (Turn Back Time) retrospective blog. The last classic album I wrote about was back in early 2015 when I was discussing the classic Kylie Minogue album “Rhythm Of Love”. It’s time for another delve into classic pop history and to look back at an album that came out all the way back in 1996.

Yes, 1996 was a brilliant year for music. In fact, 1996 was the first year that I became conscious of the fact that I loved music and especially pop music. I will talk about some other classics released 20 years ago in future blogs but let’s just say that 1996 is where it all began for me.

So, I was 10 years old and the Summer of 1996 will always be remembered for the time of Girl Power, not least because the Spice Girls debuted back in July 1996, but because a debut pop album which was about to change the face of pop music forever was released. Louise Nurding was one quarter of the band Eternal, although she hastily made an exit from the group after one album. Eternal as a trio continued on down the R&B/Soul route to great success whereas Louise went solo and went all out pop.

The first song that I remember from Louise was of course, the massive pop classic “Naked”, it was all over both the TV and the radio at the time and I remember girls around my age (bearing in mind I was 10) wanted to be like her. Louise was classy but also sexy at the same time and she proved to be very popular with adolescent males too, topping the Most sexy polls in some of the lads mags. “Naked” of course would probably have helped that to happen, as even the title of the track was rather naughty at the time, although in today’s time nobody would bat an eyelid if a song was called “Naked”. Shall we remind ourselves of the video, don’t get too hot under the collar now will you!

N.B. The official video has been taken down on YouTube so have had to find a temporary replacement.

Yes, “Naked” was the big hit that Louise needed to sell her debut album. Louise had a couple of songs already released prior to the title track, and even though they were great ballads, they didn’t capture the British public’s imagination quite the same. You may remember that Louise’s first ever solo single was a love ballad called “Light Of My Life” released at the end of 1995 and was a contender for the Christmas charts at the time. The song only reached #8 in the UK charts at the time (Naked managed #5) and her follow up single “In Walked Love” (penned by Diane Warren) only reached #17. Louise looked to be on a declining streak until her third single was released and I would imagine she was delighted when her debut album entered the UK charts at #7 and went on to sell over 600,000 copies. I do like an under-rated classic though, so let’s take a look at her debut single “Light Of My Life”.

Other singles spawned from this album were “Undivided Love” and “One Kiss From Heaven”, which were both Top 10 hits as well. The album on a whole has a varied mix of uptempo pop numbers and smooth R&B type ballads, which was all the age twenty years ago. Louise featured a lot on TV at the time and would be on many kids TV shows on a weekly basis, I think that’s how I became aware of her, especially as I used to watch Live & Kicking (remember that?) a lot. Louise went on to have two more albums and a Greatest Hits before finally hanging up her pop career in 2004. Louise was among the new wave of pop music that exploded in the late 1990’s and I will always have a place for her in my iTunes library. At current standings, Louise has had a total of 426 plays since 2005.

In case you live under a rock, Louise went on to marry English footballer Jamie Redknapp and now has an Instagram dedicated to make-up and beauty. I will leave you now with another Louise pop classic, cheating a bit here though, as this was from her third album “Elbow Beach” in 2000, but will always forever be a pop classic.

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