A while ago, I got into the 80s cartoon Jem, featuring the adventures of some animated pop stars, and very good it was too. I don’t think that any of the songs from this show were released as singles, although you could get some on a cassette that would be given away with the dolls that you could buy. So in 2005 I was very amused when a pop star called Jem made the singles chart for real. But was she truly outrageous? Let’s find out.
Jem was born Jemma Griffiths in Wales. In March 2005 her first single “They” was released, and this reached no. 6, to become her first and only Top Ten hit single in the UK. I was really pleased that this did well, I don’t have a huge CD singles collection, but this one does take prominence among them, because it’s one of my favourite hit singles of 2005. Well the good news for me is that there was another pop star I enjoyed on the scene.
Also in March 2005 her debut album “Finally Woken” was released, and this made the Top Ten too, becoming by some distance her most successful album. I was very interested in what she would do next, and this included going on tour and appearing at several music festivals. In June 2005 her follow-up single “Just A Ride” was released, and this reached no. 16. And then in September 2005 there was “Wish I” which reached no. 24.
This one became famous around this time for being the theme to Celebrity Love Island, the ITV1 dating show where some vaguely famous people were encouraged to get together, but instead they sat asleep on a beach for weeks, and nothing happened. And of course it was a huge ratings success, probably. It was rather disappointing that Jem had no further hit singles after this.
It turned out that this was a situation where Jem’s pop career ended barely six months after it had started, and it never ceases to surprise me at just how quickly some singers come and go from the chart. She did continue in the music business though, and four years later she made a brief return with her second album “Down To Earth”, although this got nowhere near the Top 40. At that really was it.