Here’s another group that didn’t have a huge amount of success on the singles chart, but they did make two really good songs, although one did better than the other. Planet Funk were an Italian production group, and they definitely didn’t make funk music. They did make dance records though, and apparently they had seven members, I wonder if they were all able to fit in the studio.
In February 2001 they had their first hit single in the UK, which was also their biggest. “Chase The Sun” reached no. 5, and this has also been adopted as an anthem by several sports, being played at darts tournaments and everything inbetween. But it was their third and final hit single that really interested me. I know that sometimes songs don’t do as well as you’d hope, but this one really does fall into the “how on earth did this not make the Top 40?” category.
In August 2003, “The Switch” (not to be confused with a short-lived ITV daytime game show of course) was released, and reached only no. 52. I don’t remember this from the first time round though. But I did hear this a while later when I had the radio on one day, and it really caught my attention, I just thought to myself that I really had to find out what this one was.
In March 2005, a remixed version of “The Switch” was released, and this was also used on an advert for Mitsubishi cars. It seems that there was more of a push to promote this second time round. I even bought the single on CD, and this was something that I wasn’t motivated to do that often (and I was running out of chances as this was around the time that physical sales began to slump and were surpassed by downloads).
Also featuring is the video, and I did think that it was a clever idea to be able to play a CD and hear the song, and then put this into a computer and watch the video. Although looking back now this is barely better than smudgy postage stamp-sized quality, it was a good piece of technology at the time and we’ve now long left this behind. I would definitely say this was one of the singles of 2005 for me.
So I was really surprised when “The Switch” actually reached 14 places lower on the chart than the original version. That was a disappointment. After this Planet Funk would have no more hit singles in the UK, but they have gone on to do what many other production groups have done, concentrating on remixing songs for other groups, and they have released six albums too.