A while ago, I was going through some radio stations, on the lookout for something that I might like, that could also end up making the chart. I remember coming across something that I’m fairly sure was an instrumental. But by the time this did make the chart, there were some additional vocals. This was “Yeah Yeah” by Bodyrox, which was released in November 2006 and reached no. 2, and I was rather pleased about that.
The vocalist was Luciana, who I must admit I didn’t know much about. I was rather surprised when I discovered that this was really her second attempt at launching a successful pop career, and this was her first hit single for 12 years. So I thought that I would take a look back at how it all started out for her. London-born Luciana provided the theme to short-lived ITV drama Anna Lee, and she also appeared in the final episode.
Not long after, in April 1994 her debut single “Get It Up For Love” was released, which reached no. 55. She definitely took advantage of the things that were available to her in the mid-90s to be able to promote this. She appeared on BBC2’s The O Zone, where she was interviewed by Zoe Ball, and there was an advert for her single in Smash Hits. She also appeared on satellite channel Nickelodeon to meet Rick Adams (who went on to host various shows including Reactive and Crazy Cottage), which must’ve been a delight.
This was followed in August 1994 by “If You Want”, which reached no. 47. And finally, in November 1994 the double-A side “What Goes Around” and “One More River” reached no. 67. There was also the album “One More River”, which didn’t make the chart. These weren’t too bad, although I must admit that I enjoyed her hit singles in the 2000s decade more. But she didn’t vanish from the pop scene entirely before then.
In the mid-90s she joined the girl group Crush (which, like PJ And Duncan, featured some characters from CBBC’s Byker Grove, although I don’t think that she ever appeared in this), before going on to also be in Shooter and Portobella. It was “Yeah Yeah” that really helped her to find fame though, and I’m sure that having her first Top Ten hit single over a decade on from her debut was worth the wait.
Next in July 2007 was “Bigger Than Big”, a collaboration with Super Mai, which reached no. 19. And after the success of “Yeah Yeah”, it seemed like a good idea to work again with Bodyrox, and in January 2008 “What Planet You On” was released, but this reached only no. 54, which was something of a disappointment, as this was definitely up to standard.
And in March 2008, she teamed up with rapper Taio Cruz for “Come On Girl”, which reached no. 5, to become her second and final Top Ten hit single. Since then, Luciana has continued to work with several other production groups and rappers to provide her distinctive vocals, although none of these have made the chart. It’s proof that it is possible to be more successful in your second wave of fame.
Update: I have recently found out that Portobella, one of the groups featuring Luciana, actually did have a hit single in the UK. “Covered In Punk” was released in June 2004, and reached no. 54. This means that she did have a another hit before the success of “Yeah Yeah”. In more recent years she has some some minor hits in Australia too.