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Best Corrs Songs: 20 Folk-Pop Anthems From Ireland’s Sibling Stars
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Best Corrs Songs: 20 Folk-Pop Anthems From Ireland’s Sibling Stars

The best Corrs songs grew from folk roots into pop-rock greatness, helping the group become one of the most successful Irish bands ever.

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Selling more than 40 million albums worldwide, The Corrs are without a doubt one of the most successful Irish groups in pop music history. Stemming from their debut album, Forgiven, Not Forgotten, their charming mix of traditional Irish folk and affable pop-rock dominated the airwaves in the late 90s, and arguably reached its commercial peak with the group’s second album, 1997’s Talk On Corners. A brother-and-sister sibling band comprising of Andrea Corr on vocals, Caroline Corr on drums, Sharon Corr on violin and Jim Corr on guitar, the best Corrs songs achieved then-unimaginable feats by bringing Irish folk to the masses with emotive lyrics and captivating melodies that won the hearts of millions the world over.

Listen to Listen to the best of The Corrs here here, and check out our best Corrs songs, below.

20: Queen Of Hollywood (from ‘The Corrs Unplugged’, 1999)

With lyrics inspired by a TV documentary about prostitution and drugs in New York City, Queen Of Hollywood was written by Andrea Corr for The Corrs’ second album, Talk On Corners, though its most memorable recording emerged during the band’s performance on MTV Unplugged. By imagining the life of an aspiring actress who finds herself entangled in the gritty underworld of the city, Andrea paints a vivid portrait of dreams dashed against the harsh realities of urban life. “It’s really the tale of a girl pursuing a dream,” she said in a BBC interview in 2001, “and what it looks like on the outside and what actually is happening to her is not quite the same picture.”

19: Would You Be Happier? (standalone single, 2001)

Recorded in Sydney, Australia, towards the end of a tour promoting their third studio album, In Blue, Would You Be Happier? is a dreamy pop ballad that peaked at No.14 in the UK in October 2001. “The song is about everybody’s inadequacies,” Andrea told the Melbourne Herald Sun. “Like when you imagine yourself having an argument you’re absolutely wonderful, but in reality you’re not. It’s a quirky song.” Full of jangling guitar and warm rays of optimism, Would You Be Happier? was originally issued as a standalone single to promote the band’s first greatest-hits compilation, Best Of The Corrs. Kicking off an expanded gold double-vinyl edition of that collection, it remains a shining gem among the best The Corrs songs.

18: The Right Time (from ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’, 1995)

Played by The Corrs during their early days as an unsigned band, The Right Time is a delightfully forward-looking highlight from the group’s 1995 debut album, Forgiven, Not Forgotten. Surprisingly, Sharon Corr has admitted that the band have mixed feelings about the song today, largely because they got tired of playing it so much. “The Right Time was written before Forgiven, Not Forgotten, before even we started recording that with David Foster,” she said in a Q&A on the band’s official website. “We already had been playing it for at least a year before then.” With lyrics expressing The Corrs’ increasing sense of ambition (“This is the right time/Once in a lifetime”), The Right Time is among the best Corrs songs to capture the youthful energy and dreams of a band starting their musical journey.

17: Long Night (from ‘Borrowed Heaven’, 2004)

The third single released from The Corrs’ fourth studio album, Borrowed Heaven, Long Night was a touching breakup song that peaked at No.31 in the UK in December 2004. “It’s a very emotional song, and I think it’s a song – lyrically – that a lot of people can relate to,” Sharon said in an interview with German TV show Wetten, dass..?. “It’s really about how you feel when you spend the first night alone after being with somebody for a long time.” By exploring the fear of loneliness and feelings of insecurity that accompany heartbreak, Long Night is one of the best Corrs songs for anyone seeking comfort during those long dark nights of the soul.

16: Love To Love You (from ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’, 1995)

Contained on the demo tape that first caught producer David Foster’s attention, Love To Love You is notable among the best Corrs songs for giving the band their first opportunity to perform on the Irish TV show A Family Christmas, broadcast on RTÉ in late 1994. Reflecting on the performance in an interview with Modern Drummer magazine, Caroline Corr recalled how her nerves nearly got the best of her. “I was just petrified,” she said. “It was horrific. It was just such a new thing to me. But it was OK, at the end of the day.” After being re-recorded at Chartmaker Studios, in Malibu, California, Love To Love You was released as the fourth single from The Corrs’ debut album.

15: Give Me A Reason (from ‘In Blue’, 2000)

Prompted by the success of the dance remixes that accompanied Talk On Corners, Jim Corr wrote Give Me A Reason for The Corrs’ follow-up album, In Blue, in a conscious effort to craft a downtempo dance-pop ballad. “I took to a little house in Glendalough to work on some stuff on my own and that was one of the first songs I did,” he explained in a making-of documentary released to promote the album. “I was thinking of Simon And Garfunkel meets William Orbit, and it’s got a strongly melancholic thread running through it.” Peaking at No.27 in the UK following its release as In Blue’s third single, Give Me A Reason saw The Corrs mount a plea for honesty that proved they could innovate without relying on a high-profile club DJ.

14: Forgiven, Not Forgotten (from ‘Forgiven, Not Forgotten’, 1995)

While pondering the effects of suicide on a grieving family, Andrea Corr wrote Forgiven, Not Forgotten as a pathos-filled ballad that meditated on the lingering effects of grief. “You have to be in a not-right frame of mind to commit suicide, because everything in your body is telling you to live,” Andrea said in a 1997 interview with Hot Press. “Yet even though I love life too much to actually do it, I’m drawn to exploring the subject of suicide, the fact of our own mortality.” Tackling serious themes through the framework of Irish folk-pop, Forgiven, Not Forgotten is one of the most mature compositions among the best Corrs songs.

13: Irresistible (From ‘In Blue’, 2000)

The second single from In Blue, Irresistible was written by Andrea Corr, in collaboration with Shania Twain producer Mutt Lange. “We started in his house then we went up into the forest with his guitar and we wrote it there,” Andrea wrote on The Corrs’ official website. “It’s a love song but it’s tongue-in-cheek. There’s a bit of flattery in there, but however you want to interpret it is fine.” Peaking at No.20 in the UK, Irresistible has a suitably beguiling pop melody that does more than enough to live up to its name among the best Corrs songs.

12: Don’t Say You Love Me (From ‘Talk On Corners’, 1997)

Co-written with songwriting legend Carol Bayer Sager, Don’t Say You Love Me is a memorable track from The Corrs’ second album, Talk On Corners. Earning its place among the best Corrs songs by striking a perfect balance between melancholy and hope, Don’t Say You Love Me explores the inner feelings of a girl too afraid of the possibility of heartache to give her lover a second chance. Matched to heartfelt lyrics that explore themes of vulnerability and apprehension in love, Andrea Corr’s emotive vocals lead the way as the band blend their signature Celtic sound with a contemporary pop-rock sensibility.

11: All The Love In The World (From ‘In Blue’, 2000)

Speaking of the desire for a love that lasts a lifetime, the soft-rock ballad All The Love In The World was co-written with producer Mutt Lange and was the final single released from In Blue. “I suppose I’m a romantic,” Andrea Corr confessed on The Corrs’ website when writing about the song. “It’s saying love’s precious and not to be thrown away or taken lightly. I wrote it in the first person for effect.” Notable among the best Corrs songs for being included on the soundtrack for the 2001 romcom America’s Sweethearts, All The Love In The World peak at No.24 on the US Adult Contemporary chart, capping off the group’s album campaign in typically romantic style.

10: I Never Loved You Anyway (from ‘Talk On Corners’, 1997)

Though it only reached No.43 in the UK upon its release as the second single from Talk On Corners, I Never Loved You Anyway is a fine demonstration of The Corrs’ ability to mix pop and rock music with Celtic finesse. “We’ve always blended our Celtic influences with the songs we write,” Andrea Corr said in 2005. “That’s the root of one side of our music and our inspiration.” Once described by Andrea as an “F.U. song” written in Jim’s bedroom when the band were under pressure to write hits with other established songwriters, I Never Loved You Anyway was steered by Whitney Houston and Céline Dion producer David Foster, and led to Foster being nominated for Producer Of The Year at the 1999 Juno Awards.

9: Angel (from ‘Borrowed Heaven’, 2004)

Andrea Corr wrote Angel as a tearjerking tribute to her mother, Jean, who died of a rare lung disease at age 57 in 1999. Despite its sombre inspiration, the song is disarmingly catchy and sees The Corrs pair sorrowful lyrics with a bright-sounding melody that expresses Andrea’s belief in an afterlife. “It’s a very optimistic song, really,” Andrea told GMTV in 2004, “because within it, there’s an absolute blind faith that she’s in a better place.” Released as a single from The Corrs’ fourth album, Borrowed Heaven, Angel peaked at No.16 in the UK and contains some of Andrea’s most candidly emotional lyrics, among them “And she was beautiful, so beautiful/I still hear her laugh like she’s here.”

8: Only When I Sleep (from ‘Talk On Corners’, 1997)

Reportedly considered by Andrea herself to be one of the best Corrs songs, Only When I Sleep often opened the band’s live shows, and is a tin-whistle venture into the hazy dreamworld of being in love. Released as a single in September 1997 and reaching No.10 in the Irish singles chart, the song boasted a stylish music video filmed by R.E.M. and Cher director Nigel Dick which saw the band perform in a famous haunt for many 30s Hollywood film stars – The Alexandria Hotel, in Los Angeles. Melding a long-lost era of glamour with their penchant for Irish folk, it proved The Corrs had star power of their very own.

7: Radio (from ‘The Corrs Unplugged’, 1999)

First emerging from The Corrs’ appearance on MTV Unplugged, Radio was written by Sharon Corr and released as a single in October 1999. As one of the best Corrs songs, it’s a breezy and wistful acoustic reflection on how music can give us solace in times of heartbreak. “I normally write on guitar, which I really can’t play at all, but for whatever reason it works for me,” Sharon said during a fan Q&A on the band’s official website. “Radio just came out of a chord that I was messing with.” Peaking at No.18 in the UK, the song was given an electronica re-work for the band’s third album, In Blue, released the following year.

6: Dreams (Todd Terry Remix) (single A-side, 1998)

Originally recorded for a Fleetwood Mac tribute album, The Corrs’ cover of Dreams quickly became one of the band’s signature songs. “You can’t really compete with a song that’s that absolutely amazing and just record it the same way,” Sharon Corr told BBC Radio 2 in 2001, “so we recorded it slightly differently.” Following a remix by house producer Todd Terry, The Corrs’ version of Dreams was released as a single in May 1998 and brought the band’s Irish fiddles into clubland. “Todd Terry did a mix for us which turned out to be fantastic,” Caroline Corr said in the documentary All The Way Home. “I think we all thought at the time that this could be a great single for us.” They were right: the song sold 1.8 million copies in the UK and reached No.6 in the singles chart. The Corrs also described Fleetwood Mac as “a massive influence” and even performed Dreams with drummer Mick Fleetwood during a St Patrick’s Day concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1998.

5: Breathless (from ‘In Blue’, 2000)

Written in Switzerland with the legendary Def Leppard and Shania Twain producer Robert “Mutt” Lange, Breathless became The Corrs’ first UK No.1 after being released in June 2000 as the debut single from their third album, In Blue. Instantly asserting itself as one of the Best Corrs songs, it owes its sun-kissed vibe in part to the idyllic Swiss climate. “It was a beautiful, sunny day when we wrote it,” Andrea Corr said. “It’s about seduction and how, when you’re falling in love, you’re just enticing that person to go one step further. It’s good, good fun.” As one of the biggest summer anthems of the year, Breathless performed well globally, reaching No.1 in 33 countries.

4: So Young (K-Klass Remix) (single A-side, 1998)

In All The Way Home, Jim Corr claimed the group had to fight to have So Young included on their second album, Talk On Corners. They were vindicated when a remix by DJs K-Klass was issued as a single in November 1998, going to No.6 in the UK and immediately establishing itself as one of the best Corrs songs. Written in a Dublin hotel room, the original tune was transformed into a pop classic that was manna from heaven for late-90s radio stations. “I wrote it about my parents,” Sharon Corr said in 2013. “No matter how old they got they were always young in spirit and in their heart and in how they approached life.”

3: Summer Sunshine (from ‘Borrowed Heaven’, 2004)

With a blasting chorus that is pure pop-rock bombast, Summer Sunshine was the lead single from Borrowed Heaven. “It’s funny how you always know when you have a single,” Sharon Corr later said. “When we heard that song we all knew instantly.” Released in May 2004, the song peaked at No.6 in the UK, and lathers its melancholic lyrics with a sunny melody to mask a bittersweet message about a doomed relationship. “It sounds happy and summery, but is also quite a sad song,” Andrea Corr said. “It’s the story of a secret love that you can never quite get over – a forbidden love that lives on in your head.”

2: What Can I Do? (Tin Tin Out Remix) (single A-side, 1998)

The Tin Tin Out remix of What Can I Do? catapulted The Corrs further into the limelight following the breakout success of their Fleetwood Mac cover, Dreams. Released in January 1998, this misty-eyed ballad reached No.3 in the UK courtesy of an elastic R&B-tinged guitar groove mixed with orchestral strings and swells of violin. Easily one of the very best Corrs Songs, What Can I Do? is a mellow and sweet-sounding track that expresses resignation over an unrequited love. The music video was filmed while the band were on tour in New Zealand, and features Caroline Corr sporting a cowboy hat while Andrea lounges around in a red convertible and Sharon plays a fiddle in the Manukau Heads countryside.

1: Runaway (Tin Tin Out Remix) (single A-side, 1999)

Described by Andrea Corr as one of her favourite songs to perform live, Runaway took a while to filter through to the mainstream, having met with modest success after it was originally released as a single in September 1995. It wasn’t until 1999, however, that a remix by Tin Tin Out gave the song a new lease of life, peaking at No.2 in the UK and becoming a bona fide international hit. “It was the first ballad that we ever wrote together,” Caroline Corr later said. “It’s a really beautiful song, it’s very romantic and I’m really proud of that.” Combining The Corrs’ mastery of Irish folk-pop with Andrea’s deeply passionate vocal expression of longing, Runaway still stands the test of time as one of the best love songs of the 90s, and it sprints ahead of the pack to top our list of the best Corrs Songs of all time.

Buy the expanded gold double-vinyl edition of ‘Best Of The Corrs’.

Original article: 17 May 2022

Updated: 30 November 2023

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