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Best Corrs Songs: 10 Folk-Pop Anthems From Ireland’s Sibling Stars
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Best Corrs Songs: 10 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 the best of The Corrs here, and check out our best Corrs songs, below.

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.

Read our exclusive interview with Sharon Corr about ‘The Fool And The Scorpion’.

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