|Single by Atomic Kitten|
|from the album Right Now|
|Released||29 January 2001|
|Format||CD single, cassette|
|Recorded||Motor Museum Studios, Liverpool, England|
|Andy McCluskey, Stuart Kershaw, Jem Godfrey, Bill Padley|
|Atomic Kitten singles chronology|
"Whole Again" is the fifth single released from British pop girl group Atomic Kitten's debut album, Right Now (2000). It is the group's biggest selling single to date and was the final single to feature founding member Kerry Katona, who left the group midway through promoting the single. "Whole Again" was the first single released from the album in Europe and South Africa. It was a massive success, reaching number one in several countries, and selling over a million copies in the UK alone.
"Whole Again" was co-written by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD) members and Atomic Kitten founders Andy McCluskey and Stuart Kershaw, who achieved their only UK number one single with the track. The song's writers were nominated for the Ivor Novello Award for excellence in songwriting, and Billboard ranked the track number 96 on their list of the "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time". Multiple artists, including OMD, have covered the song.
Following the departure of Katona, she was replaced a few days later by Jenny Frost, just after the single reached number one in the UK. As a result, the music video was reshot and Frost's vocals appeared on the reissue of Right Now.
Following the failures of previous single "Follow Me" and the initial release of their debut album, Right Now, Atomic Kitten persuaded Virgin Records to release the single as a last-ditch attempt to keep their record deal. They were given a shoe-string budget for the single's release with a basic video and previous photo shoots used for cover artwork. During promotion for the single, band member Kerry Katona announced her pregnancy and subsequent decision to leave the group. With the single's release imminent, the group opted to recruit Jenny Frost as a replacement and continued their promotional campaign. Surprisingly the single was a massive success, beating U2 to the number one spot on the UK Singles Chart and remaining there for four consecutive weeks.
In a rare Asian pressing of their Right Now album, the song "Whole Again" features all lines spoken by Katona with only the chorus sung by Hamilton and McClarnon, which was taken from the Japanese version of Right Now. The original version of Right Now features Katona's vocals; however, the reissue of the album features new vocals by Jenny Frost. This version has since replaced Katona's version for radio airplay, and it was subsequently issued as a bonus track on international versions of the group's second album, Feels So Good.
The single debuted at number one in the United Kingdom with first week sales of 69,286 copies, and since gone on to sell 1,000,000 copies in the UK alone. It stayed atop the UK Singles Chart for four weeks, becoming the longest-charting number one since Westlife at Christmas 1999, and the only single which increased on weekly sales during each week at number 1. It is the fourth best-selling single by a girl group of all time, after "Wannabe" and "2 Become 1" by the Spice Girls, and "Never Ever" by All Saints, as well as being the best-selling girl group single of the decade. It also became the thirteenth overall best-selling single of the decade. As of November 2016, it remains the biggest selling song of the 21st century in the UK by a girl band.
In Australia, it peaked at number two in the charts, being certified double platinum for sales of over 140,000 copies. The single was also released in Germany and New Zealand, where it secured a number one position for six consecutive weeks on both countries. In Germany, the single was certified platinum, one of three singles by a girl group to ever be certified Platinum; the others being "Daylight in Your Eyes" by No Angels and "Shame" by Monrose. The single was certified double platinum in New Zealand, one of the best selling singles by a girl group of all time there. The song achieved the most success in the UK, Germany, New Zealand, Austria, the Netherlands, Ireland, Turkey, Singapore and South Africa and has sold 2 million copies worldwide.
The music video for "Whole Again" was filmed on a very small budget due to the commercial failure of previous single "Follow Me". It features the women singing in front of a plain white background - similar to the video for the Sugababes' debut single "Overload". The original version of the video includes Kerry Katona, who had left the group just before the song's release. Much of the video was subsequently reshot to feature new member Jenny Frost.
As a result of the single's huge success in many international markets, a second music video was filmed for the U.S. release in May of 2001 with a much larger budget. This version features the three women walking through the streets in Downtown Los Angeles and walking out into the countryside, gradually picking up more people along the way. The video ends with the camera zooming out on the field for Atomic Kitten's old logo is invisible in a shape of a kitten. The U.S. single release never materialised in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
|Australia (ARIA)||2× Platinum||140,000|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||2× Platinum||30,000|
|United Kingdom (BPI)||Platinum||1,010,000|