In recent years, no woman in the music industry has scored as many hit singles as Rihanna. Released 14 years ago, her song ‘S.O.S.’ marked the true beginning of that infamous reign – which has never let up. This very track is this week’s From The Vault pick.
Issued as the first single from the artist’s sophomore album ‘A Girl Like Me,’ ‘S.O.S.’ saw Rih leave her island sound behind in favor of poppier Pop. Dripping 80’s sauce, the song was produced by JR Rotem and sampled Soft Cell’s new wave version of ‘Tainted Love.’
It was the first of many US chart toppers for the Bajan belle, remaining at #1 for three consecutive weeks. It also spent eight weeks at the top of the Australian charts and peaked at #2 in the UK.
Chris Applebaum directed the accompanying music video, which featured choreography curated by Frank Gatson. The clip showcased the entertainer in various glamourous settings, alone, and with her dancers. A second video was shot for a Nike campaign; it presents Rihanna and her dancers jamming at the rehearsal studio and later on at club.
Both sonically and visually, ‘S.O.S.’ ushered in a new Rihanna – one who had the sound as well as the style to conquer the world. Needless to say, things went on from strength to strength for her with the release of this song and its successor ‘Unfaithful.’ Even if not as successful as a whole than anything that came after it, the ‘A Girl Like Me’ era was a strategic homerun as it planted the seed for a global superstar and established her as a dependable and versatile Pop star.
We’d love nothing more than for a return of Pop-Rih on her upcoming LP, even if for a song or two. Any which way, we know she’ll bring in the bops regardless.
Cheers to the bad gal RiRi.