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RETRO CHART 1998: When Boyzone knocked the Spice Girls from the top spot to score their fourth UK number one hit


Boyzone's "No Matter What" sold over 4 million worldwide.

Boyzone's "No Matter What" sold over 4 million worldwide.

Boyzone's "No Matter What" sold over 4 million worldwide.

1 No Matter What Boyzone

2 Mysterious Times Sash! ft Tina Cousins

3 Viva Forever Spice Girls

4 Pure Morning Placebo

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5 Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are) Pras Michel ft ODB & Mya

6 Lost In Space Apollo Four Forty

7 Come With Me Puff Daddy ft Jimmy Page

8 Needin’ U David Morales Presents The Face

9 Life Is A Flower Ace of Base

10 Freak Me Another Level

This week 24 years ago Boyzone knocked the Spice Girls off the top of the UK charts to become the first Irish group to achieve four number one hits in Britain.

“No Matter What” was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, with lyrics by Jim Steinman, for their 1996 musical “Whistle Down The Wind”. Boyzone recorded it to tie in with the show’s first UK production and it went on to become the biggest chart hit from the musical.

Five years into their career, “No Matter What” was Boyzone’s biggest selling single. It clocked up four million sales worldwide, more than one million of them in the UK alone.

A number one for Boyzone in many countries - from Ireland to Taiwan - the song also gave the group their only chart success in the US.

The recording of “No Matter What” is notable for Stephen Gately sharing lead vocals. Meat Loaf also recorded a version (it featured as a B-side on his “Is Nothing Sacred” single in 1999) and Boyzone shared the stage with him to perform the song during his 1998 live concert in Dublin.

“No Matter What” was the fourth of six number ones in the UK for Boyzone. They also reached the top with “Words” and “A Different Beat” in 1996, 1998’s “All That I Need” and “When The Going Gets Tough” and “You Needed Me” in 1999.

Of the 24 singles Boyzone released in the UK, 21 made the top 40, with 18 hitting the top 10 and 12 in the top 2. The group also had five No. 1 albums in Britain.

In Ireland, Boyzone notched up nine number ones and scored 19 top-5 hits.

In November 1999, less than 15 months after “No Matter What” had its three-week run at the top of the UK charts, and amid growing tensions behind the scenes, the members of Boyzone decided to take some time off from the band to pursue solo projects.They finished off a ‘Best Of’ tour in Dublin’s Point Depot with a record breaking nine sell-out shows.

In May 2008 Boyzone reunited for their first tour in eight years. 200,000 tickets for the “No Matter What Tour” were sold within three hours.

Tragically, Stephen Gately died on October 10, 2009, of natural causes while on holiday in the Spanish island of Majorca.