Will Young with
a Guinness in 2002
In 2001, British ITV1 ran the first series of the new reality talents show "Pop Idol" in which performers competed for the grand prize of a recording contract with record label BMG Music. The immediate success of the show soon led to shows of the same format in several different countries and continents, such as the US version, "American Idol".
Will Young, the ever first "Pop Idol" winner, recorded his double A-side debut single in London only a few days after his victory. Released on February 25, 2002, "Evergreen", written by Per Magnusson, David Kreuger and Jörgen Elofsson, along with "Anything Is Possible", became the Fastest Selling Debut Single for the First Day (385,700 copies) as well as for the First Week (1,108,000 copies). By setting new standards, A Side Productions entered Guinness World Records. The single, which to date has sold more than 2 million copies, instantly hit the UK #1 spot, where it remained for three consecutive weeks.
But Will Young was not the only contestant recording "Evergreen". Gareth Gates, the show's runner up, soon went to A Side Productions' studios for his own version of the song. Released on March 17, 2002, Gate's debut single "Unchained Melody"/"Evergreen" knocked his "Pop Idol" rival off the top slot after a week of enormous sales. At this point, A Side Productions' "Evergreen" amazingly occupied both the #1 and the #2 on the UK Singles Chart. Gareth Gate's stayed at number one for four weeks straight. Only nine months after "Evergreen" was released, it already had climbed to #11 on the "UK Top 100 List of Best Selling Singles" of all time. To date the two versions have sold more than 3 million copies.
Gareth soon returned to Stockholm and A Side Productions to record his follow-up "Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake)", also written and produced by Magnusson/Kreuger. Released on July 16, 2002, the single immediately went to #1 on the UK charts selling more than 500,000 copies in the first week. Gate's second single stayed at the top spot for three weeks. By August, A Side Productions could celebrate a total of 10 weeks at the UK No. 1 that year alone.
UK Top 10 Singles List of 2002:
#1 Anything Is Possible/Evergreen - Will Young (February, 2002)
#2 Unchained Melody/Evergreen - Gareth Gates (March, 2002)
#5 Anyone Of Us (Stupid Mistake) - Gareth Gates (July, 2002)
Will Young's success was accompanied by yet another UK #1. Released in October, 2002, his debut album "From Now On", with "Evergreen" as the opening track, opened at number one, holding the position for two weeks.
Contributed with a total of four songs on Gareth Gates' debut album "What My Heart Wants To Say" A Side Productions had begun writing material for his follow-up "Go Your Own Way" due in September, 2003. In July, he returned to the studios in Stockholm where four new songs were recorded. The song "Say It Isn't So" came out as Gate's UK Christmas single reaching number 4 on the chart.