Released: 24th April 2000
Writers: Steve Crosby / Mike Stock / Matt Aitken
Peak position: #12
Chart run: 12-25-42-75-x-x-x-x-x-64
Having cracked the top ten with More Than I Needed To Know following their soft relaunch a few months earlier, Scooch returned with a bold statement for their third single. Yet even if The Best Is Yet To Come didn’t make necessarily good on its promise, this was another solid effort.
Penned by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, on the surface of it this single has quite a lot in common with its predecessor – but we would go as far as to say that it’s much more interesting from a production perspective. True to form, things aren’t going well in the lyrics. But this is a bit of a twist on the trope of heartbreak. It’s less an exercise in self-preservation at the end of a tumultuous relationship and more about what happens after happily ever after. The Best Is Yet To Come feels like it’s exploring a scenario that was arguably a little more mature than much of Scooch’s audience would necessarily have associated with. It’s a song about putting the spark back into a relationship rather than chucking in the towel; an angle that imbues the song with a sense of determined optimism. And whether it was a metaphor for the group or not, there was a real sense that they meant every word they were singing.
In terms of the vocals, The Best Is Yet To Come started to mix up the formula a tad. Natalie Powers is still the dominant force, but there is at least a suggestion that she isn’t the only singer in the group as she splits vocal duties with Caroline. Where the song cuts its own path is in the production, with an instrumental track that is privy to several different transitions. That much is evident from the intro – panpipes are incredibly underrepresented in pop music, and thus their inclusion here is very welcome indeed. From there, The Best Is Yet To Come is peppered with little flourishes; take for example the little twinkle accompanying the line: “I feel a chill…”. However, it’s after the second chorus that things veer away from the standard structure of a pop song. The beat slows down a little, and the song suddenly becomes uber-dramatic for the: “So don’t you ever dare to doubt, we’ll make it through…” third verse. Sure, it’s not Xenomania levels of deconstructed pop music, but it is nonetheless a striking diversion from the norm. It also leads to inarguably the vocal highlight of the song: “And if we give our love a second chance, we’ll make it last, we’ll make it la-ah-ah-ast”. It’s a Natalie Powers vocal masterclass and the way her voice echoes and fades out into the instrumental breakdown may well be one of our favourite Scooch moments, ever. That said, the end of the song with the staggered: “The best (the best) the best is yet to cooooooome” harmonies atop a beat that increases in tempo and then dramatically climaxes comes a close second.
And there’ll be a brighter day
Better love is on the way
For you and me
The best is yet to come
There’s a lot to appreciate about The Best Is Yet To Come – albeit perhaps we would accept that following More Than I Needed To Know, most people were not going to take the time to intensely scrutinise this for its strengths. If you simply judge the single on first impressions, then it probably wouldn’t compare flatteringly.
One area where The Best Is Yet To Come does impress is visually. This is probably the best that Scooch ever looked in terms of the overall quality of the production. Make no mistake, this is not the group trying to be serious; there’s still heaps of personality present. But there is certainly a more polished veneer evident in some of the shots, particularly during the first verse and the rooftop shots. The latter dance work is slick – particularly the chair routine. And it’s all set against a lovely backdrop of fountains and neatly trimmed hedges, a theme that carried over into the album artwork, although we’re sure that’s a mere coincidence. Considering the overall quality, it’s something of a shame that the YouTube thumbnail features a bin. Indeed, the fact that there was ever a wheelie bin employed as a prop within the music video feels like it was tempting fate – particularly if there was an element of The Best Is Yet To Come acting as a metaphor for Scooch.
There are no two ways about it; The Best Is Yet To Come was a prophecy that didn’t become self-fulfilling, however hard it might have tried. The single peaked at #12, which wasn’t a complete disaster but certainly didn’t consolidate Scooch’s success in the way you’d feel was intended. It’s a real shame because there’s an interesting pop song here. And, dare we say it, an incredibly underrated one.