Anastacia – One Day In Your Life

Released: 25th March 2002

Writers: Anastacia / Sam Watters / Louis Biancaniello

Peak position: #11

Chart run: 11-15-21-25-24-32-37-46-64

Anastacia’s second album might’ve been titled Freak Of Nature, but One Day In Your Life is a perfectly crafted pop song and seemed destined for chart success.

After making her debut with I’m Outta Love in 2000, Anastacia quickly established herself as a commercial force in the UK. Not so much in terms of singles, but her debut album – Not That Kind – was the 15th biggest-selling album of 2001 and has sold more than a million copies. Similar levels of success were seen across Europe and Australia. No time was wasted on recording a follow-up to capitalise on the momentum. Indeed, Paid My Dues – the lead single from Freak Of Nature – arrived just over three months after the final release from Not That Kind. The track reached #14 in the UK but was far more successful internationally. And, while the album appeared to get off to a modest start – also debuting at #14 – that was somewhat deceptive due to it being released during the festive period. Freak Of Nature still sold over 300,000 copies in five weeks and recovered in the new year to a new peak of #7. Even so, the album hadn’t quite asserted itself in the same way as Not That Kind.

One Day In Your Life was the obvious choice to do just that, having been co-written by Anastacia in partnership with Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello. Their contributions helped shape her early material, notably on I’m Outta Love. And there’s no escaping that similarities exist between the two tracks, albeit not to the point where One Day In Your Life is a transparent attempt to recreate Anastacia’s breakthrough hit. If anything, it felt like a welcome return to the formula with a slightly poppier spin, resulting in two songs that can happily co-exist.

The track opens with a melancholy slow build through the first verse: “I know that’s just the way it goes, and you ain’t right, for sure, you turned your back on love, for the last time” while synth effects reverberate around the melody. Anastacia‘s voice is showcased to great effect; indeed, One Day In Your Life positively revels in ensuring her throaty drawl and all its distinctive affectations are featured: “It won’t take much longer NO-O-O-O-O-OW, time makes me stronger, WE-E-E-E-YUL, there’s nothing more to SA-A-A-A-A-EH-AY”. Anastacia’s contemplative performance is as measured as it needs to be, relative to the subdued production, but even then, her simmering vitriol is barely contained, and there’s only one way the song is ever going to go…

Obligingly, a thumping beat kicks in, and Anastacia tears into the chorus: “One day in your life, said love will remind you, how could you leave it all behind, one day in your li-i-i-i-ife, it’s gonna find you, with the tears you let me cry, and baby I’m STRONGER than before, you’ve gotta lay it on the li-i-i-i-ine, maybe one day in your life”, which is laden with catchy, toe-tapping hooks. Indeed, it’s little surprise that One Day In Your Life quickly became her biggest radio hit at the time – reaching #6 on the airplay chart – for in its purest sense, this is an example of well-written pop music matched perfectly to the artist singing it. The disco-funk of the second verse (“My love, did you think I’d break down and cry, this thing we had, it meant the world to me, guess I was blind…”) is where One Day In Your Life feels most sonically reminiscent of I’m Outta Love; the recurring elements between them come as close to defining what a quintessential Anastacia song sounded like.

Yet, the arrangement of the track isn’t what ultimately makes it stand out. This could, in principle, have been recorded by almost any other pop act, and it would still be good. But what Anastacia does with – or more accurately to – One Day In Your Life makes it unique. She cuts through the torrid, swirling middle eight (“You call me in the midnight hour, with your velvet lines, so many sleepless nights, I wonder…”) with a soaring transition: “…Is it time to say goodbye? WOO-O-O-O-O-OH YEAH-YEAH”. From there, the track is a relentless tour-de-force and moments like the kick into the final chorus: “ONE…DAY…OH! YEAH YEAH YEAH” deliver a triumphant vocal masterclass. Anastacia may do precisely what’s expected of her, but it’s no less astonishing to hear an early ‘00s pop song performed this way. One Day In Your Life never veers into unnecessary showboating; every ad-lib and riff – of which there are plenty – remains true to the core melody. As a sheer demonstration of Anastacia’s talent, this is among the best in her back catalogue.

It’s unsurprising, then, that One Day In Your Life was also chosen to be the lead single from Freak Of Nature in America. How such an incredible US singer had enjoyed marked success in most major territories yet remained relatively obscure in her own is still an oddity. Nonetheless, Epic Records sought to change that. This is among several tracks remixed for the American edition of the album – along with Don’t Stop (Doin’ It) and You’ll Never Be Alone – to give a rockier-edged sound. In principle, trying to sell the song to a US audience via more traditional mainstream/rock radio wasn’t a bad idea. However, the changes aren’t entirely convincing; the guitar accompaniment isn’t a prominent replacement for the funkier beat, resulting in an almost demo-like quality. This isn’t just a different version of One Day In Your Life; it’s an inferior one that lacks the punchiness of the original.

The accompanying music video – directed by Dave Meyers – is brimming with vibrant, eclectic ideas. It’s set at a bustling open house party near the beach…although that’s about as far as any clear narrative concept exists. So much is happening; in one room, a man (and his dog) looks at a wall of painted sunflowers and then wanders into the image, while in the garden, a woman is playing mini golf but potting the balls by using her club as a pool cue. Yet, that offbeat energy ties everything together, and it’s sold using some terrific visual effects. At the start, the shot pans over an impressionist-esque rendering of the beach and into the house, pulling back to reveal it as the image on a cereal box. When a disgruntled man in the bushes outside decides to spray water over Anastacia while she’s sunbathing, the drops ripple and fall in slow motion. The big set piece of the video is a giant sand castle, which the camera enters and moves through before emerging on the other side, where Anastacia performs in front of a skate ramp.

Almost everything was created using actual sets and props, including the sand castle (though the cathedral-like interior is clearly computer-generated), which accentuates the quirky tone. A sun-drenched aesthetic and vivid colour palette make One Day In Your Life jump off the screen; it’s suitably big-budget and utterly gorgeous to look at from start to finish. The same video was used to accompany the US release, although it was edited slightly differently to reduce the number of cutaway shots, thus giving Anastacia more screen time. Only the most avid fan is likely to notice the difference, though, since all the sequences still run in the same order overall. Nonetheless, it shows the effort Epic Records expended, using every available resource to hone the marketing in America.

Until this point, Anastacia had only scored one top-10 single in the UK (I’m Outta Love reached #6). So, it’s not as if there was any precedent for One Day In Your Life to follow. All the same, this felt like a song with considerably more hit potential than most of those that had preceded it, given the strong radio support and frequency that the video appeared on music channels. Thus, a peak of #11 for One Day In Your Life, while entirely consistent – perhaps even above average – for Anastacia in the UK, doesn’t wholly reflect how good the song is. It did, at least, earn the plaudit of being the biggest-selling single of 2002 not to reach the top 10, and a total of 85,000 copies is more than many of those that peaked higher. Meanwhile, One Day In Your Life failed to enter the Billboard Hot 100 in America. However, it reached #1 on the Dance Club Songs chart, which is ironic considering the track had been changed to make it rockier. A modest peak of #30 on Mainstream Top 40 radio, by comparison, suggests One Day In Your Life may well have fared better being pushed in the same direction that had proved successful everywhere else.

A more telling measure of success was One Day In Your Life‘s impact on Freak Of Nature in the UK. It helped propel the album back into the top 20 and eventually to a peak of #4. Further singles (Why’d You Lie To Me and You’ll Never Be Alone) followed, but none generated interest in the same way. Nonetheless, Freak Of Nature became the 29th biggest-seller of 2002 in the UK, adding a further 495,000 copies to its total. The campaign fared less well in America, though, and not for lack of trying. Anastacia appeared on major TV shows to perform One Day In Your Life, even landing a guest spot on VH1 Divas Las Vegas 2002. And, while a #27 debut for Freak Of Nature on the Billboard 200 represented an improvement over Not That Kind – which peaked at #168 – it spent 13 weeks on the chart. After that, America seemed to stop factoring into the label’s plans for Anastacia. It’s a shame, in some respects, that she could never enjoy recognition in her own country on the same scale as she did elsewhere. But equally choosing to focus on territories far more receptive to the material was unquestionably a strategy that benefitted her long-term.

In many ways, One Day In Your Life characterises the position Anastacia occupied during the early ‘00s. She promoted relentlessly, though it rarely translated to what would be considered major hit singles. Yet, her albums quietly sold in larger quantities than many pop stars who commanded a higher profile. Anastacia never really got the credit she deserved for her success at the time…but that would all change in 2004.

Post Author: cantstopthepop