This site is dedicated to documenting pop songs that have been covered by another act. A covers project? No not quite. PopEatsPop is not really about famous songs being covered but rather when a pop act usually in a distant country records a song that is then swiped by another who tends to have a larger record company behind them! Any suggestions would be great! Drop a line at cartharsispopboy@hotmail.com

Sunday, January 14, 2007

PopEatsPop is taking a little break/Announcing a new popblog....

I ain't retiring this blog. Its just taking a holiday. I'm not leaving though. I've got a new blog! Its called AKindOfLoveIn/YouCallThatLife? Its a collaborative effort with Robert of DontStopthePop and PopPosterGirl (Veronica) of PopPosterGirl. Go there for random stuff.

Please come and say hi: Link

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wanna touch your hand and explode like a star.........

Daylight-demo by Paul Mahos & New Life Crisis
Very rare original
Daylight in Your Eyes-unreleased by Victoria Faiella
Unreleased 'female' original
Daylight In Your Eyes by No Angels
The smash hit single
Daylight In Your Eyes-swing version by No Angels
Big band version from their Swing album
Daylight In Your Eyes-unplugged by No Angels
On their unplugged album
Daylight In Your Eyes by Audiosmog
Supposedly ironic cover that is quite brilliant!
Daylight-Tony Moran Mix by Paul Mahos & New Life Crisis Ultra rare remix of the demo

Seeing as its girlband season over at one of my all time fav blogs, dontstopthepop, I thought it prescient to cover one of the biggest tracks by a girlband ever recorded outside of the UK. Only the thing is, the song was originally recorded by a man whose version sounds like naughties answer to George Michael. The singer in question is called Paul Mahos. His version simply called Daylight was recorded with his band and sounds far more macho than its other editions. He whispers the lyrics like he's reading the most erotic prose to a nineteen year old svelte songstress from Norway called Inrala whilst doing unimaginable things with his fingers.

The bridge is completely different to the other versions and as you'll hear Mahos does this George Michael-esq callback that hasnt been heard since GM's Prejudice days. Brilliant! The original might be more macho than its sisters but its no less poppier or discotastic. It has never been properly released and remains a highly sought-after demo...

The real PopEatsPop "moment" comes when the track evolved from a male tale of seduction to a post-feminist post-Spice Girls anthem. The writers of the song gave it one Victoria Faella. Heard of her? Thought not. Victoria was born and raised in New York City and has earned her pop music stripes by working as a backing vocalist for Enrique Iglesias, Alanis Morissette, Lenny Kravitz, Jewel, Robbie Williams, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez and Donna Summer. In 2000 she was signed to Sony/Epic and recorded the Drama LP. It featured Daylight and Even When I Sleeping which was recently covered by Marie Wilson and Leonardo's Bride. However Drama was shelved for reasons unknown. When Victoria was ready to release Daylight through an new Sony imprint a year later the song had been put aside for the Popstars project some three months before the auditions had even begun! Her career was dumped before it was even given the green light because of industry and nothing more. Still shes got a myspace going with new music so all is not lost. She's also appeared in hit show The Soprano's and stars in the Billy Joel musical.

As you will hear Victoria's version is no different to No Angels edition and I think is pretty safe to say the band simply sung over the instrumental. Moreover, I know i might be stepping on eggshells here but Victoria's vocals appear to remain on the finished No Angels track. Shockingly, I hear very little difference to Victoria's version and the No Angels mix. Could the No Angels version just be a remix of Victoria's unreleased 2000 edition? Controversy! Judge for yourself though...

Anyone who follows pop should know who No Angels are. But did they know that they launched their careers on a cover? Well thats nothing spectacularly new specially when were talking about tv bands where songs are pretty much like used condoms. I wont take that analogy any further than ones mind should do. However what marks out this episode is the fact that Daylight In Your Eyes by No Angels sounded so fresh, so them and so unique. Pick at the skin and one finds that song was originally by a boy and then wound up on a stalled LP already one year old by the time the German Popstar band recorded it.

The song under the guise of No Angels has gone on to be the most successful song by a European product of Popstars with sales over the million mark. It can also claim to be the most global song of any tv pop product. When it was released in February 2001 not even the makers of the band nor probably the girls themselves would have expected Daylight In Your Eyes to do go to no.1 in Europe, Brazil, Luxembourg, Austria, Germany, Argentina and Switzerland. Going by world charts alone then Daylight In Your Eyes is the biggest single by a girlband since the glory days of Bewitched and Spice Girls. No Angels did release the song in other markets including the UK, New Zealand, U.S and France but commercial success wasnt as huge as it was in Germany. Daylight sold over one million records and became the most successful single of the year in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The German rock band Audiosmog decided to do a rock-ironic cover of the song but rather than being post-pop it actually isnt as bad one might presume. When the macho lads hit the chorus the song really takes off and their version is quite glorious. The rockers probably had no idea that despite their buckets of sarcasm they were actually doing a song that was meant to be sung by men and originally by a rock act. Which of course makes their seemingly comic cover quite brilliant!

So today to get you out of your Christmas blues PopEatsPop offers the rare demo by Paul Mahos, the unreleased "female" original by Victoria, the No Angels smash hit and the Audiosmog cover. Also included are versions of the song by No Angels including the swing interpretation and the unplugged performance. Now I don't mean to brag but not only have you got the original and Victoria cover which are ultra rare in themselves....but also included is the Tony Moran remix of Paul Mahos' Daylight. I think this is too rare to describe so enjoy!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I dont know what it is that makes me feel like this.......

Superstar by Christine Milton Original Superstar with unique lyrics and completely copied by Jamelia
Superstar by Roni Duani First cover with eastern influences entrenched deep into its funky stylings
Superstar by Jamelia International hit by someone whose such a superstar she doesnt have a surname!
Superstar by Bianca Ryan 3rd cover by American starlet with completely different lyrics

And now to the second cover that can be neatly sectioned off in four cities: Copenhagen, Tel Aviv, Birmingham and Philadelphia. Superstar was written by Danish music maestro Remee/Cutfather/Joe and originally given to Christine Milton. Here is the original Superstar video by Christine:

It was a no.1 in Denmark under the auspices of BMG. Christine then went on to release 2 more singles and expected to take Superstar to the UK as she'd been promised international releasing rights. However something dodgy is allegedly said to have occurred between EMI and its producers who gave Superstar to Jamelia. In this time in Jamelia's career the shit was really hitting the fan. The album bombed and its lead single Bout entered the UK charts at no.37. Her career was over. Even before Superstar was released by Jamelia as a single Christine was already in a tussle as she was having issues bringing the track to Sweden, Australia and Germany. The problem was EMI had bought the international rights to the song under her nose and wanted to use it for their breaching act from Birmingham. When Jamelia released it the song quickly became hers and she scored top positions around the globe. Christine Milton and her record company remain in a bitter legal battle with Cutfather&Joe so I wont say anything on the matter...However her version includes different lyrics and is the best of the two.

Truth is, Jamelia is THIRD singer of the song. Just prior to Jamelia releasing Superstar in September an Israeli singer called Roni had gone to no.1 with the song in July. Roni Duani is a huge 'Britney' type singer who has also covered Excellence, Via Gra, EyeQ and No Angels. She is now servicing in the Israeli national army as it is mandatory there but is planning to release a disco album next year! Her version of the song is the most different of Superstars as its not even in English but should take its rightful place as the first cover of the song. Even if people remember the Christine original they get their facts wrong and cite the Jamelia version as the first cover. Well thats not right is it!?

Roni's version is both electro and acoustic. Its odd like that. It has traces of his parent version by Milton but verges into flourishing sparks of Arabic folk music. Here is her wonderful and probably best video done for Superstar:

You can see shes very pretty and even as an out proud gay man Roni does something to me. You know you would too! Failing that you can always look at the stunning dancers she struts her butt against. As Superstars go, Roni's cover remains the most interesting however its the latest version that completely rearranges the the message the song...

And thats by sweet little Bianca Ryan. All other versions are lyrically about some other person of desire 'that must be some kind of superstar'. However Bianca's is about her and dreams of becoming a superstar. The song might have the same title and chorus but the verses, bridges, middle 8's and couplets are completely different. It also leaves the electro disco traits of its three sisters and pulls out some kind of strange of harmony between rock and funk. Musically then this version of Superstar is the most interesting as it sounds so polished and different to the original. Thats not to mention the odd lyrics and the twist of message.... 'Fancy goals and lots of make-up'. Indeed.

Out of all Superstars Jamelia's turns out to be the most boring and adds nothing really to the original. Some might say that Jamelia simply sung over Christines key melodies, didnt even bother to take off her backing vocals and for this she wins PopEatsPopWhoreof2004! The other covers dare to dream beyond its confines with Bianca Ryan's version winning the award for clearly challenging the original and simply using it as a mere template. So what is there to say about the most famous version? The video is not a patch on Roni's, the vocals don't come anywhere near the original and the production is eclipsed by the latest Ryan cover. So what made it so good? The faux-rnb walking down the street in the video? I can't actually tell! All that can be said is its a product of record company dealings, dodgy meanings and lots of broken promises and caused a many tear to fall.

Today we have all four versions by the four girls. Enjoy

Whatever it takes, swear its true...its pure and simple

Pure And Simple by Girl Thing Original version
Pure And Simple by Hear'Say PopEatsPop cover
Pure And Simple by Bianca Ryan Excellent cover by American "superstar"
Pure And Simple by Hear'Say Rare second recording by the PopStars band
Pure And Simple by Chris Moyles, All Saints & Oasis Quite funny spoof but reveals a real legal issue over the track...

Seeing as I've been away for so long I thought it would be right to make the "comeback" post a bumper edition! This time they have one key PopEatsPop star and thats a little American girl with a huge voice. She goes by Bianca Ryan and she was the star of America's Got Talent which was a sort of spin-off to American Idol. Her album is a database of covers but its her critical PopEatsPop tracks that wins her such a special place in my heart. Much has been made of the PopeatingPop element of Leona's recent version of Kelly Clarkson's 'original' A Moment Like This but I think it would better to focus on better songs used and abused by reality tv contestants/starlets. Can i just add that the song was already recorded by Swedish band Fame and Dutch act Glennis Grace so those comparing Kelly Clarkson to Leona might wanna open the playing field. Why be so Anglo-American? There are other countries in the world!

So lets take the older of songs first: the iconic Pure And Simple. Originally it was given to Girl Thing who'd worked with Alison Clarkson on their first and only album. It was pinned as their saving grace after two flop singles but the record company bottled out and gave the song to an act that was bound to sell.
That act was Hear'say. The girls of Girl Thing were outraged. There were even a few promo singles of the Girl Thing version that actually got played by over-excited Dj's wanting to claim to be the first station to play the new song by the Popstars band. Despite the gigantic sales of the Hear'say record the song writers have recently stated the the original remains to be the better of the two citing the male vocalists, Danny and Noel, as crucial let downs. If you compare the two you can clearly hear what they are talking about. The Girl Thing edition clearly sounds 'right'. I think the song simply, ahem, wasnt meant for male vocals. The boys are just too deep for its brilliant upper register c-notes and classic backing harmonies so much it sounds like they are out of tune. Which they werent. They just couldnt sing a song written for girls.

The sheer PopEatsPop factor of this little moment in pop music history must not be questioned. One record was about to drop only to be withdrawn by a machine that some would say would be the new world order. The Hear'say track zapped out the last dying breath of Girl Thing and is now pretty symbolic for our fascination with celebrity, confusion and delirium. Musicians dont just need the TV to promote their records but must eat the rectums of animals(rather than svengali's) all infront of a public that couldnt quite give a boo about decency. Its a world that allows Jordan to flourish and Jade to release her own scent. The huge success of Pure & Simple can be cited as reason for this wonderful situation were in. It sold 1.3 million in total and 500, 000 in its first week. A record beaten by Will Young's cover of a Westlife album track.

Proving that the song is really made for a female singer is the newest version of the song by Bianca Ryan. Her version teases out the gospel backdrop of the song and makes it sound like a track Mariah Carey would have recorded back when she did songs like Anytime You Need A Friend and My All. Bianca Ryan should not be reckoned with. With some good material and management she could be the next Christina or Mariah which explains the cover of this song. While Hear'says version will go down as the most selling it will be Bianca's that stands the test of time for without any doubt her popeatspop cover leaves the other recordings in tatters....

However one can't really cover Pure & Simple without pointing out the fact that even the original song doesn't sound so original at all. I could wax lyrical about that fact that it sounds like something else in a Popjustice post-ironic way. But I'll let Chris Moyles do it (when he used to be quite a good radio dj). So today there are all three takes on Pure & Simple including one rarer version by Hear'Say that found its way on the flop second album. Enjoy!

Next update later tonight!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pinkie's things that made his 2006 (yes its a damn list!)

The world of blogs, youtubes and torrents...

They suddenly became interesting when the hegemonic media industry kept on giving us the same old crap. A new order set itself in. Places like Xtube took sex to the streets, Blogger gave us an international voice whilst Youtube allowed us to make silly videos or seek out old pop bands. Myspace however gave us Sandi Thom and torrents allowed us the ability to watch Desperate Housewives 2 years before they were televised in the UK.

Robyn wins the artist of year

What is this girl on? I want it! Now! No other Robyn song sounds the same. She cannot be pinned down, catagorised or generalised. She sells in Sweden but could break out next year in the UK. For this we are relieved. Her London shows upstaged the mediocre attempts of the British indie scene to appear uber. Robyn is fashion. She is iconic. She is post-fashion. She is beyond uber. If NME/Radio 1 refuse airplay of her new singles it is because her boots are to deconstructive for their little minds. Think Cars. Think I Feel Love. Think Light Years. Think I can't get her out of my head


Poor old Itsu. Known around the globe for its killer food it became the location of international mystery. The shop that runs along such places the Royal Academy of Art and the Ritz fell under the intense media attention when a particular Russian was poisoned after eating at its Piccadilly branch. It has now been boarded up with a fabulous James Bond type banner and has become a tourist destination. The food wasnt good anyway. Poor mans Yo-Sushi.

Clea/The death of girlbands

The big 'band' story wasnt 5ive returning nor the amazing success of Take That but clear destruction of Clea. In 2006 they released their poptastic Trinity that flopped and ended up being responsible for the loss of their 3rd member Lindsay. They are hemorrhaging members like those Sugababes but without their success. As the two remaining members have vanished 2006 marks the end of the girlband. Yes other blogs might argue otherwise but this year saw the greatest hits of Britains only successful girlbands released with no other all-girlgroup on the horizon to replace them. Mrs.Robinson produced an album that many argued was 'just ok' but like Trinity it barely charted. The All Saints reunion came and went while we were too preoccupied with the reunions of Take That and Five(which still has to come to something). The Pipetts got all the Hoxton crowd back in HMV but it ended up being hype over nothing & those Spice Girls became nothing but a digested flem in the throat of history. Even the comeback of Bananarama turned out to be nothing but a quickie for old times sake. In other countries it would appear that girlbands are doing better. Monrose, the German winners of Popstars, are getting huge album sales with their debut Temptation. PussyCat Dolls, Danity Kane and those Australian Young Divaz also had a good year so all is not lost.

The Death Of Pop Music?

Smash Hits, James Blunt, Top Of The Pops, gothrock win at Eurovision...need i go on?

Key Acts of 2006

-Ann Winsborn for her epic pop album Pink Collar Crime(released 2005)

-Amy Diamond for her excellent second album

-Amy Winehouse for not going to rehab and staying alive for her 2nd album

-Dannii Minogue for Love Fight & Gone

-Dover for their electrorock album Follow The City Lights

-Robyn for her work with Basement Jaxx, KleerUp and Christian Falk

-Christian Falk for his new LP People Say

-The Knife for Silent Shout

Key popblogs of 2006

-The Zapping


-Tip Top Pop







-The EyePod

2007 here we come!

Kylie's new shows+material



Robyn in the UK

The solo music of the Sugababes (put ya money on Heidi, Mutya and Siobhan)

Harry Potter 7

The new Hannibal movie

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Its time to put the voices in ya head to bed

PopEatsPop will be back soon...in the meantime...just ponder on the brilliance of Agnes Carlsson. Yes shes a bit like the recent winner of X Factor but she's not covering old Kelly Clarkson tracks. Instead her new single is an old Clea track. Classy!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just the smell of you has got me going back to school...

Ruby Amanfu-Sugah
The ultra catchy original that 'hit' the charts at no.32. Excellent string production that hasnt been matched in other versions!
Kelly Clarkson/Justin Guarini-Sugah Rare cover that changes its classic lyrics!!!! And a rap! Oh no.
Sanne-Sugah The first really good cover by the danish diva Sanne Salomonsen.
Ayla Brown-Sugah Latest version released just a f
ew days ago. Better than original? Possibly!
Ruby Amanfu-Know You Better Excellent pop song. Makes me wanna shake my ass!
Ayla Brown-Know You Better Ayla makes it sound like a Kelly Clarkson track. Not sure about this version. You?
Ruby Amanfu-For Life An excellent mix between sweet soul in the verses and a rocking chorus. If anyone knows Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show might giggle at the very chav-esq delivery of the refrain 'alright'.
Sanne-For Life Sanne nutures the rock essence of the original and takes it to another level. Nice!
Ruby Amanfu-Work It Out A nice rock ballad that wouldnt go amiss on a Sugababes record.
Sanne-Work It Out Ok so you might just hear Madonna's Don't Tell Me on this track.
Ruby Amanfu-Morning If you ever liked the solo efforts of S.Donaghy you might like this
Sanne-Morning I prefer this version. Don't know why. Me thinks Sanne's husky vocals just brings something special to the feel of the song.
Ruby Amanfu-I Will Pray Excellent 'make-up' pop song.

I loved the Ruby Amanfu album, Smoke & Honey, the moment I bought it in a charidee shop as a little birthday present to myself when I was a lil' 20 year old. It was so catchy I'd sing back the songs while in the shower or getting dressed for something boring like university. In fact I remember getting so overtaken(distracted) by her musical prose that one particular morning I ended up singing the whole album in just me socks and utterly forgetting the 9 o'clock jurisprudence seminar on German legal philosophers(Yak!).

The album sadly flopped without a trace leaving only one single, Sugah, and a busload of forgotten good material. Such is the brilliance of the album it has since been devoured by a Danish superstar, Kelly Clarkson(with Justin) and a American Idol sweetheart. Although this post primarily about the song Sugah, which has been covered by 3 other acts despite being a non-hit single for Ruby back in 2002, I really wanna pay tribute to Smoke & Honey. This is why other songs are up for grabs too. Smoke & Honey contains tons of songs that have been covered by other acts...and its time someone recognised its brilliance!

So Ruby's only single Sugah might have flopped as a single but has probably made more $$ for Ruby now than it did on its release making it a PopEatsPop classic. I was first drawn to Ruby when I saw the video for Sugah and I expected her to be the next big thing. It remains to be the only pop video that includes the singer eating a steeple. As a song it makes me smile up and wanna dance in the same way those happy classics Celebration, Groove Is In The Heart and Relight My Fire do. I suppose Sugahs strong "smile-happy" vibe is the reason its been covered so many times. Oddly I think a boy(band?) would be better suited to the song than a girl...i don't exactly know why.

Sadly due to record company complications Ruby was, by the time of the singles release, dropped or shelved. The pop video was the only promotion done for the single. Ruby herself was all the way in Texas by the time the single was officially released. As such, it crashed at no.32. Which, if you think about it is pretty good considering it had so much going against it. Upper Street have done worse and that was with a full blown promotional tour and a pretty passionate record company behind them. Maybe this reveals the strength of Sugah as bloody good pop song. Thankfully she's still doing the music thing and you can hear her latest material/album output here.

In 2003, Kelly with her runner-up, Justin(yes, that IS him pictured above) recorded their take of Sugah for the movie From Justin To Kelly. As popeatspop covers go I have to say its pretty dire. The key singers pretty fine but are totally let down by the production and the dreadful rap. Still, its interesting that single that went to no.32 in the UK ended up being recorded by two huge American singers. Then came Sanne's cover of the song. Now I'm informed that Sanne is like a Danish Kylie or Madonna. So there you go. Her take of Sugah is actually pretty good. Also included on her 2005 album were her versions of Morning, For Life and Work It Out(three songs that originally featured on Ruby's Smoke&Honey). Sanne's album also includes tracks put aside for Sarah Whatmore's never released Living Proof album and one or two Rachel Stevens covers. Buy it here

The most recent offering/cover of Sugah was by another starlet from the American Idol family tree: the sweet Ayla Brown. Her album, which available to buy here, also includes yet another Smoke&Honey album track Know You Better which is awful when compared to the original. Still, she doesnt destroy Sugah like her fellow American Idol siblings did three years ago. In fact her version is rather cute. Sadly the same can't be said for her other tracks on the album. The album, called Foward, is pretty much a ground zero for popeatspop(which is why I bought it on Itunes earlier today). Not only has Ayla grabbed some Ruby tracks but she's also doing Heburns I Quit and the Tina Arena ballad If I was River! The shame!

I expect that there are more Smoke & Honey cover versions out there and/or there will certainly be some in the future. Its a great album and will have you singing along to its melodies when you really should be getting dressed for work or lectures. Buy it here and you'll never look back. Up for grabs today are all versions of Sugah. Both versions of Know You Better by Ruby and Ayla. Ruby's/Sanne's versions of Work It Out, Morning and For Life. The latter of which I highly recommend cos its an excellent tune....and if you needed any more incentive to purchase Smoke & Honey I've also included stunning I Will Pray.

NB: Seeing as the up n coming Ayla and her tracks are from an album that has just been released and through an indiependent label I've decided to slightly lessen the quality of the mp3s. They are posted here to PROMOTE the LP and ultimately get people to buy it. If you like what you hear and want the splendid musica in full-blown kbps(whatever that is) you know what to do...

Friday, October 27, 2006

I'm gonna be strong, I'm gonna be fine...

Tina Turner-Don't Turn Around The Original
Bonnie Tyler-Don't Turn Around The first cover
Aswad-Don't Turn Around The first version to be a hit
Neil Diamond-Don't Turn Around Cover in the same vein of the original
Ace To Base-Don't Turn Around Includes the iconic spoken bit "I Will Survive..without you"
Owen Grey-Don't Turn Around South London star Owen pays tribute to Aswad/Ace to Base with this spikey cover
Ace To Base-Don't Turn Around(Groove Extended Mix) Poptastic extended mix by the Swedish 4.

Its amazing to think that Don't Turn Around was originally a brilliant power ballad written by Diane Warren when considering the famous versions of the songs are miles apart from its original form. Originally recorded for Tina Turner the record company left it as a b-side for her single Typical Male in 1986. Despite a Bonnie Tyler cover in 1988(seeing an ironic pattern here?) the song was gaining dust amongst the flurry of bigger and better power ballads that has now pretty much shaped the 1980s. Ironic you say...why? Well, Bonnie Tyler covered Don't Turn Around on the LP Notes From America which contained Tylers original version of Simply The Best. I can imagine Turner hearin' about Tylers cover of Don't Turn Around, popping down to her local HMV in Zurich, buying the LP, finding Simply The Best and immediately ringing up those at Parlophone demandi
ng a recording session of that song asap.

However in that year it wasnt Tylers version that brought the song to the attention of many in the UK. It was Aswads lite-reggae mix of Don't Turn Around that has now become the definitive version of the song. Indeed, when a Swedish band(we'll come to them later) covered the song many presumed they'd covered Aswad and not Tina Turner.

As you can hear in this tiny little snippet with Ace of Bace they themselves seem to think it was originally by Aswad. Of course it had already been released in the U.S. By Bonnie Tyler and Tina Turner! In fact, the song had already been a single in the US when the rnb act Luther Ingram released it who takes the prize as the first act in the world to have the aforethought to consider the song worthy as a single. Turner left the song as a b-side while Tyler gave it album-track status.

But hey, thats the magic of PopEatsPop...it works in funny ways.

Aswad launched their career with the song and even to this day its still played on radio stations like Magic. It was a hit in most countries and again realises the brilliance of Bonnie Tyler to spot a good track and record it but is alas let down by surrounding circumstances. With Aswads version of Don't Turn Around dominating the charts and radio, Tylers recording was dropped as a possible single in favour of releasing Simply The Best which sadly bombed but would later be released with massive success by the original singer of Don't Turn Around, Tina Turner. But you guys knew that right...

Moreover if u happened to catch the previous post you'd see Bonnie Tylers 1988 album
Notes From America contained three songs that would later become monster hits for other acts in the late 1980's. Of course theres Turner with The Best, Don't Turn Around for Aswad/Ace of Base and Cher with Save Up All Your Tears. It also included Bonnie's stunning version of the Bee Gees 60's hit To Love Somebody; a version that would be copied and later made into a hit by Michael Bolton. All of which means Tyler could be one the most unluckiest singers of all time. That album can claim to be the iconic album that just wasnt meant to be for it included so many future hits. Imagine if, say Rachel Stevens, had released an album in 2000 with original versions of Can't Get You Out Of My Head, Toxic, Sound of The Underground and Leave Right Now and you get the drift. Bonnie's LP contained 4 songs that would later be huge hit singles for other acts and if it wasnt for her record company - CBS - messing it up, Notes From America might have just become one of the biggest albums of the 1980's. It is because of this I think Bonnie, sadly, deserves to win the tragic title of Queen of PopEatsPop as theres no act in the history of pop whose been so close to having a hit but yet so far.

So now to Ace To Base who used the Aswad template of the song rather than the Turner/Tyler power ballad framework. Their version added something quite dark and sinister but very '1994' to the release. I'd also say they had the most success with the song as it recieved Gold Status from the American RIAA. This means its sold over 500,000 units in the US alone. Its world chart positions overshadow that of Aswads with the Ace to Base single landing at no.4 in the US, no.5 in the UK, no.1 in Canada and no.2 in Sweden. Thus quite huge. As the last single from their The Signs/Happy Nation LP it secured platinum status around the globe for the album which, er, sold, er a massive 25 million!

So today we have the original Turner version, the Bonnie Tyler version, the Aswad cover, the famous Ace To Base poptastic hit, the Neil Diamond cover and a brillian version by Owen Grey who smothers it with Culture Club spices. I love the fact that a song by an American hit writer Diane Warren with its thick slabs of power ballad cheese has evolved into a reggae anthem with cultural references firmly based in the context of black South London. And from the Brixton/Electric Avenue over to Stockholm and the rest of the world. Talk about bridges and multi-multiculturism...and all in the name of pop!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stuck on your heart, I hang on every word you say...

Bonnie Tyler-Simply The Best The original
Tina Turner-Simply The Best The cover that became an anthem for Tina & symbolises the Thatcher/Reagan 1980's
Jimmy Barnes/Tina Turner-Simply The Best Jimmy is quite sexy don't ya think? Nice earing sweetie
DJ Cammy-Simply The Best Trashy club cover. Sounds like an alien ate Cher.

Simply The Best by the Turner that is Tina was the last time a real power pop ballad dominated the world charts and probably dealt the genre its final blow. Thing is, it was actually wasnt originally by her but by the queen of the power ballad: the Welsh stunner that is Bonnie Tyler. However name a Tina Turner song most will scream out Simply The Best. Its like the song has fused itself to Tina even if the Bonnie original is very similar to the cover.

The song is sung outloud on most drunk nights out in lost discos where in which girls called Trish, Tracy and Megan decked out in the finest Argos bling get moshed out on Barcardi Breezers and lose their knickers to guys named Trev, Perry and Ryan. I know I've been there: its well fun! Whether or not the DJ actually plays the song the girls, at a certain stage of the night they'll start to sing it. Its bonding, its trash, its Essex and its the kind of song that would unify Girls Aloud after a huge fall out over who got the best boobtube on a recent FHM photoshot. A trancetrash remix is then quite natural and included here too!

So now for the PopEatsPop part. The song was originally given to Bonnie Tyler by the writers Mark Chapman and Holly Knight for her 1988 Notes From America album. The song was expected to be her comeback track as her career had gone stale after Holding Out For A Hero dominated the charts a few years previously. However it was deemed a paltry mish-mash of her epic no.1 single Total Eclipse of The Heart and her breakout hit single Its a Heartache. The record company refused to release the song in the US after the UK chart entry stalled at a career destroying no.95. Some fans have said it was this flop that ensured the end of Bonnie Tyler as a viable act. It was only in Norway where The Best made an impression. The record company thus tried once more with another single release to retrieve the career in the aftermath of the flop. That song was called Save Up All Your Tears which would, like The Best, become a hit for another huge female pop star(this time Cher) but sadly refused to pump anything back into Bonnie Tylers ability to sell.

A year later Tina Turner was looking for a hit that screamed hit single to push her LP Foreign Affair. That song was The Best and ultimately pushed the album over the ten million mark and as a single eclipsed Turners previous hits Steamy Windows, I Can't Stand The Rain, Private Dancer and Whats Love Got To With It. It stormed the Billboard charts in the U.S and all around the world. It would obtain iconic status when it was used in many sporting events and to me is rather symbolic of the rich-greedy ambiance that drenched the 1980's. With its crucial 1989 release its message rode a wave of Western triumphanism in the defeat of those awful Commies in the demise of the Iron Curtain. Turners edition and reason for its very success must located within this socio-historical context. The State/Hegemony was winning its wars however cold, showing off its weaponary, winning was everything and who cares about human rights abuses, those dying of AIDS/GRIDS and in poverty. This was a time of Victory and those rich enough to be on the right side of the moral might were simply the best and those weak Others were absolutely ignored. Turners version is an anthem for greed, conversativism, imperialism, the big man and capitilism. Indeed theres a version out there that reorganises the song in support of the UVF and is about "crushing the IRA" by "preparing for battle" and that "we'll fight to the death". So for some, it clearly outlines the problems of imperialism, war and violence that was endemic in particular polarities during the 1980's.

On the other hand, the Tyler original is simply a song about a lover in total awe of her boyfriend which is why i prefer her version despite its failure.

Today we have 4, yes 4, versions of the said song. Of course theres the Bonneh original, the Tina hit, the duet version Tina did with ozzie hunk-a-spunk Jimmy Barnes and a trashtastic pop cover that sounds like cows farting on it. Which is nice.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Wheel's on fire, rolling down the road, best notify my next of kin....

Bob Dylan-Wheel's On Fire Original version that was a flop
The Band-Wheel's On Fire Second attempt to make the song a hit. Rather honkeytonk. I could see Dolly Parton producing this version
Julie Driscoll-Wheels On Fire The Hit that defined a thought, idealogy, philosophy, decade, fashion and spirituality.
Bob Dylan/The Band-Wheel's On Fire
So after the hit of the Driscoll version the boys teamed together to make some money out of the Julia Driscoll cover.
The Hollies-Wheel's On Fire This one is sooooo Austin Powers it hurts. Groovy Baby YEH!
The Bryds-Wheel's On Fire Excellent Rock-Bad Attitude version. Slightly chilling/choral.
Leslie West-Wheel's On Fire If RockCher or Meatloaf ever recorded it, it would sound like this.
Golden Earing-Wheels On Fire Includes brilliant Wizard of Oz spiralling string session at the end. Very creative version
Siouxsie Sou & The Banshies-Wheel's On Fire One of the best versions of this song. A real mish-mash of genres.
June Tabor-Wheel's On Fire If Girls Aloud recorded the song it just might sound like this. Oozes energy. Slightly irish feel to it too.
Julie Driscoll-Wheels On Fire New version Brilliant new recording by Julie especially for Jennifer Saunders and Abfab
Debbie Harry-Wheels On Fire Sadly just a snippet. Would love to hear the full version someday.
Jennifer Saunders-Holding Out Of A Hero. Not only is she rather funny but the lass can sing!

To restart this blog I'm stepping back in time. Right back to Bob Dylan. Eak! Don't worry I've not gone all NME. Wheels On Fire goes down in PopEatsPop history has the most succesful non-hit that ever was. Originally recorded the Bob in the early 1960's it only came to greater attention to pop pickers when Julie Driscoll released her version in 1968. Julie Driscoll is one of those late 60's that solidifies what present day society has come to accept as a the definitive modus operandi of that decade. Her music and her style IS the 1960's. She defines. She is iconic. When Kylie steps back in time along with Emma Bunton & Austin Powers is it is Julie Driscoll they reference. Many say it is Twiggy but Twiggy was just a cheap copy of the Driscoll. Her music codified what we now associate as the funk lovin, groovy swank and hip swinging 1960's of early psycho-delica and peace signs. If you've never heard of Madam Driscoll she's the 3rd one from the left in the image above. I strongly recommend her albums for the sheer origininality and impressive capacity to cover songs that improve on the original. Take her version of Light My Fire. It is her mix of the track that has been covered by Jose Feliciano and recently Will Young and not the Doors original. Her albums are must in any cd-rack/hard-drive.

Image-wise Julia Driscoll is the amber of fashion sense. Iconic and groundbreaking, her style has been referenced by anyone trying to seek out that colourful steam arising out that decade. She IS Carnaby Street. Want some proof?

Now, to the PopEatsPop element to Wheel's On Fire. As you might have guessed, it was originally released by Bob Dylan whose version sounds very much Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. I love his original because it drags on like a stoned nomadic siren who can't remember whether her heart was lost to a spy of the USSR or a Pucci dress she saw down Kings Road. Despite this it totally bombed. It was far too ploddy. Then came another attempt by the pop group The Band. Current acts like Mika and Scissor Sisters remind me of The Band. Anyway, it bombed too but do notice how with each version the song becomes more and more electronic and poppy. Part of the failure of the song by The Band was the fact that a little British lass had recorded a stunning spunky electro-baroque version that was getting heavy airplay from the radio. That lass was the sublime Julia Driscoll. Despite being a rather dated folk Bob Dylan pop song Driscolls version reached out to the LSD boogie bunchers and teenage groovy-fabulous crowd. It then became an anthem for the time and symbolised the spirit the late 1960's.

After this version evolved into such a hit came the cash-in re-releases by Bob Dylan and the Band. Also came some fabulous versions by the Manchester band The Hollies, The Bryds and Leslie West. All tried to interupt the success of the Julia Driscoll hit by releasing their versions of the song before the Driscoll mix was sent to radio especially in the US. This failed. The Driscoll version was just too good have its thunder stolen. It was clear the significance of the song was pretty central to the experience of the 1960's and then 1970's. Further covers would come in the form of the excellent versions by Golden Earring and most recently June Tabor. Still, all these couldnt quite shake the monolithic poptastic streams of the Julie Driscoll version and/or the rock exuberance of the Bob Dylan original. It wouldnt be until the late 1980's that the song was given a new lease of life by the punk band Siouxsie & The Banshees.

Some two years later the song that symbolised free loving suddenly became an anthem for all things fabulous & Stoli/Boli. For nowadays the song is mostly known as the theme tune to the hit show Absolutely Fabulous by Jennifer Saunders. The main frame of the show follows one of its characters, Eddie, a teenager of the world of Wheel's On Fire who lives in a perpetual paradigm between the groovy 1960s that she didnt quite get and the post-structural 1990's/00 that rejects absolutely everything. Eddie pathetically purs over fashionistas that praise stuff worn by tramps while adores artists who charge millions for a bin bag. Eddie wants the chic and glamour of Driscoll that she missed first time round and not the celebrity of Big Brother or postmodern crap of uberLondon yet in her attempt to be cool she consumes it all like the rentboys of Earls Court. In her confusion that she calls her life, she follows the zeitgiest and becomes fabulously desperate. & for this we love her too. We all know Eddie would be fabulous if she just gave up and returned to the glamour presented in the world of Driscoll but sadly shes too lost in Wallpaper to realise this. Tragically for her but hilarious for us.

As Wheel's of Fire has recieved this new burst of life some of its cameo stars have recorded the song. These include Marriane Faithful and Debbie Harry. Sadly these two legends of pop have never thought to actually release their versions. But, still I've included a snippet of Debs version. So today I've included all the key versions including a new version by Driscoll herself especially for Absolutely Fabulous. Sadly the selection does not cover all versions that are out there.....for e.g the recent cover by KT Turnstall. As you will see its called a "tribute to Bob Dylan" but why pick that song? It was a forgotten Bob Dylan track. Its only famous because of Julie Driscoll and her power to make pop eat pop. This makes Wheel's On Fire a PopEatsPop classic! The huge number of versions out there highlights the fact. Also loaded today is the star of Absolutely Fabulous Jennifer Saunders and her disco take on Holding Out for A Hero....it hints to what will follow next on PopEatsPop

For now though I'll just say the next two updates will be all power ballads, big hair and Swedish superstars.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Still, I'm dying with every step I take but I don't look back..

First the good news. I've been given a laptop. Not new mind. Second-hand and from a friend. Still, it has a coolish webcam & internet access. Now the bad news: my old iBook will be with me soon but all the information previously on it has gone. That includes all the music files. I am currently preparing my previously dusted up cd's so they can be copied back onto the hard-drive as soon as my ibook returns. In the meantime I will continue to update the blog as a destination of thoughts, dreams, gossip and hopes. Possibly.

So where does one start today? I think I might refer to other better people/bloggers. A review if you wish. First of all, kudos and kisses to the blog DontStopthePop who've given us a Robyn unreleased track With Every Heartbeat. Those on popjustice have described it with the following praise: "baroque", "beautiful", "Oh. My. God.", "exquisite" and "Unfailing genius". Some have proffered the song the mantle "song of the year" which I think I am inclined to agree with. But this was a review of the song and not of the blog. Forgive me...so lets bump to it!

...D..D.dd.d..Don't Stop The Pop!

DontStopthePop has long had the ability to cover music from around the world, drop witty remarks and remain ever dedicated to good strong catchy music. There hasnt been one post by the diva divine Ella, pop professor Robpop and Steve that smells whiffy. I've always been seduced by their vast pop knowledge and amazed by their huge back catalogue. In one week DontStopthePop will make the listener an expert on Greek/Danish divas and the next they'll take you to the catwalks of the New York fashion industry. The music on the site doesnt always consist of new acts/material which makes the blog one of few within the pop blog world(a world that tends to prefer ranting about a pre-release Christina Aguilera/P.Diddy remix-yawn!). In the past, DontStopthePop has had their fair share of exclusives but they don't hesitate in getting their disco hands dirty by stepping back in the time. From a song from the 1950s to a Supersister rare b-side I have to say that this place is one of the most educational popblogs out there...

Gonna Zap It Right To ya...

Hot on the disco heels of DontStopthePop and probably recieves far much more webtraffic than is healthy for just one blog is the one-man-extravaganza The Zapping/ZappingIt2Ya. Run by Paul aka The Man With A Rather Big Heart, this blog reads more like interdisciplinary opus that explores not simply pop music but also fashion, culture, the zeitgeist, gay life in Birmingham and so on. However all the threads have one essential foundation which is music. Not all up for your aural delights on this blog will be new but rather forgotten bands/acts of the 80, 90's and 00's. Which makes this blog brilliant! Paul's manner on his blog is more personal than any of the others. He allows you into his closet, maybe wear his fab coat from FCUK, gossip about his friends/family and watch a bit of TV with him while he creates a brilliant playlist for your IPOD. In other words, his blog has a real family feel to it. A family that doesnt mind rude words like 'bumming', 'willy' and 'gay pride'. Another unique point to this blog is the music is new but not in the same vein as "Madonna's new single" but acts (which tend to be quite pretty) that arn't signed or huge or lauded by museo mags(yet!). The Zapping is a great promotional site, a place where Paul brings new music to you and the acts themselves love him for it. And to sum up Paul as a person I turn to the brilliant Patsy Stone who once said "Oh he just a windscreen washer I picked up at the traffic lights, bum so tight he was bouncing off the walls". Ahem...

Your PopPosterGirl Dream Are made of these...

ZappingIt2Ya is quite heavy on the boy eye-candy but PopPosterGirl puts Paul to shame. Once you enter this zone of boyband heaven, you suddenly want to a) coat my hair in gel and b) feel very ugly. This is because this blog is brimming with what cyber linguistics denote as "hawt"/"sex-on-legs". It is here where the core of that Smash Hits spirit remains as strong as ever. Its run by an American lass who journeys amongst the canals of good ole, mainly European, pop music sung by a boatload of young men who have faces built to melt a thousand dictactors, voices that either serenade angels or depend on autotune and generally rely on tv shows to launch their careers. What I love about this place is that is devoid from all the political mess that has splattered itself all over the genre of pop music. What I mean is that the music produced by, say Gareth Gates, is dogged by its singer which means pop traditionalists will be turned off due to its surrounding negativity and will forget the music. This blog puts a stop to this, lifts the negativity surrounding such acts and says "hey, this music needs returning to cos its actually pretty good!". For e.g: on its release time I hated everything by the Abs. Couldnt stand any of it. But since featuring on PopPosterGirl I can't get enough of it. Megahugs...

Looking dappa in my TipTopPop!

Closely related to PopPosterGirl is TipTopPop. All of the above blogs will simply raise your interest in a band or act but like every man I've ever had will always leave you wanting more. With one song on DSTP/ZAP/PPG you tend to end up buying the entire back catalogue of the given act. This is sometimes a pretty hard thing to achieve. Why? Because pop is quite rare these days and many a time acts will pass you by without you even noticing due to poor funds on the side of the record company. Well, TipTopPop is somewhat different for it gives you a full blown overview of the acts output. Often or not these acts have never been released but its owner Splitchick uses her blog to bring ya stuff that aint ever gonna be in ya local VirginMegastores. You won't see no Gwen, Beyonce and Kylie here. Thankfully...For this reason alone makes TipTopPop makes proper bo! If you want some supreme chunks of pop where you get a real feel for the act this is the place to be. You won't get a full blown album, demo or Dutch only single. Oh no, this girl goes deeper than that. In th
is pop corner, you'll get an some of an unreleased album, a brilliant Japanese bonus track, something from a soundtrack: basically the best from the rest and reviews/selections from pop acts that history did best forget. This place is a must...Two good examples of how deep and dirty TipTopPop gives it you are the postings on Moonbaby and Mania. No one can compete against that kind of research/giving.

If you wanna be my lovah you gotta chartrigga-zah!

Making sense of of this strange world called pop is the popblog bible ChartRigger run by the Eddie/Patsy of blogspot: Jason and Moogaboo. You'll get all your news, gossip, giggles and chart information here. Occasionally you'll get a nice little track but this is more about the framework of the music industry rather than the content. Essential readings are the lovely dialectics involving Jason and Moogaboo which cover everything from Dannii Minogue and a thing called a Clay Aitken. Not quite sure what a Clay Aitken is but I think it involves art n crafts. But back to subject. These dualogs are called banterviews and they are now legend. In 2300 years time people will be forming religions over what the great Lord Jason and the Savior Moogaboo said. Many lives will be lost in the religious wars that ensues but for now grab some beluga and champers and cackle away at the damn funny comments and remarks.

So thats about it. Naturally I also love XO, SoundsOfSweden, Hotstuff, Fetch, OxygenChunks and PurePop but I couldnt cover them in all in here.


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Some words

Forgive the lack of updates; its not that I've fallen head over heals with a Swedish sailor or begun a new Shamen course in mountain ranges of India but have come undone with my laptop deciding to take a sabatical. This has led to my entire music collection soaring up into the disco lands of lysia. Now free, my mp3s-some of which included new unreleased Kylie tracks and Disney Demos-are fluttering around the cyberskies with halos and harps. Good luck to them I say!

While I've returned to reality I have been attempting to gain a six pack, fall in love and start the new university year in hope. These things I loved: Helen Mirren in The Queen, watching two girls bitchslap each other in Waitrose, the Cinnamon latte at Nero's and snogging girls I've not seen since stealing Smash Hits in 1994. Musically its about Dannii's new version of He's The Greatest Dancer which should leak soon. Emotionally its about Matthew (yum, yum, squeeze). Materially its about political t-shirts. Sexually its about sweat. Physically its about football practice on Saturday at the Hackney Marshes. Theoretically its about rethinking feminism. Negatively I can't quite get over my deep hatred of the PussyCat Dolls, President Bush and my brother. Therapeutically I'm sorting out the latter 'issue'. Realistically thinking this is going to be impossible. Conditionally though I'm fine.

Logicially its about...

This Blog. Coming back to its former self. This wont happen until I get my cumputer back from the Republic of Mackintosh. It is only then will I know about my music files and thus whether or not to continue this blog.

Pinkie out!

Friday, September 29, 2006

I'm slipping away like the sand to the tide....

Patricia Kaas-Quand J'ai Peur De Tout Stunning 1997 Original
Sugababes-Too Lost In You English 2003 Cover
Patricia Kaas-Quand J'ai Peir De Tout Haunting live version
Sugababes-Too Lost In You Single version
Sugababes-Someone In My Bed B-side to Too Lost In You sounds like the new Girls Aloud track
Sugababes-Down Down B-side to Too Lost In You that sounds like Round Round.

Patricia Kaas is one of the most popular French singers within the international music industry. According to Wikipedia she was born near the German border and was deeply influenced by Edith Piaf in her early life and music. Talk about being blessed in stardust: her first album Jalouse was produced by the film actor Gerard Depardieu and led to her debut winning major European awards.
From this moment on she's sold millions, performed on sell out tours all over France but also audiences in China and Russia. Shes currently on a bit of a break but is already working on another album with Peter Plate of the huge German rock-disco rock band Rosenstolz a move which could suggest a major change in direction for the nu-chanson singer.

However this post is really to celebrate the British pop band Sugababes. They're about to release their greatest hits package ready for the Christmas market and have had quite a poptastic ride in the merry world of music. They started out as a mini-me-All Saints collective of three just as All Saints begun imploading. I won't blab on about the ever changing members but concentrate on their musical history which rather sparkles. Sadly some of the Sugababes most stunning moments won't be on that cd for the record company never always picked the songs for singles. Must-have Sugababes tracks are Ace Reject, Soul Sound, Little Lady Love, Conversations Over, This Aint A Party Thing, Situation's Heavy and the majestic Whatever Makes You Happy. The latter's non-release is a great crime so check it out. I demand it! Since they broke out they've sold over 10 million records worldwide which is rather fab for a band dropped after flopping! It just goes to show that with a bit of patience & artist development eventually pays off in the end.

Anyway, what marked out Sugababes as "different" from other girl grops was the fact that they wrote all their songs for is this some bench mark of quality. Which it isnt, but for some reason it is in the music industry. Still, the Sugababes followed in the footsteps of their label-sisters, All Saints, by being the complete opposite of the other girl band of the day the poptastic trio, Atomic Kitten. Whereas Atomic Kitten jumped up and down with smiles induced by some overdose of the happy juice, the Sugababes barely moved and their faces revealed three girls who probably read far too much Sylvia Plath. Then they were joined by a rather chirpy lass from Liverpool who was once actually in Atomic Kitten and the rest they say is history.

Now despite the fact they've written most of their material theres one song that stands out as not theirs yet its quite beautiful, melancholic and addictive. Its also a prime example of when popeatspop and again like the previous post on St.Etienne takes us back to France. Too Lost In You, a video for which featured the girls in the classy departures lounge of Stansted Airport, was originally given to Patricia Kaas. Her version is less epic yet haunting. Both versions add something to the stunning ballad penned by almighty songwriter Diane Warren. However it is Patricia's that I prefer. Probably because it was the first version and her voice has a depth that has made her known as the voice.

So today we have a number of tracks for your delight. The original studio recording by Patricia Kaas from her 1997 release Dans Ma Chair, a stunning live version by Patricia, the Sugababes original edit of the song which mirrors the Kaas version and the album/single mix of the Sugababes version. Also included are the two b-sides that featured as the flipside for Too Lost In You. Is it me or does Someone In My Bed sound very close to the new Girls Aloud single? Even down to the "oooh!s". Call the lawyers! Ooh!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Yes! She never meant to call but she did anyway...

Etienne Daho-Weekend A Rome The French Original
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone The Cover
Princessa-He's On The Phone Rare cover of the cover
Saint Etienne-He's On the Phone Motiv8 Remix

Consider this thread a feeble excuse to talk about Saint Etienne: Britians poppiest band of the 1990's. One must admit I only did this thread because there isnt enough of Saint Etienne in blogworld. They were a clever pop band in Britain when it wasnt really that cool to be. They'd go back to the days of Dusty, Elton, Kate Bush, Donna Summer, Cilla, StockAitkenWaterman, and Italian disco long long before the Scissor Sisters were even dreamt of. The band were introduced to me by one of my brothers boyfriends and I'd rant off about them to my school mates who were all none-the-wiser. & Saint Etienne were quite amazing and to this day theres something 'word of mouth' about them. Tracks like Hug My Soul, ShowerScene, PaleMovie, Who Do You Think You Are and Nothing Can Stop Us are delicate pop anthems for the 21st century. At the Scissor Sisters best, Saint Etienne were simply mediocre and its time this band were probably recognised with a crown of fantastic kudos. They kinda paved the way for current acts like Lorraine and Goldfrapp.

Personally I think Who Do You Think You is ripe for covering by an act like Kylie or Girls Aloud with a little touch of the Richard X. You can't really go wrong with much of their material for the melodies are so rich and lyrics so distinct. The band consisted of three key members; Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell who are some of the most talented song writers+producers the world has to offer at the moment. They've worked with the girlgroup Shampoo and their songs they did with Kylie were deemed 'too pop'. If you could sum up their sound I'd say: restrained camp disco.

Typically I want to return to Scissor Sisters who are fab, abrasive, loud and cocky. Imagine the two bands as disco bunnies for one moment. Scissor Sisters would be high up on the podium in gold hotpants, screaming out quotes from PetShopBoy and Donna Summer records. Saint Etienne on the other hand have tears in the eyes because the disco loops are making them so warm they've never felt as loved or happy as they do while under the influence of the rising melodies and simple piano rifts. As the tears are wiped away they start to dance whilst whispering quotes from Dusty Springfield and Kylie Minogue b-sides. I love them!

Okay, so there two other acts here. He's On the Phone was originally a French pop song by Etienne Daho. He has worked with likes of Marrianne Faithful, Chris Isaak and Dani and even features on the Saint Etienne cover. He's a bit of a legend in France with loads of studio albums and a greatest hits collection released earlier this year. Weekend a Rome was one of his many hit singles when it was released in 1984. I was one so forgive me if I can't recall it.

Princessa is Spanish pop legend herself albiet quite unsung. Sadly there is very very very little on her on the web yet shes released a fair few number of singles. Her music covers Italian disco, Spanish trance and Swedish pop. Deeply influenced by the Beloved, Saint Etienne and Mecano her albums never sound too dated. Its a shame her current record label have pulled the release of her 3rd album for it used Eurovision songs as its template. She quickly covered the Saint Etienne version of He's On The Phone before the band could release theirs in Spain and Japan. Although she did well in those two aforementioned countries her version of the song is quite rare and very difficult to track down. Now love as i might Saint Etienne I think i actually prefer Princessas version. Don't know why...I think it might be the pronunciation of Leicester Square and instead of saying the 'shoes in hand' it sounds like 'cheese and ham'. Fantastic no?

I'd love it if Gwen and Girls Aloud hooked up with Saint Etienne. Even better I'd have an epi if they worked on Kylie's new album. Already half done with Jake Shears it would so achieve classic status with the addition of the Saint Etiennes disco dust. Its not like Kylie doesnt have their number....

So today we have the French original, the British cover and the ultra rare cover of the cover. Also included is a Motiv8 remix.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Your taking me higher than heaven....

Kelle Bryan-Higher Than Heaven The Original
Bardot-Higher Than Heaven The Cover

Like Tyler James, Kelle Bryan also got to release singles from an album that never made the stores despite heavy promotion in the press. Now it sadly gathers dust somewhere. Of course Kelle comes from the hit pop British girlgroup Eternal but with Higher Than Heaven many expected s
he'd become quite a solo act. Whilst the song crashed out at no.14 it contained a rather quirky video that recalled that infamous fagtastic moment with Rupert and Julia in My Best Friends Wedding. The scene was recently spoofed in the Hollywood blockbuster Date Movie which starred Sophie Monk....

....who used to be the girlband Bardot. I realise the link is rather tenuous but I am ill and i think it actually works. The band used Higher than Heaven for their first album which sold a rather huge amount. So much so that in true TV-made-pop-band-style when it was time to release another album the band broke up after poor sales. The girls are all busy with solo projects so its not like the break up was such a bad thing. I do predict however that they'll regroup in five years time when the mortgages need paying.

Back to Kelle though. She recently came a second in a British TV reality show dedicated to sex, z-list celebrities and bad Irish presenters. So not really a proud moment for her fans but exposure is exposure. Hopefully she'll do something with it and release something soon.

Its a nice little song. I prefer the original because theres a London feel about it especially that of areas like Shoreditch and Hackney. It also has a gospel aspect to hte production which cuddles up to Kelle's soaring vocals. The Bardot version gets involved but it feels unfinished. A facet which is highly likely as most of these tv reality albums tend to be rushed out so as to make the most money out their products.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm just a man with my sexual needs for your tending lovin' hands...

Foolish by Tyler James The original
Foolish by Gareth Gates The first cover
Foolish by Justin Guarini The second cover

Foolish by Mister Tyler James first appeared on the Open Season giveaway Cd. Since then it has been covered by two other acts straight out of the Idol bandwagon who both came second to the delightful Will Young and Kelly Clarkson. The album produced by Tyler ended up being spiked by bad record company blues and was only saved by Itunes. It includes a few collabs with Amy Winehouse and some great melodies. Sadly it was way before its time. The current "sound-2-b" Lily Allen appears to have traced nearly every damn trick that I first heard on his excellent LP titled the Unlikely Lad. The differences between Lilly and Tyler James are quite obvious though: one had a famous dad and Kylies hit writers on her album while the other had a record company trying to make out that he was some "east london" hoxton/estate boy.

This ploy did not work at all. Tyler James wouldnt even pass for a Camden debutante let alone a Kentish Town pikey. Think more Hampstead village...

Then they tried the "Mc-Fly" route by getting Danny to interview Tyler. Both of them wear far too gel and it sounds sooooo sixth form media studies. As you will hear Tyler loves Kylie and the Supremes. I miss you Tyler, get yourself a myspace and walk over Lily.

Now to the other singers. Everyone will know of the Gareth Gates story so theres little need to cover it here. He covered Foolish in the vein attempt to shed his former baby boy skin on his flop second album. His website says he's working on another album but thats been in the works for sometime. Theres a calendar out there of him showing his muscles and a chest so large it gives Jordan a run for her faketan vouchers. Its funny how fame works aint it?

The other singer of Foolish has quite a similar past to Gareth Gates. Not only did they both train their voices as choir boys but came second in the Pop Idol tv competition. I am talking of course of the quite yummy Justin Guarini. Like Gareth, he too appears to have stumbled on his second album whilst the winners Clarkson/Young remain with sell out tours and albums. You can can hear Tyler taking the backing vocals on all versions and something tells me we havent heard the last of Mr.James nor this little ditty.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

From all of the sadness, the tears that I've cried

3rd Party-Waiting For Tonight The Original
Jennifer Lopez-Waiting For Tonight The Cover
Alex Gaudino and Jerma pres.LilLove-Waiting For Tonight Excellent new nu-ItaloPop Cover
Jennifer Lopez-Waiting For Tonight/Walking On Sunshine Brilliant live performance of JLO's two greatest pop recordings. The Girl should really tour more! This is stunning
Jennifer Lopez-Una Noche Mas The Spanish version with better vocals IMO...
3rd Party-Pop Muzik Excellent cover of the first post-modern pop song...

Keeping this one small today. Primarily because I know very little about this band other than that they were one of my favourite bands of 1996. Thats 10 years ago! Ten years!!! I feelz so old! The band consisted of Maria, Karmine and Elaine. Maria is also one of the key songwriters on 3rd Partys one and only album 'Alive'. The album is absolutely poptastic and was probably just a bit before its time. It pre-empted the rebirth of pop music which we saw in the form of the Spice Girls, Cher and Britney and the band vanished only popping up on some cd soundtracks now and then. They were an American band doing Europop which was highly unusual and had jumped the gun.

In time, t
he songs they'd picked to release like Love Is Alive would be covered by artists like Anastacia and Joan Osborne. However today we're concentrating on the 3rd Party classic album track Waiting For Tonight. Many will remember this song as J:LO's most poptastic moment. The video was hot and the sound was ever so 'now'. When Kylies On A Night Like This came out many screamed 'copycat' without realing that the Lopez version was already 2 years old.

The Lopez version went on to become a signature song for Lopez. Selling over a million, a top 10 single in the US, UK and most of Europe.
Crucially it managed to grab Lopez out of the Latino fad that was very quickly losing its grip on the charts and thus secured her longevity which has now spanned over five albums.It ripped through the clubs landing on most dance charts at the top end. All of which, despite seeing a song that could have made her band huge, pleased Maria no end as she wrote it!

In fact Maria has written quite a lot for pop acts we all know. Celine Dion and N*Sync stand out but its the Lopez track that has bankrolled Marias first solo album which you can check out for yourselves over at her official website.

Included today we have the quite rare original by 3rd Party, the monster Lopez hit, a very recent brilliant cover by an Italian dance group which is doing very well in the clubs of Rome & Florence, an amazing live version taken from Jennifer's one and only time shes staged a concert and the Spanish version of the song. For the sake of celebrating 3rd Party's ten year aniversary I've also included their rather brilliant poptastic cover of Pop Muzik that sounds very PAY-TV...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Every good girl hears it, every bad boy fears it...

Amy Grant-The Power Original version released in 1994 on the House Of Love LP
Cher-The Power Available on the huge album Believe
Cher-Strong Enough(Gay version) Released in time for the Australian Mardi Gra

Cher-I'm Only Human Stunning newish track by Cher with an epic chorus

As some of you might already know my family are deeply religious and so whilst growing up the only music allowed had to be sanctioned by a higher force. One of the acts that my mother allowed was the American singer Amy Grant despite the fact she was, as my mother would always say, 'from a different and most shameful house of Christianity'. Now Christian pop music was generally quite lame back then so Amy Grant was the best of a very bad selection so I wouldnt mind her music. In fact I think this facet gave Amy Grant the title of "Queen of Christian pop music". Which kinda makes her the true Madonna of pop music if you think of it terms of theology.

Occasionally Amy would step into dance and The Power represented that move. However like most of my parents music I refused to actually allow it pass into my brain no matter how many times my mother played the songs. Then came 1997, I was 14 and secretly dancing to Cher's Believe single that was spreading throughout the world. Eventually I bought the parent album and with my brother we set up a secret listening party in his room. It was like G-a-y or Heaven in the bedroom. If you can imagine two boys dancing to heavy disco with headphones sellotaped to their heads so they wouldnt fall off mid-strut then you got the scene.

We listened and danced to the hit single for about 45 minutes. Sooner or later I remember we got tired of track one and thus allowed the cd player to carry to track two. As it started we froze. Had our parents taken over Cher? Had they caught us listening to forbidden music? My brother jumped out of the coma first and stopped the music immediately. I felt as if suddenly the world was looking down on us and had discovered us. In the sudden silence I looked at the tracklist of the Cd and realised that Cher had covered the song.

Eventually we got over the amalgamation and begun to love her version, which as ya might hear, is exactly same as the 1994 Amy Grant version. It hasnt been changed, pumped up, lyrically altered or disco frenzied. However the song has a greater significance for me...

My brother conspired to la madre that Cher was in fact a Christian act and thus we could play her. That year we changed my mother into a Cher fan all because we provided The Power as concrete proof of her religious leanings. The Power was the ultimate catalyst that changed her opinion on the grand dame of all things fabulous. If there was a dinner party she'd put on Believe in the understanding that Cher was an avid follower of her God. This pleased me no end especially as I, in following in my brothers deviancy, swapped the album mix Strong Enough with the 'gay version'. On any given morning, the family would sit there slowly waking up to Strong Enough without infraction as they were all none the wiser. Except, of course, for us gay boys sitting around the table. My brother and I would eat our cornflakes with mountains of glee beaming from within. This was our way saying 'this is us' and for those moments all was calm, accepting and our desired 'happy+united family' scenario.

So The Power was the key song that made my life just a little bit easier as a teenager. It also allowed us to come out in our little way.

Today we have the original The Power by Amy Grant which is quite good, the Cher version, the Gay version of Strong Enough recorded for Australian Gay Pride and a stunning Cher track called Human. Oh and I need some suggestions regarding songs. Lined up we've got more Kylie, a bit of J:LO and Anna Vissi! Send an email if ya got any thoughts...