Thursday, 27 November 2008

Boogie Box High - Jive Talkin'

From 1987, this was a cover version of the Bee Gee's 1975 hit "Jive Talkin". The track was produced by Andreas Georgiou, who was the cousin of former WHAM! singer George Michael. At the time of the tracks release it was rumoured that the vocalist was actually George Michael. The animated video to the song gave no clue to whether the rumour was true, and the sleeve of the record also gave nothing away.

The rumour was of course true, as George Michael's vocals were instantly recognisable. The song peaked at #7 on the UK charts in August 1987. A further single "Give It All Away" was released was released in September 1987 but was not a hit, peaking at #88 in the UK charts.


Jive Talkin' (7" Version)
Jive Talkin' (12" Version)
Jive Talkin' (Fever Pitch Mix)


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pop Gems Club Forum

As some of you may know, the old Pop Gems forum was removed. I don't know what happened to it. It just seemed to disappear.

I've started a new one, which you're all welcome to join.

Renamed to Pop Gems Club. It's a forum where you'll be welcome to post your OWN Pop Gems, and request any that you've been searching for. And if anything good is posted on the forum by members then it may well find itself put onto the blog too!

So, please join if you can.



Monday, 24 November 2008

Vanilla - No Way No Way

Vanilla was a 4 member girl band which released 2 singles in the late 90's. Their debut single "No Way No Way" was based on Piero Umilani's "Mah Na Mah Na". At the time they were one of the many girl groups that had popped up in the wave of the Spice Girls. The song peaked at #14 in the UK charts in December 1997.

Though ridiculed at the time, this track is still remembered more than 10 years after its release but quite often referred to as one of the worst pop records of all time. They released a further single "True To Us" and then were unceremoniousy dropped from their record label.


No Way No Way (Original Radio Edit)
No Way No Way (Progress Radio Edit)
No Way No Way (Progress Fromage Mix)
No Way No Way (Disco Kats Mix)
No Way No Way (Xenomania 12" Mix)


Vanilla - True To Us

From 1998, this was the 2nd (and final) single from short-lived British girl-group. The single peaked at #36 in the UK charts, and due to its lack of success the group were dropped from their record label shortly after. Vanilla are often quoted as being 'the worst girl-band ever', mainly due to the reaction from their first single "No Way No Way". "True To Us" however, is surprisingly good and is a fantastic pop single. Had this been their first single, then their career may have lasted a bit longer!


True To Us (Xenomania Edit)
True To Us (Xenomania Remix)
True To Us (Next Room Original Edit)


Andy Williams - Where Do I Begin (Love Story)

From 1971, this was the theme tune to the 1970 hit movie "Love Story". The track gave Andy Williams a top ten hit with it peaking at #4 in the UK charts.

In 1979, in the midst of the dance craze, a disco version of the song was released. Unfortunately it wasn't a success. I think though, it was Andy Williams only venture into dance/club music!


Where Do I Begin (Love Story)
Where Do I Begin (Love Story) (Disco Version)


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Girls at Play

Girls@Play were a British five-piece girl group, consisting of Vicky Dowdall, Lisa-Jayne White, Rita Simons, Lynsey Shaw and Shelley Nash. They were produced by Mike Stock & Matt Aitken of former Stock Aitken Waterman fame.

Each member of the band had a different character that they played in their music videos. Dowdall played a cowgirl, White an executive, Simons a mechanic, Shaw a New York City traffic cop and Nash a pilot.

Debut single "Airhead" peaked at #18 in the UK charts in February 2001. Their second single was a cover version of the Mel & Kim hit "Respectable". The track stalled at #29 in the UK charts in October 2001. A third single, "Brand New Car" was planned and even performed on promotional tours. The track was never released as the band split-up in November 2001.

Since the split, other tracks from the band have leaked onto the internet. These include the planned third single "Brand New Car", "Everything I Need", "Outta My Head" and also a cover of the Donna Summer/Stock Aitken Waterman track "When Love Takes Over You".

Former member Rita Simons is now famous for playing Roxy Mitchell in the UK soap-opera "Eastenders".

I don't have these in any higher quality. If anyone does, then please do contact me.


Airhead (Piston Radio Mix)
Brand New Car
Everything I Need
When Love Takes Over You
Outta My Head
Respectable (Extended Mix)
Airhead (Extended Rodeo Mix)
Respectable (The System 3 Mix)


*Thanks to licho_steps on muzicmatters for these.

The Nolans - I'm In The Mood For Dancin '89

From 1989, this was a newly recorded version of The Nolans 1979 hit "I'm In The Mood For Dancing". The track is often mislabled and mistaken as being a PWL remix. In actual fact it was produced by Barry Upton, and remixed by Barray. Unfortunately the song didn't perform well in the charts, peaking at #99 in the UK.

The b-side is "No Question", a fantastic pop song, which in my opinion is better than the lead a-side track.


I'm In The Mood For Dancin '89 (Radio Version)
I'm In The Mood For Dancin '89 (Club Mix)
I'm In The Mood For Dancin '89 (Instrumental)
No Question


*Thanks to Jens for these tracks.

Kim Wilde - Loved

From 2001, this was a new song that Kim Wilde recorded for her album "The Very Best Of Kim Wilde". The track as a single across continental Europe, and featured a remix from Beam vs Pulsedriver. It had varying degrees of chart success, reaching #68 in Switzerland, #45 in Sweden, #19 in Finland, and #7 in Belgium.


Loved (Single Edit)
Loved (Pulsedriver Vs. Beam Radio Mix)
Loved (Pulsedriver Vs. Beam Remix)


Friday, 21 November 2008

Monie Love Vs Adeva - Ring My Bell

From 1991, labled as a 'super super heavybass contest', "Ring My Bell" was a dance/rap collaboration between Monie Love & Adeva. The instrumentation for the track was heavily influenced from "Vogue" by Madonna. The track peaked at #35 in Australia, and #20 in the UK.


Ring My Bell
Ring My Bell (Touchdown Mix)
Ring My Bell (Upper Cut Mix)


Paula Abdul - The Promise Of A New Day

From 1991, this was the second single released from Paula Abdul's "Spellbound" album. It had a varied performance around the world, reaching #86 in Germany, #52 in the UK, #31 in Australia, #8 in Canada, and #1 in the US. The track was Abdul's sixth chart-topping single, and her last #1 hit to date.


The Promise Of A New Day (7 Inch Edit)
The Promise Of A New Day (West Coast 12 Inch)
The Promise Of A New Day (Extended Club Version)


Salt 'N' Pepa - Start Me Up

From 1992, this was the first single taken from Salt 'N' Pepa's 4th album "Very Necessary". In 1991 and early 1992 the group had had a string of hit singles, including "Do You Want Me", "Lets Talk About Sex" and "You Showed Me". Unfortunately "Start Me Up" wasn't a huge hit, peaking at #39 in the UK, #44 in Germany, and #84 on the US R&B chart.


Start Me Up (Radio Edit)
Start Me Up (Alternative Edit)
Start Me Up (Original Version)
Start Me Up (Club Version)
Start Me Up (DJ's Choice)


The Weather Girls - Success

From 1983, this was the title track from their album from that year. The album also contained their biggest and most well-known hit "It's Raining Men". Although a dance hit, "Success" didn't perform well in the regular charts. The song peaked at #95 in the UK charts.


Success (7" Version)
Success (Full Length Version)


Monday, 17 November 2008

La Toya Jackson - Such A Wicked Love

From 1988, "Such A Wicked Love" was taken from La Toya Jackson's 5th album "La Toya". For its release the track was given a remix by its producers, hip-hop production team Full Force. It was released on a 12" single in the U.S. but failed to gain an audience and never charted. No video was filmed for the song.

It's certainly one of the strong tracks from the "La Toya" album, and in my humble opinion "Such A Wicked Love" certainly deserved much greater success than it received. It's an awesome hip-hop 80's pop-dance track, and is certainly on par with anything her more famous brother & sister were releasing at the time. Well worth a listen, and definitely one of my favourites - a deserved Pop Gem.


Such A Wicked Love (7" Version)
Such A Wicked Love (F.F. Remix)
Such A Wicked Love (Instrumental)
Such A Wicked Love (Album Version)


Big Fun II - Stomp

After band member Jason Herbert left Big Fun, the remaining two members Phil Creswick & Mark Gillespie continued the band but slightly altered the band name, changing it to "Big Fun II".

"Stomp" was released in 1994, and would prove to be their only single released. The track failed to chart in the UK but did reach #12 on the US Hot Dance Club Play chart.


Stomp Radio Edit)
Stomp (DT Radio Edit)
Stomp (UK Extended Version)
I Don't Wanna Hurt You


Thursday, 13 November 2008

Girl Talk - Marvellous Guy

Girl Talk was a British girl group formed by Karen Wright and Leigh Pearce. The girls, aged 12 and 13 respectively, released their debut single, "Can The Rhythm", in 1983 on Park Records. By the next year Pearce had been replaced by Karen's sister Julie. Signed to Innervision Records, the pair released the single "Marvellous Guy" in 1984, produced by Peter Collins, but it failed to chart.

Their only hit in the UK was their second Innervision single, a re-recorded "Can The Rhythm", which reached #92 in October 1984. The track was an early production of the hitmaking team Stock Aitken and Waterman. "Can The Rhythm" was also released in the United States, where it was released through Geffen Records and reached #26 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart in 1985.

In 1987, the sisters moved to WEA records and released two further singles, Falling For You (produced by The Quick) and I Will Give You Love (produced by John Rocca) which failed to chart.

Of note, unlike most of the girl groups of the era, three of their singles were written solely by group member Karen Wright.

If anyone out there has anymore information on Girl Talk, or where they are today please do contact me.


Marvellous Guy
Marvellous Guy (Extended Version)
Marvellous Guy (Instrumental)


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Sweet Sensation - Love Child

A request from me. Does anyone have the single versions of "Hooked On You", "Never Let You Go", "Sincerely Yours", "Take It While It's Hot" & "Victim Of Love". If so, please contact me.

Sweet Sensation were a female dance music trio who specialized in freestyle from 1987 until 1991. Group members were Betty LeBron and sisters Margie and Mari Fernandez. Previous hits included "Hooked on You" (US #64), "Sincerely Yours" (US #14) & "Hooked on You" (US #23)

"Love Child", a cover of the 1968 hit from Diana Ross & The Supremes was the title track from their second album and peaked at #15 in the US charts. They would have a US #1 with their next single "If Dreams Come True".


Love Child (Single Version)
Love Child (Extended Version)


Gayle and Gillian - Mad If Ya Don't!

From 1993, this was the second single from Gayle & Gillian (a.k.a. The Twins). Gayle & Gillian Blakeney are probably most famous for appearing in the Australian soap opera "Neighbours" in the early 90's. Following the success of former "Neighbours" actors Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan as recording artists, the Blakeneys went to England in 1991 to record with Stock Aitken Waterman as "The Twins". The resulting single, "All Mixed Up," became a modest club hit that year, and peaked at #77 in the UK Pop chart that year (peaking at #74 in Australia).

"Mad If Ya Don't!" fared slightly better than the previous single, peaking at #75 in the UK charts. The b-side was "Sacred Kisses". One further single was released from the girls in 1994, a cover version of the Prince track "I Wanna Be Your Lover" peaking at #62 in the UK charts.


Mad If Ya Don't!
Mad If Ya Don't! (Club Mix)
Mad If Ya Don't! (Dub Mix)
Sacred Kisses


Monday, 10 November 2008

Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby

From 1993, Mr Blobby was a HUGELY popular character from the UK TV show "Noels House Party". He was a large pink humanoid, covered with yellow spots, sporting a permanent toothy grin and jiggling eyes. He communicated by saying the word "blobby" in an electronically-altered voice, expressing his moods through tone of voice and repetition. He was distinctive, absurd and very popular.

Some found him completely hilarious, while others found him totally annoying. Regardless of this the character was popular enough to have his own song released and it actually became that years Christmas Number #1!! Blobby-tastic!!!


Mr Blobby
Mr Blobby's Theme
Mr Blobby (Instrumental Mix)
"Blobby, Blobby, Blobby"


DJ Freeze - Terminator 2 Judgement Day

Something a bit different - From 1991, this track by DJ Freeze was inspired by the then released movie "Terminator 2: Judgement Day". It's a hardcore dance track, and features samples from the original "Terminator" movie. It's hard, fast, and packs a powerful hardcore PUNCH but failed to make a dent on the UK charts.


Terminator 2 Judgement Day


Friday, 7 November 2008

The Nolans - Chemistry

From 1981, this was one of two hits that The Nolans had that year, the first being "Attention To Me" which reached #9 in the UK charts. "Chemistry" couldn't beat this position and peaked at #15 in September of that year. The track also reached #51 in Australia, #23 in Japan and #11 in Ireland.

The Nolans would have a further hit, "Don't Love Me Too Hard" (UK #14), in February 1982 but this would prove to be the last appearance by the band in the UK top 20.




Sophie Lawrence - Secrets

From 1991, "Secrets" was to be the second single released from Sophie Lawrence following the success of her #21 hit "Love's Unkind". The track was a cover version of a song that had been featured on Kylie Minogue's "Rhythm Of Love" album. Sophie's version was produced by Nigel Wright & Stock Aitken Waterman, with the 12 Inch version being remixed by Pete Hammond. The b-side was "It's Just A Matter Of Time".

The song wasn't a hit however, as the single was withdrawn just before its release. At the time, some record stores did receive copies of the single to sell. It's unclear though why the song was pulled so close to its actual release. Sophie Lawrence quit pop after this fiasco and returned to acting.


Secrets (Radio Edit)
Secrets (Extended Version)
It's Just A Matter Of Time


*Thanks to ManicKangaroo, Ingvar & Ash for helping with these.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Liza Minnelli - Love Pains

This was the final single released from the Pet Shop Boys produced album "Results". Liza Minnelli had had a huge hit with first single "Losing My Mind" (UK #6) in 1989, but subsequent singles "Don't Drop Bombs" (UK #46) & "So Sorry I Said" (UK #62) seemed unable to match its success.

"Love Pains" peaked at #41 in the UK charts, and reached #40 on the US dance chart. For its release the track received remixes from Steve 'Silk' Hurley.


Love Pains
Love Pains (Steve 'Silk' Hurley's Radio Edit)
Love Pains (Steve 'Silk' Hurley's Mix)
Love Pains (Steve 'Silk' Hurley's Deep House Pains)


Sunday, 2 November 2008

Eartha Kitt - Where Is My Man


"Where Is My Man" is the title of a song from 1983 by the American singer and actress Eartha Kitt. The song was co-written by comedy writer Bruce Vilanch along with musicians and producers Fred Zarr and Jacques Morali.

The song was released as a single in late 1983 and features Kitt singing in a low, seductive-sounding voice. Included in the song are some sounds that have come to be associated with Kitt, including a purring sound similar to one she made while portraying Catwoman on the 1960s TV series Batman. The lyrics to the song detail specific things the singer expects to receive from her future lover, such as a trip to Saint-Tropez and shopping at Tiffany's.

In the United Kingdom, "Where Is My Man" reached the Top 40 on the UK Singles Chart, where it peaked at #36. It was also a hit in dance clubs around the world. In the US, the song made the Top 10 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart, peaking at #7 and remaining on the survey for 14 weeks.

The track has been re-released twice new with remixes, in 1993 and also 1998. Unfortunately the track didn't perform as well as the original release.


Where Is My Man (Original Single Version)
Where Is My Man (Original Club Mix)
Where Is My Man (1993 Single Version)
Where Is My Man (1993 Extended Mix)
Where Is My Man (Fancy Radio Mix)
Where Is My Man (Original Special Radio Edit)
Where Is My Man (Joe T. Vannelli Radio Attack)
Where Is My Man (Snapshot Radio Cut)
Where Is My Man (Fancy Club Mix)
Where Is My Man (Joe T. Vannelli Attack Mix)


Saturday, 1 November 2008

Samantha Janus - A Message To Your Heart

This track was the UK entry for the 1991 Eurovision Song Contest. It took the tenth-place slot with 47 points. It was the worst showing for the United Kingdom since 1987. After Eurovision, the song placed at #30 on the UK Singles Chart. The b-side was "Heaven Is A Place For Heroes".

Janus went on to become a successful actress, but despite her achievements, her entry into the Eurovision is frequently remarked upon. She has said regarding the experience that her failure in the contest devastated her at the time and thought it would spell the end of her career. She has also called her appearance 'ridiculous', in that she was dressed in a pink mini-dress while singing about starving children and says the lyrics of the song are burned into her memory forever.


A Message To Your Heart
A Message To Your Heart (Extended Version)
Heaven Is Place For Heroes


*Thanks to Danny for the Extended Version & the b-side, and to Mark for the regular version.

Macho Gang - Sahara

Macho Gang were an Italo Dance act, consisting of members Clara Moroni, Giuliano Crivellente & and producer Mauro Farina. This track is from 1988, taken from their album "Macho & Lions". It's a fantastic Italo Disco dance track, and the extended version has so many sounds that are reminiscent of PWL/Stock/Aitken/Waterman that you could almost believe that it came from the Hit Factory.

I know very little else about the group, apart from the fact that they released several single in the late 80's & 90's - including "Naughty Boy", "My Lion", "When Somebody Loves Me", "Shake Shake" and "Stepping Up".

If anyone does know anything further about them then please leave a comment.


Sahara (Short Version)
Sahara (Extended Version)