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Stephen L. Freeman's Top 30 Greatest Girlie-Girl Disco Tracks EVER!

Written by STEPHEN L FREEMAN

 


Many years ago I was talking with Joseph Watt about doing work for RazorMaid. (Unfortunately, it never happened, because Scott Cox forbade any of the Hot Tracks editors to work for anyone else.) I'd said to Joseph that I didn't think he'd have much to assign me, given my Hi-NRG reputation. "Why not?" he said. Sounding quite surprised. "We've done Girlie-Girl stuff." Inexplicably dumbstruck, by that sentence coming from Joseph; I immediately embraced the term, for the genre of Disco that I'm an absolutely rabid collector of.

Girlie-Girl Disco is music that's, most often: as formulaic as possible... practically vapid in content... aimed directly at a market-target audience... irresistible to everyone, on some level, for it's sparkling NRG.. and, to quote Nancy Culp's review of Sinitta's debut LP: "I happen to like the sound of Dead Or Alive, in ra-ra skirts." or, "So what if the lyrics are strictly teen-mag cartoon fodder. Sinitta's not trying to be Kate Bush, or Joni Mitchell." and my favorite, from Caroline Sullivan's revue: "Sinitta could... be in your life, if you happen to be a 15 year old with a taste for white shoes and a sister called 'Chelle'. (With lyrics) that are spot-on reflections of a lifestyle that's traditionally dismissed with exquisite scorn by us middle-class elitists."

It was Simon Cowell, who gave me my first BIG break in the business, by granting me free-reign over the Sinitta LP, based solely upon a couple phone calls between us and my enthusiasm for the project. Donna granted me the permission for use of her entire SAW LP, right after that. Then Hot Tracks' offer of Producer derailed my own company plans. So I took the tracks with me, when I went to work for HT and assembled the meat of Hot Tracks' Issue No. 8-2. With songs by Sinitta, Kylie Minogue, Donna Summer, Samantha Gilles and Love & Kisses. A heavy-handed, candy-floss collection, indeed! That commenced a change in direction and the start of a new identity for Hot Tracks.

Issue 8-2 pulled the company out of relative obscurity... filled a looming financial hole... was one of (if not the) fastest issue sell-outs in Hot Tracks' history... as well as bringing myself and the company, our first National Hi-NRG Awards. And when I listen to those mixes now, I cringe at the blatant lack of skills. (Thankfully, I got to re-create and clean-up the Donna mix, for CD release.) But the ideas were there. Enough so, to take Donna Summer, on the Hot Tracks label, all the way to No. 2 on the DMR / Hi-NRG Top 25. Only to be replaced on the charts by the commercial 12", with it's release the same week it hit No.1.

Girlie-Girl Disco's been very good to me over the years. So, I'd like to present the best-of-the-best, for your consideration, direct from the genre's biggest fan:

30) Oh Mama - Lili & Sussie (feat. Ankie Bagger) - 1987 - Sonet - Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu3rkrCOLO4
Kicking-off the Top-30 with pink & white splatter-vinyl. (And check out Ankie, lookin' 2 tuff on the bv's!)

29) Running Back For More - Delage - 1991 - Polydor - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBx5TDlc-EU
http://www.remixservices.com/issue/4274/1/NRG+For+The+90's+Issue+7.aspx
Originally named "DAZZLE" on the promo copies of their 1st single "Rock The Boat", the group's name was changed to "DELAGE" just prior to it's commercial release.

28) That's What Love Can Do - Boy Krazy - 1992 - Polydor - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkY6ODM0a-8
http://www.hotdiscomix.de/remix_services/nrg_series/nrg_008.htm
The original video was done to my version for the US 12" mix. (which knocked Whitney Houston's "I WIll Always Love You" out of the #1 spot...thank you very much!) Then, was re-cut to a shorter edit of my version. And then again, to the US 7" mix. I couldn't find a post of the original video. But this post was done from my version for Next Plateau's US release. (With incorrect text referring to it as the original Pete Ford mix.)

27) You'll Never Stop Me Loving You - Sonia - 1989 - Chrysalis - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nMp3YvL6mg
And doesn't she make just the cutest lil' stalker ya ever did see?

26) Superman - Celi Bee & the Buzzy Bunch - 1977 - APA - US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlAf0CIqgJ0
This video uses my version, 'Lois' Multiple Orgasm Mix', from Hot Classics Issue 7

25) School Girl Crush - Nayobe - 1985 - Fever - US
http://www.feverrecords.com/nayobebio.shtml
I wish I could find a video link. This is excellent Free-style girl-pop!

24) Let Him Go - Viviann Vee - 1980 - Emergency - Canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOIu_lUeEic
Classic teen-angst.

23) Naughty Boy - Macho Gang - 1988 - Macho / London - Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNpJSMTDfaQ
Loved those Farina & Crivellente productions. With a back-beat so strong, that it kicks you in the head!

22) Running Bear - Suzy Mack - 1987 - Polydor - Germany
http://www.discomusic.com/records-more//11575_0_2_0_C/
Sounds like the love-child of Peter Griffin & Vanessa. And the b-side "Shake, Shake" is an extraordinary groove!

21) Love Me All Up - Stacy Earl - 1991 - RCA - US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaXVEUAO-Xk
I prefer the 12" mix...a bit more funky. But this is all I could find.

20) Er Gehort Zu Mir (Remake '88) - Marianne Rosenberg - 1988 - Hansa - Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV6Aq-qWXKA
For a few years, I'd trade records with a German DJ who vacationed in Fort Lauderdale, every year. And I treasure this gift, from him. Along with the exquisitely melodramatic chords of "Eins, zwei, drei (ich hab gedacht es ist vorbei)". Language ceased to matter, as the vocal delivery and musical arrangement surpassed the importance of understanding the lyric. When I played Marianne, during season, all the Euro-boys in the club would take-over the dance-floor!

19) Fairy Tale High - Donna Summer - 1977 - Casablanca - US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdY8bPaJyS4
LOOK! IT'S MIMI!!!!!!

18) He's My Boy - Mandy - 1988 - PWL - UK
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6x7kb_mandy-smith-hes-my-boy_music
Essex-girl translation: "Stay away from my guy, or I'll kick your ass." Love it!!!

17) Boy Crazy - The Flirts - 1982 - Unidisc - Canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdzKl9ndFB8
All genuflect. It's the Girlie-Girl Goddesses.

16) Take A Chance - Bizzy & Co. - 1982 - DEEJAY - Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5xAAj38_cc
And all anybody ever remembers is "the giggle".

15) Run To Me - Tracy Spencer - 1985 - Ibiza - Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPALPa5lFns
Massive NRG hit. I dare anyone to sit-still, when this comes on.

14) Tonight - V.V. Anne - 1986 - Chapulin - Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2N_sTBAYP8
Sound quality's horrid and the record's playback is slow, but it's the only file I could find.
The actual record (played at the right speed) is sugar-coated, cotton-candy, fluffy fun!

13) If You Say You Love Me - Tina Gabriel - 1988 - MEM - Italy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzRd0hjcYY
Over-the-top Girlie-Girl! This track could send you into a Diabetic coma.
I think the direct rip-off of "I Should Be So Lucky" is also why I love this, sooo much.

12) S.O.S. - Angie - 1987 - Passion - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWjXtySXRno
Keep the Insulin close by for this one, too.

11) Hold Me, Squeeze Me - Michelle - 1977 - West End - US
http://www.discomusic.com/records-more/4998_0_2_0_C/
Sooo cutesy that, even I didn't have the balls to program this when it was released. But, for what it is, it's absolute perfection!

10) Upside Down (Dizzy Does It Make Me) - Vanessa - 1982 - Dureco Benelux - Holland
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zmQR45bkBs
Loved the song for 25 years. But, after Johan led me to this video, I became a Vanessa fan-atic. She's guilty-pleasure personified!

09) Up In A Puff Of Smoke - Polly Brown - 1975 - GTO - US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6I5UiuueoU&feature=related
One of DIsco's first Euro-stars... Polly Brown hit NYC Top 40 with this.

08) I'm Gonna Get Your Love - Jade - 1982 - Les Disques Star / Polydor - Canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8g06WDmCeyE
aka Nancy Martin aka Nancy Martinez... The link is to a video created using my remix from Hot Classics Issue 8. (With incorrect text and photo, crediting it as the Rams Horn release of the DiscoNet Remix)

07) Sugar Daddy / L'Homme Riche - Keren & Chelle - 1989 - Atlantic - US
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7JzLB8xil0c
I'm still astounded that this got a US release. The b-side, french version has a better mix than the english, though.

06) I Should Be So Lucky - Kylie Minogue - 1987 - PWL - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Mg8m49vSM8
The beginning of my addiction to all things PWL / SAW... I beat all 4 mixes of this track into the ground, for a year! To the point where the staff at Tacky's, called me "Kylie", so often, that a couple customers actually thought my real name was "Kyle"!

05) People Say It's In The Air - Ankie Bagger - 1988 - Sonet - Sweden
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lih0sO4Q4oU <---original 1988 video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGesDcZKtZc <---2008 live performance video
GOD: Stephen, we're sending you back. But this time, as a woman.
STEPHEN: Okay. But make me look like Ankie Bagger.
(Seriously!!! Even 20 years later, she's still as hot as it gets!)

04) GTO - Sinitta - 1987 - Fanfare - UK
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuGsmWaJ5zw <--- original single video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf_s2HdALpY <--- Modina's Red Roaring Mix
GOD: Sorry. We've already got 2 Ankie Bagger clones on back-order.
STEPHEN: Okay, then make me look like Sinitta!
To quote Forum member PhyllisHyman: "Americans just can't do pop-stars like the Brits..."

03) Baby Boy - Me & My - 1995 - EMI-Medley - Denmark
Dub-I-Dub - Me & My - 1996- Encore - Denmark
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f3TCIDdXMc <--- Baby Boy
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgM5qJUrbN4 <--- Dub-I-Dub
A dead-heat tie for 3rd place, here. Indescribable! BIG fun, from an awesome sister-act.

02) The More I See You - Bubbles - 1987 - Black Sun / Matra - Canada
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXsFbxVdVrQ <--- original version, by Chris Montez
Produced by the UNIDISC super-duo, Robert Matichak & Richard Buck, this bilingual, english / french remake of Chris Montez's 1966 hit, is probably the best-kept, Hi-NRG, Girlie-Girl secret ever! My copy is the only one I've ever seen. And the only mention of it, that I could find on the Internet, is in a UNIDISC / Black Sun catalogue reference. It is incomparable, light-hearted Hi-NRG! Only just-barely nudged out of the #1 Girly-Girl spot, by...

01) The Girl You Need - Tracey - 1988 - Hansa - Germany
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zFspjrVRjs <---crappy upload of the original video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuIWSqs6VwQ <---excellent upload of the 12" mix
The maraschino-cherry on top of the 5-tier, pink-n-purple frosted, red rosettes garnished, Sweet 16, Girlie-Girl cake!
And... (I'm not kidding...) This record saw serious, hoot-n-holler, running to the floor, hands-in-the-air, dance-floor action at the legendary Sunday Leather T-Dance, at Tacky's, Fort Lauderdale, for about 6 months!