Wipe Off The Dust: Back Up...Jody Watley Had Some Singles Before "Looking For A New Love"?

Friday, January 22, 2010

One glorious thing about the Internet is that it is a never-ending abyss of knowledge...especially knowledge that you can find out about late at night when you're bored, have no place else to go and have a penchant for fighting sleep (like I do). To me, that's when the best and sometimes craziest discoveries are unearthed, thus posts like these are crafted. While I was engaging in some Jody Watley video fare, I dug around and found out that Miss Watley had some solo singles out long before she released her self-titled 1987 solo debut and won a Best New Artist Grammy. Now maybe some of you guys and gals may have known of this, and if you do...you get a box of Girl Scout Thin Mint cookies, because this piece of info is all new to me. And here I thought I knew a majority of Watley's body of work. Well, you always learn something new everyday...

After doing some investigative music journalism, it was found out that after Watley split from the group Shalamar, she started recording for a solo album in the UK and released two promo singles, "Where The Boys Are" and "Girls Night Out" in 1984 under just her first name. The songs didn't spark much fanfare, thus the proposed album was never crafted. Proof of Watley jump starting her solo career right after Shalamar parted ways lies in this long-lost video of the single, "Where The Boys Are" (which you can see after the cut).

Always the fashionista, Watley was always ahead of the style game, and in the vid for "Where The Boys Are" you can see the beginnings of that fashion evolution right down to the men dress shirts, full bloom skirts and gloves. Yet, she looked more polished and buffed by the time she released "Looking For A New Love", plus had the addition of sterling silver hoop earrings that were as a big as a fist. Even though she looks great, that hair is making me take the "say something nice challenge"...

Is it just me or did every female pop star during the Age of Neon Leggings have some sort of song detailing a "girl's night out"? It seemed to be a big theme back in the 80's. Or maybe that's just me....I ask this because Watley had a single about --you guessed it-- what girls do when they ditch the boys and prance around in the late-night streets. The next single to be released was "Girls Night Out" in 1985 and like "Where The Boys Are", the single didn't latch on even though it had every element of a grandiose power pop song.

It's not a bad little crunchy club hopper....
....but Jody clearly benefited later on when she began to work with producer Andre Cymone, whom produced her first three solo albums. It's obvious from listening to these two tracks that the production for Watley later on was a lot sharper and fit her personality better as both of these demos could've been given to any pop star at that time.

Yet, from the sound of the production it sounds like the precursor of what UK pop acts like Sinitta, Haywoode, Samantha Fox and Princess would come to have careers with...or rather what Stock, Aiken and Waterman built a pop empire on during the late 80's and early 90's. Hmm...wonder if Jody's failed demos were the inspiration? One can only wonder...

4 comments:

  1. ur blog layout is great! omg jody loooks soooo good in that blue thing!

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  2. And I don't even think Jody gets the props she deserves cause she's been in this business for over 20 years.

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  3. hi, just want to point out that these songs weren't demos,they were fully produced singles released in the uk,i have both of them on 7" and 12" singles.they also came with extended versions which are also great versions.they were written and produced by jody and bruce woolley (who had connections with art of noise and the ztt label (the guys behind frankie goes to hollywood)i believe the album even had a title "i'm the girl".there was a 3rd song called "my house (4-free)" which was the b-side to both singles.shame they didn't take off as i loved the whole production and direction of these songs :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for pointing that out Lee. I meant to say "single" instead of "demo" for "Girls Night Out", just a mere typo, that is now changed. I did state for the rest of them that they were singles.

      Thank you for the further information about Jody Watley's early solo years, much appreciated :-)

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