Wipe Off The Dust: Girls Can't Help It and 'Baby Doll'
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
One of my blogging compadre's Nasty G over at The Isle of Deserted Pop Stars hipped me to Girls Can't Help It, a UK based trio that flashed in the pan quicker than Crisco with their 1983 mini-album entitled, Pure Wild. What really got an eyebrow raise was that they originally did one of my favorite Haywoode songs, "Jelly Baby". Yet, when G gave the description of them being akin to Mary Jane Girls and Vanity 6 than the Bananarama and The Belle Stars style people wanted them to be, I was bought n' sold. Rebel rousers in pursuit of mutant funk and a rare find? Gotta listen.
1982 to 1983 are some of my favorite years in music thanks to it being a very intriguing transitional time where we saw a lot of classic funk and soul influence wrapped up in electronic flair (looking at you Madonna's "Everybody" and Shannon's "Let The Music Play"). Girls' minor dance hit, 1982's "Baby Doll", follows in that same technique and then some. I instantly fell in love with it within the first couple of well, seconds. The quasi-rap that is "Rapture"-esque mixes so superbly with a sneaky bass grooveline that is so plush you can totally cut with a knife. All of it is so seducing with strident synths sneaking in giving "Baby Doll" a nice edge to it. Also the oh-so 80's line: "I don't want to sip your orange juice, I won't use your razor blade" is a just a real topper to it all.
Due to all the 80's revival of now, I bet if you released this song today, it would blow up on the indie blog circuit. I mean, just take a listen, isn't Jessie Ware doing something quite similar? Talk about history repeating... Sadly, Girls Can't Help It didn't even make it to the end of '83, as they disbanded shortly after their minor club successes. Another song, a remake of The Quick's "Rhythm Of The Jungle" was shopped, but to me doesn't even come close to the starved-for-love nighttime jaunt of "Baby Doll".
Take a listen after the cut and get reacquainted.