Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Voo Doo" by Rachel Sweet

Song#:  1335
Date:  02/05/1983
Debut:  84
Peak:  72
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Sweet started in show biz singing and doing commercials as a young kid. By the time she was twelve, she was opening for headliners like Bill Cosby. Her first recordings were for the country market, but they failed to produce anything substantial. A move over to rock got her signed to the UK label Stiff Records where she recorded her first album "Fool Around." Her first single, a remake of Carla Thomas' 1966 gold record "B-A-B-Y" (#14 pop, #3 R&B), got some attention in the UK and made it to #35. Despite the US ignoring her singles, the album did well reaching #97. She released one more album for Stiff before moving over to Columbia for the slicker sounding "...And Then He Kissed Me" LP, which included her #32 duet with Rex Smith, "Everlasting Love." Her next effort for Columbia, "Blame It on Love," featured this first single. It was her first US chart entry and it spent a few weeks in the lower rungs of the chart. It would end up being her last charting single.

ReduxReview:  Everything about Sweet screamed superstar. She had the look, the voice, the skills, etc. Just look at the video clip above. She was practically doing Britney almost before Britney was born. But something about it all didn't click. It's too bad as I think she had a lot more to offer. I really like this tune. It's a mysterious track with a rock edge that I could hear Heart take on. Both the song and Sweet deserved a better fate than the resulting #72 peak. Her debut album is a critical fave and a cult classic that is worth seeking out.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  After "Blame It on Love," the 20-year-old decided she'd had enough. She had been working in the biz for 15 years and was tired of the grind. She quit music and went back to school earning a degree in French and English Literature. Later in 1988, Sweet was persuaded by film director John Waters to write and record the title track to his film "Hairspray." Sweet would also provide vocals on songs from his follow-up film "Cry-Baby." Waters encouraged Sweet to delve into acting, which eventually led to her own HBO TV sketch show "The Sweet Life." Sweet's most memorable role though may be that of George Costanza's cousin in the "Seinfeld" episode "The Contest." Sweet then moved behind the camera and has been writing/producing for TV shows like "Hot in Cleveland."


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