Sunday, May 13, 2018

"Black Kisses (Never Make You Blue)" by Curtie and the Boombox

Spotlight Alert!

Song#:  2402
Date:  07/27/1985
Debut:  88
Peak:  81
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  After Dutch producer Peter Koelewijn crossed paths with singer Curie Fortune, he decided to develop her as an artist and form a backing group to support her. Fortune was originally from a Caribbean island and had an accent that Koelewijn liked, so when he sought other singers to fill out the group, he ended up finding three others that were also from the Caribbean. The new group recorded the song "Let's Talk It Over in the Ladies Room" for RCA and it got released in 1984. Although it was a middling chart entry in The Netherlands, the results were good enough to support the recording of this follow-up single, which ended up making the Dutch Top 20. RCA pushed the song to other countries including the US where it got some attention in the clubs and made it to #40 at Dance. It was also able to cross over to the Pop chart for a short month. With interest in the group increasing, it was decided that a full album should be done. After a few personnel changes, enough songs were recorded to fill a debut album. Unfortunately, follow-up singles failed to do anything and the album disappeared quickly. Fortune and Koelewijn then called it quits on the group, but three of the remaining members tried to kick off a career as just Boombox. Their initial single tanked and that brought a final close to the group.

ReduxReview:  I didn't know what to expect from this song and I have to say that it surprised me. It's nearly like something from the Bananarama/Stock Aitken Waterman camp with a bit of a rock edge. It grooves along quite well and the production is surprisingly good. The vocals and harmonies are just fine, but I think this song could have benefited from stronger voices. The lyrics are a bit meh, yet the groove of the track makes up for it. With the upcoming era of 80s female vocal groups coming up soon, this might have had more luck on the chart a couple of years down the road. This is a lost little gem that I'm glad I got to uncover and it is worthy of a Spotlight mention.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Peter Koelewijn is often considered the father of Dutch rock and roll. Back in the mid to late 50s, the new sounds of rock and roll were beginning to take over the airwaves in the US and the UK. Those songs began to spread across Europe, but for countries like The Netherlands, rock music was slow to take hold. It wasn't something played on the more conservative Dutch radio stations. Those who discovered rock had to hear it through other sources such as Radio Luxembourg or the American Forces Network that was mainly for US servicemen who were stationed in Germany. Soon, some young Dutch musicians were trying to replicate the sound of rock and covering hits from the US. A few artists were able to record some original tunes as well, yet despite a growing audience for this music, rock was still not taking over the Dutch airwaves. That all changed when Koelewijn started his band Peter and the Rockets. In 1959, the band recorded some original songs written by Koelewijn and one of the tunes, "Kom Van Dat Daf Ak" (translation - "Get Off That Roof"), was pushed out by Imperial Records. After a slow start, the song got on the Dutch chart and eventually made its way to the #1 spot. The band followed it up with more hits and in doing so helped to establish original rock and roll in The Netherlands. They would end up with five Top 10's at home, but the band was even more popular in Belgium where they scored fifteen Top 10's.



  1. 7/10 for me. Also, be sure to order these two books: The 80's Music Compendium and The 60's Music Compendium both by Dave Kinzer.