Friday, July 27, 2018

"Blue Kiss" by Jane Wiedlin

Song#:  2477
Date:  09/28/1985
Debut:  90
Peak:  77
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Things were not all that rosy in the world of The Go-Go's in the fall of '84 and by the time the tour was over that supported their third album Talk Show, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Jane Wiedlin decided to leave the band for a solo career. The other Go-Go's soldiered on for a while, but then they all just called it quits in May of '85. Wiedlin would end up being the first former member to release a post-Go-Go's project. She recorded a self-titled debut album and this opening track would be selected as the first single. The song tried to crawl out of the basement of the Pop chart, but it just couldn't get its footing and it disappeared after a couple of months. It fared only slightly better on the Dance chart getting to #30. Without a more significant hit, the album could only manage a #127 showing.

ReduxReview:  Unless she had an absolute no-doubt killer track for a single, Wiedlin faced an uphill battled with her first effort. Although The Go-Go's were one of those bands where a lot of folks knew all the members, it was still lead singer Belinda Carlisle who had the most visibility and got a good chunk of the spotlight, which made it easier for her to transition to a solo career. Since Wiedlin wasn't out in front, not many folks really knew her voice nor did they realize she wrote/co-wrote a good chunk of the band's songs including their first hit "Our Lips Are Sealed." So even though she was in one of the most successful all-female bands of all-time, her solo career was gonna put her back at square one and this light, easy tune wasn't strong enough to get the ball rollin'. Wiedlin didn't rely on The Go-Go's sound at all for her debut and that may have been a factor as well for those looking for her to rock out. However, this fluffy puff of a track is really quite lovely and it's a shame it didn't catch on. Actually, her debut album is full of terrific synthpop, new wave tracks and it has always been a favorite of mine. In fact, I'd say it still remains the best project released from any of the former Go-Go's, including hitmaker Carlisle. I'm always hoping folks go back and discover the album.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to her music career, Wiedlin also began to grab some work as an actor. Her first role was a tiny appearance in the cult film Clue in 1985 where she played a singing telegram. The next year she had a small part in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. She also played Joan of Arc in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. She continued to get small parts in films and TV shows and her unique vocal tone also got her jobs supplying character voices for several animated shows like Scooby-Doo, King of the Hill, Mission Hill, and The Rugrats. She also appeared in the fourth season of the MTV reality show The Surreal Life.


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