Thursday, May 6, 2021

"When We Kiss" by Bardeux

Song#:  3485
Date:  04/16/1988
Debut:  67
Peak:  36
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Synthpop

Pop Bits:  This female duo that was assembled and produced by Jon St. James (of Stacey Q fame) got their first Pop chart entry with "Magic Carpet Ride." The single would make it to #81. It was taken from the duo's debut album Bold As Love as was this next single. Bardeux had been trying to break through with dance-pop tracks, but it would be this rap-style ballad that would take them into the Pop Top 40. Co-written by St. James and duo member Acacia (Stacy Smith), the understated track got Bardeux noticed and it should have helped their next single, the freestyle-ish "Bleeding Heart," but the song failed to reach any chart. "When We Kiss" would help their album reach #104.

ReduxReview:  This slick track had to have been modeled off of LL Cool J's hit rap ballad "I Need Love." It was not a copy, but was definitely in the same vein and I think St. James may have set out to do a female version of LL's track. While LL's was definitely a rap track, Bardeux's song was more like a synthpop track performed as a spoken word piece. It was actually far better than any of the other tracks on the album, which mainly consisted of bland, average dance-pop. At least this song was interesting and was something that stood out on the radio. I liked the slinky, sensual groove along with the breathy monotone delivery from both members of Bardeux. It was just too bad that they didn't have anything else as captivating to offer.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  In addition to Stacey Q and Bardeux, songwriter/producer Jon St. James would help another female artist grab a Pop chart entry. St. James' F1Music studio was located near Sonora High School in La Habra, California. Kara Wethington was a student at the school and she would occasionally pass by the studio and see the gold record awards on the wall St. James had earned. One day she got enough courage to walk in and she ended up meeting St. James. She told him she was a singer and of course the reaction of St. James and others around was "yeah, okay, sure." However, instead of just totally dismissing her, St. James told her to return the next day and they would hear her sing. She did and to St. James' surprise, she could sing. He had been working on recording a track that was to be for a female singer, so he had Wethington do the vocals. That song, "DJ Girl," got her signed to Thump Records and they issued it out as a single under Wethington's new stage name, Katalina. It wasn't a major hit, but it did get on the Pop chart at #86. A debut album titled Sonic Groove would follow. Not much happened after that first single, but she continued to sing; just not dance-pop. Under her real name, Wethington began working as a vocalist with punk bands. She sang with The Vandals and with The Bouncing Souls. Along the way she also acted in a couple of TV shows and films. These days she works as a publicist.


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