Tuesday, January 31, 2023

"Right Back Where We Started From" by Sinitta

Song#:  4041
Date:  09/23/1989
Debut:  84
Peak:  84
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Dance-Pop

Pop Bits:  Although Sinitta Malone was born in Seattle, Washington, her main home became London after she moved there as a kid with her mother who had gotten a job performing in the musical Hair. Getting the acting/singing bug from her mother, Sinitta started to audition for roles and would eventually appear in West End productions. A couple of film/TV appearances would come her way as well. In 1984, Sinitta met with a struggling A&R guy by the name of Simon Cowell. Cowell had just formed a new label called Fanfare and he signed Sinitta to be the label's first artist. Sinitta would then record the song "Cruising." While the song was a hit in gay clubs, it didn't make much of an impression elsewhere. She then recorded the tune "So Macho." Released in '85, the song again found favor in clubs only. Cowell would apply some marketing strategy to bring attention to the song and eventually it would pay off. Nearly a year after its initial release, "So Macho" would take off and reach #2 in the UK and go gold. It was both Sinitta's and Cowell's first hit. A third single didn't fare as well, but Cowell had in mind to match Sinitta with the Stock Aitken Waterman songwriting/production team. It took a while, but the collaboration finally took place with SAW heading up four tracks for Sinitta. The song "Toy Boy" would be released as a single in the summer of '87. It would become her second UK Top 10 hit reaching #4. A debut album was then assembled titled Sinitta!. Another SAW tune, "Cross My Broken Heart," would get to #6. The singles would help the album get to #34 in the UK and go gold. It seems along the way Cowell got a distribution deal in the US for Sinitta and the track "Feels Like the First Time" would become a #4 Dance hit in '86. Her other two SAW hits would also make the US Dance chart, but the album failed to click. Sinitta's next album, '89's Wicked, would contain one SAW track, "I Don't Believe in Miracles," which served as the first single, but it stalled at #22 in the UK. However, her next single, "Right Back Where We Started From," turned things around and made it to #4. It would be her fourth and final UK Top 10. The album would be another gold seller reaching #52. In the States, "Right Back Where We Started From" would get some minor attention and would be Sinitta's only song to make the US Pop chart. Unfortunately, it would just be for a short month at the bottom. Sinitta would basically wrap up her solo recording career with the '95 covers album Naughty Naughty, which failed to generate much interest.

ReduxReview:  This tune was a good one to cover, but besides a more modern, sleek synthpop arrangement that practically sounded dated by '89 standards, there wasn't much that made it different from the stompin' original. Sinitta had a good pop voice, but it wasn't strong or memorable and it certain paled in comparison to Maxine Nightingale's (see below). While the Brits enjoyed the remake (nostalgia factor and Sinitta's popularity most likely helped), Stateside it did win much favor. No harm, no foul. Just meh.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song originally recorded by British R&B/disco singer Maxine Nightingale. Her version would reach #2 on the US Pop chart in 1976 (#8 UK). Nightingale would make the US Pop Top 10 (#5) once more in 1978 with "Lead Me On."  2) Sinitta's connection to Simon Cowell would come in handy later. When he developed The X-Factor singing competition show that began in 2004, Cowell invited Sinitta to participate on the show during one of the rounds of competition. Each judge would hold a "bootcamp" where they would guide and shape the contestants that were selected for their respective categories (solo acts under 25, solo acts 25 and over, and groups). While at the bootcamps, the judges would have assistants to help them in the process and decision making. Sinitta would work with Cowell at his bootcamp as an assistant or guest mentor for the majority of the show's 15 season run, which ended in 2018. Her work on the show led to appearances on several reality TV shows including competition-based ones like Celebrity MasterChef and I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!


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