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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Revisting The Weather Girls' "Success"

"Success! What does it mean/ When you can't find the right Marine?"  The Weather Girls' "Success" is one of the most camp, fabulously theatrical, deliciously over-the-top and cleverly tongue-in-cheek disco songs ever recorded. It's the opening number for the classic album of the same name, recently re-mastered and re-released, on cd, on the UK's Cherry Pop label. (They also recently reissued albums by Viola Wills and Divine, among other classic dance-music artists, as well.)

Martha Wash and Izora Armstead were first known as Two Tons o' Fun when they were Sylvester's back-up girls, starting in 1977, prominently featured in "Dance (Disco Heat)". They went on, under that group name, to have their own club hits with "Earth Can Be Just Like Heaven" and "I Got the Feeling."

In 1982, they had a smash international pop and club hit with "It's Raining Men." The success of that single led to the album, Success. Other songs on it included the food = love tune, "Hungry for Love" (Oh, admit it! You've been there!); the gospel-influenced "Hope" (the only song on the album with a straight face, so to speak); the Christmas classic, "Dear Santa (Bring Me a Man for Christmas)" and the cleverly disco-fied "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical, South Pacific. I wonder what Mary Martin and Mitzi Gaynor thought of that! (Ironically,  Dj Buddy B kissed both Martha Wash and Mitzi: ).

All other songs on Success written by Bob Esty, Paul Jabara and/or Paul Shaffer.

The Cherry Pop release includes multiple bonus tracks. The 12" Larger Than Life remix of "Success" is too tame in my opinion, stripping the original production of its brassy bravado. 12'" version and instrumental version of "Raining Men," 12" of "Outta My Hair," instrumental of both "Santa" and "Raining Men" and a mix of the last mentioned two songs complete the selection of this collection.

In my recent interview with Bob Esty (in four parts), he talks about the making of Success and The Weather Girls, and more. Don't miss this revealing interview via this link:

Video of The Weather Girls performing "Success" at The Hippodrome:

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