leejohnson's current selection is:
by Kiki Dee

"The Guardian" newspaper is (politically and ethically) not to everyone's taste. One subject they do excel at covering, however, is the arts (as long as you ignore the rampant POV). And this article from 2011, about the "Amoureuse Chanteuse" Pauline Matthews - sorry ... Kiki Dee - makes for a nice read from a former "closet fan" (writer Pete Paphides) who then appears to have fallen for her all over again:


As I child I loved Kiki Dee's cheesy duet with Elton John – not to mention her dungarees. But a recent reissue of her 60s recordings proves she has a voice to rival Dusty Springfield. For a music fan of a certain age, it's impossible to bring any critical faculties to bear on Kiki Dee's most well-known moment. I love "Don't Go Breaking My Heart", her million-selling duet with Elton John, but then it was released in 1976 – when I loved every single piece of music I heard. But in this case, it wasn't just about the record. Securing the emotional equivalent of a triple-word score in my affections was Kiki's attire in the accompanying video. Sporting a hair and dungarees combo that, in the mid-70s, was very "Play School", Kiki was the first pop star I ever, as it were, hearted.

I didn't think I'd ever become obsessed with her again, but I gave it every chance. I later found out that, before releasing other classy 70s 'MOR' bankers such as "Amoureuse" [featured here] and "I've Got the Music in Me", Kiki was the first white British female artist to sign to 'Motown'. On one trip to New York, I picked up a cheap copy of the album in question, "Great Expectations". Kiki looks great on a sleeve festooned with union jacks, shot amid blues skies, staring into the mid-distance. And yet, "Great Expectations" is, if truth be told, a fairly lacklustre 'Brit-soul' affair. All of which comes as an ironic contrast to the album that Dee released two years previously. Yes, that's also her on 1968's "I'm Kiki Dee", sporting a fearless orange perm and a boldly patterned sky blue dress. The styling may have dated, but when I finally picked up a copy of the album a couple of years ago, I swiftly realised that I'd finally found the Kiki Dee record with which I was destined to become obsessed. ( Read more at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2011/jan/28/kiki-dee-reissue )


I too have developed a healthy liking for Kiki and her music over the past few years, but must confess to a nauseous dislike of her most famous collaboration with Elton, even though it was he who ensured her really big break in the biz by signing her to his label. I could certainly survive without gazing at her dungarees, put it that way! (She looked like she was about to do a shift in a mechanical workshop.)

Ms Dee achieved three Top 100 solo entries in the US Billboard Hot 100 singles charts - but none of them were this classic ballad. In the UK, during an 11-week excursion through the Top 40 in 1973, it got to (unlucky?) No. 13. (I say "unlucky", because she also achieved two more highest chart placings of No. 13 later on, with "Loving and Free" in 1976 and "Star" in 1981, but never EVER got further up the chart than that loathsome number - except for her duets with Elt.)
1973 - The Rocket Record Company - United Kingdom
Posted: 10th June 2016
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
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