Monday, December 12, 2016

Robbed hit of the week 12/12/16 - Lil' Louis' "French Kiss"...

"French Kiss" - Lil' Louis
from the album From The Mind of Lil' Louis (1989)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #50

This week's "robbed hit" comes from DJ/producer Lil' Louis, aka Marvin Burns, who was one of the driving forces in the house music dance phenomenon in Chicago in the 1980's.  His big mainstream break, however, came from his most lascivious tracks. "French Kiss" was originally a ten minute instrumental throwdown revolving around one chord repeated over and over, while periodically a female voice arrives with sexual-sounding moans that eventually reach a climax when the beat slows down to a stop, then rolls back again into a frenzy that drove clubgoers absolutely wild. This was the song to dance to in the hardcore clubs, but in time word got out and sales went so wild that even radio picked it up for a bit (including my then-home in Chicago). The music video, which ended up being edited for TV, had dancers simulating romance, a mummy-like thing flailing about while a child plays with toys....


With a new mix featuring vocals from Shawn Christopher coming a bit late to try for more radio airplay, the novelty by then had worn off, and the former two-week #1 club hit managed to climb to the halfway point on the American pop chart. Internationally, however, the single was huge, topping the singles chart in the Netherlands, peaking at #2 in the UK, Spain, Germany and Switzerland, and reaching the top ten in Austria (#4), Belgium (#3), France (#5), and Ireland (#6).

A full-length album, From The Mind of Lil' Louis, was released, and a double-sided single of "I Called U" and "Blackout" went to #28 on the American dance chart, and the former going to #16 in Britain. Two years later, Louis re-emerged with second album Journey With The Lonely. The lead single, "Club Lonely", topped the Dance Club Play chart in Billboard, as did the follow-up "Saved My Life".  In 1997, he scored his most recent lead-artist hit at #25 with "Clap Your Hands". He continued to DJ, although in 2015 he suffered deafness in one ear from an accident on-stage.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)




The truncated version of the video for pop consumption got rid of the dancers, but crazily kept the racist mechanical toys....


As I mentioned, after there was interest in radio airplay, Louis re-recorded the track with Shawn Christopher singing over the frenetic beat...


In 2000, Philadelphia-based DJ Josh Wink reworked the track for the single "How's Your Evening So Far?", which went to #3 on the American Club chart, and climbed to #23 on the British singles list...


Finally, we bring it back to the orgasmic original version which brought down the house at the club...




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