Monday, June 25, 2007

A quick sum up of the Queen's albums...

La Toya Jackson (1980)
The debut featured the already featured If You Feel The Funk and Are You Ready. It spent 11 weeks in the Billboard Top 200 and was reissued last year. It also features her collaboration with brother Michael, Night Time Lover. Michael is also apparently famous too. A bit of a slow-burner but a classic gem of an album!

My Special Love (1981)
Toy's sophomore effort was little more polished than her debut but only spent 3 weeks in the charts after a poor performing debut single in the Billy Ocean cover Stay The Night. The highlight far and away however is Special Love, possibly her best performed track ever - her vocals are lush and dreamy just like the song. This album is quite rare and has only had a limited CD release with copies going for $400US on eBay!

Heart Don't Lie (1984)
Containing her first ever Billboard Hot 100 hit with the title track (her first music video too), Heart Don't Lie spent six weeks in the chart and sold well enough for new label Private-I to commission a follow up. This is probably La Toya's most accessible album with each track being a classic 80s gem! Featuring a brilliant cover of Prince's Private Joy, it contained another Billboard RnB hit in Hot Potato - which also became her first charting single in the UK.

Imagination (1986)
This album is such a classic that La Toya even forgets about it in her best-selling autobiography. It didn't chart, although it had one Billboard RnB hit in He's A Pretender and Baby Sister won the "Outstanding Song Award" at the 1985 World Popular Song Festival in Japan, where Toy performed the song live with younger sister Janet on backup vocals - Janet too apparently was famous too.

La Toya (1988)
La Toya really threw down on her Teldec Records debut. Teaming up with Full Force for You're Gonna Get Rocked, it became a #42 smash hit in New Zealand, another Billboard RnB hit (almost making the Hot 100 at #103), and her second charting song in the UK. It's also a classic La Toya video. This album featured Full Force producing one side and Stock Aitken Waterman producing side two with classics like (Ain't Nobody Loves You) Like I Do and (Tell Me) She Means Nothing To You At All. An essential 80s album and easy to find on eBay.

Bad Girl (1989)
Bad Girl is legendary for having been issued on various small budget labels more than 50 times and counting. The only La Toya album still in print (aside from the debut album) this is the easiest album to find and probably her biggest seller because of it's ease to get. However I think this is her poorest album from the 80s, with only the hilarious Sexual Feeling, a favourite of Kelly Osborne's and the brilliant Do The Salsa being memorable tracks for me.

No Relations (1991)
Released as a tie in to her autobiography, No Relations featured her last mainstream top 40 hit in the camp house anthem Sex Box which hit #25 in the Netherlands. This also featured her own version of the Grammy-nominated Reggae Nights which La Toya herself wrote for inclusion on Heart Don't Lie but gave to Jimmy Cliff to turn into a worldwide hit.

Formidable (1992)
In 1992 La Toya was the star attraction at Paris's infamous Moulin Rouge. A soundtrack was recorded and 3,000 copies pressed before La Toya broke her contract and left. This item is probably the most sought-after in her entire catalogue. Most of the songs are in French but she does a camp as version of The Locomotion that leaves Kylie to shame!

From Nashville To You (1994)
This also appeared in a double disc set with Lynne Rose Garden Anderson as The Great Ladies of Country and surprisingly La Toya holds up well in country music. Highlight is definitely the poppier tracks like Trash Like You which is screaming for a proper pop cover!

Stop In The Name Of Love (1995)
Possibly the worst album in the history of the world, La Toya was forced into recording this by her abusive husband/manager and the vocals were laid down in an hour (and it shows) and then put over the top of bad karaoke Motown classics, including those of her brother. The only decent song really is Tears Of A Clown which has an almost decent vocal performance, probably because La Toya - being abused at the time - could easily relate to the song. A true low point which has to be heard to be believed.

Startin' Over (2008?)
La Toya's comeback album has been promised for four years or so, it was preceeded by the Billboard dance hits Just Wanna Dance and Free The World - possibly the gayest hand-in-the-airs sogn ever. It leaked in it's original form in late 2006 including the brilliant Should've Left You. However it was decided the whole album will be redone, and now it's on hold (again!) and it probably will never come out... La Toya may be testing her fans loyalty with it, but if the leaked tracks are anything to go by it should be glamorous!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Toy & SAW - a match made in heaven!

Yes the above picture is really how it should have been...

In 1988 La Toya teamed up with the kings of 80s pop Stock Aitken Waterman for what should have been her biggest success...

However rather than using (Ain't Nobody Love You) Like I Do as the lead single and get Toy her first hit in the UK, the Full Force produced You're Gonna Get Rocked was chosen instead and while that rocked on to #42 in New Zealand, #103 in the US and #90 in the UK, I feel that teaming a Jackson with SAW was a lost opportunity. After the flop of You're Gonna Get Rocked no further singles were released in the UK. In fact Like I Do's video seemes to have only got airplay in Continental Europe where the single apparently made #17 on the German charts.

Another single produced by SAW was released in Europe, that being (Tell Me) He Means Nothing To You At All. Toy sings "she" in the song but the record company obviously didn't care enough to correct the spelling on the single. It didn't have a video and didn't seem to chart anywhere...

These two tracks are essential for lovers of SAW and Toy alike!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Guys on the floor rubbing my big back door!

We now jump ahead to modern day La Toya and her much delayed new album.

After a long hiatus La Toya returned to the Billboard charts in October 2004 with Just Wanna Dance, the first single from her upcoming album Startin' Over. Several awesome remixes were issued and the promo was issued to clubs under the pseudonym of "Toy" to remove any stigma attached to her name and it worked as it became her biggest hit ever on the Billboard dance charts. A commercial release however didn't happen as her record company Ja-Tail had no distribution deal. However they do now and we're promised that a rejigged Startin' Over will be coming soon and will be full of pumping club tracks - we can't wait!

Just Wanna Dance attracted a whole new fan base to La Toya, so take a listen to the Vibelicious Radio Edit and see if you can resist!

Check out an unofficial music video edited by Jaime of the Church of La Toya and a drag video to one of the hot mixes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

If You Feel The Funk

(images stolen from the Church of La Toya's brilliant discography)

It seems appropriate to start right at the beginning of La Toya's esteemed music career.

If You Feel The Funk was her first international single (and depending on differing reports - even the Church has conflicting information, her second in the USA after Night Time Lover which will be featured later on).

La Toya said in her biography La Toya: Growing Up In The Jackson Family that she was uncomfortable, being a devout Jehovah's Witness, with the sexual overtones to it, which are quite tame compared to her later works. However her father and manager Joe Jackson insisted she record it and we are glad she did!

It's an infectious slice of disco pop and the shrill second verse is pop heaven. However it arrived a little late to ride the disco wave, peaking just outside the Hot 100 in the USA (although it was a top 20 dance hit). In Europe it was received a better reception, making #42 in Germany and #18 in the Netherlands.

No video was made but she performed the song on a number of shows.

A great start to a great career!

Album version mp3

Official Church of La Toya promotional video for the 2006 album reissue.

Legendary Wellington Diva La Toya JackSin throwing down to a La Toya medley including If You Feel The Funk at an 80s night.

Step inside La Toya's walls...

And into her Sexbox.

Named after her 1991 smash hit single, La Toya's Sexbox is the premier place on the web to find all the La Toya goodies you need.

As you're probably aware La Toya is a member of the Jackson dynasty. However don't hold that against her! She is a supremely brilliant artist in her own right and has scored hits in countries as diverse as New Zealand, the USA, Germany, Holland and Romania. She's also a best-selling author, Grammy Award winning songwriter and all-round style icon!

So keep coming back for new La Toya goodies and spread the gospel of La Toya's love and help free the world!