Gone Digital: Laura Branigan, Kissing the Pink, Betty Boo, Kix, and N-Phase
Laura Branigan, SELF CONTROL: EXPANDED EDITION (1984): This was Branigan’s third studio album, featuring a hugely popular title track that she’d borrowed from Italian singer Raf. (Didn’t know it was a cover, did you?) Other singles from the album include “The Lucky One,” “Ti Amo,” “Satisfaction” and “With Every Beat of My Heart,” but it’s worth noting that the album also includes a cover of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow.” This expanded version is chock full of various single versions and mixes, plus “Hot Night,” Branigan’s contribution to the Ghostbusters soundtrack.
K.T.P., CERTAIN THINGS ARE LIKELY (1986): After releasing two albums under their full name, Kissing the Pink, this English band opted to go with an acronym instead. Recorded mostly in the UK, plus a bit in Germany, the majority of the LP was remixed by the band’s label in an effort to make it sound as commercial as possible. Alas, it failed to result in the album actually charting, but the singles “One Step,” “Never Too Late to Love You,” and “Certain Things Are Likely” got decent airplay in the UK, and the latter track actually topped Billboard’s Dance Club Singles chart.
Betty Boo, GRRR! IT’S BETTY BOO: EXPANDED EDITION (1992): She was born Alison Moira Clarkson in Kensington, London, but she became a pop star under the name you see listed above. Betty Boo’s first hit was with the Beatmasters – “Hey DJ / I Can’t Dance (To That Music You’re Playing)” and she found further success with her own songs “Doin’ the Do” and “Where Are You Baby?” This LP, however, was her second, and it failed to capture as much radio airplay, but songs like “Let Me Take You There,” “I’m on My Way,” “Hangover,” “Thing Goin’ On,” and “Catch Me” all made an impact on the dance floor.
Kix, KIX LIVE (1993): This Maryland-based metal band signed to Atlantic Records in 1981, but it took until ’88 for them to find major success with mainstream audiences, an accomplishment when occurred thanks to their single “Don’t Close Your Eyes,” from their BLOW MY FUSE album, their fourth for the label. There would be only one more studio album on Atlantic for Kix: after 1991’s HOT WIRE, they completed their contract with the label by issuing this live album. In AllMusic’s review, they say, “It may not have been recorded in the same decade that gave us Max Headroom and Miami Vice, but Kix's LIVE manages to have the '80s written all over it.” It’s hard to argue the point, but it’s a solid sampling of their Atlantic career nonetheless.
N-Phase, N-PHASE (1994): This R&B group started out as an acappella trio in Rock Hill, South Carolina, but after adding two additional guys, they became more of a straightforward R&B group. That said, it clearly worked for them, as they were subsequently signed to Maverick Records. Don’t hold it against them that the LP was partly produced by R. Kelly: these guys were seriously influenced by ‘70s soul, as overtly evidenced by their cover of the Manhattans’ “Kiss and Say Goodbye,” and they’re worth a listen.