Title - 'Grrr! It's Betty Boo: Deluxe Edition' [2CD]
Artist - Betty Boo
Alison Moira Clarkson, better known as Betty Boo, is an English singer, songwriter and pop rap artist who first came to mainstream prominence in the late 1980s and early 1990s following a collaboration with The Beatmasters and her subsequent solo career. A career which spawned a number of chart-placing singles, most notably in 1990 with the highly infectious dancefloor smash it, 'Doin' the Do'.
Originally nicknamed "Betty Boop" for her similarity to the cartoon character, she changed it to avoid trademark disputes. Of mixed Dusun and Scottish ancestry, she had an unusual, striking Emma Peel-like look, dressed in mildly provocative and revealing outfits and proved to be an influential pop music figure whose "sassy, powerful music and image launched a thousand wannabe's".
Her big break came when she appeared as guest vocalist on the 1989 number 7 UK hit single, 'Hey DJ – I Can't Dance (To That Music You're Playing)' by The Beatmasters. Her first solo single, 'Doin' The Do', followed and was also a UK number 7 success for her in 1990, selling 200,000 copies and reaching #1 on Billboard's dance chart in the United States.
Boomania, her platinum-selling debut album, was largely self-written and self-produced in her bedroom. It contained her second solo single, 'Where Are You Baby?', which reached number 3 in August 1990, and '24 Hours'. Her follow-up album, GRRR! It's Betty Boo, sadly suffered very disappointing sales in the UK, peaking at just number 62. It did, nevertheless, spawn another UK hit single titled 'Let Me Take You There', which reached number 12 in August 1992. A further single, 'I'm on My Way' was very well received by the media, but did not sell well and entered the chart at number 44 in October 1992. Her next single, 'Hangover', fared even worse, barely scraping the Top 50 upon release in April 1993.
So look, I get that this doesn't exactly paint a spectacular go-out-and-buy-this-newly-remastered Deluxe Edition of GRRR! It's Betty Boo today sales image, but for my money, her sophomore album was just as good as her debut. The album, which was actually dedicated to her father, is a great memory of those early 90's dancefloor days, chock full of Hi-NRG songs and here in this Deluxe Edition 2CD format, even contains en masse of Extended Versions, Club Mixes, and Remixes!
The original album kicks off with the uber infectious single 'I'm on My Way', which also contains a portion of 'Lady Madonna', written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Indeed, in truth, the saxophone "sample" is not taken directly from The Beatles' original version, but is a re-creation featuring the same session players (Ronnie Scott, Harry Klein, Bill Povey and Bill Jackman). Then comes the Boo rap, 'Thing Goin' On,' which is backed perfectly by both the third single, the hipsway mid-tempo ballad 'Hangover' and then the harmonica-driven 'Curly & Girly.'
The Kylie-esque beats of another Boo rap, 'Wish You Were Here' are next and showcase her unique fast-flowing, free-flowing rap style brilliantly, and that is followed by the first R&B single from the album, 'Let Me Take You There.' The much faster Boo rap of 'Gave You The Boo' is fun and quirky, and yes, a filler, but is backed by the much better pacing of the seemingly sped-up beats of 'Skin Tight.' The album then comes to a close with both the mid-tempo ballad 'Catch Me' and then the soaringly orchestral flow of 'Close The Door.'
This first disc in the Deluxe Edition set brings us more Betty Boo musical gems, such as: 'Jet Sex' (B-side 7" Single Version), 'Platform Shoe Shuffle' (B-side 7" Single Edit), 'I'm On My Way' (Thumpin' Dub), 'Let Me Take You There' (Ubiquity Mix), 'Hangover' (Sunday Morning Remix) - and previously unavailable in the UK, 'Thing Goin' On' (MK Radio Remix), and a simply delicious 'Catch Me' (12" Version).
This double disc set includes the aforementioned 10 original album tracks plus 20 related bonus tracks all sourced from the original master tapes. Recorded at John Coxon's own studio and mixed at Sarm West, GRRR! It's Betty Boo was released with a generous marketing and promotion campaign in an attempt to take her to the next level. Sadly, after this album, Betty Boo retired from the music industry for several years!
This compilation, released some 24 years after its original release, also includes mixes from the US only single releases. The CD booklet features the original album front cover plus extensive sleeve notes and a UK discography. Oh, and if you are further interested, the original cover art is based on the iconic package of Tigra cigarettes. The second disc of Betty Boo goodies includes the following:
1. 'Let Me Take You There' (12" Mix)
2. 'I'm On My Way' (The Batman And Robin Mix)
3. 'Hangover' (12" Mix)
4. 'Thing Goin' On' (MK Club Mix)
5. 'Catch Me' (Original Version)
6. 'Jet Sex' (12" Version)
7. 'Platform Shoe Shuffle' (Extended Version)
8. 'Let Me Take You There' (Away Mix)
9. 'I'm On My Way' (Boo Choons)
10. 'Hangover' (Saturday Night Remix)
11. 'Catch Me' (London Underground Mix)
12. 'Thing Goin' On' (MK Underground Mix)
13. 'Let Me Take You There' (Take U There Mix)
In closing, and to give proper credit where credit is due, 'I'm On My Way' (The Batman And Robin Mix) was done by Depeche Mode's Vince Clarke, and the Tumpin' Dub and Boo Choons mixes by Betty Boo and Sweet Paulino. Also, ‘Thing Goin' On’ is presented here via the album version, the radio remix, club mix and the Underground mix, all by US DJ/Producer MK (Marc Kinchen). Indeed, three of these mixes were previously unavailable in the UK.
Also, ‘Catch Me’ is here as both the album and David Morales' 12" version, and also the original version and the London Underground mix feature. Three of these mixes were previously unavailable in the UK either and amongst the other bonus tracks, 7" and 12" versions of the b/sides ‘Jet Sex’ and ‘Platform Shoe Shuffle’ and five other such tracks appear on CD for the first time - having previously only been available on vinyl.
'Grrr! It's Betty Boo: Deluxe Edition' CD Purchase Link
Betty Boo @ Twitter!