Title - 'Jungle Jezebel: Deluxe Edition'
Artist - Divine
For those not in the know, Divine (born Harris Glenn Milstead) was an American actor, singer and drag queen. Closely associated with the independent filmmaker John Waters, Divine was a character actor, usually performing female roles in cinematic and theatrical appearances, and adopted a female drag persona for his music career.
Almost 30 years on from his untimely death, Divine undoubtedly contributed to the LGBT narrative contained within pop culture in that time. Indeed, Divine’s first charting single ‘Native Love (Step By Step)’ remains one of his most frenetic hits and it's follow up single of his debut album, the just re-released Jungle Jezebel: Deluxe Edition ‘Shoot Your Shot’ is New York performer/producer Bobby O’s brassy brand of club music mock-sexualized at full tilt.
Released on April 28th, 2017 via Cherry Pop / Cherry Red Records (UK), that very same debut album (1982) is now coming out for the first time ever as a gorgeous Deluxe Edition containing 24 tracks recorded and associated with the album around that time.
1. 'Shoot Your Shot'
2. 'Jungle Jezebel'
3. 'Native Love (Step By Step)'
4. 'Kick Your Butt'
5. 'Alphabet Rap'
6. 'Native Love (Step By Step) (Instrumental Version)'
7. 'Shake It Up'
8. 'Love Reaction'
9. 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans'
10. 'Psychedelic Shack'
11. 'Native Love 84'
12. 'Shoot Your Shot (Alternative 12" Mix)'
13. 'Shake It Up (Alternative Mix)'
14. 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans (Instrumental Version)'
1. 'Native Love (Step By Step) (Suite)'
2. 'Divine Madness'
3. 'Shoot Your Shot (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix)'
4. 'Love Reaction (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix)'
5. 'Native Love (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix)'
6. 'Shake It Up (Aquarius Remix)'
7. 'Alphabet Rap (Hyper Go Go Remix)'
8. 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans (Checkpoint Charlie Remix)'
9. 'Native Love (Mark Moore Remix)'
10. 'Shout It Out'
Digitally remastered this Deluxe Edition, which also contains liner notes by Discussions Magazine's Stephen SPAZ Schnee, kicks off in fine Divine style on Disc 1 with the double entendre 'Shoot Your Shot' and backs that up with the electro pop of 'Jungle Jezebel', the Hi-NRG dancefloor beats of 'Native Love (Step By Step)' and then both the jaunting 'Kick Your Butt' and the electro synth pop of 'Alphabet Rap.'
'Native Love (Step By Step) (Instrumental Version)' rounds out the first part of Disc 1, with the Bonus Tracks section beginning with the high pace NRG pulsing 'Shake It Up', and then the New Order influenced 'Love Reaction.' At what would turn out to be his most raw and subversive musical period, Divine's brilliant album continues onward with the slowly methodical hipsway of 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans' and then the frenetic musical mash of 'Psychedelic Shack.'
Disc 1 then rounds out with a quartet of remixes and instrumentals, the first being 'Native Love 84', another 'Shoot Your Shot,' another 'Shake It Up (Alternative Mix),' and then finally 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans (Instrumental Version).'
Remember, all these songs were recorded in the 1980s, in the aforementioned Hi-NRG style of the disco day, made more popular in gay dance clubs at the time. They are all entertaining, all unapologetically upbeat, and combined with Divine tending to spout some of the most ridiculous lyrics, they made him one of the gay scenes disco era icons for sure.
With the expert production by Bobby O(rlando) and Mark Bauman lending the music a very accessible edge, this brand new expanded collection of Divine's songs continues onward on Disc 2 with The Remixes. Here we find a set of 10 tracks all making use of the extended format to ensure that this second disc is as powerful as the first.
'Native Love (Step By Step) (Suite)' leads the way in fine style and that's backed by the screamingly, adamant scratch version of 'Divine Madness.' If you've never heard his track before, take a listen to it now and immerse yourself into a world that was Divine's and Divine's alone.
A trio of Wimmin Remixes is up next in the form of 'Shoot Your Shot (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix),' 'Love Reaction (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix),' and then anothe 'Native Love (Jon of the Pleased Wimmin Remix),' but the still-great-to-listen-to 'Shake It Up (Aquarius Remix)' also happens to be my favorite track on this new double album.
'Alphabet Rap (Hyper Go Go Remix)' is then followed by 'T-Shirts & Tight Blue Jeans (Checkpoint Charlie Remix),' another 'Native Love (Mark Moore Remix),' before rounding the whole new release out with the Hi-NRG, synth drum smashing 'Shout It Out.' To my mind, and whilst the songs are catchy and often humorous, unlike today's electro and even techno, Divine's songs always had a lot of personality, heart and soul; all whilst a driving electro beat made them enduring dance floor winners.
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