dimanche 3 juin 2007

Lisa Scott-Lee's long overdue album finally gets a release ...in South Africa

It's been exactly 4 years that ex-STEPS star Lisa Scott-Lee started her solo career with her fantastic single "Lately".
In STEPS, there's always been 3 respected vocalists, Faye Tozier, Claire Richards & Ian 'H' Watkins, who were given the biggest vocal performances on records. For poor Lee Latchford-Evans, it has always been a BIG question to know whether he could sing a note or not... till he got his "Turn around" song on their third and last studio album "Buzz" or sang some Lou Bega sound-a-like party song on tour.
Lisa's case was more sensible as she got her part in vocal duties, both in studio and on tour, but some always complained that she was less talented than the other two girls and that her voice sounded very nasal. Sure she ain't got the voice of a diva (think Jocelyn Brown, Claire took this job in the group with her roaring parts in the songs) but her voice was the sexiest and fitted best in the sensuous songs. It was an obvious choice then, to launch her solo career, to use this skill on sexy disco housed tracks with a full on sophisticated kitten dance diva image. If you wonder how this could sound, think of Kylie's Fever re-invention and you'll get it .
With "Lately", She got to #6 in the UK Charts on the 19th of May, 2003. The following single was 4 months later with "Too far gone" and a #11. She was working at the time with the production team Point4 that includes ex PWL mix engineer Peter Day and there was an album in the making with some of its tracks gettin' leaked from the "Unleashed" promo sampler : The rumoured following single, the sweet ballad "I'll wait for you", "Sleazy", "Obscenely delicious", "Boy on the dance floor" and the Poptastic "Back in time" (on which another ex PWL master of the mix, Pete Hammond, worked with his actual partner Bruce Elliot-Smith).
Both singles were remixed by Top of the cream remixers : Soda Club (aka Love To Infinity/Andy & Pete Lee), Stella Browne, Almighty Associates or Bimbo Jones. Although they could be named as hits, it seems that these chart placings were not enough for her record label, Fontana, and her album was shelved... Another rumoured track, a cover of Strike's 1995 #4 Hit, "U sure do" was recorded too, completed with an Almighty remix, but then again, it was never released.

Instead, "Back in time" was recorded by another dance act, Angel City, fronted by vocally equally talented Lara McAllen, on their album and it's a damn SHAME neither of these versions have been released as a single 'cos this song is really an instant HIT!

Over a year passed by till we get to see Lisa back in the charts, as a featured vocalist this time, on Intenso Project's third single, "Get it on". This was a real dance labelled single release, with a sexy video clip and full disco house arrangements but it only reached #23 in the UK charts at the end of November 2004. It is interesting to note that this one was released in France the following year and entered at #38 before sinking down the charts.

Then, there was another featuring on "Sunshine after the rain", a Berri cover version by Bel Air, but it remained unreleased, so Lisa's latest single was her UK comeback #13 "Electric", that charted in October 2005, but failed to make it to Top Ten and was then rumoured to be her goodbye release...
Written by Robbie Williams' ex writing partner Guy Chambers with ex boysband A1 babyfaced Ben Adams, this one added some guitars to the dance orientation and should have been bigger in the charts. The CD single includes two more unreleased songs, "Make it last forever" and "Don't U want my number?", as if Lisa already knew it was the only way to release to her public all the new songs she recorded for her always rumoured album...

Having failed to succeed in getting at least some UK Top 5 Hit after gettin' exposed on TV in shows like MTV's Totally Scott-Lee or Dancing On Ice, Lisa Scott-Lee disappeared from the UK music scene and it looks like her UK music career is over now.
So it came as a real good surprise to see her long awaited album "Never or now" finally gettin' a release ...at least, in South Africa!

The tracklisting doesn't look that promising as there are 9 old well known recordings among the 13 tracks but HEY! you better think of it as some sort of a Could've been-Greatest Hits :
1/ Lately
2/ Too far gone
3/ Electric
4/ Back in time
5/ Obsenely delicious
6/ Boy on the dance floor
7/ Give you my love *
8/ Make it last forever
9/ Sleazy
10/ I'll wait for you
11/ You're no good for me *
12/ Rush *
13/ Never or now *

The cover artwork recycles the "Unleashed" cover too but it is only fair as all its material is included here.

So there are only 4 tracks (marked with *) that I didn't know and I don't like them so much as her old tracks. "You're no good for me", "Rush" and "Never or now" are pop-rock songs and that must be why they've been put at the end as it is a departure from the style of the rest of the album. "Give you my love" though must have been recorded at the same time as the "Electric" single tracks as it still is dance .

Yes, I know, this album could have been so much better with a 17 or 18 tracks list including all old tracks ("U sure do", "Get it on", and some other rumoured tracks like "Bad girl" or B-sides "That's that" and "I'm burning") and more new recordings and maybe some of her best remixes, Soda Club's remix of "Lately" and the Almighty remixes of "Too far gone" & "U sure do". THAT would have been heaven on earth.
Now seeing Lisa's album finally gettin' a release and laying in my personal disco is already some nice piece of heaven .

So if you want to purchase a copy of her CD album like me, go to this south african site :
http://www.kalahari.net/mus/product.asp?sku=30543775 where you can get it at a good price but with equally expensive p&p charges (for Europe at least) . Or you can choose to wait as it is said it will get released in belgium AND a UK download only release, both on 18th of June...

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