#soon! Part Un - The 60s-00s Girl Band Debut Breakthrough Rate

Early elimination post for you all!!!



Sister Sledge – Mama Never Told Me
Average Score: 6.645
Highest Score: 9.5 x 2 (@Zar-Unity, @ufint)
Lowest Score: 1 x1 (@Conan)​

And we are back to elimination scoring over a 9 from me, you horrors! The beautiful Mama Never Told Me was a discovery for me, having only known We Are Family, My Guy, & He’s The Greatest Dancer through that iconic Tatianna gif when she won her lipsync in season 2 of Drag Race. The ever informative @Baby Clyde wished He's The Greatest Dancer had been put forward for Sister Sledge (and it was a far greater hit for the band, and Mama Never Told Me barely qualifies here making just #20 in the UK) but the latter allows us to have a more thorough look into the band.

Mama Never Told Me has something in spades that a lot of debuts (including poor Poison that just got ditched) lack – charm! The way the instrumental suits and loops around the soft gorgeous vocals of the four sisters has this innocent quality you associate with young women finding their voices. The instrumental never overpowers the girls, and the vocals remain pleasant all the way through without any noticeable gymnastics. Thankfully, unlike a few songs from the 70s-90s eras – the track never outstays its welcome bring on the short side!

Sister Sledge is a girl band made completely out of sisters, as the name suggests. They formed in 1971 and consisted of Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy Sledge. They were from a very accomplished performer family, daughters of a tap dancer and an actress, with a Grandmother (& vocal coach) who was a former lyric soprano opera singer. They had their start singing at their family church, which led to performing at charity and political events and some local tours of New York, New Jersey and home town Philadelphia.

They first became noticed overseas before the US, starting to chart in the UK & Japan notably in the early 70s, including with the number we are discussing today. It was their third album We Are Family that saw them truly break into the US and resulted in a Grammy nomination and proper international success (over the years, they did continue to do better in Europe than America, including hosting their own TV show in Italy in the 90s due to more #1 records there; topping this off with resurgences every few years in other parts like the UK when their records received prominent remixes).

What did PopJustice think of the darling sisters?

DJHazey (6) means charming, I am sure - The only thing I can think about when listening to this is how much they sound like the Jackson 5 at times. Unnameable (8) will find many agree - good but below their best. Ufint (9.5) enjoys a discovery and puns - How come I’ve never heard this before? I guess mama never told me about it. This is surprisingly good.

Iheartpoptarts (7) reveals she is more into her friends - I like it more than ‘We Are Family’ already. DominoDancing (6) appreciates but doesn’t love - Cool chorus riff, but hardly a classic otherwise. Baby Clyde (6) runs a late campaign - (Too late now obvs but I should have argued against the inclusion of this. It only qualifies by skin of it's teeth and was no kind of breakthrough at all. It's also kinda shit in comparison to what should have been the entry , He's The Greatest Dancer)

LondonRain (4) wants to get technical instead of enjoying what’s there, see Fly Robin Fly also - Less of the shoo be doos and more actual words would have massively improved this. Empty Shoebox (4) is team #EmptyRain- How young were they when this was recorded? The beat and instrumentation's all right, but the lyrics and vocals just aren't great. Trouble In Paradise (6) foresees his aforementioned name - Something about this song wears on me after a few listens.

Filippa (8) truly breaks from rate villain status here - I like Sister Sledge, especially Lost In Music and Frankie. This song is really good and growing on me. Saviodxl (7) is not sure between a compliment or an insult so goes for - If someone told me the lead singer here is the young Michael Jackson I would've believed it. Kermit_The_Frog (7) is a fan through and through-ish - Lesser-entries in the Sister Sledge canon are still pretty great (apart from Frankie, which is of course the devil’s work and a horrible stain on their discography which the invention of iTunes helped me erase from memory but the advent of streaming services reignited). Anyway, I like this very much! Further Listening: Got To Love Somebody. Zar-Unity (9.5) is a high scorer – yippee!! - Groovy production and cute female vocalists! Tech: 4 Taste: 5 +.5 = 9.5 points​

DJHazey (6) means charming, I am sure - The only thing I can think about when listening to this is how much they sound like the Jackson 5 at times.
Saviodxl (7) is not sure between a compliment or an insult so goes for - If someone told me the lead singer here is the young Michael Jackson I would've believed it.

@DJHazey I got you!
And that was not an insult @berserkboi

Deleted member 26234

@Filippa -- depending on what you did to my favs, I think I might have found an allie in the upcoming R&B storms to follow.

I'd love to be your ally! Hopefully there are some songs we both appriciate but don't rely too much on me. I really disliked some of the songs of the 00s that could be faves here ...

The @Filippa vs @soratami narrative doesn't quite work on that one since her score was just 1 point higher than mine!
But I'm glad that's out, to me it's definitely the worst 00s song in the rate.
And I was too soft with Bardot ... But it's definitely not the worst song of the 00s for me.

You threw Sister Sledge out although there are still two of my zeroes lingering around? What a shame!


Staff member
At least Sister Sledge was actually a group of sisters. When I was a kid, I didn't know the history of the use of the word "sister" in black American culture so I assumed that SWV stood for Sisters With Voices because they were all sisters - and was rather confused when I found out they weren't.
What’s PJ00’s???

#Priorities Berserkie


Hope you enjoyed the Thai food!


Sweet Sensation – Sincerely Yours
Average Score: 6.659
Highest Score: 10 x 2 (@DJHazey, @ComeOnGloria)
Lowest Score: 3 x 2 (@Empty Shoebox, @Filippa)​

What is this fun bop that sounds like it might be the next winner of PJOPs? Why, it is Sincerely Yours by Sweet Sensation of course! Combines all the fun of an 80s bop in the way Open Your Heart by Madonna does and adds a bit of Latin flavour to the proceedings too! So how come these girls are so scarcely mentioned here?

Well after the bop that is Sincerely Yours, the girls did go on to have a #1 hit in If Wishes Came True but nothing else after that did much for them. I would call them the ‘lost’ girl band of the rate, if they didn’t feature here, I am not entirely sure many would bother to research Sweet Sensation.

Sweet Sensation was formed in 1986 in Manhattan by sisters Mari and Margie Fernandez but lead vocalist Betty LeBron was only added later as they joined New Plateau Records. They didn’t actually release a debut album until they were picked up by Acto in 1988 and Sincerely Yours was the fifth single off that album, and made it to #14 on the Billboard Charts (and becoming eligible for the rate). A few more personnel changes came about (with a total of 7 members at various times, besting Sugababes by one if we are to use today’s example of what we know as a Girl Band Trio, although they were eventually a quartet).

Despite disbanding in 1993, they did reunite in 2005 and continue to perform today in arts of the US. Just before their reunion, they were ranked at #391 on the Top 500 Artists Of The Past 25 Years in 2004. Now, this may seem like one of the shorter write-ups but there isn’t much to report. Perhaps worth mentioning is that Betty LeBron did seem to have a (flop) solo career if you are looking for your next PJOP act to enter?

Over to you –PopJustice!

Zar-Unity (6) has very good things to say and then this score – signature move? - Nice sensations and pop style here. Whoa, that rap insert! Tech: 4 Taste: 2 = 6 points. Kermit_The_Frog (7) is looking for recommendations (try Never Let You Go to begin with) - Love this and hoping that voters with more knowledge will include recommendations of other bops they have!

ComeOnGloria (10) has left the @Mina spirit behind - So camp it made me feel butch... until I caught myself dancing along. Filippa (3) is not feeling like writing this a love letter - After listening to three times: still don’t like it very much. The beginning sounds really interesting, but the chorus doesn’t hold what was promised. And then the rap … Empty Shoebox (3) confirms no points in PJOPs - Definitely a bit too repetitive, and goes on for at least thirty seconds more than it needs to. Just doesn't stand out to me.

LondonRain (4) says very little considering the big statement. There’s... a lot going on in this song. DominoDancing (8.5) pits this against another 80s bop - This is what Exposé's Come Go With Me might have sounded like if it had received a proper vocal chorus.

Unnameable (5) prefers a ballad - not as good as “If wishes came true”. DJHazey (10) may yet become Sweet Sensations’ biggest Stan albeit about 30 years too late - This is a fucking game changer. Looks like I need to check out their albums. That's all that needs to be said.​

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