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!
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?
(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.
(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)
(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.
(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