And yet another 80s number falls victim to PopJustice! You know what this means? We are up to a top three recap at the end of the post! It’s a Heartache indeed! Pepsi & Shirlie were pretty much tied with Mel & Kim for most of the voting period, standing strong for the 80s until the last few voters started showing a distinct preference for them and Heartache.
Although the two share similarities, I am unsure whether I’d pick Pepsi & Shirlie as the top of those two similar sounding songs. It could certainly be my love for future hits by Mel & Kim clouding my judgement however as Pepsi & Shirlie are vocally excellent and distinct here! Heartache is indeed an undeniable bop and although that usually implies the vocals are secondary to the beat and the production, this is far from the case here with the girls’ excellent delivery! Their background as back up vocalists certainly gave them some good experience building a raspy tone, and give their sound depth.
Helen ‘Pepsi’ DeMacque and Shirlie Holliman got their start as backing vocalists for Wham! and toured with them for much of their concerts. They were promoted as their own act immediately after Wham!’s final concert and went for a more upbeat and pop genre than the route George Michael went for in débuting his solo career.
Heartache was a true debut and success for the girls, reaching #2 on the UK charts and charting on the American dance charts at that spot too. They struggled to follow it up however, with only the next single reaching the top 10 but everything else underperforming. Due to their industry connections and despite the setback, a comeback in 1991 was also attempted with “Someday”, a song produced by George Michael but it failed to chart, even in the UK. This led to them disbanding or rather being on hiatus for a few years. They made a minor comeback singing backing vocals on (Ginger Spice) Geri Halliwell’s hit ‘Bag It Up’. The girls are still active and perform to this day, including a highlighted show at Echo Arena Liverpool in 2011.
As you can see here, I don’t have very much to add on these girls, as they were a combination of a rate discovery for me and not quite as legacy inducing in either my Mauritian or Australian life so I will defer to the voters (also feel free to share thoughts in the comments highlighting things I may not know!)
DJHazey (8) goes first - I don't put all my eggs in the one basket titled "vocals" when I score a song, but this gets most of my points for their vocals alone. I find the chorus a tad bit underwhelming when the verses build up a frenzy for something more to happen. Unnameable (9) must be a certified fan of the 80s sound then? - reminds me of a stack of other 80s songs. Iheartpoptarts (9) also has a fondness for what the sound represents - This right here is a good example of what I love about the 80s.
DomoniDancing (7) is only somewhat impressed - Acceptable, but that's really not much of a chorus, is it? Empty Shoebox (10) is all rate hero with this one! - Pre-chorus is the best bit of this. Was my score slightly higher due to nostalgia? Yes. Yes it was. Trouble In Paradise (8) has found the same issues I did researching for my write-up - This song has such a great 80s punch to it! Shame they're literally impossible to google.
Filippa (7) sees the connection clearly - Yes, that’s how pop sounded in the 80ies. But they sound so like Wham-clones, I can’t help myself. But the song is good, and I like their voices. Saviodxl (6.2) files this under guilty pleasure - This sound so cheesy 80s it hurts. But I kinda like it. Riiiiiiiii (9.1) has quite a fun partner! - Turns out my man knows this one entirely by heart. I’ve never heard of it so it’s my highest discovery in this rate. Proper ’80s production!
Kermit_The_Frog (7) goes into a historical rant, only he can do (and is mighty informative to boot!) - Since “The Story Of Top Of The Pops” informed me about 30 years too late that Dee C. Lee used to be in Wham before jumping ship to join The Style Council, I’ve gone through a period of low-key wishing that Shirlie left and we got Pepsi and Dee C… anyway, enough of my rambling, this is a bop and (***controversy klaxon***) better than 90% of Wham’s output… Zar-Unity (8) doesn’t see any issue here! - Quite a energetic, well arranged pop song! So 80's! =p Tech: 5 Taste: 3 = 8 points.
And here is your 80s
The Go-Go's – Our Lips Are Sealed
The Bangles – Manic Monday
Salt-N-Pepa – Push It
Two got very high scores from me and one is decent!
You have certainly picked diverse sounding tracks here to represent the decade in its finale PopJustice, with all being a bit edgy and pushing their genre (not straight-up pop) at least a little in their influence.
How will they fall and will they last til the top 10?
Find out #soon!