My recent post on Vicci Martinez reminded me of a little-known artist (in the US, anyway) named Titiyo who originally recorded Vicci’s single “Come Along.” As I was remembering her sole hit in the US, it dawned on me that there were a lot of singularly titled ladies of pop and dance that hit the charts in the early 90s. One thing lead to another, and I ended up with a list of one-word ladies who many would consider one-hit wonders.
Titiyo “My Body Says Yes”
MY BODY SAYS YES Video – ARTISTdirect Music.
Turns out Titiyo’s sole US hit is not available on YouTube, so you will have to click through if you want to check it out. While Titiyo has had huge success in Sweden, her hits outside of Scandinavia have been few and far between. She scored a couple of minor hits in the UK from her first two albums in the early 90s, but Europe wouldn’t catch on to her grooves until the Come Along album was released in 2001. As for the US, we got one shot at Titiyo in 1991 when “My Body Says Yes” was released, but the record stalled at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. Influenced by both Hip Hop and House music, “Body” definitely was well-positioned for Top 40 airplay, but it never quite caught on. A top 50 ranking would be considered respectable for most new artist, but as with many European acts unleashed on the American marketplace, it wasn’t quite enough. Twenty one years later, Vicci Martinez records “Come Along” and Titiyo gets a small royalty check and small consolation.
Keedy “Save Some Love”
As Titiyo was struggling to reach the top 40 in 1991, another new singer with a single-name moniker was having much more success. Many people assumed that Keedy was a first name, but it was actually the last name of Kelly Ann Keedy. “Save Some Love” was not what you would call a huge hit, but in the somewhat bland musical landscape of American radio in 1991, it was upbeat and harmless enough. Reaching number 15, hopes were high that she could replicate that success with her sweet ballad “Wishing on the Same Star” (a personal favorite of mine). Alas, the song stalled at #86, and there was another promising pop star’s career sending spinning down the drain. Keedy parted ways with Arista before she could release a second album.
Alisha “Bounce Back”
Alisha spent a good chunk of the 80s bouncing from label to label, having recorded for both Vanguard and RCA before landing at MCA to record her third album Bounce Back. Tracks like “All Night Passion,” “Baby Talk” and “Too Turned On” had made her a mainstay on the Dance charts, but it was clear from the promotion leading up to Bounce Back that MCA badly wanted her to cross over to the Pop chart, releasing the title track to both the clubs and Pop radio in 1990. While she racked up another top 10 on the Dance chart with “Bounce Back,” the single stalled on the Hot 100 at number 54. “Bounce Back” is a decent song, but I much prefer her earlier Freestyle dance music, particularly “Baby Talk.”
Speaking of Freestyle, the highest charting single of all the songs included on this list goes to Corina, who took “Temptation” into the top ten on the Hot 100 in 1991. Freestyle music was a regional subset of the club scene in the late 80s and 90s. Focused primarily in New York City, artists like The Cover Girls, Exposé, and Sweet Sensation all helped break Freestyle out of the clubs and onto the Pop charts in the late 80s. By the time Corina came along, Freestyle was already on the tail-end of its popularity, but “Temptation” became one of the biggest hits of the Freestyle era, peaking at number six. Corina’s follow up “Whispers” sounded similar to “Temptation,” but couldn’t get any further than number 51.
Regina “Baby Love”
You’ll have to blame this inclusion on Dan over at This Man’s World, who posted an old playlist that included this mid-80s one-hit wonder. I could not let something like the wrong decade keep me from including yet another harmlessly perky one-hit wonder. If the song sounds Madonna-ish, that’s because Regina co-wrote “Baby Love” with Breakfast Club member and Madonna collaborator Stephen Bray. “Baby Love” was a genuine smash, peaking at #10 on the Hot 100 and filling dance floors across the country, but while Regina had a couple of club hits following “Baby Love”, she never hit the Top 40 again.
I remember most of these songs as being really good. Particularly Regina’s “Baby Love,” which is the best Madonna song Madonna never recorded. Aside from Alisha (whose “All Night Passion” and “Too Turned On” are absolute classics of NYC dance,) it never even occurred to me that they released other material. Nice stuff.
Glad you liked the post. Honestly, I didn’t know Titiyo had other music until Vicki released her cover, but the others I have at least been aware of. And you’re dead on about Alisha…clubs up in Syracuse used to overplay her stuff for YEARS.