Another perhaps to honest entry in my Guilty Pleasures posts. I’ll limit this section as frankly – it’s quite embarrasing. Anyhooo….
Toni Basil had a huge Number 2 single in the shape of Mickey around 1981. Incredibly she was 39 when she released that track. It’s a great, dumb, pop track. It worked for me as I was only 11 at the time and when she appeared on The Kenny Everett Televison Show it kind of cemented her arrival.
My Uncle bought the album “Word Of Mouth” and on a weekend when I stayed at his and my Aunts he rented the video that accompanied the album.
This was then a new concept (an album on video). What struck me, even as a kid was that Toni Basil was a proper artist. It was pop – but she could dance – and appeared to be at the helm of the product. For a straight up pop act, it kind of had an “arty” feel too. Watch her dance in the video, she knows what she’s doing to an extent that it transcends standard pop.
Additionally the tracks on the video album, (and LP), were surprisingly decent. She has a track called “Hanging Around” which is probably her best track. I cannot find a link for that track.
With hindsight, she was a bit ahead of her time. For example, early Madonna material is no better than Toni Basil’s limited output – but the differing levels of success the two respective artists achieved is, well, ridiculous. True that Madonna had major label backing in Warner Brothers, maybe Toni Basil didn’t achieve more success due to limitations and poor strategy by her label (Radialchoice).
The album “Word Of Mouth” has a non-more 80’s look. It’s an album I would recommend checking it out, even just for the fact that it’s a just great looking vinyl release.
Again, I’m not stating she’s a ground breaking artist or anything. It’s just great pop. I figure I got more out of this as a kid, and went on to get into much deeper music in the future due to this exact kind of schooling?
Just a cool pop artist, that is all, nothing more, nothing less – and a bit of a shame she never achieved more success.