Today’s POP RESCUE is the 1987 debut album Sinitta! by Sinitta. Is this album the perfect Toy, or will it leave you with a Broken Heart? Read on…
It’s unlikely that anyone in the UK can be ignorant when it comes to knowing who Sinitta is. Her television career in the last decade has enabled her to build upon the success she had back in the latter part of the 1980s.
So, when I had the opportunity to rescue her debut album – i took it. There’s six singles on this 13-track album, and it was of course, partly down to a much more youthful Simon Cowell.
The album blasts off with the unmistakeable Stock, Aitken and Waterman sound that opens fourth single Toy Boy. This song is exceptionally catchy, bouncy and fun. Unsurprisingly a huge hit, that reached #4 in the UK singles chart back in 1987.
Next up is Who’s Gonna Catch You (When You Fall), which isn’t as catchy as Toy Boy, but nonetheless it’s a nice song. It definitely belongs on the album though.
This is followed by the brilliant Cross My Broken Heart – another strong S/A/W hit, and the best Sinitta track musically, vocally and lyrically. It comes complete with some great 80s vocal samples, some rich vocal harmonies, a stomping beat, and a pretty cool video. This was the 6th and final single from the album.
Fifth single G.T.O follows this, and again there’s some great vocals here, and the lyrics and car revving sounds make this a fun track. Poor Sinitta sings about taking second place to a car in a guy’s affection (although there’s room for a euphemism here). ‘He’s got a big red G.T.O..’ and ‘Does he love me, or just his G.T.O?’ she sings.
The fifth track is the first time that I’ve ever knowingly heard a Sinitta ballad. This is Rock Me Slow, and whilst those fast-paced pop hits suit her well, the ballads also appear to work too. This track allow Sinitta to show off some nice rich soulful vocals. At times, you could easily imagine that you’re listening to an Eternal album track. This is a really nice track.
The thumping beat and ‘m-m-m-m-m-MACHO!’ vocal samples usher in the debut solo hit and lead single, So Macho. This song is unashamedly pop and fun, and sees Sinitta make clear her needs in a man. The video is quite comedy too – looking like it possibly cost about £17 to make (most of which was blown on the taxi fare at the start).
Next up is Oh Boy (You’ve Got A Lot To Learn) the first of two tracks here to have been produced by man-of-the-moment producer Paul Hardcastle (best known for his hit about post-traumatic stress disorder: 19). This is mid-tempo track, and sadly doesn’t give Sinitta much to do. There’s some nice brass stabs, and a nice bassline, but it’s definitely album track material.
This is followed by the other Paul Hardcastle produced track, If I Let You Go. Obligatory 80s Saxophone gets plenty of time here, and that is swiftly followed by Sinitta’s gentle ballad vocals. This is a pretty light pop track with some nice vocal harmonies and piano, but again, it’s a bit unmemorable.
Third single, Feels Like The First Time is up next, opening with some twangly guitar and an almost-Cross My Broken Heart synth line. This is the first time i’ve ever heard this song, and my initial response was – this sounds very much like something from the Madonna album True Blue. It’s light, and unashamedly mid-80s pop sounding. Sinitta’s vocals even sound like Madonna’s at times. Sadly, this track only reached #45 in the UK singles chart, although it did make the top ten in the USA, and the top 20 in Spain. This should definitely have had greater success here in the UK.
Second single (and eventual double A-side to a re-release with Toy Boy) Cruising is up next. This track makes me think of both Abba and Irene Cara with regards to lyrics and melody. However, this track seems a little empty, and the heavy sampling of both vocals and drums makes this feel a bit un-like Sinitta. This song sounds quite dated now, having been recorded, like So Macho, in 1985.
The final three tracks on this edition of the CD are remixes. First up is Toy Boy (Extended Bicep Mix), this one mixed by Pete Hammond. This 7m 38s mix retains the trademark sound of S/A/W throughout, and it works perfectly.
Penultimate track is G.T.O (Modina’s Red Roaring Mix), although the sleeve doesn’t reveal who mixed this one. The mix is more of an extended mix really, lasting 7m and 32s.
The album closes with So Macho (12″ Remix) giving us 5m 42s of James Hargreaves and Nick Cathcart-Jones‘ anthem. It opens with ‘MACHO MAN!‘ and then instantly heads into a round of cow bells and timpani rolls. It repeats the ‘MACHO MAN!’ vocal chants, almost in a comedy super hero way. Thankfully, this gives way to Sinitta’s vocals and we’re off into the song again.
Where is Sinitta now?
Sinitta followed this album up in 1989 with her less-S/A/W album Wicked, working with Phil Harding and Ian Curnow instead. Sadly that album stalled in the UK charts and only reached #52, despite containing 4 top 30 hits (one of which reached #4).
Sinitta released third album Naughty Naughty in 1995, this time consisting of popular covers from the 70s and 80s. Whilst she found success with lead single Shame, Shame, Shame in the UK, the album was only released as a limited edition, and only in Asia.
By the late 00s, Sinitta was back on our TV screens, starring in I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, and with Simon Cowell, she began appearing on the UK edition of The X Factor. Since then, she has capitalised on her regained success, and is rarely out of the TV or press attention.
POP RESCUE RATING
Sinitta’s debut album is fantastic. It is pumped with energy, and the hits keep rolling, with little pause for a duff track. It’s the perfect 80’s pop romp, complete with Pete Hammond and S/A/W. It’s sad that the album didn’t reach very high (just #34 in the UK), and it is most deserved of greater attention.
The album also comes complete with a fold out poster of Sinitta in a voile red dress. Amazing legs.
- POP RESCUE 2015 RATING: 4 / 5
- 1987 UK CHART POSITION: #34
- POP RESCUE COST: £2.70 from an eBay seller.