Wednesday, March 04, 2009

La Toya & Cerrone - Oops, Oh No!

I wish I never got out of bed today. From the moment I woke up, everything that could go wrong did go wrong - until about 5 minutes ago when something miraculous happened. I was moping around, drowning my sorrows and generally feeling sorry for myself when La Toya's amazing duet with Cerrone popped up on my iPod shuffle. It was as if I had been touched by an extremely fabulous angel. Through the power of her stunning 1986 flop, Goddess Toy reached out to me in my hour of need and made everything seem alright. This post is written in her honour.

There isn't a lot of information about "Oops, Oh No!", which is surprising given the high profile of Toy Toy's duet partner. Cerrone is a living legend, having been one of the most influential musicians of the entire disco movement - bagging 5 Grammy Awards and selling over 30 million records. I guess La Toya was hoping Cerrone's Midas touch would rub off on her but in true Toy fashion, it didn't. The single was released hot on the heels of her 4th album, "Imagination", and suffered a similar fate, failing to chart anywhere. It's a shame because "Oops, Oh No!" is an absolute gem. From the opening pan pipe sound effects (on the LP Version at least), the track unfolds as a weird and wonderful slice of experimental pop music circa 1986. Synths collide with urban beats against a dazzling electronic back drop to create a burst of instant happiness. The lyrics are really secondary to the music but the chorus is very cute and I love the way that Toy's voice completely overshadows Cerrone's. However, my favourite bit is the toygasmic scream at the two minute mark. Bliss! Confusingly, the edits are all radically different but my favourite is the LP Version and that's the mix I have streaming:

Oops, Oh No!


"Oops, Oh No!" was given a second chance at life five years after its initial release when the song was re-issued in Holland - without Cerrone's vocals! In fact, the Dutch version basically bins the entire song apart from the chorus, which is roughly placed over a fairly uninspiring house track. Amazingly, it became one of Toy's only hits - climbing all the way to #30 on the Dutch club charts! I vastly prefer the original but this has some nice moments including a classy piano solo. Words can't adequately express how much I miss La Toya. May she return from reality TV hell to further enrich our lives with her own unique brand of musical genius in the not too distant future.

14 comments:

Jay said...

Despite owning the 12", I have never heard this...

Jamie_movietrip said...

Fabulous post Mike, the 90's mix is one of Toy's least inspiring singles, however you are quite right about the brilliance of the original. Toy's vocals are sublime! My favourite bit is bit where the 'Oo's' are sampled over and over!

Cristián said...

Had never heard this one ever before, but now that I do I must say this first before we keep on avoiding the big pink elephant in the room: I will not point any fingers, neither imply the term rip-off, just would like to bring up that the unbelievable similarity of the sound and formula of the song to "What Have You Done For Me Lately?" (and even the overall sound of the whole "Control" album) is almost to the verge of embarrassing.

So, since the year of release is the same for both recordings, the big question is:
Are we in the presence of what Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis used as actual inspiration from Mr. Cerrone, to come up with the sound formula for the hit song for little sis?
Or was it the other way around and this is just a desperate case of: "I just got hold of a copy of the impressive single my stupid little sister is about to release, and I need some big time producer to come up with an as-close-as-possible copycat of it so I can try to overshadow her"?

What is your verdict, Mike?

Mike said...

To be honest, I have no idea what came first - this or "What Have You Done For Me Lately" but Janet has always been fond of recycling Toy's flops ("Sexual Feeling" becoming "Throb" etc) so I'd put money on her creeping into Toy Toy's bedroom when she out getting a new weave and stealing her stunning demos.

Personally, I don't think this is the most "Control"-esque track in La Toya's canon of "hits". There are some definite similarities (there is short clip in the middle of the song that is almost identical) but I think that probably has more to do with the era. As a whole, I think "Oops" is far more Euro sounding than anything on "Control". It's also way more experimental and electronic.

In a nutshell: Toy > Janet

John said...

Wow...someone was SERIOUSLY jealous of "What Have You Done For Me Lately", even down to the bridge! Throw in some Prince-like howls, and it's...well, I'm at a loss.

Paul said...

sorry you had a rubbish day :( Glad LaToyz made it better!

Magical Froggy said...

Love this! I squealy "oohs" around the 2:10 mark completely make this a ToyTreasure. :D

D'luv said...

Too many words in this post. Makes it hard to masturbate to the pic of Cerrone and La Toya....




Ok, done.

Tommy said...

I figured it was only a matter of time before you did a post about Cerrone and Toy's bastard child! haha.. I agree with the above commenters, Cerrone was totally doing his best Jam & Lewis ripoff here.. In spite of that, if he did anything right on this track, it was using Toy's yelps as much as possible.. That scream in the middle makes me wet.

love in c minor said...

Well f*^k me - I thought I had all the Cerrone - I didnt know about this
Where can I get this?

Simon said...

Wow, I just gotta say thay I love this blog! Your writing skills are just top-notch! Keep up the good work :)

T. said...

WOW
THANKS 4 SHARING THAT, I ONLY KNEW THE SECOND REMIX VERSION!
IT'S A NICE SONG THAT U CANT GET OUT OF THE HEAD...
HOW DID U GET THE MP3 ANYWAY?

http://latoya-jackson.blogspot.com/

Nasty G said...

Hilarious! I am about to post the 1991 version of the maxi-single on my Lost Pop Treasures blog, and when looking for an image I was immediately directed here! OF COURSE! Loves it! I have included a link to this post in my post. Thanks, darlin'!

Josh said...

Heaven