Yesterday was Sheena Easton's 52nd birthday. Which is ridiculous because she still looks younger and fresher than Miley Cyrus. Anyway, I was planning a little tribute post to celebrate the occasion and decided to write about "Telefone" - my all time Sheena favourite. Released in 1983, this synth-pop gem became the Scottish diva's 4th US top 10 hit and nabbed her a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal. I love everything about it, from the sublime 80s production (courtesy of Greg Mathieson, who also delivered the goods on her previous album "A Private Heaven") to the supernaturally catchy chorus. That's not even mentioning Sheena's adorably indignant vocal. She's so pressed that her man hasn't called! Her pain is universal and a generation of gays loved her for it.
So here I was writing about my beloved idol when I started having visions of Lady Gaga. I initially assumed her Monsters had finally gone too far and made a voodoo doll in my likeness but then I had a shocking realisation. Sheena Easton is yet another victim of the fame monster's thievery. Just look at that cover. It conveys the same demented, slightly Gothic look that Gaga likes to think she coined. Then I re-watched the video and knew I was onto something. The black & white clip sends up B horror, bringing an unexpected edge to a fluffy pop song - making it an early blue print for "Born This Way". Only Sheena succeeds where Gaga falls flat. Her clip is hilarious and the bad special effects (the bat kills me) add to the fun. I love her crazy eyes at the 50 second mark and the stunning beauty rocks that lace gown with more attitude than a punk rocker. This is so far ahead of its time it's absolutely mind boggling. Everyone talks about Madonna's role in shaping Gaga - perhaps it's time to pay Sheena her due. And wish her a happy birthday while you're at it!