I have this weird predilection toward... I'm not sure how to put it... I get obsessed with pop artists that aren't really huge. Well, I mean, of course Madonna is massive and Kylie... not in America, but everywhere else. But there's something about certain singers that I L-O-V-E but that aren't that notable. Maybe I'll do a series and discuss them all. But today, I am focusing on my favorite singer, circa 1991, Cathy Dennis!
Cathy's first US hit was as the featured vocalist on a track by D-Mob a.k.a. producer Dancin' Danny D, "C'Mon And Get My Love," which reached #10 on the US Pop Chart and #1 on the Dance Chart. It was part of a wave of club music that was blowing up in the mainstream. It was a fantastic summer party song!
Man, THAT was an unfortunate hairdo! Dancin' Danny D is the director/rapper on the song and he would produce and provide vocals on Cathy's solo debut single, "Just Another Dream" from the album Move To This. It was widely rumored that it was Rick Astley doing the "Just Another Dream" echo on the song, but it wasn't. Sounds like him, I suppose, but not him.
Thank God she made friends with a straightening iron before she filmed this! The Funky Love, Funky Love arm swirl is still my go-to dance move of choice! This single made it to #9 on the Pop Chart and #1 on the Dance Chart. She soon followed it up with "Touch Me (All Night Long)" which soared to #2 on the Pop Chart and once again #1 on the Dance Chart.
Girl never met a turtleneck she didn't like! She even wore turtleneck catsuits! She must have been BURNING UP when she performed live on MTV's Spring Break edition of Club MTV!
She broke it down and showed her sensitive side on the next single, "Too Many Walls."
"Too Many Walls" made it to #8 and is actually her one song that I hear the most frequently today. I never hear the dancier songs, but this one will come on when I'm like grocery shopping or waiting to get a haircut. Guess ballads are timeless!
I didn't realize this, but a fourth single was released from Move To This, "Everybody Move."
She must've found a buy one get ten free Catsuit sale! "Everybody Move" barely made an impact, unfortunately. It only made it to #91 on the Pop Chart and #41 on the Dance Chart. This is probably because this was right when Nirvana and Naughty By Nature arrived and pop music was shifting toward hard rock and rap and away from dance.
She released a follow-up album Into The Skyline featuring the single "You Lied To Me" which unfortunately flopped. It made it to #32 on the Pop Chart and #12 on the Dance Chart. To be honest, as enjoyable as the song is, it sounds identical to her earlier hits.
She never had another hit in the US, although she performed better in the UK. What's funny is that "Touch Me (All Night Long)" was a bigger hit in the US than any of her other songs in the UK, but she continued cracking the Top 40 over there for well into the late 90s. I wish I'd known, because music from like 1993-1997 in the US SUCKED SWEATY GORILLA BALLZ!!! Hootie & The Blowfish, Better Than Ezra, Sister Hazel, Third Eye Blind, Matchbox 20, Fastball... explain to me how those aren't all the same band! Anyone? ANYONE?! Man, I woulda killed everyone in all of those bands to hear some fresh new Cathy Dennis goodness!
Interestingly, she has proven MUCH more successful as a songwriter. She's written some of the biggest, awesomest hits of the last ten years or so:
Never Had a Dream Come True - S Club 7 (2000)
Natural - S Club 7 (2000)
Can't Get You Out Of My Head - Kylie Minogue (2001)
Come Into My World - Kylie Minogue (2202)
Toxic - Britney Spears (2004)
I Kissed A Girl - Katy Perry (2008)
Last Name - Carrie Underwood (2008)
Paranoid - Jonas Brothers (2009)
There were a lot more, but most were only hits in the UK or weren't singles. Recently she wrote several songs recorded by Heidi Montag. Look... they can make ANYONE sound good! I will own up, this song is on my iPod and I listen to it frequently!
Fanatic - Heidi Montag (2010)
SEE!!! It's pretty damn good! You can't tell who's singing! Sounds like a robot! So ugh!
But seriously, to this day, I stick a Cathy Dennis song into every party mix play list I make! I still love those songs! They're great, classic dance songs! And when I dance to them, I always do the Funky Love Funky Love arm swirls! All together now...