I have two odd anecdotes about Martika, which is especially unusual, since most don't have ANY anecdotes about Martika, odd or otherwise. Most don't even remember her, but I tell ya, her first album is one of my lifelong most played ever! I still listen to it in its entirety very frequently. I owned it on cassette, wore it the hell out and replaced it with the CD, which... is now autographed! Aw yeah!
She started out as the lead on the syndicated 80s kids show Kids Incorporated.
(Possibly my karaoke Greatest Hit, PS!)
She is, of course, considered something of a one-hit wonder nowadays, known mainly for her #1 hit ballad "Toy Soldiers."
The children singing the hook are actually the cast of Kids Incorporated and others! One cast member Rahsaan Patterson, who played "The Kid" on the show, actually sang backup on almost every song on the album and I'm pretty sure that's him in the gold catsuit in her "Martika's Kitchen" video from her second album.
Her single prior to "Toy Soldiers," "More Than You Know" hit #18, but it's largely forgotten these days.
I used to listen to her first album over and over and over and over. It was just a perfect package of dance pop goodness. Sadly, Martika fell victim to the Sophomore Slump. Her follow up album, Martika's Kitchen, featuring collaborations with Prince and C+C Music Factory didn't measure up. The first single from the album, the Prince-produced ballad, "Love... Thy Will Be Done" made it to #10, but like "More Than You Know" is largely forgotten today.
To be honest, Martika's Kitchen just was sorely lacking in the poppy vivaciousness of her eponymous debut. It was one of those, "Now I'm a serious artist" albums, which... boo! Fuck serious artists. They're no fun! Even so, I loved that first album so much, I consider her one of my favorite female pop stars even today!
So those anecdotes... first, my favorite song from her first album was "Cross My Heart" which wasn't released as a single in the US, so there's no video, but here is the audio:
Here's Kids Incorporated covering it on their show:
P.S. the girl in the pink jumper with the side ponytail standing in the middle? That's Fergie from the Black Eye Peas! I'm not sure WHY they performed it on KI. Like I said, it wasn't a single... but it was MY favorite song from the album, so maybe someone in the KI chain of command felt the same way and put it on the show.
Remember my Kidd Video blog from a couple of weeks ago? There, I mentioned the same song, "It's Over When The Phone Stops Ringing" was recorded by both the fictional Kidd Video band and a real world band, Eighth Wonder. Well... "Cross My Heart" was also recorded by both Martika and Eighth Wonder!
Sorry, embedding disabled by request. Pain in the ASS!
I just... don't get how that goes on, but I'm not in the music biz, so why would I?
So anyway, a few years ago, I found out Martika was now living in Dayton and she and her then fiance' Michael Mozart were in a new band, Oppera. I dragged Richard to their show at Southgate House and... it was sad. There were like ten people there. But she was super sweet and signed my copy of her first CD and posed for a couple of pics.
Oppera were supposed to play another show shortly after that. Around the same time, Eminem sampled "Toy Soldiers" on his hit "Like Toy Soldiers."
She apparently got sick and the show was canceled. Okay, the anecdote is, when I was working at Palomino, I was at the front desk and she came in one day... at least I thought so. I mean, I had met her, so I knew what she looked like and all. I was like, "OHMYGOSH HI!!!" And she was uber uncool, making me feel like a huge idiot. I was all, "Oh, I thought you were... um, Martika." The woman who I thought was Martika was like, "My name is Vita." All bitchy like. My. Bad. Stranger.
So then I went to write this and pulled up her Wikipedia page and it says, "Now working mainly as an actress, since 2009 she has used the new stage name Vida Edit."
What a BITCH! It was totally her and she ICED my ass! Oh sorry I LIKED you! Forgive me for caring that you exist because like NO ONE ELSE DOES! Gah! Tainted love, baby. Tainted love.