Rachel Sweet "...And Then He Kissed Me" LP (1981)
Details: Rachel Sweet began her singing career at age three and was signed to Stiff Records when she was only sixteen years old (and this is only after years of being on tour and performing in Vegas) just after dropping out of high school. Although Sweet was born in Akron, Ohio, she found her biggest music audience in the UK after Stiff Records had signed her and released various singles and her debut, "Fool Around," in 1978. She has covered massive hits by 60s musicians like The Crystals and Carla Thomas, and worked with legends like John Waters (Sweet sang tracks for both Hairspray, and Cry-Baby). I still can't figure out why Sweet is only tied up in fringe-awareness. Her voice has the slight country warble of a current Lydia Loveless, and the pop vocal delivery of Kirsty MacColl. She recorded the theme song for Clarissa Explains It All, and her duet with Rex Smith (who to this day I think must have inspired the character of Rex Manning in Empire Records) is pure gold. Gold!
Description: After beginning her singing career at the age of three, when she won an electric garage door opener in a singing contest, she began recording commercials at the age of six, toured with Mickey Rooney, and performed in Las Vegas as the opening act for Bill Cosby at the age of 12. She began recording country music in 1974, but with little success beyond one minor hit. Switching to rock and roll, she signed to Stiff Records and released her first album, Fool Around, in 1978, dropping out of high school to concentrate on her career, although she was still required to devote time to her studies. Sweet was backed by The Records on the Stiff Records tour in 1978. The album was a critical success, but sales were poor, although she did have some success with the single "B-A-B-Y" (a cover of the 1966 Carla Thomas song), which was a top-40 hit in the UK. The record label generated some controversy by pushing a Lolita-like image for her. Her follow-up album, Protect the Innocent, produced by Martin Rushent and Alan Winstanley, largely was ignored by the public and the music media, although it was popular with her fans as well as a much anticipated 1980 North American tour with her band The Toys. She then signed to Columbia Records in 1981, releasing ... And Then He Kissed Me, which launched the hit "Everlasting Love", a duet with Rex Smith.
Sweet released only one more album, 1982's Blame It on Love which featured her hit song "Voo Doo". The video for the song was played on MTV, and she performed the song on the musical TV show Solid Gold. She resumed her education via correspondence courses and graduated from Columbia University in French and English Literature in 1988. She returned to music sporadically as she focused on her education, recording the title track to John Waters' film Hairspray and many of the songs for his musical Cry-Baby. In 1989 and 1990, she hosted a show on The Comedy Channel (forerunner of Comedy Central) called The Sweet Life. She also recorded the theme song to the Nickelodeon series Clarissa Explains It All; the theme song was a reworking of the theme song for The Sweet Life, her show on The Comedy Channel. She also provided the voice for the Barbie animated series. In 1992 Sweet appeared in a minor role as George Costanza's cousin on an episode of Seinfeld titled "The Contest." She has since focused on establishing her acting, writing, and producing career. In 1994, she appeared in All Tied Up. She worked as a writer and executive producer on the television series Dharma & Greg, Commando Nanny, George Lopez, Hot in Cleveland, 2 Broke Girls, The Single Guy and The Goldbergs and has worked in television production since the late 1990s.
In 1982, she had a starring role in a low-budget musical film entitled Rock 'n' Roll Hotel, which also featured Judd Nelson. It was filmed in Richmond, Virginia, at the then-inoperative Jefferson Hotel. The film never was released to theaters, but eventually was finished by Sweet and her father and shown on HBO. In 1992, Rhino Records released Fool Around: The Best of Rachel Sweet. The CD compilation included all of her first album Fool Around as well as tracks from her other three albums, along with the theme to Hairspray. Sweet bought Madonna's former home, Los Pavoreales, selling it in 2010 for $4,895,000.
Grade: VG+ (Cover) / NM (Record)
TRACK LISTING SIDE A:
A1. Shadows Of The Night
A2. Then He Kissed Me (The Crystals)
A3. Billy And The Gun
A4. Party Girl
TRACK LISTING SIDE B:
B1. Two Hearts Full Of Love
B2. Little Darlin'
B3. Fool's Story
B4. Everlasting Love (duet with Rex Smith)