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Apr 11

CHER – “The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s In His Kiss)”

Popular59 comments • 4,811 views

#664, 4th May 1991

The best of the year’s many film-tie ins, Cher goes at this girl group classic like a charging rhino. On the original – more restrained than this, obviously, but still a belter by 1964 standards – Betty Everett plays a self-righteous teen, convinced that a snog is the only way to prove her beau is The One. Cher, on the other hand, is singing this at least partly in her Mermaids character, an eccentric single mom (apparently – like most people, I didn’t see it).

This puts a different spin on the record – teen romantic belief becomes enjoyably bad parental advice as bellowed by Cher, a performance that will brook no appeals (“NO NO THAT’S JUST HIS ARM”). It’s also rather funny, particularly as Cher simply steamrollers her meek backing singers in the second verse, breaking in with “No no that’s not the way!”. “The Shoop Shoop Song” is no classic, just an affectionate throwaway vamp through an old hit, but Cher is always an entertaining presence and in a year of draggy hits this one had a likeable gumption.

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Comments

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  1. 26
    Ed on 21 Apr 2011 #

    #2 “Karaoke time on Milf Island” Wins!

    #9 A dag, I was once told, is a lock of fouled wool around the backside of a sheep. Is that right? I definitely think “daggy” deserves to be more widely used.

  2. 27
    Tim Byron on 21 Apr 2011 #

    #26: Yep, that is correct. Daggy wool is worse news than simply being a bit shitty too – Australian farmers have to be careful to monitor the dags, because sheep in Australia very often get ‘flystrike’ (flies laying eggs in the general region of the dags, which is particularly unpleasant for the sheep).

    I was quite surprised, a couple of years ago, to find out that ‘naff’ originally came from the gay British slang language Polari.

  3. 28
    punctum on 21 Apr 2011 #

    #22: Here’s a working link to “Trancentral” on TOTP.

  4. 29
    ottersteve on 21 Apr 2011 #

    To me, the Linda Lewis version of this song was the best. Got to No.5 in 1975.

  5. 30
    thefatgit on 21 Apr 2011 #

    #2 “56 year old…”? Cher would have been 45 in 1991 wouldn’t she?

  6. 31
    swanstep on 21 Apr 2011 #

    Just browsing Cher’s wiki page for the first time… and some of the numbers reported there are staggering: est. personal wealth in 2002, $600 million (US), amount personally paid for recent Las Vegas engagement, $60 million (US), and so on. She’s evidently played the business side of the showbiz game about as well as anyone.

  7. 32
    Mark M on 21 Apr 2011 #

    Only ever seen bits of Mermaids, but it’s vaguely notable for establishing the connection between Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci, who (although having a thoroughly dissimilar screen persona) would eventually inherit her mantle as Hollywood’s indie/goth girl of the moment, confirmed by appearing uncomfortably blonde opposite Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton movie (Edward Scissorhands for Winona, Sleepy Hollow for Christina). And they would both go on to have disappointing* careers, possibly due to the fact that Winona is actually rather rubbish and Ricci has a pretty restricting shtick.

    *Supposedly, Winona is BACK BACK BACK due to Darren Aronofsky and his penchant for scrawny brunettes, but I’ll be surprised if Black Swan really is the start of something big for her.

  8. 33
    Erithian on 21 Apr 2011 #

    fatgit – I wonder if Wichita took that from the comments under the YouTube video, where someone says “I love Cher’s face at 56”. I thought it was odd that two people got the age identically wrong, then realised the poster was talking about “her face at :56”, ie 56 seconds into the video, where she’s pulling a “love you guys but you’re jerks” face at Winona and Christina’s moves. Actually it’s a lovely video, they’re all having great fun with each other and barely performing at all, which is why I always looked forward to it on TOTP. As for the vocal, it’s Cher being Cher but in a more relaxed mode than the overblown power ballads, and none the worse for that. In fact the only thing that annoyed me about this was the title – the bloody “Shoop Shoop Song”. What’s wrong with the proper title?

    Listening to the Betty Everett version, got to say the backing band is a bit ropey.

    Linda Lewis – great version, possibly the best vocal of the three, and quite a frock on TOTP. Her Wiki entry is startling, didn’t realise some of the things she’d been involved in – appeared in “A Taste of Honey” and “Hard Day’s Night”, performed at the first Glastonbury, sang on “Aladdin Sane”. Kudos.

  9. 34
    AndyPandy on 21 Apr 2011 #

    And Cher has no surname she changed it (by whatever the American equivalent of deed poll) to just Cher and nothing else.

  10. 35
    weej on 21 Apr 2011 #

    Mark M @#32 – Christina Ricci is one of my favourite actors, it’s just unfortunate for her that everyone’s got such a strong impression of who she is and what kind of character she can play – only ten or so actors in the world can afford to just play themselves, and nobody’s writing roles especially for her. If you take a look at some of her recent films you’ll see she’s got a much greater range than people give her credit for, but I fear her time to break through as a major star may have passed now.

  11. 36
    thefatgit on 21 Apr 2011 #

    I liked her in Buffalo 66.

  12. 37
    Mark M on 21 Apr 2011 #

    Re 35: “Nobody’s writing roles especially for her” – it’s a cliche but nonetheless true that Hollywood considers a stroppy twelve year old cute, a stroppy eighteen year old girl exciting and a stroppy thirty year old woman not something anyone wants to see on screen.
    I loved Ricci in The Ice Storm and Buffalo 66 and Desert Blue, but a quick look at her filmography reveals the only* films of hers I’ve seen in the last ten years are Miranda (weird and not in a good way) and Black Snake Moan (really weird, but good – although not many people thought so). She seems to made some atrocious choices – this, for instance looks like a shocker.

    *Except for ten minutes of Speed Racer on a plane…

  13. 38
    MikeMCSG on 21 Apr 2011 #

    # 37 I agree “Black Snake Moan” is good but only when Timberlake is offscreen.

  14. 39
    anto on 21 Apr 2011 #

    While we’re taking about Christina Ricci – She’s superb in
    The Opposite of Sex.

  15. 40
    swanstep on 21 Apr 2011 #

    @Mark M., 37. I assume you’ve seen _Monster_ from 2003/4: Theron got the headlines and the v. deserved awards, but Ricci was *great* in the supporting role. I do think you’re on to something with saying that ‘cute, stroppy’ roles tend to fade out for actors in their late 20s. It’s brutal too, but registering as ‘short’ on camera (for gals, 5′ 3″ and below, unless you’re hella skinny like say Huppert) is a liability for a lot of adult lead roles.

  16. 41
    Mark M on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Re 40: No, I’ve never seen Monster – after the two Broomfield docs I felt I’d seen as much of that depressing tale as anyone ever needed to – but I did hear Ricci was really good in it.

  17. 42
    wichita lineman on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Re 30/33: Yes, sorry, I knew Cher wasn’t 56 (otherwise she’d be 76 now!) – I just meant she sings The Shoop Shoop Song like a 56 yr old mom.

    I don’t think Christina Ricci helped either her Hollywood case or Buffalo 66 indie-cred by being a fan of Ayn Rand and having a lot of sex with Moby.

  18. 43
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Hilarious pub game: the MERMAIDS SUPERGROUP

    Rules: members of the supergroup to drawn from rock musician boyfs of Cher, Winona and Christina
    Extra rule: for purposes of game, Vincent Gallo counts as Christina’s ex. This travesties actual history, in which they made a film together, and he was v. poisonous abt her three years later (= she told him NO).

    Winner = deviser of best and worst supergroup.

    My opening bid: Allman, Bolton and Stipe

  19. 44
    Mark M on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Re 42: CR is far from alone in her Rand enthusiasm – I’m pretty sure I seen a number of (book reading) starlets enthusing over her work. Presumably goes with a sense that they are about to show the world they aren’t to be ignored, or something. In any case, considering the political standpoint of Buffalo 66’s director, a co-star with a bit of bonkers libertarian reading matter should be no surprise, surely?

    The Moby sex thing is a whole other matter.

  20. 45
    Mark M on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Re 43: here’s a grim trio for you:

    Sambora-Jay Kay-Moby

  21. 46
    Pete on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Ricci’s is getting increasingly bobbleheaded as she gets older, and appears to have a bit of a rep. Being in your early thirties and not being romantic lead fodder is generally going to scupper you. She only got the Speed Racer gig cos she looks like an anime character (and she was fine in that). Ryder is OK in Black Swan, but its not really a role that needs any work, and the heightened tone means she could be overacting and you wouldn’t notice. It strikes me both need a TV series to stretch into.

    Cher had of course retired from acting pre (and quite possibly during) Burlesque.

  22. 47
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Randianism and Scientology are both very much about self-validation, so it’s not terribly surprising they appeal to actors: as a profession, acting entails dealing with constant rejection — not getting roles because you look/speak/ARE wrong… the thing that brought you success at 20 (or indeed 7) being the thing that cuts you off from it at 25 (or 12), and that has to be incredibly demoralising and disorienting, in ref who you “are”.

    Winona’s been no cop to speak of* since Reality Bites, a (fairly dimwitted) “portrait of a generation” pic which Janeane Garofalo totally stole from her. WR is very pretty but she’s not really capable of funny and I think this rendered her ultra-winsome shtick quite tiresome quite quickly.

    As a child, Ricci was pitch-perfect funny in a very strong ensemble, in the Addams Family movies. You can’t hold Sleepy Hollow against her — it’s a Tim Burton movie and he just can’t tell stories.

    *All the same, anything ANY of the Mermaids have ever done >>>> everything Nick fvcking Broomfield has ever done or will.

  23. 48
    swanstep on 22 Apr 2011 #

    re 43: I vote for Gene Simmons for Cher’s contribution to the worst. Probably that sad sack from Soul Asylum for Winona’s worst. And Gene Simmons in the same group with Moby basically rules: so Simmons-Pirner-Moby for the worst.

    Best: Elvis (stretching it), Jack White or Grohl, Stipe (Did Ricci really date Stipe? News to me.)

  24. 49
    LondonLee on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Another cover that used to drive me into one of my “but the original is so much better! If only people heard it!” rants that would bore my girlfriend to tears. I’m a lot mellower about that sort of thing now but this is still too bulldozing for me, the original is brash too but this is just shouty, and I like Cher normally.

  25. 50
    wichita lineman on 22 Apr 2011 #

    Sonny Bono, Moby and Paul Westerberg would get on like a house on fire, I’m sure.

    A rather amusing tale told on stage by Ken Stringfellow of the Posies. He once met Johnny Depp and asked him “What did you do with the ‘Winona Forever’ tattoo? Did you have it removed?”

    “Nah”, replied Depp. “I just changed it to ‘Winona For Everyone’.”

    Bah-DUM!

  26. 51
    Billy Smart on 22 Apr 2011 #

    #2 watch for Cher’s long reign presents us with two records of superior quality; after two weeks of the KLF, a week of Crystal Waters’ great ‘Gypsy Woman’, sort of deep house but all the better for being slightly flat and fudgy-sounding. La da deee da da da…

    I’d be interested to see Robert Altman’s ‘Come Back To The Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’ again – Cher, the always-great Sandy Dennis, Kathy Bates and Karen Black as a transexual. Seeing it late at night on Channel 4 turned my head around when I was 15 (a regular occurrence!), but I rather suspect that, as with a lot of American plays, I’d find it mawkishly sentimental now.

  27. 52
    Erithian on 22 Apr 2011 #

    or alternatively, “Gypsy Woman” one of the most irritating records of all time!

  28. 53
    weej on 23 Apr 2011 #

    Re: wichita @50 – the story I heard was that he just had the ‘na’ removed, not sure which version I prefer.

  29. 54
    Ed on 25 Apr 2011 #

    #44, #47: Apart from the self-realisation stuff, the other attraction of Rand may be that she writes sympathetic (sometimes) strong women. Dagny Taggart is the only half-way bearable character in ‘Atlas Shrugged’.

    You can see why that would be particularly appealing.

  30. 55
    El boludo on 26 Apr 2011 #

    I have no problem with this. Might even stretch to a 7. I fondly remember annoying the neighbours with the Sandie Shaw version one very sunny Brighton afternoon pre-Pride.

    Haven’t seen Mermaids but I am curious as to why the “Related Posts” sidebar links to a review of my possibly 7th favourite movie of all time CLUELESS!!!

  31. 56
    Weej on 27 Apr 2011 #

    Re:55 What’s the name of Alicia Silverstone’s character in Clueless?

  32. 57
    El boludo on 27 Apr 2011 #

    Haha, that’s me kicked out of the Clueless fan club then! I think I must have been thrown off by all the talk of Winona Ryder. Speaking of which:

    “WR is very pretty but she’s not really capable of funny and I think this rendered her ultra-winsome shtick quite tiresome quite quickly.”

    PAINFULLY spot on.

  33. 58
    Kit on 29 Apr 2011 #

    “an eccentric single mom (apparently – like most people, I didn’t see it).”

    Tom are you saying just your circle of acquaintances didn’t see it, or the movie didn’t succeed in the UK, but the song became a hit despite this? I’m not sure if my perspective is skewed bcz TEENAGE GIRLS around me were big into it, but I think of the film as being quite a big hit in Australia, and the single riding on its coattails – being a widely popular hit at the time, but then disappearing from the culture once the movie left cinemas.

    The film certainly hung around as a weekend afternoon telly staple here, and I’ve gone from disliking it because it’s about MUMS and FAMILIES and Winona being EMBARRASSED, to feeling fond of it, from having caught some or all of it in that context a few times. In fact, I’m smiling now just thinking about mini-Ricci running into the kitchen cupboard with a bucket on her forehead. Aw!

    @9: “In 92/93 Caligula (another Australian hard rock band) covering ‘Tears Of A Clown’”

    Tim if I had read this before last night I would have berated you for this grotesque calumny! On their first EP* they were industrial/sampledelic enough to get PWEI support slots; the second EP was a bit more sub-Box The Jesuit grunge-before-America-picked-up-on-the-word (and on CD, came padded out with the first EP, suggesting they were themselves alarmed at how uninspired it was). Then they added a pretty** boy singer and did two further EPs of glorious samplery hooky bouncy stuff, like a goth Cut Copy. By the time of their sole album, which had the Smokey cover, they’d pretty much come out the other side of indie-dance and become just a pop group. “Hard rock” indeed…

    *released on “dog’s dick pink” vinyl, per the print advertisements, a fact which shall never tire to amuse me
    **later in the 90s, he could be seen leaving [an indie club] on 45-minute intervals, taking a different girl with him each time. Ten years after that, I went to see an ILX friend’s band play there, and he was still there: working behind the bar…

    Thanks to WL for the Linda Lewis cover!

  34. 59
    Free on 26 Nov 2011 #

    #1 Danny De Vito was not in Moonstruck. Just saying

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