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Apr 11

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

Popular60 comments • 6,978 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

  1. 1
    punctum on 20 Apr 2011 #

    The showbiz thing about Sonny and Cher was the assumed disparity; skinny little guy nestling in the shoulder, and under the chin, of a tall statuesque beauty – indeed, a case could be made for Cher as the most successful statue in pop. They played at being freethinkers, even if you occasionally noticed the odd contractual obligation sigh, but they sent out the right signals. Then the sixties were turned into the seventies and they settled in showbiz; The Sonny And Cher Show was a big transatlantic success (even prompting their temporary return to the UK top ten in 1972 with “All I Ever Need Is You”) in which Cher weekly belittled the runt-like stature of Sonny and we were finally encouraged to laugh at him. But there were real arguments behind the bitter façade, and they split soon afterwards. Where Cher went on to “Half Breed,” the stunning Spector reunion of “A Woman’s Story” and Gregg Allman, Sonny found himself contractually obliged to see out the final season of The Sonny And Cher Show with a succession of wan Cher lookalikes – was this worse than death? Small wonder that he abruptly turned away from everything he’d been, or had pretended to be, at season’s end and settled for the far less demanding existence of a staunch Republican mayor and senator.

    But the statue of Cher continued to evolve and as the seventies melted into the eighties she fancied having a go at acting. Early signifiers were good; in Silkwood and Mask she set up a niche for herself as the feisty, dirt-proud and heart-noble liberal campaigner. But in The Witches Of Eastwick she found herself the least comfortable of the three female leads, either with Jack Nicholson or with black comedy. So she settled for the template of the wayward but unflappable matriarch still attracted to smaller and stouter men – Danny de Vito in Moonstruck, Bob Hoskins in Mermaids – while relaunching her singing career on the side with perfervid flagwavers like the troops’ phallic favourite “If I Could Turn Back Time.”

    Her revival of “The Shoop Shoop Song” came from Mermaids, a cosy little comedy drama set in the pre-Beatles (and pre-Sonny) sixties where she plays the wayward but unflappable matriarch to her two daughters, one of whom (Winona Ryder) wants to become a nun, but then after a series of slapstick mishaps and near-tragedy, the family finally realise What Really Matters In Life. Despite being produced by Peter Asher of Peter and Gordon fame and featuring a string arrangement by Jack Nitzsche only occasionally audible over the crashing, or crushing, guitars and drums in the foreground, and being sung by Cher in her typically bellicose fashion (but the song’s supposed to be about a teenage girl who doesn’t know, or hasn’t yet been told, about such things!), it’s a flat record whose sole purpose seems to have been to remind ageing sixties consumers that some people were still around. As it prevented “Last Train To Transcentral” (rightly described by Simon Mayo as the most spectacular performance in the history of TOTP) from reaching number one, however, its cynical retro stance becomes positively offensive.

  2. 2
    wichita lineman on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Mermaids was likeable fluff (first screen appearance of Christina Ricci?) but this got on my wick. I’d say the original is tough enough, and that it’s not in his kiss at all, that’s 1963 pop code. Betty Everett also recorded You’re No Good before the Swinging Blue Jeans had their UK hit with it, a really conflicted putdown song that sounds very ‘adult’ for the girl group era.

    56-year old Cher sings It’s In His Kiss like it’s karaoke time on Milf Island.

    Can I flag up Linda Lewis’s squeakily exciting and wildly different version, a Top 10 hit in 1975?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDNE9g_h6fU

  3. 3
    punctum on 20 Apr 2011 #

    “You’re No Good” made even more adult (or more childish, as in fear of the dark?) and sinister by Linda Ronstadt’s cover (produced by Peter Out Of Peter And Gordon).

  4. 4
    wichita lineman on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Ahhh… yes, I was going to say he had oldies form (also When Will I Be Loved by Linda R). I’ll stick with Betty Everett’s hard-as-nails-but-beaten-down-regardless take. As for Linda Ronstadt, I’m still in shock after seeing outtakes from the Silk Purse photo session.

    Real downer for me on Cher’s version – godawful guitar break, even more of an eighties hangover than Chesney.

  5. 5
    weej on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Does Christina Ricci actually sing in the song? Obviously not, but I would like to hold out some hope that she’s had a number one in the UK.

  6. 6
    swanstep on 20 Apr 2011 #

    5 weeks at #1 for this track is pretty unfathomable to me… On my Cher Greatest Hits CD (which is fab.) Shoop Shoop is track 2 (after Believe and before Turn Back Time), and presumably its UK chart performance earned it that spot. Along with a crushingly horrible re-recording of Bang Bang it’s the track on the disc that I skip (and haven’t loaded into ye olde ipod).

    Anyhow, Shoop Shoop’s not *that* bad I suppose (just a little dull), but Cher’s often been much better than this (even Turn Back Time is great taken apart from its vid.!), so outsize success in this case flummoxes. That said, Cher’s got one of the most likeable pop personalities – she’s *so* un-whiney – that perhaps we can call this mega-hit quits for Benny Hill among others blocking Gypsies Tramps and Thieves from the top in 1971:
    5

  7. 7
    Tom on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Yes, should point out that my affection for this track now doesn’t in any way relate to my feelings at the time, when it seemed a long and strange five weeks. But I don’t think I approved of Cher, and now I do (should definitely get a G Hits).

  8. 8
    vinylscot on 20 Apr 2011 #

    if wichita lineman would like to drop in a link to the Linda Ronstadt pics to which he refers, I, among many others, would (probably) be eternally grateful…

  9. 9
    Tim Byron on 20 Apr 2011 #

    The classic hits radio station my mum would constantly listen to had a habit of introducing old songs into their rotation if there was a modern cover in the charts. In 1993, for example, an Australian band called Chocolate Starfish had a hit with a hard rock cover of ‘You’re So Vain’. (Yes, they were called Chocolate Starfish. Yes, they were bad). But that just meant that 2WS played the original Carly Simon song. In 92/93 Caligula (another Australian hard rock band) covering ‘Tears Of A Clown’ meant that 2WS played a lot of Smokey Robinson’s version. Et cetera. And I’m pretty sure that the earliest song I remember 2WS doing this for was “Shoop Shoop Song”, playing Betty Everett’s original instead of Cher.

    At the time I was a bit put out by this – it was weird to discover that these songs in the charts had had another life, that they used to sound just as daggy as that stuff my mum listened to. It was like the adults were saying, ‘no, you can’t have that, it’s really ours’.

    But at the same time, hearing the originals was an education in itself – I would pay attention to the originals of the covers in the charts in a way I wouldn’t pay attention to the station’s regular diet of Supertramp or Steve Miller Band. I guess the covers functioned as translations – they spoke in a language I understood/related to. And so, when I heard the originals, they made me realise that it wasn’t the songs that I disliked, but the sound, because I liked the songs when done by modern musicians. And it made me realise that the songs that I thought were daggy now might not have been daggy back in the day.

    I think this cover seemed daggy at the time, mind you. I remember hearing the original and thinking that it had more spunk to it. With the video clip and the movie tie-in and all that, Cher et al seemed like they’d put together a song designed to get mums and daughters to have a special moment together with. Which was daggy as far as a 9 year old boy like me was concerned. Girls were weird.

    (NB: Occurs to me that I should ask, is daggy a very Australian word? It means pretty much the same as naff, if it is)

  10. 10
    Rory on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Yep, daggy is a very Australian word. (Well, Australasian; don’t forget Fred Dagg.) But I expect twenty years of Neighbours has made UK readers familiar enough with it.

  11. 11
    JLucas on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Great fun from Cher here. It doesn’t bear much scrutiny, nor is it one of her finest moments. But it’s a nice revival of a forgotten classic and earned her a long overdue solo #1.

    I can’t wait to wax lyrical on Believe, one of the best and influential pop records of the 90s. In the meantime let me make a case for a modest hit from between her solo chart-toppers that I believe deserves to be *far* better remembered – the glorious ‘One By One’. Definitely one of her most subtle (by Cher standards!) and underrated hits.

  12. 12
    Rory on 20 Apr 2011 #

    I didn’t think much of this at the time, but now it has a vaguely Amy Winehouse-ish appeal. I could stretch to 6.

  13. 13
    MikeMCSG on 20 Apr 2011 #

    # 5 No I don’t think either Christina or Winona really sing on this they were just in the video (which Winona hated doing).

    # 9 That’s interesting TB. I used to advocate radio stations doing that over here to try and spike all the covers. Probably wouldn’t have worked with a big movie tie-in like this but might have hit BIg Fun, Danii Minogue etc.

    “Mermaids” is quite likeable although Bob Hoskins is completely wasted, probably his least rewarding performance. Winona is very good but I’m a bit biased there.

    I remember Alan Jones in the surviving Chartfile section of Music Week predicting that Cher would rue the day she recorded this because all the hard rock fans who’d bought into her last few records would desert her for going back to pop. That was clearly wrong a) because the HM crowd probably didn’t take her that seriously anyway and b) in the 90s people were moving towards buying into a celebrity and weren’t too bothered about consistency of output. Hence Madonna remained buoyant despite a long string of uninspired singles and we get to the travesty of Mrs Beckham asking her fans to suggest what sort of record she make next.

    I wasn’t interested in this but not long after I bought a 70s-era best of to get the divine trinity of “Gypsies”, “Half Breed” and “Dark Lady” which were present and correct but in between are some of the worst covers I’ve ever heard of the likes of “Fire And Rain” and “The Long And Winding Road” . It proved just how one-dimensional a vocalist she is and you can only take your hat off to her for surviving so long.

  14. 14
    JLucas on 20 Apr 2011 #

    I don’t think it’s fair to accuse Cher of being one a one-dimensional vocalist. She’s dipped her toes into a surprising range of genres over the years and usually aquitted herself quite well on at least a couple of tracks.

    She’s definitely had her fair share of completely ridiculous moments though. Her big 80s hair-metal re-recording of her 60s hit ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ is quite something.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzmpJpXkLLA

    I do think she recorded the best version of ‘Alfie’ in the 60s though. Dionne’s version was too aloof, and I never could hack Cilla Black’s voice.

  15. 15
    thefatgit on 20 Apr 2011 #

    I always got Mermaids mixed up with Hairspray for some reason and took little notice of either. I get the sense of fingerwaggyness from Shoop Shoop, wrote it off as female-centric hen-party pop and went back to listening to…

    …wait a minute, Last Train To Trancentral was held off the top by this?

  16. 16
    flahr on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Wichita is very right indeed at #4 – the guitar just seems a bit miserable in this song. Still there’s some enjoyment to be derived from Cher’s certainly, er, full-on vocal stylings, and though LTTT is much, much better we’ll say 4, 5… 4.

  17. 17
    wichita lineman on 20 Apr 2011 #

    Not surprisingly, as I love the Ramona King/Betty Everett girl group takes on Shoop Shoop, I’m very fond of Cher’s debut Dream Baby (under the name Cherilyn) which is a great big Christmassy Spector knockoff, and doesn’t have her belting it out for once. Baby Don’t Go by S&C also very strong, a muted-but-full folk rock 45.

    I’ve never understood why Sonny Bono is always described as a weasely sidekick who gets accused of “stealing” from Spector, while every other associate who nicked the production technique gets away with it. Theirs is an underrated catalogue, dwarfed by Cher’s big hair moments.

    Re 9: Here you go, vinylscot . So that clears up where the album title came from, then. Just doing my duty.

  18. 18
    Chelovek na lune on 20 Apr 2011 #

    ‘s alright, no more, no less. We’ll get to 1998 when we get there, but of her pre-Shoop Shoop comeback singles, the one that really stands out for me (although there are several gooduns – “Just Like Jesse James”, for example) is still “I Found Someone”. She genre-hopped with a certain amount of skill, and her voice is better than that of many wannabees.

  19. 19
    lockedintheattic on 20 Apr 2011 #

    #14 – I have a feeling that was produced by Bon Jovi (she was dating one of them when she recorded that album, which was her comeback)

  20. 20
    lonepilgrim on 20 Apr 2011 #

    I can remember feeling slightly irritated by this at the time – particularly because it stayed at the top for five whole weeks (little did I guess what was to come that year). Billy might be able to confirm whether Cher ever turned up on TOTP – I can only recall the video repeated every week. Now, it sounds…like a Cher song – her bellowing away in her trademark style over a familiar tune. Probably only a 4 from me.

  21. 21
    Kat but logged out innit on 20 Apr 2011 #

    At this point in my life I hadn’t been enjoying myself very much. It was the usual thing of snotty girls making your life a misery and not really knowing how to make any other friends, especially when all the other girls had a best friend, or were part of the snotty misery gang, or were similar unfortunate outcasts with whom I could never be friends as that would totally ruin my chances of rejoining snotty misery gang. I used to dread it whenever Mrs Field would utter the words ‘ok find a partner and…’ as I would always get left on my own or WORSE have to partner up with a BOY. Except suddenly after Easter 1991 I found a friend and we teamed up against the snotty misery gang and it was all ok and things magically got better and I had someone to do project work with and silly happy songs like this were just fine. We preferred Crystal Waters though because my new chum was a self-proclaimed ‘hippy’.

    Also shout out to T99’s Anasthasia which got to #14 during Cher’s run at the top!

  22. 22
    hardtogethits on 20 Apr 2011 #

    #1 punctum – that link’s not functioning at all for me … anyone else? It ‘s tantalising because it looks like it’d link to something fantastic.

    As JLucas at #11 points out, the wonderful, beguiling “One By One” is very proof that Cher isn’t a one dimensional vocalist. However, given this versatility, you cannot help wonder why she sings so many things so similarly. It works more often than not, and sometimes like here, it simply serves to advertise that it’s a Cher record. It’s a good song (no-one seems to have an issue with that), and ripe for a competent cover version, which Cher delivers. Yeah, 6.

  23. 23
    anto on 20 Apr 2011 #

    I forgot this one was coming up which is odd because it seemed to be at number 1 for an eternity. What strikes me is how varied Chers music career has been. Never really settling with one approach for too long but surprisingly adept at whatever she has a go at. Maybe it helps that her vocals are assertive but not particularly showy.
    The four UK chart toppers I can think of that Cher has sung on are four completely different types of song and considering that the first was an early example of flower power in pop and the most recent a hint of how dominant autotune would become I think it’s fair to say she’s moved with the times with more zeal than other long term stars.
    In spite of all this I’m not really a fan of her vocals and the Shoop Shoop Song is simply retro play-acting. I can think of several instances where I’ve liked the song from a film but not thought much of the film itself (A Life Less Ordinary is the only that comes to mind at the moment though). This is an example of the opposite because I’ve always rather liked Mermaids in fact I prefer it to Winona Ryders more credible teenage comedy Heathers which for all it’s originality now seems rather confused and has been imitated once too often.

  24. 24
    Billy Hicks on 20 Apr 2011 #

    This is another of those songs I remember *extremely* well, yet when I think about it that’s impossible, unless my musical memory stretches back to being two and a half years old. It must have been a radio staple for a few years more, but certainly I remember this just as strong as #1s from years I actually remember. And I’ve always loved it, bouncy pop that always raises a smile.

    One of my favourite number 1s of the year along with the KLF, but yes, huge shame it kept ‘Trancentral’ off the top. And Anasthasia, what a tune!

  25. 25
    swanstep on 21 Apr 2011 #

    Agree that ‘One by One’ is great. Just make sure to get the UK/album version (which is what’s on Cher’s 2000s Greatest Hits) rather than the US single version (vids. for both are on youtube).

    BTW, I vaguely recall Winona Ryder bad-mouthing Mermaids at the time (or maybe immediately afterwards). I guess it was an early sign of the un-professional/erratic strand in her personality.
    BTW2, in my view Ryder should have won best supporting actress Oscar for Age of Innocence (1993) – the movie’s pretty good overall but she’s the best thing in it and you don’t often say that about someone in a movie with Daniel Day Lewis. I wonder whether a deserved win for that role would have helped settle Ryder down a bit? Anna Paquin got the gong for 1993 for her child-turn in The Piano. Hmmm, the Oscars are genuinely strange sometimes. One would have *thought* that Academy voters would have jumped at the chance to reward Ryder for good Oscar-bait work. Rather like Cruise missing out for his role in Magnolia, it’s very tempting to take the miss as a personal sleight of some kind, and see the ‘snub’ as relevant to any later acting out.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 28
    punctum on 21 Apr 2011 #

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

  29. 29
    ottersteve on 21 Apr 2011 #

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

  30. 30
    thefatgit on 21 Apr 2011 #

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

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 36
    thefatgit on 21 Apr 2011 #

    I liked her in Buffalo 66.

  37. 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…

  38. 38
    MikeMCSG on 21 Apr 2011 #

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

  39. 39
    anto on 21 Apr 2011 #

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

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 45
    Mark M on 22 Apr 2011 #

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

    Sambora-Jay Kay-Moby

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.)

  49. 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.

  50. 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!

  51. 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.

  52. 52
    Erithian on 22 Apr 2011 #

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

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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!!!

  56. 56
    Weej on 27 Apr 2011 #

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

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. 59
    Free on 26 Nov 2011 #

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

  60. 60
    Gareth Parker on 3 May 2021 #

    An OK record from Cher here in my view. I’ll go with a generous 5.10.

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