Vanity 6

People think Prince is pretty racy… after listening through Vanity 6’s album on YouTube… wow, people didn’t know what they were talking about.
To me, it seemed like Vanity 6 got his raciest music. At least at that junction of his career.

In the debate between them and Apollonia 6, Vanity 6 clearly had the better stronger album.
I didn’t exactly write a blog about their album… but I remember being extremely unimpressed with it. I’d hate to say that Prince sounded almost uninspired at the time. Other than “Sex Shooter,” none of the other songs really packed a punch. They ran together and were just… meh.

Vanity 6 on the other hand… they had plenty of great songs.
“Nasty Girl” was the one I was most excited to hear again after I found that it was MIA on iTunes (which, fun fact, has dozens of Prince albums and music by Morris Day and Wendy & Lisa). You really look into the lyrics- “nasty” doesn’t even begin to cover it.
For the album, overall, though, I think the biggest attraction is the music. Those sick raw beats Prince put together back in the early 80’s. It felt like the pinnacle of his musical prowess before he allowed himself to get too bogged down with studio overproduction and overdubs.

“Wet Dream” is one of a couple songs that run long for my tastes personally and get kinda repetitive. This one in particular is very dirty- talking about seeing a hot guy and how he’s gonna be the star of the girls’ wet dreams.
“326,” the final track, is also repetitive. I found myself tuning out after a while, but I could not shake one itch: it sounded suspiciously like “Kiss me deadly” by Lita Ford. Then I looked at the release dates and her song came out later… so she might have some explaining to do.

“Drive me wild” I like a lot because it shows Susan Moonsie as the lead vocalist. A nice change of pace.
Reading up on the group, Prince knew her the longest and dated her before Vanity- but she apparently didn’t want to be the group’s lead vocalist.
Maybe she’s being modest because she has a quiet confidence about her in this vocal.

“he’s so dull” is straight up poppy, catchy and in your face lyrically. A current equivalent would be “Walk Away” by Kelly Clarkson- they tell roughly the same story.

“If a girl answers (don’t hang up)” is more of a rap than a song. A really sick beat in the background and some hilarious dialogue between the three girls and Prince (doing his best Morris Day impression, lol).

“Make-up” is another rap-type song with a sick beat in the background. Musically, it reminded me of another Prince track- “Girl”- which was a B-side from his “Around the world in a day” album. Supposedly for “America,” but I felt like it had more in common with “Temptation.”

“Bite the beat” is a great synth line that repeats with hand claps as the main source of percussion… another great fun one.

As a whole, I really wouldn’t mind listening to this album as a whole multiple times. Had this been 30 years ago, I’d say I’d love to listen to it until I wear out the grooves of my LP.

What brought this all on: I was daydreaming for one of my characters while listening to some Britney Spears music, and Vanity’s animalistic stage presence sprung to mind. The one bit of footage that I saw on YouTube- there’s just nothing like it and I’m speaking as a straight woman.

Revisiting Lita’s “Kiss me Deadly” video… wow, I just had a rush of a nostalgia from watching it all those years ago with all the other 80’s videos we recorded.
I also didn’t know she was in the Runaways with Joan Jett or that they split because they both wanted different directions for their music… such a bad-ass.

…and now it would seem I’m about to do something I said I’d never do- check out Vanity 6’s version of “Sex shooter”…
I just checked into Jill Jones’s version of “G-Spot”… mind you, I’ve listened to the original bootleg version over a hundred times so I know almost every inch of it by heart.
It feels like a glamorized version of the original. Like something that would be at home at a mall tour. The same beats in the background, but with Jill Jones’s higher octave vocals, it just doesn’t quite feel the same.
Kinda funny how I prefer the rawer version of this song, but with me, the first version I hear is usually the one I’m partial to.

Listening to the Apollonia 6 “Sex Shooter” now… wow, it’s so different in these headphones than in my earbuds. The stereo is AMAZING…
considering my reaction to Vanity 6’s album opposed to Apollonia 6, there is a good chance I’ll prefer their version to the latter.

…wow… I think I’d have to call this one a tie because both versions did what they do REALLY well.
It’s gonna take me ages to get that synth line from Vanity 6’s version out of my head- it is SO cool. The vocals also are even better than Apollonia’s- which aren’t really exceptional to begin with, but that’s not the point. The song feels like it fulfills its intended purpose- bringing a sexual fantasy to life for the opposite sex.
The one equalizer, of course, is the sound quality. Not nearly as good in the Vanity 6 version, obviously. And I do prefer like the synth lines also in the original (although I kinda prefer the way it sounded in the movie in the scene it’s first introduced- not so much at the club where Prince added that extra synth line in there. I like the drum beats and the one synth line- which Morris Day cuts tragically short with his commentary about having “some action”)

if the sound quality could somehow be improved with the Vanity 6 version… oh the possibilities… it seriously feels like the pinnacle of the Vanity 6 image.
Although the writing on “Nasty Girl” is better and “Sex Shooter” got the last Razzie for worst original song in a movie…

yeah, those were good times and I’m sorry I wasn’t alive to see them as they were happening.

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