Wendy & Lisa – Fruit At The Bottom
You could label Wendy & Lisa another Prince protege, but that would be to limit their brilliance. These two Revolution members left after ’86’s ‘Parade‘ and proceeded to give us something vaguely like His Purpleness, but entirely their own too. They achieved success early on with the sunny, accessible self titled debut, but it was this little gem of a follow up which really built on their talent.
So much goes into the pot here and yet not one thing dominates. Sunny Pop, gentle Californian Psychedelia, tight Funk, Hendrix-kissed Rock, all of that gets a look in here. There is no feel of what kind of album this should be,no feel that it should sound a certain way to catch sales, it is what it wants to be.
And so ‘Lolly Lolly‘ starts off with a teasing, Summer fun feel, telling us it’s ‘sweet and easy’ and the music spinning softly, but there’s also the airless question ‘Are You My Baby‘, almost frightened of the answer, the sexy, sassy ‘Satisfaction‘, musical equivalent of girls chatting about future conquests in the toilets whilst smoking; the gorgeously wistful ‘Tears Of Joy‘ and an almost musical theatre ‘I Think It Was December‘, a rollicking Soully middle lifting us up.
They save the best till last, the title track, squelchy riff, brittle and skintight, heaving as it moves, with a lovely upfront middle telling us ‘fruit at the bottom, my love has got ’em’; it remains one of the best Funk Rock track I have ever heard.
Of all the music that came from the fecund Prince atmosphere, this may be the most interesting. Wendy & Lisa would become a little more classically based, gentler and still lovely but would never again capture the sweep and groove of the music here.
Fruit at the Bottom? Yes, but this is juicy and refreshing right from the top!
Out On Columbia
Remedy Rating : 5/5 Open Hearted Surgery