Friday, August 03, 2007

Friday Video #42: Deee-Lite

Fifteen years ago the soundtrack of my summer was Deee-lite's Infinity Within, the follow-up to their 1990 hit album World Clique (which included "Groove Is In The Heart"). The album, released in June 1992, had their usually good house beats, but this time around they were starting to give interviews that they wanted to write material that had a message as well, like "We're not just marshmellows, we really care." This turned up in a few songs here, including ones on safe sex ("Rubber Lover," which had a good techno/rave beat that was all the rage that summer), the corruption of the judicial system ("Fuddy Duddy Judge"), the enviroment ("I Had A Dream I Was Falling Through A Hole In The Ozone Layer," which was actually a leftover from the World Clique sessions) and the voting public service announcement("Vote Baby Vote"). Reviews of the album focused on those songs at the expense of the other songs of the disc, which gave the appearance that Deee-Lite was starting to get preachy. Actually they had some "fun" stuff as well"--"Pussycat Meow" was a fun techno-pop romp in the same league as "What Is Love?" from their previous album. "Electric Shock" was a mellow house number that was great to play on a rainy day, amd "Two Clouds Above Nine" had some good ragga-chanting. Also a lot was written about the CD being originally issued in an "eco-pack" that was mostly paper packaging that the customer folded into the shape of a digpack CD case once purchased. (Remember when CD's were being sold in cardboard longboxes that you just threw away when you've opened it?)

The video shown here, "Runaway," was the first single from Infinity Within. Even though the video did get some airplay on MTV and BET and the song did get to #1 on Billboard's Dance chart, it failed to cross over to the pop charts. Two more singles ("Thank You Everyday" and "Pussycat Meow") would be released but just appeared on the dance charts as well. Deee-Lite would release one more album before breaking up in 1996. Vocalist Lady Miss Kier is now DJing these days, including a gig she did at the opening party of the Philadelphia Gay and Lesbian Film Festival last month.

Note near the end of this video you can also hear a snippet of the first track from Infinity Within, "I.F.O.(Identified Flying Object)." Also notice Miss Kier's resembling a little bit like Bridget Bardot-gone-beatnik here, as opposed to the Mary Tyler Moore-circa-1962-gone-pyschedelic look from the "Groove Is In The Heart" days.

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Blogger Junk Thief said...

This was in heavy rotation for me that summer too when I was living in Manhattan before moving to Park Slope that fall. The album was trashed by a lot of folks at the time, but it holds up surprisingly well. Time to pull it out for some early '90s nostalgia on foggy Sunday afternoon. Gosh, I'd almost forgotten the wonderful line "We'd like to conduct a fax orgy" from back in the day when that was considered to be high tech.

4:36 PM  
Blogger hot-lunch said...

She rocked on Friday night here in Vancouver! She didn't do Runaway unfortunately, but she did do Good Beat, which was a nice treat. And of course everyone went nuts when she said, "You guys know this one" and launched into Groove Is In The Heart!

9:26 PM  

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