Betty – Jamila Woods (2019, Jagjaguwar Records, Taken from ‘Legacy! Legacy!)
In the spring of 1996, I once got invited, over the telephone, by the manager of pop starlet Betty Boo to the launch party for Betty Boo’s third album. Apparently, Betty herself (or Alison Clarkson as she was formally known as) had hand picked a bunch of student writers to attend the launch party. I very much doubted that Betty Boo had ever read a word of what I had written, and by hand picked the manager had persuaded the record label to invite everyone because at least then someone would turn up. Especially if there was a free bar.
The manager went on, the party would feature a full live performance from Betty and her set would include some old favourites and some new hits, all of which had been reimagined so that they can be played by her band. By the sound of things Betty Boo had jumped feet first onto the Britpop bandwagon. It would also have a free bar. I mean he had me interested in the words old Betty Boo songs reimagined to be honest but ok I’m in.
You can cringe all you like. If you re-recorded ‘Doin’ the Do’ with three guitars, a rumbling bass, and accompanied them by an occasional fizz of a hi-hat, it would basically sound like Huggy Bear and therefore be greater than anything, yes anything, that had ever previously been recorded in the history of music.
I gently frothed at the mouth at the prospect of hearing this.
Two weeks passed, no invitation arrived, and I thought that perhaps the final touches were being added to what would be the social event of the year. I crossed my fingers and hoped that Boo would get a move on because I had exams coming up. A month passed. Two months. Six months……
To this day I never heard another word in relation to the third album by Betty Boo. I always wondered if perhaps someone found the invitation before and went in my place, but I never read any reviews of this long expected third album.
However, a quick check of the Internet reveals that in fact Ms Boo did not release her third album ‘Boomerang’ until some thirty years after her second ‘GRRR….Its Betty Boo’ so it would appear that despite all the promises the 1996 album never saw the light of day. Maybe the Britpop bubble bursting ruined it, maybe the record company thought it was just a complete waste of time and money (and lets be honest they would have been right) and pulled the plug.
Two other Betty tracks for your listening pleasure today, the first is from Ms Taylor of Swift and the second is from Slough born afro beat drill rapper Pa Salieu.
Betty – Taylor Swift (2020, self released, Taken from ‘folklore’) – which is according to the Internet inspired by albums released by Bob Dylan in the 1960s.
Betty – Pa Salieu (2020, self released, Taken from ‘Send them to Coventry’) – It came out three months before Salieu was named the winner of the BBC Sound of 2021 award. Sadly for Salieu thing have taken a bit of downturn as he is currently serving 33 months for violent disorder and possessing an offensive weapon (which was a menacing looking bottle apparently). He was according to reports defending himself at the scene of a stabbing where his friend had been fatally wounded. I hope better times are around the corner for him because he is clearly very talented.
On Monday we will look at Barney. Not hopefully the purple dinosaur.
One of the great ‘what ifs?’ you’ve outlined above re the Betty Boo non-record. I’m a huge fan of her song ‘Let Me Take You There’; it’s a genuine pop classic…….
Another Murder Ballad for you:-
The Ballad of Robert Moore and Betty Coltrane – Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds.
A b-side to the big hit single he had with Kylie on co-vocal. I must dig this out for the great short stories series over at TVV.