Single Of The Week 14/02/97

Single Of The Week is where I review a single I'm particularly enamoured of at the moment. It might be a brand spanking new release, or a classic from decades past that I just feel like going on about.

Sheena Easton

If I say "Sheena Easton", everyone will immediately think of five things:

Not so many people will realise that Sheena regularly features in UK lists of the 100 wealthiest people. We'd have to attribute this to sound investment policies -- she hasn't had a UK Top 10 hit since 1981 (with that Bond theme song), or a US Top Tenner since 'The Lover In Me' hit #2 back in March 1989. But it just goes to show that you needn't have millions of big-selling hits to make a lot of money; you just have to not waste the money you make.

'101' doesn't sound anything like what you might expect of a Sheena Easton record, but somewhat more like what you might expect from Prince, whose fingerprints are all over this record (as well as all over Sheena). It's probably her least-known collaboration with the Purple Dwarf; his 'Sugar Walls' (attributed to Alexander Nevermind) was a US#9 in 1985, and two duets, 'U Got The Look' and 'The Arms Of Orion', also scored well and started all those shagging rumours.

The song comes from Sheena's 1989 The Lover In Me album, and managed to struggle to #54 in the UK. Prince takes production credit, but prefers his authorship of the song to be assigned to 'Joey Coco'. The B-side is a formula Prince groover entitled 'Cool Love', on which Sheena sounds uncannily like the Artist Most Amusingly Known As Victor. It's the A-side that's worth encountering, though, a pulsing ballad of desperation as Sheena moans that "100 nights without you is murder, babe . . . 101 just won't do". Hey, it's more convincing than it sounds.

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