20 Years Later: Was (Not Was) Still Boggle the Mind

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How Ozzy Osbourne, Kim Basinger, and Madonna wrote a strange chapter of Chicago house-music history

(Via Spin) Philip Sherburne // May 7, 2012

Welcome to a new, occasional series in which I’ll be shining a spotlight on club classics that were released 20 years ago. My first pick is one of my favorite discoveries of recent years, and surely one of the strangest collaborations in the history of house music.

Over on Buzzfeed, Katie Notopoulos reports that the Prince.org fan forum has erupted into debate over whether or not an unreleased 1989 album by Kim Basinger was produced by her then-beau, the artist who was soon to be known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince. But that putative collabo pales in comparison to another project Basigner was involved with: Was (Not Was)’s 1992 hit “Shake Your Head,” which found the former Bond girl facing off against Ozzy Obsourne — remixed by Chicago house pioneer Steve “Silk” Hurley!

Founded in Oak Park, Michigan, by childhood friends David Weiss and Don Fagenson, who rechristened themselves David and Don Was, Was (Not Was) were a quirky funk-pop act armed with a sardonic wit and irreverent songwriting approach. Reviewing their 1987 single “Robot Girl,” SPIN’s John Leland wrote that their “approach to dance music was more cultist than crossover: the work of a couple of white guys who owned a lot of disco 12-inches and saw the potential for experimentation within a dance mix. Like Adrian Sherwood or George Clinton, they jam ideas around a beat.” Looking back over their career, Detroit Metro Times described Was (Not Was) in 2004 as “an endearing mess…a sausage factory of funk, rock, jazz, and electronic dance music, all providing a boogie-down backdrop for a radical (and witty) political message of unbridled personal freedom and skepticism of authority.”

Read more: http://www.spin.com/2012/05/20-years-ago-was-not-was-still-boggle-mind/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2012/11/14/recommended-albums-28/

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