I thought that I would take a look back at another all-female group who did some interesting things in the early-80s. The Mo-Dettes formed in the late-70s, and consisted of singer Ramona, (who I think was Swiss somewhere along the line), guitarist Kate (who was American-born), bassist Jane, and drummer June. In 1979, their first single “White Mice” was released.
This wasn’t a hit, but I tracked down the video online, which had some visual effects that looed good for the time, and this was also rather catchy. The eyebrows on display were impressive too. When I took a look at the comments, people had said various things, including how much they liked the song of course, they were great live, and all that, but there were also some unexpected things.
One or two people had said “this is my teacher” (as I believe that Ramona went into teaching after the split). Well I didn’t expect that. And because of her accent, some didn’t seem to realise that Ramona sang this in English. But having enjoyed this, I thought that I would track down their other songs, and it turns out that they did have a couple of hit singles.
In 1980, they released their first and only album “The Story So Far”. They also started to gain some radio airplay, they were featured in Smash Hits, who thought that they were totally sensational and groovy, and they even appeared on the cover of The Face and Sounds, everybody’s third-favourite rock music weekly. Why is this woman smiling? Because she’s about to have a hit!
By this point, Jane had married Woody from Madness (although they later divorced). Bette Bright, who featured in “The One-Hit Wonders” series, also married a member of Madness not long after. In July 1980, “Paint It Black” was released, a cover of the Rolling Stones song, and this reached no. 42, to become their biggest hit single in the UK.
And then, in July 1981, “Tonight” was released, which reached no. 68, which was their second and final hit single, and a few other singles, including “Kray Twins”, missed the chart completely, meaning that they never made the Top 40. After some line-up changes, by 1982, The Mo-Dettes had gone their separate ways, although they are still held in high regard in their genre. But wait!
Because in November 1989, about a decade on from “White Mice”, former The Mo-Dettes drummer June Miles-Kingston (who had worked with several other groups by this point) collaborated with Jimmy Somerville on “Comment Te Dire Adieu” which reached no. 14. She had made the Top 40 at last, and even appeared on Top Of The Pops! And remember, no girl likes to love a wimp.