The Belle Stars Story – Extra Bonus Edition.

Well this is all rather unexpected. When I put pieces together about pop groups that I have enjoyed, I do make sure to track down everything about them. So not only do I feature their single and album releases, but also any TV appearances or magazine covers, because I feel that they are a part of the story too. A while ago I looked back at The Belle Stars, who had some success in the early-80s.

They started out as The Bodysnatchers, before changing their name and a few members, they briefly hit the big time with “Sign Of The Times”, but then the hits decreased in size, and their final single “World Domination” was released when they had been reduced to a trio (and I discovered recently this reached an unofficial no. 186 in May 1986).

One of their biggest hits actually came a few years after their split when one of their songs was used on the Rain Man soundtrack. They then briefly went on to the nostalgia circuit about 15 years later, although this seemed to consist of three random women. But recently, I discovered that there is another part to this story which completely passed me by when I put the original piece together, so it’s time to correct that.

In 1987, the former Belle Stars frontwoman Jennie launched a new group called Dance Like A Mother (I’m not sure what content the word “mother” is being used in here…), which was a duo, the other member being the guitarist Melissa Ritter, who I’m fairly sure was never a Belle Star herself, although there were so many of them over the years.

Their first single was “You Ain’t So Tough”, which was co-written and executive produced by Narada Michael Walden (who had a couple of big hits himself in the 80s), and one critic described this as “a tight dancefloor fare in a dense and supportive production”. What is notable about the video is that this is a parody of Robert Palmer’s famous “Addicted To Love”.

Now I make this the sixth different video that I am aware of to parody this, the others being Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman”, Bowling For Soup’s “1985”, Mr Blobby’s “Mr Blobby”, Tone Loc’s “Funky Cold Medina”, and the man himself’s “Change His Ways” (better known as “the one where he yodelled”). There can’t be any more examples, can there?

“You Ain’t So Though” reached no. 94 in Australia in June 1987, but this didn’t make the Top 100 in the UK. This was also released across Europe, and there was a performance on Dutch music show TopPop. The second single was “Private Number”, but I can’t find any videos or chart positions for this, and not long after this, without an album being released, Dance Like A Mother split. I think that is everything now…