Wednesday, May 22, 2013

45 RPM Memories: Jimmy The Hoover - “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh)”


Back in 1983, Jimmy The Hoover had a moderate hit on the UK charts with the exotic “Tantalise (Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh).”  I’m not sure how well it sold in America, but I bought the single after hearing it played on the Chicago FM radio station, WXRT. At the time, I found “Tantalise” fit in well on a mixed cassette next to “When Lightning Strikes” by The Three O’Clock. Both songs are exuberant celebrations of finding true love.

The odd name for this bi-racial group came from its infamous manager, Malcolm McClaren, although the meaning is unclear. Maybe he was referring to the “I’m sick of the Hoover” line from Lene Lovich’s “New Toy.” Credited to the entire band, “Tantalise” immediately inspired listeners to dance along with its infectious guitars, steel drum, and percussion. “Tantalise me the way only you can do,” lead vocalist Derek Dunbar instructed a lover. “I’ve only to hear you and my heart beats like a drum.” 

Female backup vocalists that included drummer Carla Duplantier helped Dunbar make the celebratory incantation, “Wo Wo Ee Yeh Yeh” so memorable it was listed as part of the title. When my wife Pam and I got married, we found a DJ who agreed to play any records we wanted at the reception. “Tantalise” was one of the first choices that came to my mind.

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