My friend Kelly wins a second trip to the blog for bringing up a song I had not thought of in forever. And exactly how I could have forgotten about something so good still kind of perplexes me.
I think Jody Watley must have been hit with the Best New Artist Grammy curse, but it was one of those delayed curses. She did enjoy about 5 years of mainstream chart success before she was drowned out by the grunge of the early 90s, but what a run it was. She had a string of Top 40 hits starting with “Looking For A New Love” (or rather, “Looking For A Nude Love”) in 1987 and ending with “I’m The One You Need” in 1992. In that span, there were also some singles that failed to break the Top 40, and most notable among these is “Still A Thrill.”
I didn’t actually purchase the Jody Watley album until late spring of 1988 and by that time, I knew all the most successful songs – “Looking For A New Love”, “Some Kind Of Lover”, “Don’t You Want Me” – and I knew of “Still A Thrill” but had never heard it. I remember the first time I listened to it and I could barely believe that it was Watley singing. The song takes advantage of her lower register and it honestly doesn’t even sound like her. But somehow it works. “Still A Thrill” was a song that Kelly always liked – it was actually weird for us to have an artist in common, especially one as mainstream as Jody Watley. She was also an INXS fan, so much so that I’m pretty sure something in the universe broke from everyone in our graduating class thinking of her when we heard the news of Michael Hutchence’s death.
It also has a completely regal video that I don’t think I ever saw in full until I saw it on YouTube.
They don’t make them like that any more.
Perhaps the most enduring aspect of the song is Jody’s spoken bit at the end “I’m going home now….where are my keys?” I vividly recall saying that when we would all go to Kelly’s house and it was time to go. To this day, I still have that go through my head when I’m looking for my keys. Those of you that know me can imagine how many times that part of “Still A Thrill” goes through my head.
Jody is still making music, although to much less commercial success than she did back in her heyday. Her most recent release, this year’s EP Nightlife, has a very small-d diana vibe to it. For a former Soul Train dancer, she did all right.