Today, we take a look at yet another example of an artist writing a song only to have another artist make it a hit first. Granted, this is a rather minor hit and there is a full two year gap between the two versions, but it is a fun story and I figure, if you wrote it and sing it? It's not a cover version because - no matter who else sings it - it will always be your song because you're the one who wrote it.
Now, 1996 was a strange year for Taylor Dayne. After three well-performing albums for Arista (two double platinum and one gold) and a 1995 Greatest Hits package... she found herself without a record label. Surprising? Well, yes, considering she'd come out of nowhere and stormed the charts with hits like Tell It To My Heart, Don't Rush Me, and Love Will Lead You Back - nine Top 40 hits, including seven Top ten and one #1.
But Dayne's years at Arista were marred by disagreements with management, namely Clive Davis. She saw herself as a certain kind of artist, namely one who writes her own material. Clive saw her as a moneymaking jukebox machine who was to sing what she was told to sing. So, the two eventually decided to part ways.
In any event, sans a contract? Dayne was adrift. Busy writing, of course, and hoping to record a new album someday soon. In the meantime, she had her songs; one of which, written with Arthur Baker and Fred Zarr, caught the ear of Tina Turner and producer Trevor Horn (Owner Of A Lonely Heart, Relax). Whatever You Want was slated to be the lead single (released March 23, 1996) from her ninth studio album Wildest Dreams (released in Europe on April, 22, 1996). Sixth months later, the album, in a somewhat altered form, would be released stateside.
While Turner's fortunes in the US had cooled a bit, she was more popular than ever in the UK. There, Whatever You Want would peak at a respectable #23, while hitting #18 in both Switzerland and The Netherlands while going Top Ten in Finland and Italy. The album, Wildest Dream, would spin out a total of five charting hits, helping the album to peak at #4 in The UK and The Netherlands, #2 in Germany and Austria, and #1 in Switzerland, resulting in a double platinum album in the UK.
Turner's version of Whatever You Want would be remixed for the clubs by the legendary Terry Todd and also one of the song's co-writers, Arthur Baker - the man who'd brought the song to Turner and Horn's attention.
All that airplay, press, and royalty money eventually got Dayne the chance she'd been waiting for, and on October 6, 1998, two years after the stateside release of Turner's revamped Wildest Dreams album, Dayne released her fourth album, Naked Without You, on the independent Neptune/River North/InsideBlu label.
Her version of Whatever You Want, remixed by Soul Solution, soared up Billboard's Dance Chart, eventually peaking at #6.
Now on to the Battle Royale...
The Song: Whatever You Want
The Competitors: Tina Turner vs. Taylor Dayne
Wow... this takes me back. I was running miles and miles during this time and this is the kind of music that powered me through it. Dayne is having so much fun. Listen to "SEXual-ell-ell". How fun. Yep. This my groove. I dunno. It old school... but I am loving it.
Dayne's vocals are like that moment when a rocket achieves lift off - but over and over again. I am so glad this mix exists. Those backing vocals (most likely Dayne, herself) just before the minute and a half mark? So much fun. "I know what I want, I know what I need". See... this is what we used to refer to as 'going to church'. Mmmm hmmm. Oh, a little Hammond Organ in there! Coincidence?
I love this tempo. It struck me as a bit too hot when we started, making it feel artificially manipulated, but now I'm head bopping with it. Lots of tasty bits and pieces bubbling in and out of this mix.
So, the downside to remixes like this? Always the drum machine beats. They sound slight and lack warmth. There's not bottom to them. Still... you color that stuff up with the occasional scatter beat fill and I am so riding that train. I used to club without drugs... and it was music like this that made my night. That extended note from Dayne riding over the top... on and on and on... yeah, that's manipulated but terribly effective. It's like riding the train into the tunnel, if you know what I mean (hee, hee).
So, essentially, this is over at the 3:30 mark. But, this is a remix, so we get more... breaking things down and pulling stuff out. Oh, the rest flies by fast. Wow. So much fun.
I love them both. I forgot how much I like music from this time period. This stuff is over 20 years old! Oh my word! But this was my time. I had just discovered my wings, though I had no earthly idea what to do with them. I must say, I am rather gobsmacked - that I can't choose.