Saturday, October 5, 2013

The Flirts - Born To Flirt

Following the 1982 debut 10¢ a Dance (click here for that review), producer Bobby Orlando went back to the studio to work on the next album for his girl-group the Flirts. The singers on this one were Holly, Christina and Debby. Today, we will look at that second album entitled Born To Flirt to celebrate its thirtieth anniversary.

Side one begins with "Danger", the first single. With a strong synth hook, it tells of a guy who is trouble and a girl who has a hard time resisting him despite that.

"Teenage Werewolf (I Was A)" continues the dance party with this tale about a monster of a girl. Amidst all the break-dance cuts and scratches, I picked up a slight sample from Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" in the mix at one point. This one would be right at home on your 80's Halloween party play list.

"Big Boys Don't Cry" bounces along to a surf-rock/new-wave beat that worked well for the group's first album. To me, it is a nice response to the 1962 hit "Big Girls Don't Cry" by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

"Love Reaction" closes out the side with a dominant female viewpoint to sex, all set to a dance groove. It was the B-side to the first single.

Side two opens with the song that was the second single. "Telephone (Pick Up The)", a song about a girl missing her man, reminds me a little bit of "Jukebox (Don't Put Another Dime)" from the debut album in its rhythm and other musical elements. I also see similarities to the Go-Go's "Vacation" in one of the phrases used ("I'm not so strong" here versus the latter's "I'm not that strong").

"Dream Boy", a song about being hopelessly in love, is up next.

"Nice Girls Say No" recycles the earlier album's "We Just Wanna Dance" in regards to tempo, rhythm and vocal delivery. The only real difference is the lyrics. However, since I like the earlier song a lot, I am inclined to like this one too.

The record closes with the politically incorrect "Oriental Boy", but back in the 80's that was not a concern. This one is just a fun song about a girl dating an Asian guy. It was also the B-side to the second single.

While I did not own a copy of Born To Flirt on vinyl, I am sure I heard a number of these at dance clubs and on the college radio station during the year after its debut. If you are looking for deep, life-meaning lyrics, you will not find them here. Instead, the entire record is up-tempo and made for dancing to. It falls right into that same category as early records by Company B and Exposé which I also liked during the 80's. The record was released in its original vinyl format in 1983 and then in a re-mastered CD in 1994, both of which can be found via online auction sites for a reasonable price.

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