Sunday, November 30, 2014

Klymaxx - Meeting in the Ladies Room

Today (November 30th) marks the thirtieth anniversary of Meeting in the Ladies Room, the fourth studio album from the all-female R&B band Klymaxx. As one of their best-selling album, it gained Platinum sales status and went to number 46 in Canada, number 18 in New Zealand, number 18 on the US Billboard Album chart (with a sixty-seven week total stay on the chart) and number 9 on the US Billboard R&B chart.

The Los Angeles native band’s lineup included Cheryl Cooley (guitar), Bernadette Cooper (drums and vocals), Robin Grider (keyboards), Joyce “Fenderella” Irby (bass and vocals), Lynn Malsby (keyboards and vocals) and Lorena Porter (lead singer). Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (of the Time) produced this album.

Side one opens with the seven minute long version of the dance-floor classic “The Men All Pause”. As the first single, it charted at number 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 9 on the US Billboard Dance, and number 5 on the US Billboard R&B charts. The lyrics project an attitude of female empowerment as the ladies receive all the attention when they arrive at the club.

“Lock and Key”, the fourth single, hit the charts a year after the album debuted. It only reached number 47 on the US Billboard R&B chart. This one features a slick and sliding synth-line, sultry vocals and even a bit of a rap. The lyrics tell of a lady with a highly jealous and over-protective boyfriend.

Irby took over the lead vocal duties for “I Miss You”, the group’s biggest hit. Released as the third single, this sweet ballad went to number 89 in the UK, number 32 in the Netherlands, number 28 in Belgium, number 11 on the US Billboard R&B chart, number 5 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 3 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, number 2 in New Zealand, and number 1 in Canada. This was a slow dance favorite back in the day.

“Just Our Luck” is a mid-tempo tune about a woman who had her life all together only for things to get thrown into turmoil when a guy comes into her life.

The title track, a serious jam about a woman taking to task another who has been eyeing her man at the club, starts off side two. “Meeting in the Ladies Room” was the second single; it hit number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100, number 22 on the US Billboard Dance chart, and number 4 on the US Billboard R&B chart. The video for the song was directed by Gerald Casale (of Devo) and featured an appearance by a then-unknown Vivica A. Fox. This is easily my favorite track on the record, with this dance floor favorite earning a five-star rating.

“Video Kid”, the B-side to the third single, sings the praises an arcade Romeo. This up-beat dance track features recognizable classic video-game sounds in the background.

The B-side to the second single was “Ask Me No Questions”, a mid-tempo song about a boyfriend who kept his past relationships a secret. When he comes back into her life, it is now the woman’s turn to keep quiet.

The dance party returns with “Love Bandit”, the tale of a heartbreaker set to a bouncing beat.

“I Betcha”, the album’s closing tracks, was also the B-side to the fourth single.

As a club-goer during my college years, I was a huge fan of Klymaxx and in particular their tracks from Meeting in the Ladies Room. The hit singles were part of the soundtrack of my weekends. While I did not own a copy of the album on vinyl back in the day, I had picked up a copy on cassette while on my first co-op in New Jersey during the summer of 1985. I was very happy to add this one to my digital library a few years back.

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