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Monday, August 10, 2009

Chena - Promises (1989)

I am delighted to present another artist on whom I can find no info. I say delighted because many of the artists I post about don't end up being as obscure as I had once supposed, thanks to the internet, and obscurity was initially what this blog was based on. That being said, I present Chena (or Chēna, as it was sometimes spelled to convey that her name was pronounced Chee-na). When perusing a dance music magazine that I read religiously back in the day, I came across an ad for this album. Though I had no idea what it sounded like, I demanded that my mother pick up the cassette when she went to the US (it wasn't released in Canada and we didn't get many US imports back then). When she returned with it, I excitedly threw it on. Alas, it wasn't as mind-blowing as I'd hoped, but it was a fun 80's dance-pop album. The same crew that worked with Hi-NRG faves The Flirts and Claudja Barry (including Claudja's husband Jurgen Korduletsch) worked on this, so the result is comparable to their late 80s work. Chena's voice is relatively thin, but apparently that was excusable in pop and dance music in the late 80s. She released three singles: "Mama Said", "Bring Back My Heart" and "E.S.P.", which is a freestyle/house hybrid and the best track by far, IMO. None of the singles made much impact beyond select dance clubs and Chena remained an obscurity. Until now! I found the CD on Amazon for a steal and had to get it to share with y'all. Though it's even less substantial than I remember, it's perfect for fans of the Isle. ;)

Download Promises

Mama Said
My Boyfriend's Back
Bring Back My Heart
Don't Tell Me
When He Walks Me Home
Keeps On Gettin' Better
One Thing (Leads To Another)


  1. i remember buying this off the rack because i tot it was a gonna be a hot upcoming black girl album. alas.. it was horrid.. with only the lovely ESP. thanks for the memories.

  2. I have the mixes. ESP, Mama Said and Bring back my heart. Bring back my heart is a SLAMMIN 12'' single if you can find it. The todd terry mixes are timeless. During 1989-1991 a lot of major labels signed artists like Chena just to get a dance record out in the club. They figured with shows like In Living Color they could get some great exposure to gain more sales to push the artists. Many times you could find the 12'' but not the full LP. I live in america and still have not found this one. Eleanor is another artist on Columbia that I could never get the album of. Jungle Wave is the title. Chena to me is a mix of Baja rock and Freestyle. Freestyle was a big deal in early 1990. By the end of 1990 it sort of fell off radio play lists due to artists like Taylor Dane, Expose, Cover Girls getting the attention where SaFire, Brenda k Star and Judy Torres rarely got any play on stations even here in New Mexico where the majority at that time were Hispanic Listeners.

  3. it would be great if you can reupload this record ! Thank you for all your work !

  4. can you reupload this one please

  5. hello there! hope you are doing well... can this album be uploaded again? :) i would appreciate it greatly!