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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Natasha - Russian Revolution (1993)

Thanks to the generousity of yet another Isle admirer, Seth, I have another item from my wantlist that I can finally share with you. (He has shared some more gems with me that will likely see themselves on here in the future. Thank you SO much again Seth!) Clearly I still haven't found much time to post lately but I just had to take a moment to share Natasha's only album. I have the cassette but bought it many years after I had switched over to CDs so I have only listened to it once or twice. At the time I wasn't impressed, but hearing it again now I think it's a trashy delight! I did some poking around yesterday to update her page on Discogs, and I found out a few things. Her full name is Natasha Alexandrovna, and she was born in Russia in 1966. After becoming a member of the Olympic swimming team at 15, she moved from Russia to Italy and then commuted to New York thanks to a contract with the John Casablancas modeling agency. After some success as a model, she decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue a singing career, and in 1987/88 recorded a couple singles for French-Canadian Hi-NRG/Freestyle label Sizzle Records, the same label responsible for Shari's "Sugar Sugar", Hi-Tyme's "Fly Robin Fly" and Yasmine's "Toda La Vida", which have all been posted on Lost Pop Treasures. Like those tracks, the singles "Be Gentle With My Heart" and "You Give Me New Vibrations" were produced by Teneen Ali. "Be Gentle With My Heart" became a minor freestyle hit. The second single didn't get near as much attention and that seemed the end of Natasha. But five years later she hooked up with Canadian label Ha! Ha! Productions and released her only album. (There has been debate as to whether the Natasha that sang "Be Gentle With My Heart" is the same Natasha, but if you compare the vocals on that single to this album, there is no doubt that it is the same woman. Also, the teams that worked on both projects had several people in common and originated in Quebec, and the labels were also Quebec based.) On the album she hooked up with producer Joe La Greca, a well known figure on the Canadian dance music scene and a colleague of Teneen Ali's (and also the producer of the album by previous Isle postee Pobi, who was also on the same label). Several songs were co-written by Canadian disco legends Cussy Nicodemo, of Fussy Cussy, and Denis Lepage, of Lime. The album is pure pop dance, utilizing Latin, freestyle and house elements (and a few of the songs were recycled from the album Je T'aime by Boy Girl, which was released on the label a couple years earlier and was also produced by La Greca. I'd love to get my hands on it!). Though a couple of singles were released - "Dark Eyes", a dance remake of the traditional Russian song "Ochi Chornya", and "Lust In Love-U-ssion" - their success was minimal. Despite a media push in the US, where she was dubbed the "Russian Madonna" and was also a spokesmodel for a Russian vodka, her music was overshadowed by her provocative image and photo shoots, and she was dropped. She did manage to release one more non-album single in 1994, however, the euro-house "Peace In Da World". After that it appears that she stayed in Los Angeles and stuck with modeling and acting for awhile, and eventually became the Marketing Director for La Coupe Lintermans Hair Salon in Beverly Hills, where she likely now remains.

Download Russian Revolution

Dark Eyes
Stop Messing Around
Dancin' All Through The Night
I'm Falling Apart
My Mind Is Set On You
Can't Live Without Your Love
Lust In Love-U-ssion
Turn Me On
What Can I Do