ROBYN: DON'T STOP THE SINGLES: The 3CD BoxSet


So! Robyn is back with another volume of her Body Talk extended mini-albums. The lead-off track is the cover of Paola's Hang With Me taken from the utterly groundbreaking album Stockcity Girl. Hang With Me has always been one of my treasured Paola songs so no fabulous blissful synthpop reinterpreting will ever win me over. I love Robyn but this is one song that should be left alone. Not saying that Robyn's version is not any good. Its actually quite amazing. But I am very attached to absolutely everything on Stockcity Girl. So, yeah tough mountain to climb. Ah well. Anyway in light of her always welcome return....its the Robyn box set!




Cd1. Don't Stop The Singles

One. You've Got That Something

The first Robyn single I ever bought. Stormed the UK charts at no.54. One of my all time favourite pop debuts that ever existed. In the history of pop.

Two. Do You Really Want Me (Show Respect) - Original Single Edit

Okay, she worked-in a melody of a nursery rhyme with a beautiful baseline of a Jade single that never was. I've always preferred the original European single version over the mix that came out here in the UK so I've tossed that version to the bonus disc. Up until Dancing On My Own, Do you Really Love Me was Robyn's highest chart placing in Sweden (Do you Really Love Me charted in at no.2). She is yet to achieve a number one there.

Three. Do You Know What It Takes

I love the epic 'alwaaaaaaaays be around' part. Very few acts these days can release their third single and still build upon the strides of the first two singles. This was Robyn's breakthrough single in Europe and the US (where it went in at number 7).

Four. Show Me Love

Another brilliant start to a song. Just a simple 'yeah, yeah'. Pretty much the early test-try of what was to become the sound of late 1990's in pop. Within Show Me Love you heard songs that would eventually become pillars of music and culture. In my school anyway. Show Me Love segued into No Scrubs (TLC), Hit Me Baby One More Time (Britney) and everything by Nsync or the Backstreet Boys. Thereby acting like a schematic, its all in this epic pop song.

Five. Don't Want You Back

The cruel clicks were straight out of Madonna's Vogue. The title was something out of Mary J Blige's absolutely epic debut and the harmonizing was something that you'd hear when En Vogue were hitting their peak. Don't Want You Back was, for me, a highlight on the album. So much it was picked as the single to follow-up Show Me Love (having already been a single in Sweden). Return to the debut album by Robyn and you'll hear why.

Six. Electric

Electric is one of my favourite Robyn singles and is the first hint at Robyn's relationship with electronic pop music. Be Mine and With Every Heartbeat can be kinda traced back to this song. Indeed, the guy behind one of Electric's finest ever remixes, Patrick Berger, was behind Dancing On My Own. Herein, the Robyn fan started to hear her leave the RnB territory of her first album and pick up Robyn's early echoes of electropop we'd here on future releases.

Seven. Play

Play is one of my all time favourite pop songs. Just listen to the lyrics and the eternally warm strings.

Eight. Good Thang

Though performed once or twice this never actually appeared on any Robyn album but it was a single. Good Thang is a cute little disco track that I can just see being played at the revival of the Studio 54 nightclub.

Nine. My Only Reason

The second album was a little bit confusing. It didn't know what it wanted to be. You had dance tracks Electric and Main Thing and then My Only Reason. My Only Reason was a pretty rnb album track (written by Robyn and the hitmaker Billy Man) but really never should of been granted single status. Indeed, the only place it charted was in Sweden, at no.54 which just happens the worse chart position for Robyn to date there.

Ten. Main Thing

Right after My Only Reason came the wonderful club pop song Main Thing written by Robyn and the legends that are "Little Louie" Vega and Kenny 'Dope' Gonzales. This song really paved the way for Robyn's really big comeback track Keep This Fire Burning...

Eleven. Keep This Fire Burning

One of Robyn's finest moments in music. Can't say much more than that. Has become the most played song on Swedish Radio. Also! The the first I heard of Sebastian Ingrosso. Yup, Ingrosso of the now legendary Swedish House Maffia. Ingrosso first launched himself in this wonderful world of pop via a glorious remix of Keep This Fire Burning.

Twelve. Blow My Mind

Blow My Mind was a total highlight on Robyn's third album for BMG. Produced by Guy Sigsworth, this trippy electroanthem, slowly entrenches itself into the head and gloriously trespasses through the brain with no intention to vacate. Love it. Another song that was built up to be a single only to be pulled at the last minute. Shame.

Thirteen. Don't Stop the Music

Magic happened when Robyn worked with Ghost and Don't Stop the Music is proof of that. As is most of the work on this album. Robyn has since gone on record saying the record came unstuck with the record company getting involved. She is incredibly proud of the third and final BMG album however. And damn right. To me its her finest. For sure, it doesn't include Be Mine or Crash and Burn Girl but it does include the original (and far Superior) version of Should Have Known, Ain't No Thing, Still Your Girl and Psycho (which is just the parent of Crash and Burn Girl and Konichiwa Bitches).

Fourteen. O Baby

The last "kinda single" was O Baby. Again, this was pulled at the last minute and if you're lucky ebay will have 1 track promos at a rather high price. O Baby saw Robyn team-up with Max Martin for the last time so it seems fitting to end this Cd with this song.



Cd2. Don't Stop The Music (a collection of unreleased/rarer Robyn material)

One. Roll With Me (featuring Blacknuss)

Actually as this was a single it really should be on the other Cd but whatthematter. This is a perfect summer jam...a particular sweet spread brand and pink cream variety. Naturally.

Two. Remember (with Christian Falk)

Epic rarer Robyn release that ever was. Fans of Robyn's singles Dream On and Heartbeat will adore Remember.

Three. Say You'll Walk The Distance

Say You'll Walk The Distance was criminally wasted on the soundtrack to the teenflick On The Line. It sounds like the answer to Madonna's Frozen. For sure, Frozen was amazing but a tad too serious for its own good. Say You'll Walk The Distance injected a sense of warmth but with a similar string setting of the Madonna anthem. Say You'll Walk The Distance is a real gem of a song. Its no wonder Darin covered the track some years later. However, its not a touch on Robyn's original.

Four. Popstar

Now, this was initially released by the singer Sita. Wikipedia says it was originally written with Britney. Not quite. The singer Jon, from Denmark, also released his version and I love the remixes that appear on his Cd single for his version of Popstar. This would be a perfect opportunity to see the release of Robyn's original which is more electro than you'd imagine.

Five. Money For Nothing

I am incredibly partial to Robyn's My Truth album and Money For Nothing is like a bridge track in-between her second and third albums. Its also a lot better than Darin's version. Robyn's version sounds more like Janet Jackson's Nothing Really Matters. Pretty epic.

Six. He's A Ho

This has nothing to do with Santa Claus's favourite chant. In fact, its a rather perfect slice of early rnb-pop that should of been on the first album. Perhaps the lyrics were too damn rude. Think a dirty version of Mandy Moore's Candy and you've got the run-down of He's A Ho.

Seven. Over To You Now

Yes, yes I love Britney's version but Robyn's is a lot better and must be released. Apparently this was originally intended to be the Jive release of Don't Stop The Music in the USA which sadly never transpired.

Eight. Where Did Our Love Go?

This was not on the normal release of Robyn Is Here. Show Me Love quite rightly purged Where Did Our Love Go? from the tracklisting on the international edition of her debut album. Included here for completeness.

Nine. Dig It

Robyn performance this once. Once! Its brilliant. It sounds a bit like mental Disney song that starts off with the diva declaring "you cannot be serious about this celebacy!"

Ten. That Woman Is Me!

Despite being totally unreleased Robyn fans will have this so it seems right to include it properly on this package. Right? Yes!

Eleven. Don't Stop The Music - other version

This version is pretty similar to the released version that you hear on the album but it does have different lyrics.

Twelve. Daddy's Home

This, I think, was the first song Robyn wrote with Klas Ahlund. It was probably too rude to be on the third BMG album through Jive and bit too poppy to be on the fourth album. Its essentially about sorting out a fabulous orgy and filming it. Think Christina Aguilera's Dirrty mixed in with a little bit of Handle Me.

Thirteen. Do Me Baby

Do Me Baby was put out by the popstar Michele but the song was originally by Robyn and produced by Max Martin. Robyn even included the track in some of her tours back in the day. Robyn's version sounds like the younger sister to Show Me Love. Only not as good. Obviously. But it would be great to include it on a Robyn album. Finally. Robyn's version has a bridge that borrows heavily from Cameo's Word Up. Which is a very good thing I think. Rumored to be the first single for the follow up to Robyn is Here before Electric came along. Has a well dirty vocal from Robyn.

Fourteen. Blow My Mind (1980's version)

Oooooooooookay! Think legwarmers, ascots, Molly Ringwald and big hair. This version of Blow My Mind was too bubblegum pop to be the third album. I can totally understand why they went for the version that you hear on the album. This sounds like a cross between Madonna's Holiday and Kylie's Love At First Sight (with a touch of her recent track Better Than Today). As such, amazing. And, a great track to finish this cd with.



Cd3. Don't Stop the Remixes
  1. Keep This Fire Burning (Martin Landquist 2002 Remix)
  2. Don't Stop The Music (Cherno Jah Remix)
  3. Electric (Patrick Berger Alchemist Remix)
  4. Do You Really Love Me (Show Respect) (International Single Mix)
  5. Show Me Love (Grand Jury Mastermix)
  6. You've Got That Something (Marco's Hand Mix)
  7. Do You Know (What It Takes) (Paradise Garage Mix)
  8. Show Me Love (Backroom Club Edit)
  9. Don't Stop The Music (Rigo Perez Remix)
  10. Electric (Mad Professor Shocking Mix)
  11. Keep This Fire Burning (Ingrosso & Father Remix)
  12. Do you really want me (show respect) (Gecko's urban mix)
  13. Do You Know (What It Takes) (E Smoove Bounce Mix)
  14. Keep This Fire Burning (DJ Benji Remix)

***

So above is how I thought a best-of Robyn package would look like. The stuff that took note of her BMG stuff. I'm not talking about a CD of her first two albums (that BMG fans have given us in the past). There is load of stuff sitting in the vaults that would be so cool on a best-off package. Ipso facto I put together a hypothetical tracklisting with some of my notes...each CD consisting of 14 yummy Robyn tracks, released, rare or never seen the light of day. One day!

11 comments:

Fredrik said...

great insights. I had no idea she'd never had a number 1 here. where did with every heartbeat get? i know that was number 1 somewhere!

btw, i long to hear her version of over to you now.

Nick said...

where can I get this?

Lance said...

I want this!

Tho...BMG would never release something so good. Have you seen Kylie's cash-ins they keep on dropping on Kylie fans.

Anonymous said...

So, is there anywhere online we can find some of these tracks? A lot of the rare ones are on YouTube, but I can't find Popstar, Money For Nothing, He's a Ho, Over to You Now, Daddy's Home, Do Me Baby, or Blow My Mind (1980s) anywhere!

Robpop said...

-Anon...these tracks have never been released. You won't find them on any release.....(but you can hear Darin's version of Money For Nothing...and Sita/Jon's versions of Popstar on their albums).

-Nick, this is a hypothetical collection ;-)

-Lance....So right. I'd do it for free!

-Fredrik, yup...robyn has never gone to number 1 in her native Sweden (Insert sadface). Dancing On My Own and Do You Know What It Takes are her biggest hits chartswise (no.2). Keep this fire burning and Dont Stop The Music were huge radio hits too.

Ps her version of Over To You (which is actually its real name) is amazing. They must release it now.

Poster Girl said...

This is tough to read, just because there are some of these songs it would be so fantastic to hear. Still, it's reassuring to know that, yes, Robyn's versions of "Money For Nothing" and "Popstar" still exist and have been heard by someone somewhere. The trouble is that now I have even more unreleased Robyn songs to pine over.

It was great to read a long-term fan's takes on all of Robyn's early material.

By the way, Bobby, I have a question that you're probably the best person to answer: I have a song that features Robyn's vocals (and maybe someone else's) that sounds less like a regular pop song and more a producer's track she happens to sing on (either that or a really unfinished demo that has no verses). By Pascal Gabriel, Paul Statham, and Robyn and called "Bring It All Back." Do you know anything about it, like what or when it's from?

Liam said...

Wish this was real, I'd love to do the artwork!!

Robpop said...

stoked at the response this post has got here and twitter! Go robyn!


-thanks liam! ;-) BMG, i've done the tracklisting! I've even done the artwork....just call the lawyers, lawyers, songwriters...and thenpress the print button! it should be easy. Right? c'mon bmg!

-ppg, thanks you. yup. her versions (demos i suppose) of Money for nothing/popstar do indeed exist. IMO, better than the versions that were ultimately released.

Regarding Bringing it all back....emailed you ;-)

x

nikkip said...

so i dont think it's on the list of most wanted tracks but i saw 'dream on' on popstarroulette.com and fell in love with her sound. i want more!

ajaamkevin said...

Robyn has had her first ever #1 in Sweden now... Dancing On My Own has climbed up to the peak of the Swedish Singles Chart!

Mike said...

Babe, this is a fabulous post but makes me nostalgic for an era when Robyn wasn't completely shit. Can she scrap the Body Flop project and just start over?