Wendy And Lisa Enjoy The Fruit…

The Prince Connection

Wendy and Lisa, Melvoin and Coleman, were in the Revolution.  You know, Prince’s Revolution.  ‘Purple Rain’. ‘Paisley Park’. ‘Kiss’. Some say they inspired his most amazing work, ‘Sign O The Times’ and ‘Lovesexy’, the feeling is that their openness and musical chops created more pathways for Prince – not just them of course, you can add Eric Leeds, Sheila E and lots of others.

But when Prince told Wendy and Lisa it was over, after some sauce symbolically destroying his ‘Purple Rain’ guitar at the end of a concert, they could have taken the hump and never appeared again. But Wendy and Lisa were do full of music, it had to come out.

The Music Doesn’t Stay In One Place

Wendy & Lisa

Wendy and Lisa are never slaves of convention. They allow their musical experience to take them to places and so their oeuvre (yes, I did use that word) has moved from Funk and Classic Rock to beautiful classically influenced gentleness and even dance moments on their ‘Snapshots’ ep.

It’s should be hard to choose a favourite.

But It Isn’t

‘Fruit At The Bottom’. Their second album. And the one that, for me, brings everything that they live musically together.

Credit; Wolf’s Kompaktkiste

Let’s get to the title track first. That tight but loose heave of a funk blues riff, so dirty you’ll need a bath later, that nonsense diary of a day lyric, the joyous shout of;

‘Fruit at the bottom, my love has got ’em’

It’s just fun and what a way to close this remarkable album, a shout of enjoyment.


The bouncy beat and bass of the singsong ‘Lolly Lolly’, all coaxing vocals and sweet Pop harmonies, the simplicity of ‘From Now On (We’re One)’, with again that lilting vocal and the feel that the love they talk of in the song is heartfelt.

And that self-belief is at the heart of the bouncy, squelchy beat of ‘Someday I’, the martial backing providing a spine for the manifesto of someday I will do – you can keep all your soaring ballads and quivering lips, this again has sincerity which is impossible to fake.

And that’s a big feeling here. At no point does this feel like the music is part of the music business, even though it was released by major label Columbia.

This looks from the overlaid items – an accordion, a piece of fruit – on the cover, as Wendy glares balefully at us and Lisa laughs in another direction entirely – is boho and seemingly thrown together with disregard for demographic.

But It Isn’t All Simple

There’s that slow, soulful, bluesy ballad with musical theatre aspirations, ‘I Think It Was December’ which suddenly rolls into a burlesque mood in the middle, a late 80’s smooth Soul sound (this was 1989) but with an oddly plaintive and anguished vocal line which has love in it, seemingly thwarted love.

Trouser Press may be right;

Fruit at the Bottom is a virtual song cycle about falling in, out of and again in, love.’

And they favour us with a big, booming beat and twangy bass as they ‘get a little Satisfaction’, it has bounce and sass. But then it makes an offer ‘I think I’ll marry ya’ and an announced, unassuming Chic-lite guitar solo.

Special? Wendy and Lisa were.

And are. They are one of the only Prince people to leave and have a career of their own, and what a career; on their own terms, in their own hands, with their own success.

This album had an extended re-release with, according to Pop Matters;

‘As well as the original album, “More Fruit” is also included in the way of bonus tracks: there are three versions of “Are You My Baby?” (the original album version, a seven-inch remix and a 12-inch version) as well as a 12” dance mix of “Satisfaction”.’

so it does have its admirers and rightly so.

Wendy and Lisa do it their own way. We can start counting the number of Pop musicians who want that and we’ll still be here next week – Wendy and Lisa are Pop, just their own kind of Pop.

There’s Fruit At The Bottom here alright; so tasty…

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