Tony Basil vs. Devo
Toni Basil was born Antonia Christina Basilotta in 1943 in Philadelphia. She began working as a choreographer in the 60’s on the TV show Shindig and went on to work on George Lucas’ breakthrough film American Graffiti and the Talking Heads “Once in a Lifetime” video. In addition to her work as an actress and a dancer, Toni released her first single with a song called “Breakaway” from the Bruce Conner film of the same name (an early and mildly NSFW video clip can be seen here).
Fifteen years in to her music career, at the tender age of 39, she had her first (and only) number one with “Mickey”, her cover of a Chapman/Chinn song (originally recorded by Racey and titled “Kitty”). Her album Word of Mouth had three songs originally recorded by Devo, perhaps because Toni was dating that band’s Gerald Casale.
As with “Kitty”/”Mickey”, it’s fun to listen to the songs back to back to hear how the girl take differs from the boy take.
video: “You Gotta Problem” – Toni Basil
Here’s the Devo original.
MP3: “Pity You” – Devo
video: “Pity You” – Devo