Sylvia Robinson passed away today. In her honour, and ’cause it’s such a brilliant version, here’s a re-up of Sky’s post about Sylvia’s cover of Je t’aime…moi non plus.
In the so-called 1972 porn classic Deep Throat, a notably sleazoid threesome featuring Dolly Sharp, Jack Byron and Jack Birch is scored with a delirious funk/ soul track titled Love is Strange. The original version was recorded in 1957 by r&b duo Mickey & Sylvia – i.e. Mickey Baker, the hottest session guitarist of his time, who eventually bought a ticket to France and never came back, and Sylvia Robinson, who at least went temporarily to the Paris of her mind.
In 1973, she recorded a cover of Serge & Jane’s Je t’aime, released on the aptly named Vibration label, transferring Gainsbourg’s spirit to the sultry mood of Spanish language moanings. Her partner in cooing was salsa singer Ralfi Pagan, who provided the Latin lover feel, while Sylvia seemed to practice for her smash hit of the same year, Pillow Talk, a premier bedroom anthem foreshadowing Donna Summer’s disco orgasms. In short: Soul Je t’aime wasn’t perfect, but a sexy mother of a song.
Jack Birch, the stud from „Deep Throat“, became father of Hollywood star Thora Birch („American Beauty“). Ralfi Pagan was murdered during a tour in Colombia, while Sylvia founded Sugarhill Records in the early 80s, becoming the mastermind behind seminal pre-hiphop outings like the Sugarhill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight: She even played bass on the recording.
Mickey & Sylvia – Love is Strange