From Fly Girl to backup dancer for Janet …oh wait! I’m getting my DIVAS mixed up. Let’s try this again …
After leaving Shalamar in the early 80s, Jody took off for the UK and worked on a variety of projects. 2-1/2 years later, she returned to the states, signed a record deal with MCA, and just exploded all over the charts with mega-hits Looking For a New Love, Don’t You Want Me, and Some Kind of Lover. She continued her successful streak into the early 90s with hits like Real Love, Friends, and Everything.
Over the next few albums, Jody began experimenting with her sound to include Jazz, Soul, and House. It’s during the period throughout the 90s that she transformed herself into a soulful chanteuse. Despite critical acclaim, many of these releases failed to break into the upper reaches of the Billboard charts. For Jody, it’s not always about “the charts” but being true to herself and her art. While that may not always pay the bills, it certainly kept our attention throughout the years.
So how do you go about honoring someone who has three stages of her musical career? First, pick yourself up a copy of You Wanna Dance With Me? and you’ve got your 80’s dance diva output covered. Then, you pick up a copy of this set which focuses on her more commercial output (club hits) from the 90s to the present day. There are a lot of rarities in this set and frankly, I worked the shit out of it as if Jody were standing over me with a big stick.
Next week, I’m going to treat everybody to the third side of Jody many of you probably never knew about; that’s her soulful side. I can assure you that it is pure bliss and well worth the listen.
For now, please give a standing ovation for MISS JODY WATLEY! Gurrrrl, you are now officially entered into the very prestigious DIVA HALL OF FAME!