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Fire In Her Heart: Madleen Kane’s Disco Classic Returns From Gold Legion

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Madleen Kane - CheriMadleen Kane’s 1978 debut albums played on words for its title, Rough Diamond.  But there was nothing too rough about the album’s sleek disco grooves or about the fashion model-turned-singer at its center.  In 2011, the Gold Legion label reissued Rough Diamond on CD with three bonus tracks.  Its follow-up, 1979’s Cheri, has just recently been given the Gold Legion treatment with one bonus cut of its own.

Born in Sweden to a Swedish mother and American father, Madleen Kane found her first successes in modeling.  The Elite model appeared in publications including Playboy, but soon it was clear that she had more on her mind than just conquering the fashion world.  Rough Diamond, first released in France by CBS and later in the U.S. by Warner Bros., established the 20-year old Kane as a chanteuse for the disco era.  Produced by the French team of Michaele, Lana and Paul Sebastian, the LP featured arrangements by Thor Baldursson, who counted among his many credits a stint arranging for The Salsoul Orchestra following original leader Vince Montana’s departure.    It included original songs by the Sebastians and Baldursson as well as reinventions of standards “C’est Si Bon” and “Fever.”

After the jump: hit the dancefloor with Cheri!

1979’s Cheri was recorded in Paris and mixed in Munich.  It followed in the footsteps of Rough Diamond with a European issue on CBS and American release on Warner Bros.  The Sebastians and Baldursson again joined Kane for her sophomore effort. (Trivia: among the background singers on Cheri was Tony Burrows, the ubiquitous voice of Edison Lighthouse, White Plains, The Pipkins and The First Class!)  Baldursson played keyboards alongside Matts Bjorklund (guitars), Les Hurdle (bass) and Keith Forsey (drums).  This was the same team that – among many other credits – had played on Donna Summer’s I Remember Yesterday (1977) for producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte.  This time around, all of the songs were original compositions by the Sebastian team.

Side One of the original record was occupied by a side-long suite of symphonic disco ecstasy, featuring “Forbidden Lover/Fire In Your Heart,” “Cheri” and “Secret Love Affair.”  Sweeping strings blend with piano, Latin percussion, blaring horns and a nonstop beat on these catchy, melodic cuts.  While a big, choral vocal sound anchors “Forbidden Love,” Kane’s cooing voice comes to the forefront on “Cheri.”  Side Two was designed as a relaxing complement to the high-octane music on the record’s top side.  It included extractable, pop-oriented and lush ballads, with four shorter tracks “You and I,” “Don’t Leave Me Now,” “I Couldn’t Find a Better Way for Saying Good-Bye,” and the coquettish throwback “Retro (I Long for Long Ago).”  The first three compare favorably to the soft pop hits of Olivia Newton-John; the theatrical”Retro” – with its tap-dancing feet – would fit comfortably in a cabaret setting alongside the likes of Peter Allen’s “Everything Old is New Again.”

Gold Legion’s new reissue adds one bonus track, the 12-inch version of the album’s grandiose opening track, “Forbidden Love.”  (Unlike many of the label’s other reissues, there are no new liner notes included nor remastering credits on the disc.)  Backed by “You and I,” the single of “Forbidden Love” reached a peak of No. 3 on the U.S. Dance chart, the same position achieved by “Rough Diamond” from the album of the same name. Madleen would finally reach No. 1 with 1981’s “You Can,” written by Moroder and Bellotte.  Kane recorded three more LPs, primarily for Chalet Records, but bowed out of music following 1985’s Cover Girl.  “I’m No Angel” from Cover Girl earned her a final chart hit.

Cheri is a reminder of the days when disco ruled the airwaves.  Gold Legion’s new edition of this long out-of-print set can be ordered at the link below!

Madleen Kane, Cheri (Warner Bros. LP BSK 3315, 1979 – reissued Gold Legion CD 67094 562182, 2013)

  1. Forbidden Love/Fire in Your Heart
  2. Cheri
  3. Secret Love Affair
  4. You and I
  5. Don’t Leave Me Now
  6. Couldn’t Find a Better Way for Saying Good-Bye
  7. Retro (I Long for Long Ago)
  8. Forbidden Love (12-Inch Version) (from Warner Bros. single WBSD 8772, 1979)

Written by Joe Marchese

June 27, 2013 at 13:59

Posted in Madleen Kane, News, Reissues

2 Responses

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  1. The Asian edition of this LP featured a bonus track “I want you, need you, love you” which trumps most of the other songs, but Gold Legion did not locate it in time to feature it on this reissue. They will try to include it in a future compilation CD.


    July 1, 2013 at 04:48

  2. I suggest NOT ordering this or any of their CDs directly from Gold Legion. Their mail order service is notorious for taking your payment but taking months to send your order, if you get it at all. Wait for them to appear on Amazon!


    July 10, 2013 at 14:05

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