We have a digital scale in our bathroom.
Each morning when I step onto it, a couple of things happen:
- I get depressed that my weight hasn’t gone down since the day before… so depressed that a tear rolls down my cheek, mixing with the Spicy Nacho Dorito dust that’s still around my mouth from yesterday’s late night snack.
- I see the brand name of the scale, Tanita, and immediately think of a song that I used to play on 97X when I was a part-time DJ there waaay back in 1988.
Seriously, I can’t NOT think of Tanita Tikaram, who was merely a blip on the modern rock radar more than 30 years ago. That’s just how my brain works – it’s wired for music and minutia, and “Tanita” is the perfect marriage of the two.
“Twist in My Sobriety” was from Tanita’s debut album, released when she was just 19 (say, that reminds me of this song… .
… and co-produced by Rod Argent, formerly of the band Argent (say, that reminds me of this song…
… and down the musical rabbit hole we go!
My scale’s debut album… er, I mean Tanita’s debut album, Ancient Heart, actually did pretty well, making it to #3 in the UK, and #59 in the US (back when people still bought albums), and “Twist in My Sobriety” and another tune “Good Tradition” both cracked the Top 10 singles chart in England.
Of course, there are no second acts in American lives… and they rarely happen for German-born, UK-raised pop/folk singers either.
A quick succession of albums for WEA – The Sweet Keeper (1990), Everybody’s Angel (1991), and Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (1992) – did not achieve the same commercial success, with each album selling fewer than the previous one. Her 1992 album Eleven Kinds of Loneliness, which was the first Tikaram fully produced herself, did not chart at all.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanita_Tikaram
After several years away from the music biz, she put out a new album in 2005, then another in 2012, and one in 2016.
Her voice still sounds great. But a huge portion of success in the music industry is out of the artist’s control. And how we define “success” isn’t always the best barometer of a career. If Tanita Tikaram is still writing and recording music that she’s passionate about, that’s great. I just wish she could get royalties for the songs that spin in my head.