Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Katy Perry 'I Kissed A Girl'

Chart Peak: 1 (5 weeks)


Katy Perry is the middle child of two American pastors - she grew up on a strict diet of religious music and often sang in church... She decided she wanted to be a pop star after hearding a Queen song at a sleepover abs now her sassy single 'I Kissed A Girl' has topped the charts in 20 countries worldwide - it hit the UK No. 1 spot in late August 2008.

Right, I'm going to come straight out now (no pun intended) and say I never liked this track. Still, at leat I knew it was just a gimmick and she was bound to be a one-hit wonder. Oops. Indeed, it says something about the growth of the singles market that this single lasted five weeks at Number One and isn't even her biggest seller. It's another sign of the times that the single climbed to the top of the chart not because it lacked advance publicity but because an anonymous cover version threatened to beat this to the chart so the label rush-released the original in the middle of the week and it entered at 4.

I had just about heard of Perry before this single, as I was aware she'd released a song called 'U R So Gay' in the US. I was not surprised that she followed it up with another tawdry effort, cleverly both an appeal to lad's mag fantasies and a controversial enough concept to provoke a backlash and look edgy. Notice how the references to "I hope my boyfriend don't mind" safely establish the protagonist as a heterosexual rather than someone actually gay which might be threatening. McFly, of all people, did subvert this by covering the song without changing any words and thus implying that their protagonist was a gay man flirting with going the other way.

As the debate raged about whether this song promoted homosexuality or homophobia I could appreciate what a good PR stunt it was but as a song it's less impressive, though I suppose using the Glitter beat was distinctive at the time, and a downward key change makes a change from the typical upward ones. I still struggle to get through the whole thing, and to this day I've never dared watch the video, but apparently Ke$ha's in it. I'd also forgotten until I came to write this post that this is another example of a hit co-written by Cathy Dennis, which is why she can afford not to do nostalgia tours.

Also appearing on: Now 72, 73, 75 [with Timbaland], 76 [with Snoop Dogg], 77, 78 [with Kanye West], 79, 81, 82, 83, 86
Available on: Me To You With Love

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