It was 1983 when I first learned of SAMANTHA FOX, as a Page 3 Girl in the UK newspaper tabloid The Sun. She was topless in the photo, as was the norm, but her face, her beautiful eyes, and infectious smile were what had 10-year old me going nuts!! Did she and does she still have a great rack? Of course!! But when I made the trip to Ireland to see my cousin Renee in July of 1986 she insisted I hear Samantha sing. This was news to me, but I was all in on listening. And guess what? All these years later Touch Me, her debut album is still a great time. Listen, if you’re of a certain age and you’re gonna deny you love these songs we’re gonna call you a liar, Boo-Boo. So let’s have some fun with the last Classic Albums of 2018!
In the summer of 1986 I spent six weeks in Ireland. This was the norm as my parents were both from Belfast, Northern Ireland, and I loved to spend as much time as possible with extended family. It went like this: two weeks with Dad, then he’d leave, I’d have two weeks parent-free, then Mom would come for the last two weeks and we’d fly home. After my Dad left, Renee picked me up and it was off to Golden Discs to pick up a couple of tapes for the ever-present Walkman. That day I bought Touch Me and MADONNA’S True Blue, both of which I wore out the rest of my trip and the rest of the year! I remember sitting in Renee’s kitchen, with a glass bottle of Coke and some pan bread, bopping along and being in teenage pop heaven.
“Touch Me (I Want Your Body)” is the very definition of catchy, infectious, synth-laden music of the 80’s and boy did I love every minute of it. I never knew that SAMANTHA FOX had a voice like this. “I’m All You Need” tells the tale of a woman letting a guy know what he’s been looking for has been right in front of him the whole time, while “Suzie, Don’t Leave Me With Your Boyfriend” warns a young lady of what has and will likely happen again if she does that very thing. “Wild Kinda Love” keeps the pop/dance train going, and then Side One closer “Hold On Tight” gives the record an injection of country-meets-rockabilly reminiscent of our Massapequa heroes THE STRAY CATS. Such fun!!
Side Two kicks off with guitar-driven hit single “Do Ya Do Ya (Wanna Please Me)” which was playing what seemed like every ten minutes on Belfast radio, not that I was complaining. “Baby I’m lost For Words” chronicles being unable to tell your crush how you feel, something many of us were all-too familiar with growing up, right? A doo-wop malt shop vibe is what “It’s Only Love” embodies, but with a distinct 80’s feel. “He’s Got Sex” is pretty straightforward, and also catchy as hell while “Drop Me a Line” sounds like it could be on the soundtrack from any and every teenage sex comedy from my favorite decade.
I was already very much crushing on SAMANTHA FOX due to Page 3. But hearing her music turned it into an almost full-time obsession. And that summer I flew home with not one, not two, but SIX new posters of her. Not the topless ones; Mom would have killed me. But yeah, before my room became a Heavy Metal Haven, for a time it was a shrine to Sam and MADONNA. Every time I press PLAY on Touch Me I am instantly transported to that summer in Belfast, a summer with not a care in the world, a summer surrounded by family, laughter, and fun. I miss those days, and of course I miss Ronnie and Rita, my late parents. And I am forever thankful that they kept taking me home to Ireland. So that’s why this will forever be one of my Classic Albums. ~dc