It is easy to recognise that Neneh Cherry was brought up in a musical family and was exposed to a huge array of different musical styles and influences from a young age.
The singer was born in Stockholm and moved to London as a teen. As the step daughter of American jazz musician Don Cherry, Neneh was exposed to an eclectic mix of music and musicians and found herself contributing to a number of different bands and musical groups. Neneh is best known for her solo work and has had a long, successful career which has produced many hits. To celebrate Neneh’s upcoming appearance at Festival Club at Paradiso Spiegeltent on March 4 (click here for tickets), we have chosen her as our subject for this edition of ‘Five of the Best’. It is never easy to whittle down a back catalogue of great songs to a list of just five, but that is our task! We hope you enjoy our top picks from Neneh Cherry.
5. Kisses On The Wind
Neneh Cherry’s debut album Raw Like Sushi spurned many great songs including Kisses on the Wind, which was the third single from the 1988 album. Kisses on the Wind was a top 20 single in the UK and USA and is a fine example of Cherry’s work. The song is the quintessential late 80s early 90s single and has a film clip to match. Think psychedelic patterns, city skyline background, crop tops and prominent headwear. All in all it is a great song and one you should reacquaint yourself with below.
4. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
In 1990 Neneh Cherry released a cover of Cole Porter’s song I’ve Got You Under My Skin for a charity album, Red Hot + Blue. While the song does owe its roots to the classic 1936 song, you’d be forgiven for missing the link. Cherry’s hip-hop interpretation is vastly different and keeps only a small portion of the original lyrics. The bulk of the lyrics are replaced by a rap about AIDS victims. The song was a top 25 hit in the UK and is a very interesting offering from Cherry. We think the song is a great example of Cherry’s eclectic style and her love for different genres and styles of music. Check it out for yourself.
3. Buffalo Stance
Buffalo Stance is the song that launched Neneh Cherry on the international stage. Released as the first single off her 1988 debut album, Raw Like Sushi, the song was a worldwide hit reaching number 3 on the UK singles chart and the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was also a massive hit throughout Europe, reaching number 1 in the Netherlands and Sweden and number 2 in Switzerland. Buffalo Stance has been used widely in pop culture and remains a fantastic, upbeat song to this day. If you don’t believe us, click below to see the film clip.
2. 7 Seconds
In 1994 Neneh Cherry teamed up with Youssou N’Dour for what is perhaps her best known song, 7 Seconds. N’Dour and Cherry composed the song with Cameron McVey and Jonathan Sharp and when released it was a worldwide smash hit, remaining at number 1 on the French singles chart for 16 weeks. The song is another example of Cherry’s eclectic approach to music with sections of the song being performed in three different languages – English, French and Wolof, a West African language. Cherry included the song on her 1996 album, Man. Cherry and N’Dour were nominated for a Grammy Award in 1994 for the song, but they lost out to It is a classic Neneh Cherry song and one that we think is a very deserving number 2 on our list.
In our humble opinion, Woman is the best example of Neneh Cherry’s work. The feminist song ironically appears on Cherry’s 1996 album titled Man. The song is Cherry’s take on James Brown’s classic, It’s A Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World, which was released in 1966. The song is sensual and soulful and in we believe it is Cherry’s greatest musical accomplishment. We hope you agree – click below to hear it for yourself.
Neneh Cherry will perform at Festival Club at Paradiso Spiegeltent on March 4. Click here to purchase tickets.