Back in 1987, Samantha Fox's second album was a constant presence in my cassette player. Never would I imagine that it would become one of my favourite pop albums from the '80s. And yet, here we are, 25 years later, and Sam Fox's sophomore album has received the deluxe treatment from Cherry Pop, in addition to her debut album, as well as "I Wanna Have Some Fun" and "Just One Night". I bought the cassette version in 1987; the 2009 reissue by Wounded Bird, and now Cherry Pop's 2-disc opus. Say what you will about Samantha Fox, but during the '80s, she made a trio of excellent pop albums, including this one.
This album established Fox's successful working relationship with Full Force, on "Naughty Girls (Need Love Too)". Twenty-five years later, it still sounds fresh today, especially in this day and age when so many pop stars collaborate with hip-hop stars (ie. Katy Perry and Kanye West, Madonna and Nicki Minaj, et cetera). There's also Sam's collaboration with Stock-Aitken-Waterman, "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now", which has the trademark SAW sound but is tailor made for Fox. Covering the Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" could have been disastrous but Fox pulls it off - her take is surprising slice of pop-rock mixed with funk. "That Sensation" and "Dream City" are strong album tracks. An interesting tidbit I learned from the extensive liner notes was that Fox wanted a song in the style of Laura Branigan's 1984 hit "Self Control" which resulted in Fox's own "I Surrender (To the Spirit of the Night)". In addition to the album, there are a number of B-sides and extended mixes, so you can put those 12-inch singles away. There is even an early version of "Hot for You" (from the "I Wanna Have Some Fun" album) called "Hot Tonight" which is less rock and more pop than the rock version released on Fox's next album.
The deluxe reissues of Samantha Fox's first four albums have been anxiously awaited by fans like myself, and Cherry Pop doesn't disappoint. The sound is excellent, the liner notes are extensive and informative, and the bonus tracks and remixes are also welcome, especially after many years of hearing vinyl rips or paying high prices for CD singles and Japanese imports.