What would Ladies’ Week be without a tribute to Klymaxx: one of the few all-female, self-formed groups in pop music history? Meeting in the Ladies Room, Klymaxx’s fourth studio album, was co-produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and went platinum with four successful singles, one of which was the title track.
The song–written by another trio of Jheri Curl June veterans, Reggie and Vincent Calloway and Boaz Watson of Midnight Star (hence the “stealth” “Freak-a-zoid” reference)–opens with Klymaxx singer/drummer Bernadette Cooper muttering about the behavior of the other women in the club who are eyeing her man, while dropping a few subtle hints at her financial status: “I had to leave my condo to come to this / Well, I’m back, but this time I’m with my man / And these women are putting their hands all over his / Yamamoto Kansai sweater that I bought.”
Granted, the rest of the song is about dolling yourself up in the bathroom to look better than those other women, who are apparently succeeding at rubbing up on your boyfriend. These themes of female competition, beauty as a source of power, and uncontrollable male sexuality do somewhat downplay the concept of a successful woman who can buy her man designer clothes. But can we all agree that it’s pretty progressive just to have a group of women who could play their own instruments, weren’t put together by a Svengali to fit a caricatured male fantasy, and recorded songs about topics relevant to women?
(P.S. I think it’s worth noting that the pop-arty video above was not only directed by Devo co-founder Gerald Casale, but also featured a young Vivica A. Fox as one of the “BW”s in the club. The more you know.)
Playlist below the jump; see you next week!