If you’re of a certain age, you remember the original Mickey Mouse Club, the show that gave us future peanut butter saleswoman Annette Funicello, right?
If you’re a little younger than me, you might have fond memories of the mid-Nineties version of the Mickey Mouse Club-a show that basically served as a breeding ground for modern-day celebrities, giving us Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Justin Timberlake, Keri Russell, Ryan Gosling and Matt Morris.
In between those two, there was the late-Eighties/early Nineties version of the “MMC”, a show which spawned a group called The Party. Created in the image of New Kids on the Block (who were all the rage at the time), The Party replaced the 5 guys singing-and-dancing template with a multi-racial, unisex crew of five kids: Damon (the swarthy, dark-haired dude), Chase (the pale redhead), Albert (the black kid), Deedee (the Filipina) and Tiffani (the white girl).
They never reached the heights of their NKOTB brethren (hell, they weren’t anywhere near as successful, actually-although the folks at Tiger Beat and “Saturday Morning Videos” tried their damndest to tell you otherwise), but they definitely delivered a pop gem or two in their day. They also were among the first “pop” acts to work with new jack swing maven Teddy Riley (on 1992’s “Free”)…and…Dr. Dre?? Sure enough, 1992’s “Let’s Get Right Down to It” (released prior to “The Chronic”, which saved Dre’s career) is a track Dre probably leaves off of his resume.
The group’s biggest hit was a Hi-NRG/dance cover of hair metal band Dokken’s “In My Dreams”. It was the group’s only hit to reach the top 40 (peaking at #34), and if the idea of a teen-pop group re-recording an 80s hard rock song seems a little weird, consider this: The Party’s version is actually GOOD. The production is stellar, and…well, a good melody is a good melody, right?
Although The Party split up in 1993, the group members (at least according to Wkipedia) remain active in the music and movie worlds. Despite their moderate success and quick vanishing act from the public eye, this song remains a favorite of mine as well as one of the better pop offerings from the early Nineties.