Judson Spence

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Robbie Nevil’s undescended testicle.

Never heard of Judson Spence? Congratulations — you’ve been spared (until now) the horror of listening to the album I’m convinced was responsible for inspiring Joey Lawrence and Jeremy Jordan to pursue their own recording careers. Judson Spence is a bad, bad man.

Which is ironic, because he spends the bulk of his debut trying to convince you that he’s got nothing but good, clean fun on his mind. Our esteemed David Medsker summed up an earlier Cutouts Gone Wild! by saying “So inoffensive, so safe. ‘Come on, guys, let’s just dance!'” This describes Judson Spence perfectly. Let’s take a look at the opening lines of the second track, “If You Don’t Like It” (download):

I don’t need no fancy dealer
Telling me just how good it feels
I don’t want no false seduction
And trade my soul to get my thrills

I don’t have to drink when I’m dancing
I like to control my moves
I don’t need no headache in the morning
I just want a solid groove

Judson Spence: The only pop star of the ’80s to make Jermaine Stewart look like Sly Stone.

If you remember Spence at all, it’s probably because of his adorable little hitlet, a single called “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah” (download), notable for containing the immortal chorus “Uh oh wuh uh oh / Ooh ooh ooh / If you feel the way I do, say yeah, yeah, yeah.” But did you know he also wrote a song called “Hot & Sweaty” (download), which — you guessed it — makes a case against getting hot or sweaty?

Ain’t no need to get hot & sweaty
You know that I need ya
You know that I want ya
Ain’t no need to get hot & sweaty
For me to show you my good love

And no, it isn’t the humidity that Judson has a problem with. To underscore his point, in “Take Your Time” (download) he tells his girlfriend that he wants her to…well, I’m sure the title gives it away, doesn’t it?

Morality in pop music, in and of itself, isn’t something that can break an album; matter of fact, it’s really pretty admirable. But crappy lyrics are crappy whether they’re focused on getting laid or actively not getting laid — and these are crappy lyrics. And the music? Every bit as crappy. What isn’t crappy, sadly, is the behind-the-scenes talent assembled for this project by the best-named producer of the ’80s, David Tickle. Here, have a look:

Rick Marotta and Jeff Porcaro: drums
Alex Acuna: percussion
Jerry Hey: trumpet
Mick Jones and Dann Huff: guitar

And as a sad-faced cherry on top, let’s add Billy Preston on the Hammond B-3. I almost cried when I saw his name in the booklet.

And that’s all there is to say about Judson Spence and Judson Spence, really, except for the story of how, when my daughter asked me what I was listening to, I said “I’m listening to him,” and showed her this picture:

2ced0d81[1]

Her response? “Daddy, that he is a she.”

That’s all, folks. Meet me back here next week for some vintage late ’80s husband/wife synth-pop!