Ah, Stacey Swain aka Stacey Q aka sweet, innocent “Cinnamon” from “The Facts of Life”. Not so innocent, are we? Oh, I know alllll your dirty little secrets, missy.

But let’s start at the beginning.

Stacey’s singing career started when she joined the synthpop outfit known only as Q, after the James Bond villainweapons specialist (D’oh! Thanks, folks!). Q also featured synthpop icon Jon St. James, who produced quite a few memorable tracks for other synthpoppers, including Anything Box. After an EP, Q became SSQ, got signed to indie label Enigma Records and released their first full-length album, Playback. A lucky break followed, as Enigma got a major-label distribution deal with EMI and Playback’s first single, “Synthicide” got a snazzy little video and some MTV play (watch Stacey’s expression after each time she says the song’s title in the chorus and purses her lips – hysterical!):

…but Stacey, dear, some of us remember your oh-so-naughty, Cinemax After Dark turn on SSQ’s next video for the Berlin-a-like “Screaming In My Pillow” (WARNING: Boobies, some which may or may not be Stacey’s!):

Playback didn’t set the charts on fire, though, and Stacey and the boys soon found themselves without a major label deal. It was back to the drawing board where someone along the line made the smart decision to cut out the middle men and put Stacey right up front. Soon, Atlantic Records came calling and released SSQ’s second, er, Stacey Q’s debut album, Better Than Heaven. In all fairness, while the SSQ personnel remained the same, the sound did change quite a bit, becoming much more pop-oriented, with the soft-core porn lyrics muted…at first glance. The make-over resulted in “Two of Hearts”, a Top 3 smash that everyone knows.

And hey, you probably know the follow-up single “We Connect”, too, since it was, I don’t know, THE SAME FRIGGIN’ SONG! “We Connect” was always a source of laughs for me and my friends due to its “Two of Hearts” Xerox nature – we’d sing the lyrics to “Two of Hearts” over “We Connect” and of course, they fit perfectly. But “We Connect” had some…adult…lyrics:

We Connect
When we’re together, it’s so perfect
Boy, you shock me with your white, hot love
I start to overload
I explode when we connect

Subtle! Hey, how about Stacey performing “We Connect” on Fox’s ill-fated “Joan Rivers Show”? I sorta like Stacey’s lower register and the beefier guitar mix here:

Stacey Q went on to release a couple more albums, with one single, “Don’t Make a Fool of Yourself” making some Dance Chart noise, but that was pretty much it. But we’ll always have Stacey’s special moments with Mindy Cohn.

“Synthicide” did not chart.
“We Connect” peaked at #35 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #1 on the Dance Club Play Charts.

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Stacey Q