Lost in the ’80s: The Belle Stars, “World Domination”

Written by Lost in the '80s, Music

lit80s

This one’s been a long time coming … and it’s not even as complete as I’d like it to be.  Let me explain…

When I first started Lost in the ’80s way back in the halcyon days of 2005, one of the songs I was dying to feature was today’s selection, the Belle Stars’ “World Domination,” a one-off single the girl group, then reduced to a trio, released on MCA in 1986.  You see, the girls had seen much better days – they had several hits in the U.K. around 1982 and 1983, but in the States the best they could do was the MTV favorite, “Sign Of The Times,” which barely scratched the Hot 100.  By the time 1986 came around the group, which was once a seven-piece, found itself shrunk down a trio with limited options, save for a one single record deal with MCA.

Where the girl group once shared a kinship with Bananarama by fusing its pop sound with ska overtones, around this time the Belle Stars found themselves in Bananarama’s footsteps again, foregoing the ska influences for straight-ahead dance.  While “World Domination” was a flop in Britain, it got plenty of club play in the States.

Which brings me to why this has taken so long…

“World Domination” is friggin’ impossible to find.

I’m serious.  You know me.  I’m always in record shops all across our great nation.  I dig through bins, fingers dusty and dirty, knees giving out, back aching.  And for nearly five years now, I have been unable to locate a copy of this song.  Not a single, not a 12-inch, not even a flipping cassingle.

Until last week.

On a random trip to Amoeba Records in Los Angeles – seriously, we were just driving by and happened to stop – I did my usual purusal of the “B” section of the vinyl like I have for five years and THERE.  IT.  WAS.  “World Domination,” the 12-inch.  Mint.  Picture sleeve.  A paltry $1.99.  With sweaty hands, I made my way to the cash register (with a new copy of Haysi Fantayzee’s best of, Blondie’s The Hunter, and Marilyn’s Despite Straight Lines – yes, register lady, I do like the ’80s, thanks for asking).  I race home with my new treasure and put “World Domination (Extended Version)” (download) on the turntable.

And I’m instantly disappointed.

This…REMIX — for lack of a better word, by Shit, er, Shep Pettibone — removes the following from the song – most of the choruses, the guitars, and the entire effin’ BRIDGE, fergoshsakes.  What’s left is an annoyingly repetitive bastardization of the song I fell in love with when I saw the video in 1986 and spent all this time searching for.  Check out the video with the real single mix to hear what I mean:

So, while I do have a copy of “World Domination” now, I suppose, the search continues now for a copy of the 45, so I can have the real version (“World Domination” has never made it to CD since it was the only single the girls did for MCA).  Since it never charted on the Hot 100, I’m guessing I’ll dig that up single up around, ohhhhh, say 2034.

Wish me luck!

“World Domination” peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Chart in 1986.

Get Belle Stars music at Amazon or on The Belle Stars