White Label Wednesday: Tasmin Archer, “Sleeping Satellite”

Written by Music, White Label

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In late 2007, I attempted to launch a weekly mp3 column on Eat Sleep Drink Music, the music blog of my employers at Bullz-Eye. However, the column was killed almost as soon as it began, when our president (who’s a lawyer) balked at the idea of posting songs without the artist or label’s permission. Perfectly understandable, and so I have since taken my delinquent, song-posting ways here to Popdose. La vie boheme!

This is a re-printing of sorts of the first post I wrote for that doomed column. Ironically, someone recently commented over at ESD asking me to re-post the song, which means it only took a year and a half for the old column to find an audience. I rule.

Today we pay tribute to Bradford, England’s Tasmin Archer, a soul popster from the early ’90s who, thanks to her UK #1 smash “Sleeping Satellite,” was quickly dubbed the Female Seal. She was not the Female Seal, of course – anyone who bought the album that spawned “Satellite,” 1993’s Great Expressions, learned that lesson the hard way – but there is no denying that “Satellite” could easily pass for the twin sister of “Crazy.” Both songs have an airy quality to them, and both have dance-ish beats but aren’t exactly danceable. It was an apt, and as favorable, a comparison as Archer was likely to find.

The hit parade for Archer ended quickly. She scored one more Top 20 hit in the UK with “In Your Care,” though one could argue that its chart success owed as much to its B-side – a remix of “Sleeping Satellite” – as it did to the A-side. A few more singles crawled their way into the UK Top 40, but she never dented the US charts again. She continues to make music, but I personally have not seen anything of hers in the CD racks since the 1994 Shipbuilding EP, where she covered a handful of Elvis Costello tunes.

Such is the fate for far more musicians than you would think. Knock the one-hit wonder all you want, but at least people remember their big hit. Archer, on the other hand, has practically been erased from the history books. In an attempt to correct this, I submit “Sleeping Satellite” – yep, it’s the remixed version from that single for “In Your Care” – here for re-examination.

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Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite (Fitz Mix)