A studio creation of constantly rotating blonds, brunettes and redheads, the Flirts were the brainchild of Bobby O., a songwriter/producer with a notorious reputation for “borrowing” other people’s riffs and hooks and “rewriting” them as his own. One of his more infamous swipes was reworking New Order’s “Blue Monday” into Divine’s “Love Reaction.” Play them back to back someday and be amazed that Mr. Orlando never got sued.
One of Bobby’s more successful projects, the Flirts are probably best remembered for their early MTV video hit, “Jukebox,” (download) which got played nearly every hour on the hour back in the day. An insanely catchy New Wave piece of fluff, the video was classic, full of off the shoulder sweaters, moussed-up coiffures and bewildered stares from pedestrians as the Flirts strutted down the street for the camera.
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Another single from the same album, 10Á‚¢ A Dance, “Passion” (download), was more indicative of the Flirts’ sound than the atypically New Wave “Jukebox.” “Passion” also became a huge dance club hit, almost as ubiquitous in clubs as, say, “Blue Monday.”
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“Passion” was such a big dance hit that it inspired a British duo named Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe, aka Pet Shop Boys, to seek out Bobby O. to produce the original version of their first single, “West End Girls.”
“Passion” peaked at #21 on the Billboard Club Play Singles Chart in 1982.
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