The Flirts – Passion
In the first days of January 1982 a single was released that is hardly mentioned among the immortal songs of the 80s, but which still has its own story to tell, and in the end it helps us to relive many details of the 80s. This story begins a year earlier in the United States, precisely in the studios where a deejay and producer called Bobby Orlando, also known as Bobby O. Bobby is not a very well-known name in the world of pop, but he is absolutely considered an idol in the world. world of discos, because he is giving life to a kind of disco music that will later be called Hi-NRG, characterized by fast rhythms, extensive use of synthesizers and electronic sounds (I would dare to say that there were only those, in his songs), bass and pressing electronic drums.
In reality, in his records he did everything: he created, experimented, and above all he played everything himself. Sometimes he sang too. And of course he produced, for himself but also for others. At some point, however, Bobby realized that he lacked the most important instrument: his voice was not the most suitable for the music he had in his head, which lent itself much better to feminine tones. And since music was probably not his only weak point, he decided to launch a project of music but above all of image, creating a female group that openly played in the field of seduction and charm. And to leave no doubt, he gave this group the name of The Flirts.
It must be said that in the following years Bobby O will collaborate with many artists, and will have a role in launching the career of a decisive group for the 80s. In fact, in 1983 two English guys who also collaborated with a music magazine were sent to New York to interview Sting. When they were there, Neil and Chris decided to go to personally meet their idol Bobby O, who decided to put them under contract, and in fact started the story of the Pet Shop Boys, even if the versions recorded by Orlando were not always of success (this is the case for example of West End Girls, which in the dance version did not break through), for which the collaboration soon broke and the Pet Shop Boys were forced by contract to a year of silence.
But back to Bobby Orlando and the Flirts: Bobby was musically very strong, and his music was certainly engaging. He then hired three beautiful models and launched in America and Europe the album 10c a Dance (Ten cents every dance), the first Flirts album.
The problem was that voice and attractiveness didn’t always give their best in the same performers, and therefore Bobby decided to hire professional vocalists to record the songs, and to hire models and dancers for appearances on television and in shows, who obviously sang in lip-sync. You got it right: Bobby Orlando thought like Frank Farian, the creator of Boney M to whom he also lent the voice instead of that of the great Bobby Farrell, who however had an unparalleled stage presence. Years later Farian tried again with the Milli Vanilli, two models and dancers who lip-synched, accomplices in spite of themselves, and who had the biggest misfortune of the 80s, because their playback got stuck live while they performed Girl You Know it’s True in an MTV award.
The success for the Flirts came above all with Passion, a song that was of course the ideal complement to their image, which had a uniform made up of winks, miniskirts, and of course 80s hairstyles. On the one hand the (visual) interpreters of Passion deserve a mention, on the other it is also true that over the years the formation of the Flirts has changed often and willingly, and practically since the mid-80s there is only one woman who still carries around the name of the Flirts, and sings as well, and her name is Christina Criscione.
Actually at the time of Passion Christina was not yet in the group, and the ones we see in the video were Holly Kerr, Andrea Del Conte and Rebecca Sullivan. As you can see it is not even a real video, Orlando was not a precursor of the times in this sense. Holly, who we see on the left dressed in pink, fell ill on a tour and was replaced immediately. In reality, within a year, the other two were replaced or went away. In any case, probably the image that remains of the Flirts is linked to Passion, their greatest success, that is the lineup with the three models we have mentioned. Of course we will never know who really sang the song!
Flirts on Wikipedia