French Kiss (Lil Louis song)

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"French Kiss"
Single by Lil Louis
from the album From the Mind of Li'l Louis
Released October 14, 1989
Format CD single, maxi-single, 12"
Recorded 1989
Genre House, porn groove
Length 5:16
Label FFRR/PolyGram Records (UK)
886 675

Epic/CBS Records (U.S.)
49 68875
Writer(s) Lil Louis
Karlana Johnson (vocalise)
Producer(s) Lil Louis
Certification Silver (SNEP)
Lil Louis singles chronology
- "French Kiss"
(1989)
"New York"
(1989)
Alternative cover
US release, B-side

"French Kiss" is a 1989 house-music single that became a European and American hit for American artist Lil Louis. The song also was a hit in dance clubs around the world, and it spent two weeks at #1 on the American dance chart in October 1989. It was a crossover pop hit as well, peaking at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a mainstream pop hit in the UK, where it peaked at #2. The lead vocals on the track—recorded after the track was picked up for distribution by major labels—were performed by Chicago native and noted female house-music singer Shawn Christopher, although another vocal version exists in Europe with vocal duties performed by a woman named Pasquale.

Structure and usage[edit]

Distinctions of this song are that it is based on a single note (F-natural) and that it gradually slows down to a complete stop, marked by the vocal climax, and then, again gradually, speeds up. This was an innovative feature for any dance track at that time. Note that the track includes a more erotic vocal performance than the title implies.

Slant Magazine ranked the song 7th in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs list, adding: “‘French Kiss’ is a moaning, sex-as-house track that audaciously and amazingly slows down and then stops altogether. It builds again, chugging back to its initial speed until it fades brighter than ever in post-orgasmic glow.”[1]

It was sampled heavily on Josh Wink's single “How's Your Evening So Far?”—credited to Wink vs. Lil Louis. It was also sampled on The Wiseguys’ song "Au-Pair Girls," from 1998. In 1990, the French TV presenter Lagaf' used the sample of the song in a parodic version under the name "Bo le lavabo (WC Kiss)." The American 12-inch single was never released on compact disc.

The song was also sampled on a remix of The Loco-Motion for Kylie Minogue's Enjoy Yourself 1990 Tour titled "The Oz Tour Mix," which remained unreleased in studio form for many years until it was finally released on the bonus disc of remixes of the 2002 Greatest Hits ’87–’92.

The track was also featured on the 1999 Carl Cox DJ album "Non-stop 2000"—CD 1, starting roughly midway through track 06, "Funk on the Roll." Carl seamlessly mixes it in the background continuously, through the whole of the next track, "Let it roll," before it plays in its entire original form as track 08.

The song was also sampled in "Custom Made (Give it to You)" by Lil' Kim, which appeared on her album The Notorious K.I.M..

Formats and track listings[edit]

CD single—UK
  1. "French Kiss"—10:02
  2. "Wargames"—7:18
CD-5—UK
  1. Original Mix – 10:02
  2. "French Kiss" (vocal remix) —9:45
  3. "French Kiss" (passion radio mix) —4:15
  4. "French Kiss" (conversion mix) —9:45
12-inch single—UK
  1. "French Kiss"—10:02
  2. "War Games"—7:18
12-inch single—UK
  1. "French Kiss"—4:09
  2. "New York"—3:40
12-inch single—US
  1. "French Kiss" (the original underground mix) —9:54
  2. "French Kiss" (talkin' all that jazz mix) —4:14
  3. "French Kiss" (short but sweet radio vocal mix) —4:08
  4. "French Kiss" (the songbird sings long vocal mix) —9:59
  5. "French Kiss" (cherry talk conversational mix) —5:29

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
France (SNEP)[2] Silver 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[3] Gold 250,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Charts[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[4] 35
Austrian Singles Chart[4] 4
Dutch Top 40[5] 1
French SNEP Singles Chart[4] 5
German Singles Chart[4] 2
Irish Singles Chart[6] 6
Spain (AFYVE)[7] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[4] 16
Swiss Singles Chart[4] 2
UK Singles Chart[8] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 50
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
Preceded by
"Swing the Mood" by Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
September 16, 1989 - September 23, 1989
Succeeded by
"Lambada" by Kaoma
Preceded by
"Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
October 21, 1989 - October 28, 1989
Succeeded by
"Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2011. 
  2. ^ "French single certifications – Louis Lil – French Kiss" (in French). InfoDisc.  Select LOUIS LIL and click OK
  3. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Lil Louis; 'French Kiss')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f "French Kiss", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved December 27, 2007)
  5. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 37, 1989". Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  6. ^ Irish Singles Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 22, 2009)
  7. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2. 
  8. ^ "French Kiss", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 22, 2009)