The Glamorous Life

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This article is about the Sheila E. song. For the Sheila E. album, see The Glamorous Life (album). For the Stephen Sondheim song, see A Little Night Music. For the Desperate Housewives episode, see The Glamorous Life (Desperate Housewives).
"The Glamorous Life"
U.S. 7" single
Single by Sheila E.
from the album The Glamorous Life
B-side "The Glamorous Life" (Part II)
Released June 4, 1984
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded March 1984
Genre Funk, dance-pop
Length 8:58 (album)
3:41 (7" single)
6:33 (club edit)
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Prince
Producer(s) Sheila E., Prince (as The Starr ★ Company)
Sheila E. singles chronology
"The Glamorous Life"
(1984)
"The Belle of St. Mark"
(1984)

"The Glamorous Life" is a song written by Prince in 1984 and first recorded by singer/percussionist Sheila E. The dance song has lyrics which reflect a cynicism for the decadence and materialism of the song's protagonist, referred to in the third person, who "wants to lead a glamorous life", although she is aware that "without love, it ain't much".

Song history[edit]

"The Glamorous Life" was originally intended to be recorded by the short-lived replacement act for Vanity 6, girl group Apollonia 6. Prince allegedly had several tracks lined up for the trio to record for their 1984 debut album (and by some accounts, their follow up album as well), but abandoned the idea when he learned that lead singer Apollonia Kotero had no desire to stay in the group beyond her contractual obligations as designed for her movie role in Purple Rain.

Prince decided to give the song to Sheila E. who was fresh off her duet on Prince's "Erotic City". "The Glamorous Life" would be recorded by Sheila E. and go on to launch her solo career.

"The Glamorous Life" is the title track and closing song on Sheila E.'s debut solo album, and reached number 7 on the U.S. pop charts, as well as number 1 on the U.S. dance charts, and earned a Grammy Award nomination.

Sheila E.'s live performances of the song became memorable events, most notably for her percussion solo towards the end of the song. Depending on the occasion, she would either spin around several times while drumming without missing a beat during the rigorous solo, place one highly elevated foot on a snare while standing on the other leg mid-solo, or perform with glow-in-the-dark drumsticks. While the solo featured in the song helped to bolster Sheila E.'s fame, all subsequent versions of this song have no drum solo.

Track listing[edit]

7" vinyl[edit]

Side one

  1. "The Glamorous Life" – 3:41

Side two

  1. "The Glamorous Life Part II" – 3:12

12" vinyl[edit]

Side one

  1. "The Glamorous Life" (club edit) – 6:33

Side two

  1. "The Glamorous Life Part II" – 3:12

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984) Peak
position
Dutch Top 40[1] 2
UK Singles Chart[2] 76
US Billboard Hot 100[2] 7
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[2] 1
US Billboard Hot Black Singles[2] 9
Preceded by
"Breakin'... There's No Stopping Us" by Ollie & Jerry
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
August 18, 1984 – August 25, 1984
Succeeded by
"High Energy" by Evelyn Thomas

Cover versions[edit]

  • In 1995 dance/electronic artist Kairene recorded a cover of the song for Quality Records in Canada, the vinyl version was a sampler from the REMIX dance compilation issued on cd the same year.this version was produced by Canadian DJ/musicians Gene King and Carlos Clark.
  • The song was covered by Eden's Crush in their 2001 debut album Popstars.
  • New York indie rock band The Fever recorded a cover (and two remixes of the cover) as the B-side to their 2003 single "Ladyfingers".
  • The song was covered by Australian band T-Funk (featuring vocals by Inaya Day, who had previously covered another Prince-written song "Nasty Girl") in 2005.
  • In 2007 a cover version was recorded by Icelandic band Al'Margir.
  • In 2009, short lived group "Chauffeur", consisting of singer Sam Sparro, rapper Theophilus London, and producer Mark Ronson, released a cover of the song, officially approved by Prince, released exclusively to limited edition vinyl pressings only available with the purchase of Mark Ronson and Gucci’s shoe collaboration.[3]
  • The song was covered by Corin Tucker on her 2010 tour.
  • The song was covered by pop singer Rihanna during both her Last Girl on Earth Tour (2010–2011) and her Loud Tour (2011).

Melissa Tkautz version[edit]

"The Glamorous Life"
Single by Melissa Tkautz
from the album Lost & Found
Released September 18, 2005 (2005-09-18) (Australia)
Format CD, maxi
Genre Pop, dance, house
Length 3:20
Label Big Records
Writer(s) Prince
Melissa Tkautz singles chronology
"Is It...?"
(1993)
"The Glamorous Life"
(2005)
"All I Want"
(2005)

"The Glamorous Life" was covered by Australian actress/singer Melissa Tkautz in 2005. The single was seen as a comeback for Tkautz who had enjoyed considerable success in the early 1990s both as an actress and singer. Tkautz had previously scored an Australian number one hit in 1991 with the song "Read My Lips", which spent two weeks at the top spot and won her an ARIA Award for Highest Selling Single in 1992. After a twelve-year hiatus from the music industry, Tkautz returned with her cover of Sheila E.'s 1984 hit "The Glamorous Life" and a new album Lost & Found. "The Glamorous Life" debuted and peaked at number thirty-one on the Australian Singles Chart in September 2005 and spent two weeks in the top fifty. Almost the same time that Melissa Tkautz released her cover version of the song, Australian dance music act T-Funk also released their version which also peaked at number thirty-one on the singles chart.

Track listing[edit]

CD single[4]

  1. "The Glamorous Life" (radio edit) – 3:21
  2. "The Glamorous Life" (AC Radio Edit) – 3:34
  3. "The Glamorous Life" (Hotfuss Radio Edit) – 3:20
  4. "The Glamorous Life" (Luke Leal vs. Peachy Club Mix) – 8:23
  5. "The Glamorous Life" (JimmyZ vs. Bootyscratcherz 4Play Club Mix) – 6:27
  6. "The Glamorous Life" (Hotfuss Club Mix) – 6:21

Charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[5] 31

References[edit]

  1. ^ "De Nederlandse Top 40, week 35, 1984". Retrieved December 20, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Allmusic - Sheila E. - Billboard singles". Retrieved December 20, 2008 (2008-12-20). 
  3. ^ "Chauffeur". samsparro.com. Retrieved 2014-01-05. 
  4. ^ "Melissa Tkautz - The Glamorous Life at Discogs". Discogs.com. 2009-11-30. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  5. ^ Steffen Hung. "Melissa Tkautz - The Glamorous Life". australian-charts.com. Retrieved 2014-06-05.