French Kiss (Lil Louis song)

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"French Kiss"
French Kiss.jpg
Single by Lil Louis
from the album From the Mind of Lil Louis
ReleasedJuly 17, 1989
  • Marvin Burns
  • Karlana Johnson
Producer(s)Lil Louis
Lil Louis singles chronology
"French Kiss"
"New York"
Alternative cover
US release, B-side
US release, B-side

"French Kiss" is a house song by American DJ and record producer Lil Louis that became a European and American hit in 1989. The song also was a hit in clubs around the world, and it spent two weeks at number one on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in October 1989. It became a crossover pop hit, peaking at number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a mainstream pop hit in the United Kingdom, where it peaked at number two in August 1989.

Originally an instrumental song (apart from wordless moans), vocals were recorded after the song was picked up for distribution by major labels. In the United States, the lead vocals on the track were performed by American singer Shawn Christopher, and in Europe vocal duties were performed by a woman known only as "Pasquale".[4]

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 sound of female moans, and then gradually speeding up. This was an innovative feature for any dance track at that time. Note that the song includes a more erotic vocal performance than the title implies.

The American 12-inch single was never released commercially on compact disc. 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 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 featured on the 1999 Carl Cox DJ album Non-stop 2000—CD 1, starting roughly midway through track six, "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 eight.

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..

Impact and legacy[edit]

Slant Magazine ranked the song 7th in its 100 Greatest Dance Songs list in 2006, 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.[5]

Time Out's 2015 list of The 20 Best House Tracks Ever included "French Kiss" as #4, adding:

This number from Chicago's Lil' Louis was one of the first house tracks to enjoy both considerable commercial success and heavy club airplay on its release. Even one listen to its infectious, unrelenting groove and orgasmic tempo shifts is enough to understand why it got everyone so excited.[6]

Formats and track listings[edit]


12-inch, cassette and CD single
  1. "French Kiss" — 10:02
  2. "Wargames" — 7:18

• The tracks are actually 9:55 and 7:13 long, respectively, but almost all artwork denote the longer durations.[7]

7-inch single
  1. "French Kiss" — 4:09
  2. "New York" — 3:40
French Kisses (The Complete Mix Collection E.P.) – 12-inch, cassette and CD
  1. "French Kiss (Original Mix)" — 10:02
  2. "French Kiss (Innocent Until Proven Guilty Vocal Remix) (Re-Layed)" — 9:45
  3. "French Kiss (Passion Radio Mix)" — 4:15
  4. "French Kiss (Back Up Your Conversion Mix)" — 9:45
  5. "French Kiss (Hitting Virgin Territory Instrumental Mix)" — 3:50


12-inch single
  1. "French Kiss" — 10:02
  2. "New York" — 3:40
  3. "Wargames (Remix)" — 7:18
  4. "Jupiter" — 5:20
12-inch remix single
  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 Certified units/sales
France (SNEP)[8] Silver 200,000*
Germany (BVMI)[9] Gold 250,000^

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


Chart (1989) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[10] 35
Austrian Singles Chart[10] 4
French SNEP Singles Chart[10] 5
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[11] 3
German Singles Chart[10] 2
Greek Singles Chart[12] 2
Icelandic Singles Chart[13] 8
Irish Singles Chart[14] 6
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[16] 1
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[10] 16
Swiss Singles Chart[10] 2
UK Singles Chart[18] 2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 50
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Hed Kandi: Back to Love, Vol. 2 - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  2. ^ "Subliminal Sessions, Vol. 5 - Erick "More" Morillo - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Best of House Music: Disco Nights, Vol. 5 - Various Artists - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 26 August 2017.
  4. ^ Discogs page for European release.
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Dance Songs". Slant Magazine. 30 January 2006. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  6. ^ "20 best house tracks ever". Retrieved 2017-09-01.
  7. ^ "Lil Louis* – French Kiss". Discogs. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  8. ^ "French single certifications – Louis Lil – French Kiss" (in French). InfoDisc. Select LOUIS LIL and click OK. 
  9. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Lil Louis; 'French Kiss')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  10. ^ a b c d e f "French Kiss", in various singles charts (Retrieved December 27, 2007)
  11. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. 9 September 1989. Retrieved 26 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Top 3 Greece" (PDF). Music & Media. 28 October 1989. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 10 (13. október 1989)" (PDF) (in Icelandic). Dagblaðið Vísir. Retrieved 23 July 2018. Cite magazine requires |magazine= (help)
  14. ^ Irish Singles Chart Archived 2009-06-03 at WebCite (Retrieved April 22, 2009)
  15. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 37, 1989" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  16. ^ " – Lil Louis – French Kiss" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ "French Kiss", UK Singles Chart Official Charts Company (Retrieved April 22, 2009)