The Belle of St. Mark

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"The Belle of St. Mark"
U.S. 7" single
Single by Sheila E.
from the album The Glamorous Life
B-side "Too Sexy"
Released November, 1984 (U.S.)
November 3, 1984 (Netherlands)
February 3, 1985 (Ireland and New Zealand)
Format 7" single, 12" single
Recorded March 1984
Genre Dance-pop
Length 5:12 (album)
3:38 (7" single)
7:40 (12" single)
Label Warner Bros.
Writer(s) Prince[1]
Producer(s) Sheila E.,
Prince (as The Starr ★ Company)
Sheila E. singles chronology
"The Glamorous Life"
"The Belle of St. Mark"
"Oliver's House"

"The Belle of St. Mark" is a song recorded by singer/percussionist Sheila E. The song was released in November 1984 in the United States and in the Netherlands,[2] and in February 1985 in other markets. It peaked at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and in December 1984 and #68 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Singles Charts in 1985. It reached the top ten in the Netherlands and New Zealand as well as the top twenty in the UK and Ireland, and was an NME "Single of the Week".[3]

The song's lyrics tell of an androgynous "frail but passionate creature", referred to as "he" throughout, but called the feminine "Belle". (Androgyny was a prevalent theme in the music of Sheila E.'s mentor, Prince, and common in pop music of the period.)[citation needed] The song implies the Belle is French (viz. the lyrics, "His Paris hair, it blows in the warm Parisian air / That blows whenever his Paris hair is there") but St. Mark is commonly known as a location in Venice, Italy.

Track listing[edit]

Cover art for the German and Dutch editions of "The Belle of St. Mark"

7" vinyl[edit]

Side one

  1. "The Belle of St. Mark" – 3:38

Side two

  1. "Too Sexy" – 5:03

12" vinyl[edit]

Side one

  1. "The Belle of St. Mark" (dance remix) – 7:40

Side two

  1. "Too Sexy" – 5:05

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984–1985) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 (1985) 34[4]
U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (1985) 68
U.K. (1985) 18[5]
Ireland (1985) 18[6]
Australia (Kent Music Report) 16[7]
Netherlands (1984) 8[2]
New Zealand (1985) 5[8]


  1. ^ ACE Database (ASCAP), Work ID: 320305111
  2. ^ a b MegaCharts (November 3, 1990). "Dutch Singles Chart". Dutch Charts. Retrieved 2011-04-01.
  3. ^ Parsons, Tony (1985) "Single of the Week", NME, 2 February 1985, p. 14
  4. ^ "Allmusic - Sheila E. - Billboard singles". Retrieved Dec. 20, 2008.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)}
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 175. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  6. ^ Irish Recorded Music Associationa. "The Irish Charts". IRMA. Accessed 2011-04-01.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6. 
  8. ^ MegaCharts (April 7, 1990). "New Zealand Singles Chart". New Zealand Charts. Retrieved 2010-07-18.