Performer: Days of the New
Songwriter: Travis Meeks
Original Release: Days of the New (II)
Definitive Version: None
When Page & Plant did their Unledded thing, they had Plant’s girlfriend at the time—an Indian singer—sing backup on Battle of Evermore, and the reviewer in Rolling Stone noted that every time she opened her mouth, it made the song more exciting.
I didn’t hold the same opinion; it bugged me that she wasn’t singing the words, just warbling. To each his own. Years later, as it would turn out, I had the exact same reaction to a piece of music as the Rolling Stone reviewer had.
As you might recall, Days of the New was very hip for a brief time in the mid-Nineties. They were one of those bands that I liked well enough on the radio but not enough to buy their album. But when their second album came out, I read how it was more symphonic than the first. What they had was good, but if they were tarting it up with strings, I was sold.
But what really grabbed me after I bought the album were the songs that featured the female backup singer—about half of them. Each one was better than the ones that didn’t include her, and they were all good. I remember seeking out the singer’s name after one listen. It was no one I’d ever heard of. When Days of the New released their third, and until further notice final, album two years later, I noted with some disappointment that she was no longer part of the group.
Fast forward a few more years. Teen dance pop featuring babes who were hot but couldn’t sing an actual lick of music had taken over. And one of the hottest acts were The Pussycat Dolls, because what’s better than one hot babe shaking it in a video but five hot babes shaking it in a video? The lead singer, of course, was Nicole Scherzinger, who since has gone on to much TV infamy.
It took me a while, but eventually something triggered in my memory banks. Nah … it couldn’t be. I went back to the credits on this album. Yup, Nicole Scherzinger was the backup singer in question. It turns out I was into the Pussycat Dolls and didn’t even know it, or at least the lead singer before I even knew what she looked like.
If the diva thing stops working out for her, I would highly recommend that she consider returning to a role as a backup singer (and occasional lead) in a rock band. Take it from me, or better yet, check out the album: She can definitely handle that gig.