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Brenda K Starr

Brenda K Starr



Although one might think that mention of Brenda K. Starr is more apt to appear within the boundaries of a Mariah Carey website, she gets more than just a mention here at Why? Well, we're glad you asked. It turns out Adam Yauch recorded a track entitled "Suspicion" with her in 1985.

For those who have no idea who Brenda K. Starr is, she is a female vocalist perhaps best know for a song that Mariah Carey made famous: "I Still Believe." As the story goes, pop music diva Mariah Carey got her start in show business as a back up singer for Brenda K. Starr. As we all know, Mariah went on to have multiple hit singles and enjoyed great deal of commercial success. At what is perhaps now seen as the pinnacle of her career (1999), Mariah looked back at her humble beginnings decided to re-record a new version of her favorite Brenda K. Starr song "I Still Believe." Mariah's cover version of "I Still Believe" went on to platinum sales and put Brenda K. Starr's name back into music magazines. Although Brenda never garnered the level of notoriety that Mariah Carey did, she did go on to release a handful of full length albums, as well as a few singles, and developed a devoted fan following. Brenda carved herself a niche into the dance club scene and it is there that her music can still be heard today.

So where does Adam Yauch fit into all of this? From what we can gather, back in 1984-85, Adam Yauch was working under Jay "Burzootie" Burnett as an engineering assistant. During that period, Jay Burnett was working on several projects with producer Arthur Baker. The Latin Rascals, Tony Moran and Albert Cabrera, also seemed to be involved with Arthur Baker's productions. It was discovered a few years back that not only was Yauch involved with this recording team as an assistant, but he actually had supplied vocals to an obscure album which they had all worked on together. That album was the self entitled 1985 release by the band Circuit II. It does not take much imagination to speculate that if Yauch performed on one such record, he could very likely have performed on others that Burnett, Baker, & the Latin Rascals worked on. That is exactly the case with Brenda K. Starr's I Want Your Love (1985), which was partly recorded and mixed in New York at Shakedown Sound studio.

Brenda K. Starr released her mainstream self-entitled album in 1988 and that cd, record, and/or tape isn't difficult to find and thus may be confused for the rarer I Want Your Love. On the back of the record's jacket, you will find Yauch's name listed in the song credits "Rap sung by Adam Yauch & Brenda K. Starr" for the first song on side two "Boys Like You." There must have been a mistake made when the credits were added to the album jacket layout, for in truth Yauch can not be heard rapping on that song. Instead, he offers a few rhymes three minutes into the first song of side one, "Suspicion." Upon listening you will hear a very youthful Adam Yauch saying, "I saw the way you looked at him. Don't tell me that I am imagine'n. I can't take it girl. I don't go for that. 'Cause when I see you with a guy, I catch a heart attack. So I ask you please. I want to you to know. If I am acting like a fool, it's because I love you so." All in all, it makes one wonder what other long lost tracks are still out there that we have not yet stumbled upon.

Bill Spitzer and Brian Lehrman Sweepy