Wanda Dee started out as a member of Afrika Bambaataa's fam, and she released a pretty cool, more club-oriented 12" a few years earlier [I'll blog about that one someday, too]... but this is where she really made a name for herself. It's a double A-side in the truest sense... even the picture cover has two alternate fronts images.
"To the Bone" is a hot track, produced by Jazzy Jay. In some ways it's dance oriented, with a bouncy bassline and snappy drums, but Jay uses some great, dusty horn samples for the hook and throughout that really ground it in soul. And Wanda raps pretty hardcore. It would fit right in with the material on Jay's classic Cold Chillin' In the Studio Live album. She very briefly sings, "I Wanna See You Sweat" which is the sample KLF first took.
...See, what happened was they sampled her voice on two of their singles which blew up, so they then brought her in to be their live vocalist. Later they broke up, and got heated when Wanda continued to tour with their name. But, really, who cares about the KLF stuff? This 12" is where it's at!
The other side, "The Goddess," is produced by The 45 King in his prime. It's cool and surprisingly less dance-oriented (considering he was doing all those house-type tracks for Latifah around this time)... it's uses some familiar elements, but combines them in a new way. There's a little "Oooh, love to love you baby" vocal sample on the hook; but it's greatly overshadowed by Wanda doing some really intense straight-out-of-a-porno moans of passion between each verse. I don't know if it really adds anything musically, but it sure gets your attention and made the track a memorable one (bear in mind, this was almost twenty years ago). On this song, both Wanda's delivery and lyrics walk a strange line between hardcore raps (and also shouting out the other female MCs of the time who she considers queens) and a softer, sexier style:
"God fearin', domineerin';
The blood in your face Is searin'.
The Lips? Succulent and bold.
Physique is the peek: body of goddess mold.
Skin of bronze, hair of gold;
Wild child from the Nile - my tale is told.
Serious, delirious and imperious;
Call me just the queen? I get furious!
Eternity's a certainty.
'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust?'
...Ain't for me.
'Cause your love strong I live on;
That's what I came to explain
...In this song.
I give my flesh the best, and yes,
That's what I came to confess...
I'm the goddess!"
There's vocal and instrumental versions for both songs, and there's a hidden (not mentioned on the sleeve or label) acappella for "To the Bone."
Disappointingly, she doesn't seem to have a myspace. In 2003, though, Wanda Dee did make a comeback, forming her own record label (Goddess Empire Record Label... adding the "Label" so it would acronym into G.E.R.L. - get it?) and putting out a new album (and at least one 12" single), The Goddess Is Here. Among other things, she sings a house music version of "La Vie En Rose." 0_o She's a talented and energetic singer; and if you like that electro-dance-diva kind of stuff, it was a pretty underrated album. But me? I'll stick to Wanda Dee the MC.