Lost In Emotion

Album: Spanish Fly (1987)
Charted: 82 1
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Songfacts®:

  • This turned out be the biggest hit for the pop trio Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is about a woman who's in love with a man that everyone she knows thinks is wrong for her, but she will disregard them and follow her heart. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mike - Santa Barbara, CA
  • Like all of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's hits, this was written and produced by Full Force, a Brooklyn-based songwriting/production team who discovered the lead singer in a club when she was a teenager. They got her signed to Columbia Records with the stipulation that no one else would be allowed to produce her. The group first hit American radio in 1985 with the freestyle jam "I Wonder If I Take You Home." Lisa Lisa was working in a clothing store at the time and was surprised to hear herself on the radio while she was folding sweaters. She reluctantly quit her safe retail gig to focus solely on music, and the group followed up their debut single with "Can You Feel The Beat" and "All Cried Out."

    Their second album, Spanish Fly, featuring the chart-topping hits "Head To Toe" and "Lost In Emotion" peaked at #7 on the albums chart and sold 1 million copies in the US.
  • This was also a #1 hit on the R&B chart.
  • Full Force's "Bowlegged" Lou George said the producers were listening to the Queen of Motown, Mary Wells, when they got the idea for this upbeat love song. They combined Wells' hits "You Beat Me to the Punch" and "Two Lovers" and came up with "Lost In Emotion." He told Fred Bronson, author of The Billboard Book Of #1 Hits: "We didn't steal the riffs, all we did was get the flavoring of it. We have a xylophone and some bells… because back in the Motown days they always used those simple instruments. They used real tambourines. The xylophone that you hear is a real xylophone. What we did was put it through on AMS, which is a computerized keyboard. If you listen to the end of the song it sounds like an I Love Lucy-type thing."
  • Lou's brother Brian "B-Fine" George confirmed he had Motown in mind when he wrote the music and lyrics. "Lisa's voice always reminded me of Martha & the Vandellas and the Supremes," he explained in The Billboard Book Of #1 Rhythm & Blues Hits. "I wrote the whole song, lyrics and all the music, inside my head. And the first time I got to hear all the music and everything was when I got in the studio. I even did the sax solo in my head. I knew it was going to sound like the way it did. It was just one of those simple Motown-sounding types of songs."
  • In the music video, directed by Jon Small (Billy Joel's "Piano Man"), Lisa Lisa attracts attention when she performs this at a carnival. In a 2020 interview with NJArts.net, she recalled making the video. "I thought it was all about a good time, and we were truly having fun," she said. "The directors would tell us, 'All right, we want this, this, this and this.' But I would say, 'Look, just have the camera follow us and we’re going to have fun with this. That's what this is going to be like.' I don't want to have too much structure when I do things like that. It makes it boring, and I didn't want to go there with it because that video was in a fun setting, you know? We were at the 116th Street Carnival in New York. If we're going to choose a carnival to do a video, it's got to be about having fun."

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