Mickey

Album: Word Of Mouth (1981)
Charted: 2 1
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  • Lyrics
  • This was originally recorded as "Kitty" by a group called Racey, which released it in 1979. In the original lyrics, Kitty was a girl. Toni Basil changed the lyrics from "Kitty" to "Mickey" and the gender from female to male. She decided on "Mickey" as she was fond of former Monkee Micky Dolenz, who she choreographed in the 1968 Monkees movie Head. Tony Basil can be seen in Head in the surreal sequence where Davy Jones and Tony Basil dance alternately in a white and a black room, wearing a combination of white and black.
  • This was written by the songwriting team of Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn, who wrote several other pop hits, including "Love Is A Battlefield" and "Ballroom Blitz."
  • Basil got the idea for the video before she found the song to accompany it. The video was produced, directed, and choreographed by Basil - she was the first to do this for her own video. She had made some short films in the past, and had a deal with a European company to make a collection of videos. For one of the videos, she decided to do something with a cheerleader concept, since she had been head cheerleader at Las Vegas High School (now known as Las Vegas Academy - that's why the sweater she wears in the video says, "LVHS"). She made the clip before MTV went on the air, and the video was first established in England, where various TV shows played it and sent the song up the charts, where it peaked at #2 in February 1982.

    In America, it took a while before MTV got the video and started playing it, but when they did, the song took off, reaching #1 for a week in December 1982.
  • The cheerleaders in the video were members of a championship squad from Carson High School in Los Angeles. Basil met them at a competition where she was shooting video of cheerleading choreography.
  • Basil is an accomplished choreographer. She worked on dance numbers for many TV shows and movies, and often appeared on camera herself. She worked on the '60s show Shindig and was a guest star on Laverne and Shirley. She has also directed videos, including the Talking Heads "Once In A Lifetime," where she taught David Byrne his wacky dance moves. She did choreography for the movies That Thing You Do and My Best Friend's Wedding, and worked on the Gap commercials that featured swing dancing.
  • Basil appeared in the movie Easy Rider - she played one of the girls in the cemetery drug scene set in New Orleans. She grew up in show business. She is the daughter of Louis Basil, who led what was basically the house band at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas during the '60s. The band was known for its loose, rambunctious shows. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jonah - San Francisco, CA
  • Two years after this was released, Basil tried to follow it up with a song called "Over My Head," which stalled at #81 in the US. Her only other chart entry was "Shoppin' From A To Z," which went to #77 in the US, also in 1983.
  • The Irish teen girl group B*Witched recorded a version of this that was used at the end of the movie Bring It On. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Caitlin - Upper Township, NJ
  • Weird Al Yankovic did a parody of this called "Ricky," which had a Ricky Ricardo/I Love Lucy theme. Al says the video cost about $3000 to make, and at one point, he was supposed to be shaking maracas. Since no maracas were handy, he ended up shaking a bowling pin.
  • Olivia Newton-John (backed-up by her sister, Rona) recorded a highly stylized version of this song for the 2012 movie soundtrack CD A Few Best Men. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Minneapolis, MN
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Comments: 26

  • Johnny from Carmel Valley, Ca.Toni Basil had a fairly big part in the legendary film, "Easy Rider", starring Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper with Jack Nicholson. She was one of the two groovy babes that dropped ACID with Fonda and Hopper in New Orleans.
  • Rob from Detroit, MiThe song had the name Mickey 61 times.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 13th 1982, Toni Basil performed "Mickey" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'....
    At the time the song was at #13 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; twenty-two days later on December 5th, 1982 it would reach #1 {for 1 week}...
    {See the next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 29th 1982, "Mickey" by Toni Basil entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on December 5th, 1982 it peaked at #1 {for 1 week} and spent over a half-year on the Top 100 {27 weeks}...
    "Mickey" prevented "Gloria" by Laura Branigan from reaching #1; it stalled at #2 and was in its 23rd week on the Top 100 the week "Mickey" was #1...
    Toni Basil was a regular staff dancer on ABC-TV's "Shindig!' in 1964...
    Ms. Basil, born Antonia Christina Basilotta, will celebrate her 71st birthday in twenty four days on September 22nd {2014}.
  • James from Minneapolis, MnOlivia Newton-John did a crazy fun dance version of "Mickey" in 2012 for the movie soundtrack to Aussie comedy "A Few Best Men."
  • Camille from Toronto, OhLove it or not, the song's chorus and cheerleader hand clapping stick in your head long after you've heard it. I like it as it was one of those songs that ushered in the music video era.
  • Charles Hollingswort from Leeds, AlIn the "Laverne and Shirley" episode "A Chorus Line" Toni Basil's character's name was Mickie!
  • Annie from Lombard, IlI saw a cover of "OVER MY HEAD" in the Candy Apple Primus single. I heard "KITTY" in the single too.
  • James from Indianapolis, InThis was on a King of the Hill episode when the kids were "Powder Puff Girls" and were cheerleading.
  • Cyberpope from Richmond, CanadaOne of the top "one hit wonders" of the '80s!
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI don't think your body ages as much when you are as active as Toni is - she's a dancer. And she has on SOOO much make-up in this video she could have looked 80 and I doubt anyone would have noticed!
  • Brendon from Oklahoma City, OkToni definitely did make the song about a gay man. In some of her performances of the song, when she says "I'll take it like a man" she points her hands over her shoulders to her back, leaving little question as to what she was referring to with that line. You can see this in her performance on Solid Gold. Check it out on youtube.
  • Greg from Fayetteville, NcAccording to Wikipedia, Toni Basil was almost 40 years old when Mickey became a hit....I haven't seen the video in years, but I don't remember her looking that old!
  • Caitlin from Upper Township, Njb*witched did a cover of this. i think it was cute, but after a while, annoying.
  • Mike from Germantown, MdThe Weird Al version is better!
  • Terry from Northampton, EnglandFantastic song about a Gay man named Mickey.This song remains in my top 3 favourites of all time by a female solo singer.Its a great sing-a-long and dance number with a brilliant video to go with it.Anybody who refuses to give it to Toni Basil must surely be Gay.
  • Mickey from Nashville, TnI hate this song. If I ever run into Toni Basil, I will punch her in the mouth. Good thing I will never run into her.
  • David from Chicago, IlToni Basil also choreographed and appeared in the Daddy's Song segment of the Monkees feature film "HEAD" in 1968
  • Jammie from Deckerville, MiThis is a cool song!
  • Alicia from Conway, NhI believe Dan is right, that she did change the song appropriately to what she wanted it to sound like.
    That's my 2 cents
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesToni Basil declined to have a Paul Oakenfold remix version of this song released in 1999 - a decision she must surely have regretted later in the year when teenager Lolly went to No.4 in the UK with a cover often referred to as the worst remake in history.
  • Schuyler from Clearfield, PaMickey is not gay, sorry. If you listen to the original by Racey, entitled "Kitty", this male group sings about a girl, Toni Basil merely changes all female references to male, and didn't bother to change the lyric about taking it like a man, as taking it like a woman most likely didn't sound as good. Mickey is not Gay.
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiathe 2nd cheerleader from the right in the video clip isn't wearing any underwear!!!!!!!
  • Erik from Davis, CaDan's comments actually make sense. Now I'll never hear that song the same way ever again!
  • M from Merrill, WiHoly COW!!!! I think Dan hit the nail on the head on this one. I never thought about it that way.
  • Dan from Chicago, IlThe singer is complaining because Mickey won't give it to her. I contend that it's because Mickey is GAY and she knows it. Listen to the lyrics and tell me I'm wrong!

    "Oh Mickey, what a pity you don't understand-You take me by the heart when you take me by the hand-Oh Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand-It's guys like you Mickey-Oh, what you do Mickey, do Mickey-Don't break my heart, Mickey"

    ...you're so pretty...guys like you...

    Now just think about this line:

    "So come on and give it to me anyway you can-Anyway you want to do it, I'll take it like a man"

    I'll leave that to your imagination.
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