Leah Landis

Boys

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AllMusic Review by

Any good jazz singer will tell you that some songs can take on a new meaning if you want them to. That doesn't mean that someone would be able to make "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" sound like an anarchist manifesto or transform "My Funny Valentine" into an S&M/dominatrix anthem, but it does mean that Stanley Clarke can record a rap version of Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." and make the lyrics sound like they were written especially for African-American males. In 1986, Leah Landis put a gay-friendly spin on "Boys," a gem that the Beatles and the Shirelles recorded in the early '60s. And she does it without altering the lyrics -- in Landis' hands, the song still contains references to boys kissing girls, but anyone who reads between the lines will get the impression that she is celebrating the gay community. Like many of the Village People's 1970s hits, Landis' "Boys" remake has a pro-gay message that is subliminal rather than overtly stated. People in the gay community picked up on that; like her previous single, She Doesn't Like It From Behind, Boys was a small underground hit in gay dance clubs. That isn't to say that only gays bought Landis' singles, but the singer did enjoy a largely gay following. In addition to putting a new spin on the lyrics of "Boys," Landis gives the song quite a makeover musically -- what was a rock & roll tune in the early '60s becomes very European-sounding Hi-NRG dance music on this 1986 single. If She Doesn't Like It From Behind is Landis' most essential single, Boys runs a close second.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 5:51
2 3:03
3 5:12
blue highlight denotes track pick