Cast your mind back to the mid- to late 90s, and you might just remember Eurodance duo La Bouche, best known for Be My Lover and Sweet Dreams (not, thankfully, a cover of the Eurythmics hit).
A product of the infamous Frank Farian (of Milli Vanilli fame), La Bouche comprised vocalist Melanie Thornton and Lane McCray. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the group was an attempt to cash in on the success of 2 Unlimited, who originated the female singer/male rapper formula.
Regardless of Thornton's vocal talents, there's no denying that La Bouche were but a poor man's 2 Unlimited, without any of the charm, sex appeal or oomph! Thornton was ice cold, and McCray seems to have got the gig by virtue of being A Black Guy. Farian might just as well have inserted a cardboard cutout of 2 Unlimited's Ray Slijngaard and achieved a better result than McCray's embarassing "rapper dude".
When La Bouche were big, I was but a young kid, and so have a certain affection for them. Just hearing Be My Lover or my personal favourite, I Love To Love, takes me right back to adolescent Saturday morning music video shows, after a night in the only gay bar in town (on those occasions I was unlucky enough to make it back to my own home).
Melanie Thornton was killed in a plane crash in November 2001, just as her solo career was taking off. And no one seemed to notice - there was September 11 to worry about, and the near-simultaneous deaths of the bigger stars Aaliyah, and Lisa 'Left Eye' Lopes.
You might not have heard of La Bouche, or Melanie Thornton. Or maybe you just forgot about this silly little slice of pop nonsense. I'm hoping you can take a moment to remember a young woman whose star once burned brightly.
The last La Bouche single I heard, before they faded from my radar, was You Won't Forget Me in 1997.
*This article originally appeared in a modified form on 11th December 2009.