The recent realization that Cherry Pop has been remastering and expanding the Kim Wilde catalogue to considerable reaction (enough to warrant two waves of reissues, at least), it makes you wonder what other female pop acts might get the same treatment someday. If you’re an ’80s fan and you’re wondering the same thing, there’s little doubt that Martika is probably near the top of your list of must-haves.
To many, Martika is at best a footnote in pop history. Her simple yet powerful “Toy Soldiers,” a No. 1 hit in the U.S., shot her to international fame, but after two albums in 1988 and 1991, she faded mostly into obscurity until her signature song was sampled for Eminem’s “Like Toy Soldiers” in 2004.
But that glossy history overlooks a few important factors. For one, her bubblegum pop was quite catchy in a Latin-Madonna sort of way (“Toy Soldiers” in fact kept “Express Yourself” from topping the charts). And although her vocal range didn’t expand much past Madonna’s herself, Martika could carry a tune quite well.
Then there are her other pop hits; despite being considered a one-hit wonder, she had a few other hits to her name, including the peppy “More Than You Know,” a house-ready cover of Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” and – perhaps best of all – the gorgeous “Love…Thy Will Be Done,” a Top 10 hit from her second LP, Martika’s Kitchen, and one of the tracks on that album written and produced by none other than Prince.
With just those two LPs on Columbia, it’s quite a surprise that no label has sought them out for reissue. Granted, Legacy put out quite a nice compilation – Toy Soldiers: The Best of Martika – after Eminem sampled her, and it actually included a few 12″ mixes and non-LP tracks (including a rare version of “Toy Soldiers” in Japanese!). But if a label took on the original records, Reissue Theory-style, they might look like what you’ll see after the jump.
Martika – Martika (CBS C 44290, 1988)
- If You’re Tarzan, I’m Jane
- Cross My Heart
- More Than You Know
- Toy Soldiers
- You Got Me Into This
- I Feel the Earth Move
- It’s Not What You’re Doing
- See If I Care
- We Are Music (Martika’s first recording, from a rare Japanese CD single, 1985)
- Exchange of Hearts (B-side to “Toy Soldiers” – Columbia 38 68747, 1988)
- Como Un Juguete (from Special Touch Japanese EP – CBS CSCS 5074, 1989)
- Siento Temblar La Tierra (from Special Touch Japanese EP – CBS CSCS 5074, 1989)
- Quiero Entregarte Mi Amor (B-side to “More Than You Know” – Columbia 38 08103, 1988)
- More Than You Know (Dance Mix – Part I) (12” A-side – Columbia 44 08135, 1988)
- More Than You Know (Dub Mix – Part II) (12” A-side – Columbia 44 08135, 1988)
- I Feel the Earth Move (Seismic Rhythm Mix) (12” A-side – Columbia 44 68847, 1989)
- Toy Soldiers (Special Version) (U.K. 12” A-side – CBS 655049 8, 1989)
Martika – Martika’s Kitchen (Columbia CK 46827, 1991)
- Martika’s Kitchen
- Love…Thy Will Be Done
- A Magical Place
- Coloured Kisses
- Safe in the Arms of Love
- Pride & Prejudice
- Take Me to Forever
- Don’t Say U Love Me
- Broken Heart
- Mi Tierra
- Beautiful Fabulous (previously unreleased outtake produced by Prince)
- Rub U Down (previously unreleased outtake produced by Prince)
- Love…Thy Will Be Done (Prince Mix) (U.K. CD single B-side to “Martika’s Kitchen” – Columbia 657568 2, 1991)
- Martika’s Kitchen (Alternate Dub Version) (U.K. CD single B-side – Columbia 657568 2, 1991)
- Coloured Kisses (Remix) (U.K. CD single B-side – Columbia 657709 2, 1992)
- Spirit (House Mix) (U.K. 12” promo A-side – Columbia XPR 1773, 1992)