Josie Cotton – Invasion of the B-Girls (Kitten Robot Records)
This album was originally released in 2007 on CD only, so a 2020 once-over that sees the record remastered, and available digitally and on vinyl, is very welcome. Not only that, but it wasn’t heard by anything like enough people back in ’07 and it certainly deserves another chance to shine.
The timing is weirdly appropriate; many of us are locked down at home, revisiting a lot of old films as we strive to fill time ordinarily spent socializing, at gigs, etc. Here, Cotton covers the theme tunes to some of her favorite B-movies, offering us some glorious music and maybe a couple of cool movie suggestions simultaneously.
“I first got the idea one night when I was watching Ghidora the Three-Headed Monster,” Cotton says on a press release. “I had seen that movie so many times, but there is a moment in that movie when these tiny twin princesses who live in a flower are singing the most heartbreakingly beautiful song to Mothra… pleading with her to save the world. It was strange and beautiful and funny and sad all at the same time… It suddenly occurred to me that I could do a whole record of theme songs from B-movies. So I went on a search and watched an insane amount of movies for about a year. That’s the time frame I was indoctrinated into the cult of Russ Meyers. My criteria was it had to be a ‘great’ song from a ‘bad’ movie… ‘bad’ meaning ‘good’ and ‘great’ meaning it was a fantastic ‘song‘.”
So that’s what we get, and Cotton manages to be campy, moving, funny and earnest, often within the same song. Take the emotion she puts into “Green Slime,” from the Kinji Fukasaku ’68 flick of the same name. Or the sweet, authentic sing-song of “Days of Then and Now” from Russ Meyer’s cult classic Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.
Her version of “Female Trouble” from John Waters’ 1974 film led the celebrated director to write that Cotton, “makes the unlistenable unforgettable.” And the album closes with a jaw-dropping version of “Goodbye Godzilla.” The whole record, produced by Cotton with Geza X and Bill Rhea, is a joyous experience.
This time, don’t miss out.
Josie Cotton’s Invasion of the B-Girls is available from May 1 through Kitten Robot Records.