lady marmalade

COVER vs ORIGINAL: ‘Lady Marmalade’

The song, “Lady Marmalade”, was originally recorded by Labelle in 1974

Bob Crewe (1930-2014) and Kenny Nolan (b.1949) wrote the ‘suggestive’ and sassy song, “Lady Marmalade”, for American trio, Labelle, featuring, most notably, singer Patti Labelle. The song was recorded for their fourth studio album, “Nightbirds”, in 1974 and released as a single in November that year, peaking at No.1 in America, Canada and The Netherlands and No.17 in the UK.

It was covered by none other than Sabrina (Salerno) in 1987 and released as a single in only a few European countries, although to no commercial success. It was another girl group, the All Saints, that the song was reborn again. The four piece vocal group recorded the song along with Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s “Under The Bridge”, as a double A sider and released it in April 1998. The song topped the UK singles chart and was a top five hit in Australia.

Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and Pink recorded their version of the song in 2001 for the film and soundtrack to ‘Moulin Rouge’. This new version was produced by Missy Elliott and was a number one smash all over the world, selling over a million copies in both the UK and the US and becoming one of the biggest sellers of the year. To date the song has sold over six million copies worldwide.

But which version is the best? LABELLE’s original, ALL SAINTS’ 90’s cover or the MOULIN ROUGE version?