E-Rotic is a German eurodance group. The band originally consisted of the duo, the lead singer Lyane Leigh (Liane Hegemann), the rapper Raz-Ma-Taz (Richard Allen Smith) and the group’s producer David Brandes(David Brändle).
1994–95: Formation and Sex Affair
Brandes knew Leigh from their Xanadu days, active from 1989-1992, where they were both members and one half of the group. In 1994, Brandes released a solo song “Helpless Dancer” with Leigh on guest vocals, before American-born Raz-Ma-Taz joined them to create E-Rotic. Together they scored the charts with their first three chart topping singles “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex”, which peaked #45 in the UK Singles Chart and #4 in the Dutch Single Chart, “Fred Come to Bed”, #3 in the German Single Chart, and “Sex on the Phone”, #2 in Austria, followed by their debut studio album Sex Affairs. Next to E-Rotic, Brandes continued, forming other dance projects, such as Apanachee in 1995 with Lydia Madajewski on vocals, who would later also become E-Rotic’s studio lead singer in 2000.
1996–97: The Power of Sex, Sexual Madness and Departure of Raz-Ma-Taz
After the fourth single release “Willy Use a Billy… Boy”, released in 1995 and peaked #5 in Austria, later in June 1996, both members left the band, due to a disagreement between Leigh and producer Brandes, who were quickly replaced by artists Jeane (Jeanette Macchi-Meier) and briefly Terence D’Arby (not to be confused with Terence Trent D’Arby), who himself again was replaced by Ché Jouaner. Thus it has been later revealed, that Brandes was the rapper on all E-Rotic releases, except on the first album, where he shared raps with Raz-Ma-Taz, such on “Take my love”, and Leigh still had to continue to provide vocal work for E-Rotic’s four follow up studio albums The Power of Sex, Sexual Madness, the Abba cover album Thank You for the Music until 1999 to the Kiss Mestudio album due to her contract. Also, raps on their first single “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex” were not done by Smith or Brandes, but instead were done by Marcus Thomas (aka Deon Blue) who would later join Pharao. Meanwhile, Leigh, alongside Raz-Ma-Taz, formed her own band S.E.X. Appeal in 1996. “He promised me a lot of things during my E-Rotic time, but never was willing to keep his promises. One of these promises was to produce a mixed video, with both cartoon and real people. We were never shown in the videos and so we had problems with our concerts, cause no-one really knew us as persons”, Leigh revealed. In June 27, 1996, the group’s second studio album The Power of Sex has been released, preceded by the latter mentioned lead single “Willy Use a Billy… Boy” and followed by the singles “Help Me Dr. Dick”, “Fritz Love My Tits” and “Gimme Good Sex”, all becoming moderate chart hits, peaking at #18, #16 and #3 in Austria respectively. In 1996, E-Rotic were featured in the supergroup, called “Love Message”, on the same titled, Masterboy-produced charity single “Love Message”. They also appeared on the Queen tribute compilation album Queen Dance Traxx, with the song “Who Wants to Live Forever”, which also saw a promotional release. The tribute album also featured another Queen song “We Are The Champions”, recorded with all artists, who participated on Queen Dance Traxx as a supergroup labeled as “Acts United”. In 1997, the studio albums “Sexual Madness” and the Abba cover CD Thank You for the Music have been released with its single releases “Turn Me On”, which peaked at #7 in Finnland, “Thank You for the Music” and “The Winner Takes It All”. The album Thank You for the Music has been released under the artist name “Jenn and C.” in France. Ironically the music video for “Gimme Good Sex” was also the first one, not being a comic video, but still it never aired and was banned from music channels because of being too controversial for its sexual content, thus Leigh, alongside Raz-Ma-Taz, left the band earlier, because she wanted to be shown in music videos.
1998–99: Greatest Tits, Kiss Me and Departure of Leigh
In 1998, E-Rotic have released their first Greatest Hits compilation album titled Greatest Tits – The Best of E-Rotic, along with the single “Baby Please Me” and the megamix “Die geilste Single der Welt” (German for “The Horniest Single in the World”) to promote the album in Germany. In 1999, their second and final single from Sexual Madness, called “Don’t Say We’re Through”, has been released and later E-Rotic tried to enter the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 representing Germany but ended in sixth place in the pre-selection with the single “Queen of Light”. This was the only time, where Macchi-Meier had to perform and sing live, when she always lip syncing Leigh’s and later Madajewski’s singing parts on live shows. The song was later added on E-Rotic’s sixth studio albumGimme, Gimme, Gimme and on Missing Hearts debut studio album Mystery (labeled as Missing Heart), in 2000. After that, E-Rotic focused more on the Japanese music market, where they kept more popular when the interest in Eurodance music in Europe waned at the end of the 1990s. In 1999, the fifth studio album Kiss Me has been released in Japan with the three singles “Oh Nick Please Not So Quick”, “Kiss Me” and “Mambo No. Sex”, which all failed to chart. The latter mentioned single, has been released on the later released German edition of Kiss Me, retitled Mambo No. Sex with a different tracklist and cover art leaned on the success of Lou Bega’s “Mambo No. 5” at that time. The release of Kiss Me/Mambo No. Sex also marks the final with Leigh on vocals, who were replaced by Madajewski later in 2000.
2000–01: Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Sexual Healing and Sex Generation
Between 2000 and 2001, three studio albums have been released in Japan, titled Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Sexual Healing and Sex Generation with the singles “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme”, “Missing You”, “Don’t Make Me Wet”, “L.O.V.E. (Sex on the Beach)”, “Billy Jive (With Willy’s Wife)” and “King Kong”, all with limited success. Also the two compilation albums, titled “Dancemania Presents E-Rotic Megamix”, a megamix, and “The Very Best of E-Rotic” have been released in Japan respectively. The albums Sex Generation andGimme, Gimme, Gimme have also released in Europe, with the latter mentioned, retitled Missing You with the same tracklist, except replacing the song “Gimme, Gimme, Gimme” with the title track “Missing You”. Macchi-Meier left E-Rotic in 2001, briefly replaced by the next stage performer Yasemin Baysal, previously of the group Das Modul.
2002–03: Cocktail E-Rotic and Total Recall
However Baysal and Jouaner left E-Rotic in 2002, and instead of replacing her with a new stage performer, this time the real studio singer Madajewski, who had been providing vocals since Leigh’s departure in 1999, has been introduced to face E-Rotic. She has been joined by the stage performer Robert Spehar. In 2002, they released the groups ninth studio album Cocktail E-Rotic, the third compilation album titled The Collection and in 2003, the remix album Total Recall, all in Japan. The remix album has also been released in European territories with a different tracklist including new mixes. In 2002 a promotional single “Mi Amante” has been released, labeled as e.R. In 2003, a new version of their very first single “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex (2003 Dance Mix)” has been released to promote the remix album Total Recall. Cocktail E-Rotic saw one promotional single release “Heartbreaker”, which gained some radio airplay in Japan and ranked #1 on a Japanese radio chart. After that, E-Rotic went on an infinite hiatus and both members, Madajewski and Spehar, left the band.
Most former band members retired from music scene. Brandes continues to produce for other artists and even reused dozen of E-Rotic songs for the Japanese girlgroup Shanadoo for their albums Welcome to Tokyo and The Symbol. Shanadoo project discontinued in 2014. Leigh continues her solo project S.E.X. Appeal. In 2006, an upcoming studio album, entitled Lust 4 Life (refers to the Fancy solo song title “D.I.S.C.O. (Lust for Life)”, recorded back in 1999 with Leigh on guest vocals), was rumored and turned out to be false. Also in 2008, it had been rumored, that E-Rotic would release a new track, a cover of Vanilla Ninja’s track “Liar”, which was also produced by Brandes.
2014–Present: Return of Leigh and Comeback
In December 2014, original E-Rotic lead singer Leigh confirmed that E-Rotic will come back and that she will return as the vocalist of the group again alongside a new rapper, whose name is Stephen Appleton. She also confirmed that E-Rotic plans to release a new best of album with re-recorded past hits and brand new E-Rotic songs to be released sometime in 2015. The group will be managed and produced by Icezone Music. The official website appears to be under maintenance and a new official Facebook page has been launched.
E-Rotic’s music is a mix of dance and pop music with eurodance, which was very famous and popular in Europe, Oceania and South America at that time. The style of eurodance was dance music with a female singer and a male rapper to follow a traditional verse-chorus structure. Through the fact, that Brandes produced several dance projects with Leigh and Madajewski on vocals, such as Missing Heart, Apanachee or IQ-Check, their sound led to be very similar and reminiscent to E-Rotic’s sound. Also Leigh’s early eurodance works with her project S.E.X. Appeal, then with rapper Raz-Ma-Taz, such as “Sex is a Thrill with the Pill”, were very reminiscent of E-Rotic’s sexual topics and innuendo style, music videos, lyrics and sound. That’s also a reason, why some songs have been released with the same cast but under different stage names, such as “Helpless Dancer” labeled as just David Brandes feat. Lyane Leigh, “Gotta get it Groovin'” as IQ-Check (Brandes & Leigh), “Queen of Light” as E-Rotic but also as Missing Heart (Brandes & Madajewski) or “Mi Amante” as e.R. (Brandes & Madajewski). In particular, the album Thank You for the Music has been released under the artist name “Jenn and C.” in France. For events, promotion and cover arts, also Leigh often credits her project as “S.E.X. Appeal (EX) E-Rotic” for a better recognition. E-Rotic are best known for euro dance tracks like “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex”, “Fred Come to Bed” and “Sex on the Phone”. Although there are also tracks from other genres featured, such as ballads like “Wild Love”, “Final Heartbreak” or “The Power of Sex” and reggaae fusion inspired tracks like “Come on Make Love to me”, “Help Me Dr. Dick” or “Gimme Good Sex” and the Mambo/Jive-driven “Mambo No. Sex”. These tracks don’t belong to the europop genre.
E-Rotic are known for a tendency to make thought-provoking comic music videos and comic cover arts that fit the songs they represent. Due to the controversial disagreement between Leigh, who wanted to be shown in music videos, and producer Brandes, E-Rotic ironically later made some live action video clips and cover arts, such as the music videos for “Gimme Good Sex”, “Thank You for the Music” or “Kiss Me” and covers for the Thank You for the Music and Kiss Me/Gimme, Gimme, Gimme eras. However, for later releases like “Sexual Healing”, “Sex Generation” and “Cocktail E-Rotic”, they returned to all full comic music videos and cover arts. E-Rotic are also well known for having rhyming song titles about particular people like Max, Fred, Fritz, Sam or Willy on “Max Don’t Have Sex With Your Ex”, “Fred Come to Bed”, “Willy Use a Billy… Boy”, “Fritz Love My Tits”, “Oh Nick Please Not So Quick”, “Molly Dolly (Loves her Lolly)”, “Ralph, Don’t Make Love by Yourself”, “Veejay the DJ”, “Test My Best”, “Rave me Dave”, “Gimme your Jimmy” or “Billy Jive (With Willy’s Wife)”. Because of the full comic arts in music videos and CD releases, the members are barely recognised. The band has been presented by numerous of stage performers, the four singers Lyane Leigh, Jeane, Yasemin Baysal and Lydia Madajewski and the five rappers Raz-Ma Taz, Terence D’Arby, Ché Jouaner, Robert Spehar and Stephen Appleton. However Brandes later revealed and confirmed that the only two studio singers were Leigh and Madajewski, and the only two rappers were actually himself, occasionally alongside Raz-Ma-Taz.
- Singer: Lyane Leigh (Liane Hegemann) (1994-1999, 2014–Present) (Original first studio singer)
- Singer: Lydia Madajewski (2000-2003) (Second studio singer)
- Rapper: Raz-Ma-Taz (Richard Allen Smith) (1994-1996) (Occasional original first studio rapper, such on Take My Love)
- Rapper: David Brandes (David Brändle) (1994-2003) (Brainchild behind the project, also original studio rapper, who stayed in the background)
- Rapper: Stephen Appleton (2014–Present) (Second studio rapper)
- Singer: Lyane Leigh (Liane Hegemann) (1994-1996, 2014–Present) (Original first stage performer)
- Singer: Jeanette “Jeane” Christensen (Jeanette Macchi-Meier) (1996-2001) (Second stage performer, who only sang Queen of Light live at the Eurovision Song Contest 2000 pre-selection)
- Singer: Yasemin Baysal (2001-2002) (Third stage performer)
- Singer: Lydia Madajewski (2003-2003) (Fourth stage performer)
- Rapper: Raz-Ma-Taz (Richard Allen Smith) (1994-1996) (Original first stage performer)
- Rapper: Terence D’Arby (1996-1996) (Occasional second stage performer)
- Rapper: Ché Jouaner (1996-2002) (Third stage performer)
- Rapper: Robert Spehar (2002-2003) (Fourth stage performer)
- Rapper: Stephen Appleton (2014–Present) (Fifth stage performer)
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