Vanity – Skin On Skin (1986)

Denise Katrina Matthews (January 4, 1959 – February 15, 2016), better known as Vanity, was a Canadian singer, songwriter, dancer, actress and model, who turned away from her music and acting career to concentrate on evangelism. Her career lasted from the early 1980s until the mid-1990s. She was the lead singer of the female trio Vanity 6 from 1981 until it disbanded in 1983. They were known for their 1982 R&B/funk hit “Nasty Girl“. Vanity’s music career also included two solo albums on the Motown Records label.
“Skin On Skin” is her second and final studio album, released on May 24, 1986.
Unlike her previous “Wild Animal,” none of the songs were written by the artist–yet, surprisingly, the style is quite in line with her previous work, with a strong Motown-supported team of songwriters including Robbie Nevil and Tony Haynes.
Skin On Skin is a drastic departure from her 1984 synth/new wave “Wild Animal”. SoS has tight production, producing a more controlled, Billboard Top 40 targeted sound demonstrated by the much improved vocals of Vanity, clever but muscular song writing, and impressively layered musical arrangments. The strongest single is “Under the Influence” (a top 10 R&B single released in early 1986, Vanity’s highest charted solo single). Skin On Skin is one part blazing synth dance (very Pointer Sisters); the other part is a more mid tempo adult contemporary funk. Vanity has playful but horny “Sheena of the Jungle” moments with Skin On Skin (listen to ‘ManHunt’, ‘Animals’, and ‘In the Jungle’).
While often labeled as R&B music, the album, much like her debut work is clearly not rock-and-soul based, but rather, pure, infectious pop. Solid, and catchy, while never garnishing run-away mainstream attention in the whirl-wind of the 1980’s pre-iPod radio scene, “Skin on Skin” confirmed Vanity to be a provocative entertainer, and something far more than the next Prince protege—Vanity remains a true Original.


1.  Under The Influence – 5:08
Written-By – Robbie Nevil, Tommy Faragher, Tony Haynes

2.  Manhunt – 4:08
Written-By – J.P. Charles, Mark Holding

3.  Romantic Voyage – 4:50
Producer [Associate] – David Paul Bryant
Written-By – David Paul Bryant, Gardner Cole

4.  Confidential – 4:20
Written-By – Mark Mueller, Robbie Nevil, Tommy Faragher

5.  Animals – 4:46
Written-By – J.P. Charles, Mark Holding

6.  Skin On Skin – 4:11
Written-By – Gary Osborne, John Warman 

7.  Gun Shy – 3:44
Written-By – Mark Holding, Tommy Faragher

8.  Ouch – 4:17
Written-By – Dennis Herring, Michael E. Dunlap, Tommy Faragher

9.  In The Jungle – 5:24
Written-By – Jay Gruska, Paul Gordon

 Companies, etc.



Release: 1986
Produced by Skip Drinkwater for Brooke Productions & Tommy Faragher.
Recorded in California at Fiddlers Recording Studio, Hollywood; Preferred Sound, West Hollywood; Baby ‘O Recorders, Hollywood; Summa Studio, West Hollywood; Soundcastle Recording Studios, Los Angeles; & Yamaha Research & Development Studio, Glendale.
Mixed at Yamaha Research & Development Studio except “Under The Influence” mixed at Soundcastle Recording Studios.
Mastered at Artisan Sound, Hollywood, California
Genre: Synth-pop, Funk, Soul
Length: 46:32

Label – Motown Records

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