YE-SI-CA – SECRET SERVICE
Making a hit can sometimes be easy. I wrote “Oh Susie” on the office’s Wurlitzer piano in less than ten minutes.
The follow-up “Ten O’clock Postman” was more difficult. It’s never easy to tackle a success…
But when the time came for getting started with the second album, it was like walking into a brick wall. Nothing good came out of me.
But as luck had it I happened to hear the new Blondie single. I loved Blondie and their producer Mike Chapman. I was also inspired by “Heart of Glass” when I wrote “Oh Susie”.
What I heard came as a shock to me. Blondie had changed style and their new single “The Tide Is High” was in reggae style pace and a huge hit!
I went home and figured, if Blondie can, why can’t we? The guys in the band had previously played some kind of pop reggae they called “fruit reggae”, so why not? (When the marketing director later heard the result he ironically thought we should rename the group “The Chameleons”. Did he also think that about Blondie?)
I wrote a melody and we recorded it in the OAL studio one evening, after which I went to Björn with a cassette where I had recorded the song melody to the background.
As always, I lay down on Björn’s sofa while he was listening and humming to the song. Then he said: – Buddy, what do you say about a girl name as a title? Jessika would fit in…
– Well, I said. Nice name but isn’t it a little lack of fantasy to have a girl name as title soon after “Oh Susie”? “Wait,” said Björn, scribbled something on a piece of paper that he then showed me. You can do like this: “Ye-Si-Ca” – What do you think about it, buddy?
In the studio Ola stood by the microphone and both sang and barked like a dog. We kept the barking when we mixed and then the single was pressed. As a B-side, we chose “Crossing A River”, a dark reggae song with a clever text by Björn: “I’ll find a detective who works for a dollar a day”
Some thought it was better than “Ye-Si-Ca”, including my former wife Pernilla, but “Ye-Si-Ca” was still the potential hit. Premiere play was at a big disco in Stockholm where Uffe and Tony were going to hand out free singles and I, who had also become a bit of the band’s photographer, were there to immortalize the event with my camera. The disc jockey called out: “Now, as the first in the world, you will hear Secret Service new hit-single “Ye-Si-Ca”! Afterwards there are two guys from the band here to give away singles to you in the audience!”
The song went out over the dance floor at the highest volume, but nobody, absolutely nobody went up for dancing! It simply wasn’t danceable. Nobody came and asked Uffe or Tony for any free single afterwards. All three of us sneaked out of there, somewhat ashamed and very embarrassed.
Back to the studio! New mix! After a proper remix “Ye-Si-Ca” was a great hit in Germany as well as throughout South America, both in English and Spanish! Shame on giving up!