If this week's RuPaul's Drag Race should be given a standing O for anything, it's the song choice for the Lip Sync for Your Life challenge, 1993's four-to-floor dance classic, "Show Me Love" by Robin S.
It's about as perfect as '90s dance music can get, meaning it may be the best thing that ever happened. From the moment that beat drops and Robin S. belts out that 12-minute long note, you know shit's about to get real. Real funky.
Though it was originally written, recorded and released in 1990, the song didn't become a hit until 1993 when it peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. It went on to become one of the seminal dance anthems of the 1990s, sampled numerous times over the years, including by Jennifer Lopez for her 2012 duet with Pitbull, "Dance Again," and most recently by Glee's Alex Newell.
But the '90s are also known for another classic "Show Me Love" by someone whose name sounds awfully similar. Before she was dancing on her own, Swedish pop superstar Robyn released her own "Show Me Love" in 1997 as the second US single off her debut album, Robyn Is Here.
Co-written by Robyn and her fellow countryman and master songsmith Max Martin (who would go on to write nearly every Britney Spears song you grew up loving), "Show Me Love" was one of the first pop masterpieces from two of the greatest hitmakers of the past 20 years.
Just listen to that gorgeous bridge and try not to get all tingly inside:
Robyn, then only 18 at the time of "Show Me Love's" release, also presaged the teeny bopper revolution that was high-kicked into gear by Ms. Spears a year later with the Martin-penned "...Baby One More Time."
So you see, it's impossible to choose which "Show Me Love" to show more love. They're both flawless and remind us of a time when music videos may have been terrible, but at least the music wasn't. Seriously, what Gap ad did Robyn and her video extras walk out of? And Robin S. looks like they had her stand around on a box for five minutes while some nightlife trash bounced around her.
But much like Sophie Zawistowski before me, I must choose one:
By the power invested in me by no one particular, I declare Robin S. to have the superior "Show Me Love." If only for giving us this life-saving Lip Sync moment:
To the incinerator with you, Robyn! The disco incinerator, natch.
Les Fabian Brathwaite — words are so easy to say....oh-ay.