Hip Hop Be Bop

Xena

Brooklyn native, Xena (Lisa Fischer), began her recording career by supporting and providing backing vocals for the likes of Melba Moore, Billy Ocean, Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, etc. She first appeared as a member of the funk soul group, Shades Of Love

Prior to Emergency Records, she recorded as a member of funk soul group, Shades Of Love, and released a handful of singles for Scorpgemi Records. In 1983 she recorded her debut single under the stage name Xena called ‘On The Upside’ for Emergency records, although she was uncredited on the label. It was produced and mixed by Chris Barbosa, Chris Lord-Alge, Nelson Cruz and Mark Liggett with music by Robbie Kilgore. The track was a Latin, freestyle, electro hit at the time and appeared in the UK on Morgan Khan’s ‘Street Sounds Electro Series Vol.2’. There was a second track by Xena in 1987 although the vocalist on that release was an uncredited Julie Newdow. This may mean that the name Xena actually referred to the production duo and not the vocalist, similar to the way Two Sisters referred to Man Parrish and Raul Rodriguez and not the vocalists.

Lisa Fischer also recorded an album in 1991 which spawned a few singles. However, it was as a backing vocalist and supporting artists where she had her main success, supporting the late Luther Vandross (RIP) for the 22 years leading up to his death and accompanying The Rolling Stones on every one of their tours since 1989, even sharing lead vocals with Mick Jagger on some tracks.

There are no label variations that I know of but one release to note is the Canadian pressing which includes the additional Northside Mix, edited by Loreto Manni.

On The Upside [1983]

Label: Emergency Records
Catalogue #: EMDS 6541
Year: 1983
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: US

Side A
On The Upside [5:53]

Side B
On The Upside (Dub Version) [5:22]

Label: Blackout Records
Catalogue #: BXD 015
Year: 1983
Format: 12″
Country of Origin: Canada

Side A
On The Upside (The Northside Mix) [6:56]

Side B
On The Upside (Vocal) [5:50]
On The Upside (Dub Version) [5:22]