The Glamorous Life

The Glamorous Life

"The Glamorous Life" is a song written by Prince in 1984 and first recorded by percussionist, Sheila E.. The dance song has lyrics which reflect a cynicism for the decadence and materialism of the song's protagonist, referred to in the third person, who "wants to lead a glamorous life", although she is aware that "without love, it ain't much".

Song history

"The Glamorous Life" was originally intended to be recorded by the short-lived replacement act for Vanity 6, girl group Apollonia 6. Prince allegedly had several tracks lined up for the trio to record for their 1984 debut album (and by some accounts, their follow up album as well) but abandoned the idea when he learned that lead singer Apollonia Kotero had no desire to stay in the group beyond her contractual obligations as designed for her movie role in Purple Rain.

Prince decided to give the song to Sheila E. who was fresh off her duet on Prince's "Erotic City". "The Glamorous Life" would be recorded by Sheila and go on to launch her solo career. It was the title track and closing song on her debut solo album, and reached number 7 on the U.S. charts and earning a Grammy Award nomination.

Sheila's live performances of the song became memorable events, most notably for her percussion solo towards the end of the song. Depending on the occasion, she would either spin around several times while drumming without missing a beat during the rigorous solo, place one highly elevated foot on a snare while standing on the other leg mid-solo, or perform with glow-in-the-dark drumsticks. While the solo featured in the song helped to bolster Sheila E.'s fame, all subsequent versions of this song have no drum solo at all.

Cover versions

"The Glamorous Life" has been covered by Australian bands T-Funk (featuring vocals by Inaya Day) and Melissa Tkautz, both in 2005. And later in 2007 the song has been covered by an Icelandic band Al'Margir. The song was also covered by Eden's Crush in their 2001 debut album Popstars. New York indie-rock band The Fever also featured a cover (and two remixes of the cover) as the B-side to their 2003 single "Ladyfingers".

Melissa Tkautz version

Tkautz, a former television actress, had achieved two highly successful dance singles in the early 1990s, in her native Australia. Her 2005 recording of "The Glamorous Life" was presented as a comeback and was the first step in a marketing project that aimed to return her to her earlier level of success. Her version was recorded in Melbourne, and was produced by Paul Wiltshire, who had achieved success as a producer with the Backstreet Boys and Anthony Callea. It was released on September 4, 2005, simultaneously with a music video, directed by Mark Hartley and choreographed by Will Sabin.

Though the single failed to relaunch Tkautz's music career, it was a substantial club hit in Australia, peaking at number #31 on the ARIA charts.

Audio sample

Formats and track listings

"The Glamorous Life" was released in Australia, September 04, 2005 as a CD single. In March, 2006, the song was released in Germany by Dos Or Die Records on vinyl.

  • Australian CD single
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Radio Edit) - 3:21
  • "The Glamorous Life" (AC Radio Edit) - 3:34
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Hotfuss Radio Edit) - 3:20
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Explicit version) - 8:23
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Jimmy Z VS Bootscratchers Remix) - 6:27
  • "The Glamorous Life" (Hotfuss Club Mix) - 6:21
  • German vinyl single [U.S. 032]

Side 1

  1. "The Glamorous Life" (D.O.N.S. Remix) - 7:40

Side 2

  1. "The Glamorous Life" (Warp Brothers Remix) - 6:19
  2. "The Glamorous Life" (Hotfuss Club Mix) - 6:20

Chart performance

Chart (2005/2006) Peak
Australia ARIA Singles Chart #31
Australia ARIA Australasian Chart #8
Australia ARIA Dance Chart #8
Australia ARIA Club Chart #6
Russian Power Top 50 Singles #20
World Dance/Trance Top 30 Singles #29


  • Discogs. Formats and tracklistings information. Retrieved on April 23., 2006.
  • Power Top 50. Russian chart information. Retrieved on June 05., 2006.
  • World Dance/Trance chart information. Retrieved on June 05., 2006.

External links

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