10 Years Ago: Scissor Sisters Feel Like Dancing with ‘Ta-Dah’
Leading up to 2006's Ta-Dah, the Scissor Sisters had a tough act to follow: their own. The New York band’s self-titled debut – with its mix of pop hooks, rock guitar and disco beats – had become the best-selling album in the U.K. in 2004.
That record had produced five Top 20 hits in Britain and sold more than 3.5 million copies around the world. Yet not too many of those CDs were sold in the band’s home country, where the Scissor Sisters merely gained a cult following. The challenge for the group’s second LP was to match expectations overseas and attempt to make a mainstream splash in the States.
The Sisters would get more than a little help from some famous friends, who had become fans of the band. David Bowie collaborator Carlos Alomar played guitar and bass on a smattering of tracks while Elton John co-wrote and played piano on a pair of songs, including the eventual lead single, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’.”
“It was amazingly quick to work with [John], a very immediate process,” band member Scott “Babydaddy” Hoffman told Sound on Sound. “Music is coming out of him all the time. ... ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin'’ was very important to us, because we really wanted to have a breakdance song on the album, and once we had it, we felt like, ‘Now the ballads and the straight-up rock tracks also have a reason to be there.’”
As the group’s sonic architect, Babydaddy continued to merge sounds reminiscent of genres, artists and songs that he loved, from a banjo part on the dance hall-y “I Can’t Decide” to the Roxy Music synthesizer flourishes on “Kiss You Off.”
“Pastiche can mean thievery,” the multi-instrumentalist said in 2006, “but I love it when the word is used to describe a particular combination of instruments, sounds and inspirations. For instance, the idea of putting an acoustic guitar next to a Minimoog emulator is fascinating to me.”
It also proved fascinating to millions of listeners. True to its title, Ta-Dah stuck the landing when it was released on Sept. 18, 2006 (Sept. 26 in the U.S.). The album was a big hit throughout Europe and became the band’s second No. 1 album in the U.K. “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” turned out to be the group’s first No. 1 single in Britain and most of Europe.
But the band also made inroads in America. Ta-Dah rose to No. 19 on the Billboard album chart and its release saw the group making multiple television appearances. Frontman Jake Shears led the group through performances on Dancing With the Stars and the soap opera Passions.
In the meantime, the album scored mostly positive reviews from the music press, while the Scissor Sisters toured the world throughout 2006-07, playing to some of the biggest crowds of the band’s career. Maybe that made them feel like dancing after all.
The 21 Most Embarrassing Rock Moments of the Past 30 Years