Rock photographer Lynn Goldsmith‘s unusual foray into the pop world brought her a wonderful hit single in 1983, aided by some of-its-time vocal technology and a fine guest appearance by Carly Simon.

Goldsmith’s idea was to satirise the self-help guru who preyed on the insecurities of people, so she became Will Powers and voiced the narrative herself thanks to recording advancements that turned her into a man.

She made an album crammed with guest artists to perform on and produce the songs, and the big single was Kissing With Confidence. Goldsmith did the earnest patter and Simon played the unsure puckerer.

The lyric on both sides is bittersweet, thanks to the soul of something as intimate as kissing being removed entirely by the colourless spiel of the salesman, while Simon raises concerns about coughing, perspiration and (with some self-awareness) a prominent overbite.

The story ends happily, thanks to Goldsmith’s tips and tricks and the French phrase designed to “place your lips naturally in the kissing position”, enabling Simon to up her game.

Kissing With Confidence made No.17 in the UK in October 1983 and was included on the first Now! album a month later. Matthew Rudd is the host of Forgotten 80s on Absolute 80s.

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