A native of Toronto, Karen Silver started her professional music career in 1978 as the lead vocalist for John Driscoll’s non-touring project called Star City, where they scored a top 10 hit with a disco cover of The Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m A Man.”
Quality Records liked her style so much that they signed her to a solo deal, and sent her off to Studio Tempo and Studio St Charles in Toronto, with Driscoll and Gino Soccio producing. A US deal with Arista was signed, and keeping in the disco vein, she released a five-track album in ’79 called HOLD ON I’M COMIN’. It eventually peaked at #15 on the Canadian disco chart, thanks in part to the title track – a cover of the ’60s Sam & Dave R&B hit. Ringing in at over seven minutes long, it became an instant disco smash, and was followed up the charts by the Soccio-penned “Fake.” A third single was released in the spring of 1980, a cover of Ray (Ghostbuster) Parker Jr’s “Hot Stuff,” which he did himself in ’79 with his own group, Raydio, the same year Donna Summer also covered it.
The big hit south of the border had eluded her and Arista, known for their impatience, dropped her from their US distribution. Her 1981 follow-up was SET ME FREE. Produced again by Soccio, extended mixes were again the order of the day, but disco at this point was all but dead so this time she incorporated more new wave and funk influences. The title track and “Nobody Else” were released as singles and blended right in to the club scene at the time, both hitting the top 40 in Canada.
Incorporating more pop into the sound, she returned again in the midle of the decade with two more stand alone singles, the Soccio-produced cover of Betty Wright’s “Clean Up Woman” and “Party Girl” with new producer Michel Bibeau. Both singles were released with a couple of extended remixes.
After a few years of doing session work with other artists, by the turn of the decade she’d dropped out of music all together and became a makeup artist, specializing in wedding and other formal occasions.
In 2001, Unidisc issued the compilation also entitled HOLD ON I’M COMIN’, which included the original five-track lp and SET ME FREE, along with radio edit versions of “Clean Up Woman” and “Party Girl.”