Sunday, January 14, 2018

"Voices Carry" by 'til tuesday

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2285
Date:  04/13/1985
Debut:  81
Peak:  8
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This Boston band headed by singer/songwriter Aimee Mann first got noticed when they won a local Battle of the Bands Contest. That win along with their demo got the attention of Epic Records who signed them to a deal. A debut album titled Voices Carry was recorded and the title track was issued as the LP's first single. The dark tune featuring Mann's distinctive vocals was a slow-starter, but the song got major traction when the associated video became a hit on MTV. Soon after, the song reached #14 at Rock and crossed over into the Pop Top 10. It would be the band's only single to crack the Top 10. The album sold quite well and made it to #19 on the chart. The popular video garnered the band an MTV Music Video Award for Best New Artist.

ReduxReview:  I was in college in Boston right at the time 'til tuesday was beginning to break through. I went to Berklee College of Music and Aimee Mann was an alum (she dropped out just prior to me going to school there), so the college was all abuzz about her and the band, especially after their Battle win. When the album came out and this track started to shape up as a hit, it boosted the college's image and made it cooler and more rock friendly. At the time Berklee was mainly a jazz-oriented school, but they were trying to break out of that mold and attract a more genre-diverse group of students. A little pop-hit cred certainly didn't hurt! I liked this song immediately when it came out. That chugging background rhythm had a grungy feel to it and there wasn't anything like it on the radio. What I think really sold the song was the video. The main part of the video was good, but what sold it was the last part where Mann stands up in the theater, starts shouting the lyrics, and then takes off her hat to expose her shock of blonde hair and accompanying rat tail. It was a brilliant moment that sold the song perfectly. Now, VH1 lists this song as a one-hit wonder from the band, but I don't see it that way. They had another Top 30 entry along with three other charting songs. It was their lone big hit, but I can't really see it as a one-hit wonder. (BTW - I'm a huge fan of Mann and her solo career. She's put out some brilliant work, especially her 1993 debut album Whatever, which is one of my all-time favorite albums.)

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  According to Mann, who wrote the lyrics, the song was originally about a woman talking about another woman. However, at the time the record company was not thrilled about the lesbian-leaning lyrics and had Mann change the "she's" to "he's." Apparently one artist who wasn't afraid (and had the clout) to record the lyrics as written was Cyndi Lauper. She expressed interest in recording the song with the original lyrics. However, she stipulated that if she recorded the song, then 'til tuesday could not. The band, sensing a potential hit, declined Lauper's request and kept the song for themselves and they ended up with a hit.



  1. 10/10 for me. I've always loved this song! What a classic.

  2. 8/10 for me, this song actually went to #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.