Wednesday, August 21, 2019

"What About Love" by 'til Tuesday

Song#:  2867
Date:  09/20/1986
Debut:  84
Peak:  26
Weeks:  14
Genre:  Alternative Rock

Pop Bits:  This Boston band made a splash with their debut album Voices Carry. The title track from the LP would be a #8 hit at Pop and earn them an MTV Music Video Award for Best New Artist. The album would get to #19 and go gold. A year and a half later, the band was ready to release their second album, Welcome Home. This first single got things kicked off and it would do well at Rock getting to #7. It would end up being a mid-sized hit at Pop peaking inside the Top 30. Without a more significant hit to promote it, the album fell short of expectations and peaked at a minor #49. However, copies of the album continued to sell over the years, likely boosted by leader Aimee Mann's critically lauded solo career, and in 1994 it would become a gold record.

ReduxReview:  The band changed a bit for their second album. Aimee Mann took on a bigger role as the primary songwriter composing six of the LP's ten tracks by herself. They also began shifting their direction swinging from 80s new wave into modern/alt rock. This created a beefier sound as evidenced by this first single. I'd nearly call this tune shoegaze due to the larger production and Mann's deadpan delivery, but it's still commercial enough to satisfy AOR radio. The new album was a more mature effort and didn't show any of the quirkiness found on their debut. This was a definite improvement and it paid off with lots of critical praise. However, it wasn't quite as pop oriented and it did lack a real chart contender. This song was probably the best for single contention but it had a couple of issues. First was the title. Heart's song by the same name had just been a hit the summer before and this could have been confusing for folks who might mistake it for a remake. Usually in these case, a parenthetical update to the title is typically done, but 'til Tuesday did not opt for this. Second, the song was not the most upbeat thing. It seemed a little too dour for pop radio. Still, it's a great tune and the album is excellent as well.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Prior to forming 'til Tuesday in March 1983, Aimee Mann was part of a post-punk/art-rock band called The Young Snakes. It was her first band after dropping out of the Berklee Collage of Music. The three-piece band gigged around Boston and recorded an indie EP titled Bark Along with the Young Snakes. According to an interview with Mann, she nearly lost her taste for songwriting at the time because the other two guys in the band overwhelmed the process and in the end the songs were bunk. The band broke up and Mann was briefly in another local Boston outfit named Ministry (obviously, not the famous metal band from Chicago). The songwriting process was much better there and with renewed interest, Mann set out to form her own band, which would become 'til Tuesday. A year after they got together, the band was signed to Epic Records and the following year they were riding the Pop Top 10 with "Voices Carry."


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