Friday, June 24, 2022

"Circle" by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

Song#:  3860
Date:  04/08/1989
Debut:  80
Peak:  48
Weeks:  10
Genre:  Alternative Rock, Folk-Rock

Pop Bits:  Brickell and her band earned an unexpected Pop Top 10 hit with folk-leaning single "What I Am" (#7). The band's unusual sound attracted record buyers who pushed sales of the band's debut album Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars (#4) to double-platinum status. This second single from the LP seemed destined for the Pop Top 40, but it stalled short of that goal and only got to #32 Rock. It would be the band's last single to reach the Pop chart. Another track from the album, "Little Miss S.," would get to #14 Modern Rock and #38 Rock. The band would hit those charts twice more. First in 1990 with a remake of Bob Dylan's "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall," which was part of the soundtrack to the Tom Cruise film Born on the Fourth of July. The track would get to #21 Modern Rock/#28 Rock. Brickell and the Bohemians would then release their second full-length album Ghost of a Dog. It's first single, "Mama Help Me," would get to #17 Modern Rock/#26 Rock. It would fail to make the Pop chart. With that result, the album would stop at #32 and fail to go gold. The band wouldn't record another formal studio album until 2006.

ReduxReview:  "What I Am" was one of those songs that was weird, yet oddly alluring. While I'm sure it would have done well regardless at college/rock radio, the odds of it becoming a Pop hit were not great. It ended up breaking through and turned Brickell and the band into stars, but then the hard part was following it up. It wasn't like the band focused on creating pop hits so picking a second single was a crapshoot. "Circle" wasn't a bad choice. It was an easy, swaying little tune that was a pleasant listen Unfortunately, it just didn't have the hooks needed to make it stand out on radio. Also, that quick little "la-la-la" ending was abrupt and strange. Still, all Brickell needed was the lone hit and the double-platinum LP to get started and she maintained a pretty good career over the years and eventually won a Grammy (see below).

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  After Ghost of a Dog failed to meet expectations, Brickell decided to continue on as a solo artist. Her debut solo album Picture Perfect Morning would arrive in 1994. Its first single, "Good Times," would be a a minor chart entry getting to #60 Pop and #22 AC. The album would peak at #68. Brickell then remained quiet on the recording front until a second solo album, Volcano, appeared in 2003 (#188). She would reunite with New Bohemians for an album in 2006 and then record with two other bands, The Heavy Circles and The Gaddabouts. Her career got a boost in 2013 when she collaborated with comedian/musician Steve Martin for the bluegrass album Love Has Come for You. The LP was received well and got to #21 Pop/#1 Bluegrass/#2 Folk. It would later be nominated for two Grammys with the title track song winning the award for Best American Roots Song. The pair would do a follow up album, So Familiar, in 2015 (#128 Pop/#1 Bluegrass/#3 Folk). After their first collaboration, Brickell and Martin began to work on a stage musical. The pair would co-write the music, Brickell would supply the lyrics, and Martin would write the book of the musical. Titled Bright Star, it would find its way to Broadway. It received mixed reviews and closed after 109 performances. Despite its short three-month run, the show would earn five Tony nominations including one for Best Musical. The cast album would also get a Grammy nod for Best Musical Theater Album.


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