Wednesday, March 15, 2023

"New Thing" by Enuff Z'Nuff

Song#:  4075
Date:  10/21/1989
Debut:  93
Peak:  67
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Hard Rock, Power Pop

Pop Bits:  This Chicago area band was founded by singer Donnie Vie and bassist Gregory Rybarski (aka Chip Z'Nuff). The pair would fill out the group, initially known as Enough Z'Nuff, and begin performing. Within a couple of years, the band would develop a solid local following and they would eventually record their first single titled "Fingers on It." The tune would get picked up for use in the 1986 film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, which has been shooting around Chicago. Yet even with that exposure, the band was having difficulty trying to find a recording contract. Finally in '89, Atco Records signed on them on. With an adjusted name of Enuff Z'Nuff, the band recorded their self-titled debut album. This first single would be released and it would get some attention at Rock reaching #25. The tune would cross over to Pop, but it stalled in the bottom half of the chart. A second single, the power ballad "Fly High Michelle," would do better getting to #27 Rock and #43 Pop. Those results helped the album reach #74.

ReduxReview:  Enuff Z'Nuff sort of got unfairly lumped into the glam/hair metal category when really they leaned more towards power pop/alt rock. It didn't help that the label pushed them into the glam realm and had them don some very...interesting...costumes for the "Fly High Michelle" video. The band was able to tone everything down and be more themselves with their second album, but with the onset of grunge, the damage was already done and the LP was a commercial failure. The band had the goods. It was just unfortunate that timing and marketing worked against them. This single actually might have done better around '93 when bands like Soul Asylum where hitting. It was a better fit for that alt rock sound rather than being pushed as glam metal.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  The band's second album, '91's Strength, would prove to be a creative peak for the band. It would receive critical praise, but that wasn't enough to sell albums. With only the track "Mother's Eyes" making it to #17 Rock, the album flopped at a minor #143. Left off of the Atco roster, the band was picked up by Arista and was able to record their third album, '93's Animals with Human Intelligence. Unfortunately, no singles charted and the album disappeared quickly. That brought an end to the band's major label days. The band would continue to record indie albums and tour with various lineups over the years.


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