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Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Eight-Pick Nine-Witness-Sarah McLachlan (1997)

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Modern Vinyl Image One
Image Credit: Modern Vinyl

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Eight pick.

I remember when I heard Possession on the radio the first time. I was driving home from work and I was immediately in love. The music was stunning, her voice was stunning and I was captivated. Who is she, I thought to myself (I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had two previous albums). I found the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD as fast as I could. It is a fantastic album. There is not a bad song on it.

When Surfacing came out in July 1997, I snatched it, too. It was released to coincide with the Lilith Fair. Though Fumbling Towards Ecstasy remains my favorite of her albums, Witness is my favorite single. The sixth track, it was never released as a single, has no chart information what-so-ever and it remains in the shadow of Building A Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia and, in particular, Angel. The album is one of two that reached #2 on the Billboard 200. It was the #1 album on Billboard’s Canadian Albums chart on August 2, 1997 and on Canada’s RPM Top Albums/CDs chart on July 28, 1997.

As an odd bit of trivia, this album is mentioned in the Starr Report, Ken Starr‘s investigation of the Monica Lewinsky Scandal, as was Altoid Mints, the movie Titanic, Billie Holliday, Elvis, Spinach Dip, Starbucks and Leaves of Grass. Monica apparently liked track #5.

This song speaks to me on so many levels. It’s a beautiful piece with beautiful lyrics… ~Vic

Sarah Recording YouTube Image Two
Image Credit: YouTube

Make me a witness
Take me out
Out of darkness
Out of doubt

I won’t weigh you down
With good intention
Won’t make fire out of clay
Or other inventions

Will we burn in heaven
Like we do down here
Will the change come
While we’re waiting

Everyone is waiting

And, when we’re done
Soul searching
As we carried the weight
And died for the cause
Is misery made beautiful
Right before our eyes
Will mercy be revealed
Or blind us where we stand

Additional:
Lilith Fair @ 20 (Billboard Article/Gil Kaufman/07-05-2017)
Official Instagram
Official Website
Sarah McLachlan Named In Starr Report (MTV News/09-16-1998)
Starr Report Unearths New Bedfellows (The Hartford Courant/Rock Critic Roger Catlin/09-17-1998)
The Pop Life: Musical Damage In Starr Report (The New York Times/Neil Strauss/09-24-1998/Web Archive)

No Official Video

Live From Mirrorball

Sarah Discussing The Surfacing CD

Hans 2021 Song Draft: Round Seven-Pick Ten-Somebody’s Baby-Pat Benatar (1993)

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Somebodys Baby Discogs Image One
Image Credit: Discogs

Hanspostcard has a song draft challenge. This is my Round Seven pick.

Pat Benatar exploded on the music scene in the Summer/Fall of 1979 with her debut album In The Heat of the Night. I was in 8th grade and the first song I remember hearing on the radio from the album was Heartbreaker. I went to my hometown’s only mall and headed into a store called Stereo Village. I wanted this song and, when I asked for it, the guy trying to help me automatically thought I was talking about Led Zepplin. When I mentioned Pat Benatar’s song, he didn’t know what I was talking about. He told me to sing some of the music for him…so, my 13 year old self obliged, right there in the middle of the store, “in front of God and everybody” (Southern colloquialism). He still didn’t know the song but, said “Nice voice!” I never did get that 45 and a few months later, rolling into the new decade, We Live For Love was released in February and, I liked it even better than Heartbreaker. Crimes of Passion, her sophomore album, came out the following August and the hits kept coming. You Better Run (The Young Rascals cover) became the second video broadcast on the debut of MTV, behind Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles (a 45 I managed to get my hands on). I was a devoted fan at that point without owning a single song or album. By the time of my 16th birthday, a young man I was dating presented me with the Crimes of Passion album. I was overjoyed.

Gravity's Rainbow Discogs Image Two
Image Credit: Discogs

I nearly got to see her perform during the 1986 Seven the Hard Way tour. It started in January 1986 and stopped, abruptly, in April. She was a mom by then and family pressures caused cancellations. Greensboro Coliseum lost out. I did get to see her for the Can’t Stop Rockin’ tour in 1995 in Raleigh. Prior to those two, my mother considered me too young to see the earlier concerts. 😭

Gravity’s Rainbow was her ninth, and the last studio album to be in the Billboard 200 chart in the top 100s, peaking at #85 on June 19, 1993 and making it to #44 in Canada for one week on July 31, 1993. Named after the Thomas Pynchon novel, it was also the last album released on Chrysalis Records. It was not one of her better albums, statistically speaking but, it yielded three singles, two of which, I love. My favorite album of hers is, of course, the tour that got cancelled in 1986. That being said, after all these years of her music catalog, Somebody’s Baby is my favorite single, released July 5, 1993 (my second favorite single is Le Bel Age). She and Spyder James had already geared down quite a bit, releasing the blues-themed True Love in 1991, to much less fanfare than Wide Awake in Dreamland from 1988. True Love was her first album that did not rate with RIAA.

Somebody’s Baby did not chart on Billboard but, it did chart in the UK on the Singles Chart (#48), in Canada (#41) and in New Zealand (#36).

I am a fan of Benatar like Hans & Max are of the Beatles. I love this one because of the lyrics, the mood, the blend of the music and her stunning voice, though, in this piece, it is not quite as “up there” as when she sings Invincible (she has a four octave range). I am normally indifferent to most lyrics, choosing to immerse myself in musical arrangements and wonderful voices but, the writing speaks to my heart and I confess that, the first time I heard this, it brought me to tears. ~Vic

Additional:
BenatarGiraldo (Official Website)
Gravity’s Rainbow (RockWired/Brian Lush/06-12-2018)
Pat Benatar (Hip Online/01-05-2008)
Pat Benatar: Gravity’s Rainbow (Rolling Stone/Andrea Odintz/2003/Web Archive)
Richmond: Benatar’s Rise to Fame (Richmond Times-Dispatch/Nicole Kappatos/04-11-2017/Web Archive)

Lyrics

Unofficial Video?

Live On Leno

Regis & Kathie Lee Show (Stripped Down Short Version)

Song Saturday: Early Warning

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Baby Animals Early Warning UK Image One
Image Credit: eil.com

“Too young to know, too old to listen…”

Saturday evening’s playlist submission is Early Warning by Australian band Baby Animals. The second track from their debut album Baby Animals, it was released on April 21, 1991, as their debut single. Written by Suze DeMarchi, Dave Leslie and Eddie Parise, the song was nominated for Single of the Year and Song of the Year in 1992 by the Australian Recording Industry Association. The album was awarded Album of the Year at The Arias Awards.

I discovered this band when their third track Painless was released in the US in November 1991. Suze’s voice is stunning and powerful and, her band is as hard rocking as any from Downunder. I bought the CD and there’s not a bad song on it. It deserved Album of the Year. They broke up in 1996 but, reformed in 2007. They continue to perform and record.

Lyrics

Baby Animals Channel From 1992

MTV’s Video From 1991

Music Monday: TLC 1994

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TLC Image One
Image Credit: hellogiggles.com

Twenty-five years ago, this week, the song Creep by TLC debuted on the Billboard Hot 100, entering the chart at #71. Written and produced by Dallas Austin, it was the first single released from their second studio album CrazySexyCool. It is based on member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins‘s experience with infidelity. The lyrics portray the singers as women who cheat on their unfaithful lovers for attention.

You’re with a guy and he’s not showing you attention, so another guy comes along and you’re like, “Hey, if you were where you were supposed to be, he couldn’t be showing me attention right now!” I was in the middle of this drama, because the other guy was [my boyfriend’s] friend and my boyfriend was just not getting it together.

[From T-Boz]

The idea was controversial. [M]ember Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes was opposed to it. She threatened to wear black tape over her mouth in the song’s music video to express her disagreement with its message, and its selection as CrazySexyCool’s lead single, [in] part because of the group’s history of advocating for safe sex.

The women sing about infidelity, revenge, status and power plays, not as victims but as contenders. [W]hen they’re cheated on, they cheat, too.

[From Jon Parales @ The New York Times, advocating for the concept.]

TLC Image Two
Photo Credit: leilanisays.wordpress.com

The song made it to #1 and remained for four weeks. It also made it to #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop chart and the Billboard Rhythmic chart.

Lisa Lopes passed away April 25, 2002, from injuries in a car crash. She was 30 years old.

[I have to confess that I have never heard this song. The middle 90s was the time I stopped listening to Top 40 and moved to Alternative Rock stations. ~Vic]

Accolades
Legacy
Cover Versions


 

Lyrics via LyricFind:
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,

(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,
(Creep) oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah,

The twenty second of loneliness
And we’ve been through so many things.
I love my man with all honesty,
But I know he’s cheating on me.
Look him in the eyes,
But all he tells me is lies to keep me near.

I’ll never leave him down though I might mess around.
It’s only ’cause I need some affection, oh.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
On the down low, ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do
And no attention goes to show oh.

So I creep.
The twenty third of loneliness
And we don’t talk, like we used to do.
Now this is pretty strange,
But I’m not buggin’ ’cause I still feel the same.
I Keep giving loving till the day he pushes me away.
Never go a stray.

If he knew the things I did, he couldn’t handle me.
And I choose to keep him protected, oh.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know. ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show oh.

So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know. ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show.

So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
So I creep, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah
Baby, oh ah, oh ah, oh ah yeah

So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know.

So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
And no attention goes to show.
So I creep, yeah, just creepin’ on,
But I’ll know.
So I creep, yeah, ’cause he doesn’t know what I do,
So I creep, ‘cept nobody is supposed to know.

Tune Tuesday: The Wild Wild West 1988

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The Escape Club Image
Photo Credit: englandunderground.com

Thirty years ago, today, the #1 Billboard Hot 100 song was The Wild, Wild West by The Escape Club, an English pop-rock band out of London (Est. 1983). Curiously, the album and the single didn’t chart in the UK, their home turf.

Nominations:
Breakthrough Video (1989 MTV Video Music (VMA) Awards)
Best Post-Modern Video (1989 MTV VMA)
Best Special Effects In A Video (Nicholas Brandt & Bridget Blake-Wilson/1989 MTV VMA)