I feared for Aimee Mann. She was the lead singer, bass player and chief selling point of ‘Til Tuesday, a band which was, in the mid-1980s, the Next Big Thing. Until, suddenly, it wasn’t.
Another casualty of the star machine?
‘Til Tuesday was a Boston synth-pop outfit with a hint of punk, which burst onto the scene in 1985 with “Voices Carry”. With the help of a striking video featuring Mann, she of the platinum hair and wide eyes, it was a huge hit.
Industry executives looked at her and saw dollar signs. There was a rash of publicity. I remember reading a profile in Rolling Stone. There was a picture of Mann, looking moody. The caption: “C’mon, Aimee, how can someone who looks so good feel so alienated?” This remains possibly the stupidest thing ever written, even in Rolling Stone.
Early success was not replicated. Label heavyweights demanded hits. The hits failed to come, and the band fell apart under pressure. ‘Til Tuesday; gone Wednesday.
I looked up Aimee Mann, expecting a sad story of bitterness, break-up and drug abuse. I am happy to be completely wrong. She built a solo career, worked on film music and a variety of other projects, and still performs. She has won Grammy awards, done heaps of stuff. This is her in 2008: looking healthy and happy, a woman in control of her own destiny.
Against all expectation, Aimee Mann is alive and well and playing bass. Her most recent album is called Mental Illness, and it is, frankly, wonderful. I have bought the download — I encourage you to do the same.
Here she is, back in the ‘Til Tuesday days, with “Don’t Watch Me Bleed”, a B-side breakup song with angsty vocals and moody bass to suit the title.
- Artist: ‘Til Tuesday
- A Side: Looking Over My Shoulder
- B Side: Don’t Watch Me Bleed
- Format: 7”, 45 rpm, vinyl, stereo
- Label: Epic
- Made in: Australia
- Catalogue: ES 1057
- Year: 1985
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