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'Til Tuesday

'Til Tuesday was a one-hit wonder band that formed in Boston in 1982. Aimee Mann, the lead singer, completely captured the New Wave style at the time, with their big hit Voices Carry gaining a mass audience and landing at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.

The band became noticed in Boston after it won WBCN's Rock & Roll Rumble in 1983. The Rumble was a battle of the bands contest and also a new-music festival. From 1978 to 1983, WBCN played a lot of non-classic rock, and a bias toward local bands. Love in a Vacuum was 'Til Tuesday's first single song, which was popular enough to get the band signed to a record contract. Love in a Vacuum was the ultimate New Wave bubble-gum love song, with synthy keyboard chords and chanty background vocals.

In 1985, the band released Voice Carry, which became a huge hit.  The song had depressing lyrics about a controlling boyfriend, and culturally captured the mood of the country at the time (the economy was starting to grow steadily after years of high inflation and slow growth). The melody was captivating, with whiny keyboards and guitar, and distinctive bass.

Aimee Mann is probably most famous for her spiky hair cut. In 1985, fashion was dominated by Madonna. Madonna had a kind of gothy Catholic school girl look, which was greatly imitated. Aimee Mann had sort of big-hair boys cut, which was also highly fashionable. Many high school girls cut their hair short, with the spiky style evolving into a comb-over in the next few years. Even many rebellious men had the spiky haircuts, with members of The Cure being the most notable. The following is a history of 'Til Tuesday from Wikipedia:



"Til Tuesday first gained fame six months after its formation when it won Boston's WBCN Rock & Roll Rumble in 1983. Their original composition Love in a Vacuum (credited to all members of the group) received a fair amount of airplay on the station, and the group was eventually signed to Epic Records.

Love in a Vacuum was re-recorded for the Epic debut album, 1985's Voices Carry; however, the breakthrough song turned out to be the title track. The Voices Carry single peaked at number eight on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and is said to have been inspired by an argument between Mann and Hausman, who had broken off a relationship before the album's release. According to producer Mike Thorne in his Stereo Society web site, "the title track was originally written and sung by Aimee as if to a woman.... The record company was predictably unhappy with such (quasi-lesbian) lyrics."

The band became an early MTV staple with the Voices Carry video, which depicts an oppressive boyfriend trying to convert Mann to his upper-class lifestyle; she finally lashes out at him during a concert at Carnegie Hall, standing up from her seat in the audience and belting the lyrics, "He said, shut up! He said, shut up! Oh God, can't you keep it down...?" as she removes her cap to reveal her signature spiky, rat-tailed hair. As a result, the group won that year's MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist.

By the 1986 follow-up Welcome Home, Mann was beginning to write more of the songs herself and the band was moving away from the slick new wave sound of their debut. But while critical reaction was generally strong, the number 26 placing for the lead single What About Love was a commercial disappointment, especially after the top-ten success of Voices Carry. Even more problematic, the album just barely sneaked into the U.S. top 50, also a letdown after the number 19 placing for their first LP. 

At about the same time, Mann's two-year relationship with singer-songwriter Jules Shear, whom she had been dating since the release of the Voices Carry album, came to an end. This breakup somewhat informed the band's final album, 1988's Everything's Different Now, particularly in the song J for Jules, though Mann insisted that not every song on the LP was about the relationship. Shear collaborated with Matthew Sweet on the album's title track; it also featured The Other End (of the Telescope), a collaboration between Mann and Elvis Costello on which Costello provides a guest vocal.

While critical praise continued to flow, Everything's Different Now was a commercial dud. The album peaked at #124, while the lead single (Believed You Were) Lucky (co-written with Shear) crawled to number 95.

'Til Tuesday essentially broke up after the release of Everything's Different Now. However, Mann toured under the 'Til Tuesday name with various session players, while legal problems with the band's label Epic prevented her from beginning work on a solo record for several years. (Mann's solo career officially began in 1992.) Hausman, meanwhile, became Mann's manager, a position he holds to this day."

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