Monday, June 11, 2012

BoDeans - Only Love

The Wisconsin-based BoDeans came onto the music scene in the mid 1980's, and were another roots rock band that was loved by critics and briefly viewed as The Next Big Thing in rock -- much like the Del Fuegos had been in 1985.  The band's breakout album was 1987's Outside Looking In, and the first single was the catchy song below, "Only Love."  The BoDeans opened for U2 and were named Best New American Band by the readers of Rolling Stone magazine.  (As many readers will know, being named best new artist by anyone is the kiss of death for most acts.  Don't believe me?  See the comments section for a list of Grammy winners for Best New Artist going back to 1975).

At any rate, Outside Looking In stalled at #86 on the album charts, and "Only Love" didn't hit the singles charts.  1989's Home did slightly worse, and while the band continued to release albums and tour, they gradually became a successful working band (their albums tended to chart in the top 200, but not by much).

The band did get a second break, when their song "Closer to Free" was used as the theme to Fox's Party of Five TV show.  The song went to #16 on the Billboard singles charts in 1996, three years after it had been originally released as the lead single from the band's 1993 CD, Go Slow Down.  [By the way, the Rembrandts followed a remarkably similar path in 1994 when they wrote "I'll Be There for You" for NBC's Friends.]

While the video for "Only Love" is a basic performance shoot, it is one of the best videos of this type -- nothing fancy, but really well-shot, and the use of still images is quite effective.

Cool trivia fact:  Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads fame) produced Outside Looking In.


  1. As promised, Best New Artist Grammy winners since 1975:

    1975 Marvin Hamlisch
    1976 Natalie Cole
    1977 Starland Vocal Band
    1978 Debby Boone
    1979 A Taste of Honey
    1980 Rickie Lee Jones
    1981 Christopher Cross
    1982 Sheena Easton
    1983 Men at Work
    1984 Culture Club
    1985 Cyndi Lauper
    1986 Sade
    1987 Bruce Hornsby and the Range
    1988 Jody Watley
    1989 Tracy Chapman
    1990 Milli Vanilli
    1991 Mariah Carey
    1992 Marc Cohn
    1993 Arrested Development
    1994 Toni Braxton
    1995 Sheryl Crow
    1996 Hootie & the Blowfish
    1997 LeAnn Rimes
    1998 Paula Cole
    1999 Lauryn Hill
    2000 Christina Aguilera
    2001 Shelby Lynne
    2002 Alicia Keys
    2003 Norah Jones
    2004 Evanescence
    2005 Maroon 5
    2006 John Legend
    2007 Carrie Underwood
    2008 Amy Winehouse
    2009 Adele
    2010 Zac Brown Band
    2011 Esperanza Spalding
    2012 Bon Iver

  2. Amazing, huh. My advice: if someone offers your band a Best New Artist Grammy award, DO NOT TAKE IT. Run like hell away. I mean, there might not really be a curse, but with a list like this, why take any chances.

  3. I remember Colin Hay (of Men At Work) referring to it as the Best New Artist-slash-Kiss Of Death award.

    1. That sounds familiar. BTW, Colin Hay has put together some really solid acoustic material over the past few years -- well worth a listen.