Tuesday, February 28, 1989

Indigo Girls released self-titled album

Indigo Girls

Indigo Girls

Released: February 28, 1989

Peak: 22 US, -- UK, -- CN, 64 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, -- UK, 2.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: folk rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Closer to Fine (Saliers) [4:02] (6/17/89, 52 US, 48 AR, 26 MR)
  2. Secure Yourself (Ray) [3:35]
  3. Kid Fears (Ray) [4:34]
  4. Prince of Darkness (Saliers) [5:21]
  5. Blood and Fire (Ray) [4:38]
  6. Tried to Be True (Ray) [2:59]
  7. Love’s Recovery (Saliers) [4:23]
  8. Land of Canaan (Ray) [3:57]
  9. Center Stage (Ray) [4:46]
  10. History of Us (Saliers) [5:27]

Total Running Time: 44:36

The Players:

  • Amy Ray (vocals, guitar)
  • Emily Saliers (vocals, guitar)


4.097 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

With their second studio album, but “first major label release, the Indigo Girls come on strong with an outstanding batch of tunes, watertight harmonies, impeccable musicianship, and flawless production.” KM “Crisp guitar work and haunting harmonies became the stock-in-trade of this powerful duo of "girls with guitars.’” LS

The duo “followed the lead of such greats as Laura Nyro and Joni Mitchell…[and] pumped social conscience and self-esteem into ringing acoustic anthems.” LS “Entering the folk-rock music scene on the successful heels of R.E.M., Tracy Chapman, and 10,000 Maniacs,” KM the pair’s music was perfectly timed to “catch the rising tide of feminist rock.” LS Such timing “pushed their sales over the million mark and earned the duo a Grammy for Best Folk Recording” KM as well as a nomination for Best New Act.

“The eponymous release kicks off with the upbeat jangle bounce of Closer to Fine, a modest hit, all-time fan favorite written by Emily Saliers, and a tune the Girls still play at every concert. A particularly fascinating point is that the Indigo Girls never write songs together, but they compliment each other perfectly.” KM

“The difference in styles becomes immediately apparent when the more dark and brooding Amy Ray steps up. Her remarkable contributions include Secure Yourself, Kid Fears, and Blood and Fire, spiritual ruminations of life, love, pain, and faith which bury themselves deep inside your core whether invited or not.” KM

“Weighting the opposite scales, Saliers offers a tender balance to Ray with two beautiful ballads, Love's Recovery and History of Us. (Ray's Land of Canaan was once a ballad, but then she heard the Replacements and it became a bit of a rocker.) Chiming in with musical support are Hothouse Flowers, Luka Bloom, and fellow Georgians R.E.M.” KM

“This self-titled release captures the passion of their youth with voices that are a little cloudy, untamed, and raw, but the power that surges through them suggests a maturity far beyond their years.” KM “The songs on this CD resound with a profound sense of honesty and raw emotion.” LS “The same can be said of the songwriting – sheer poetry. To attempt examinations of these songs would not do them justice, for the layers of meaning and emotion unfold best upon repeated listening.” KM

Notes: A 2000 reissue added live versions of “Land of Canaan” and “Center Stage.”

Resources and Related Links:

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 8/22/2021.

Saturday, February 11, 1989

Larry Clinton took “Deep Purple” to #1 – for the first of two times 50 years ago today (2/11/1939)

First posted 2/11/2013; updated 2/2/2020.

Deep Purple

Larry Clinton with Bea Wain

Writer(s): Peter DeRose/Mitchell Parish (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 4, 1939

Peak: 19 US, 17 HP, 12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 * US, -- UK, -- world (includes US + UK)
* version by Nino Tempo & April Stevens

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming



Peter DeRose wrote “Deep Purple” as a piano composition. It was published in 1933 and the following year it was arranged for orchestra by, depending on the account, either Domenico Savino TY or Paul Whiteman. WK Whiteman said, he was “making a lady out of jazz.” WK When the song became a hit via sheet music, Mitchell Parish added lyrics in 1938.

In 1939, five versions of the song charted, including top 10 hits by Jimmy Dorsey and Guy Lombardo and top 20 hits by Bing Crosby and Artie Shaw. PM The biggest version, however, was the one by Larry Clinton & His Orchestra featuring Bea Wain as vocalist. PM That year the song was the #3 jukebox selection of the year. TY A decade later, Paul Weston’s instrumental version hit #20. PM In 1957, The Dominoes revamped the song as a doo-wop hit. The 1976 version by the brother-and-sister act of Donny and Marie Osmond was a #14 hit. HT

They weren’t the only siblings to have success with the song. Nino Tempo and April Stevens took the song back to #1 in 1963. HT The brother and sister had worked separately before meeting Ahmet Ertegun and signing with Atlantic Records. The pair had gone into the studio to record “Paradise,” but with 14 minutes left of studio time, Ahmet encouraged them to tackle “Deep Purple.” Nino was supposed to sing the second chorus, but when he couldn’t remember the words, April spoke them. The “narration” stayed in and became part of the song. BR1

The sentimental ballad was a favorite of Babe Ruth, who even had DeRose play the song at his birthday parties for roughly a decade. WK In addition, the song provided the heavy metal group Deep Purple with their name. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore’s grandmother kept asking the group if they would perform the song because it was her favorite. WK

Resources and Related Links:

  • Larry Clinton’s DMDB Encyclopedia entry
  • BR1 Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books. Page 139.
  • JA David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 46.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 97.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 491.
  • HT Joel Whitburn (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Page 1125.
  • WK Wikipedia.org