Thursday, February 20, 1992

Crowded House “Weather with You” charted

Weather with You

Crowded House

Writer(s): Neil Finn, Tim Finn (see lyrics here)

Released: February 17, 1992

First Charted: February 20, 1992

Peak: 7 UK, 34 CN, 27 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.4 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 14.0 video, 197.28 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

In 1977, Neil Finn joined Split Enz, the New Zealand-based new wave group which was led by his brother Tim. They reached their peak commercially with 1980’s “I Got You,” which was written and sung by Neil. When the group broke up in 1984, Neil and Split Enz drummer Paul Hester formed Crowded House. The group found success with their self-titled debum and its top-10 hits “Don’t Dream It’s Over” and “Something So Strong.”

The follow-up album, Temple of Low Men, failed to generate any top-40 hits in the U.S., although singles “Better Be Home Soon” and “Into Temptation” were more than worthy. When it came time to record their third album, Neil experienced chronic writer’s block and turned to his brother Tim for help. TC Tim ended up joining the band, infusing the subsequent Woodface album with a welcome dose of quirkiness.

The brothers penned most of the album’s songs together. “Weather with You,” the fourth single from the album, showcased the Finns at their best. They tended to “write sweet songs that generally disguise enormous turmoil” TC and “Weather with You” proved to be a perfect representation of one of their “dark and deeply personal songs.” TC Neil said, “the theme of the song is…that you are creating your own weather, you are making your own environment.” WK

Tim initiated the song with the opening chords and the lyric “Walking round the room singing ‘Stormy Weather.’” Neil responded with the line “at 57 Mount Pleasant Street.” As Tim said, now “We had this place and we had this feeling of some guy walking around singing ‘Story Weather’ so things weren’t that great. We had a mood and then Neil came up with, ‘Things ain’t cookin’ in my kitchen.’” TC Tim thought it might end up being the chorus until they came up with the line “always take the weather with you.” TC Tim also praised his brother’s guitar as “one of the most memorable parts of the song.” TC


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First posted 2/8/2024.

Saturday, February 15, 1992

Red Hot Chili Peppers chart with “Under the Bridge”

Under the Bridge

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Writer(s): Anthony Kiedis, Flea, John Frusciante, Chad Smith (see lyrics here)

First Charted: February 15, 1992

Peak: 2 US, 11 CB, 13 GR, 12 RR, 2 AR, 6 MR, 13 UK, 3 CN, 14 AU, 2 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.4 UK, 1.47 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 253.8 video, 1154.30 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Prior to this song, the Red Hot Chili Peppers built a following with four albums in the 1980s, but largely amongst the alternative rock crowd. They’d reached the top 20 of that chart four times, but never reached the top 40 of the pop chart. Their only previous song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 was “Give It Away” (#73), the first single from Blood Sugar Sex Magik. As Rolling Stone’s David Fricke said, the song “unexpectedly drop-kicked the band into the Top 10.” WK

Lead singer Anthony Kiedis wrote the song about the “loneliness and despondency” WK he’d experienced from heroin and cocaine addiction roughly three years earlier. WK He commented that instead of appreciating the love of his then-girlfriend, actress Ione Skye, he “was downtown with fucking gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.” WK It was initially a poem he thought was “too emotional and did not fit the Chili Peppers’ style.” WK However, producer Rick Rubin saw the band as more than “a funk band with rapping” SF and convinced Kiedis to share the song with the band.

“Under the Bridge” became the second single from the Magik album after Warners Bros. Record representatives saw the Peppers in concert. Kiedis missed his cue to start singing and the audience jumped in. He apologizied to the record company people afterward, but they said, “Are you kidding me? When every single kid at the show sings a song, that’s our next single.” WK

The song has been called “a seminal component of the alternative rock movement of the early and mid-1990s.” WK Journalist Jeff Apter called it “the bona fide, across-all-formats radio hit that the band had been working towards for seven years.” WK All Music Guide’s Amy Hanson called it “an integral part of the 1990s alterna-landscape.” WK


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First posted 1/24/2021; last updated 7/14/2023.

Friday, February 14, 1992

Today in Music (1942): Woody Herman hits #1 with “Blues in the Night”

Blues in the Night (My Mama Done Tol’ Me)

Woody Herman

Writer(s): Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen (see lyrics here)

First Charted: December 6, 1941

Peak: 11 US, 12 HP, 1 GA, 11 SM (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 0.16 video, 0.77 streaming

Awards (Woody Herman):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Frank Sinatra):

Awards (Ella Fitzgerald):

About the Song:

Composer Harold Arlen and lyricist Johnny Mercer were approached to write a song for a movie about a jazz quintet riding the rails in search of its big break. There was a scene in which the band members ended up in jail and needed to sing a blues song. Arlen wrote a melody after analyzing recordings of blues songs and then Mercer penned four pages of lyrics. Arlen rarely suggested changes to Mercer’s lyrics, but recommended that the line “my mama done tol’ me” be moved to the beginning. It became the song’s subtitle. SB

When they finished the song, Mercer called singer Margaret Whiting, who’d sung the pair’s songs “That Old Black Magic” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” She told Mercer she had guests for dinner, but he and Arlen could come over later to share the song. When Mercer found out the guests included Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and Mel Tormé, he announced, “My God, we’re coming right over.” After they played the song, Garland asked them to play it again and Rooney said, “That’s the greatest thing I’ve ever heard.” SB

The producers of the movie were taken with the song as well – so much so that they changed the name of the movie from Hot Nocturne to Blues in the Night. TY1 Jimmie Lunceford’s band introduced the song in the movie and took it to #4 on the charts. It charted six times in 1941 and 1942. Dinah Shore (#4) had her first million-seller with the song TY1 and Cab Calloway (#8), Artie Shaw (#10), and Benny Goodman (#20) also had success with the song. In 1952, Rosemary Clooney charted with the song again (#17). Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald also recorded the song. The latter two version are in Steve Sullivan’s Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings along with Woody Herman’s.

It was Herman who had the most successful recording of the song. He was born Woodrow Charles Herman in 1913 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started as a sideman and singer with Isham Jones’ orchestra from 1934-36, specializing in clarinet and saxophone. SM After Jones retired, Herman fronted his own band and became, in the words of writer Will Friedwald, “the most successful…talent scout in the history of jazz.” SS His initial plan was to record “Blues in the Night” as an instrumental but in a cab ride to the recording session, Mercer taught him the lyrics. SS Mercer and Arlen sat in on the session and reported satisfaction with his performance. SS


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First posted 2/14/2016; last updated 1/31/2024.