All I Wanna Do
Writer(s): Sheryl Crow/Wyn Cooper/Bill Bottrell/David Baerwald/Kevin Gilbert (see lyrics here)
Released: April 4, 1994
First Charted: July 23, 1994
Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 16 RR, 18 AC, 35 AR, 4 MR, 4 UK, 14 CN, 11 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)
Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.2 UK, 0.81 world (includes US + UK)
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 7.35 video, 113.75 streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Sheryl Crow signed to A&M in 1991 after working as a session singer, most notably for Michael Jackson. TB She recorded her debut album with Hugh Padgham, who had produced the Police. His “polished pop sheen” TB wasn’t much better than the major labels who wanted “to turn her into a grown-up Debbie Gibson.” TB Her boyfriend, Kevin Gilbert, introduced her to an informal collective of musicians known as the Tuesday Night Music Club.
The group served as session musicians to Crow’s resulting album of the same name. Released in August 1993, it didn’t take off until a year later when “All I Wanna Do,” the fourth single, started garnering attention at radio. “Carefully driven by lilting slide-guitar and handclaps, the single was – somewhat ironically…much more slick and polished than the rest” TB of the album.
The song went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, stuck for six weeks behind Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You.” It went to #1 in Australia and Canada and made the top 10 in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. WK It also won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The lyrics were adapted from Wyn Cooper’s 1987 poem “Fun.” Crow said “it encapsulated what was going on in LA, a real extreme feeling of apathy and defeat. It’s masked in this light pop ditty, but it’s about somebody down and out, sitting in a bar watching their life go by.” SF Bill Bottrell, a member of the Tuesday Night Music Club, and the producer for the album discovered the book of poetry, The Country of Here Below, in a used bookstore in Pasadena. The original run was for only 500 copies, but the success of “All I Wanna Do” spawned multiple reprints as well as earning considerable royalties for Cooper. WK
First posted 4/9/2020; last updated 9/5/2022.