The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Monday Music "Voices Carry" by Til Tuesday

Sorry about the week delay, I was down in Warner Robins going through a "Prep" course as part of my professional development.  They did a lot of general aviation stuff down there, things I don't do with my present employer.  I can now say "Yes I can now time a magneto", lol. 

My Monday Music song is "Voices Carry" by the group "Till Tuesday"

"Voices Carry" is a song written and performed by American New Wave band 'Til Tuesday. It was produced by Mike Thorne for the group's debut album Voices Carry, released in 1985. The song's lyrics, written by Aimee Mann, are about past sour relationships and were originally written and sung as if to a woman, but changed due to Epic Records' pressure. The song was inspired by Mann's breakup with Hausman.
The single achieved strong American radio airplay and MTV rotation in the summer of that year.
Directed by D.J. Webster, the accompanying music video received wide exposure on MTV, positive reactions from critics, was nominated for numerous awards, and it is attributed to be the reason behind the song's success. It was released in North America in March 1985 to positive reviews from music critics. "Voices Carry" became the band's highest charting single and their only top ten hit in the U.S., peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100. Internationally it reached the top twenty in Canada and Australia.    
"Voices Carry" was recorded in 1985 at RPM Sound Studios in New York. The song is about past sour relationships, and was originally written and sung by Aimee Mann as to a woman 'Til Tuesday rehearsed that format in Boston the previous summer, but Epic was unhappy with the lyrics; they thought that it was a "very powerful, commercial song", and wanted to remove the lesbian components to appeal to the mainstream market.
Despite the pressure to replace the lyrics, producer Mike Thorne thought that "it didn't matter any to the impact of the song itself", and the band eventually changed the gender of the love interest. At the beginning, 'Til Tuesday and Thorne were undecided between "Love in a Vacuum" and "Looking over My Shoulder" to be released as the first single, but ultimately Epic's A&R executive Dick Wingate chose "Voices Carry", because it "define[d] precisely the band and its style". According to Thorne, his contract stated that he had the right to be the first to remix the song for the 7" single release. He was then told that it had been remixed by Bob Clearmountain; about this he commented, "not what the rules were [...] but it sounded pretty good, as well it might coming from one of the finest American engineer/producers".

The music video for "Voices Carry" was directed by D.J. Webster, and filmed at Dorchester's Strand Theater, in Boston. The clip incorporates dialogue and acting, and resembles a mini-movie. The plot centers around the band's lead singer, Aimee Mann, who appears as a musician with a violent boyfriend, played by actor Cully Holland. He mistreats her for playing in a rock band, and demands that she change her look to fit in his upper-class lifestyle. The video uses spoken dialogue in between to interrupt the musical parts, including Mann's boyfriend demands: "Why can't you for once do something for me?". At the end she lashes out at him during a concert at Carnegie Hall, she stands up from her seat in the audience and yells 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 spiky, rat-tailed hair.
The success of the single was largely attributed to the video, which received wide exposure on MTV, along with positive reactions from critics and nominations to numerous awards. Keith Thomas of Knight Ridder newspapers called the video "a clever and stunning effort". Praising the dialogue and acting he said that it "looks better than most feature films", adding that "everything about the clip is grand". Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times also praised Mann's acting, saying that she appears "marvelously charismatic" in it, while Dennis Hunt from the same newspaper said that it was "cleverly conceived". Debbie del Condo of the Orlando Sentinel called it the "Most Memorable Video of 1985", and added that she will "keep waiting for their next video". In his book Totally awesome 80s, author Matthew Rettenmund called it a "great story video". Author Brent Mann in his book 99 Red Balloons..., called the video "pure New Wave" and added that it was "perfect for MTV and VH1 consumption".
At the 1985 MTV Video Music Awards, the band won the award for Best New Artist in a video.The same year, at the Fourth Annual American Video Awards, Mann was named the Best Female Performer in a video for "Voices Carry". The video was placed number forty on Slant Magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Music Videos",and was listed on Pitchfork Media's "100 Awesome Music Videos", in 2006.


  1. I always liked that song. Way back in those days I heard another version of it with a male lead and altered lyrics that I also liked. I only remember hearing that one a single time and never did find out who did it. Such is life......

    1. Hey Taminator;

      Yep it is kinda a off the wall song, but I really liked it. I wished they had done a lot more than they did, it would have been interesting to see the direction of their musical talent.

  2. Interesting, and again one I missed being overseas.

    1. Hey Old NFO;

      You mean this song is one the Icelandic or Filipino cover bands didn't "cover?, lol