The 90's US One-Hit Wonders Rate: WINNER REVEALED - Goodbye, farewell and amen | Page 55 | The Popjustice Forum

The 90's US One-Hit Wonders Rate: WINNER REVEALED - Goodbye, farewell and amen

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Ironheade, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. I don't know any of these so-called 00s one-hit wonders, so I'd probably just step aside whenever that rate comes along.
    ModeRed likes this.
  2. I think if we're doing a rate involving Eamon and the abomination that was Laffy Taffy, minus scores should be allowed.
    Ironheade, ModeRed and yuuurei like this.
  3. Alright, #23 tomorrow... perhaps it's one that you might have been able to predict, given that hardly anyone's been talking about it in the thread at all!

    Hey, it's better than #22, where we lose one of my 10's.

    Or the 9 I'm going to lose at #21, for that matter...
  4. OK, so when a song's not being mentioned much at this point, it's usually a good sign that it's going out soon.

    I guess he just couldn't fight the break of dawn hard enough...



    Average score: 7.172
    Highest scores: 5 x 10 (@Sprockrooster , @berserkboi , @Andy French , @GimmeWork , @Blond )
    Lowest scores: 1 x 0 (@Ganache)

    Chart positions: #5 Hot 100, #2 Radio Songs, #1 Mainstream Top 40, #3 Adult Top 40, #8 Modern Rock
    Year-End Hot 100: #22 (1999)

    Who? Oh yeah, them...

    It can be tough living up to the legacy of a famous relative in the same field as you, and that can often be particularly the case when it comes to music. Even if you do a very different kind of music to them, the comparisons will inevitably come thick and fast, and if the public feels like you can't quite live up to them, you'll be written off. Just ask Julian Lennon or Jakob Dylan – and, indeed, the subject of this very writeup. But Eagle-Eye Cherry did do a rather good job of distinguishing himself from his sister with “Save Tonight”... unfortunately for him, though, the hookline of “tomorrow I'll be gone” proved all too prophetic...

    You know, I keep thinking he really looks like someone, but I can't figure out who, and it is driving me NUTS.

    First of all: yes, “Eagle-Eye Cherry” isn't a band as I long thought it was, it's one dude, and that's his real given name. Eagle-Eye Lanoo Cherry, to give his full name, and it was allegedly bestowed on him because, the first time he looked at his father, he did so with only one eye open. He was born in Stockholm in 1968, and is of African-American and Swedish parentage, with some partial Choctaw descent through his father's side. Eagle-Eye comes from a musical family, as he is the son of Don Cherry, a jazz trumpeter best known for having been part of Ornette Coleman's quartet on the epochal The Shape of Jazz to Come, and later for his pioneering work in jazz-world fusion in the 70's. His siblings and half-siblings are also jazz musicians, including violinist Jan and pianist David. However, there is of course one musician in the family who outshines the others in fame: Eagle-Eye's older half-sister Neneh, with whom he shares a mother, and who was adopted by Don Cherry. (Side note, the Swedish R&B singer Titiyo is also related to the family, though not Eagle-Eye himself – specifically, she's the daughter of Neneh's father. Yeah, thanks to a number of divorces and remarriages among the older generation, the Cherry dynasty's family tree can get kinda complicated.) Naturally, he said that he often found it frustrating to be living in his sister's shadow a lot of the time, so about the time she came to worldwide fame hanging in a buffalo stance, he decided to pursue a different career path.

    RIP, by the way.

    Eagle-Eye moved to New York for boarding school as a teenager, and at 16 he enrolled in the High School of Performing Arts, in the same class as Jennifer Aniston. His ambition at this time was to be an actor, and he scored a number of bit roles in commercials and television series, as well as a lead role in the short-lived NBC action series South Beach. However, he got frustrated with the roles he was getting, always a sidekick to a white protagonist (which he attributed to racial bias within the industry in a 2017 GQ interview). Eventually, Eagle-Eye got back into music, first playing as a drummer and keyboardist with a number of bands around New York, and later focusing on singing. Allmusic's biography of him says that it was the death of his father in 1995 that made him return to Stockholm to clear his head, and decide to focus his career on music rather than acting. It was then that he put out his first album Desireless in 1997, on the small Swedish label Diesel; it would not receive an international release until 1998, under the Epic Records-distributed Work Group. But as soon as it did, its single “Save Tonight” started to become a slow-burning sleeper hit, coming out as a single in the US in the summer of 1998 and cresting in early 1999. Eventually, it would propel Desireless to four million copies sold worldwide.

    Hey, look, it's a bison of love! Cheers, Neneh!

    A big part of the attention for “Save Tonight”, it has to be said, came from its striking monochrome music video, in which Eagle-Eye plays multiple characters despite the whole thing appearing to be done in one long continuous shot. The clip was directed by Johan Camitz, who also famously did the video for “Wannabe” and a series of successful Diesel jeans ads, but whose career was tragically cut short in 2000, when he was hit by a car and killed while he was out walking in New York. (In a freakish coincidence, the driver of that car had just been shot by gang members, and his vehicle had drifted onto the pavement as he lost control, striking Camitz as it did so; the driver in question, Ivory Davis, would die of his wounds afterwards. Life can be truly horrible sometimes, can't it?) Of course, the video is not actually in one take as it appears – there had to be edits in order for Eagle-Eye to be able to play his various roles – but the editing is very clever and almost seamless. Actually, I'd call it one of the best videos for a song in this rate (“No Rain”, “Criminal”, “You Get What You Give” and “Your Woman” would make up the rest of my top five). But it sure as hell paid off, as “Save Tonight” became an MTV and VH1 special, with great chart longevity through 1998 and well into 1999. That's the power of a black-and-white video and an afro for you!

    He only ever made two music videos, but what an iconic two they were. RIP.

    So what do I think?

    SEVEN. Frankly, I can think of quite a lot of songs that have already gone which “Save Tonight” should have left before. Sure, it's got a catchy chorus and a cool video, but beyond that, it at first appeared to be nothing more than your standard Triple A acoustic-pop confection, with some rather bland lyrics to boot. Listen a bit longer, though, and you can find some nice instrumental bits, like the plaintive slide guitar that is somewhat reminiscent of “Torn”, and the rougher, woodsier sound to the acoustic guitars that make it feel a bit more soulful. Sure, the production is still really slick and polished for AC radio so it can't take full advantage of those slight bits of edge, and the drum track in particular is sapped of vitality because of it, but hell, it's decently put together and works well enough for what it is. Eagle-Eye's voice is also a bit unusual, in that it falls in between these two stalls, combining a lightness and slightly nasal pop tone with a syncopated, off-kilter phrasing on the verses. Like the instrumentation, his singing is polished and professional and not unpleasant to listen to, but at first glance doesn't appear to be anything special. On the other hand, though, it has a warmth and soulfulness to it that works really well for the harmonies of the chorus, which have a depth that I wasn't quite expecting, and the plaintive twang he puts into his voice on the “Lord, I wish it wasn't so” prechorus is really quite a bit more affecting than I thought it would be. Really, his voice ended up as one of the best parts of this song for me, guiding it with a smooth and even hand that makes it feel a fair bit less vanilla than something like, say, “Barely Breathing”. So that's “Save Tonight” - the epitome of “pleasant”, and a song I do enjoy listening to, but at this stage of the competition, that's not really enough to go far.

    "I was robbed here!" - Eagle-Eye

    Where Are They Now?™

    Like many a foreign artist featured in this rate, Eagle-Eye Cherry had a more substantial list of multiple hits abroad (a couple of years' lead on the US helped him out there). However, it was not exactly a stellar hitmaking record, and even then, “Save Tonight” was his only single to make the top 10 in most territories. Desireless produced another fairly big hit in “Falling in Love Again”, which went to #8 in the UK and also charted in a number of European markets. The other two singles, “When Mermaids Cry” and “Permanent Tears”, only made the charts in Sweden and the UK respectively, and not all that high. By all appearances, there was no promotion of a second single from Desireless stateside, which seems a little odd – sure, Eagle-Eye may well have been working on a follow-up album already when “Save Tonight” peaked on the charts, but it still wouldn't come out for a year. He also got an OHW CROSSOVER when, like fellow rate entrant Everlast, he was one of the many young artists called into revitalise Santana's career on his 1999 blockbuster Supernatural; unfortunately for him, while Everlast got a Grammy-winning rock radio hit with his feature “Put Your Lights On”, Eagle-Eye had to content himself with “Wishing It Was”, a clunky album-track filler ballad that even the presence of the Dust Brothers fails to enliven. But, hey, not everybody can share the catbird's seat with Rob Thomas.

    I'd Rather Be Listening To... eh, you know the rest.

    One thing I'll say for Eagle-Eye is that he didn't hit much of a sophomore slump with his second album, 2000's Living in the Present Future, a moodier collection inspired by a relationship that had dissolved during his touring for Desireless. The lead single “Are You Still Having Fun?” charted in a number of European countries, with positions comparable to those of “Falling in Love Again”, and he also got some international presence with “Long Way Around”, a collaboration with Neneh. The song “Feels So Right” got a tiny bit of adult-pop play in the US (it scraped in at #39 on Adult Top 40, his only other American chart entry), and presumably it was his big play at a proper follow-up to “Save Tonight”, but it didn't catch on. In the aforementioned GQ interview, he attributes his lack of further stateside success to the fact that the American release of the album (in a remixed version re-titled Present/Future) happened right after 9/11, and he, and a lot of other artists releasing around that time, got lost in the shuffle of the news coverage.

    Quite the family resemblance they have, no?

    Unfortunately, between that, Living in the Present Future having not sold as well as Desireless worldwide, and his variety of adult-alternative acoustic pop-rock becoming much less of a mainstream force in the early 2000's, the stage was set for Eagle-Eye to fall. And that was exactly what happened with 2003's Sub-Rosa, which utterly tanked, not even getting him any hits in any European markets to show for it; the closest he got was that “Don't Give Up” was featured in the film adaptation of Holes. He had had enough. As he put it, he had been on tour continuously for six years, and was burned-out and exhausted from his attempts to get another hit on the level of “Save Tonight”. To quote him, though: “I just needed to take a break. I didn't realize it would be for a very, very long time.” Eagle-Eye, for the next decade, retreated to Stockholm with his family, and stayed out of the limelight. He occasionally made soundtrack appearances, such as performing in Wim Wenders' acclaimed 2003 documentary The Soul of a Man, but other than that, he was content to just let those “Save Tonight” royalties roll in. Also, he performed as the musical guest on an episode of The Voice of Romania in 2012. Hey, Wikipedia's page on him is pretty sparse and it's one of the few things they highlight, OK?

    Go Julie Mayaya! Go Team Horia!

    Eagle-Eye eventually came out of retirement; he released a new album called Can't Get Enough in 2012 on the Vertigo label, which failed to chart anywhere, and finally made the move to independent recording in 2018, with his most recent effort Streets of You. “Dream Away”, a 2014 non-album duet with Swedish pop star Darin, reached #30 in his home country, but other than that, Eagle-Eye seems happy to stay out of the spotlight and just do his own thing whenever the fancy takes him. He's still performing live too, with a new series of dates kicking off at the end of this month according to his official website (which otherwise, unfortunately, failed to yield any other useful information). And now, we have a third generation of the Cherry family making waves in the music world, with the success of Mabel, who is Neneh's daughter and Eagle-Eye's half-niece. (Side note: Marlon Roudette of Mattafix is also related to the family in this younger generation, being the son of Neneh's husband, Massive Attack and Sugababes producer Cameron McVey. Told you it could get intricate!) The mashup of “Save Tonight”, “Buffalo Stance” and “Don't Call Me Up” is practically crying out to be made – all tied together with Don's fantastic solo from Ornette Coleman's “Focus on Sanity”, of course!

    Couldn't find pics of her with her uncle, unfortunately. I still stand by it, the trio needs to happen!


    Girl, you know I've got to go
    Ganache (0): Another radio overkill song, never want to hear this again. (Adult Alternative: We Never Let Songs Die!)

    Auntie Beryl (2.8): Satan’s lift music. (I guess then, as AC/DC said, Hell Ain't a Bad Place To Be.)

    iheartpoptarts (5): It took me a long time to realize that this was the guy’s name and not, you know, a band. (Me too, teebs. Dude's got one hell of an awesome first name, though.)

    chanex (4): Neneh Cherry sings my favorite song of all time but I remember thinking when this came out that IMO talent doesn't run in the family. (Gigolo! Huh, sucka?)

    ...But Lord, I wish it wasn't so
    Seventeen Days (6.75): Who knew Neneh Cherry’s brother had some singing chops? Whew, we love a talented family. I always get a small chuckle at the line “tomorrow I’ll be gone” because… well, obviously. (So obvious that you know I had to reference it myself!)

    WowWowWowWow (8): I know E-E should get a boost for being Swedish/ related to Neneh/ related to Titiyo/ related to Mabel… but there’s just something a little too twee about it for me. (It's OK, we have a song that gets a Sweden boost in the top 20!)

    unnameable (9): Lovely bop.

    Empty Shoebox (7): Decent without ever being spectacular. Very commercial radio. (You know things are gettin' real when we see @Empty Shoebox scores above 5!)

    DJHazey (7): One of those songs I remember vividly but ends up being just good background music with a light foot tap. (adultalternative.mp3)

    DominoDancing (7.5): This was played to death by my local radio station when I grew up, so I never feel the urge to actively listen to it. Can't help but bop if it comes up somewhere though.

    pop3blow2 (8): I think I heard this song one too many times & i got a bit burned out on it. It actually holds up pretty well, though, upon revisiting it. (Me with a lot of these songs.)

    ModeRed (7): Actually thought I liked this more than I do now I'm hearing it again. It's okay though. (Me with a lot of these songs.)

    4Roses (8): It's like listening to an old friend. (Aww.)

    berserkboi (10): Shame he didn’t get a proper long term international career out of this, as this is quite a début single!

    Blond (10): This is probably second only to Wonderwall in the list of songs that white guys get drunk and play on their acoustic guitars at parties, but I fucking love both these songs. Save Tonight has aged really well and most of your faves wish they could write something this radio friendly. (Considering who my faves are... heh, probably not. I'll give you that it's aged surprisingly well, though!)

    Sprockrooster (10): A classic that easily fits in the Lenny Kravitz discography as well. That probably explains why I thought this was a track by mister Kravitz at first. (...You know, I can kinda see it at some points.)
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  5. Love it, but it went further than I expected so I am not too heartbroken over its exit! Thank goodness that tag was not for my 11!
    AshleyKerwin likes this.
  6. What?!?!? That was still here?
    soratami, ModeRed and Aester like this.
  7. Oh but it had been mentioned in this thread.

    At this point in the rate it was well overdue.
    Aester likes this.
  8. Another song that deserbed top 10 but got cut way too soon. At least it survived the big misandry cull at the start of the rate.
    berserkboi and DJHazey like this.
  9. I was going to ask if it was one of the songs that was in your Top 10 and I wanted eliminated, sorry! At least you can see I haven't tanked any songs remaining except for that one 4.
  10. 'Save Tonight' is a fine-enough song with a great video, but it was getting a bit out of its league heading into the top 20. It does hold up surprisingly well, though. Not that I would want this to happen, but I can imagine certain style of current day artist covering this song & having a hit a with it. Y'know, someone from the 'busker brigade'.
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
  11. Almighty Records really built an industry back then churning out quickie dance covers for the gay/commercial club market. They weren’t the only one (Klone and the SAIFAM group did a lot too) but Almighty did the best on the US/UK Hi-NRG charts I saw.

    Our #23 - Jackie O - “Save Tonight”:

    From back at #31 - Jackie O - “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

    And #33 - Rochelle - “Mouth” (Fun fact, this one allegedly appalled the guy who did A&R for Merril’s label so he started commissioning dance mixes for his other artists songs to steal the sales back.)

  12. Save Tonight is a pleasant enough song, but there's not much else to say about it. Which is probably why no one has said anything until now.

    That said, I don't recall anyone mentioning Return Of The Mack either and I thought that would be much more divisive.
  13. Ha! I used to love these.

    Imagined Deja Vu dragging poor old Tasmin outta bed on a Monday to record vocals for whatever charted well the day before.
    MixmasterRemix likes this.
  14. I thought 4 was my lowest score but while I was looking at my checklist this morning I realized I omitted two songs by accident when I originally transferred the list. So what I'd like to leave before the Top 20 the most:

    Groove is In the Heart - Deee-Lite
    I Try - Macy Gray
    iheartpoptarts likes this.
  15. I suspect you're out of luck on both counts.
    soratami likes this.
  16. The 'Mouth' one is definitely worthwhile!

    (I didn't listen to the other two.)

    Honestly, you'd think Macy's vocals would've sunk that song by now.
    MixmasterRemix, ModeRed and DJHazey like this.
  17. I've never been able to deal with her particular brand of rasp.
    ModeRed and iheartpoptarts like this.
  18. You'd think the two of us together would've sunk that song by now!
    ModeRed and DJHazey like this.
  19. Because it’s awful. How is it still here?!
    iheartpoptarts and DJHazey like this.
  20. Three of us now.
    ModeRed and iheartpoptarts like this.
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