|Birth name||Merril Bainbridge|
|Born||2 June 1968|
|Origin||Melbourne, Victoria, Australia|
|Genres||Adult contemporary, alternative|
|Associated acts||Tlot Tlot|
Merril Bolwell (nee Bainbridge, born 2 June 1968 in Melbourne, Victoria) is an Australian pop music singer and songwriter. Her debut was in 1994 with the single, "Mouth", which peaked at number-one for six consecutive weeks in Australia and became a top five hit in the United States.
Bainbridge started performing when she was at the age of nine and her first performance was at a carnival and her sisters persuaded her into entering, because the prize was free carnival tickets. She came third and won twenty dollars worth of tickets. After six years of performing in a variety of bands in Australia, and doing backup vocal work in exchange for studio time, Bainbridge began a solo career under the tutelage of producer Siew. Bainbridge stated that she and Siew "really connected well, from a creative point. I liked the way he worked and I knew I had so much more to learn in that environment [and] that's how it started. That was the point where I started feeling a lot more confident as a singer and then wanting to dive more into the songwriting side." She also worked a day job before quitting to concentrate solely on music.
The Garden: 1994–1997
In 1994, Bainbridge was signed to Ross Fraser and John Farnham's newly formed Gotham Records label. Fraser first heard Bainbridge when he received a tape in the mail and was interested by the combination of voice and guitar. "Mouth" was Bainbridge's debut release and the first song released from her debut album The Garden by Gotham Records. "Mouth" was released in Australia on November 1994 but was lost in the Christmas shuffle. It was reissued in February 1995 where it came to be the biggest song of Bainbridge's career, peaking at number-one in Australia for six consecutive weeks before becoming the fourth highest selling single in Australia for 1995. The second song released from The Garden was "Under the Water" which is a song about a lover who drowned, released in Australia in June 1995. The song was not as big as "Mouth" but was still successful peaking at number four in Australia and accrediting platinum by ARIA. The Garden was released in Australia on 31 July 1995, where it debuted at its peak position at number five on the Australian ARIA Albums Chart and certifying two times platinum selling 140,000 copies around Australia. On October 1995 the third song off the album was released titled "Power of One" which was not as big but still charted in Australia at number twenty-one. The ninth annual ARIA Awards saw Bainbridge nominated for five awards including "Best Pop Release", "Breakthrough Artist - Single", "Best New Talent", "Single of the Year" and "Best Female Artist" but failed to win the awards. The fourth and final song "Sleeping Dogs" was released in Australia in February 1996 and featured Bee Gees song "I Started a Joke" which was used for the bridge of the track. The song only peaked at number fifty-five in Australia.
Marc Nathan signed Bainbridge to the Universal Music record label in the United States by 1996. "Mouth" was released in the United States on 20 August 1996 and became the most requested song on American radio for three weeks. The song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number sixty-seven and after twelve weeks, the song peaked at number four. It spent a total of thirty weeks in the charts selling 600,000 copies and earning a gold single. The Garden was released on 24 September 1996 and debut on the Billboard 200 at number one hundred and sixty-one and after six weeks just missing the top one hundred it peaked at its peak position of one hundred and one. "Mouth" was the only release that Bainbridge released in the United Kingdom. It was released in November 1996 but did not show great success peaking at number fifty-one and spending eight weeks in the top two hundred. At the end of 1996 saw Bainbridge toured thirty cities in the U.S. for forty days and she presented an award at the Billboard Awards. She also performed at Madison Square Gardens supporting American singer Sheryl Crow. "Under the Water" was released in the United States on 18 February 1997 and at first debut at number seven on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and after two weeks it broke into the Billboard Hot 100 at number ninety-seven. It took the song four weeks to reach its peak position of number ninety-one and fell out of the chart from then on spending six weeks in the Hot 100.
Between the Days: 1998–1999
While Bainbridge was completing her first international tour, she started writing the album Between the Days which she refers to it being a place she found herself when she was working on the album. The first single released from the album was "Lonely" which received wide radio airplay on FOX FM upon its release but only managed a peak at forty in Australia, number eighteen on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart and number twenty-five in Japan. Later that year, she released a cover of "I Got You Babe" featuring a small contribution from Shaggy (which appeared on the soundtrack for the movie Welcome to Woop Woop), the song only reached number sixty-two in Australia. Two more songs were released from the album "Between the Days" and "Walk on Fire" but both failed to chart.
In 1999 Bainbridge participated in John Farnham's "I Can't Believe He's 50" tour with Kate Ceberano, Ross Wilson, James Reyne, Human Nature, and Nana-Zhami, she covered Farnham's tracks "Burn for You" and "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head".
In 1999 Merril Bainbridge recorded "Sydney from a 747", a song written and previously recorded by fellow Australian Paul Kelly. The track appeared on the soundtrack of the IMAX film Sydney - A Story of a City and was released as part of an official music compilation for the Sydney 2000 Olympic games entitled "Olympic Record" (WEA Australia, 2000). This album is currently out of print.
In 2000, Bainbridge recorded a song named "Friends" for the Australian film The Magic Pudding which is featured on its soundtrack. Bainbridge attempted a comeback in 2003 with the song "Girl Next Door" and an album which was untitled but the song failed to chart and so the album got shelved. She is often mentioned in "Where Are They Now?" lists on television. She has been working backstage as a composer for other Australian pop artists and owns an antique shop.
She has been married to her former producer Owen Bolwell since 2003. They have two kids.
|Year||Album details||Chart peak positions||Certifications
|1998||Between the Days
|1995||"Under the Water"||4||91|
|"Power of One"||21|
|1998||"Lonely"||40||25||118 1||Between the Days|
|"I Got U Babe"
|"Between the Days"||—|
|1999||"Walk on Fire"||—||—|
|2003||"Girl Next Door"||103||Single-only|
"—" denotes singles that were released but did not chart.
1 U.S. chart positions outside of the Billboard Hot 100 are according to Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. The "bubbling under" chart only represents the twenty-five singles below the Hot 100's number 100 position which have not yet appeared on the Hot 100.
- "2000 Miles" (1995) — a Christmas song written by Chrissie Hynde, and recorded for the compilation The Spirit of Christmas 1995.
- "Sydney from a 747" (1999) — a song on the soundtrack of the IMAX movie "Sydney - Story of a City" (1999) and included on "Olympic Record" (2000) the Sydney Olympic games official album.
- "Friends" (2000) — a song from the soundtrack to the Australian animation The Magic Pudding.
Awards and recognition
- "Merril Bainbridge - Mouth (song)". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Merril Bainbridge". Choose Cruelty Free. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Galipault, Gerry (17 October 1996). "Merril Bainbridge's 'Mouth' Speaks for Itself". Pause & Play. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "The Making of Merril". thei.aust.com. p. 4. Archived from the original on 2 March 1997. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Merril Bainbridge - Australian chart positions". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1995". ARIA Charts. 27 May 2010.
- "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1997 Albums". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Merril Bainbridge". ARIA Awards. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- Grossweiner, Bob; Cohen, Jane. "Industry Profile: Marc Nathan". celebrityaccess.com. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "The Making of Merril". thei.aust.com. p. 3. Archived from the original on 2 March 1997. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Merril Bainbridge (U.S. chart positions)". Allmusic/Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Gold & Platinum searchable database". RIAA. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "The Garden (U.S. chart position)". Allmusic/Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Chart Log UK 1994-2008 - Darren B – David Byrne". zobbel.de. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Mouth single on Dexxus listing". Retrieved 11 November 2009.[unreliable source?]
- "Merril Bainbridge - The Garden (album)". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "The Garden - Merril Bainbridge (chart history)". Allmusic/Billboard. Retrieved 27 May 2010.
- "Merril Bainbridge - New Zealand chart positions". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 27 May 2010.