Mouth (song)

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"Mouth"
Single by Merril Bainbridge
from the album The Garden
Released 21 November 1994
(see release history)
Format CD
Recorded 001 Studios, Carlton, Victoria, 1994
Genre Downtempo, Synthpop[1]
Length 3:25
Label Gotham, Universal
Writer(s) Merril Bainbridge
Producer(s) Siew
Certification Platinum (ARIA), Gold (RIAA)
Merril Bainbridge singles chronology
"Mouth"
(1994)
"Under the Water"
(1995)
Alternative cover
The cover of the single released in the United States

"Mouth" is a pop song written by Merril Bainbridge, and produced by Siew for Bainbridge's debut album The Garden (1995). It was released as the album's first single in the end of November 1994 in Australia, then was re-issued on 13 March 1995. It became her biggest hit to date peaking at number-one on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart for six consecutive weeks.[2] The song also became a Top 5 hit in the United States. Filipino-Australian singer Anne Curtis covered the song on her 2011 album Annebisyosa.

Content and music videos[edit]

The song, a playful and suggestive tune, was often referred to having something related to sexual themes. Bainbridge stated that "(Any sexuality on "Mouth" was) not deliberate - it was definitely not a sexual song. It's just honest - about a relationship, how you feel in a relationship. Sometimes you feel you're in control and the next thing, you're insecure - it's the role playing thing. To me, it's not about straight up sexuality. It doesn't bother me if people connect with that, because obviously it's there, but it wasn't something I was aware of".[3]

There were two music videos for the song, both directed by one of Gotham Records founders Ross Fraser.[4] The first video is a simple video with no plot, shot in both black and white and colour. Scenes included Bainbridge flirting with a man in a car and singing to camera wearing a black lingerie dress with a red heart in the middle of it, intercut with shots of a black man's mouth. This video was released in Australia. The second video is in black and white and is just the footage of Bainbridge in the car kissing the man for the whole video, looking at the camera three times. It was filmed along Yarra Glen (Tourist Drive 2) in the Melbourne suburb of Kew.[5] This video as well as the first, was released around the world. The first music video can be found on the special edition of The Garden as a CD Rom.

Chart performance[edit]

It was first released in Australia in 1994 but disappeared quickly due to lack of interest and airplay, becoming lost in the annual flood of releases that occur around Christmas. The song was repackaged and reissued in 1995 and with the help of airplay and more promo it became the biggest song of her career. It debuted on the Australian ARIA Singles Chart at number forty-two and after just six weeks it achieved the number-one position and stayed there for six consecutive weeks.[2] This feat gave Bainbridge the accolade of having longest running number one by an Australian female in the 90's. "Mouth" spent a total of twenty-one weeks in the charts,[2] was the fourth highest selling single for 1995[6] and was accredited platinum by ARIA. The song was nominated for five ARIA Awards in 1995 - "Single of the Year", "Best Female Artist", "Best New Talent", "Breakthrough Artist - Single" and "Best Pop Release" but failed to win.[7]

The song was released in the United States on 20 August 1996 and debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number sixty-seven and eventually peaked at number four. Success in the American music industry was, and still is, a relatively rare occurrence for Australian artists and the success of "Mouth" in the U.S. gave Bainbridge superstar status in her home country for a period. Ross Fraser stated that he thought she would have had more chance of success in Europe and what happened in the U.S. came as a surprise.[8] The song spent a total of thirty weeks in the U.S. charts and was the thirty-seventh highest selling single for 1996. It was accredited gold by RIAA selling 600,000 copies around the U.S.[9] After the success of the song, Bainbridge toured the U.S. and during that tour she played at Madison Square Garden in New York with Sheryl Crow. The song did not enjoy the same success in the UK, peaking at fifty-one in the charts during its eight-week run in the top two hundred. The song also went top five in Japan, Hong Kong and the Philippines.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Preceded by
"Back for Good" by Take That
ARIA (Australia) number one single
21 May 1995 — 25 June 1995
Succeeded by
"Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?" by Bryan Adams
Preceded by
"How Bizarre" by OMC
Canada number one single
11 January 1997
Succeeded by
"How Bizarre" by OMC

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label Format Catalogue
Australia 21 November 1994 Gotham Records CD 74321-23641-2
Japan 21 February 1996 BMG Japan CD BVCP-8822
United States 20 August 1996 Universal Records CD 74321431012
United Kingdom 11 November 1996 Arista Records CD 74321431012

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Merril Bainbridge - Mouth at Discogs". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c "Australian Chart Run". Australian-charts. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  3. ^ "Merril Bainbridge - Bob Gajarsky". westnet.com]. Retrieved 8 December 2006.
  4. ^ "Music video director". mvdbase. Retrieved 21 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 16 October 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 50 Singles 1995". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 12 July 2007.
  7. ^ "ARIA Award nominations". ARIA Awards. Retrieved 16 December 2006. 
  8. ^ "The Making of Merril page 4". thei.aust.com. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
  9. ^ "U.S. certification". RIAA. Retrieved 4 July 2007.
  10. ^ "The Making of Merril page 3". thei.aust.com. Retrieved 11 July 2007.
  11. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Merril Bainbridge – Mouth". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  12. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Merril Bainbridge > Mouth – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  13. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Merril Bainbridge – Mouth". Top 40 Singles.
  14. ^ "UK chart run". Chart Stats. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 12 July 2007. 
  15. ^ a b c d "Merril Bainbridge - Artist Chart History". Allmusic. Retrieved 8 December 2006.
  16. ^ "American single certifications – Merril Bainbridge – Mouth". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 3, 2012.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  17. ^ "Longbored Surfer - 1996". Retrieved 7 November 2014. 
  18. ^ "Longbored Surfer - 1997". Retrieved 7 November 2014.