Opposites Attract

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This article is about the song. For the film, see Kyle Newman. For the instrumental by Clint Mansell, see Black Swan: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. For the song by Fat Joe, see Jealous Ones Still Envy (J.O.S.E.).
"Opposites Attract"
Single by Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair
from the album Forever Your Girl
B-side "One or the Other"
Released November 28, 1989
Format CD maxi, 7" single, 12" maxin cassette
Recorded April 1988, Summer 1989
Genre Dance-pop, hip hop
Length 3:45 (45 version)
Label Virgin
Writer(s) Oliver Leiber
Producer(s) Oliver Leiber
Certification Gold (US)
Paula Abdul and The Wild Pair singles chronology
"(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (re-release)
(1989)
"Opposites Attract"
(1989)
"Rush Rush"
(1991)

"Opposites Attract" is a song recorded by Paula Abdul, featured on her debut album Forever Your Girl. It was written and produced by Oliver Leiber, who came up with the title after browsing a bookstore.[1] Vocals on the song, in addition to Abdul, were provided by Bruce DeShazer and Marv Gunn, aka 'The Wild Pair'. "Opposites Attract" was the sixth and final single from the album, and achieved success in many countries, including the US and Australia where it was a #1 hit.

Lyrics and music video[edit]

The lyrics are about a couple who love each other despite being different in just about every way possible.

The song is distinctive for its colorful music video created and directed by Candace Reckinger & Michael Patterson from August to October 1989, in which Abdul dances with cartoon character MC Skat Kat, voiced by 'The Wild Pair'. The music video adds an intro rap performed by Romany Malco.[2] An additional rap was provided by Derrick 'Delite' Stevens[3] for the Street mix version of the song, which was edited for the 7"/video.

The idea of MC Skat Kat came from the Gene Kelly film Anchors Aweigh, where Kelly dances with Jerry Mouse from the Tom and Jerry cartoon series. Paula even choreographed the animated character's moves to match her live-action dance moves in the video. MC Skat Kat was animated by members of the Disney animation team, working outside the studio between major projects, under the direction of Chris Bailey.[4] Also shown in the video are Micetro, Taboo, and Fatz, yet their names weren't revealed until the release of The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob.

The video won Abdul a Grammy Award in 1991 for "Best Short Form Music Video".

Cover versions and parodies[edit]

The song was covered by American indie band Mirror Ball Associates for the album Covers Vol. 1, which features Paul Durham (lead singer of Black Lab) on vocals.

In 1997, Abdul performed this song with Clifford during her guest appearance on Muppets Tonight.

This video was later parodied by the Family Guy episode "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Fonz" with Peter Griffin "dressed like a cat", taking the place of MC Skat Kat. Paula herself actually appears in the sequence. According to the DVD commentary, Abdul rerecorded her vocals specifically for the episode.

The song was also featured in situation comedy Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the Season 4 episode "Aging, Not So Gracefully".

The Australian sketch comedy show Fast Forward parody of the song had Humphrey B. Bear in place of MC Skat Kat.

The song also appeared in the television version of the political thriller A Very British Coup.

The Protagonist and Pierce Washington sing this as a duet in Saints Row IV and it also appears on the in game radio station The Mix 107.7.

Chart performances[edit]

"Opposites Attract" became one of the most popular R&B and dance-pop singles of 1990. The single initially rose from #72 to #47 the week of December 23, 1989, and landed at #1 the week of February 10, 1990, where it remained for three weeks, matching the run of "Straight Up". It became Abdul's fourth #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 and made her at that time only the fourth artist in music history to score four #1 hits from a single album, after Whitney Houston, George Michael and Michael Jackson. Although the single was released at the end of 1989, the song itself is considered one of the first popular songs of the 1990s. "Opposites Attract" also topped the charts in Australia, and peaked at #2 in the United Kingdom. It failed to enter the German Top 10, peaking at #13.

Track listings[edit]

Official mixes[edit]

  • Album version 4:23
  • 7" mix / 7" Edit 3:46 - Keith Cohen
  • Street mix 4:35 - as above
  • Magnetic mix 4:33 - as above
  • Dub version 6:26 - as above
  • 1990 mix 6:48 - as above
  • 12" mix 5:39 - Steve Beltran
  • Club mix 6:04 - Chris Cox for Hot Tracks remix service
  • Party dub 3:10 - as above
  • Shep's Special mix 6:43 - Shep Pettibone

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"How Am I Supposed to Live Without You" by Michael Bolton
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
February 10, 1990 - February 24, 1990 (3 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Preceded by
"Nothing Compares 2 U" by Sinéad O'Connor
Australian ARIA number-one single
April 22, 1990 - April 29, 1990 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Vogue" / "Keep it Together" by Madonna

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Opposites Attract Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved 2010-03-30. 
  2. ^ Stransky, Tanner (February 19, 2010). "20 Years Ago: Paula Abdul hits No. 1 with 'Opposites Attract'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-03-16. 
  3. ^ http://blogs.citypages.com/ctg/2005/08/will_the_real_mc_skat_kat_plea.php Will the real MC Skat Kat please stand up?
  4. ^ http://majordamage.net/maj_bio.html
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "Opposites Attract", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  6. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1990" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  7. ^ German Singles Chart Charts-surfer.de (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  8. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  9. ^ UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  10. ^ a b c Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved September 5, 2008)
  11. ^ 1990 Australian Singles Chart aria.com (Retrieved September 5, 2008)
  12. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1990". Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  13. ^ U.S. certifications riaa.com (Retrieved September 5, 2008)

External links[edit]