Tangled (album)

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Tangled
Studio album by Jane Wiedlin
Released May 30, 1990
Recorded 1989-1990
Genre Pop rock, new wave
Length 45:26
Label EMI
Producer Peter Collins (all tracks)
Collins, Andy Hill (track 9)
Jane Wiedlin chronology
Fur
(1988)
Tangled
(1990)
Kissproof World
(2000)

Tangled is the third studio album by Jane Wiedlin, released in 1990 on EMI Records. It was also her third solo album after leaving new wave group The Go-Go's.

Background[edit]

After the American Top 10 success of the 1988 single "Rush Hour" from the album Fur, Tangled took two years to complete and upon release failed to gain any commercial success and sold poorly, which in turn eventually led to Wiedlin's departure from EMI Records.[1] Wiedlin would later state that this was largely due to EMI who failed to promote it.[2] The album was supported by a Summer tour in America, with plans for the tour being announced as early as May 1990.[3]

A total of two singles were released from the album. The leading and main single "World on Fire," was released with a semi-controversial music video. The single was issued in America, Japan and Italy.[4] The second single was the promotional-only American single "Guardian Angel", which aimed solely at radio airplay. It was issued as a one-track promo picture CD with custom back insert and remains scarce today.[5]

Tangled was produced entirely by Peter Collins, except for the track "99 Ways" which was produced by Collins and Andy Hill. Hill had co-wrote the song with Wiedlin and Chris Thompson.[6]

The title track "Tangled" would appear in the 1990 romantic comedy film Pretty Woman.[7] It would be included on the film's soundtrack album release in January 1990.[8]

Despite the album's limited success, EMI would release the 1993 compilation The Very Best of Jane Wiedlin which would include "Tangled", "Flowers on the Battlefield", "Paper Heart", "Guardian Angel", "Big Rock Candy Mountain", "99 Ways" and "World on Fire".[9]

In the August 1990 issue of the Orange Coast Magazine, an article based on Wiedlin under the title "Jane Wiedlin Untangles Her Past" was written by author Keith Tuber. The article wrote "The diminutive singer/songwriter and former Go-Go's band member is seated in the cluttered conference room of her record company's Hollywood offices. She's excited about "Tangled", her second solo album for EMI and third overall. She has every right to be excited. "Tangled" is easily her best individual project to date. The title track appears in the blockbuster film "Pretty Woman", and Wiedlin has just completed the video for her current single, "World on Fire".[10]

The song "Paper Hearts" was written by Wiedlin, Cyndi Lauper and Richard Orange. In the Orange Coast Magazine article, Tuber stated "The best track, however, is "Paper Hearts," a tune she inadvertently co-wrote with Cyndi Lauper. Inadvertent because she's yet to meet the pop artist whose vocal style is not unlike her own." The article quoted Wiedlin, who stated "It was sort of a song written by mail, more or less. I'd gotten a demo of the song in the mail and felt that it was real strong. She'd written it with another writer, but I wasn't that happy with the lyrics. I usually don't feel very comfortable singing other people's lyrics anyway. It's difficult to bring the right emotion into it. So, I asked them how they'd feel about me rewriting the lyrics, and they said, 'Go ahead and try, and we'll let you know what we think.' So I did, and they seemed to think the lyrics were OK. I recorded it, and I think the song came out great. You can't tell that it wasn't written at the same time." Tuber continued "Wiedlin, sniffling from the effects of a cold, pauses to sneeze. She might just as well be sniffling from her memory of the incident that served as her inspiration for the lyrics to "Paper Hearts." She wrote the words when she learned from a mutual friend that her former best friend, with whome she lost contact years before, had become a heroin addict. The news touched her emotionally, and she's yet to decided whether to tell him he's the subject of the song."[10]

Later in a September 12, 1996 article in the Los Angeles Times, writer Jon Matsumoto, under the title "Playing rough", the writer stated "Since the Go-Go's broke up in 1984, Wiedlin, who plays Friday at the Coach House, has released three solo albums. "Fur," in 1988, yielded a top-10 single in the infectious pop ditty "Rush Hour." But her last album, 1990's "Tangled," left her bitter about the record industry. It took two years to finish, and even after shooting what she termed an "extravagant" music video, EMI Records, Wiedlin said, never put its promotional muscle behind the album. It subsequently suffered a quick commercial death." Wiedlin was quoted, "It left such a bad taste in my mouth. It was, 'I can't handle this anymore.' I know [losing label support] happens to people all the time and there's nothing you can really do about it. Luckily, I had the [financial] luxury where I didn't really have to do anything. Then after a couple of years of floating around, I started thinking about doing music again and started writing songs."[11]

Release[edit]

The album was released in America, Canada and Japan only via EMI USA. It was issued on vinyl, cassette and CD.[12]

The American cassette release was a XDR (Expanded Dynamic Range) Cassette.[13] In Canada, the album was pressed by Disque Americ and was distributed by Capitol Records/EMI Of Canada Limited.[14] In Japan, it was released in 1991 as a 10-track CD, which included a lyric booklet picture sleeve plus an obi-strip.[15]

Today the album remains long since out-of-print and has never re-issued or released as a digital MP3 download on places like Amazon or iTunes.[16]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rain on Me"   Jane Wiedlin, Robin Hild, Kevin Hunter, Peter Collins 5:28
2. "At the End of the Day"   Mark Tibenham, Anton McIlwain 4:04
3. "Guardian Angel"   Wiedlin, Scott Cutler, Dennis Morgan 4:38
4. "Flowers on the Battlefield"   Wiedlin, Mark Goldenberg 4:24
5. "Tangled"   Wiedlin, Cutler 4:45
6. "World on Fire"   Wiedlin, Cutler, Terry Hall, Valerie Block 3:42
7. "Paper Heart"   Wiedlin, Cyndi Lauper, Richard Orange 4:33
8. "Big Rock Candy Mountain"   Wiedlin, Larry Tagg 4:25
9. "99 Ways"   Wiedlin, Chris Thompson, Andy Hill 4:35
10. "Euphoria"   Wiedlin, Paul Gordon 4:52

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 2/5 stars[17]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide (1992) 2/5 stars[18]
Orange Coast Magazine favorable[10]
Chicago Tribune 3.5/4 stars[19]
Los Angeles Times 2.5/4 stars[20]
Daily News favorable[21]
The Albany Herald favorable[22]
Rocky Mountain News A[23]
Worcester Telegram Gazette 2/5 stars[24]
Newsday favorable[25]
San Jose Mercury News (CA) 3.5/5 stars[26]
Dallas Morning News favorable[27]

Alex Henderson of Allmusic stated "When Jane Wiedlin followed Belinda Carlisle's lead and pursued a solo career, the former Go-Go encountered more than her share of skepticism, even among Go-Gos fans. The skepticism proved to be well-founded when Tangled hit the streets. Although a decent musician, Wiedlin doesn't have much of a voice - and her inadequacy as a singer is made all the more obvious by the pedestrian nature of the songs. None of this sugary, girlish pop-rock begins to compare with the Go-Gos' triumphs - or even Carlisle's solo projects. There's nothing wrong with sugary, girlish pop-rock if it's well done, but Tangled most certainly isn't. Between Wiedlin's weak singing and the consistently poor material, Tangled is a disc to avoid." Henderson had also selected "At the End of the Day", "Guardian Angel" and "World on Fire" as highlights by labeling them as AMG Pick Tracks.[17]

In the August 1990 issue of the Orange Coast Magazine, an article based on Wiedlin under the title "Jane Wiedlin Untangles Her Past" was written by author Keith Tuber. The author wrote "Wiedlin is excited about "Tangled", her second solo album for EMI and third overall. She has every right to be excited. "Tangled" is easily her best individual project to date. The best track is "Paper Hearts," a tune she co-wrote with Cyndi Lauper."[10]

Caitlin O'Connor Creevy of the Chicago Tribune reviewed the album on July 26, 1990, where she stated "Former Go-Go Jane Wiedlin has certainly not taken a permanent vacation from the signature sound of her band of old, but she is able to develop a distinct tone and add an almost ethereal uniqueness to that familiar Go-Go's beat. Wiedlin's solo sound is more mature and considerably less bubble-gummy, bop-'til-you-droppy than that of the now-defunct girls band that brought us such classics as "We Got the Beat" and "Head Over Heels." The title track is a marvy little sing-along to the radio hit, as well as being one of the best tunes on the album. "Paper Heart," co-written by Cyndi Lauper, is a slower song about a friend with a drug problem; this one captures Lauper's way with ballads, and Wiedlin's voice-smoother, less irritating than Cyndi's is the perfect translator."[19]

On September 9, 1990, Mike Boehm of the Los Angeles Times reviewed the album, stating "You wouldn't think the comely, unclad figure on the cover needs a diet, but Wiedlin has to get off the sugar. Half of "Tangled" is slick and over-sweet. The former Go-Go does much better when setting her fragile, Cyndi Lauper sound-alike voice in more intimate ballad surroundings. Wiedlin also excels in two anthems that engage broad themes of war and freedom with emotional acuity. Why not make every song matter?"[20]

Associated press writer David Dishneau reviewed the album for the Daily News on September 9, 1990, and for The Albany Herald on September 13, 1990, under the title "Wiedlin 'Tangled' in hit LP". The same review was posted in the Rocky Mountain News of October 5, 1990 under the title "Tangled unties Jane Wiedlin's talents". The review stated "Jane Wiedlin was largely responsible for everything that was good about the Go-Gos. On Tangled, her second solo project, she builds on that reputation. The 10 selections, nine of them co-written by Wiedlin, lean toward bouncy, guitar-driven pop with engaging female harmonies that recall such 1980s Go-Gos hits as "Our Lips are Sealed" and "We've Got the Beat". But the songs on Tangled are more complex and varied. No two tracks sound alike, perhaps because no two were written by the same team. Love is a common theme on the album. But love has many faces and Wiedlin takes a good look at a number of them. The title track is about the tangled emotions that arise when a love goes bad but the need for love remains. Wiedlin explores the other side of the coin in "Big Rock Candy Mountain," in which a woman jaded by too many heartbreaks can hardly believe it when she finally finds the real thing. "World on Fire," the first single from the album, is a playful, pumped-up scorcher that contains the memorable line, "I feel the flames of love climbing up my pantvhose"."[22][23]

On June 24, 1990, Newsday writer John Anderson reviewed the album and stated "As a member of the Go-Go's, Jane Wiedlin helped create a sugary froth of rock and roll that was fun but ultimately forgettable (as it was supposed to be). On her new album, "Tangled", Wiedlin creates pop rooted in '60s guitar rock and ringing with defiant optimism. It's persistent and irresistible."[25]

In the San Jose Mercury News of July 29, 1990, a review of the album stated "The tunes on "Tangled" are gracefully engaging pop, setting Wiedlin's pixie trill amid brisk, simple waves of guitar."[26]

In a San Francisco Bay Times article based on The Go-Go's from November 25, 2010, writer Pollo Del Mar had mentioned "From Dec. 2-23 at CounterPULSE Theatre, the former member of The Go-Go’s – whose 1990 solo album "Tangled" I fell in love with in college — plays a very special guest in the upcoming holiday run of The Golden Girls. Sitting face-to-face with Jane during our first rehearsal, there was no way I could keep my mind from wandering to those days so long ago and the impact her musical career had on me."[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ EMI executive at Go-Go's concert Universal Amphitheater 1990 who wished to remain anonymous
  2. ^ Times (1996-11-08). "Spokesman.com | Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  3. ^ Anderson, John (1990-05-13). "Newsday - The Long Island and New York City News Source". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  4. ^ "Jane Wiedlin - World On Fire at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  5. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Guardian Angel (81777) at". Eil.com. 1997-02-28. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  6. ^ "Images for Jane Wiedlin - Tangled". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0100405/soundtrack
  8. ^ "Pretty Woman - Original Soundtrack : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  9. ^ "The Very Best of Jane Wiedlin - Jane Wiedlin : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  10. ^ a b c d Orange Coast Magazine - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  11. ^ JON MATSUMOTO (2004-01-29). "Playing Rough - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  12. ^ "Jane Wiedlin - Tangled at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  13. ^ "Jane Wiedlin - Tangled (Cassette) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  14. ^ "Jane Wiedlin - Tangled (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  15. ^ "Jane Wiedlin Tangled + Obi Japan CD album (CDLP) (123637)". Eil.com. 1998-10-14. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  16. ^ "Tangled: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  17. ^ a b Henderson, Alex. "Tangled - Jane Wiedlin : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  18. ^ The Rolling stone album guide: completely new reviews : every essential ... - Anthony DeCurtis, James Henke, Holly George-Warren - Google Books. Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  19. ^ a b Caitlin O`Connor Creevy (1990-07-26). "Jane Wiedlin Tangled (EMI) (STAR)(STAR)(STAR) 1/2... - Chicago Tribune". Articles.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  20. ^ a b MIKE BOEHM (1990-09-09). "IN BRIEF: : ** 1/2 Jane Wiedlin, "Tangled," EMI. Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to five (a classic). : - Los Angeles Times". Articles.latimes.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  21. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=6vAaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=lkcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6836,1300963&dq=jane+wiedlin+tangled&hl=en
  22. ^ a b http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=jQZSAAAAIBAJ&sjid=5zQNAAAAIBAJ&pg=4858,2364514&dq=jane+wiedlin+tangled&hl=en
  23. ^ a b "Archives : The Rocky Mountain News". Nl.newsbank.com. 1990-10-05. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  24. ^ David Niles. "Worcester Telegram & Gazette Archives". Nl.newsbank.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  25. ^ a b Anderson, John (1990-06-24). "Newsday - The Long Island and New York City News Source". Pqasb.pqarchiver.com. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  26. ^ a b . 1990-07-29 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=SJ&s_site=mercurynews&p_multi=SJ&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB732C4B3FE827D&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ "Archives | The Dallas Morning News, dallasnews.com". Nl.newsbank.com. 1990-07-18. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  28. ^ "SF Bay Times". SF Bay Times. Retrieved 2013-06-20.