Unbelievable (EMF song)

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"Unbelievable"
Single by EMF
from the album Schubert Dip
B-side "EMF (live at The Bilson)"
Released 3 November 1990 (UK)
14 May 1991 (US)
Format CD, 7", 12", cassette
Recorded 1990
Genre Alternative dance
Length 3:30
Label Parlophone (UK)
EMI (US)
Writer(s) EMF
Producer(s) Ralph Jezzard
EMF singles chronology
"Unbelievable"
(1990)
"I Believe"
(1991)

"Unbelievable" is a song written and recorded by Gloucestershire band EMF, originally appearing on their debut album Schubert Dip. It was released as a single in the UK in 1990, peaking in the UK Singles Chart at number three on 1 December 1990. It was the 32nd best-selling single of 1990 in the UK. In the United States, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 20 July 1991.

Content of the song[edit]

The song contains samples of US comedian Andrew Dice Clay throughout the track, including the loud exclamation of "oh!" at the start of each chorus along with the words "you're unbelievable" spoken during the bridge. The track was produced by Ralph Jezzard.

In the UK (where the band hailed from), the B-side of the single was a track called "EMF" which included the refrain: "E! Ecstasy! M! Motherfucker, motherfucker! F! From us to you...."

"Unbelievable" also samples the word "One" that comes in the refrain "Ya Kid K is the one", from the song "Spin That Wheel" by Eurodance act Hi-Tek 3 featuring Ya Kid K. Hi-Tek 3 is a side project from the successful dance act Technotronic.

Track listings[edit]

UK CD (CDR 6273)
  1. "Unbelievable" — 3:30
  2. "Unbelievable (The Cin City Sex Mix)" — 5:14
  3. "EMF (live at The Bilson)" — 3:53
UK 7" (R 6273)
  1. "Unbelievable" — 3:30
  2. "EMF (live at The Bilson)" — 3:53
US CD (E2-56210)
  1. "Unbelievable (single version)" — 3:30
  2. "Unbelievable (Cin City Sex Mix)" — 5:14
  3. "Unbelievable (Boot Lane Mix)" — 6:20
  4. "Unbelievable (House Mix)" — 4:26
  5. "Unbelievable (Hip Hop Mix)" — 4:10
  6. "EMF (live at The Bilson)" — 3:53

Charts and sales[edit]

Preceded by
"Rush Rush" by Paula Abdul
US Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
20 July 1991 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"(Everything I Do) I Do It for You" by Bryan Adams
US Cash Box number-one single
13 July 1991 – 20 July 1991 (2 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Right Here, Right Now" by Jesus Jones

Cover versions[edit]

"Unbelievable" has been covered by many other musical acts, including Tom Jones[29] and "Weird Al" Yankovic (briefly in the polka medley "Polka Your Eyes Out"). It was also covered by Shakira in her The Sun Comes Out Tour, the Christian rock band Thousand Foot Krutch on their debut album Set It Off, but with markedly different lyrics. American grindcore band Anal Cunt covered "Unbelievable" on their Morbid Florist EP in 1993, and by Ashley Amphlett and the Metroheads. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for their 1991 album The Chipmunks Rock the House. German pop rock band The BossHoss recorded a country style version for their album Internashville Urban Hymns. Filipino rock band Chicosci also covered the song for the compilation 90's Music Comes Alive.

Spin Magazine recommended a cover version of this song by an artist known as Femme Fatality in its November 2006 issue.

An altered version of the song, with the refrain "They're Crumbelievable", was used in a 2005 US television advertisement for Kraft Crumbles.[30]

Another altered version of the song, with the refrain "They're Twin-believable" was used during the Minnesota Twins 1991 championship drive and eventual World Series victory.

Shakira performed its chorus in her 2010-2011 tour as an interlude during "Whenever, Wherever".

British hip hop duo Rizzle Kicks sampled the guitar riff in their 2013 song "Skip to the Good Bit" on the album Roaring 20s.

Records[edit]

Due to the amount of air time that "Unbelievable" has received since its release, it may be responsible for the most profanity ever heard over radio. The constant background vocal during the chorus saying "What the fuck was that?" which even appears in the lyrics in the CD booklet, was never edited. This is possibly because the background vocal appears incoherently, and most people dismiss it as undecipherable lyrics.[citation needed] The song has also been used unedited in pre-watershed television adverts.

It was ranked No. 31 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in 2002 and No. 98 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s in 2007.[31]

Miscellaneous uses[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Australian-charts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  2. ^ "EMF – Unbelievable – Austriancharts.at" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. ^ "Ultratop.be – EMF – Unbelievable" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ (Dutch) "Unbelievable – EMF". Top 30. Retrieved 7 May 2014. "Hoogste notering in de top 30 : 5" 
  5. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 54, No. 6, July 13 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  6. ^ "Dance/Urban – Volume 54, No. 2, June 15 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  7. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  8. ^ "The Irish Charts – All there is to know". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  9. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – EMF - Unbelievable search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  10. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – EMF – Unbelievable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Charts.org.nz – EMF – Unbelievable". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". VG-lista. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  13. ^ (Polish) "UNBELIEVABLE – EMF". LP3. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". Singles Top 60. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  15. ^ "EMF – Unbelievable – swisscharts.com". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  17. ^ a b c d "Schubert Dip – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  18. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending JULY 13, 1991 at the Wayback Machine (archived 15 September 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  19. ^ "ARIA Charts – End Of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1991". ARIA Charts. ARIA. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  20. ^ (Dutch) "Jaaroverzichten 1991". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Dance/Urban – Volume 55, No. 3, December 21 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  22. ^ (German) "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1991". Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1991". The Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  24. ^ The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1991 at the Wayback Machine (archived 27 August 2012). Cash Box magazine. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  25. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns – Accreditation Awards". Australian Fun Countdowns. 7 April 2011. Retrieved 1 June 2014. 
  26. ^ "Canadian single certifications – E.M.F. – Unbelievable". Music Canada. 
  27. ^ "British single certifications – EMF – Unbelievable". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Unbelievable in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Go
  28. ^ "American single certifications – EMF – Unbelievable". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  29. ^ Covers at the Wayback Machine (archived 12 November 2006). EMF-theband.com. Retrieved 26 January 2014.
  30. ^ Taylor, Catharine P. (2 December 2005). "Kraft uses 'Unbelievable' unbelievably". Adweek. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 
  31. ^ Ali, Rahsheeda (23 May 2013). "The 100 Greatest Songs Of the ’90s". VH1. Retrieved 7 May 2014. 

External links[edit]