What About Me (song)

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This article is about the Moving Pictures song. For other songs with the same title, see What About Me (disambiguation).
"What About Me"
Single by Moving Pictures
from the album Days of Innocence
Released January 1982 (AUS)
18 September 1982 (U.S.)
1989 (U.S.)
Format 7" vinyl
CD single
Genre Rock
Length 3:38
Label Wheatley (AUS)
Network (U.S.)
Geffen (U.S.)
Writer(s) Garry Frost, Frances Swan
Moving Pictures singles chronology
"What About Me"
(1982)
"Winners"
(1983)
"What About Me"
Single by Shannon Noll
from the album That's What I'm Talking About
B-side "The Way That I Feel"
Released 26 January 2004
Recorded 2003/2004
Genre Alternative rock
Length 3:21
Label Sony BMG
Producer(s) Bryon Jones, Craig Porells, Adam Reilly, Frances Swan, Gary Frost
Certification Platinum (ARIA)
Shannon Noll singles chronology
"What About Me"
(2004)
"Drive"
(2004)

"What About Me" is a song written by Garry Frost and Frances Swan, first recorded by Australian rock band Moving Pictures from their album Days of Innocence. It was the band's first number-one single in Australia spending six consecutive weeks on the top; there, it was the second-highest selling single of 1982.

The success of the song led them to America where it became a hit, reaching #29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song stayed in the U.S. charts for such a long time that it managed to make Billboard's top 100 Pop Singles of 1983, at #88,[1] a rare feat for a single with such a low peak position. The song made an unusual comeback in 1989, peaking at #46.

Moving Pictures[edit]

Frost wrote the song when he was working with autistic children in his day job. He had gone out to get lunch at his local shop in the Sydney suburb of Asquith[2] and saw a small boy not being noticed waiting at the counter. He was sufficiently moved by the vision to write the song. The song was rarely played live by the band; when it was, it was played in a modern country style. It would never have been recorded but their debut album's producer Charles Fisher heard Frost and Smith tinkling with the tune on the studio piano during a break in recording. Fisher suggested that Moving Pictures record the song.[3] It was initially released as a single in January 1982. It debuted on the charts during February and five weeks later reached #1, where it remained for six weeks, going on to become the second biggest selling single in Australia for 1982 (behind Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger") and went on to win the "Best Single" award at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards. "What About Me?" was released in the United States later in September 1982, reaching #29 and spending 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Because of its longevity on the Hot 100, the song was able to end up on the year-end chart at #88 in the U.S. It was re-released in the U.S. market in 1989 by Geffen Records, climbing to #46 at its second attempt.

Shannon Noll version[edit]

Australian Idol series one runner-up Shannon Noll covered the song for his debut album That's What I'm Talking About. He first performed the song on Australian Idol with the genre of #1 hits, where he received positive comments by the judges and was also seen as one of the highlights of the debut season of Idol. The song was released as a CD single on 29 January 2004 where it debuted at number-one and stayed there for four weeks. It eventually sold over 280,000 copies (certified 4× platinum) in Australia alone and became the highest selling single in Australia for 2004—two decades after the original version was the second-highest seller of its year.

When released in Australia, demand for Noll's single was unprecedented. The single debuted at the peak position on the ARIA Charts the week of 2 February 2004, achieving 2× platinum accreditation (140,000 copies shipped) in its debut week, and knocking long term number-one hit "Hey Ya!" by Outkast from the top position on the singles chart.

Following several plays on Irish radio by a former Australian DJ, requests for "What About Me" in Ireland skyrocketed, and due to public demand, the Australian pressing of the single was shipped to Ireland. The initial shipment sold out within the first week of sale,[citation needed] prompting a further larger shipment to be made soon after. "What About Me" spent almost six months on the Ireland Top 50 singles chart and peaked at number-two for two weeks.

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Australian director Anthony Rose, was the second music video from Shannon Noll. Set and filmed over two 38+ degree (Celsius) days in Shannon's home town of Condobolin, NSW, the video is essentially a snapshot of outback Australia and depicts Shannon's life in the small country town. The extras in the video for "What About Me" are all local Condobolin residents, including Shannon's two brothers. The music video was later popularly parodied by comedian Rove McManus on his television show Rove Live.

There has also been a parody music video produced for the AAMI insurance company.

Other versions recorded[edit]

X-Factor contestant Shayne Ward recorded a cover version for his debut album, Shayne Ward. In 1983, Italian singer Anna Oxa recorded a version of this song in Italian with the title "Senza di Me".

Track listing[edit]

Moving Pictures Australian release[edit]

  1. "What About Me?" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:38
  2. "Round Again" – 4:03

Moving Pictures U.S. release[edit]

  1. "What About Me?" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:37
  2. "Joni and the Romeo" (Alex Smith) – 3:28

Shannon Noll release[edit]

  1. "What About Me" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:21
  2. "What About Me" (Sterling remix)
  3. "The Way That I Feel"

Charts[edit]

Moving Pictures version[edit]

Chart (1982) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 29
Chart (1989) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[4] 46

Shannon Noll version[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 1
Ireland Singles Chart 2
New Zealand Singles Chart 10

References[edit]


Preceded by
"Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band
Australian Kent Music Report number-one single (Moving Pictures version)
22 March 1982 – 26 April 1982
Succeeded by
"I Love Rock 'n' Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Preceded by
"Hey Ya!" by Outkast
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single (Shannon Noll version)
1 February 2004 – 22 February 2004
Succeeded by
"All I Need Is You" by Guy Sebastian