11 (The Smithereens album)

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The Smithereens 11.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 18, 1989
RecordedJune-July 1989
StudioAmerican Recording, Los Angeles
Rumbo Recorders, Los Angeles
The Grey Room, Los Angeles
ProducerEd Stasium
The Smithereens chronology
Green Thoughts
Blow Up
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic3/5 stars [1]
Chicago Tribune3/4 stars [2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music4/5 stars[3]

11 is the third full-length album by The Smithereens, released on October 18, 1989 (see 1989 in music).[4] It includes the Billboard Top 40 single "A Girl Like You". The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in June 1990.[5]

The album title was inspired by the film Ocean's 11, "with a little push from Spinal Tap's famous line, "This one goes to 11", according to guitarist Jim Babjak.[6]


The Smithereens switched producers for the album, going from Don Dixon, who had produced their first two albums, to Ed Stasium, who had produced albums by The Ramones and Living Colour. "I’m not sure what we were looking for…maybe a heavier guitar sound, like in "A Girl Like You". We were trying to preserve our integrity, yet find a home on radio”, lead singer Pat DiNizio said.[4]

"A Girl Like You" was written by DiNizio on assignment for Cameron Crowe's film Say Anything.... DiNizio based the lyrics on bits of dialogue in the screenplay. When the film's producer asked DiNizio to change the lyrics, because it revealed too much of the plot, he refused, and the band decided to keep the song for their next album, 11.[7][5] Madonna was originally enlisted to sing the harmony vocals, but failed to show up for the recording session.[6] Instead, the band got Maria Vidal to do the vocals.

The song peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart and at No. 3 on the magazine’s Modern Rock chart. It became the band’s first Top 40 entry on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 38 and spending 20 weeks on the chart.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Pat DiNizio, except where noted.

1."A Girl Like You" 4:42
2."Blues Before and After" 3:15
3."Blue Period" 2:57
4."Baby Be Good" 3:20
5."Room Without a View" 4:09
6."Yesterday Girl" 3:27
7."Cut Flowers"Jim Babjak, DiNizio3:40
8."William Wilson" 3:33
9."Maria Elena" 2:48
10."Kiss Your Tears Away" 3:10


Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[8]

The Smithereens
  • Pat DiNizio – vocals, guitar, string arrangement on "Blue Period"
  • Jim Babjak – guitar
  • Dennis Diken – drums, percussion, cover concept
  • Mike Mesaros – bass
Additional musicians
  • Belinda Carlisle – vocal on "Blue Period"
  • Michael Hamilton – guitar on "A Girl Like You", "Blues Before and After", "Room Without a View" and "Kiss Your Tears Away"
  • The Honeys (Ginger Blake, Diane Rovell, Marilyn Wilson) – background vocals on "Baby Be Good" and "Cut Flowers"
  • Kenny Margolis – piano, electric piano, accordion, harpsichord, synthesizer
  • Ed Stasium – background vocals, percussion
  • Gerri Sutyak – cello on "Blue Period"
  • Maria Vidal – background vocals on "A Girl Like You"
Production personnel
  • Jim Dineen – assistant engineer
  • Mick Haggerty – design
  • Paul Hamingson – engineer
  • Gina Immel – assistant engineer
  • Shirley Greer – assistant engineer
  • Dewey Nicks – photography
  • Ed Stasium – producer
  • Francine Stasium – production coordination
  • Tommy Steele – art direction


Album – Billboard (North America)

Year Chart Position
1989 The Billboard 200[9] 41

Singles – Billboard (North America)

Year Single Chart Position
1989 "A Girl Like You" Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 2
1989 "A Girl Like You" Modern Rock Tracks[11] 3
1989 "A Girl Like You" The Billboard Hot 100[12] 38
1990 "Blues Before and After" Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 7
1990 "Blues Before and After" Modern Rock Tracks[11] 18
1990 "Blues Before and After" The Billboard Hot 100[12] 94
1990 "Yesterday Girl" Mainstream Rock Tracks[10] 20
1990 "Yesterday Girl" Modern Rock Tracks[11] 16


  1. ^ "11 - The Smithereens - Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  2. ^ Kot, Greg (26 October 1989). "The Smithereens 11". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). "Encyclopedia of Popular Music: Concise (5th Edition)". Omnibus Press. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b 11. Officialsmithereens.com. Retrieved on 25 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Junior, Chris M. (31 May 2010). "The Smithereens are still rocking after 30 years". Goldmine. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  6. ^ a b Babjak, Jim (20 June 2012). "Smithereens 11: Guitarist Jim Babjak Breaks Down 11 Essential Smithereens Tracks". Guitarworld.com. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Freeman, Paul (20 September 1990). "Smash For Smithereens". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  8. ^ The Smithereens - 11 (CD liner notes). Capitol Records. 1989. 7777-91194-2
  9. ^ "The Smithereens Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  10. ^ a b c "The Smithereens Chart History: Mainstream Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "The Smithereens Chart History: Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  12. ^ a b "The Smithereens Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 25 July 2018.