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Absolutely (Story of a Girl)

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"Absolutely (Story of a Girl)"
A cover featuring the text "Nine Days, Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" and a blurry photograph of a band performing
Single by Nine Days
from the album The Madding Crowd
ReleasedApril 2000
Format
StudioTree Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia
Genre
Length3:11
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • John Hampson
  • Brian Desveaux
Producer(s)Nick DiDia
Nine Days singles chronology
"Absolutely (Story of a Girl)"
(2000)
"If I Am"
(2000)

"Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" is a song recorded by American rock band Nine Days for the group's fourth studio album, The Madding Crowd (2000). The song was released as the lead single from The Madding Crowd in April 2000 through 550 Music and Epic Records. The song is an upbeat power pop anthem written by guitarist/vocalist John Hampson for his wife, who was his girlfriend at the time it was composed. Brian Desveaux, the group's other guitarist, also receives songwriting credit. The song represented a breakthrough for the band after years of attempting to interest major record labels. It was recorded in Atlanta, Georgia at Tree Sound Studios with producer Nick DiDia.

The song became the band's only hit single; it reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States, and it peaked within the top ten in Canada and New Zealand. The song's music video was directed by Liz Friedlander and received airplay on MTV and VH1. The band's follow-up single, "If I Am", fared poorer than its predecessor, and Nine Days became a one-hit wonder.

Background[edit]

Nine Days was formed in Long Island, New York in 1994 by vocalist/guitarists John Hampson and Brian Desveaux. For much of the decade, the band built a following by self-releasing their first three albums—Something to Listen To (1995), Monday Songs (1996), and Three (1998)—while performing frequently. The band struggled to get signed by a major label; talent scouts were reluctant as they did not hear a "hit" in their sound. "It can get very discouraging when you're giving everything you've got and you're not quite getting there. But we always felt we were inching our way along so we just kept at it," said Hampson in a 2000 interview.[1] They put together an album to shop around to labels composed of their best songs, to little interest. Frustrated, they continued to write songs until Hampson penned "Absolutely". They recorded a three-song demo and were signed to 550 Music (then known as Sony 550 Music) in February 1999.[2][3]

"Absolutely" ended up being the band's only hit single, marking their status as a one-hit wonder. "If it all ends next week, at least I'll be able to get my truck fixed up or get a new one. But if nothing, at least we accomplished this," Hampson said at the time of the song's success.[1]

Writing and composition[edit]

The song was written by the band's vocalist/guitarist, John Hampson in August 1998, in an attempt to write in an edgier style.[3] Though he "exaggerated things and used tons of figurative language to express something," Hampson confirmed in a 2003 interview with music magazine Impose that it was written for his wife, Teresa Savino, who was his girlfriend at the time it was composed.[4][5] Its genesis stemmed from an argument the two had prior to a concert the band was playing in Long Island.[6] After their fight, he "saw her talking to someone across the room, and she started laughing. I realized that as much as she aggravates me, I absolutely love her when she smiles."[7] It was also inspired by Hampson's uncertainty about getting married: "I just wasn't ready. I was basically stalling her and making her cry. I was good at that."[8]

Hampson picked up a guitar and worked out the song's chorus and chords in 15 minutes.[1] He later completed the bulk of the song in one night, which was unusual for him. "I don't know where it came from, but everything was about a true feeling."[7] The song first appeared as a demo on Bootleg '98, a promotional CD by radio station WLIR, who were early supporters of the band.[1] After the band's record deal, it was re-recorded for its appearance on The Madding Crowd by producer Nick DiDia at Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.[9]

The song's music video was shot by director Liz Friedlander[10] in Los Angeles, California. It was the band's first music video, and received airplay on MTV and VH1.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

William Ruhlmann of AllMusic deemed "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" "catchy" and reminiscent of Barenaked Ladies.[11] People praised the song's "chunky hooks and irresistible, sing-along, stop-and-start chorus".[12] Bridget Fitzgerald of HuffPost found the song "effortlessly catchy" and "adorable".[13] Sputnikmusic's Lincoln Green called "Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" "pretty sappy and uninteresting, but at the same time, it’s catchy and there’s a little charm behind all of the cheese. It’s a harmless power pop anthem that at worst is clichéd and fun to jam out to at best." Green also said that the song encapsulated the music of the early 2000s.[14]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" was the band's biggest single, and it charted worldwide on multiple music charts. In the U.S., it debuted at number 25 on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart in the issue dated April 15, 2000;[15] in the following weeks, the song rose to peak at number 10 on that chart on May 27, 2000.[16] It reached number six on the magazine's all-genre Hot 100 chart on July 22, 2000,[17] and number five on the Hot 100 Airplay ranking one week later (which only measured radio airplay).[18] It was a number one hit on the Mainstream Top 40 chart on August 12,[19] which ranked the most popular songs being played on a panel of Top 40 radio stations. On August 26, it reached its peak on the Adult Top 40 Tracks chart at number two, which measured more adult-oriented alternative rock and mainstream pop.[20] It was the 35th best-performing single in the U.S. in 2000, according to Billboard.[21] The single peaked the highest in Canada, reaching number three on the all-genre Top Singles chart;[22] it also hit number 14 on the Rock/Alternative rankings.[23]

Internationally, it was also the group's biggest hit. It fared best in New Zealand, where it reached number seven;[24] it ranked as the 39th best-selling single of 2000 in that country.[25] In nearby Australia, the song was also a hit, reaching number 31.[26] It performed near the bottom of singles charts in other territories. In Scotland, it reached number 67;[27] in the Netherlands, number 75. In the United Kingdom, the single only made an appearance for one week at number 83 on the UK Singles Chart dated October 10, 2000.[28] In Brazil, it ranked lowest at number 85.[29] Because of the success of the song, it made an appearance on the 2000 compilation album Now That's What I Call Music! 5 in the U.S. The song was also featured on the album "Lizzie McGuire: Total Party!" from the hit Disney Channel show Lizzie McGuire.[30] In 2015, Billboard ranked it the tenth most popular song of the summer from 2000.[31] By June 2004, the song had accumulated over 400,000 spins on radio in the U.S., and it received a BDS Certified Spin Award.[32]

The song was covered by the band Four Year Strong for their cover album Explains It All (2009).[33]

Formats and track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes for The Madding Crowd.[9]

Locations
  • Recorded at Tree Sound Studios in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Mixed at Image Recording in Los Angeles, California.
  • Mastering at A&M Mastering Studios in Hollywood, California.
Personnel

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mark Woodlief (July 5, 2000). "Nine Days 'Absolutely' Surprised By Success". MTV News. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  2. ^ Chris Celauro. "Nine Days Interview with Brian Desveaux of Nine Days: How They Escaped a Musical Deathtrap". ModernRock.com. Archived from the original on March 5, 2001. Retrieved April 27, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Robbie Woliver (May 14, 2000). "Dues Paid, Rock Band Is Climbing Charts". The New York Times. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  4. ^ Dave Wheeler (February 7, 2012). "Throwback Tuesday- Nine Days with Absolutely". Lite 98.7. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  5. ^ "Here's the heartwarming story behind Nine Days' hit 'Story of a Girl'". Today (U.S. TV program). NBC. September 16, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  6. ^ David Basham (June 12, 2000). "Nine Days Tells Story Behind The "Story Of A Girl"". MTV News. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  7. ^ a b Jill Pesselnick (April 29, 2000). "The Modern Age". Billboard. 112 (18). Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 91. ISSN 0006-2510.
  8. ^ Interview with John Hampson, Impose, 2003
  9. ^ a b The Madding Crowd (liner notes). Nine Days. US: Epic/550 Music. 2000. BK 63634.
  10. ^ David Basham (December 4, 2000). "Semisonic, Video Director Have 'Chemistry'". MTV News. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  11. ^ William Ruhlmann (2000-05-16). "The Madding Crowd - Nine Days | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  12. ^ "Picks and Pans Review: The Madding Crowd". People. 2000-08-28. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  13. ^ Fitzgerald, Bridget (2016-05-31). "Nine Days Sends Snapshots for Sweet 16". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  14. ^ Green, Lincoln (2015-03-14). "Nine Days The Madding Crowd". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2017-08-29.
  15. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. 112 (16): 99. April 15, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  16. ^ "Modern Rock Tracks". Billboard. 112 (22): 159. May 27, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Nine Days Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Nine Days – Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  19. ^ a b "Nine Days – Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  20. ^ a b "Nine Days – Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  21. ^ a b "The Year in Music: 2000 – Hot 100 Singles & Tracks". Billboard. 112 (53): YE-46. December 30, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved March 20, 2016.
  22. ^ a b "RPM 100 Hit Tracks & Where to Find Them" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 71 (17). August 28, 2000. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  23. ^ a b "RPM Top 30 Rock Report" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 71 (16). August 21, 2000. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  24. ^ a b "Charts.nz – Nine Days – Absolutely (Story of a Girl)". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  25. ^ a b "Top Selling Singles of 2000". Retrieved 2015-10-10.
  26. ^ a b "Australian-charts.com – Nine Days – Absolutely (Story of a Girl)". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Chart Archive > October 1, 2000". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  29. ^ a b "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  30. ^ "Now That's What I Call Music! 5 – Various Artists". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  31. ^ "Summer Songs 1958-2015: The Top 10 Tunes of Each Summer". Billboard. May 8, 2015. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "BDSCertified Spin Awards". Billboard. 116 (20): 87. April 15, 2000. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  33. ^ "Explains It All – Four Year Strong". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  34. ^ "Absolutely (Story of a Girl) – Nine Days". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  35. ^ "RPM Adult Contemporary Tracks" (PDF). RPM. Ottawa: Library and Archives Canada. 71 (15). August 14, 2000. OCLC 352936026. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  36. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Nine Days – Absolutely (Story of a Girl)" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
  37. ^ "Nine Days – Chart History". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved April 30, 2017.

External links[edit]