Don't Mean Nothing
|"Don't Mean Nothing"|
|Single by Richard Marx|
|from the album Richard Marx|
|B-side||"The Flame of Love"|
|Released||May 26, 1987|
4:38 (album version) |
6:15 (extended rock mix)
|Richard Marx singles chronology|
"Don't Mean Nothing" is the debut single by singer/songwriter/producer Richard Marx from his Triple Platinum 1987 eponymous album. It hit #1 on Billboard's Album Rock Tracks chart and #3 on the Hot 100. With the chart success of "Don't Mean Nothing" and subsequent singles from his debut album, Marx became the first male artist to reach the top three of the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart with four singles from a debut album.
The song was aided by a popular MTV music video and in 1988, Marx was nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Rock Vocal Performance - Solo" for "Don't Mean Nothing". He competed against Bruce Springsteen, Tina Turner, Bob Seger, and Joe Cocker.
Background and writing
According to Richard Marx's personal commentary about the song's origin, his manager at the time asked Joe Walsh to play slide guitar on the song and he agreed. As a fan of the Eagles, Marx felt that musically the song could have belonged on the album The Long Run. Two other Eagles members, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit sang background vocals on the song. Richard reportedly wrote the lyrics himself and co-wrote the music for this song with Bruce Gaitsch at his first apartment on Lowry Road in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, where Marx resided during the early 1980s.
There are at least four recorded versions of this song:
- Album version - 4:38
- 7" single version - 3:59
- "Extended Rock Mix" version from 12" single - 6:15
- Live version recorded at the Palace Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, from the "Angelia" 12" single - 8:11
- Lead vocals – Richard Marx
- Rhythm guitar – Bruce Gaitsch and Joe Walsh
- Guitar solo – Joe Walsh
- Bass guitar – Nathan East
- Acoustic piano – Michael Omartian
- Drums – John M. Keane
- Backing vocals – Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit and Richard Marx
As the lead single from Richard Marx, the song saw success on both the Billboard Hot 100 singles and Album Rock Tracks charts. The single entered the Hot 100 chart upon release at number 78 and, 12 weeks later, reached its peak of number 3. The song also became a number-one hit on the Album Rock Tracks chart. In the UK, the song reached a high of number 78.