Don't Mean Nothing

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"Don't Mean Nothing"
Richard Marx - Don't Mean Nothing.jpg
Single by Richard Marx
from the album Richard Marx
B-side"The Flame of Love"
ReleasedMay 26, 1987 (1987-05-26)
Format7", 12"
Length4:38 (album version)
3:59 (7")
6:15 (extended rock mix)
LabelManhattan Records
Songwriter(s)Richard Marx
Bruce Gaitsch
Producer(s)Richard Marx
David Cole
Richard Marx singles chronology
"Don't Mean Nothing"
"Should've Known Better"

"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.[1][2] 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.[3]

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.[4]

Background and writing[edit]

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. Marx 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


Chart performance[edit]

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 peaked at number 78.


Chart (1987-88) Peak
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[5] 8
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[6] 78
US Billboard Hot 100 3
US Billboard Album Rock Tracks 1


  1. ^ Hunt, Dennis (16 August 1987). "Richard Marx: Soaring On His Own". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  2. ^ Hochman, Steve (6 July 1990). "Hit-Maker Richard Marx Doesn't Split Hairs : Pop music: The singer with the famed mane shrugs off his critics and looks for respect". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Richard Marx Celebrates 25 Years on Billboard Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Richard Marx to headline piano conference at Raue Center". Daily Herald. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
  5. ^ RPM Top Singles peak RPM Magazine
  6. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.

External links[edit]