Ghetto Day/What I Need

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"Ghetto Day"/"What I Need"
Crystal Waters - Ghetto Day-What I Need.png
Single by Crystal Waters
from the album Storyteller
ReleasedJune 1994
October 1994 ("What I Need")
Recorded1993
StudioBasement Boys Studios (Baltimore)
Genre ("Ghetto Day")
House ("What I Need")
Length3:32 ("Ghetto Day"; album version)
3:14 ("Ghetto Day"; radio mix)
3:20 ("What I Need"; album version)
3:14 ("What I Need"; LP radio edit)
Label
Songwriter(s)
  • Crystal Waters
  • Sean Spencer
("Ghetto Day")
  • Crystal Waters
  • Doug Smith
  • Richard Payton
("What I Need")
Producer(s)The Basement Boys
Crystal Waters singles chronology
"100% Pure Love"
(1994)
"Ghetto Day" / "What I Need"
(1994)
"Relax"
(1995)
Alternative cover
Artwork that commercializes "What I Need"
Artwork that commercializes "What I Need"

"Ghetto Day"/"What I Need" is the second single from American singer-songwriter Crystal Waters' second studio album, Storyteller (1994). It was produced by The Basement Boys and released in June 1994 by Mercury Records, A&M Records and A&M's division AM PM.[1][2] Waters and Sean Spencer wrote "Ghetto Day", which is a funk song that contains samples from The 5th Dimension's song "Stoned Soul Picnic" and Flavor Unit's "Flavor Unit Assassination Squad". According to Spin, the track's lyrics talk about "those balmy, front-stoop, 40-swinging summer afternoons."[3] The single's second A-side, "What I Need", is a house track written by Waters, Doug Smith and Richard Payton.

Contemporary critics complimented both songs and noted them as the album's highlights. Commercially, the joint release entered the top forty in the United Kingdom. "What I Need" was released separately in October 1994, and later became Waters' fourth single to top the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart.[4][5] It also reached the top spot of the Bubbling Under Hot 100 and No. 82 of the Billboard Hot 100. In other media, "What I Need" was featured in the film Double Dragon (1994) and an episode of television series So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

Compositions[edit]

Like the majority of songs on Storyteller (1994), both "Ghetto Day" and "What I Need" were produced, arranged and mixed by The Basement Boys, with Waters credited as their main writer. Additionally, Sean Spencer co-wrote the former track, and Doug Smith and Richard Payton co-wrote the latter.[6]

Musically, "Ghetto Day" is a mid-tempo[7] funk[7], hip hop[8] and doo-wop[9] track that has an "easy flow"[10] and a "gently funky conversation" where Waters "opens up."[11] Larry Flick of Billboard described the song as a "splash of cool retro-funk that is laced with licks" from its sampling of The 5th Dimension's "Stoned Soul Picnic".[7] It also contains portions of Flavor Unit's 1996 track "Flavor Unit Assassination Squad".[6] According to Jonathan Bernstein from Spin, the lyrical content of "Ghetto Day" "rhapsodizes about those balmy, front-stoop, 40-swinging summer afternoons."[3] Charles Aaron from the same publication wrote of the lyrics: "Going home, she listens to Grandma talk to the Lord, babies scream, old men go tra-la-la, and her brother sing the praises of a 40-ounce on a sunny day."[11]

On the other hand, "What I Need" was described as a house[12] piece and one of the album's "jovial, upbeat" moments,[13] where Waters performed her vocal in a "sick, tired, and simmering" manner.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical reviews[edit]

Ernest Hardy from the Los Angeles Times called "Ghetto Day" a "sugary, hip-hop, doo-wop inner-city fantasy,"[9] while Spin's Charles Aaron thought it was "a more sublime sound than any arm-twisting remix."[11] Also from Spin, Jonathan Bernstein described it as "languid" and one of the "noteworthy" Storyteller tracks.[3] Peter Galvin of The Advocate agreed, noting "Ghetto Day" was "more listener-friendly" than the other songs on the album, with lyrics that offered "a paradisaical view of life and love in the slums, made convincing by the use of a sample from Fifth Dimension's summery 'Stoned Soul Picnic'."[8] This sampling was also praised by Fred DeUar of High Fidelity News and Record Review, who stated it was done "in the cause of better-class '90s pop."[14] Billboard called the track "a languid, liquid sketch of a lazy city afternoon" and stated "it gets the nod as [the album's] likeliest knockout contender."[15]

Ron Wynn from AllMusic declared "What I Need" one of the album's best.[16] Billboard's Larry Flick labelled it a "floor-filler"[17] and an "upbeat rouser."[18] Another reviewer from the same publication thought "What I Need" was one of the hits to be had from Storyteller.[15] Vibe magazine stated "What I Need" and "100% Pure Love", the album's first single, "ooze with giddy abandon—not to mention juicy grooves that seep deeper into the brain and body upon repeated spins."[13] "What I Need" was claimed by Spin's Bernstein to have "xeroxed" Clivillés and Cole's 1991 single "A Deeper Love". However, he predicted that it could have been a potential successor to her previous signature hits, "Gypsy Woman" and "Makin' Happy".[3]

Commercial performance[edit]

"Ghetto Day" and "What I Need" were released as a double A-side single in June 1994.[1] The joint release peaked at No. 40 on the UK Singles Chart and at No. 94 on the ARIA Top 100 Singles Chart.[19][20] In October 1994, Mercury Records released "What I Need" separately, and later sent the track to contemporary hit radios in January 1995.[4][17] It eventually gained Waters her fourth No. 1 single on the Billboard Dance Club Songs Chart of November 5, 1994.[21] On the chart's year-end edition of 1994, it peaked at No. 42.[22] The song also topped the Bubbling Under Hot 100 before reaching No. 82 of the Billboard Hot 100.[23][24] However, the latter entry was the singer's lowest peak on the chart.[24] "What I Need" also climbed to No. 7 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales and No. 32 on the Top 40 Airplay Rhythm-Crossover.[25][26]

Promotion and other usages[edit]

The music video for "Ghetto Day" marked Waters' second work with German director Marcus Nispel, following "100% Pure Love".[27] It shows the singer performing around an African-American neighborhood, with scenes tinted in a yellow-orange tone. Pam Thomas directed the video for "What I Need", which consists of scenes of Waters shot primarily in a bathroom.[27] BET added the clips to the channel's playlist in late August 1994 and early March 1995, respectively.[28][29]

Waters performed "Ghetto Day" on the June 30, 1994 episode of British music-chart television programme Top of the Pops.[30] "100% Pure Love" and "What I Need" were subsequently featured in the 1994 action film Double Dragon, but only the latter was included on its soundtrack album.[31][32] During the fourth season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, two contestants—JP Dubé and Geisha Chin—performed "What I Need" on its twelfth episode which aired on August 1, 2011.[12]

Formats and track listings[edit]

Credits[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Storyteller.[6]

Recording and management

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Crystal Waters – Ghetto Day". austriancharts.at. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Ghetto Day / What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. United Kingdom: A&M / AM PM. 1994. 858 959-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  3. ^ a b c d Spin staff(s) (June 1994). "Spins" (Google Books). Spin. Vol. 10 no. 3. SpinMedia. p. 99. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Maxi-Single Sales Chart for week ending Oct. 15, 1994" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 48. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. October 15, 1994. p. 26. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  5. ^ "Crystal Waters – What I Need". austriancharts.at. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Storyteller (CD liner notes). Crystal Waters. United States: Mercury. 1994. P2-22105.CS1 maint: others (link)
  7. ^ a b c Flick, Larry (March 5, 1994). "Crystal Waters shows new maturity on 'Storyteller'" (Google Books). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 10. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 29. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Galvin, Peter (May 3, 1994). "Don't smoke" (Google Books). The Advocate. Vol. 654. Here Media. p. 81. ISSN 0001-8996. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Hardy, Ernest (May 22, 1994). "*** Crystal Waters, "Storyteller"; Mercury". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  10. ^ Spin staff(s) (December 1994). "20 Best Albums of '94" (Google Books). Spin. Vol. 10 no. 9. SpinMedia. p. 78. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d Aaron, Charles (November 1994). "Singles" (Google Books). Spin. Vol. 10 no. 8. SpinMedia. p. 93. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Top 16 Performance". So You Think You Can Dance Canada. Season 4. Episode 12. August 1, 2011. CTV.
  13. ^ a b Vibe staff(s) (1994). "Crystal Waters – Storyteller review". Vibe. Vol. 2 no. 4–6. Time Inc. ISSN 1070-4701.
  14. ^ DeUar, Fred (1994). "Crystal Waters – Storyteller review". High Fidelity News and Record Review. Vol. 39 no. 7–12. Link House Publications. p. 87.
  15. ^ a b Verna, Paul; Gillen, Marilyn A.; Cronin, Peter (June 4, 1994). "Crystal Waters – Storyteller review" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 23. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 84. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  16. ^ Wynn, Ron. "Crystal Waters – Storyteller review". AllMusic. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  17. ^ a b Flick, Larry (December 24, 1994). "Dance club acts rise yet still hang left of mainstream" (Google Books). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 52. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 36. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  18. ^ Flick, Larry (November 26, 1994). "Conn. DJ/Producer & Artist Keeps Uplifting Tunes in Mix" (Google Books). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 48. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 53. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  19. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  20. ^ a b "The ARIA Report" (246). Australian Recording Industry Association. October 30, 1994: 3. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  21. ^ a b "Crystal Waters Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved April 11, 2018.
  22. ^ a b Flick, Larry (December 24, 1994). "The year in Music" (Google Books). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 52. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. p. 48. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  23. ^ "Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles for week ending February 25, 1995" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107 no. 8. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. February 25, 1995. p. 149. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  24. ^ a b c "Crystal Waters Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  25. ^ a b "Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales for week ending Mar. 11, 1995" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107 no. 10. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. March 11, 1995. p. 23. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  26. ^ "Top 40 Airplay Rhythm-Crossover for week ending February 18, 1995" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107 no. 7. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. February 18, 1995. p. 112. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  27. ^ a b "Videos". Crystal Waters' website. Retrieved April 14, 2018.
  28. ^ "Video Monitor for week ending August 21, 1994" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 106 no. 36. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. September 3, 1994. p. 57. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  29. ^ "Video Monitor for week ending March 5, 1995" (PDF). Billboard. Vol. 107 no. 11. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. March 18, 1995. p. 44. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  30. ^ Top of the Pops. Season 31. Episode 27. June 30, 1994. BBC One.
  31. ^ Yukich, James (Director) (November 4, 1994). Double Dragon (Motion picture). Gramercy Pictures.
  32. ^ "Various Artists – Double Dragon (Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  33. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. Australia: Mercury. 1994. 858 959-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  34. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. Europe: Mercury. 1994. 858 959-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  35. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (12-inch single). Crystal Waters. Europe and United Kingdom: A&M / AM PM. 1994. 858 959-1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  36. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (12-inch single). Crystal Waters. United States: Mercury. 1994. 858 959-1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  37. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (7-inch single). Crystal Waters. United Kingdom: A&M Records. 1994. 858 958-7.CS1 maint: others (link)
  38. ^ Ghetto Day / What I Need (Cassette single). Crystal Waters. United Kingdom: A&M Records / AM PM. 1994. 858-958-4.CS1 maint: others (link)
  39. ^ What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. Canada: Mercury. 1995. 422 858 927-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  40. ^ What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. France: Mercury. 1995. 856 620-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  41. ^ What I Need (Erick "More" Mix) (CD single). Crystal Waters. Germany: Mercury. 1995. 856 623-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  42. ^ What I Need / 100% Pure Love (12-inch single). Crystal Waters. Italy and United States: Mercury. 1995. 856 617-1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  43. ^ What I Need (CD single). Crystal Waters. United States: Mercury. 1995. 856 621-2.CS1 maint: others (link)
  44. ^ What I Need (12-inch single). Crystal Waters. United States: Mercury. 1994. 858 927-1.CS1 maint: others (link)
  45. ^ What I Need (Cassette). Crystal Waters. United States: Mercury. 1994. 856 404-4.CS1 maint: others (link)