|Studio album by Matthew Sweet|
|Released||October 22, 1991|
|Recorded||1990 at Axis Studios, New York City|
|Genre||Power pop, alternative rock|
|Producer||Fred Maher and Matthew Sweet|
|Matthew Sweet chronology|
|Robert Christgau||A− |
|The Music Box|||
Recorded in 1990 following Sweet's divorce, he later said to Rolling Stone, "It's funny how the album ended up showing everything I needed to feel. Everything I needed as an antidote is there." He told Entertainment Weekly, "People say, 'This is your big breakup record - will you still be able to write good songs?' I'm sure I'll be just as depressed at some other point in my life."
The music video for the title track (which aired on heavy rotation on MTV, MuchMusic and Night Tracks) featured clips from the anime film, Space Adventure Cobra, while the video for another one of the album's singles, "I've Been Waiting", used clips of the Urusei Yatsura character, Lum Invader.
The tracks, "Evangeline" and "Your Sweet Voice", were both followed by the sound of a vinyl outgroove and a phonograph needle lifting off of a record, which was meant to signify the end of each side of the album as though it were an LP (thus making the final three songs on the album to be, conceptually, considered bonus tracks). The song, "Winona", was named after (but not about) actress Winona Ryder, while the aforementioned song, "Evangeline", is sung from the point of view of Johnny Six from the comic book, Evangeline.
Released in October 1991, Girlfriend is Sweet's most commercially and critically successful album to date, with AV Club labeling it the best power pop album of the 1990s. The album peaked at #100 on the Billboard 200 album chart. The Village Voice, on their Pazz & Jop critics' poll, listed Girlfriend as the #7 best album of 1991. The title track hit #4 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #10 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. "Divine Intervention" hit #23 on the Modern Rock chart.
15th Anniversary Edition
In 2006, the album was remastered and released under the "Legacy Edition" label, with three bonus tracks (originally released on the "Girlfriend" single, subtitled "the superdeformed CD", and also available on the Japanese version of the album), plus a second disc of home demos, live versions and session recordings called Goodfriend. Subtitled "Another Take On 'Girlfriend'", Goodfriend was a promotional CD partly distributed through Sweet's fan club, and was not commercially released until the Legacy Edition. 'Goodfriend' was the original name of the title track, but after early listeners universally misheard the lyric, Sweet changed the title to "Girlfriend."
Vinyl Release, 2014
In 2014, this album got a vinyl release on the Plain Recordings label. The single 12" vinyl disc featured the first 12 songs; 6 songs on each side. The vinyl sound effects were not added like they were on the CD; presumably you can provide your own as you play this LP.
A theatrical production entitled Girlfriend, inspired by Sweet's album, debuted in 2010 at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA. The play was written by Todd Almond with songs from the album Girlfriend as well as subsequent Matthew Sweet albums.
All songs written by Matthew Sweet.
- "Divine Intervention" – 5:37
- "I've Been Waiting" – 3:36
- "Girlfriend" – 3:40
- "Looking at the Sun" – 4:16
- "Winona" – 4:59
- "Evangeline" – 4:45
- "Day for Night" – 2:55
- "Thought I Knew You" – 2:57
- "You Don't Love Me" – 5:21
- "I Wanted to Tell You" – 4:30
- "Don't Go" – 3:24
- "Your Sweet Voice" – 3:54
- "Does She Talk?" – 3:27
- "Holy War" – 3:25
- "Nothing Lasts" – 3:33
Legacy Edition bonus tracks
- "Good Friend" (demo) - 3:36
- "Superdeformed" (demo) - 4:09
- "Teenage Female" (demo) - 3:54
Track Listing for Goodfriend - included with "Legacy Edition"
All songs written by Matthew Sweet, except where noted.
- "Divine Intervention" (acoustic) - 3:05
- "Girlfriend" - 2:52
- "Day for Night" (live) - 3:21
- "Thought I Knew You" (live) - 3:57
- "Looking at the Sun" (acoustic) - 4:15
- "Does She Talk" (live) - 4:23
- "You Don't Love Me" (live) - 6:47
- "Someone to Pull the Trigger" - 3:53
- "I've Been Waiting" (live) - 3:45
- "Winona" (acoustic) - 4:30
- "Girlfriend" (live) - 4:05
- "Cortez the Killer" (Neil Young) (live) - 6:28
- "Isolation" (John Lennon) (acoustic) - 3:01
- Matthew Sweet - vocals, guitar, bass, piano
- Lloyd Cole - guitar
- Robert Quine - guitar
- Richard Lloyd - guitar
- Ivan Julian - guitar
- Greg Leisz - pedal steel guitar
- Fred Maher - drums, guitar
- Ric Menck - drums
- Ron Pangborn - drums
- Amy Ray - guitar, vocals
- Emily Saliers - acoustic guitar
- Jane Scarpantoni - cello
- Paul Chastain - bass, vocals
- Andy McCulla - guitar
- Power Pop. By Noel Murray. AV Club. Published March 19, 2009.
- http://www.musicbox-online.com/reviews-2006/matthew-sweet-girlfriend.html 6/28/06
- Rolling Stone, November 28, 1991
- Entertainment Weekly, April 17, 1992.
- Matthew Sweet talks about his excellent Girlfriend, a September 1992 article from The Tech
- Matthew Sweet Looks Back on 20 Years of 'Girlfriend'
- Billboard.com album page
- Matthew Sweet singles chart history at Billboard.com
- Girlfriend [Deluxe Edition] from the Legacy Recordings website
- Rarebird's Matthew Sweet Reviews
- Puckett, Jeffrey Lee. "'Girlfriend' uses Matthew Sweet's music to tell 1990s story at Actors Theatre". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Chiu, David. "Matthew Sweet's 'Girlfriend' Musical Opens in California". Spinner. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
- Horn, John. "In 'Girlfriend,' Matthew Sweet's lyrics tell the story". LA Times. Retrieved 15 February 2013.