It's Oh So Quiet

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"It's Oh So Quiet"
Song by Betty Hutton
A-side"Murder, He Says"
Released1951 (1951)
GenreJazz
LabelRCA
Composer(s)Hans Lang
Lyricist(s)Bert Reisfeld

"It's Oh So Quiet" is a song by American singer Betty Hutton, released in 1951 as the B-side to the single "Murder, He Says".[1] It is a cover of the German song "Und jetzt ist es still",[2][3] performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music written by Austrian composer Hans Lang and German lyrics by Erich Meder.[4] The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld.[2][3] A French title, "Tout est tranquille", was performed in 1949 by Ginette Garcin and the Jacques Hélian Orchestra.

The song was covered by Icelandic musician Björk in 1995. It was released as the third single from her second album Post and remains her biggest hit, reaching number 4 in the UK and spending 15 weeks on the UK Singles Chart. Fueled by the Spike Jonze-directed music video clip (see below), the single also shot Björk into the spotlight in Australia, where it reached number 6. In the United Kingdom the single has been certified as Gold, having sold upwards of 400,000 copies.[5][6] In an interview on BBC Radio 1 with Chris Evans in 1995, Björk said the song had been played on the bus she had used on a recent tour and she recorded it as a thank you to the team that worked with her on that tour.

In 2002, Brittany Murphy made a performance of this song, joined by The Pussycat Dolls.

In 2005, Lucy Woodward covered the song for the soundtrack for the film Ice Princess. This version was also used in the second trailer for the 2020 film Birds of Prey.

A version of "It's Oh So Quiet" was used in a Maybelline advertisement, and a version by Amanda Fondell was used in an advertisement for Candy Crush Saga.

Hutton's version was used in a commercial for the Acura TLX in 2020 and for Facebook in 2021.

Björk version[edit]

"It's Oh So Quiet"
BjorkItsOhSoQuietUKCD1.jpg
UK CD1
Single by Björk
from the album Post
B-side
  • "Sweet Sweet Intuition"
  • "My Spine"
  • "You've Been Flirting Again"
  • "Hyperballad"
ReleasedNovember 13, 1995
StudioAngel (London, England)
GenreBig band jazz[7]
Length3:41
LabelOne Little Indian
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
Björk singles chronology
"Isobel"
(1995)
"It's Oh So Quiet"
(1995)
"Hyperballad"
(1996)
Music video
"It's Oh So Quiet" on YouTube

Music video[edit]

Background[edit]

The music video, directed by Spike Jonze, was shot in San Fernando Valley, California. Based on Jacques Demy's 1964 film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, it features everything in slow motion and set in a Broadway musical style as Björk sings the verses; during the riotous chorus, everything returns to regular speed and everyone near her dances along. Normal life resumes during the next verse with the return of slow motion. This theme continues throughout the video.[8][9]

Synopsis[edit]

The video begins as Björk emerges from an extremely dirty washroom in an auto shop. She dances along with the auto workers for the first chorus, then emerges from the shop. During the second chorus, she dances tap with a few people outside of the auto shop. Björk continues to walk along the street, dancing with several elderly women and their umbrellas before settling to rest her arms on top of a mailbox for the final verse. The mailbox comes alive and dances along with Björk during this chorus. Björk then runs down the street and into the road, where the rest of the town has decided to join her for one large dance number. The video ends with Björk floating up above the townsfolk and hushing the viewer.

Critical reception[edit]

Alan Jones from British magazine Music Week wrote, "Alternating soft and gentle passages with noisy outbursts on which Bjork squawks and is reinforced by an old-fashioned big band section, this is very much a novelty, but one that works and well."[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

"It's Oh So Quiet" video received six nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards for 1996 including Best Female Video, Best Art Direction, Breakthrough Video, Best Direction in a Video, International Viewer's Choice Award — MTV Europe, and Best Choreography in a Video, winning in the latter category.[11] The video was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Music Video - Short Form, losing to "Scream" by Michael Jackson and his sister Janet.[12][13] In October 2007, MuchMoreMusic placed "It's Oh So Quiet" as number 8 of the Top 40 Most Memorable Music Videos on Listed.

Track listing[edit]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[34] Gold 400,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Advance Record Releases". The Billboard: 30. 7 July 1951. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  2. ^ a b Quentin (4 May 2007). "Song: It's Oh So Quiet". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 6 September 2011.
  3. ^ a b "IT'S OH SO QUIET". ACE Search. ASCAP. Retrieved 23 June 2012. Select Work ID and search for 390157329. Performers include B Hutton and alternative titles includes "JETZT IST ES STILL"
  4. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "The Trumpets Sound: All is Well!". Bjork.com. 1 August 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002. Retrieved 6 April 2016.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Browne, David (September 26, 1997). "Homogenic (1997)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved December 1, 2013. "neither does it have anything as irritating as "It's Oh So Quiet", that album's cutesy foray into big-band brassiness"
  8. ^ ms:It's Oh So Quiet
  9. ^ "Music Videos". Angelfire.com.
  10. ^ Jones, Alan (November 18, 1995). "Talking Music" (PDF). Music Week. p. 12. Retrieved May 15, 2021.
  11. ^ "VMA 1996 - MTV Video Music Awards". MTV.
  12. ^ "List of Grammy nominees". CNN. January 4, 1996. Retrieved December 1, 2013.
  13. ^ "Rock On The Net: Grammy Awards: Best Music Videos". Rockonthenet.com.
  14. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  17. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 13 no. 2. January 13, 1995. p. 11. Retrieved September 15, 2020. See last week column.
  18. ^ "Björk: It's Oh So Quiet" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  19. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (23.7.1995 – 30.7.1995)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). July 22, 1995. p. 20. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – It's Oh So Quiet". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  21. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 50, 1995" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ "Charts.nz – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". Top 40 Singles.
  24. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". Singles Top 100.
  26. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  27. ^ "Bjork Chart History (Bubbling Under Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 16, 2021.
  28. ^ "Lescharts.com – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in French). Les classement single.
  29. ^ "Árslistinn 1995". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1996. p. 16. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  30. ^ "Jaarlijsten 1995" (in Dutch). Stichting Nederlandse Top 40. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  31. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1995". Music Week. January 13, 1996. p. 9.
  32. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles 1996". The Australian Record Industry Association Ltd. Archived from the original on November 2, 2015. Retrieved November 2, 2015.
  33. ^ "Árslistinn 1996". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). January 2, 1997. p. 16. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  34. ^ "British single certifications – Bjork – It's Oh So Quiet". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved February 14, 2020.

External links[edit]