It's Oh So Quiet

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"It's Oh So Quiet"
Song by Betty Hutton
Released 1951 (1951)
A-side "Murder, He Says"
Genre Jazz
Label RCA
Composer(s) Hans Lang
Lyricist(s) Bert Reisfeld
"It's Oh So Quiet"
UK CD1
Single by Björk
from the album Post
B-side
  • "Sweet Sweet Intuition"
  • "My Spine"
  • "You've Been Flirting Again"
  • "Hyperballad"
Released November 13, 1995
Format
Genre
Length 3:41
Label One Little Indian
Writer(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

"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".[2] It is a cover of the German song "Und jetzt ist es still",[3][4] performed by Horst Winter in 1948, with music written by Austrian composer Hans Lang and German lyrics by Erich Meder.[5] The English lyrics were written by Bert Reisfeld.[3][4] 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. Fuelled by the Spike Jonze-directed music video clip, 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.[6] Despite being her biggest hit between general public, the song did not manage to get to Björk's 2002 compilation Greatest Hits, the singles for which were voted by fans via online survey.[7]

A version of "It's Oh So Quiet" was used in a Maybelline advertisement.

Music video[edit]

Background[edit]

The music video, directed by Spike Jonze, which was shot in San Fernando Valley, California, features everything in slow motion and set as 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. This video is based on Jacques Demy's 1964 film Les Parapluies de Cherbourg.[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.

Reception[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 Best Choreography.[10] 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[11][12] 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]

UK CD1
(182TP7CD; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:40
  2. "You've Been Flirting Again" (Flirt Is a Promise Mix) – 3:23
  3. "Hyperballad" (Over the Edge Mix) – 4:33
  4. "Sweet Sweet Intuition" – 6:07

UK CD2
(182TP7CDL; Released: November, 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:40
  2. "Hyperballad" (Brodsky Quartet Version) – 4:21
  3. "Hyperballad" (Girls Blouse Mix) – 5:07
  4. "My Spine" – 2:33

EUR CD1
(577 509-2; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:38
  2. "You've Been Flirting Again" (Flirt Is a Promise Mix) – 3:20
  3. "Hyperballad" (Over the Edge Mix) – 4:31
  4. "Sweet Sweet Intuition" – 6:06

EUR CD2
(577 511-2; Released: November, 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:41
  2. "Hyperballad" (Brodsky Quartet Version) – 4:21
  3. "Hyperballad" (Girls Blouse Mix) – 5:06
  4. "My Spine" – 2:33

EUR CD promo
(MUMCD70DJ; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet"

EUR VHS + CD promo
(Released: 1995)

VHS

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" (video)

CD promo (MUMCD79DJ)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet"

AUS CD
(577 511-2; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:42
  2. "Hyperballad" (Brodsky Quartet Version) – 4:21
  3. "Hyperballad" (Girls Blouse Mix) – 5:06
  4. "My Spine" – 2:33

US CD promo
(PRCD 9322-2; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:37

US CD promo
(64353-2; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet"
  2. "You've Been Flirting Again" (Icelandic Mix)

JPN CD
(POCP-7106; Released: 1995)

  1. "It's Oh So Quiet" – 3:40
  2. "Hyperballad" (Brodsky Quartet Version) – 4:21
  3. "Hyperballad" (Girls Blouse Mix) – 5:06
  4. "My Spine" – 2:33

Charts[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Browne, David (Sep 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"
  2. ^ "Advance Record Releases". The Billboard: 30. 7 July 1951. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Quentin (4 May 2007). "Song: It's Oh So Quiet". SecondHandSongs. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  4. ^ 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"
  5. ^ "JETZT IST ES STILL". GEMA – Members — Online Database – Musical Works. Gesellschaft für musikalische Aufführungs- und mechanische Vervielfältigungsrechte. Retrieved 23 June 2012. 
  6. ^ http://www.bpi.co.uk/platinum/platinumright.asp?rq=search_plat&r_id=20874
  7. ^ "The Trumpets Sound: All is Well!". bjork.com. 1 August 2002. Archived from the original on August 2, 2002. Retrieved 6 April 2016. 
  8. ^ ms:It's Oh So Quiet
  9. ^ http://www.angelfire.com/ca/computersarenotpunk/musicvideos.html
  10. ^ http://www.mtv.com/ontv/vma/1996/
  11. ^ "List of Grammy nominees". CNN. January 4, 1996. Retrieved December 1, 2013. 
  12. ^ Rock On The Net: Grammy Awards: Best Music Videos
  13. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  16. ^ "Björk: It's Oh So Quiet" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  17. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". Top 40 Singles.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart: 1995-12-24". Scottish Singles Top 40. Retrieved October 12, 2014.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Björk – It's Oh So Quiet". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ "Björk: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
  22. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles. Memomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 95. ISBN 978-0-89820-180-2. Retrieved 2010-12-07. 
  23. ^ "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. 

External links[edit]