Wendy & Lisa
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|Wendy & Lisa|
|Also known as||Girl Bros.|
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, United States|
|Genres||Funk, pop, rock|
|Labels||Columbia, SME Records, Virgin, EMI, World Domination|
Wendy & Lisa (briefly known as Girl Bros.) are a music duo consisting of Wendy Melvoin and Lisa Coleman. They began working with Prince in the early 1980s and were part of his band The Revolution, before branching out on their own and releasing their debut album in 1987. In recent years they have turned their attention to writing music for film and television and have won an Emmy Award.
They have released five full-length albums, the most recent being White Flags of Winter Chimneys, released in December 2008.
With The Revolution
In 1980, Lisa Coleman replaced Gayle Chapman in Prince's touring band on keyboards and piano. Coleman was asked to contribute vocals to several tracks over his next few albums. In 1983, guitarist Dez Dickerson left the band over religious conflicts. Coleman suggested Wendy Melvoin, who had been brought on tour, as a replacement. Prince accepted Melvoin into the band as they began to record Purple Rain. The film and album were a phenomenon, turning Prince and the newly named Revolution into superstars. Prince's personal life also became intertwined with Melvoin's when he began dating her twin sister Susannah.
After Purple Rain, Coleman and Melvoin continued to participate in Prince projects, including Parade, the soundtrack to Prince's film Under the Cherry Moon. In interviews, the two reported they felt they were not getting the recognition and credit they deserved despite their growing contributions to his work. During 1986, Melvoin and Coleman became increasingly disillusioned with Prince's decision to expand The Revolution with non-musicians, such as Wally Safford and Greg Brooks, and Prince's increasing machismo that these new members brought with them. Unhappy and vocal about their feelings, they were eventually convinced to remain with the band through the end of the Hit N Run - Parade Tour. However, Prince felt spurned and as a result he had already decided he would dissolve The Revolution once the tour was complete. Hence, by October 1986, Melvoin and Coleman (along with Bobby Z.) were dismissed by Prince, disrupting the Dream Factory album that was already completed and effectively dissolving The Revolution.
As Wendy & Lisa
The next year, the duo released an album simply entitled Wendy and Lisa with Columbia Records. They released a follow up album, Fruit at the Bottom, in 1989. The albums and singles from them garnered minor chart success (including a Top 30 single in the UK).
In 1990, the duo signed with Virgin Records in the US (which was already their label in Europe) and released Eroica. However, this too met only minor chart success. In 1991, Virgin UK released the remix album Re-mix-In-a-Carnation, a selection of club mixes from the first three albums as remixed by producers like The Orb, William Orbit, and Nellee Hooper.
In the mid-1990s, Wendy & Lisa worked on several movie projects with record producer Trevor Horn; they also worked on an album with him as producer, but had a falling out due to (according to them) Horn's homophobia and the project was shelved, leaving the master tapes in Horn's hands and acrimony between the parties involved. They have also done session work and/or written songs with Seal, k.d. lang, Joni Mitchell, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pearl Jam, Terence Trent D'arby, Lisa Germano, Lisa Marie Presley, Liz Phair, Michael Penn, Grace Jones, Tricky, The Three O'Clock, Uh Huh Her, Sheryl Crow, Victoria Williams, Rob Thomas, Gwen Stefani, Skye Edwards, Scritti Politti, Nerina Pallot, OK Go, Madonna, The Like, Nina Gordon, fDeluxe, The Family, Doyle Bramhall II, Nikka Costa, Andre Cymone, Kate Earl, Eric Clapton, Bettye LaVette and more and vocals on the soundtrack for Toys and their first scoring work, for Dangerous Minds. They have since raised their profile considerably in that arena, scoring the popular TV shows Crossing Jordan, Heroes and more recently Touch, all of them created and produced by Tim Kring, and Nurse Jackie for Showtime.
Not being signed to any label, their next solo effort – the 1998 album Girl Bros. – was the first to be independently released, with all subsequent releases also self-released.
In 2004, the duo reached a rapprochement with Prince and contributed to several tracks on his Planet Earth album.
In December 2008, White Flags of Winter Chimneys was released. The title is taken from a line in the Joni Mitchell song "Hejira". 2011 saw the release of the Snapshots EP, which came with limited edition artwork, autographs and a photo book. It is a 6-song collection of songs that were recorded over the preceding 20 years of their careers but were never released.
In 2010, they received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music for their work on Nurse Jackie. They received the ASCAP award for Composers of the Year for their work on Dangerous Minds, the theme to HBO's Carnivàle, Crossing Jordan and Heroes. They were nominated for an Emmy in 2012 for the main title theme for the Fox show Touch.
Melvoin and Coleman have made numerous contributions to television themes. They wrote theme music and background scores for TV shows such as Crossing Jordan, Bionic Woman, Carnivàle, Heroes, Mercy and Showtime's Nurse Jackie.
They have also been featured on several film scores and soundtracks, including Something New, Hav Plenty, and Dangerous Minds. The film Toys featured their song "The Closing of the Year", and they also produced the full-length Heroes: Original Score, released in April 2009, composed entirely of their full-length compositions for each of the show's characters. They scored the show Touch created by Crossing Jordan and Heroes creator, Tim Kring.
- Wendy and Lisa (1987), Columbia Records (UK #84)
- Fruit at the Bottom (1989), Columbia Records (UK #45)
- Eroica (1990), Virgin Records (UK #33)
- Girl Bros. (1998), World Domination – Re-released as Wendy & Lisa "Girl Brothers Inc." (1999) (self-released)
- White Flags of Winter Chimneys (2008), W. Melvoin/L. Coleman (self-released)
- Snapshots EP (2011) (self-released)
- Toys (1992), Geffen Records
- Heroes: Original Score (2009), La-La Land Records
- Nurse Jackie: Season One Soundtrack (2010), Lionsgate Music
- Dirty Girl Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2010), Lakeshore Music
|1987||"Waterfall"||56||15||17||66||Wendy and Lisa|
|1989||"Are You My Baby?"||—||13||12||70||Fruit at the Bottom|
|"Waterfall '89"||—||—||—||69||single only|
|1991||"Don't Try to Tell Me"||—||—||—||83|
|1995||"This Is the Life"||—||—||—||—||Dangerous Minds Soundtrack|
|"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released.|
- Re-Mix-in-a-Carnation (1991)
- Are You My Baby (1996)
- Always in My Dreams (2000)
Contributions to Prince discography
- "17 Days", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Dr. Fink
- "America", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Brown Mark, Dr. Fink, Bobby Z.
- "A Million Miles (I Love You)", written by Prince, Lisa
- "Computer Blue", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa, Dr. Fink, John L. Nelson
- "Mountains", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa (US #23/UK #45)
- "Power Fantastic", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa
- "Sometimes It Snows In April", written by Prince, Wendy, Lisa
- 2010 Creative Arts Emmy Award winners PDF
- Nilsen, p. 82; Hahn, p. 34
- Nilsen, p. 139; Hahn, p. 54
- Hahn, p. 100-101
- Hahn, p. 104-107
- "Television Academy". Emmys.tv. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
- Neil Finn's karaoke night, Adam Sweeting, The Guardian, 6 February 2001
- Miranda Sawyer. "State of Grace: Miranda Sawyer meets Grace Jones | Music | The Observer". Guardian. Retrieved 2014-07-27.
- "Wendy & Lisa – US Hot 100 Chart". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- "Official Charts Company: Wendy & Lisa". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2014-04-06.
- Hahn, Alex (2003). Possessed: The Rise and Fall of Prince. NewYork: Billboard Books.
- Nilsen, Per (1999). Dancemusicsexromance: Prince – The First Decade. London: Fire Fly Publishing.
- Walters, Barry (2009). "The Revolution Will Be Harmonized: Recording duo – and former Prince and the Revolution members – Wendy & Lisa come out publicly for the first time." Out.com Features.