What's Up? (song)

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"What's Up?"
WhatsUpCover.jpg
Single by 4 Non Blondes
from the album Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
B-side Piano version
Released October 13, 1992 (album)
June 23, 1993 (single)
Format 7" single, cassette,
CD single, CD maxi
Recorded 1992
Genre Alternative rock
Length 4:55 (Album version)
4:15 (Single edit)
Label Interscope
Writer(s) Linda Perry
Producer(s) David Tickle
4 Non Blondes singles chronology
"Dear Mr. President"
(1993)
"What's Up?"
(1993)
"Spaceman"
(1993)
Music sample

"What's Up?" is a song by American rock group 4 Non Blondes from their 1992 debut album, Bigger, Better, Faster, More!. It was released as the album's second single in 1993. It was very successful in Brazil[1] and in several European countries, peaking at number one in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden and Switzerland.

Background and writing[edit]

The title does not appear in the song's lyrics. However, the phrase "what's going on?" is prominently included in the chorus. The title was chosen to avoid confusion with Marvin Gaye's 1971 song "What's Going On."[2] Linda Perry told Rolling Stone that she hated the song's production.[3] The music video was directed by Morgan Lawley.[4]

Critical reception and chart performances[edit]

"What's Up?" ranks number 94 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders,[5] and ranks 86 on the MuchMore The Top 100 One Hit Wonders.[6]

The recording received considerable airplay success. It reached number 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and went gold, but peaked higher in many other countries, reaching number one in Germany and Ireland, while reaching number two in the United Kingdom and Australia.

Track listings[edit]

7" single / CD single
  1. "What's Up?" – 4:16
  2. "What's Up?" (piano version) – 4:09
CD maxi
  1. "What's Up?" (edit) – 4:16
  2. "What's Up?" (remix) – 4:51
  3. "Train" – 3:47
  4. "What's Up?" (piano version) – 4:09
Cassette
  1. "What's Up?" (LP version)
  2. "Train" (LP version)
  3. "What's Up?" (LP version)
  4. "Train" (LP version)

Personnel[edit]

  • Written by L. Perry
  • Mastered by Stephen Marcussen
  • Recorded, mixed and produced by David Tickle
  • Engineer: Laurent Tardy

Charts and sales[edit]

Chart successions[edit]

Preceded by
"What Is Love" by Haddaway
Irish IRMA number-one single
July 18, 1993 – August 15, 1993 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Living on My Own" by Freddie Mercury
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
32/1993 – 42/1993 (11 weeks)
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
August 7, 1993 – October 9, 1993 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"It Keeps Rainin' (Tears from My Eyes)" by Bitty McLean
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
Swedish number-one single
August 11, 1993 – September 15, 1993 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Life" by Haddaway
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
"Life" by Haddaway
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
August 14, 1993 – August 21, 1993 (2 weeks)
October 16, 1993 (1-week)
Succeeded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
"Living on My Own" by Freddie Mercury
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Swiss number-one single
August 15, 1993 – November 14, 1993 (14 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
Ö3 Austria Top 40 number-one single
August 15, 1993 – November 7, 1993 (13 weeks)
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
German number-one single
August 20, 1993 – October 22, 1993 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Go West" by Pet Shop Boys

Cover versions[edit]

Minnesota cover version[edit]

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[39] 21
Canada Dance (RPM)[40] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[41] 22

Other cover versions[edit]

Live cover performances[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2005, a group of animators known as "Slackcircus" created a video called "Fabulous Secret Powers", featuring He-Man from Masters of the Universe singing their own cover of the song (and interpolating lyrics from Melissa Manchester's "Don't Cry Out Loud").[44][45] The video has since become an internet meme, with an edited version of the animation garnering over 76 million views on YouTube as of 2016.[46]

The song appeared in the 2011 film Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron.[47]

The song appeared in the fourth episode of the Netflix web series Sense8.[48]

A master recording version of the song was used in Rock Band 4.[49]

A version of the song, sung in Spanish, appeared in the final episode of season one of the television series Zoo[50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Linda Perry interview". Guitar Center. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ ""What's Up?" entry". Songfacts.com. 1989-10-17. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  3. ^ Greene, Andy (2011-03-30). "Linda Perry Forms New Band, Admits She Never Liked 4 Non Blondes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  4. ^ "Watch Music Videos, Artist Playlists | MTV Asia". Mtvmusic.my. 1993-01-12. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  5. ^ VH1's "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders" Archived November 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "The Top 100 One Hit Wonders". MuchMore. Retrieved 2012-11-22. 
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Canadian peak". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  11. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  12. ^ "Lescharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in French). Les classement single.
  13. ^ "Musicline.de – What's Up? Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  14. ^ Irish Singles Chart. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved April 7, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up? or 4 Non Blondes.
  15. ^ "Hit Parade Italia" (in Italian). Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – What's Up? search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  17. ^ "What's up ? in GfK Dutch Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  18. ^ "Charts.org.nz – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Top 40 Singles.
  19. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". VG-lista.
  20. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Singles Top 100.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Swiss Singles Chart.
  22. ^ UK Singles Chart. Chartstats.com(Link redirected to OCC website). Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  23. ^ a b c Billboard singles. Allmusic.com. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  24. ^ "4 Non Blondes awards on Allmusic". Allmusic. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "1993 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  26. ^ "1993 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  27. ^ "Single top 100 over 1993" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  28. ^ "1993 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  30. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 13 Feb 1994". ARIA. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  31. ^ Austrian certifications. ifpi.at. Retrieved April 4, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up or 4 Non Blondes.
  32. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('What's Up')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 4, 2009. 
  33. ^ "Italian single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 12 January 2015.  Select Online in the field Sezione. Enter 4 Non Blondes in the field Filtra. Select 2015 in the field Anno. The certification will load automatically
  34. ^ Dutch certifications. nvpi.nl. Retrieved April 4, 2009. Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  35. ^ Swedish certifications. Ifpi.se. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  36. ^ "British single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 November 2012.  Enter What's Up? in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Click Search
  37. ^ "American single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  38. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. 15 January 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  39. ^ "Ultratop.be – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  40. ^ "Canadian peak". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  41. ^ "Swisscharts.com – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota". Swiss Singles Chart.
  42. ^ "&nbspThis website is for sale! -&nbsphomelesstunes Resources and Information". Homelesstunes.com. 2016-07-25. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  43. ^ "Lady Gaga - "What's Up" 4 Non Blondes Live Cover at #artRaveVienna". YouTube. 2014-11-02. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  44. ^ "Prince Adams' Fabulous Secret Journal". Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  45. ^ "Prince Adam in "Fabulous Secret Powers"". Archived from the original on 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  46. ^ "HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA". Retrieved 2016-01-07. MWYAAAH 
  47. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1625346/soundtrack?ref_=tt_trv_snd
  48. ^ What to Stream Now. "Sense8 Episodes 4–6 Recap: Let's Have an Orgy!". Vulture. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  49. ^ "Rock Band 4 Setlist". RockBandAide. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  50. ^ "Zoo Music - S1E13: "That Great Big Hill…"". TuneFind. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 

External links[edit]