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 June 23, 1993
Format 7" single, cassette,
CD single, CD maxi
Recorded 1992
Genre Pop rock, alternative rock
Length 4:55 (Album version)
4:15 (Single edit)
Label Interscope
Songwriter(s) Linda Perry
Producer(s) David Tickle
4 Non Blondes singles chronology
"Dear Mr. President"
(1992)
"What's Up?"
(1993)
"Spaceman"
(1993)
"Dear Mr. President"
(1992)
"What's Up?"
(1993)
"Spaceman"
(1993)
Audio sample
4 Non Blondes – "What's Up?"
Music video
"What's Up?" on YouTube

"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 successful in the United States[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] Perry revealed on Behind the Music that she hated David Tickle's reworked version (with different lyrics) intended to be used for their album. Perry told Jimmy Iovine she hated Tickle's reworked version; Iovine agreed preferring Perry's demo version over Tickle's reworked version. Tickle's instrumental (over the original vocals) could be heard on Perry's episode of Behind the Music; Tickle's version was never released. The final version was recorded in one day after Iovine allowed 4 Non Blondes to re-record Perry's demo version. 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 US 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.

However, musician Carl Barât has claimed that the song is among the worst ever recorded,[7] a statement echoed by musician Dean Ween.[8] Gawker journalist Brian Moylan included the track in an unranked list of the "10 Party Songs We Never Ever Want to Hear Again".[9]

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 – 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 – 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 – 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 14–21, 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 – 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 – October 22, 1993 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Go West" by Pet Shop Boys

Minnesota cover version[edit]

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[45] 21
Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[46] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[47] 22

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").[49][50] The video has since become an internet meme, with an edited version of the animation (HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA) garnering over 120 million views on YouTube as of November 2017.[51]

The song appeared in the 2011 film Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron.[52]

In 2011, Ariana Grande sampled the song in her debut single, Put Your Hearts Up.[53]

The song appeared in the fourth episode, "What's Going On?", of the Netflix Original series Sense8.[54] The song also appears in the 5th episode of the second season, "Fear Never Fixed Anything" as a remix performed by Riley. Since its feature on the show, the song has become an anthem for the fandom and is often sung by the fans to welcome the cast and crew of the show.

A master recording version of the song was used in Rock Band 4.[55]

A version of the song, sung in Spanish, appeared in the final episode of season one of the television series Zoo.[56]

In Brazil, the song was included in the international soundtrack of Olho no Olho telenovela (Rede Globo).

Again it was part of a Rede Globo telenovela, titled A Lei do Amor (2016).

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Linda Perry interview". Guitar Center. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. 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. ^ "Music and Me: Carl Barat". The Independent. 25 October 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  8. ^ Fortune, Drew (6 June 2013). "Mickey 'Dean Ween' Melchiondo on why he hates 4 Non Blondes' 'What's Up?'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  9. ^ Moylan, Brian (14 July 2010). "10 Party Songs We Never Ever Want to Hear Again". Gawker. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  13. ^ "Canadian peak". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  14. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  15. ^ "Lescharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ "Musicline.de – What's Up? Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ "Hit Parade Italia" (in Italian). Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – What's Up? search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40.
  20. ^ "What's up ? in GfK Dutch Chart". Hung Medien. Retrieved 18 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "Charts.org.nz – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Singles Top 100.
  24. ^ "Swisscharts.com – What's Up? – 4 Non Blondes". Swiss Singles Chart.
  25. ^ "4 Non Blondes: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  26. ^ "4 Non Blondes Chart History (Hot 100)" Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  27. ^ "4 Non Blondes Chart History (Alternative Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  28. ^ "4 Non Blondes Chart History (Mainstream Rock)" Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  29. ^ "4 Non Blondes Chart History (Pop Songs)" Billboard. Retrieved June 3, 2017.
  30. ^ "1993 Australian Singles Chart". aria. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  31. ^ "1993 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. Archived from the original on September 24, 2010. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Single top 100 over 1993" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  33. ^ "End of Year Charts 1993". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved December 3, 2017. 
  34. ^ "1993 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  36. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 13 Feb 1994". ARIA. Retrieved 27 February 2016. 
  37. ^ Austrian certifications. ifpi.at Archived May 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved April 4, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up or 4 Non Blondes.
  38. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('What's Up')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 4, 2009. 
  39. ^ "Italian single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 12 January 2015. 
  40. ^ Dutch certifications. nvpi.nl. Retrieved April 4, 2009. Archived February 15, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ Swedish certifications Archived May 21, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. Ifpi.se. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  42. ^ "British single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 1 November 2012.  Enter What's Up? in the search field and then press Enter.
  43. ^ "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
  44. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. 15 January 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  45. ^ "Ultratop.be – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  46. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2452." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  47. ^ "Swisscharts.com – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota". Swiss Singles Chart.
  48. ^ "Lady Gaga - "What's Up" 4 Non Blondes Live Cover at #artRaveVienna". YouTube. 2014-11-02. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  49. ^ "Prince Adams' Fabulous Secret Journal". Archived from the original on 2013-05-20. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  50. ^ "Prince Adam in "Fabulous Secret Powers"". Archived from the original on 2013-09-18. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  51. ^ "HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA". Youtube.com. Retrieved 2017-04-07. 
  52. ^ "Young Adult (2011) : Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2017-03-18. 
  53. ^ http://www.whosampled.com/Ariana-Grande/Put-Your-Hearts-Up/
  54. ^ What to Stream Now. "Sense8 Episodes 4–6 Recap: Let's Have an Orgy!". Vulture. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  55. ^ "Rock Band 4 Setlist". RockBandAide. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  56. ^ "Zoo Music - S1E13: "That Great Big Hill…"". TuneFind. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 

External links[edit]