What About Me (Moving Pictures song)

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"What About Me"
What About Me by Moving Pictures Australian vinyl.jpg
Australian vinyl release (January 1982)
Single by Moving Pictures
from the album Days of Innocence
B-side"Round Again"
ReleasedJanuary 1982 (AUS)
18 September 1982 (US)
August 1989 (US)
Format7" vinyl, CD single
Recorded1981
GenreRock
Length3:38
LabelWheatley (AUS)
Network (US)
Geffen (US)
Songwriter(s)Garry Frost, Frances Swan
Moving Pictures singles chronology
"What About Me"
(1982)
"Winners"
(1983)

"What About Me" is a song written by Garry Frost and Frances Swan, first recorded by Australian rock band Moving Pictures from their album Days of Innocence. It was the band's first number-one single in Australia spending six consecutive weeks on the top; there, it was the second-highest selling single of 1982.

The success of the song led them to America where it became a hit, reaching number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song stayed in the US charts for such a long time that it managed to make Billboard's top 100 Pop Singles of 1983, at number 88,[1] a rare feat for a single with a low peak position. The song also re-charted in 1989, peaking at number 46.

Australian Idol Season 1 runner-up Shannon Noll released a cover of the song in January 2004, which quickly went to number one on Australia's ARIA Singles Chart. Noll's version was also a surprise hit in Ireland, where it debuted and peaked at number two in October 2004.

Background[edit]

Frost wrote the song when he was working with autistic children in his day job. He had gone out to get lunch at his local shop in the Sydney suburb of Asquith[2] and saw a small boy not being noticed waiting at the counter. He was sufficiently moved by the vision to write the song. The song was rarely played live by the band; when it was, it was played in a modern country style. It would never have been recorded but their debut album's producer Charles Fisher heard Frost and Smith tinkering with the tune on the studio piano during a break in recording. Fisher suggested that Moving Pictures record the song.[3] It was initially released as a single in January 1982.

Chart performance[edit]

The song debuted on Australia's Kent Music Report in February 1982 and reached number one five weeks later, where it remained for six weeks, going on to become the second biggest-selling single in Australia for 1982 (behind Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger"). It went on to win the "Best Single" award at the 1982 Countdown Music Awards. The song was also a top 20 hit in New Zealand, debuting at number 46 in June 1982 and peaking at number 17 six weeks later. It remained in the top 50 for a further five weeks.

"What About Me" was released in the United States in September 1982, reaching number 29 and spending 26 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Because of its longevity on the Hot 100, the song was able to end up on the Billboard year-end chart at number 88. It was re-released in the US market in 1989 by Geffen Records, climbing to number 46 on its second attempt.

Track listing[edit]

Australian release

  1. "What About Me" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:38
  2. "Round Again" – 4:03

US release

  1. "What About Me" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:37
  2. "Joni and the Romeo" (Alex Smith) – 3:28

Charts[edit]

Shannon Noll version[edit]

"What About Me"
Shannon Noll - What About Me.jpg
Single by Shannon Noll
from the album That's What I'm Talking About
B-side"The Way That I Feel"
Released26 January 2004
Recorded2003/2004
GenrePop rock
Length3:21
LabelSony BMG
Songwriter(s)Garry Frost, Frances Swan
Producer(s)Bryon Jones, Craig Porteils, Adam Reilly, Frances Swan, Gary Frost
Shannon Noll singles chronology
"What About Me"
(2004)
"Drive"
(2004)

Australian Idol series one runner-up Shannon Noll covered the song for his debut album That's What I'm Talking About. He first performed the song on Australian Idol with the genre of number-one hits, where he received positive comments by the judges and was also seen as one of the highlights of the debut season of Idol.

Upon release in Australia, demand for Noll's single was unprecedented. The single debuted at the peak position on the ARIA Charts the week of 2 February 2004, achieving 2× platinum accreditation (140,000 copies shipped) in its debut week, and knocking long term number-one hit "Hey Ya!" by Outkast from the top position on the singles chart. The song stayed at the top of the chart for four weeks and eventually sold over 280,000 copies (certified 4× platinum) in Australia alone, and it became the highest-selling single in Australia for 2004—two decades after the original version was the second-highest seller of its year. In New Zealand, Noll's version bested Moving Pictures' original by seven positions, climbing to number 10 in May 2004 and spending 24 weeks in the top 50. At the end of the year, the song came in at number 38 on New Zealand's year-end chart.

Following several plays on Irish radio by a former Australian DJ, requests for "What About Me" in Ireland skyrocketed, and due to public demand, the Australian pressing of the single was shipped to Ireland. The initial shipment sold out within the first week of sale,[citation needed] prompting a further larger shipment to be made soon after. "What About Me" spent almost six months on the Irish Singles Chart and peaked at number two for two weeks in late October 2004.

Music video[edit]

The video, directed by Australian director Anthony Rose, was the second music video from Shannon Noll. Set and filmed over two 38+ degree (Celsius) days in Shannon's home town of Condobolin, NSW, the video is essentially a snapshot of outback Australia and depicts Shannon's life in the small country town. The extras in the video for "What About Me" are all local Condobolin residents, including Shannon's two brothers. The music video was later popularly parodied by comedian Rove McManus on his television show Rove Live.

There has also been a parody music video produced for the AAMI insurance company.

Track listings[edit]

  1. "What About Me" (Garry Frost, Frances Swan) – 3:21
  2. "What About Me" (Sterling remix)
  3. "The Way That I Feel"

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[15] 4× Platinum 280,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Other cover versions[edit]

In 1983, Italian singer Anna Oxa recorded a version of this song in Italian with the title "Senza di Me". In 2006, The X Factor winner Shayne Ward recorded a cover version for his debut studio album, Shayne Ward.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Top 100 Pop Singles of 1983". 80sxchange.com. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  2. ^ http://m.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/iconic-corner-store-bulldozed/story-e6freuy9-1226518633106
  3. ^ Bmusic.com.au, 21 February 2004. "Where are they now? Moving Pictures" (archived 24 February 2004). Accessed 28 December 2013.
  4. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  5. ^ "Charts.nz – Moving Pictures – What About Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Moving Pictures - Artist Chart History". Allmusic. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  7. ^ http://50.6.195.142/archives/80s_files/19830205.html
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 169.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Songs of 1983 - Billboard Year End Charts". Bobborst. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Shannon Noll – What About Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – What About Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Charts.nz – Shannon Noll – What About Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  13. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Singles 2004". ARIA. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  14. ^ "End Of Year Charts 2004". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  15. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 December 2017.

External links[edit]