Thursday, August 10, 2006

One Hit Wonder III - Don't Worry Be Happy

How will music history assess 1988?

Well what were the Billboard magazine Hot 100 number one hits of the year which was led off by Faith and finished with Every Rose Has Its Thorn?

In between there were such memorable songs as Father Figure, Got My Mind Set on You, The Way You Make Me Feel and Red Red Wine but there were also more forgettable songs such as Never Gonna Give You Up and Foolish Beat.

One though stands out like a sore thumb and that is Don't Worry, Be Happy which topped the charts for two weeks in a row in September.

The film was from the soundtrack to Cocktail which also had a number one song with Kokomo.

DWBH exploded and was just another part of the wacky 1980s. With 10 Grammys, Bobby McFerrin may not exactly be a one-hit wonder but he had success here which was way out of proportion.
And just like Macarena and Mambo No. 5 you wonder what exactly was going on at the time, because let’s be honest these songs aren’t very good. Infact they are quite awful.

But But Don’t Worry, Be Happy was good enough to see McFerrin win three Grammy Awards and we’re not talking about one of the trivial ones they give out.

We’re looking at Song of the Year which saw him edge out "Be Still My Beating Heart" (Sting), "Fast Car" (Tracy Chapman), "Giving You The Best That I Got" (Anita Baker, Skip Scarborough & Randy Holland) and "Piano In The Dark" (Brenda Russell & Scott Cutler).

To give you an idea, which songs had won this same award previously? That's What Friends Are For, Killing Me Softly With His Song, Just the Way You Are and Michelle.

He won Record of the Year where he got the better of Anita Baker - "Giving You The Best That I Got", Tracy Chapman - "Fast Car", Michael Jackson - "Man In The Mirror" and Steve Winwood - "Roll With It"

Here he joined the company of Hotel California, Beat It, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Moon River and I Left My Heart in San Francisco.

Finally he won Best Pop Vocal Performance - Male at the expense of Phil Collins - "A Groovy Kind Of Love", George Michael - "Father Figure", Sting - "Be Still My Beating Heart", Steve Winwood - "Roll With It".

You name him, he has won this award as well. Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Sting, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, James Taylor and Frank Sinatra to name a few.

Does DWBH really belong in this company? This wasn’t the Grammy voters getting swept away with the tide. They would have been voting for the awards months after it all subsided.

Sanity prevailed with Album of the Year which George Michael won for Faith. The three other nominees here were Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman, Sting - Nothing Like The Sun and Steve Winwood - Roll With It.

After this, Bobby McFerrin’s place in popular culture was secure. The persistent rumors that he was dead only consolidated this.

Only a matter of time before the remix is done.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post. Good to have you back!

12:40 PM  
Blogger ~ Sarah ~ said...

good song... i remember learning it in grade six (a few years after it won awards) when our teacher brought in her ukelele to school for a fun afternoon of song.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

I had a friend who actually marched down the aisle to this song. She is now divorced.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will never forget having to do a dance to this song for a school concert. It verged on child abuse.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Met him once at JFK airport. Strange guy.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Carly said...

I have the Cocktail CD. Great soundtrack.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My cousin and P saw him on Ben Yehuda a while back. He looked dead to me.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Rafi G said...

Dot - I just tagged you for a meme if you are so inclined to participate

7:55 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home