Unbelievable (EMF song)

Unbelievable is a song written by and recorded by British band EMF, originally appearing on their debut album, Schubert Dip. It was released as a single in the UK in 1990, peaking in the UK Singles Chart at number three on 1 December 1990. It was the 32nd-best-selling single of 1990 in the UK. In the United States, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991.[1]

"Unbelievable"
Unbelievable (EMF song).jpg
Standard release
Single by EMF
from the album Schubert Dip
B-side"EMF (live at The Bilson)"
Released
  • 1990 (UK)
  • 1991 (US)
Length3:30
Label
Songwriter(s)EMF
Producer(s)Ralph Jezzard
EMF singles chronology
"Unbelievable"
(1990)
"I Believe"
(1991)

Background and compositionEdit

The song contains samples of US comedian Andrew Dice Clay throughout the track, including the loud exclamation of "oh!" at the start of each chorus along with the words "it's unbelievable" spoken during the bridge.[2] The track was produced by Ralph Jezzard.

RecordsEdit

The song's opening and chorus features a sample of a Black Panther Party member shouting "What the fuck?",[3] which appears in the lyrics in the CD booklet, and was never edited. The song has been used unedited in pre-watershed television adverts.[citation needed]

The song was ranked no. 31 on VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders in 2002 and no. 98 on VH1's 100 Greatest Songs of the 90s in 2007.[4] Rolling Stone listed "Unbelievable" at number 12 in their "20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1990s" list in July 2014.[5] In 2020, Cleveland.com listed the song at number 41 in their ranking of the best Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 song of the 1990s.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Bill Lamb from About.com said that the song "mixed intoxicating rhythms, sweet high vocals from lead singer James Atkin, and rousing shouts to storm to the top of the pop charts."[7] AllMusic editor Alex Henderson described it as "so insanely infectious" in his review of the Schubert Dip album.[8] He also noted its "dizzying infectiousness". Larry Flick from Billboard noted it as "insinuating, Manchester-influenced rave. Scratchy, neopsychedelic guitar riffs nicely contrast track's hip-hop groove, promising extensive exposure here at both club and radio levels."[9] Australian music channel Max placed the song at number 547 in their list of "1000 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2011.[10] Annette Petruso from The Michigan Daily said that "the boys from the Forest of Dean, Great Britain have created an undeniably perfect pop single with the ultra-simple, ultra-catchy and ultra-overplayed "Unbelievable"."[11]

Formats and track listingsEdit

UK CD (CDR 6273)

  1. "Unbelievable" – 3:30
  2. "Unbelievable" (The Cin City Sex Mix) – 5:14
  3. "EMF" (live at The Bilson) – 3:53

UK 7" (R 6273)

  1. "Unbelievable" – 3:30
  2. "EMF" (live at The Bilson) – 3:53

US CD (E2-56210)

  1. "Unbelievable" (single version) – 3:30
  2. "Unbelievable" (Cin City Sex Mix) – 5:14
  3. "Unbelievable" (Boot Lane Mix) – 6:20
  4. "Unbelievable" (House Mix) – 4:26
  5. "Unbelievable" (Hip Hop Mix) – 4:10
  6. "EMF" (live at The Bilson) – 3:53

Charts and salesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e "Schubert Dip – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  2. ^ Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock: Third Ear – The Essential Listening Companion. Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0-8793-0607-6.[page needed]
  3. ^ Quantick, David (September 1991). "The Unbelievable Truth". Spin. Vol. 7 no. 6. p. 62. ISSN 0886-3032.
  4. ^ Ali, Rahsheeda (23 May 2013). "The 100 Greatest Songs of the '90s". VH1. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  5. ^ Shipley, Al (23 July 2014). "20 Biggest Songs of the Summer: The 1990s". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 9 October 2018.
  6. ^ Tony L. Smith (21 October 2020). "Every No. 1 song of the 1990s ranked from worst to best". Cleveland.com. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  7. ^ Lamb, Bill (23 September 2018). "The Best 100 Songs from the 1990s". ThoughtCo. Archived from the original on 7 May 2019.
  8. ^ Henderson, Alex. "EMF – Schubert Dip". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  9. ^ "Single Reviews > New and Noteworthy" (PDF). Billboard. 9 March 1991. p. 79.
  10. ^ "Top 1000 Greatest Songs of All Time – 2011". Max. 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  11. ^ Petruso, Annette (13 November 1991). "Sexy EMF needs a little bit o' respect". The Michigan Daily. p. 5. Retrieved 15 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Australian-charts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Austriancharts.at – EMF – Unbelievable" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Ultratop.be – EMF – Unbelievable" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1570." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  16. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 1541." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  17. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  18. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – EMF – Unbelievable" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  19. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Unbelievable". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  20. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 51, 1990" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – EMF – Unbelievable" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  22. ^ "Charts.nz – EMF – Unbelievable". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  23. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". VG-lista. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  24. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (in Spanish) (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  25. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". Singles Top 100. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  26. ^ "Swisscharts.com – EMF – Unbelievable". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  27. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  28. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Pop Singles – Week ending JULY 13, 1991". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 15 September 2012.
  29. ^ "ARIA Charts – End of Year Charts – Top 50 Singles 1991". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  30. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1991" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  31. ^ "Dance Tracks of 1991". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. 21 December 1991. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  32. ^ "RPM 100 Hit Tracks of 1991". RPM. Vol. 55 no. 3. 21 December 1991. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  33. ^ "End of Year Charts 1991". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 3 December 2017.
  34. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1991" (in German). Hitparade.ch. Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  35. ^ "1990 Top 100 Singles". Music Week. London, England: Spotlight Publications. 2 March 1991. p. 41.
  36. ^ "Top 100 Hits for 1991". Longbored Surfer. Retrieved 18 July 2018.
  37. ^ "The CASH BOX Year-End Charts: 1991". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 27 August 2012.
  38. ^ "Hot 100 60th Anniversary". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2020.
  39. ^ "Australian Fun Countdowns – Accreditation Awards". Australian Fun Countdowns. 7 April 2011. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  40. ^ "Canadian single certifications – E.M.F. – Unbelievable". Music Canada.
  41. ^ "British single certifications – EMF – Unbelievable". British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Unbelievable in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  42. ^ "American single certifications – EMF – Unbelievable". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH. 

External linksEdit