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"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, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

"What's Up?"
WhatsUpCover.jpg
Single by 4 Non Blondes
from the album Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
B-side"Piano version"
ReleasedJune 23, 1993
Format
Recorded1992
Genre
Length
LabelInterscope
Songwriter(s)Linda Perry
Producer(s)David Tickle
4 Non Blondes singles chronology
"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

Background and writingEdit

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 talked to Rolling Stone and said that she heavily disliked 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. She had told this to Jimmy Iovine, who agreed, preferring Perry's demo version over Tickle's. 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 performancesEdit

"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.

Track listingsEdit

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)

PersonnelEdit

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

Charts and salesEdit

DJ Miko versionEdit

"What's Up"
 
Single by DJ Miko
from the album The Last Millennium
Released1993
Format
Recorded1993
GenreDance
Length
  • 3:45 (radio edit)
  • 4:35 (club edit)
LabelZYX
Songwriter(s)Linda Perry

Italian disc jockey DJ Miko covered the song as a dance track in 1993 (retitled without the question mark) with vocals provided by British singer Louise Gard. DJ Miko's version was a modest hit in Europe in late 1993 and early 1994, reaching number 5 in Italy and Spain and number 17 in Sweden. The song was then released worldwide in spring 1994, peaking at number 6 on the UK Singles Chart and number 8 on the Irish Singles Chart. On the Eurochart Hot 100, "What's Up" reached number 21. In the United States it reached number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 19 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart. In the Australasia region, "What's Up" was popular in New Zealand, reaching number 23 on the RIANZ Singles Chart, but it was a commercial failure in Australia, reaching number 92 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Although the song was released as a stand-alone single, it later appeared on DJ Miko's sole album, The Last Millennium, in 1999.

ChartsEdit

Weekly chartsEdit

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position
Australia (ARIA)[52] 92
Europe (Eurochart Hot 100)[53] 21
Ireland (IRMA)[54] 8
Italy (Hit Parade Italia)[55] 5
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[56] 23
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[57] 2
Spain (AFYVE)[58] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[59] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[60] 6
US Billboard Hot 100[61] 58
US Dance Club Songs (Billboard)[62] 19
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[63] 23

Year-end chartsEdit

Chart (1993) Position
Italy (Hit Parade Italia)[55] 40

Minnesota versionEdit

German eurodance group Minnesota covered the song as a dance version in late 1993. It reached number one on the dance chart in Canada and charted in Belgium and Switzerland.

ChartsEdit

Chart (1993–1994) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[64] 21
Canada Dance/Urban (RPM)[65] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[66] 22

In popular cultureEdit

The song has been used in numerous forms of media including films, television, video games and as a sample in other musical works.[67]

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").[68][69] The video has since become an internet meme, with an edited version of the animation (HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA) garnering over 150 million views on YouTube as of May 2019.[70]

In 2011, the song appeared in the film Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron[71] Also, in 2011, Ariana Grande sampled the song in her debut single, Put Your Hearts Up.

In 2015 it appeared in the fourth episode, "What's Going On?", of the Netflix Original series Sense8;[72] the episode's title quotes the song's refrain. 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.[73] A version of the song, sung in Spanish, appeared in the final episode of season one of the television series Zoo.[74] 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). In the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode "Hostage Situation", Jake Peralta and Doug Judy (portrayed by Andy Samberg and Craig Robinson respectively) sing the song at a karaoke club.

In 2018, the song appeared in the film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, starring Chloë Grace Moretz.[75]

ReferencesEdit

  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. October 17, 1989. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Greene, Andy (March 30, 2011). "Linda Perry Forms New Band, Admits She Never Liked 4 Non Blondes". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  4. ^ "Watch Music Videos, Artist Playlists | MTV Asia". Mtvmusic.my. January 12, 1993. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  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 November 22, 2012.
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 2186." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  11. ^ "Top 10 Denmark" (PDF). Music & Media. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. August 21, 1993. p. 23. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  13. ^ Pennanen, Timo. Sisältää hitin: levyt ja esittäjät Suomen musiikkilistoilla vuodesta 1972. Otava Publishing Company Ltd, 2003. ISBN 951-1-21053-X
  14. ^ "Lescharts.com – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in French). Les classement single.
  15. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (05.08.1993 - 11.08.1993)" (PDF). Dagblaðið Vísir - Tónlist. Retrieved February 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – What's Up?". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  18. ^ "Hit Parade Italia" (in Italian). Retrieved April 30, 2012.
  19. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – 4 Non Blondes" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40.
  20. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  21. ^ "Charts.nz – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". Top 40 Singles.
  22. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". VG-lista.
  23. ^ "Notowanie nr603". LP3 (in Polish). September 3, 1993. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  24. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". Singles Top 100.
  25. ^ "Swisscharts.com – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?". Swiss Singles Chart.
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  31. ^ Cash Box Top 100 Singles, July 21, 1993[permanent dead link]
  32. ^ a b "1993 ARIA Singles Chart". ARIA. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  33. ^ "Jahreshitparade Singles 1993" (in German). Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  34. ^ "Jaaroverzichten 1993" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  35. ^ "Top 100 Singles–Jahrescharts 1993" (in German). GfK Entertainment. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  36. ^ "Single top 100 over 1993" (PDF) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved April 15, 2010.
  37. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1993" (in Dutch). MegaCharts. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  38. ^ "End of Year Charts 1993". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  39. ^ "Schweizer Jahreshitparade 1993" (in German). Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  40. ^ "Top 100 Singles 1993". Music Week. January 15, 1994. p. 24.
  41. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1993". Archived from the original on November 10, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2010.
  42. ^ "Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 31, 1993". Archived from the original on October 16, 2018. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  43. ^ "Austrian single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up" (in German). IFPI Austria. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  44. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (4 Non Blondes; 'What's Up')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  45. ^ "Italian single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up?" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved September 15, 2019. Select "2018" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "What's Up?" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli online" under "Sezione".
  46. ^ "Dutch single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved September 15, 2019. Enter What's Up in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  47. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  48. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved September 15, 2019.
  49. ^ "British single certifications – 4 Non Blondes – What's Up". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved September 15, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type What's Up in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  50. ^ "Best-Selling Records of 1993". Billboard. BPI Communications. 106 (3): 73. January 15, 1994. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved May 4, 2015.
  51. ^ "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. 
  52. ^ "The ARIA Australian Top 100 Singles Chart – Week Ending 10 Apr 1994". ARIA. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  53. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. September 3, 1994. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  54. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – What's Up". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
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  56. ^ "Charts.nz – DJ Miko – What's Up?". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  57. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  58. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  59. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – DJ Miko – What's Up?". Singles Top 100. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  60. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  61. ^ "DJ Miko Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  62. ^ "DJ Miko Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  63. ^ "DJ Miko Chart History (Rhythmic)". Billboard. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  64. ^ "Ultratop.be – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  65. ^ "Top RPM Dance/Urban: Issue 2452." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
  66. ^ "Swisscharts.com – What's Up – Dance Version – Minnesota". Swiss Singles Chart.
  67. ^ "Put Your Hearts Up by Ariana Grande". WhoSampled. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  68. ^ "Prince Adams' Fabulous Secret Journal". Archived from the original on May 20, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  69. ^ "Prince Adam in "Fabulous Secret Powers"". Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  70. ^ ProtoOfSnagem (November 7, 2010). "HEYYEYAAEYAAAEYAEYAA". YouTube. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  71. ^ "Young Adult (2011) : Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
  72. ^ What to Stream Now. "Sense8 Episodes 4–6 Recap: Let's Have an Orgy!". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  73. ^ "Rock Band 4 Setlist". RockBandAide. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  74. ^ "Zoo Music - S1E13: "That Great Big Hill…"". TuneFind. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  75. ^ "The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018) : Soundtracks". IMDb.com. Retrieved December 9, 2018.

External linksEdit