What About Me (Moving Pictures song)

"What About Me" is a song written by Garry Frost and Frances Swan. It was first recorded by Australian rock band Moving Pictures, of which Garry Frost was a member, for its 1981 debut album, Days of Innocence. It became the band's first and only number-one single in Australia, spending six weeks atop the Kent Music Report; it was the second-highest-selling single of 1982 there. At the 1982 Countdown Music Awards, the song won Best Australian Single.[1][2] In January 2018, as part of Triple M's "Ozzest 100", the 'most Australian' songs of all time, "What About Me" was ranked number 37.[3]

"What About Me"
Australian vinyl release (January 1982)
Single by Moving Pictures
from the album Days of Innocence
B-side"Round Again"
ReleasedJanuary 1982
Length3:38, 3:32 (single remix)
  • Wheatley (Australia)
  • Network (US)
  • Geffen (US)
  • Garry Frost
  • Frances Swan
Producer(s)Charles Fisher
Moving Pictures singles chronology
"Bustin' Loose"
"What About Me"
"Sweet Cherie"

The success of the song in Australia led to its American release. "What About Me" subsequently reached number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, ending 1983 as the 88th-most-successful single of the year in the US. The song re-charted in 1989, reaching number 46. In January 2004, Australian Idol season 1 runner-up Shannon Noll released a cover of the song that topped Australia's ARIA Singles Chart for four weeks and ended the year as Australia's most successful single. 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[4] 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.[5] 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. With a total of 43 weeks on the chart from its two separate releases, it tied what was then the record for most total weeks on the Hot 100.[6]

Track listing edit

Australian release

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

Certifications and sales edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[15] Gold 50,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

Shannon Noll version edit

"What About Me"
Single by Shannon Noll
from the album That's What I'm Talking About
B-side"The Way That I Feel"
Released26 January 2004
StudioEargasm, Studios 301 (Sydney, Australia)
GenrePop rock
LabelBMG Australia
  • Garry Frost
  • Frances Frost
Shannon Noll singles chronology
"What About Me"

Australian Idol series one runner-up Shannon Noll covered the song for his debut album, That's What I'm Talking About (2004). 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. Noll's version went on to become Australia's highest-selling single of 2004.

Release and reception edit

Noll's version of "What About Me" was released in Australia as a CD single on 26 January 2004.[16] The single debuted at number one on the ARIA Singles Chart on the week ending 8 February 2004,[17] achieving double-platinum accreditation (140,000 copies shipped) in its debut week.[citation needed] The song stayed at the top of the chart for four weeks and eventually sold over 280,000 copies (certified quadruple platinum) in Australia alone, and it became the highest-selling single of Australia for 2004.[17][18][19] 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.[20][21] At the end of the year, the song came in at number 38 on New Zealand's year-end chart.[22]

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.[23][24]

Music video edit

The video, directed by Australian director Anthony Rose, was the second music video from Shannon Noll. Set and filmed over two days in Shannon's home town of Condobolin, NSW with temperatures exceeding 38 °C (100 °F), 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.

Track listing edit

Australian CD single[17][25]

  1. "What About Me" – 3:21
  2. "What About Me" (Sterling remix) – 3:27
  3. "The Way That I Feel" – 3:29

Credits and personnel edit

Credits are lifted from the Australian CD single liner notes.[25]


  • Recorded at Eargasm Studios and Studios 301 (Sydney, Australia)
  • Mastered at Studios 301 (Sydney, Australia)


Charts edit

Certifications edit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[19] 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.

In 1984 German Singer Anne Haigis recorded a version of this song in German with the title "Wer fragt nach mir" on her self titled Album.

In 1984, John Verity released a cover version as a single.

References edit

  1. ^ "Australian Music Awards". Ron Jeff. Retrieved 16 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Final episode of Countdown". 1970scountdown. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  3. ^ "Here Are The Songs That Made Triple M's 'Ozzest 100'". Musicfeeds. 27 January 2018. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  4. ^ [1] [dead link]
  5. ^ Bmusic.com.au, 21 February 2004. "Where are they now? Moving Pictures" (archived 24 February 2004). Accessed 28 December 2013.
  6. ^ Grein, Paul (2 December 1989). "'Angelia' Marx Richard's 7th Top 5 Tune; Brown Dances Onto Chart; Clapton Climbs". Billboard. p. 6. At that time, "Tainted Love" by Soft Cell was the only other record which had spent 43 weeks on the chart.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Moving Pictures – What About Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Moving Pictures - Artist Chart History". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  10. ^ [2] [dead link]
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 169.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  13. ^ "National Top 100 Singles for 1982". Kent Music Report. 3 January 1983. Retrieved 22 January 2023 – via Imgur.
  14. ^ "Talent Almanac 1984: Top Pop Singles". Billboard. Vol. 95, no. 52. 24 December 1983. p. TA-18.
  15. ^ "Platinum and Gold Singles 1982". Kent Music Report. 28 February 1983. Retrieved 10 November 2021 – via Imgur.
  16. ^ "The ARIA Report: New Releases Singles – Week Commencing 26th January 2004" (PDF). ARIA. 26 January 2004. p. 24. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2008. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  17. ^ a b c d "Shannon Noll – What About Me". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b "ARIA Top 100 Singles for 2004". ARIA. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  19. ^ a b "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2004 Singles" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Charts.nz – Moving Pictures – What About Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  21. ^ a b "Shannon Noll – What About Me". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
  22. ^ a b "End of Year Charts 2004". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  23. ^ "Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 21 October 2004". Archived from the original on 20 October 2016. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  24. ^ "Top 50 Singles, Week Ending 28 October 2004". Archived from the original on 2 September 2018. Retrieved 17 May 2021.
  25. ^ a b What About Me (Australian CD single liner notes). Shannon Noll. BMG Australia. 2004. 82876589602.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  26. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – What About Me". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
  27. ^ "2009 ARIA End of Decade Singles Chart". ARIA. January 2010. Retrieved 16 January 2020.