What's Up? (song)

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"What's Up?"
Single by 4 Non Blondes
from the album Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
B-sidePiano version
ReleasedJune 23, 1993
Format7" single, cassette,
CD single, CD maxi
Recorded1992
GenreAlternative rock
Length4:55 (album version)
4:15 (single edit)
LabelInterscope
Writer(s)Linda Perry
ProducerDavid Tickle
4 Non Blondes singles chronology
"Dear Mr. President"
(1993)
"What's Up?"
(1993)
"Spaceman"
(1993)
Music sample
 
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"What's Up?"
Single by 4 Non Blondes
from the album Bigger, Better, Faster, More!
B-sidePiano version
ReleasedJune 23, 1993
Format7" single, cassette,
CD single, CD maxi
Recorded1992
GenreAlternative rock
Length4:55 (album version)
4:15 (single edit)
LabelInterscope
Writer(s)Linda Perry
ProducerDavid Tickle
4 Non Blondes singles chronology
"Dear Mr. President"
(1993)
"What's Up?"
(1993)
"Spaceman"
(1993)
Music sample

"What's Up?" is a rock song written by Linda Perry for 4 Non Blondes' debut album Bigger, Better, Faster, More! (1992). It was released as the album's second single in 1993 (see 1993 in music). It was very successful in Brazil[1] and in several European countries, peaking at number one in Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Ireland, Norway and the Netherlands.

Contents

Background and writing

Despite the title, the song does not contain the phrase "what's up?" Rather, the lyric "what's goin' on?" is prominently included in the chorus. The title was chosen to avoid confusion with the 1971 R&B song and album "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye.[2] The music video was directed by Morgan Lawley.[3]

Critical reception and chart performances

On VH1's 100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders, "What's Up?" ranks number 94.[4] Conversely, it is ranked number 19 on Spinner.com's list of the "Top 20 Worst Songs Ever".[5] Most recently, in September 2010, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at number 20 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever, calling it "[t]he sonic equivalent of those 'hang in there' posters with the cat on a tree limb, except much screechier."[6]

The recording received considerable airplay success. It reached number 14 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and went gold, but peaked higher throughout the rest of the world, reaching number one in Germany and Ireland, while reaching number two in the United Kingdom and Australia. The song was remixed by DJ Miko in 1994, reaching number six in the United Kingdom.

Internet video

Additionally, a popular cover version of the song featuring characters from the animated television show He-Man and the Masters of the Universe 'singing' the song. It was created by the web site Slackcircus in 2005. As of July 1, 2012, the video has received over 20 million views on YouTube, more than the actual song.

Track listings

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)

Personnel

Charts and sales

Peak positions

Chart (1993)Peak
position
Australian ARIA Singles Chart[7]2
Austrian Singles Chart[7]1
Dutch Top 40[8]1
Eurochart Hot 1001
French SNEP Singles Chart[7]3
German Singles Chart[9]1
Irish Singles Chart[10]1
Italian Singles Chart[11]2
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart[7]2
Norwegian Singles Chart[7]1
Swedish Singles Chart[7]1
Swiss Singles Chart[7]1
UK Singles Chart[12]2
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[13]14
U.S. Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[13]16
U.S. Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[13]15

Year-end chart

Chart (1993)Position
Australian Singles Chart[14]7
Austrian Singles Chart[15]1
Dutch Top 40[8]1
Swiss Singles Chart[16]5
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[17]50

Certifications

CountryCertificationDateSales certified
Austria[18]PlatinumSeptember 8, 199330,000
Germany[19]2 x Platinum19931,000,000[20]
Netherlands[21]Platinum199360,000
Sweden[22]GoldOctober 4, 199310,000

Chart successions

Preceded by
"What Is Love" by Haddaway
Irish IRMA number-one single
July 18, 1993 – August 15, 1993 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Living on My Own" by Freddie Mercury
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Norwegian VG-lista number-one single
32/1993 – 42/1993 (11 weeks)
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Dutch Top 40 number-one single
August 7, 1993 – October 9, 1993 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"It Keeps Rainin' (Tears from My Eyes)" by Bitty McLean
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
Swedish number-one single
August 11, 1993 – September 15, 1993 (4 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Life" by Haddaway
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
"Life" by Haddaway
Eurochart Hot 100 number-one single
August 14, 1993 – August 21, 1993 (2 weeks)
October 16, 1993 (1 week)
Succeeded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
"Living on My Own" by Freddie Mercury
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
Swiss number-one single
August 15, 1993 – November 14, 1993 (14 weeks)
Succeeded by
"I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf
Preceded by
"(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You" by UB40
Ö3 Austria Top 40 number-one single
August 15, 1993 – November 7, 1993 (13 weeks)
Preceded by
"Mr. Vain" by Culture Beat
German number-one single
August 20, 1993 – October 22, 1993 (10 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Go West" by Pet Shop Boys

References

  1. ^ "Linda Perry interview". Guitar Center. http://gc.guitarcenter.com/interview/linda-perry/. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  2. ^ Songfacts.com "What's Up?" entry
  3. ^ http://www.mtvmusic.my/artist/four_non_blondes/videos/46181/whats_up
  4. ^ VH1's "100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders"[dead link]
  5. ^ "Top 20 Worst Songs Ever"
  6. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (September 11, 2010). "100 Worst Songs Ever -- Part Five of Five". AOL Radio. http://www.aolradioblog.com/2010/09/11/100-worst-songs-ever-part-five-of-five/. Retrieved December 24, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "What's Up" in various singles charts. Lescharts.com. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  8. ^ a b "Single top 100 over 1993" (in Dutch) (pdf). Top40. http://www.top40.nl/pdf/Top%20100/top%20100%20-%201993.pdf. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  9. ^ German Singles Chart. Charts-surfer.de. Retrieved April 7, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up.
  10. ^ Irish Singles Chart. Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved April 7, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up? or 4 Non Blondes.
  11. ^ "Hit Parade Italia" (in Italian). http://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_weeks/93/hp931023.htm. Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  12. ^ UK Singles Chart. Chartstats.com. Retrieved April 7, 2009.[dead link]
  13. ^ a b c Billboard singles. Allmusic.com. Retrieved April 7, 2009.
  14. ^ "1993 Australian Singles Chart". aria. http://www.aria.com.au/pages/aria-charts-end-of-year-charts-top-50-singles-1993.htm. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  15. ^ "1993 Austrian Singles Chart" (in German). Austriancharts. http://www.austriancharts.at/1993_single.asp. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  16. ^ "1993 Swiss Singles Chart" (in German). Swisscharts. http://www.swisscharts.com/year.asp?key=1993. Retrieved April 15, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1993". http://longboredsurfer.com/charts.php?year=1993. Retrieved August 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ Austrian certifications. ifpi.at. Retrieved April 4, 2009. Chart can't be linked directly; you must search for What's Up or 4 Non Blondes.
  19. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('What's Up')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. http://www.musikindustrie.de/gold_platin_datenbank/?action=suche&strTitel=What%27s+Up&strInterpret=&strTtArt=alle&strAwards=checked. Retrieved April 4, 2009. 
  20. ^ "Gold/Platin" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved March 8, 2010.
  21. ^ Dutch certifications. nvpi.nl. Retrieved April 4, 2009.[dead link]
  22. ^ Swedish certifications. Ifpi.se. Retrieved April 4, 2009.