Here’s someone from America whose music interested me for a short while in the late-90s. Paula Cole is a singer/songwriter and producer, who had previously worked with Peter Gabriel, before launching a career of her own. In June 1997, Paula had her first and only Top 40 hit single in the UK when “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone” reached no. 15 (and this also made the Top Ten in the US).
Now from what I can tell, this is one of those songs that manages to divide opinion somewhat. I don’t actually usually like songs in the genre, but this one caught my interest because this was rather unusual, with spoken parts and a story being told. I class this one as being part of the soundtrack to my summer of 1997, that I was rather enjoying until things suddenly went rather weird at the end of August.
It was during this summer that I decided to listen to various music stations more, and I always took notice when this one came on. I also remember that years later this one featured in an episode of Family Guy, although there have been so many episodes every 80s/90s pop culture reference must’ve been featured by now. It could be said that Peter found this to be rather irritating, I don’t know if that’s the majority view though.
I don’t know if I should admit it, but I even have this one on CD. In July 1997 second album “This Fire” was released, but this reached only no. 60. and spent just one week on the chart, being her only hit album in the UK. Paula also won the Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1998, which was rather fancy. Although there are so many categories that anybody who releases a song in a year is almost guaranteed to win an award.
There would be only one more chart success for Paula when in August 1998 “I Don’t Want To Wait” reached no. 43. This was the theme to the US teen drama series Dawson’s Creek (not to be confused with My So-Called Life, The OC, One Tree Hill, Party Of Five, or the many others around at the time). This one was also referenced in Family Guy, although I got the feeling that Peter didn’t really know the lyrics. Maybe he really was a fan. Paula has now made ten albums.