Recently, I have been looking online at more videos of songs that were hits in the 90s, to determine if there are any more stories that I think are interesting enough to do a piece about, even if I don’t remember them from first time round. And when I was sat there and just thinking “well, whatever” at every video, and beginning to wonder why I was spending so much time doing this, I came across something that made me think “wow!” that made it all worthwhile.
The first thing that attracted me to Danielle Brisebois is that unlike some other women who have that first name, she has had a hit single in the UK, and it’s good to know that at least one Danielle has. It turns out that she has had a rather interesting career. Danielle was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1969. She first found fame in the late-70s as an actress in various TV shows.
She appeared as Stephanie Mills (not be confused with the Stephanie Mills who had a hit with “Never Knew Love Like This Before” of course) in the sitcom All In The Family (the American version of Til Death Us Do Part), and the spin-off Archie Bunker’s Place. She was then in other shows, but she doesn’t seem to have been one of those “child star goes off the rails” stories, and by the early-90s she had started to work in the music business.
Her first and only hit single in the UK was in September 1995 when “Gimme Little Sign” was released, a cover of the famous soul song by Brenton Wood which made the Top Ten in this country in 1968. This version was rather different though. I have to note that the producer was Gregg Alexander, who would go on to find fame (for a short while) as the frontman of New Radicals, and the video was co-directed by Kate Garner, who used to be in Haysi Fantayzee.
But the best thing about the video was that Danielle… had BLUE HAIR!! I know I sound ridiculous but, how terrific, I couldn’t believe it. “Gimme Little Sign” reached no. 75, the lowest place for a song to officially be a hit single in the UK, but surprisingly this wasn’t a hit in America. Eager to discover more, I found some videos on her Vevo, featuring singles released from her 1994 album “Arrive All Over You”.
They were “What If God Fell From The Sky”, and “Don’t Wanna Talk About Love” (where she had pink hair, and looked like Pink five years before Pink did), but neither of these were hits. After this, she continued to collaborate with New Radicals, and she has also been a songwriter for various singers. Among the most successful songs she has written is “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield, a Top Ten hit in the UK in 2004.