Here’s yet another group who had success with one single, but couldn’t attract any interest in their follow-ups. 4 Non-Blondes were an American group who formed in the late-80s. You can probably guess how they got their name. Their frontwoman was Linda Perry, who had a whiny voice, and a rather distinctive look of a big hat with some goggles on it. Well, you had to do anything to get noticed in those days.
In June 1993 “What’s Up” was released (even though that phrase isn’t actually in the lyrics), and this did rather well, reaching no. 2 in the UK, and no. 14 in America. It’s one of those curious songs that even though it was a success, nobody seemed to want to admit that they liked it, and many had no idea what the lyrics were about. This one clearly does mean something to some people though, as the video has had over one billion views on YouTube.
In July 1993 their first and only album “Bigger, Better, Faster, More!” was released, and reached no. 4. This was another group that was now faced with the challenge of following their big hit with anything else, but you think that there would be some interest. So in October 1993 “Spaceman” was released (not to be confused with the later Babylon Zoo song), and this reached only no. 53.
The video was shown on The Chart Show, but there wasn’t much interest beyond that, and this turned out to be their second and final hit single in the UK (by comparison, the video to “Spaceman” has barely had ten million views on YouTube). There is a little more to their story after this though. In 1994 a dance remix of “What’s Up” by DJ Miko made the Top Ten.
And also around this time, someone appeared as Linda on Stars In Their Eyes. This was a show that liked to feature singers in various genres, but barely a year on from their brief success, people were probably struggling to remember who she was. She didn’t win. Not long after this, 4 Non-Blondes split, their biggest hit still hanging around all these years on.
Linda is still around though, and in more recent years she has gone on to be a successful songwriter, including working with Christina Aguilera and Pink, and there was also the BBC3 comedy sketch show 3 Non-Blondes, the title being very obviously a pun on the group’s name, they must’ve been thrilled, what a legacy that is.