Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wilson Phillips, The #77 Female Artist of the Rock Era

Wilson Phillips consisted of Wendy and Carnie Wilson and Chynna Phillips, three women that met in California through their famous parents and uncles.  Wendy and Carnie are the daughters of Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson and nieces of Carl and Dennis, while Chynna is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips.

This trio hit #1 with their first release, "Hold On", also #2 in Australia, #6 in the U.K., #7 in Ireland and #10 in Sweden. The song also was named Hot 100 Single of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards and earned Grammy nominations for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and an American Music Award for Favorite Single--Pop/Rock.

The group continued their great start with another #1 song for two weeks--"Release Me".

"Impulsive" gave the trio a #4 song, though it probably should have been higher.

Wilson Phillips scored their third #1 song that also earned a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, giving the newcomers two nominees in the category.

An unprecedented fifth single from a debut album only reached #12, making it one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.

It was an amazing year for the women.  The next year, they covered "Daniel" for the tribute album Two Rooms:  Celebrating the Songs of Elton John & Bernie Taupin.  It reached #7 on the all-important Adult Contemporary chart.
In 1992, the trio's debut album became the top-selling album of all-time by an all-female group at the time, going over 5 million in sales in the United States and 10 million worldwide.  Not only that, but with just that one album, Wilson Phillips topped the entire catalog of the Supremes to become the Record Industry Association of America's (RIAA) top-selling female group in history.  Besides the other awards mentioned, the album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys and Wilson Phillips was nominated for Best New Artist and the trio was nominated for Favorite New Artist--Pop/Rock at the American Music Awards.
That was a lot of history to follow up, and it proved to be both a blessing and a curse.  The group released the album Shadows and Light in the summer of '92 but it didn't have the magic of their debut.  "You Won't See Me Cry" only peaked at #20 overall, but it did reach #4 on the Adult Contemporary chart.  The album eventually was certified Platinum in the U.S., but still a far cry from their first one.  When you set the bar so high with your first effort, it's difficult to measure up after that.
Shortly after the release of Shadows and Light, the group disbanded.  Carnie and Wendy Wilson released a Christmas album while Chynna Phillips released the solo album Naked and Sacred.  Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 to release an album of cover songs called California.  Their remake of the Fleetwood Mac classic "Go Your Own Way" reached #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the United States and was a surprise #1 in New Zealand.

This great group sold over six million albums in the U.S. and over 11 million worldwide.  They scored seven hits, with four of them reaching Top 10 and three #1's.  On the AC chart, they enjoyed 11 hits, with seven Top 10 songs and three #1's.    

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