1983 in Boston, Massachusetts
Core Band Members:
- Aimee Mann (born September 8, 1960 in Richmond, Virginia) - Lead vocals, bass guitar, guitar, primary songwriter
- Robert Holmes - Guitar, backing vocals, songwriter
- Michael Hausman - Drums, percussion, songwriter
- Joey Pesce - Keyboards, songwriter
Casual '80s music fans may have figured 'Til Tuesday for nothing but a one-hit wonder, but in reality the Boston-based early alternative rock band produced three albums of solid pop/rock. Led by iconically styled singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, the group functioned ultimately as little more than a vehicle for her artistry. Nevertheless, during its first few years the band was an overlooked gem of the post-punk and late new wave era. Here's a look at the relatively brief but substantive career of 'Til Tuesday.
Mann moved to Boston during the late '70s to attend Berklee College of Music, but she dropped out to start a punk rock-inspired band called the Young Snakes. That group, which embraced a noisy, anti-melodic art rock approach, released an EP in 1982 but soon dissolved without further activity beyond the immediate Boston scene. In 1983, Mann joined with former classmate and then-romantic partner Hausman to form 'Til Tuesday, and the band experienced enough local success to land a major-label deal with Epic.
Debut Album & Pop Music Success:
'Til Tuesday released Voices Carry during the first half of 1985, immediately enjoying success with the album's lead-off single and title track. That highly melodic tune peaked at No. 8 on Billboard's pop charts, launching the group (and especially Mann) into stardom within the developing MTV video age. The song's music video features a compelling, dramatic narrative involving Mann and her emotionally abusive (at best) boyfriend who makes the mistake of trying to cage her independent spirit. This track remains a bona fide '80s classic for plenty of good reason.
Steady Decline & Mann's Artistic Development:
Even as Mann's confidence and skill as a songwriter grew, the band's fortunes soured quickly, as 1986's Welcome Home and 1988's Everything's Different Now failed increasingly to find a wide pop audience. Both records nearly matched the group's debut in terms of song quality and early modern rock appeal, but standout follow-up singles "What About Love" and "Coming Up Close" reached a swiftly dwindling pop audience. As the decade came to a close, Mann's romantic and professional life faltered, as legal battles with Epic would delay the start of her inevitable solo career.
Solo Career & Continuing Critical Acclaim:
Selecting Hausman as her manager (a role in which he serves still today), Mann finally became contractually free by 1992 to release her solo debut. 1993's Whatever and 1995's I'm With Stupid established Mann as a consistent critical favorite as a singer-songwriter, but her commercial viability has reached safely beyond respectable upon subsequent releases. Mann has released five strong solo albums in the new millennium, most recently 2012's Charmer. A bright light of the so-called adult alternative movement, Mann delivers literate guitar pop with great reliability.