Thursday, July 30, 2015


Those songs! Those harmonies! That musical pedigree! Wilson Phillips were no mere girl group, they were rock royalty. Chynna Phillips, daughter of The Mamas & Papas singers John and Michelle Phillips, and Carnie and Wendy Wilson, daughters of The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, grew up together. They knew each other from the time they were kids and started singing together, developing their own style of vocal harmony (supposedly. Just sounds like harmonies to me).  The three signed to SBK Records and released their debut, self-titled album in 1990 and it was fucking ON!!! Wilson Phillips, the album, sold over 10 million copies worldwide and produced three US Billboard #1 hits, Hold On, Release Me and You're In Love, and another top 10 with Impulsive (#4). A fifth single, The Dream Is Still Alive, hit #12. Riding high on their popularity, the group was asked to cover the song Daniel for Two Rooms: Celebrating the Song of Elton John & Bernie Taupin. The cover hit #7 on the AC charts on airplay alone as it was never released as a single. Work, bitches!! At the time, their debut album was the best selling album by a female group of all time. Now......their second album, Shadows and Light, contained some pretty great songs, but lacked the cohesion and punch of their debut. The lead single, You Won't See Me Cry (their finest single, IMO), with its lush harmonies and Victoria Secret-like video (which featured a much heavier Carnie completely covered up and wearing a bed, basically) failed to connect with the masses and only hit #20 on the Hot 100. Follow up Give It Up stalled at #30 and the album faded away. Chynna decided she would try her hand at a solo career and the group disbanded. Sad. Then Wilson Phillips reunited in 2004 for a cover album called California and the sparks were still there. California celebrated the songs of 60s and 70s by artist like The Beach Boys, The Mamas & The Papas, Linda Ronstadt and Fleetwood Mac, among others, and showed that the gals were still in fine form. They followed that album up in 2012 with Dedicated, an album of songs by their parents' bands. Their legacy at the height of their career may be short, but it has made a lasting impression on a generation. So much so that they made a cameo appearance in the finale of the mega-hit Bridesmaids featured as the lead characters', played by Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, favorite group. I still pop in some Wilson Phillips and sing along to whichever harmony catches my fancy, and so should you. Here are the ladies' best ones, IMO. Enjoy!!

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