Here’s a clip of pop-chanteuse and singer-songwriter extraordinaire Aimee Mann with a track from her 2000 album, Bachelor No. 2, which is comprised of songs featured in the film Magnolia, along with separate tracks apart from that project. This song “Save Me” garnered Mann a Grammy nomination in 1999, as well as an Oscar nomination for its inclusion in the film.
Aimee Mann is clearly a gifted songwriter, using melodic touches which are not far removed from a hero of mine, Neil Finn. And her voice isn’t a million miles away from yet another hero, Chrissie Hynde. But her career path has been fraught with false starts. She had chart success initially with the mid-80s hit “Voices Carry” with pop band ‘Til Tuesday. It was, however, a one-hit wonder. So who would have thought that Mann could come out of that this many years later as a solo artist making critically acclaimed records?
If her short-lived pop chart success is looked upon as a false start, then perhaps her meeting Jon Brion who contributed to the band in its latter days justifies her time in Til Tuesday. Brion proved to be an important production partner later in her career, including working on the Magnolia soundtrack along with Mann. Yet, it’s Mann who came out as a superlative pop writer despite a lack of traction after ‘Voices Carry’, and one able to write in that vein in an intelligent manner. The cues for this were evident even while still in the group, having the skills to collaborate with Elvis Costello on the album track ‘The Other End (of the Telescope)’ on the band’s Everything’s Different Now LP in 1988. Costello included his take on the song on his own All This Useless Beauty album in 1996.
Despite her range as a writer, and kudos from her peers, Mann struggled to sell her material, partially due to a bad record deal with a failing label, a situation from which she escaped by 1995 but hurt the success of her debut album. Bachelor No. 2 was something of a breakthrough for her, and subsequent releases have had critics and fans in states of anticipation and delight ever since. In addition to that, her skills as a songwriter sparked the imagination of filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson, who modeled the characters of his Magnolia film directly from her Lennonesque “Save Me”, the song which he also included in the soundtrack along with three other Mann-penned songs. Aimee Mann continues to be a frequent contributor of songs to TV and movie soundtracks, as well as being known for her cohesive solo albums and live shows.
Her most recent record, @#%&*! Smilers is out now.
To preview tracks from the new record, and to hear ones from past releases, check out the Aimee Mann MySpace page.
2 thoughts on “Aimee Mann Performs ‘Save Me’ From the Album Bachelor No.2”
I love Aimee Mann, and B#2 may be my favorite album of hers (depends on my mood), but it does not contain ‘Save Me’ (at least not in the USA release). One must buy the Magnolias Soundtrack to get it.
I bought just the three songs of hers from that soundtrack I didn’t have, and while ‘Save Me’ is wonderful, I think I prefer the other two (‘Momentum’ and ‘Build That Wall’).
Till Tuesday didn’t do too badly with “You Know the Rest”, so maybe they were a 1.5 hit wonder. 🙂 In any case, Aimee’s talent went beyond the bounds of that group, and they could not survive as a pop band with the direction her music was taking her.
By the way, on B#2 she co-wrote “The Fall of the World’s Own Optimist” with Costello as well. Nice as that is, it says as much about Costello than her. I mean, who HASN’T that guy worked with?
Hey Tom – when you’re right, your right – it’s not on B#2! This is not the first time I’ve gotten my wires crossed with this one! 1999-2000 was a busy year for Mann, and my memory isn’t what it used to be – good catch!
As for Costello – yes, he’s a bit of a colloboration addict. The way I look at it is that he’s just like us – he loves music. But instead of collecting records, he collects collaborations too. If I had the time and talent, I’d probably do the same.
Cheers for comments!