During the ’80s, Aimee Mann led the post-new wave pop group, Til Tuesday. After releasing three albums with the group, Mann broke up the band and embarked on a solo career.
Her first solo album, Whatever, was a more introspective, folk-tinged effort than Til Tuesday’s albums, and received uniformly positive reviews upon its release in the summer of 1993. However, the album was only a small hit, spending only seven weeks on the American charts, where it peaked at 127.
Nevertheless, Whatever rejuvenated her career – after its release, critics were praising her songwriting, as were peers like Elvis Costello, Difford and Tilbrook, and Andy Partridge.
Early in 1995, Mann had a modest hit with “That’s Just What You Are,” a song included on the soundtrack to the television series, Melrose Place.
Following the success of the single, Mann was set to release her second solo album in the spring of 1995, but her record label, Imago, filed for bankruptcy before its release. She signed a contract with Reprise Records after Imago went under, but Imago prevented her from releasing any records.
For most of 1995, Mann battled Imago in an attempt to free herself from the label, eventually winning her independence at the end of the year. After her dispute with Imago was settled, she signed with DGC Records.
Mann’s second album, I’m With Stupid, was released in England in the late fall of 1995 and in January of 1996 in America. Again, it was greeted with positive reviews, but weak sales.
Mann’s career got a kick-start in early 2000, however, when she released her soundtrack for the critically acclaimed film Magnolia; the song “Save Me” was later nominated for an Academy Award. Originally available only at live dates, the solo Bachelor No. 2 received national release in the spring. In the summer of 2002, Mann returned to the forefront with the self-released Lost In Space.
– Stephen Thomas Erlewine
@#%&*! Smilers (2008)
One More Drifter in the Snow (2006)
Lost In Space (2002)
I Am Sam Soundtrack (2002)
The Forgotten Arm (2005)
Bachelor #2 (2000)
Magnolia Soundtrack (1999)
I’m With Stupid (1996)