Songs Everybody Should Know
“What’s Up”, 4 Non Blondes, 1993
45 (or so) years of my life just trying to get up that great big hill of hope, for my destination.
Christa Hillhouse invited Linda Perry to join her band in 1989 after she saw Perry at a solo performance and was blown away. Their first practice as a band was postponed. They were supposed to meet at 6:00 pm, but at 5:00 pm the ‘Loma Preita’ earthquake hit San Francisco on October 17, 1989. But that didn’t stop them, and that is a good thing...
A string of line-up changes after signing with Interscope records in 1991 finally culminated in their very solid “Bigger, Better, Faster, More” album in 1992.
Linda Perry, the lead vocalist has a unique and fantastically expressive voice. It is really too bad they did not do more. They were grunge. They had influences of punk, folk, and even glam. They were folkish. The lyrics even seem to beckon back to peace and revolution songs of the ‘60s.
There is a fantastic version of the Carpenters “Bless the Beasts and the Children” that 4 non-blondes does on the ‘tribute’ 1994 album “If I Were a Carpenter”. Worth a listen, it also has great versions of “Top of the World” by Japanese girl-band Shonen Knife, Bette Serveerts “For All We Know” and Johnette Napolitano’s (of Concrete Blonde) “Hurting Each Other”.
Perry went on to found two record companies and become a very successful songwriter and producer for such female artists as Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, Pink, Courtney Love and James Blunt. So ya, now it is like “45 years of my life just trying to get up that great big hill of hope, for my destination” for Linda – she has clearly figured it out.