On this day in music history: August 9, 1988 – “Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars”, the debut album by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians is released. Produced by Pat Moran, it is recorded at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth, Wales, UK from Late 1987 – Early 1988. Formed in 1985 in Dallas, TX, the band originally consists of Brandon Ely (drums), Eric Presswood (guitar) and Brad Houser (bass, vibraslap). Playing a local club called Rick’s Casablanca, they are joined on stage by a fellow student named Edie Brickell. Recognizing the immediate chemistry between them, Brickell becomes their lead singer, and develop a loyal following. Shortly after, Presswood leaves and is replaced by Kenny Withrow, also adding John Bush (percussion) to the band. Their unique musical blend of pop, folk-rock and jazz influences, make them stand out in an era of slick over-produced dance pop and hair metal, dominating the musical landscape. Eventually record companies come calling, and they are signed to Geffen Records in 1987. Amending their name to Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, they are paired with producer and engineer Pat Moran (Big Country, Rush). Brickell and Withrow write most of the songs on the band’s debut album, with the other members contributing, while jamming on song ideas. Titled “Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars”, Edie also illustrates the album’s cover and inner sleeve artwork, perfectly complimenting their eclectic style. Initially released without a lead single when it hits record store shelves, the album receives strong positive reviews from music critics, but scant airplay. Nearly three months after its release, “What I Am” (#7 Pop, #4 Modern Rock, #9 Mainstream Rock) is issued as a single. The quirky but highly infectious song “about shrugging off introspection with wisecracks”, becomes a big radio hit and its music video becomes an MTV favorite. It is later sampled by Brand Nubian as the basis of their hit “Slow Down”, and its hook is interpolated by Lauryn Hill into Aretha Franklin’s “A Rose Is Still A Rose”. “What I Am” is also lampooned on “Beavis & Butthead”, when the pair come across the music video while channel surfing. The album spins off two more singles including “Circle” (#48 Pop, #32 Mainstream Rock) and “Love Like We Do”. Though not issued as a single, the track “Little Miss S.” about Warhol Factory actress and model Edie Sedwick, also receives significant radio play. “Shooting Rubberbands” turns Brickell & New Bohemians into reluctant stars overnight, leading them to make the considerably less commercial follow up “Ghost Of A Dog” in 1990. They disband shortly after its release, with Brickell continuing on a solo artist after marrying musician Paul Simon. Brickell & New Bohemians reform and record the album “Stranger Things” in 2006. “Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars” peaks at number five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
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