It’s an oft-told music tale – a recording artist has a vast body of work, but only remembered for those one or two big hits. Beck comes to mind, as does Radiohead, Beastie Boys and the Boston-based band, ’til Tuesday, led by the sensationally-talented Aimee Mann.
’til Tuesday released 3 albums between 1985 and 1988 – VOICES CARRY (1985), featuring the BILLBOARD Hot 100 Top 10 title track (and aforementioned “big hit”), WELCOME HOME (1986), featuring the Top 40 hit, “What About Love?” and the underrated excellent follow-up, “Coming Up Close,” and their last album, 1988’s EVERYTHING’S DIFFERENT NOW, whose title perhaps was a sign of things to come for the band. Actually, though, it more likely put a period at the end of the relationship between Aimee Mann and singer / songwriter Jules Shear, though Aimee Mann claims that not all the songs on the album were about the relationship.
One of the highlights on EVERYTHING’s DIFFERENT NOW was a collaboration between ’Til Tuesday and Elvis Costello – “The Other End (Of The Telescope).” Aimee Mann and Elvis Costello (under his real name, Declan MacManus) co-wrote the song, and I’m betting it wasn’t about Aimee’s relationship with Jules Shear, though there’s clearly some heavy-duty relationship hope and bitterness in there (if that makes any sense).
In 1996, Elvis Costello re-worked and re-recorded “The Other End (Of The Telescope)” for his 17th album, ALL THIS USELESS BEAUTY.
Since the 1988 breakup of ’Til Tuesday, Aimee Mann has had a successful solo career, which has included 8 studio albums, a live album, her marriage to singer / songwriter Michael Penn, and an Academy Award nomination for “Save Me,” from the 1999 film, MAGNOLIA.
Always had a lot of respect for Aimee Mann, and even had the pleasure of meeting her after a Portland, Maine show, in support of her 2002 LOST IN SPACE album. I hope she begins work on a new album soon, and it’s my continued hope that people will take that look at the other end (of the ’Til Tuesday telescope) and realize that Aimee and the band had some really great music in the short time they were together, music that goes way beyond those carrying voices…