What about me?

Written by on 11 August 2020

Moving Pictures was formed in 1978 and after playing up to 250 shows a year by 1981, they were signed by the Wheatley management team and Wheatley Records who were founded by former Masters Apprentices bass player Glenn Wheatley.

Source: SMH

The band released their first album in 1981, it was called ‘Days of Innocence’ with the first single ‘Bustin’ Loose’ released in October that year with the song peaking at No. 43 on the charts.

The album initially did not make it into the Top 40 but that all changed when the single ‘What About Me’ was released in 1982 and the album suddenly became a success in both Australia and the United States.

The album held No. 1 in Australia for seven weeks with only Dire Straits ‘Love Over Gold’ and Men at Work’s ‘Business as Usual’ being No. 1 for longer whilst in the United States it had peaked at No. 101.

‘What About Me’ was a No. 1 single in Australia and won Best Single in the 1982 Countdown Music Awards beating Survivor’s ‘Eye of the Tiger’ which was the highest selling single in Australia for 1982.

The United States release of the song was in September 1982 and it peaked at No. 29 enjoying a twenty-six week stay in the Hot 100, it was also No. 88 on Billboard’s Top 100 Pop Singles of 1983.

The song also charted well in New Zealand with the song peaking at No. 17 giving the band another Top 20 position.

‘Sweet Cherie’ and Winners’ were the next two singles from ‘Days of Innocence’ and they peaked at No. 51 and No. 12 in Australia.

Matinee was released in 1983 with lead single ‘Back to the Streets’ reaching No 37, follow up singles  Where They Belong and Back to Booze and Blues peaked at No. 80.

Matinee achieved a peak chart position of No. 16 in Australia and was the final studio album by the band of their 1978-1987 era.

1984 saw the release of the song ‘Never’ and this song was put on the soundtrack of ‘Footloose’, this release earned the band yet another appearance on Countdown and the song went on to become remembered time and time again.

Unfortunately changes at their US record label killed off plans to tour with the likes of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers which would of changed their popularity for the better had the tour happened, the changes also resulted in the band not getting any royalties from the release of ‘Never’

The band did not release any songs in 1985 and 1986 before releasing the live album ‘The Last Picture Show’ in 1987 and they also toured Australia with the same name.

A live version of ‘What About Me’ was released as a single and it charted once again in the United States reaching No. 46 but that was it for the band who called it quits that same year.

‘What About Me’ featured on Australia’s Ultimate Songs in 2000 and ‘Days of Innocence – The Ultimate Collection’ released that year featuring the Days of Innocence album with bonus tracks from Matinee and non-album singles such as ‘Never’.

Shannon Noll released a cover of ‘What About Me’ in 2004 and like the original it went to No. 1, it was the first instance of an Australian song being No. 1 and recorded by two different groups or solo artists.

The song ‘Never’ appeared on ‘Hot Rod’ and it also appeared on Family Guy as both copied Kevin Bacon’s angry dancing scene in Footloose.

Insurance company AAMI made a parody of ‘What About Me’ for an ad campaign, it was so successful that they quickly made another and is remembered even today.

The band got back on the road in 2011 and ended up touring for seven years throughout the 2010’s, still retaining their popularity in Australia.

The honours have continued for ‘What About Me’ with the song being on Triple M’s ‘Ozzest 100’ with the song landing at No. 37 in January 2018.

Moving Pictures just keeps on moving along through time and that’s the way it should be.

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