Monday, September 27, 2010

Merril Bainbridge

Merril Bainbridge (born on June 2, 1968 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) is a female pop singer from the '90s.

Merril began performing when she was 9 years old. Her first performance was at a carnival her sisters persuaded her into entering to win concert tickets. She managed to come in 3rd place.

After playing in various bands in Australia and doing backup vocal work in exchange for studio time, Merril started a solo career under the tutelege of music producer Siew. She used to work a day job before quitting to focus on music.

In 1994, Merril was signed to the newly-formed Gotham Records started by Ross Fraser and John Farnham. Ross had first heard Merril when he got a tape in the mail and was interested by the combination of guitar and voice. She was signed to the Universal Music record label in the U.S. in 1996.
Merril's first single "Mouth" was first released in November of 1994. Due to the annual shuffle of songs that were released around Christmas time, it disappeared quickly due to lack of airplay and interest.

It wasn't until the song was reissued in February of 1995 that the song became a hit, topping Australia's ARIA Singles Chart for 6 weeks, making Merril have the longest running #1 song by an Australian female singer in the 90's.

When the song was released in the U.S, in August of 1996, it managed to peak at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, #8 on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart, #23 on Billboard's Rhythmic Top 40 chart, and #2 on Billboard's Top 40 Mainstream chart.

The song became the most requested song on American radio for 3 weeks. The song was nominated for five awards at the 1995 ARIA Music Awards, but failed to win. "Mouth" was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association and in the U.S., the song was certified Gold, selling over 600,000 copies around the U.S.
Merril's debut album "The Garden" was released in July of 1995 in Australia and released in September 1996 in the U.S.  In Australia, the album peaked at #5 on the ARIA Albums chart and in the U.S, it peaked at #101 on the Billboard 200 and topped Billboard's Heatseekers Albums chart.

By the end of 1996, Merril toured 30 cities in the U.S. for 40 days. She presented an award at the Billboard Awards and performed at Madison Square Garden, supporting Sheryl Crow.
Merril's second single, "Under the Water" received moderate success in Australia and managed to peak at #4 on the ARIA Singles chart, spending 16 weeks in the Top 50 and was certified Platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association.

It also became the 24th highest-selling single in Australia in 1995, selling an estimate of 80,000 copies around Australia. It was nominated for an ARIA Award as the "Highest Selling Single" for 1996, but lost. But the song won a APRA Award for "Most Performed Australian Work" in 1996.

In the U.S., the song was released in February of 1997, but didn't match the success of her debut single. It managed to peak at a disappointing #91 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it was Merril's last chart appearance in the U.S.
The third single from the album, "Power of One" peaked at #21 on the ARIA Singles chart, spending 7 weeks in the Top 50.

Merril's last single from the album, "Sleeping Dogs" received minor success, peaking at #55 on the ARIA Singles Chart. The song featured the Bee Gee's song, "I Started a Joke" which was used in the bridge of the track.
While Merril was finishing up her international tour, she started writing songs for her second album. The first single "Lonely" managed to peak at #40 on the ARIA Singles chart. In the U.S., the song flopped, only managing to peak at #18 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart. It also peaked at #25 on the Japan Singles chart.
The second single, a cover version of Sonny & Cher's "I Got You Babe" featuring Jamaican rapper Shaggy. The song was featured in the Australian comedy film, "Welcome to Woop Woop." The song peaked at #62 on the ARIA Singles chart, making it Merril's last song to chart.
In October 1998, Merril released her sophomore album, "Between the Days" which peaked at #58 on the ARIA Albums chart. The third single, the title song failed to chart at all on the ARIA Singles chart. The last single, "Walk on Fire" also failed to chart too.

In 1999, Merril participated in John Farham's "I Can't Believe He's 50" tour with musicians Kate Ceberano, Ross Wilson, James Reyne, Human Nature, and Nana-Zhami.

During that same year, Merril recorded a song called "Sydney from a 747" which appeared on the soundtrack to the IMAX film, "Sydney: A Story of a City" and was also released as part of a music compliation album for the Sydney 2000 Olympic games called "Olympic Record" which is out of print.

In 2000, Merril recorded a song called "Friends" for the Australian film, "The Magic Pudding" which is featured on the movie soundtrack.

In 2003, Merril attempted a comeback with the song "Girl Next Door" and an untitled album, but the song failed to chart and the album ended up being shelved. These days, Merril has been working backstage as a composer for other Australian artists.

To see the music video for "Mouth," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YIIM1EVDqg

To see the music video for "Under the Water," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Frb1pCIWdEA

To see a video of Merril performing "Power of One" live, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAzoqoU7wp4

To see a fan-made video for "Lonely," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kznne77n7e8

To see the music video for "Girl Next Door," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61BDHMdrZlU

To see the music video for "I Got You Babe," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9B45e_wUJs

To see a fan-made video for "Between the Days," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gJfY825Cwk

To see a fan-made video for "Walk on Fire," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hTXJZBxxYg


[updated on 08/15/13]

1 comment:

Arcticbird said...

Thank you so much for this great thorough information on the very talented and special Merril Bainbridge! Since I discovered her, I got her two albums and I fell in love with her magical music.