Monday, March 31, 2008

Collection of Cool

It all started with Archie Bunker. During the final season of All in the Family, and its sequel spin-off Archie Bunker's Place, a young actress was added to the cast for new blood and spunk. Danielle Brisebois stole the heart of America with her little girl smiles and charm. About ten years later, Danielle befriended a talented lad from Grosse Pointe, Michigan named Gregg Alexander. They shared an insatiable love for rock 'n' roll. Gregg enjoyed some early success releasing a couple of solo albums and writing some songs for acts like Susanna Hoff's Bangles and Belinda Carlisle. He was a fun guy to know.

Together, Danielle and Gregg gathered some friends together and formed a gifted gang of musicians who became known as The New Radicals. Their 1997 album 'Maybe You've Been Brainwashed, Too' has become legendary in the history of California rock. It became the fulcrum between the Todd Rundgren generation and a new wave of bands like The Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Radicals anthem 'You Only Get What You Give' has been used time and time again in a variety of settings that often disregard its main disestablishment theme. Play it time and time again; the song gleefully rants and rocks. How this tune became the background for the new HDTV service of PBS I'll never know!

The Radicals all went their separate ways, but Gregg and Danielle still have a heavy grasp on American pop. Gregg hit it big producing the mega-hit 'Game of Love' with Michelle Branch fronting Carlos Santana. Danielle has skyrocketed like fireworks in the world of songwriting. Clay Aiken, Kelly Clarkson, Mandy Moore, Kylie Minogue and Kimberley Locke have all recorded her songs.

Danielle's very hottest hit is a song you might have heard of called 'Unwritten.' Natasha Bedingfield first recorded it in 2004 for her debut solo album. It simmered and cooked for years serving as background in a few movie soundtracks including Disney's 'Ice Princess' and 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.' Unwritten's pot started to boil over in 2006 when Natasha was finally discovered in America. The song dominated radio airplay for months and is now heard behind commercials for hair products and in dance clubs where multiple remixes keep the song fresh. You have never seen a hit with this much play and penetration.

Natasha and Danielle (pictured above) continue to cook on the front burner. Natasha's latest single, 'Pocket Full of Sunshine', was written by Danielle, Natasha and their friend John Shanks. The album's first single 'Love Like This' is the ultimate cool. Natasha's work is positive, proficient and self-assured. It is always fine to hear her groove. Where will Danielle turn up next? Check out her nearly unknown gem 'Just Missed the Train' including tracks from her 1994 debut album and previously unreleased material. Watch her web site at: It's bound to be fun.

1 comment:

Shannon at MCA said...

Danielle Brisebois and Gregg Alexander also co-produced and co-wrote songs for current American Idol finalist Carly Hennessy Smithson for an album she released called Ultimate High back in 2001 on MCA Records. How do you know about these two, Karl?