I hear your name whispered on the wind...Shannon Rubicam
and George Merrill
found most of their success behind the scenes as songwriters. After a relatively inauspicious debut album, Rubicam and Merrill received their first big break when a song they wrote for Janet Jackson
found its way to some obscure cousin of then-famous Dionne Warwick.
"How Will I Know" exploded to the top of the charts, and a star was born. Fittingly, a sighting of a shooting star at one of Houston's concerts sent Rubicam scrambling for her notebook, writing the lyrics to a song she intended to be Houston's next smash.You may know this one.
In the meantime, the couple went through a yearlong seperation while working on their followup album, Reel Life
. Lyricist Rubicam turned loose many of their relationship issues as words in the many, many songs eventually culled down to the ten on the disc. Meanwhile, after Houston rejected "Waiting For A Star To Fall", studio heads, smelling a hit, passed it around to several artists including Belinda Carlisle before Boy Meets Girl finally took back their song and took it to the top of the charts, peaking at #5 stateside and the very top throughout Europe. It continuously resurfaces on eighties collections and briefly found its way back into the pop cultural spotlight via a 2006 "sample war" involving three competing songs.
Shannon and George patched up their relationship around the time of the release of Reel Life
and married in the aftermath, semi-retiring
as recording artists after the shelving
of their 1990 followup album New Dream
. In 2000, they began work on their self-released comeback effort, The Wonderground
, but once again their personal issues found their way into their work as they worked their way to an amicable divorce. The Wonderground
debuted to a warm reception as an Allmusic album pick, though a name change to BoyMeetsGirl Music
(apparently to avoid being buried by dating sites in search results) did the band no favors in the name recognition department.
Despite some recording, as of 2011 there are no plans for a new release.
Tropes associated with "Waiting For A Star To Fall"
Other tropes associated with the duo
- Anti-Love Song - Surprisingly upbeat example in "Bring Down The Moon", which urges "finding comfort in closing the distance between your life and your dreams" and finding "the spirit of romance" in day-to-day life when love falls short of expectations.
- Artifact Title - At 57 and 62 respectively, they're hardly a boy and a girl at this point.
- Big Name Fan - George is a downplayed example for System of a Down.
- The Cameo:
- Creator Couple
- Executive Meddling - Mere weeks before the release of "New Dream", a management shuffle led to the album being dropped from rotation. Copies already released in Europe became collector's items of a sort until the album finally saw the light of day in 2005.
- In Da Club - "Oh Girl" video, oddly for their genre, before degenerating into a Bar Brawl.
- Just for Pun - Reel Life. Because they're Boy Meets Girl, like in the movies, geddit?
- Lyrical Dissonance - Much of Reel Life sketches out the pair's relationship issues (sometimes passive-aggressively, towards each other). The melodies themselves are quite upbeat.
- The Man Behind the Man - The cowriters of Whitney Houston's #1 hits "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness - Three to four at the highest.
- New Wave Music
- One-Hit Wonder - In popular memory, at least; "Oh Girl" from the debut album cracked the top 40, but nearly thirty years on is mostly forgotten.
- Pep Talk Song - "Be True / Soul Connection", "The Aah Song", and "Climbing".
- Protest Song - "Bird In Hand" is an environmental protest declaring that "progress hides a vengeful lie." This may have helped get the plug pulled on ''New Dream''.
- Reality Subtext - Reel Life and especially The Wonderground - half their output! - carry the weight of George and Shannon's then-collapsing relationship.
- Signature Song - "Waiting For A Star To Fall", of course.
- Something Completely Different - Album closers "Premonitions" and "Everybody's Somebody's Baby" are story songs about losing one's child to violence, with the former explicitly about a 1983 terrorist attack.
- Trope Names for a Band - A middle-aged couple sings a Breakup Song album about its divorce - Boy Meets Girl!
- Unintentional Period Piece - The video for "Oh Girl" is a spectacular portrait of Miami Vice-era style.
- Vocal Tag Team
- What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? - Try and piece together what's going on in that "Bring Down The Moon" video. While some of it probably means something, Word of God is that they and the director just loved the imagery of the American Southwest at the time.