Shannon Rubicam (born October 11, 1951) and George Merrill (born January 10, 1956) 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.
In the meantime, the couple went through a yearlong separation 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 Boy Meets Girl 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.
- Boy Meets Girl (1984)
- Heartbreaker (1985, Japan-only single)
- Reel Life (1988)
- New Dream (1991)
- The Wonderground (2003)
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.
- The Cameo:
- 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 co-writers of Whitney Houston's #1 hits "How Will I Know" and "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)"
- Melismatic Vocals: "Waiting For A Star To Fall" was written with Whitney Houston in mind.
- Obvious Beta: They recorded their own take on "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" as a proof of concept for Whitney.
- Other Common Music Video Concepts: "Waiting For A Star To Fall" as hybrid "Garage Rock" and "Band From Mundania"
- 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''.
- Silly Love Songs: "Waiting for a Star to Fall" , on an album piled up with Breakup Songs, no less!
- What Might Have Been: "Waiting for a Star to Fall" was originally submitted to Whitney Houston, then bounced around to several potential singers before finding its way back to the original writers.