Before there was Miley and Taylor and Selena, there was Britney and Christina and Jessica. Before that, there was Brandy, Monica and Aaliyah. And even before THAT, there was Debbie and Tiffany.
Debbie Gibson and Tiffany were the pre-eminent teen girl stars of the Eighties. While young girls (and a handful of guys) tacked posters of New Edition, Menudo and New Kids on the Block on their walls, Debbie and Tiffany were the artists that these young girls (hell, and maybe some of the guys) wanted to be like. And while Debbie had the entire package (she was the youngest person to ever write, produce and perform a #1 hit (with “Foolish Beat” back in ’88…although co-writing credit should have gone to George Michael considering it was a “Careless Whisper” ripoff), Tiffany had the voice. She was youthful-sounding enough to tackle fluffy songs like “I Think We’re Alone Now” (which became her first #1 hit in the fall of 1987), but she could also pull off a spare ballad like “Could’ve Been”, which also topped the charts. Oh yeah, she also got popular by touring shopping malls.
When Tiff’s self-titled debut climbed all the way to the top of the Billboard charts at the beginning of 1988, her label, MCA, wasted no time cobbling together a follow up. “Hold an Old Friend’s Hand” was out by the end of the year, and while it sold well enough, the bubble had already burst. It “only” sold a million copies (or about a third of what the previous album sold), peaked outside the Top 10, and only landed one top ten single (when the previous album had three). But what a single it was.
Call me a sap. I’ve always had a soft spot for “All This Time”. It has that awkward first slow dance feel to it, although maybe I’m just getting that vibe because (if I remember correctly) the song made it’s debut in an episode of “Growing Pains” during a scene that was set at a school dance. A buddy of mine also mentioned over the weekend that this past Sunday marked the 25th anniversary of the first episode of that classic sitcom. Woo boy, I feel old.
Anyway, this proved to be Tiffany’s last appearance in the Top Ten. After a two-year break, she returned with a funkier sound (courtesy of NKOTB producer Maurice Starr) and…well, let’s just say that it didn’t turn out well for her. However, she’s still kicking around two decades later-doing a little singing, a little acting, a little posing for Playboy, and a little appearing in C-movies with her archrival, Debbie Gibson. Here’s to you, Tiffany…still hanging in there after (wait for it!) all this time.
I also had no bloody clue that there was a video for this. The things you learn.