Foolish Beat

Album: Out Of The Blue (1987)
Charted: 9 1

Songfacts®:

  • This was Gibson's first American #1 hit, giving the 17-year-old the honor of becoming the youngest artist ever to write, perform, and produce a #1 single. The song captures the fantastical feelings of a teenage girl as she deals with heartbreak for the first time and wonders if she can ever love again. It's very astute songwriting for a teenager, and much more complex than Gibson's first three singles, the upbeat songs "Only In My Dreams," "Shake Your Love" and "Out Of The Blue."

    Debbie Gibson's record was broken by Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, who was 17 years and one month old when the self-written and produced "Crank That (Soulja Boy)" topped the chart on September 15, 2007. Gibson was 17 years and 9 months old when "Foolish Beat" went to #1 on June 25, 1988.
  • Looking back at the song in a 2013 interview with Billboard magazine, Debbie Gibson said: "I find that people have kept (it) with them. I think it's because the lyrics are simple, but you can fill in the blanks with your adult experience. I know that I can as a singer now. When I was writing it, I was guessing what love would be like ... and then also guessing what it would be like to lose love. Now that I've been through all that, I can sing the very simple lyrics and really fill it."
  • Debbie Gibson was born in 1970 in Brooklyn, New York. She began writing songs in her early childhood and when she was eight, she sang at the children's chorus in the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. When Debbie turned 16 and was still in high school, Atlantic Records signed her to a recording contract. She recorded five Top 10 singles in the US including two #1s, "Foolish Beat" and "Lost In Your Eyes," and two multi-platinum albums. In the late '80s, Gibson was one of the most popular teen idols, appearing on the cover of teen magazines worldwide.

    After her popularity as a pop singer waned, she starred in Les Misérables on Broadway, then she went to London, where she landed the character of Sandy in the West End theatrical production of Grease. Since then she has appeared in a number of other musical productions, including playing Sally Bowles in Cabaret and Belle in Beauty and the Beast.
  • Gibson was signed to Atlantic Records, which put their promotional muscle behind her but pushed her to make lots of appearances. Throughout her junior and senior years of high school she was dispatched to clubs where she did sets of her hits, sometimes three times a night. When she graduated, she embarked on a major tour, headlining with Atlantic baby band Times Two as her support act.

    Around this time, she started taking Xanax to control her panic attacks, but kept a rigorous work schedule. Her next album, Electric Youth, was a big seller, #1 in America for five weeks. Gibson moved into acting a few years later but never stopped making music.
  • The music video, directed by Nick Willing, finds Gibson expressing her heartache in various settings, including a cabaret, the city streets, and a restaurant where she dines alone. It earned airplay on both MTV and VH1.

Comments: 1

  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnShe was the first singer I ever liked - I was six years old, what do you expect?
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